Rising Asia Journal
ISSN 2583-1038
Rising Asia Foundation

Latest Issue


Issue Information
  • War and Society
    Europe’s Sense of Time Lost at the Edge of War
    Long Shih Rome

    War and Society
    Europe’s Sense of Time Lost at the Edge of War

    The author, an ethnic Malaysian-Chinese who studied in England and France in the 1970s and 1980s, reflects on the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the context of the traumatic twentieth century history of Europe and the renewed Cold War with Russia. A continent in turmoil needs to reach deep down into its spiritual roots and find its true voice in averting a Third World War between the globalist, liberal agenda of the European Union and the nation-state authoritarian agenda of Russia.

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  • The Search for Balance in Malaysian Politics
    Will Malaysia’s Next General Election Finally See Political and Economic Power Shared Between the Chinese and Malays?
    Romen Bose

    The Search for Balance in Malaysian Politics
    Will Malaysia’s Next General Election Finally See Political and Economic Power Shared Between the Chinese and Malays?

    The key to political stability and continuity in Malaysia is for the Malays to unite under one party, and the Chinese under another, and for these two dominant parties to then form a coalition. That would resolve Malay infighting and bring the Chinese into government, providing the balance needed.

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  • Hong Kong Remembers
    Removing Monuments Will Not Erase the Memory of Tiananmen
    Toh Han Shih

    Hong Kong Remembers
    Removing Monuments Will Not Erase the Memory of Tiananmen

    Monuments to the Tiananmen Massacre have been removed from university campuses in Hong Kong. But this is unlikely to erase the memory of the event on June 4, 1989, when large numbers of Chinese student protestors were killed by the People’s Liberation Army in Beijing.

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  • Indonesian Foreign Policy in Transition
    End of the Age of Innocence
    Vasuki Shastry

    Indonesian Foreign Policy in Transition
    End of the Age of Innocence

    The author, a veteran journalist, IMF official, and author, traces the slow, deliberate, and calculated transition of Indonesia’s foreign policy from caution and uncertainty to a more confident assertion of its regional interests. Its firm stance against the Myanmar military junta indicates that Indonesia has returned to the high-table of regional powers, and that it must be taken seriously both by the United States and China.

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Research Articles
  • Japan in the Greyzone:
    Strategy and Self-defense in East Asia
    Ryan Mitra

    Japan in the Greyzone:
    Strategy and Self-defense in East Asia

    The legacy of East Asian geopolitics is deeply rooted in Japan’s evolution as a polity and state. The pacifist approach, cemented in Japan’s post-Second World War Constitution, defined its existential dilemma in one of the most turbulent regions in the world. Japan’s conviction around its military and pacifist ideals has been tested in its surrounding littorals by potential adversaries that bear a Japanese imperialist and colonial history. Current geopolitical conditions have now forced a reinterpretation of these ideals. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution had by all means outlawed warfare other than in the interest of self-defence. Under the former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, the meaning of self-defence was revisited to accommodate the overwhelming influence of its strongest ally, the United States, and to address the increasing number of small-scale hostilities by China and North Korea which collectively were inducing a greyzone environment. The scale and nature of military assets and spending in the interest of self-defence has spawned a decade-long debate on when does defensive nature actually turn offensive in real terms.

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  • The Invention of a “Common Enemy”:
    U.S. Armed Interventions Overseas, From Korea to Iraq
    Tian Mashuang

    The Invention of a “Common Enemy”:
    U.S. Armed Interventions Overseas, From Korea to Iraq

    In the last century, the Law of War had undergone a significant change from the set of rules that regulate the practices of war, to a more morally bounded prohibition of war. Such transition led to a significant change in the use of force by the superpowers after the Second World War. Armed intervention, proxy war, and “the invention of the enemy” became the strategic and moral justification of military action without declaring war. During the Cold War, U.S. foreign policy revived the “amity line” described by the German philosopher and jurist, Carl Schmitt, as the world was divided into the Western cultural-political sphere and the Soviet sphere. During the wars in Korea and Vietnam, the United States employed narratives of national interest to defend its sphere of influence and its cultural values, while China and North Vietnam viewed the wars as a struggle for national liberation and survival. When viewed through the lens of Carl Schmitt’s political thoughts, during the Cold War the United States exhibited the traits of a “partial sovereign” within the capitalist cultural-political sphere, while the end of the Cold War saw U.S. foreign policy falling into an entanglement between national interest and its alleged global responsibilities as an “international sovereign.” Although the United States wields the greatest international political power among nations, the authorization to use force (and sometimes the lack of it) by the United Nations indicates that the organization also possesses a legal character as an “international sovereign” in the realm of global governance.

