Acting Asia Focus Editor
Acting Asia Focus Editor
It was a picture-perfect shot, really. That was my thought when I saw US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi standing side by side with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei last Wednesday. But the one-day visit to the self-ruled island by the 82-year-old American politician has created no end of tension, not only for the US and China but also many of their allies across the Asia Pacific region.
While the rest of the world continues to be preoccupied by Covid-19 and fallout from Russia-Ukraine war, the downward spiral of Myanmar continues. A once-promising frontier market risks slipping into a Sri Lanka-like economic crisis, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis created by the cruelty of its military junta.
While the final no-confidence debate targeting Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his crew was under way at home last week, my focus was on India's presidential election. The result was widely welcomed as veteran tribal politician Draupadi Murmu made history.
It was a bullet that some people said would change Japan forever, and it certainly had people outside taking a closer look at the world's third largest economy. For me, hearing the news that Shinzo Abe had been shot on July 8 was a shock similar to the events of Sept 11, 2001, which most people agree changed the world.
Cities around the world are no strangers to riverine flooding. In December 2021, the four main rivers running through Kuala Lumpur hit dangerous levels, causing nearby rail lines to shut down and halting mobility across the city. In March this year, storms prompted flood warnings along Australia's east coast, including in Sydney. Thousands of residents had to flee their homes.
When Covid-19 emerged more than two years ago, millions of people including myself suddenly found ourselves stuck at home. To survive the unprecedented challenges and stress, I started to befriend mobile apps I hadn't used before to buy things and pay bills online, among them the e-commerce platform Shopee.
June marks LGBTQI Pride Month, celebrating people who are "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex". I think most of us agree with US President Joe Biden's declaration that LGBTQI people are loved and cherished, and they deserve "dignity, respect and support".
Perhaps Joe Biden's pursuit to engage more with Asia has just started. Just days after a trip to South Korea and Japan late last month, his first visit to Asia as US president, the 79-year-old leader followed up with a message that touched the hearts of millions of Asians, particularly those living in his country.