Asia’s meth trade is worth an estimated $61B as region becomes ‘playground’ for drug gangs

(CNN)Deep in the jungle in Thailand’s northern Chiang Mai province, a unit of armed border officers were on duty late last month when they stumbled on a cave stuffed with drugs. A UNODC report published Thursday found the methamphetamine trade is now worth between $30 billion and $61 billion per year in East and Southeast […]

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A goddess inspired a Taiwanese billionaire to follow Trump’s example

(CNN)Taiwan’s richest man whose company is best known for building iPhones in China has thrown his hat into the island’s upcoming Presidential race. Decoding the China-Taiwan relationship If selected, Gou will likely face off against incumbent Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in the 2020 election, scheduled for January 11. Tsai announced her intention to run in […]

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Centuries ago, women ruled Japan. What changed?

(CNN)The long-term survival of the world’s oldest monarchy will depend on a schoolboy when Japan’s current emperor abdicates next week, reviving calls for an end to laws that bar women from the throne. Conservative and patriarchal Japan excludes women — who make up 13 of the 18 members of the royal family — from taking […]

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‘Kimono’ showdown stokes anti-Japanese prejudice in China

Beijing (CNN)A video of university security guards attacking a man wearing a “kimono” last Sunday has gone viral in China, stirring heated debate online over the country’s easily stoked anti-Japanese sentiment. Acknowledging he may have become agitated after being stopped at the gate for his attire, he insisted that the guards overreacted with physical violence. […]

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New Zealand’s special relationship with China is on the rocks. Can Jacinda Ardern’s Beijing trip save it?

Hong Kong (CNN)Six months after New Zealand Prime Minister John Key took office in 2008, he was dining in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People with the Chinese Communist Party leadership. “New Zealand is committed to sustaining a constructive and comprehensive relationship with China,” Ardern said on Monday when she announced the trip. But Jason […]

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks out on Kashmir violence

Srinagar, India (CNN)Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered to assist with investigations into the deadly bomb attack on a convoy of soldiers in Indian-administered Kashmir and said the conflict will only be solved through dialogue, not war. The attack in the Pulwama district of Kashmir was the deadliest on security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir […]

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Rahaf al-Qunun has been given UN refugee status, Australian officials say

(CNN)The 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled to Thailand to escape her family has been declared by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to be a legitimate refugee, Australian officials said Thursday. Qunun and her supporters drew the world’s attention to her case through a global social media campaign launched mostly on Twitter. She documented her arrival […]

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Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun detained in China for espionage

Hong Kong (CNN)Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun has been detained by Chinese authorities for alleged espionage, the family’s lawyer told CNN Thursday. Australia’s Defense Minister Christopher Pyne, who was visiting Beijing on Thursday, said he would raise the matter with his counterpart Wei Fenghe during their meeting. Yang, 53, is novelist and writer who previously worked […]

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One man found his family safe after Indonesia’s tsunami, while another lost his wife and bandmates

(CNN)Bapu Suwarna had just wrapped up a work meeting at a hotel in Indonesia’s Banten province when he heard a sound like thunder and saw people running and screaming, “Tsunami! Waves! Waves!” He’d soon find himself separated from his family. Officials said 154 people are missing, as of Tuesday, and they worry the numbers of […]

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China hoped for a soft power win at APEC, instead Xi Jinping left dissatisfied

(CNN)With the presidents of the United States and Russia staying home, it seemed Chinese President Xi Jinping would dominate this weekend at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and increase his country’s influence in the Pacific. The Director General of China’s Department of International Economic Affairs, Wang Xiaolong, was reported as saying this was “simply […]

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