APM wishes you a great summer


Dear Readers,

This week the Asia Pacific Memo enters upon its summer hiatus. We’ll be taking a break from memo publishing for the months of July and August but will return with the academic year in September. Looking ahead, we encourage you to take our very brief readership survey and help us to improve our product and our delivery.

Whether you’re a reader or a contributor or both, thank you for your continued interest in the APM and we look forward to engaging with you — and issues facing the Asia Pacific — again very soon.

WIth best wishes for an enjoyable summer,

The Asia Pacific Memo team

The campus of the University of British Columbia looking north (July 2014).

The campus of the University of British Columbia looking north (July 2014).

Big Noise, Big Settlement: the Logic of Claims-making in China

Memo #308

By Sophia Woodman – Sophia.Woodman [at] ed.ac.uk


The twenty-fifth anniversary of China’s nationwide democracy movement and its suppression in June 1989 was marked in the mainland by an imposed silence. Revisiting the “verdict” that the demonstrations were a “counterrevolutionary rebellion” does not appear to be on the horizon.

But this does not mean… Continue reading

Are Chinese Citizens becoming more Assertive? Perspectives from the (Limited) Data

Memo #307

By Sophia Woodman – Sophia.Woodman [at] ed.ac.uk

Woodman_photoThe last decade has seen an explosion of academic and media reporting about protests in China. Chinese citizens’ access to social media makes it harder for the authorities to suppress information about unrest. Even when mainstream media reporting is censored, often the news of an event has already made… Continue reading

Charging Beijing’s Electric Vehicles Policy

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students

Memo #306

By Marc McCrum – mbmccrum [at] alumni.ubc.ca and Grégoire-François Legault – gregoire.legault [at] alumni.ubc.ca

According to the World Bank, Beijing’s poor air quality costs $300bn a year in healthcare costs and premature deaths. Of Beijing’s air pollution, over 30% is estimated to be the direct result of vehicle exhaust… Continue reading

Counter-Insurgency in Afghanistan: Whose Violence is it Anyway?

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students

Memo #305

By Dur-e-Aden – dur-e-aden [at] hotmail.com

Aden_photoWhile fighting an insurgency, it is important never to harm civilians. Doing so will increase recruitment for insurgent groups and result in fuelling the conflict. This is known as the “population-centric” counter-insurgency doctrine. By this logic, it also follows… Continue reading

Sustainable Tourism Governance in Bulacan Province: Practical Steps towards Collaboration

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students

Memo #304

By  Rosa Hsuan-Ju Shih – rosa.hj.shih [at] gmail.com

SONY DSCWith eco-tourism and cultural tourism gaining ground in Bulacan Province, Philippines, sustainable development will be a challenge so long as tourism development itself remains a fragmented process without a guiding framework.

How best to define “sustainable tourism… Continue reading

The Thai Political Crisis of 2014: Necessary Cultural and Historical Background

Memo #303

By Jim Placzek – james.placzek [at] ubc.ca

Jim PlaczekThe key to understanding the current crisis in Thailand is Thai national identity. For decades a government office has been successfully promoting symbols of this identity. The central symbol of that identity is the monarchy. The elite of Thailand, including the military, have been called “the network monarchy”and… Continue reading

Suicide Protesters in Eastern Tibet: The Shifting Story of a People’s Tragedy

Memo #302

By Antonio Terrone – a-terrone [at] northwestern.edu

Terrone_photoThe recent wave of self-immolations across the Eastern Tibetan regions of the People’s Republic of China continues to leave the world in dismay for both its violence and determination. They also represent a new shift in terms of the demography of protesters in Tibetan society. Among the 131 immolators… Continue reading

By Pipe and Rail: Russia in Search of Shorter Routes to Asian Markets

Memo #301

Putin Prioritizes Geo-Economics over Geo-Politics

By Mendee Jargalsaikhan – mendee [at] alumni.ubc.ca

J_MendeeRussia’s largest state-owned oil giants, Transneft and Rosneft, as well as Russian railroad authorities are again eyeing Mongolian routes as the shortest, most efficient, and safest way to Asian markets. Russia’s previous transport options to these markets—through the Russian Far East (RFE), North… Continue reading

Power in a Black Box: Kim Jong-Un’s Rule in North Korea

Memo #300

By  Isozaki Atsuhito

Isozaki_photoMost observers expected that the seven high officials accompanying the motor hearse of Kim Jong-Il the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in December 2011 would become the core support of the young successor, Kim Jong-Un. Some even saw the possibility of the North Korea ruling system transforming into… Continue reading