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  • Mulan: The Fearless, Patriotic, Warrior-Heroine as Women’s Liberator in Chinese Popular Culture, 1939-2020
    Jing Chen

    Mulan: The Fearless, Patriotic, Warrior-Heroine as Women’s Liberator in Chinese Popular Culture, 1939-2020

    This article argues that the cinematic representation of the legendary Chinese folklore heroine, Hua Mulan, over some eighty years, has become a convenient confluence of a wide array of gender issues under various political ideologies in contemporary China. Through a close visual analysis, this essay explores how the figure of Mulan in the 1939 film, Maiden in Armour, was intentionally reshaped and influenced by the cultural development and political changes occurring during that period. For thousands of years, the legend of Mulan disguising herself as a man to occupy and maintain her aged father’s place in the army has educated and moved so many Chinese that the visual representation of Mulan has subsequently occupied a significant place in Chinese popular culture. Representations of Mulan in films such as Maiden in Armour, the 1964 film Hua Mulan, and the 2020 Hollywood blockbuster Mulan, have been reshaped under three historical environments, namely the Republican era (1912-1949), the Socialist era (1949-1978), and the period of “Reform and Opening” (1978-present). Scholars, however, have not as yet pursued detailed research into the historical environment that Mulan-themed films were contextualized in: how the story of Mulan has undergone appropriation, modification, and regulation in Chinese patriarchal society from the perspective of cinema studies. Through an interdisciplinary interrogation into this multi-layered historical figure, this article sheds light on the struggle for gender equality and the ideological connotations formulated by popular culture.

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  • (Re)Viewing Queer Diasporas:
    Happy Together and New National Allegories of Hong Kong
    Ryan Kerr

    (Re)Viewing Queer Diasporas:
    Happy Together and New National Allegories of Hong Kong

    This paper examines Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai’s 1997 romantic drama Happy Together and argues that a reading of the film as a national allegory for Hong Kong’s postcolonial status must include an emphasis on the homophobic and patriarchal forces acting upon the queer body. Standard Marxist conceptions of national allegory, most infamously put forth by Fredric Jameson in his 1986 essay, “Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism,” essentialize the textual expression of colonized territories as solely defined by colonial inequality. Such interpretations of postcolonial texts demand a more nuanced understanding of the specific varied forms of inequality that result from colonial violence, and these interpretations require attention to the differences in hegemonic colonialism as it operates in each individual territory. In this regard, Gayatri Gopinath’s intersectional model of the queer diasporic allegory is a much more useful and relevant tool for understanding the homophobic and patriarchal forces at play during and after colonization. Using Gopinath’s technique of reading the colonized queer body as a site of violent homophobic power relations, I will argue that the warring gay Chinese lovers in Happy Together make manifest the same uneven power structure of toxic masculinity and homophobia that oppresses them, and I will connect these issues to the problems of masculinity and alienation experienced by the population of Hong Kong after the territory was given back to China in 1997.

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  • On Migritude: An Innovative Form of Feminine Diasporic Identification in the neo-Liberal Nation State
    Marietta Kosma

    On Migritude: An Innovative Form of Feminine Diasporic Identification in the neo-Liberal Nation State

    This article demonstrates how Shailja Patel’s protest narrative in Migritude brings to the forefront the histories of the subaltern otherwise silenced. As Migritude focuses on the placement and re-placement of black African women and diasporic communities in the discourse of international concern, this article re-conceptualizes what is considered to be ‘home’ in the queer imaginary by addressing the discourse of the subaltern. This article poses a critique on heteronormativity in order to represent the subaltern, whose concerns are illustrated as the reproduction of systemic violence upon their body. Attentive to the multiplicity of voices, Patel engages with transnational political discourse as she projects a new form of solidarity among the dispossessed, while contesting imperial remains. This article adopts an innovative approach by its exposition of the new forms of feminine diasporic identification, which exceed a gendered heteronormative identification. The unique experiences of belonging of these female subjects, place them in a new multi-dimensional locus, where a different consciousness of identity arises. Patel’s narrative signals toward an innovative recuperation of female diasporic subjectivity that is evidently progressive. The queer female South Asian subject becomes the center of attention and the space it occupies becomes a terrain of possibility.

