Asia Unbound

Asia Unbound

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

Latest Post

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo pose ahead of a meeting at the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, on August 9, 2019. Lee Jin-man/Reuters

Burden-Sharing in the U.S.-South Korea Alliance: Finding Balance

The purpose, intent, and rationale of OPCON transition must be properly explained to the South Korean and American publics. Read More

South Asia Reads: February 6, 2020
The annual budget in India and Chinese investments in Pakistan were two major opportunities to reverse declining economic fortunes in South Asia. This week's articles explain how both fell short of expectations. Plus: climate refugees in Afghanistan, weightlifters in northeast India, and more.
Morrison Struggles Amidst His Bushfire Response
Daniel Flitton is the editor of The Interpreter, a digital magazine published daily by the Lowy Institute in Sydney. When political dramas unfold in real life, they never seem to feature that one …
Southeast Asian Governments Struggle Against the Coronavirus Test
The coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China, continues to spread around the globe. New cases are being discovered every day. Last week, the first domestically transmitted cases were reported in …
  • Southeast Asia
    The Uncertainty of Vietnam’s Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy
    In a major new defense white paper, its first in ten years, Vietnam has signaled that it could abandon its long-standing foreign policy strategy of hedging between major powers like China and the Uni…
  • Bangladesh
    One Year After a Contentious Election, Bangladeshis are Satisfied With the Country’s Direction
    Geoffrey Macdonald is resident program director for Bangladesh and Vivek Shivaram is program officer for South Asia at the International Republican Institute. !function(){"use strict";window.addEv…
  • India
    South Asia Reads: January 27, 2020
    As 2019 came to a close, annual reports showed just how nations' economies and governments measured up—and how countries in South Asia slid backward on many metrics. Plus: an island settlement for Rohingya refugees that leaves questions unanswered, continued protests in India, and a new approach to counter poaching in Nepal.
  • Southeast Asia
    Southeast Asian Governments Squeeze Freedom of the Press
    Southeast Asia has never been an easy environment for reporters. The region contains two of the most repressive states in the world, Laos and Vietnam, which are ranked by Freedom House as “not free” …
  • Southeast Asia
    Thailand’s Political Treadmill Keeps Running
    This week, Thailand’s constitutional court found Thailand’s Future Forward Party, one of the two most prominent opposition parties, not guilty of conspiring to overthrow the monarchy. This verdict ke…
  • China
    Podcast: Yanzhong Huang on the Novel Coronavirus and China's Disease Control System
    The first case of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China was reported to the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019. Since then, the disease has swept across the globe causing China’s government to quarantine Wuhan and the areas surrounding it. Tune in as Dr. Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health, shares his perspectives with C. V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies Elizabeth Economy on the disease’s cause, the Chinese government’s response, and potential areas for international collaboration.  
  • Asia
    Podcast: Samm Sacks on Data Governance and Great Power Rivalry
    The United States and China increasingly seem locked in a technological rivalry that may determine much of the twenty-first century’s security and prosperity. The outcome of that competition could be shaped by how the two countries and their allies decide to manage the vast amounts of data generated by the modern digital economy. Samm Sacks, cybersecurity policy and China digital economy fellow at New America, discusses these issues and many more with Stephen A. Schwarzman Senior Fellow for Asia Studies Mira Rapp-Hooper in the latest episode of the Asia Unbound podcast series.