In early March, leading thinkers in the private and public sectors gathered in the epicenter of California's Silicon Valley – Palo Alto – to take in a bird's eye view of how social media is affecting governance. Social media can empower people, but turning a 'dumb mob' into a 'smart mob' is another matter.
Beijing recently strengthened Internet regulations, particularly on the popular microblogging site Weibo. Critics warn that more government monitoring and self-censorship by hosting companies further violates freedom of expression. The reality is far more complicated.
With a bright future ahead of it, Asia is increasingly rediscovering its past. To fully understand Asia's rise, we must come to grips with the forces that shaped its history: Western, Islamic, and Buddhist heritage. It's time to consider Asia's lesson on religious and cultural pluralism.
Unless China shifts its policies toward more democracy and tends to the interests of the rising urban middle class, it risks ending up in the same cul-de-sac as Japan.
Burma said Monday it would allow in some Southeast Asian aid workers.