Asia - The Irrawaddy Magazine
Hong Kong Protest Leaders Surrender to Police

Three founders of a campaign that helped spark pro-democracy protests surrendered to police Wednesday, saying the time has come to end increasingly violent street demonstrations.

Pope Francis Takes Center Stage in New Filipino Musical

Filipino priests sing and dance in a new musical based on the life of Pope Francis aiming to draw more young people to the church.

US Defends Asian Alliances Against China Criticism

The Obama administration has disputed veiled Chinese criticism of America’s alliances in the Asia-Pacific, saying the region would be more volatile without them.

Rattled by Chinese Submarines, India Joins Other Nations in Rebuilding Fleet

India speeds up a navy modernization program and leans on neighbors to curb Chinese submarine activity in the Indian Ocean, as Beijing expands its fleet.

Taiwan, Hong Kong a Challenge for China

An electoral pummeling for Taiwan’s pro-Beijing ruling party and pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have delivered a reality check to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Thai Banks Chase Regional Dreams as Domestic Lending Boom Fades

Thai banks hitch a ride on the caravan of Thai companies departing for new Greater Mekong region growth centers, which includes Burma and southern China.

India Takes Step Toward Resolving Border Dispute With Bangladesh

India inches closer to settling a long-simmering border dispute with Bangladesh, possibly signaling a softer line from nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

China Shows a Softer Side

Beijing has moved to placate rivals but the root causes of tension remain.

Thai Crown Prince Strips Wife’s Kin of Royal Name 

Thailand’s Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn asks the government to strip his wife’s family of their royally issued surname.

China Activist Pleads Innocence in Chaotic Trial

Guo Feixiong, an activist who organized rallies for media freedom, has pleaded not guilty to charges of disturbing public order in an all night trial.

Hong Kong Protesters Clash With Police Near Heart of Financial District

Thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists clash with police early as they try to encircle government headquarters, defying orders from authorities to retreat.

Bhopal’s Toxic Legacy Lives On, 30 Years After Industrial Disaster

Thirty years after a cyanide leak killed thousands in India, the toxic legacy of a pesticide factory owned by US multinational Union Carbide lives on.

North Korea’s ‘Princess’ Moves Closer to Center of Power

Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of leader Kim Jong Un, takes a senior position in the North Korean party.

Can Man-of-the-People Widodo Micromanage 240 Million Indonesians?

The former small-town mayor who has championed a people-centric approach to governance finds himself at the helm of Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Girls Died by Suicide, Not Slain by Rapists: India

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation has refuted an earlier post-mortem report, claiming that two cousins allegedly raped and murdered in Uttar Pradesh actually committed suicide.

How China’s Shadowy Agency Is Working to Absorb Taiwan

The United Front spreads China’s influence by gaining control over groups not affiliated with the Communist Party that are often outside the mainland.

Japan Eyes Military Aid to Spur Defense Exports, Build Security Ties

Japan considers creating a government-backed financing arm for weapons exports, a move that would accelerate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s shift away from Japan’s pacifist past.

New Thai Tourism Strategy: ‘I Hate Thailand’

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has opted for a reverse-psychology approach in an effort to lure tourists back to the Kingdom after recent strife.

Hong Kong Student Leaders Arrested as Police Move on Protest Site

Hong Kong police arrest two of the student leaders at the heart of pro-democracy protests that have shaken the Asian financial hub since August.

Indian Sterilization Targets Remain in All But Name, Critics Say

Twenty years after India officially abandoned targets for mass sterilization, doctors, healthcare workers and family planning experts say they remain in practice.