Posts By John J. Brandon

In The News

A ‘Colorless’ Thailand?

March 30, 2011

In 1947, Winston Churchill said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all others that have been tried.” When Churchill made this remark, Thailand was in the throes of developing a strong dictatorial state headed by the military. But after six decades of impressive economic advancement and social mobility…

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In The News

A Rising Need for U.S.-Japan-China Trilateral Dialogue

February 16, 2011

Coinciding with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s official state visit to Washington last month, The Asia Foundation held a two-day dialogue in Tokyo with the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) and the China Institute for International Studies (CIIS) to examine the state of U.S.-Japan-China relations.

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In The News

Leaders to Tackle Tough Issues at 2nd U.S.-ASEAN Summit

September 22, 2010

On Friday, September 24, President Barack Obama will meet in New York City with 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including eight heads of state, for the second U.S.-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting, also known as the U.S.-ASEAN Summit. For much of the past two decades, critics in Southeast Asia said the United […]

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In The News

Shanghai Expo and Memories Conjured

August 18, 2010

Recently I attended the Shanghai Expo, which has been labeled as “the biggest expo ever.” China spared no expense spending $55 billion – more than twice the amount Beijing spent on the 2008 Olympics – to ensure that people could get to the Expo by adding metro lines, airport terminals, railway stations, and other infrastructure. […]

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In The News

Asia: Up in Smoke?

May 26, 2010

For the past 23 years, May 31 has held significance that few are even aware of – World No Tobacco Day. Started in 1987 by the World Health Organization (WHO), World No Tobacco Day has for almost a quarter century encouraged 24 hours of abstinence from all forms of tobacco around the globe, in an […]

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In The News

Thailand: Black May Redux?

May 19, 2010

During times of political difficulty, and even turbulence, Thailand has been known for its ability to at least cope with its challenges, even if they were not managed well. After events of the past week in Bangkok, Thailand’s ability to cope may very well be tested like never before. Thailand reached a critical stage of […]

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In The News

Uniting a Divided Thailand

April 14, 2010

Over the past four decades, during times of political turbulence in Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej has served as the nation’s unifying force. In October 1973, King Bhumibol supported student demonstrators against violent military action. Subsequently, Thailand’s three top military leaders were forced to seek asylum in other nations. The tempestuous politics that followed – weak, […]

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In The News

Do Thais Lack Spirit for Democracy?

April 7, 2010

As Thais begin to celebrate Buddhist New Year (known as “songkran”) next week, they will be doing so under the specter that forces inside the country will not have reached an acceptable agreement in resolving the nation’s four-year political impasse. Since mid-March, thousands of anti-government demonstrators, known as “red shirts,” from the United Front for […]

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In The News

Dengue’s Rise in Asia: Battling a Deadly Side Effect of Climate Change

December 16, 2009

While emerging diseases like H1N1, also known as swine flu, dominate headlines, dengue fever is quietly exacting a far more devastating toll on public health than the swine flu. While there have been more than 525,000 swine flu cases worldwide in 2009 leading to 9,800 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 50 million people […]

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In The News

Obama Attends APEC Forum on Inaugural Trip to Asia

November 11, 2009

This week Barack Obama will make his first trip to Asia as President of the United States. In addition to paying state visits to China, Japan, and South Korea, President Obama will meet with 20 national leaders in Singapore to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Although member countries vary in economic clout […]

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