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    Southeast Asia and the Limits of American Soft Power

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s swing through Southeast Asia last week was notable not for the headlines and handshake photos he generated but the ones generated by the Chinese. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was hosting the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers in Beijing during the Secretary’s … More

    Human Trafficking Still a Major Concern in Asia

    The release of the State Department’s latest Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) revealed that Asia is home to some of the worst perpetrators of illegal human trafficking. China has now joined the ranks of Russia, North Korea, Iran, and a handful of other countries as Tier 3 violators of human … More

    Threat of Terrorism Still Lurking in Asia

    Three individuals are currently under arrest in Malaysia for their alleged involvement in terrorist recruitment. Two of the individuals were charged with planning acts of terrorism that would have affected Syria. One of the suspects, Yazid Sufaat, was previously a high-profile individual arrested for his purported involvement in chemical and … More

    Free Trade Twist: China No Longer Cheapest Labor

    As wages in China rise with economic growth, some companies are beginning to look elsewhere for what was once China’s selling point: cheap labor. It just highlights the power that free trade provides—growing economies and raising living standards. Consider that wages in China are five times greater than they were … More

    Burmese Refugees Face Discrimination, Human Trafficking

    Thousands of Rohingya are fleeing Burma and seeking refuge in Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Thailand only to find themselves persecuted, trafficked, or homeless. Blatant segregation and discrimination against the Rohingya has occurred since Burma’s independence in the late 1940s, but recent tension between Buddhist and Muslim groups has led to an … More

    Making the Most of the U.S.–Thailand Alliance

    Last week, The Heritage Foundation hosted a very timely discussion on the future of the U.S.–Thailand Alliance featuring well-known Southeast Asia experts Catharin Dalpino of Simmons College, Kelley Currie from the Project 2049 Institute, and Walter Lohman, director of Heritage’s Asian Studies Center. Since the end of the Cold War, … More

    Viktor Bout: Weapons Smuggler May Be the Tip of the Iceberg

    Documents from WikiLeaks published in International Business Times disclosed that American officials warned Washington that the Russian intelligence services are working closely with organized crime. This did not come as a great surprise, as Viktor Bout, one of the most infamous alleged arms traders, was extradited from Thailand last month. … More

    Thailand Comes Through on the Side of Justice and the U.S.

    It’s good to know who your friends are. In the case of “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout, it looks like Thailand knows. It also looks like the Obama Administration’s careful treading during Thailand’s ongoing political crisis has yielded some benefit. On Friday, a Thai appeals court ordered Viktor Bout, the … More