Cooperative Asia, Cool Japan

As if on cue from my last post, the BBC reports that the US has voiced its approval of Chinese initiatives to strengthen military-to-military cooperation with ASEAN countries. Exactly right. The US has nothing to lose from China's cooperating with its Southeast Asian neighbors. After all, ASEAN nations aren't exactly natural allies of China, given …

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Around the Asia-Pacific region

To start, Patrick Porter of Oxblog posted an interview with Christopher Hitchens that dissects fascism, among other topics. Hitchens made an interesting point about the innate irrationality of fascists:Another [characteristic] is its irrationality. With the Soviet Union there was a degree of predictability, it was essentially rational. There were certain things we knew they weren't …

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Vive le Koizumisme!

Everyone seems to be talking about France this weekend.Christopher Caldwell, in the FT this weekend, discusses how French Socialist Segolene Royal is dangerously courting populist opinion (subscribers only).In the Economist, meanwhile, this week's survey is about France's decline; Sophie Pedder, the survey's author, argues, as I did yesterday, that political will is the key to …

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