Columnnist

Erich Parpart

Senior Reporter - Asia Focus

Senior Reporter - Asia Focus

Erich Parpart
6 Jan 2020

Looking ahead with hope

First of all, welcome back to work to anyone who is lucky enough to be starting today instead of last week. I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year celebration with their friends and families.

6 Jan 2020
23 Dec 2019

Fingers crossed for world trade

It is clear now that the rise of protectionism and the current US tariff war against China and the rest of the world have led to a slowdown in global trade and demand. Since most export-led economies in Asia Pacific depend heavily on demand from China, any slowdown there is bad news.

23 Dec 2019
Fingers crossed for world trade
9 Dec 2019

When tradition trumps reason

The senseless killing of animals is something that should be condemned not celebrated. But a notoriously bloody spectacle that went ahead last week in Nepal reminds us how difficult it can be to overturn centuries of "tradition".

9 Dec 2019 7
When tradition trumps reason
25 Nov 2019

Bargaining trumps bullets

'When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will." It's a blunt quotation and one that certainly got my attention when Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi used it last week.

25 Nov 2019 1
11 Nov 2019

US hot air and the Paris accord

Does it matter that the United States has formally begun withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement? Given that it is the world's second biggest carbon dioxide emitter after China, some say that yes, it does matter, because it will now be free to pollute the planet even more.

11 Nov 2019 21
US hot air and the Paris accord
28 Oct 2019

The scourge of human trafficking

The case of 39 people, most Vietnamese, found dead in a refrigerated trailer in Britain highlighted the fact that human trafficking and modern slavery are still a huge problem for Asia, and the entire world for that matter.

28 Oct 2019 13
The scourge of human trafficking
14 Oct 2019

Fight fake news with education

The fight against fake news is becoming more challenging, but a lot can be done by educating people in how to identify unreliable sources and fact checking. Just creating laws against people who spread such information doesn't fix the problem because they are like the Hydra -- you cut off one head and two more will pop up as the cyber-population grows.

14 Oct 2019 2
2 Sep 2019

Green salvation, one bag at a time

South America and Africa are on fire, the icecaps are melting and sea levels keep rising. Natural disasters have become more common on every continent and July 2019 was the hottest month on record globally. People are dying while thousands of animal and plant species are disappearing forever.

2 Sep 2019 1
12 Aug 2019

Time for a Seoul-Tokyo peace pact

I love kimchi and I love ramen. I love the bushido way of life and Japanese humility, and I love South Koreans' resilience and devotion to education that helped them lift their country from poverty after World War II to become an Asian economic powerhouse. And in my opinion, both South Koreans and Japanese are among the nicest people in the world.

12 Aug 2019 9
31 Jul 2019

Army unwilling to yield to democracy

For the country like Thailand where the military staged two putsches within the past 13 years, a coup d'état should no longer be necessary.

31 Jul 2019 63
Army unwilling to yield to democracy