Asia Unbound

Asia Unbound

CFR fellows and other experts assess the latest issues emerging in Asia today.

Latest Post

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stands with Vice Chairman of the North Korean Workers' Party Committee Kim Yong-chol, North Korea's lead negotiator in nuclear diplomacy with the United States on January 18, 2019. REUTERS

The Second Trump-Kim Summit Is Set, But Is Trump Ready?

The White House announcement of a second summit with Kim Jong-un to be held in late February does not come as a surprise. Kim Jong-un’s preparations for a second summit have been evident for weeks, despite the seeming lack of strategy toward North Korea in Washington. Kim’s “love letters” to Trump, New Year’s Day speech dedicating an unusual amount of time to discussing prospects for improved relations with the U.S., and meeting with Xi Jinping in Beijing on his 35th birthday revealed his hand. Read More

January 14, 2019

Rodrigo Duterte: Fire and Fury in the Philippines: A Review

In the months before Brazil’s elections in October 2018, many experts both within and outside the country dismissed the possibility that Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain and previously obscure far-right congressman, could win the presidency. Bolsonaro did not belong to one of the major political parties, and had a history of pro-dictatorship, racist, and misogynist rhetoric that seemed beyond the pale for the fourth-largest democracy in the world.

Read More

January 10, 2019

Southeast Asia
After Democracies Collapse

Since the mid-2000s, democracy has regressed in nearly every part of the world. Global monitoring organization Freedom House (for whom I consult on reports on several Asian states) has recorded declines in global freedom for twelve years in a row. States like Bangladesh, Thailand, and Turkey have seen democracies completely collapse.

Read More

January 9, 2019

North Korea
What Does Kim Jong-un Want From China?

Kim’s meetings with Xi are an effort to drive up the price in negotiations with the United States beyond what North Korea would be able to demand on its own.

Read More