ASIA - The Irrawaddy Magazine
With One Eye on Washington, China Plots Its Own Asia ‘Pivot’

Beijing appears set on shaping Asia’s security and financial architecture, and is working on a strategy to try to counter Washington’s “pivot” to the region.

China Leader Snubs North Korea in Visit to Seoul

The visit follows a flurry of missile tests by Pyongyang, seen in part as a demonstration of its anger at being jilted for its archrival.

Ivory Sales Boom in Bangkok, Mocking Thai Pledge to End Trade

A survey of more than 100 shops shows that sales of ivory items have surged, despite a government pledge to end to the trade.

Video of Japan Politician Weeping Goes Viral

The video shows Ryutaro Nonomura, 47, a Hyogo Prefectural assemblyman, bursting into tears, uttering nonsensical phrases and banging on the desk.

Thai Military Government Looks to Neighbors for Support

Face with criticism from the West about its seizure of power in May, Thailand’s ruling junta is shoring up diplomatic ties with Asian neighbors.

China Bans Ramadan Fast in Muslim Northwest

The ban on fasting during the Islamic holy month comes amid tight security following recent attacks blamed on Muslim extremists with foreign terrorist ties.

Gene from Extinct Human Species Fortifies High-altitude Tibetans

Scientists say Tibetans may have inherited their ability to thrive at high altitudes from an enigmatic group of extinct humans.

Passions Run High as Hong Kong Marches for Democracy

Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters march in Hong Kong in a major challenge to Chinese Communist Party rule.

Cambodia Frees Thai Who Claimed Border Territory

Cambodia agrees to free a Thai nationalist who illegally crossed its border to claim territory for Thailand, as relations between the neighbors appear to improve.

Top Philippine Court Deals Blow to President, Throws out Fund

President Benigno Aquino’s image as an anti-graft crusader takes a hit, as a stimulus fund he introduced is ruled unconstitutional.

Thailand Revokes Passports of 2 Anti-coup Leaders

Thai authorities say they have revoked the passports of six people wanted on arrest warrants, including two who founded an anti-coup movement in exile.

Japan Poised to Ease Constitution’s Limits on Military in Landmark Shift

Japan’s cabinet is expected on Tuesday to end a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two.

China Fetes Burma, India, Says Beijing Poses No Threat

Chinese President Xi Jinping fetes neighbors Burma and India and promises to honor a 60-year-old pledge committing China to a peaceful rise.

Junta Expects Next Thai Elections in October 2015

Leaders of Thailand’s military junta announce plans to install an interim constitution next month and hold elections around October 2015.

Big Turnout in HK Democracy Vote as Beijing Fumes

An informal referendum aimed at bolstering support for greater democracy in Hong Kong draws nearly 800,000 votes and the ire of Beijing.

China Looks to Gain by Joining Big US-led Pacific Naval Drills

Analysts say the maneuvers may only help Beijing strengthen its growing naval capability by observing the forces of the United States and its allies.

Cambodian PM Says 250,000 Workers Returned Home

Hun Sen said the influx of returnees hit Cambodia like a “flash flood,” with no advance warning given by Thailand.

Malaysia Jet Most Likely on Autopilot When It Crashed, Australia Says

Australian officials say Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was most likely on autopilot when it crashed into the Indian Ocean further south than previously thought.

Southeast Asia Fears Militant Fallout as Mideast Conflict Widens

Security officials worry that the conflict in Syria and Iraq could further radicalize local Islamist militants, some of whom are joining the fight.

Chinese Tycoon Treats New York’s Homeless to Lunch

Recycling magnate Chen Guangbiao’s effort to treat homeless New Yorkers to a fancy lunch fall apart when they find out he wasn’t giving them cash.