Category: Asia-Pacific

The Womb of Asia No Longer: Thailand Bans Commercial Surrogacy

During much of the 2000’s, Thailand was branded “the womb of Asia” thanks to its incredibly lucrative commercial surrogacy business.  However, on February 19, 2015, the Thai legislature voted 160-2 in favor of banning commercial surrogacy. This new law prohibits all foreign and same-sex couples from seeking surrogacy within Thailand and places severe restrictions on… Read more »

The Peshawar Massacre & The War On Education

On December 14th of this past year, there was an attack made by the Pakistani Taliban on an English-medium, army-run public school in Peshawar. The school had roughly 1,100 students ranging in age from 8 to 18 and was on the outside, and in many ways functionally, just like any junior-high or high-school complex you… Read more »

Your iPhone, China’s Ecological Disaster, and the Pitfalls of Free Trade

To the average American iPhone owner, the components and inner workings of the smartphone are somewhat of an enigma. To the poor farmers of Baotou, a city in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, they are less so. Though the grand majority of Baotou farmers barely earn enough to feed and clothe their families, much… Read more »

The Politics of National Mourning

On Tuesday, November 12, 60 year old Lee Joon-Seok was sentenced to 36 years in prison. Upon hearing the verdict, outraged family members of the deceased demanded an appeal and a revision to the death sentence. Lee was initially accused of murder for his conduct as captain during the sinking of the Sewol ferry, where… Read more »

There’s Something About Burma

Over the past few years, Myanmar, also known as Burma, has repeatedly made international headlines for its transition towards democracy. As opposed to the secretive, mercurial military junta that had been in power from the 1950s until 2011, Burma’s current government has seemingly embraced democratic ideals and cultivated more positive relationships with Western nations, including… Read more »

Grassroots Democratization on the Factory Floor

This past April, workers at the Yue Yuen Dongguan shoe factory swarmed out into the streets in protest. Despite the hundreds of riot police swarming the streets, the workers’ numbers only swelled as they continued to protest the company’s ongoing failure to pay its employees and the thousands of fraudulent contracts they had been forced… Read more »

The Darkest Day: The Domestic Politics of Defense and Nationalism in Japan

On July 1st, 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet approved a highly controversial reinterpretation of the Japanese Constitution; specifically of Article 9, which prohibits the formation of a military and restricts the use of force solely to self-defense. Under the recent revision, Japan has now extended this right to include using force to… Read more »

Tobacco and the Environment in China

Fifty years ago, the United States Surgeon General, Luther Terry, linked tobacco use to adverse health effects for the first time. To commemorate the anniversary, researchers at Yale published a study in January arguing that subsequent anti-smoking regulations and campaigns have saved eight million lives in the United States alone. Indeed, tobacco use is still… Read more »

Spray Paint Beijing

Sitting in a quaint café hidden within the ancient courtyards of Beijing, Lance Crayon, producer of the documentary Spray Paint Beijing, cautiously takes a sip of his steaming Americano while looking out the fingerprint-covered window. “My favorite graffiti piece to date is that of a giant rosy pig up on Ji Ming Lu created by… Read more »