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The launching of the Lee Myung-bak (known as “MB”) government in February 2008, coupled with the landslide victory by the ruling Grand National Party in the April 9 general election, opened a new era of conservative dominance while ending a decade of progressive rule. But the triumphant mood...
Russia's seamless presidential succession produced no major changes in domestic politics or foreign policy. Ties with Asia remained strong, though several key relationships—with China, Japan, and the Central Asian states—frayed under the impact of Russia's military action in Georgia....
Thailand was bombarded by multiple crises in 2008. The political crisis became more acute as the divisiveness among people ran deep and escalated to violence. The situation remains unresolved. Insurgency in the South continues, while territorial conflicts with Cambodia have also erupted.
In 2008 Mongolia witnessed the first violent riots in the wake of parliamentary elections since the country became a democracy in 1992, but the crisis was mitigated by the formation of a coalition government. Mining has become a key factor for defining Mongolia's domestic politics and...
Viet Nam in 2008 continued to display a broad dynamic picture of economic development, political and social stability, cultural vitality, and active diplomacy but experienced high inflation and a slowdown in economic growth. While anti-inflation policy brought some relief, high prices remained...
The year 2008 saw a successful military campaign by government security forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the North. Elections to the Eastern Province resulted in a break away faction of the LTTE sharing power with the government. People continued to endure high...
In 2008, North-South relations worsened, food shortages re-emerged, and the Six Party process yielded an interim agreement. The U.S. dropped North Korea from the terrorism list but nuclear verification issues remained contentious. Kim Jong-il reportedly suffered a stroke in August, casting...
The March 2008 general elections fundamentally altered Malaysian politics. The ruling coalition lost its two-thirds majority in the national Parliament and five state assemblies, and Prime Minister Abdullah was forced to announce his resignation. The opposition also stands the chance of forming...
In 2008 China faced Olympian challenges, of which the Olympics was but one. Some were of its own making; others were not. Some it set for itself; others were by-products of the structural reforms. Yet, the Chinese government met them with palpable determination and broad, if uneven, effectiveness.
The past year saw significant domestic turmoil in India. The country confronted a series of terrorist attacks including the one in Bombay, witnessed ethno-religious violence, dealt with a resurgent Maoist (Naxalite) guerilla movement, and faced agitations from agricultural communities over the...
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