Asia

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Philip Ruddock attracted the ire of human rights activists for his actions as a minister in the Howard government. AAP/Dean Lewins

Ruddock as human rights envoy? Don’t scoff too soon

As Australia’s special envoy for human rights, Philip Ruddock will have the chance to change the world instead of listening to other people make suggestions about how it might be done.
EPA/Kim Kyung-Hoon

What China did and should learn from Japan

China and Japan don’t get on. This is a problem for them and for the rest of the world given their economic and strategic importance. It hasn’t always been this way, though. Japan once acknowledged China’s…
If this detonation was a hydrogen bomb test, then it was likely less successful than the North Korean leadership may have hoped. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

North Korea tests again: the ritual of Korean Peninsula nuclear politics

North Korea remains committed to perfecting a deployable nuclear weapon capability. It is confident in the understanding that there appears little the international community can do to prevent it.
Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull’s predecessor as prime minister, enjoyed a close relationship with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe. AAP/Ian Waldie

Turnbull aims to retain ‘closest friend’ tag in first Japan visit

Australia looks set to continue to confront its core foreign policy dilemma: balancing relations between its largest trading partner, China, and its key security partners, the US and Japan.
The US-led TPP and Obama’s ‘Asia pivot’ will face certain challenges against Xi Jinping’s ambitions of a new order established through the Chinese-led AIIB. Bloomberg Pool/EPA

Competing visions for the Asia-Pacific could yet complement each other

The US and China may have competing ambitions for the Asia-Pacific in the shape of the TPP and AIIB, but they may not be as incompatible as we have first believed.
North Korea’s Donju have acquired a degree of wealth such that they can invest in larger enterprises. Reuters/Carlos Barria

The rise and rise of North Korea’s ‘money masters’

The rise of a class of nouveau riche North Koreans is changing the dynamics of the nation's economy and reshaping the relationship between the Kim government and the North Korean people.
EPA/CJ Gunther

China goes ballistic

China’s not happy. Normally that sort of phrase is pretty meaningless. Clearly not everyone in China has the same view on anything – with the possible exception of its territorial claims in the South China…
So strong is public opposition to his miltarist policies that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, having ignored the popular will, faces questions about democratic representation. AAP Image/Newzulu/Munesuke Yamamoto

Kicking pacifism: Japan’s pivot to militarism defies popular will

Shinzo Abe’s government (now in its second term) has consistently been vocal about Japan's national defence.
Tens of thousands protest in Malaysia, including members of the country’s indigenous Orang Asli community. Edgar Su/REUTERS

Malaysians worldwide demand prime minister’s resignation

Two million Malaysian immigrants live in countries around the world. That's not stopping them from being involved with politics back home.
Members of the National Reform Council pose for photographs after voting to reject a draft constitution – a decision that will put elections on hold until 2017. EPA/Narong Sangnak

By accident or design, Thai junta extends its rule

The rejection of the draft constitution is not necessarily a setback for Thailand's military junta. It may even have been a ploy to extend its rule well past the promised date for elections.

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