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

The Business of Saving the Angat

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students.

Memo #299

By Sarah Thomas – sarah.thomas [at] alumni.ubc.ca

Over 99 percent of all businesses in the Philippines are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and they represent seventy percent of the country’s labour force. With such numbers, while the environmental impact of small and medium enterprises is not… Continue reading

My Father and the Republic: A Talk with Novelist, Dramatist, and Historian Pai Hsien-yung (Video Interview)

Memo #298

Last fall the Asia Pacific Memo sat down with Pai Hsien-yung (Bai Xianyong 白先勇), the renowned novelist and son of Pai Chung-hsi (Bai Chongxi 白崇禧, 1893–1966), a gifted general and strategist, key Kuomintang leader, and close associate of Chiang Kai-shek, with whom he had a long and stormy relationship.

While Pai Hsien-yung is a worthy subject in his own right, in this video interview his focus—and ours—is on his… 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] sfu.ca

HE DID IT.

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

Nǐ sǐ wǒ huó (“You Die, I live”): Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign as Power Consolidation

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students.

Memo #295

By Elizabeth MacArthur – e.macarthur [at] alumni.ubc.ca

In a speech made shortly after coming to power in the fall of 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping famously vowed to crack down on CCP and State corruption by “upholding the fight against tigers and flies”. Over a… 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] alumni.ubc.ca

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