Return of the Asia Pacific Memo for the 2015-16 Academic Year!

The Asia Pacific Memo has once has returned again for the new academic school year and is ready to share with you memos that address current issues on contemporary Asia. We thank our readers and contributors for their support and we look forward to reading your submissions.

Our articles will be published every Tuesday, starting on October 6, 2015, with occasional Friday issues as well.

Music for the Mind? Virtuosity and Performativity in Celebrity Diplomacy

Memo #314

By Hyung-Gu Lynn – hlynn [at]

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 Assembly Hall in New… Continue reading

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

Memo #312

By Kai Chen – chenkai [at]

Kai CHENIn 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 guilty of the… Continue reading

The Lost Generation: “Barefoot Doctors” in Post-Reform China

Memo #309

By Jiong Tu – jt457 [at]

Jiong Tu_photoChina’s barefoot doctor system is known for having provided inexpensive and accessible medical care to its large rural population in the 1970s. But the system became bankrupt with the advent of market reforms in the 1980s and many barefoot doctors either became private doctors or gave up medical practice… Continue reading

Coming Soon: A New Season of Asia Pacific Memos!

Dear Readers,

We hope you’ve all enjoyed your summer. With fall upon us, the APM will soon be returning with another season of memos. There will be a slight change in our release schedule. For the coming year we want to focus on procuring and preparing quality memos with less concern about timing, and so rather than a bi-weekly (Tuesday/Friday) release, we will be releasing memos when they are… Continue reading

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

Memo #308

By Sophia Woodman – Sophia.Woodman [at]


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

Modi: Breaking the Mold of Indian Politics (Part 1 of 2)

Memo #296

Narendra Modi’s Historic Electoral Victory.

By John Harriss – jharriss [at]


That Narendra Modi should have won India’s 16th General Election is no great surprise.

But the scale of his triumph is.

Together with most other commentators I expected Modi to win, but thought it likely that he would be… Continue reading

Chinese SOEs and Non-Renewable Resource Development in Alberta

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students.

Memo #294

By Daniel Wood  – dwood [at]

Canada’s abundance of non-renewable energy resources, such as conventional and synthetic crude and natural gas, are vital to the national economy. According to Statistics Canada, jobs from this sector currently contribute to 4% of Canada’s total labour force… Continue reading

A Canal Runs through It: Seoul’s Ara Waterway at Two

Memo #293

By Daniel Kane – danielkane [at]

The Han is the river of the South Korean capital of Seoul, and for most of that city’s history it served as highway to the Yellow Sea, some twenty kilometers to the west. To be sure, it still does, but since 1953 and the Korean War armistice a significant chunk… Continue reading

Engaging China: Myth, Aspiration, and Strategy in Canadian Policy from Trudeau to Harper (Video Interview with Paul Evans)

Memo #291

Behind the Book: Dr. Paul Evans discusses his latest book Engaging China: Myth, Aspiration, and Strategy in Canadian Policy from Trudeau to Harper

Last month the Asia Pacific Memo sat down with Paul Evans to discuss his recently released book, Engaging China: Myth, Aspiration, and Strategy in Canadian Policy from Trudeau to Harper (University of Toronto Press, 2014). In our discussion, Dr. Evans told us… Continue reading