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Vasantharaj R

Vigour and inertia in China’s North Korea discourse 


Author: Adam Cathcart, Leeds University China’s approach to the Korean peninsula embodies that of both a decisive power, and an impotent observer. Official rhetoric has been relatively conservative. State media publications as well as public statements by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and others never verge into overtly aggressive statements toward North Korea. Potential conflict […]

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Are China and the US falling into the Thucydides Trap?


Author: Peter Van Ness, ANU Building his analysis on Thucydides’ study of the Peloponnesian War, Graham Allison and his colleagues have studied the classic international relations problem of military conflict between a rising power and an established dominant power. They identified 16 such situations over the past 500 years, and found that 12 of them […]

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No Brexit from the South China Sea


Author: Donald R. Rothwell, ANU The recent statements by senior UK ministers regarding the future deployment of British warships in the South China Sea provoked an inevitable response from China and speculation as to when these actions may actually take place. But care needs to be exercised in reading too much into what has been […]

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[Professional Review] Love Contractually (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)

Sammi Cheng sticks to what she does best with Love Contractually, a romantic comedy which pairs her with popular Taiwanese actor Joseph Chang (recently in Sky on Fire), seeing her playing a hard-nosed female executive who unsurprisingly finds love when she advertises for a new male assistant. The film marks the directorial debut of Liu Guonan, who previously worked for Zhang Yimou on Hero and Curse of the Golden Flower before going on to shoot commercials. As well as Cheng and Chang, the film also features Johnnie To veteran actor Lam Suet, Feng Wenjuan (Operation Mekong), Terrence Yin (Cold War) and singer Xian Zi. Cheng stars as Katrina, the CEO of a fancy insurance company, known for her ... Read More

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[Professional Review] The Prison (Blu-ray) (Hard Boiled Normal Edition) (Korea Version)

Acclaimed Korean screenwriter Na Hyun, known for his work on the likes of May 18, Forever the Moment and other films, makes his directorial debut with The Prison. As its title suggests, the film is set largely in a jail, with Kim Rae-won (Gangnam Blues) as a cop who ends up behind bars, where he encounters a particularly powerful inmate played by Han Suk-kyu (The Royal Tailor). The film enjoyed a lot of buzz during its production, having apparently been pre-sold to over 60 territories around the world, before going on to screen at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival and the Far East Film Festival in Udine. The film opens with Kim Rae-won as Song Yoo-gun, a cop known for his ... Read More

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Do the lessons of Thucydides apply to Singapore?


Author: John Blaxland, ANU Recently the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, Kishore Mahbubani, dropped a bombshell. He declared that Qatar’s experience of being embargoed by its neighbouring states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ‘reminds Singapore of the need for small states to behave like small states, and […]

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Bridging the digital divide in Indonesia


Authors: Ross Tapsell, ANU and Edwin Jurriens, University of Melbourne Digital technology is fast becoming the core of life, work, culture and identity in Indonesia. A young nation with a median age of 28 and a rapidly growing urban middle class, Indonesia is using digital technologies in ways that have made the world take notice. […]

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Trump plays into Thailand’s autocratic descent


Author: Matthew Phillips, Aberystwyth University On Tuesday 8 August, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Bangkok as part of a tour of the region. Top of the agenda was Thailand’s relationship with North Korea, but Tillerson also confirmed arrangements for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to visit Washington in October 2017 and paid respects to the […]

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China joins the crowd in Djibouti


Author: Sam Bateman, RSIS China is in the process of setting up its first overseas military base at Djibouti in northeast Africa. The base will be large enough to house a few thousand troops, berth six ships and pre-position supplies. This development is particularly disturbing for India and the United States and will likely spur […]

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Manila’s pivot to pragmatism on the South China Sea


Author: Editorial Board, East Asia Forum The Philippines is at the frontline of China’s entry into a strategic theatre in Asia that has been dominated by the United States since World War II. Its experience of China’s rise is a sometimes fraught daily reality. In disputed South China Sea territory, episodes like the standoffs between […]

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