East Asia


What Does China Mean by 'Rule of Law'?

It's more Confucianism than constitutionalism.

Carl Minzner |

Tea Leaf Nation

'If We Lose This, We Lose Everything'

After thousands of pro-democracy protesters clash with police, compromise in Hong Kong looks increasingly unlikely. 

Suzanne Sataline |


K Is for Kim Jong Un

Suki Kim's memoir about teaching in an elite North Korean school run by evangelical missionaries highlights the dangers and absurdities of life in a closed society.

Isaac Stone Fish |


No, the U.S. Doesn't Have Plans to Nuke North Korea

Where did the idea for a "nuclear umbrella" come from, anyway?

Jeffrey Lewis |

Tea Leaf Nation

Chinese Doubt Their Own Soft Power Venture

They think Confucius Institutes are a waste of money.

Lotus Ruan |

Tea Leaf Nation

How to Buy Banned Chinese Books on Alibaba

Customers and vendors use an elaborate system of code words and end runs on Taobao, Alibaba's massive digital marketplace.

Shujie Leng |

Tea Leaf Nation

How a Video of Police Brutality Is Dividing Hong Kong

City residents are alleging censorship and misinformation after a clip of police beating a handcuffed protester went viral.

Grace Tsoi |

Tea Leaf Nation

Hong Kong Showdown

Pro-democracy protests enter a nasty new phase following a violent pre-dawn police raid.

Suzanne Sataline |

Christian Caryl

Sorry, Eric X. Li, Democracy Is Not the Problem

Hong Kong's pro-democracy activists aren't radicals or revolutionaries. But that's what Beijing wants you to believe.

Christian Caryl |


How I Dealt With China's Book Censors

One Western author shares his struggle to keep a text true to history.

Joseph W. Esherick |

Tea Leaf Nation

The Movement That Changed Hong Kong: A Timeline

A day-by-day account of the pro-democracy protests that have turned the once apolitical city on its ear.

Shujie Leng |

Tea Leaf Nation

How to Take Great Photos While Surrounded by Chinese Smog

A tongue-in-cheek article from Chinese media offers tips to aspiring photographers.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian |

Tea Leaf Nation

Hong Kong Protesters Are Digging In

Pro-democracy demonstrators are fortifying barricades with wood, bamboo, even cement.

Suzanne Sataline |

Tea Leaf Nation

'A New Era for Hong Kong'

The city government's wait-and-switch may only galvanize protesters, experts say.

David Wertime |

Tea Leaf Nation

Hong Kong's Sour Deal

China and Britain made a pact that's still undermining governance in the former colony.

Dalena Wright |

Tea Leaf Nation

'Hong Kong, What Does the Motherland Really Owe You?'

A viral Chinese article argues that Hong Kong should be grateful to the mainland -- or else.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian |


The Umbrella Movement Playlist

Stirring, profane, always authentic: Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests have developed a rich musical culture.

Doug Meigs |

Tea Leaf Nation

Hong Kong's Wild Protest Art

It's spontaneous and participatory -- and the state can't control it.

Alexandra A. Seno |

Tea Leaf Nation

China Bans Law-Breaking Actors From Movies and Television

A powerful regulatory agency says it's upholding "socialist culture and core values."

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian |

Tea Leaf Nation

China's Vast, Strange, and Powerful Farming Militia Turns 60

The government entity, colloquially called the 'Bingtuan,' employs almost 12 percent of everyone in Xinjiang.

Alexa Olesen |

The List

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Protest Here

What Hong Kong's Occupy Central can learn from the Tahrir Square uprising.

Mahmoud Salem |


You Should Still Be Scared of Pyongyang

Five reasons a quiet North Korea is still a deadly North Korea.

Joel S. Wit |


Where Hong Kong Hits Home

Singapore watches its twin city from afar, and considers its own future.

Grace Chua |


How the Hong Kong Protesters Can Win

Over a century's worth of data shows that the Umbrella Revolution needs business, satire, and a whole lot of patience.  

Maria J. Stephan |

Tea Leaf Nation

Why China's President Wants to Save Hong Kong, Not Destroy It

To secure his own legacy, Xi Jinping has every reason not to send tanks into the city.

George Chen |

Tea Leaf Nation

The Great Divide

Chinese with different views of Hong Kong's protests can't even agree on the words to use.

Ran Liu |