A well informed citizenry is the foundation of our modern society. Every week, our news team for The Debrief brings you the most important stories on current affairs, diplomacy, business and human rights, in Asia and around the globe. Not only can we be well informed, but better informed, about the relationship between our lives, our communities, and the common world.

Constitutional Reform Rages On in Taiwan

Taiwan’s debate on constitutional reform continues into this week, focusing on whether Taiwan should adopt a pure parliamentary system to replace its current brand of semi-presidential system.

Extremists Terrorize Australia and Pakistan

This past week, the world was shocked by two terrorist attacks, in Sydney, Australia and Peshawar, Pakistan, respectively. While the Sydney attack may be an isolated incident, Pakistan’s attack may signal some changes there.

More Abenomics, Says Japan Voters

On Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner retained their super-majority of seats in the legislature, signaling a continuation of Abe’s economic stimulus policies known as “Abenomics.”

Police Clears Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters bid farewell to their 75-day street occupation when police stormed the main protest site at the Admiralty district, tearing down thousands of colorful tents and makeshift barricades.

The Debrief 12/9/14

Student activist Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) runs for parliament in his native Miaoli; calls for constitutional reforms in Taiwan; India and its climate change challenges, and civil unrest in the US after a series of racially-charged cases of deaths by police.

The Debrief, 11/25/14

A tribe in Tanzania facing eviction due to a development project disguised as a conversation initiative; Iran’s sanctions and nuclear program negotiations and why China’s lowering its interest rates is a cause for concern.

The Debrief, 11/18/14

We review this week’s news from the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing, including the China-Korea FTA, US-China climate deal, and steps towards a FTA of the Asia Pacific. Also, the new metro line opening in Taipei.

China’s Active Diplomacy at APEC Summit

Leaders at last week’s APEC summit in Beijing also concluded a range of agreements and understandings, including the US-China emissions targets, a declaration towards an Asia Pacific FTA, and more.

The Debrief, 11/11/14

In addition to reviewing US midterm elections’ impact on US-Taiwan relations and the Taipei mayor debates, we tell you about the annual autumn labor protest in Taiwan.

Taipei Mayor Candidates Debate

On Friday November 7th, the top two candidates for Taipei mayor went on TV for their first televised debate. How do they compare to each other, and how does the debate compare with the legendary Taipei mayor debate from 20 years ago?

The Debrief, 11/5/14

This week we review our curated stories of Taiwan’s economic controversies in the legislature, student activists visit Europe, and ongoing turmoil in one of Taiwan’s African allies, Burkina Faso.

The Debrief, 10/28/14

Stanford’s conference on Taiwan political polarization, Taiwan’s Gay Pride Parade, and Ukraine’s first national elections since former president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted and civil conflict broke out.

Pro-Europe Set to Win in Ukraine Elections

On Sunday, Ukrainians went to the polls to elect a new national parliament, the first time since former pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych fled the country after protesters clashed with the police in February of this year.


史丹佛民主發展與法治中心在 10/17~18 舉辦年會,主要探討台灣的兩極化政治。大部分與會者都同意台灣的未來還有許多問題仍待解決;「基進側翼」創辦人陳奕齊新一與競選總部辦公室主任顏銘緯對灣區台美人社團的演講。

Same-sex Marriage Laws in Taiwan Debated

On Thursday, Taiwan’s legislature held a public hearing on the issue of same-sex marriage and the adoption rights of same-sex couples; the U.S. announced that it will recognize same-sex marriages from seven new states.

The Debrief, 10/14/14

This week we look at a Taipei mayoral candidate’s trip to the US, China’s premier’s visit to Germany, yet another food scandal in Taiwan, and an interview with former president Lee Teng-hui.

The Debrief, 10/7/14

We take a look at yet another demonstration calling attention to Taiwan’s housing and property wealth disparity, an update on Turkey joining the fight against the Islamic State, and Hong Kong’s protests leveling off for the moment.

The Debrief, 9/30/14

Another new political party try to represent progressive and social democratic views and take down Taiwan’s two party structure, and a review of this week’s top stories, including Hong Kong.

The Debrief, 9/23/14

The ongoing ebola virus crisis in West Africa, a US Congressional hearing on China and freedom of the seas, Scotland’s independence referendum vote, and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India.

The Debrief, 9/16/14

This week we mourn the death of two men with passion, review Taiwan’s latest food safety scandal, take a look at Sweden’s general election results, a Tibetan rally in Taipei and a Taiwan rally in New York.

Keep Taiwan Free Annual Rally in New York

On September 13, Taiwanese American groups held the annual Keep Taiwan Free rally in New York’s Times Square, with 200 supporters gathered to promote Taiwan’s democracy and UN participation.

Think About Taiwan’s Latest Food Safety Scandal

Over the past two weeks, Taiwan has been experiencing yet another major food safety crisis, as illegal gutter oil was used in manufactured commercial oil. What went wrong, and how can consumers and scientific experts agree?

The Debrief, 9/9/14

Taiwan’s latest food oil safety scandal, NATO on the Islamic State, the race for submarines in the Western Pacific and Scotland, where polls show more 51% for independence, 10 days before the referendum.

The Debrief, 9/2/14

Tensions between Hong Kong and China rise again as China proposes to controls on chief executive elections; why Taiwanese businesses in China are not returning to Taiwan, and India’s prime minister’s first foreign trip–to Japan.

The Debrief, 8/26/14

From comparing minimum wages in Taiwan and Korea, to another Taiwanese food conglomerate with Chinese business interest buying cable operator CNS, and the case of James Risen, national security and press freedom.