Integrating Sexual Minorities in South Korea

Image01 - The 15th annual Korea Queer Festival held on Saturday, June 7, 2014, in Sinchon, a famous university neighborhood of Seoul (Credit: Heather Yang).

Memo #321 By Joseph Yi – joyichicago [at] yahoo.com, Joe Phillips – joephillips5 [at] gmail.com, Heather Yang – heatheryang0102 [at] gmail.com The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) occupy a peculiar place in South Korean society. By maintaining somewhat sexually free, separate social enclaves, they avoid significant public backlash and government oppression. However, they have no… 

Read More »

In Myanmar, Let’s Make a Deal

Myanmar’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement has the potential to end decades of conflict, but a political solution will have to wait. Memo #320 By Brandon Miliate – bmiliate [at] gmail.com Today there is the real possibility that Myanmar’s sixty-year history of ethno-national insurgencies might be coming to an end. After decades of stagnation and intermittent fighting,… 

Read More »

Understanding Kashmir, Tackling the Kashmir Problem

Memo #319 By Promod Puri – promodpuri [at] blogspot.com The division of the Indian sub-continent in 1947 generated a persistent hostility between India and Pakistan, a hostility dominated by clashing territorial claims over the Kashmir region. On the international stage the Kashmir problem is largely viewed in diplomatic, political, government and media circles with the understanding that the… 

Read More »

Mongolia – From Sino-Russian Buffer to Conversion Zone

Memo #318 By Mendee Jargalsaikhan – mendee [at] alumni.ubc.ca Last autumn, Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin made separate visits to Mongolia, met for a tri-lateral (Russia-China-Mongolia) summit in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe during the leadership summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and dispatched their vice-foreign ministers for a working-level meeting in preparation for next… 

Read More »

Restoring Indonesia’s Direct Regional Elections: Stability in a Divided Society

Memo #317 Indonesian President Pak Joko Widodo must fight to reinstate direct regional elections to maintain social stability. By Matthew J. Bock – m.bock [at] alumni.ubc.ca and Geoffrey Macdonald – gpmacdonald [at] gmail.com Joko Widodo, referred to as Jokowi, was inaugurated as Indonesia’s seventh president on October 20, 2014. President Jokowi represents a new… Continue reading

Whither Area Studies?

Advancing the project of Comparative Area Studies and fruitful Area Studies Comparisons: an Intervention from Europe Memo #316 By Jürgen Rüland – juergen.rueland [at] politik.uni-freiburg.de & Mikko Huotari – mikko.huotari [at] merics.de There is no universal ultimate golden mean between disciplinary research and area studies. Viable intermediate positions are eventually dependent on an individual researcher’s… 

Read More »

‘One Drug with Multiple Names': Broad Powers and Product Differentiation in the Chinese Pharmaceutical Industry

Memo #315 By Yifan Wang – yfwang [at] essex.ac.uk Drug regulations in China stipulate that chemical and generic names of drugs are determined by the Chinese Pharmacopeia (Ch.P) and the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), while brand names are chosen by pharmaceutical companies, as long as they are recorded with the SFDA. Some Chinese… 

Read More »

Music for the Mind? Virtuosity and Performativity in Celebrity Diplomacy

Memo #314 By Hyung-Gu Lynn – hlynn [at] mail.ubc.ca Does celebrity diplomacy work? If so, based on what measures, why, how and for whom? In the afterglow of bravura passages powerful yet precise, arpeggios determined yet delicate, these questions arose, at least in one small corner of my brain. The United Nations Day concert in the General… 

Read More »

Canada – China FIPA: Just the Facts, Please

Memo #313 By Matthew Levine – matthew.a.j.levine [at] gmail.com Canada’s Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China (China FIPA), which entered into force October 1, 2014, is a laudable step towards norms-based economic relations in the Asia-Pacific. My two goals here are to briefly introduce key developments in the China FIPA and to put… 

Read More »

After the Massacre of 2011: Challenges to Peace and Security along the Mekong River

Memo #312 By Kai Chen – chenkai [at] zju.edu.cn In the so-called “Mekong River massacre” of October 2011, 13 Chinese merchant sailors working on the Mekong were seized and murdered by members of the Hawngleuk Militia led by its Burmese leader Naw Kham. Later captured in Laos and extradited to China, Naw Kham was found… 

Read More »

The Perilous Start and Uncertain Future of the Jokowi Era in Indonesia

Memo #311 Editor’s Note: On Friday, October 10, 2014, UBC’s Institute of Asian Research hosted a conference examining the theme, “The Jokowi Era: A New Age for Indonesia?” In advance of this gathering, one of its participants, Dr. Kai Ostwald, provided us his take on what the election of “Jokowi” signified for the world’s third largest democracy.  By Kai Ostwald… 

Read More »