In The News

In The News

Global Summits Shine Spotlight on Obama’s Pivot to Asia

October 22, 2014

Less than one week after midterm elections in the United States, President Obama will travel to Asia to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum from November 10-11 in Beijing, and the East Asia Summit from November 13-14 in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. When he last visited Asia in April, President Obama was making up for his absence last year at these meetings because of the U.S. government shutdown. In the view of many Asians, President Obama’s absence had cast serious doubt on whether the U.S. is able to serve as an effective counterbalance to China and that his administration’s “pivot” or “rebalancing” is more rhetoric than substance.

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Indonesians Have High Hopes for Their Next President

October 22, 2014

In Indonesia, people are celebrating. Joko Widodo’s supporters joined a parade on Monday to welcome him and Jusuf “JK” Kalla on the day they were sworn into office as Indonesia’s new president and vice-president. After a grueling process, Jokowi, as the new president is popularly known, and JK won against former general Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa…

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Q&A with U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake

October 22, 2014

The Asia Foundation hosted four U.S. ambassadors to Asia at its headquarters in San Francisco on October 9 for “ASEAN Matters,” a panel discussion on why Asia is crucial to the United States’ economic growth. In Asia editor Alma Freeman sat down with U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake…

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Poll Shows Fighting Corruption Drives Support for Education Reform in Cambodia

October 15, 2014

Earlier this week, Cambodia’s Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MoEYS) held a second high school exam to provide a second chance for the over 70 percent of 93,000 high school students who failed to pass the first annual national high school exam, held in early August. The passing rate in the first exam…

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Polling Shows Encouraging Climate of Opinion for Mindanao Peace Negotiations

October 8, 2014

On September 10, Philippine President Benigno Aquino personally turned over the draft Basic Law based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro to Congress after months of revisions and refinement. The move continues the roadmap set forth in negotiations…

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Indonesia Now World’s Largest Exporter of Coal for Power Stations, But There Are Costs

October 8, 2014

Flying over Indonesia’s East Kalimantan, the closer we get to the provincial capital of Samarinda, the more bare patches emerge in the island’s lush forest cover. Exposed brown areas dotted with lurid green tailing ponds are telltale signs of the open pit coal mining voraciously consuming Kalimantan’s remaining forests.

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A Conversation with UN Human Development Report Author Khalid Malik

October 8, 2014

Khalid Malik, lead author of the UNDP Human Development Report, sat down with The Asia Foundation’s Global Communications assistant director, Eelynn Sim, on a recent visit to the Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco and on the heels of the release of the 2014 report.

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Acid Crimes: A Growing Crisis in Pakistan

October 1, 2014

Acid crimes have long been recognized as one of the most horrendous manifestations of gender-based violence, directed largely at women, who account for an overwhelming 80 percent of all cases globally. In a country like Pakistan, where conservative ideals and deeply rooted patriarchal structures have shaped its psyche and social fabric…

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In Indonesia, Decentralization and Direct Elections Two Sides of the Same Coin

October 1, 2014

Last week, Indonesians woke up to the news that in the dead of night the parliament voted for a bill that would end direct elections for over 500 local-level political offices (mayors, district and sub-district governors), and replace them with an indirect selection process in regional parliaments. Since then, the country has been engaged by the decision, and civil society groups have readied themselves…

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Bill Puts Brakes on Emergence of Indonesia’s New Local Leaders: A View from Surabaya

October 1, 2014

On September 26, the House of Representatives passed a bill that took away Indonesians’ right to vote for governors, mayors, and district heads, and gave it to the corresponding regional legislative bodies. Since then, Indonesians have expressed concern that the decision is likely to put the brakes on the emergence…

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