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  • News & article

    Ravens' feast

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 27/12/2018

    » This reviewer's understanding of historical novels is that the authors do historical research on their topic, using actual figures and imaginary ones where need-be, to write essentially factual and hopefully interesting stories. But not all historical novelists follow this form. Some are more concerned about their own largely fictitious story than the actual events behind it.

  • News & article

    A geopolitical pivot

    Life, Published on 01/12/2017

    » During the Indochina War years from the 1950s through to the 1970s, America's seven military bases in Thailand symbolised the extraordinary extent of US influence over the politics and development of the Kingdom. In the subsequent 30 years, American influence in Thailand has slowly but steadily waned, largely supplanted by a rising China. Thailand, which had been a linchpin of America's Asian strategy, is now instead a linchpin of China's Asian strategy. American soldiers on R&R have been replaced by Chinese tourists, American airbases by plans for Chinese high-speed rail links. China, not the US, is now Thailand's largest trading partner.

  • News & article

    Supply and demand

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 22/09/2017

    » During the era of the Raj, India was the leading poppy grower. It was sold worldwide as a treatment for hysteria in women and hyperactivity in children. Only China refused to have anything to do with it because it was addictive, but two opium wars taught them how to take it.

  • News & article

    Portrait of a middle-class lady

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 18/04/2016

    » China has undergone a great transformation within a short period of time. An open economy, though still under control, has pushed the once-backward, poverty-ridden Communist country into an economic superpower within three decades. But wealth and progress come with complicated questions, such as that of how modernity affects individual identity, especially for women.

  • News & article

    Action-packed

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 15/06/2018

    » When a popular author passes away, his/her estate seeks a replacement to keep generating income. Hopefully, one who can step into the shoes with nary a squeak. Alas, there have been more than a few squeaks and the replacement -- a competent scribe for the stories he's accustomed to writing -- is unable to make the change. The estate may try others with the same result.

  • News & article

    Filthy rich, and loving it

    Life, Parisa Pichitmarn, Published on 10/08/2015

    » Days of back-breaking labour in the desolate boonies, farming for their lives, is a stale cliché concerning the Chinese. Women are no longer under some ring of patriarchal oppression and they contemptuously shun haute couture dresses bedecked with phoenix and dragon embroidery. This is a new and brave China we are talking about -- they are not just crazy rich -- they are China Rich, as Kevin Kwan's second book title aptly coins it. 

  • News & article

    Going through changes

    Life, Usnisa Sukhsvasti, Published on 23/07/2015

    » HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is an acknowledged scholar of China, having studied the Chinese language for over 30 years. She first visited China in 1981, a trip which resulted in her first book on China called Yam Dan Mungkorn (Travels Through The Land Of The Dragon). She has made a total of 38 trips to China, visiting all 22 provinces and five autonomous regions. She has written 13 travelogues on China, translated Chinese poetry compiled in two books, translated several novels as well as other articles on China.

  • News & article

    The bubbling cauldron

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 23/03/2015

    » On April 22 last year, at the Western Pacific Naval Symposium in Qingdao, China, 21 Pacific countries signed the "Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (Cues)" to generate mutual understanding and international co-operation in regards to the use of the seas. Cues is not legally binding but its role is clear: to reduce tension that results from maritime conflicts arising out of overlapping interests of member nations. It doesn't apply specifically to particular nations or particular areas. Its timing, however, is crucially relevant to one particular body of water in the Indo-Pacific: the South China Sea.

  • News & article

    Chinese emigre confronted by reality in dream land

    Brunch, Published on 08/04/2018

    » As futile as it can feel, there's a lot to be said for frustration. Having our desires and expectations thwarted lets us know where our selves end and where others' begin. "People become real to us by frustrating us," psychoanalyst (and master aphorist) Adam Phillips writes. "If they don't frustrate us they are merely figures of fantasy."

  • News & article

    The leader's true self

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 24/11/2014

    » 'A few months ago, the [North Korean] Ministry of Interior issued a statement on TV — 'We will remove your existence from the universe'," says Jang Jin-sung, unfazed, over a decade after he fled North Korea in the middle of the day, across the frozen Yalu River and into China.

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