ASIA - The Irrawaddy Magazine
China’s Civilian Fleet a Potent Force in Asia’s Disputed Seas

From harassing Filipino fishing boats to playing cat-and-mouse with the Japanese coastguard, China’s fleet of civilian patrol vessels have become enforcers in disputed Asian waters.

Three Times a Loser, Indonesia’s Megawati Is Pivotal in Elections

As Indonesia gears up for twin elections this year, the pivotal figure is a woman who was trounced all three times she contested for president.

Rights Group: Thai Fishing Sector Abuses Burmese Migrants

An environmental and human rights group charges that Thailand is not adequately addressing severe abuse against Burmese migrant workers in the Thai fishing industry.

China’s Xi Ramps Up Military Spending in Face of Worried Region

Amid territorial disputes with neighbors, the country’s defense budget will rise to more than $130 billion. The 12.2 percent increase is the largest for three years.

US Calls for ‘Urgent’ Restraint to Ease Japan, South Korea Tensions

The United States says its two main allies in Asia cannot afford to let their troubled history interfere with ensuring regional security.

China Train Station Attack Risks Driving Ethnic Wedge Deeper

After knife-wielding assailants killed 29 people in Kunming, China vows to crack down on militants it says want an independent state in the country’s northwest.

From India’s Northern Backwaters, a New Business Elite Rises

India’s northern Hindi-speaking belt, home to half a billion people, is taking off after decades of trailing industrialized seaboard states in the west and south.

China’s Xi Amasses Power to Tackle Grim Challenges

Xi Jinping looks more powerful than any Chinese leader in recent decades as his government prepares to deliver its first one-year report card Wednesday.

Separatists Blamed for China Knife Attack; 33 Dead

Authorities blame a slashing rampage that killed 29 people and wounded 143 at a train station in Kunming on separatists from China’s far west.

Bangkok Demonstrations Scale Down, Move to Park

Anti-government protesters in Thailand’s capital began settling in at a park in the center of Bangkok, withdrawing from other sites after their numbers dwindled.

Thousands March in Hong Kong to Condemn Attack on Ex-Newspaper Editor

As many as 13,000 protesters take to the streets over fears that Beijing’s increasing influence in Hong Kong is threatening freedom of the press.

Oscar-Nominated Documentary Scrapes at Raw Wound in Indonesia

“Act of Killing,” about a bloody 1960s massacre in Indonesia, could win the Academy Award for best documentary this weekend.

China’s Role in Hong Kong Under Spotlight After Attack on Editor

A Chinese official condemns the stabbing of a newspaper editor in Hong Kong amid rising public anger over China’s perceived interference in the financial hub.

Seoul: North Korea Fired Short-Range Missiles Into Sea

South Korea says rival North Korea fired four short-range Scud missiles into the sea in an apparent attempt to protest against U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

Cambodia Vies for 1st Oscar With ‘Missing Picture’

Rithy Panh’s “The Missing Picture,” a personal account of life under the Khmer Rouge, could win Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars this weekend.

Uighur Professor Could Face Death Sentence in China: Lawyer

A prominent ethnic Uighur is unlikely to receive a fair trial and faces the death penalty on charges of separatism in Xinjiang, his lawyer says.

China’s Assertiveness Hardens Malaysian Stance in Sea Dispute

Malaysia quietly steps up cooperation with the Philippines and Vietnam, the two Southeast Asian nations most outspoken over China’s moves in the South China Sea.

Once Unthinkable, Civil Strife Stalks Thailand

After almost four months of round-the-clock anti-government protests, institutions that provided a buffer in past conflicts have not stepped in, making Thailand look increasingly ungovernable.

Former Editor of Hong Kong Newspaper Stabbed Amid Media Tensions

A former chief editor of a major Hong Kong newspaper known for its critical reporting was stabbed and seriously wounded on Wednesday.

US Says Military Engagement Key for Burma Reform

David Shear, set to become the top American defense official for Asia, tells Congress that reforms “will likely falter” without the military’s support.