The Asia Pacific Memo wishes you a pleasant summer

The C.K. Choi Building on the University of British Columbia campus, home of the Institute for Asian Research and the Asia Pacific Memo (Credit: Mr. Tlaloc).

As of June 1 the Asia Pacific Memo will be on summer hiatus. We want to thank our readers and contributors over the past year for their support and we look forward to seeing you in September. Until then, from the campus of the University of British Columbia here’s wishing you a happy, safe, and productive… 

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In terms of costs and efficiency, upgrading ageing and insufficient bus systems may prove the most viable route for many Indian cities (Credit: McKay Savage).

Going off the rails?

Memo #329 Challenges for small Indian cities planning metro projects By Simon Harding – sharding13 [at] India is undergoing a metro boom. The country has spent US$41bn* on urban metro rail projects since 2002: The country’s six largest cities have begun constructing large-scale networks. Now smaller cities are following suit: Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister… 

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Not just in China anymore. The internationalization of the Bank of China and the RMB presents challenges and opportunities for Canada (credit: JHH755).

The Future of the Renminbi and Next Steps for Canada

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students. Memo #328 By Grégoire-François Legault – gregoire.legault [at] Though internationalization of the renminbi (RMB, the “redback”) is far from complete, it is well under way. In 2014, China signed eight new agreements to establish RMB hubs around the globe, and the redback was used to settle… 

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Not just in China anymore. The internationalization of the Bank of China and the RMB presents challenges and opportunities for Canada (credit: JHH755).

The AAP’s “clean sweep” in Delhi Assembly Elections

Memo #327 What it means for India By Asim Arun – asimup [at] The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP, Common Man’s Party) landslide victory in the Delhi Assembly polls this month is a rare instance of a civil society movement succeeding in democracy’s ultimate test: elections. The AAP is the child of the “India Against… 

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Women crossing the Rapti River bridge near Nepal’s open border with India’s state of Uttar Pradesh (Credit: Sara Shneiderman).

Nepal’s Citizenship Challenges: Gender and Sovereignty in the Himalayas

Memo #326 By Sara Shneiderman – sara.shneiderman [at] It’s not often that the words “and” and “or” become political slogans, but this has happened in Nepal. A coalition of feminist and rights activists is demanding that the country’s new constitution grant citizenship on the basis of descent through “father or mother,” rather than “father… 

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With the AEC, the port of Manila may soon become even busier. But how will the coming AEC affect its most important stakeholders: the businesses themselves? (credit: Theurbanhistorian).

AEC 2015: Stop Talking to Other Governments, Start Talking to Firms

Memo #325 By Cesi Cruz – cesi.cruz [at] and Benjamin A.T. Graham – benjamin.a.graham [at] How can the governments in ASEAN help businesses prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) scheduled to start in 2015? Foreign firms operating in the Philippines are preparing for the changes, but… Continue reading

A group of captured child soldiers in Myanmar’s northern Kachin state (credit: IRIN).

Fighting for Myanmar’s Child Soldiers

Efforts to release some 70,000 child soldiers in Myanmar face multiple challenges. Memo #324 By Kai Chen – chenkai [at] Since Myanmar’s independence in 1948, the nation’s interest groups—in particular its ethnic minorities and the national military—have been at odds on how to rule Myanmar. The result has been a long simmering armed conflict… 

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Onlookers at the site of one of a series of Taliban attacks against civilians in the spring of 2013 on the eve of the country’s parliamentary elections. (Credit: Human Rights Watch).

Pakistani Taliban: The Fault in their Narrative

Memo #323 By Dur-e-Aden – dur-e-aden [at] On December 16, 2014, Pakistani Taliban massacred over 132 children when they attacked a high school in Peshawar. They rationalized this attack as a reaction to the violence perpetrated against them (whether by the Pakistani military or US drones). This narrative attempts to shift blame for the… 

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A cartoon representation of a serious undertaking. An ASEAN graphic of the AEC member states (credit: ASEAN).

Will the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) transform Southeast Asian economies in 2015?

Memo #322 By Kai Ostwald – kai.ostwald [at] and Krislert Samphantharak – krislert [at]   December 31, 2015 is the launch date of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), possibly the most ambitious undertaking to date of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations… Continue reading

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

Integrating Sexual Minorities in South Korea

Memo #321 By Joseph Yi – joyichicago [at], Joe Phillips – joephillips5 [at], Heather Yang – heatheryang0102 [at] The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) occupy a peculiar place in South Korean society. By maintaining… Continue reading

A member of the Kachin Independence Army in Kachin State; Myanmar (credit: Wotchit).

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] 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,… 

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