Jonathan Manthorpe

Jonathan Manthorpe (jonathan.manthorpe@gmail.com) has been an international affairs columnist for nearly 40 years.

Migrants booted from Beijing

The Communist Party of China has always had a vigorous attitude towards town planning and social engineering in general. According to a story in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper, the...

Secret fund comes to light in Japan

For decades Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, a far more politically potent position than the name implies, has had at his disposal a secret fund to tap when instantly available money is needed. A...

Hobson’s choice dogs opposition in Cambodia

Hun Sen has ruled Cambodia since 1985 and has never allowed election results, however inconvenient, to stand in the way of that continuing. He was originally handed control of the government after...

Indian, South Korean governments bite into Bitcoin

Tax collectors in India and South Korea are attempting to come to grips with how the state gets its share of cryptocurrency transactions. In India there are estimated to be an additional 200,000...

Rapid transit to span Malaysia-Singapore border

Singapore and Malaysia are taking a small step in the eventual integration of Southeast Asia’s economies with the building of a cross-border rapid transit system. About 300,000 pedestrians and...

Chinese military spending spree triggers Asian arms race

Beijing’s massive program of defence spending has changed the balance of power in Asia

East scrambles to regroup after U.S. goes AWOL

The Far East and Southeast Asia are looking more risky and uncertain as places to do business and target investment than they have for a quarter of a century. This reality has been building for...

Trump cedes trade leadership to China’s Xi Jinping

Future historians will undoubtedly have great fun with the moment on November 10 in Danang, Vietnam, when Donald Trump left the stage after delivering a whiny “America first” speech and China’s Xi...

Labour force concerns over rise of robots in Asia

The old question of whether China would “get old before it becomes rich” is being superseded by an even more pressing calculation. Will Asian workers become obsolete before they get worthwhile...

China: Xi’s deathless ideology

It is the dream of Chinese leaders to have their thoughts and visions so highly regarded that they are enshrined as essential elements in the ideological canon of the Communist Party. Recent leaders...