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Asia Watch: Irregular regulation

Asia Watch: Irregular regulation Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Michael Shannon

In signing a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) that gave the state power to officially ban Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has made a bold and politically risky move to counter the rise of Islamist groups that spearheaded the political and legal

Amidst concern over North Korea's ICBM launch, Iranian missile shows Iran heading the same way

Amidst concern over North Korea's ICBM launch, Iranian missile shows Iran heading the same way Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran, Updates     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

The spotlight has justifiably been on North Korea for conducting another test on July 28 of an ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) which could reach Australia or most of the US West Coast. However a day earlier Iran also tested a missile, which received less attention, but which is equally co

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Modi in Israel

Modi in Israel Categories: Asia, Israel, Op-eds     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

Narendra Modi made history in the first week of July as the first sitting Indian prime minister to visit Israel. The visit reflects the rapidly growing warm ties between the two democratic nations, as they seek greater cooperation on a range of issues including trade, defence, tourism, agriculture a

Asia Watch: A New Front Opens

Asia Watch: A New Front Opens Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Michael Shannon

After weeks of fighting, Philippine security forces still face stiff resistance from militant fighters spread across the sprawling city, which now lies in ruins. Government troops have suffered heavy casualties due to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and snipers... Although the fighting has now

Asia Watch: The high price of religious sensitivities

Asia Watch: The high price of religious sensitivities Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Michael Shannon

When the North Jakarta District Court sentenced outgoing Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to two years in prison for blasphemy for suggesting that some people had misused a Koranic verse to block his re-election bid, it added dramatic confirmation of the paradox surrounding South East

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Biblio file: The US and Asia’s China Syndrome

Biblio file: The US and Asia’s China Syndrome Categories: Asia, China, United States     Author: David Feith

The United States has repeatedly been surprised by major developments in Asia, sometimes catastrophically so. Think Pearl Harbor... the victory of Mao Zedong's Communists in the Chinese civil war... the Korean War... Vietnam... or the rise of a Chinese superpower competitor from the depths of Maoist

After N Korea, don't forget Iran

After N Korea, don't forget Iran Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran, Op-eds     Author: Shmuel Levin

As North Korea once again comes to the fore of the world's conscious, the lesson should be clear. What matters is not short-term talk, deal, and negotiations, but whether Iran's long-term ambitions have changed. For now, this does not seem to be the case. And, if this is allowed to fester, the long

Asia Watch: A ‘dark horse' surges ahead

Asia Watch: A ‘dark horse' surges ahead Categories: Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

Elections to determine the leadership of a major South East Asian city have not traditionally attracted much international attention. But Jakarta's gubernatorial race of 2017 was always going to be an exception, touching upon deep national undercurrents of religious and ethnic identity and interests

Nuclear Lessons

Nuclear Lessons Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran     Author: Emily Landau

The Trump Administration is currently reviewing the North Korean nuclear situation, with the aim of generating a fresh approach to stop this determined proliferator. On his trip in mid March to Asia (Japan, South Korea and China), US Secretary of State Tillerson noted that twenty years of diplomatic

Editorial: Nuclear Shortsightedness Categories: Asia, Australasia, International Security, Iran     Author: Colin Rubenstein

On April 22, in the context of the Australian state visit by US Vice President Mike Pence, North Korea ominously and outrageously threatened to target Australia with a nuclear strike should it follow the US lead in isolating Pyongyang. This event should draw attention to the need for Australia to c

Asia Watch: Strings Attached

Asia Watch: Strings Attached Categories: Asia, Saudi Arabia     Author: Michael Shannon

The arrival in Kuala Lumpur of Saudi King Salman and his delegation - an entourage of some 1,500 princes, ministers, officials, businessmen and security personnel, plus hundreds of tonnes of cargo to support a caravan of six jumbo jets - rendered such a spectacle that little room was left to ponder

Iran's Korean Nuclear Backdoor

Iran's Korean Nuclear Backdoor Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran     Author: Refael Ofek & Dany Shoham

While the Vienna Nuclear Deal (VND) reached in 2015 is focused on preventing (or at least postponing) the development of nuclear weapons in Iran, its restrictions are looser with regard to related delivery systems (particularly nuclear-capable ballistic missiles) and to the transfer of nuclear techn

Ahok, Islamism and Indonesian Democracy

Ahok, Islamism and Indonesian Democracy Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Giora Eliraz

The results of Jakarta's first round of gubernatorial elections might be confusing to many casual observers of Indonesian politics - the Christian and ethnically Chinese governor, Bauska Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, came first. This happened even though Ahok has been, during recent months, in the

Asia Watch: Looking East? Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Michael Shannon

The self-proclaimed "caliph" of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is... apparently searching for new territory and new recruits. The Far East is certainly on his radar and one incubator might be the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the Philippines, specifically Basilan and other islan

The Last Word: Under the same sun

The Last Word: Under the same sun Categories: Asia, Interfaith Dialogue, Israel     Author: Jeremy Jones

Book-ended by beautiful Jewish and Muslim religious chants and a presentation on the wisdom of the late Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), the participants had a unique opportunity for open, honest, informed and passionate exchange of wisdom, opinions and knowledge. This remarkable session was towards th

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Bibi's historic Singapore swing

Bibi's historic Singapore swing Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Glen Falkenstein

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's remarks at this week's dinner with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong are emblematic of a multifaceted bilateralism that has seen once clandestine engagement between the two nations grow into a very public, and profitable relationship.

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