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About the Journal

Rising Asia is a scholarly publication and journal of record with a multidisciplinary orientation. It serves as a resource for the study, investigation, and teaching of Asian societies. Each volume of the journal contains interpretive essays on all aspects of Asian history, economy, diplomacy, literature, health, science, military affairs (war, peace and society or WPS) and culture.

Its coverage spans the humanities and social sciences, incorporating various thematic approaches—historical, economic, foreign policy, military, literary and theoretical that explore issues of grand strategy, ideology, ethnicity, race and gender, diasporic and indigenous communities, and colonialism and postcolonialism. The journal also publishes research articles in the field of Film Studies, as well as commentaries on museum exhibits and resource guides, provided all of them are scholarly in nature.

Journal Information

Title: Rising Asia Journal
Frequency: Three times a year
ISSN: ISSN 2583-1038
Publisher: Rising Asia Foundation
Chief Editor: Harish C. Mehta
Copyright: Rising Asia Foundation
Starting year: January 2021
Subject: Multidisciplinary subjects
Language: English
Publication Format: Online
Phone No: 91-9830721954
Email id: harishcmehta1968@gmail.com
Website: www.rajraf.org
Address: 32 T, New Road, Alipore, Kolkata 700 027, West Bengal, India

Editorial Board


PhD, McMaster University, Canada;
former Lecturer at University of Toronto, McMaster,
and Trent University;
and former Senior Indochina Correspondent,
The Business Times of Singapore.


Former Ambassador of India to Germany, Indonesia, ASEAN, Ethiopia and the African Union;
currently honorary Professor of Humanities, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore (Japan, Indonesia, ASEAN, Africa and Europe),


Professor, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore. (International History and Politics of Southeast Asia),

Professor, Department of Political Science, Mizoram University, Aizawl (Local/Regional Politics & Socio-Economic Development of Mizoram, and Autonomy Movements in the North East),


Mohini Maureen Pradhan

Raka Mukherjee

Hemalatha Sridhar

Hussena Calcuttawala

Valentina Notts

Roshni Subramani


Julie Banerjee Mehta
Former Lecturer, University of Toronto and York University, currently Guest Faculty Professor, Loreto College, Calcutta (Postcolonial and Gender Theory, World Literatures, Diaspora Studies and Southeast Asian Culture),

Suchorita Chattopadhyay
Professor, Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University (Comparative Literature, Japan, and Asian Diasporas),

Ajay Dandekar
Professor, Director, Humanities & Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University (International Relations, China, Geostrategy),

Craig Etcheson
PhD (International Relations), University of Southern California; currently Visiting Scientist at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Transitional Justice, Genocide Studies, and Cambodia),

Lalnundika Hnamte
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Government J. Buana College, Lunglei, Mizoram (Peace and Conflict Resolution; Northeast Indian politics; Sixth Schedule and Tribal Autonomy; Migration and Citizenship; Look East/Act East Policy),

Tuan Hoang
Associate Professor of Great Books, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California (Modern Vietnamese Intellectual and Religious History, Vietnamese American History,
and Vietnamese Catholicism),

Sanjay Kathuria
PhD (Economics), University of Oxford; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and Ashoka University, Sonipat, India; Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research and former Lead Economist, World Bank (South Asian Trade and Investment, India's North East, Global Economy, Economic Growth, and Competitiveness),

Veronica Khangchian
Assistant Professor, Department of Conflict Management & Peace Initiatives, Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong; and former Assistant Professor (Sociology), University of Delhi (Ethnicity & Conflict, Migration, and Peace Processes in Northeast India),

Vimal Khawas
Associate Professor & Head of Department of Peace & Conflict Studies and Management, Sikkim University, Gangtok (the Himalayan region, Sikkim, Nepal, Environmental Studies/Security, Development Studies, Urban and Regional Planning),

Siddharth Mallavarapu
Professor, Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, Shiv Nadar University (Disciplinary histories of International Relations, Theories of IR in the Global South, Asia in World Affairs, Comparative Political Thought, and Critical Security Studies),

Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, Shiv Nadar University (South Asian Historical International Relations, Postcolonial and Decolonial approaches, Identities, Ideologies and Religion, and Discourse Theory),

Md Mizanur Rahman
PhD Fellow, School of Cultural and Critical Studies, Bowling Green State University, Ohio (American Studies, Environmental Humanities, Cultural and Critical Theory),

Biswajit Mohapatra
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong (Politics, International Relations and Foreign Policy; and India's North East),

Por Heong Hong
Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang (Malaysia's healthcare policy, biopolitics, politics of memory, politics of heritage),

Meenakshi Shedde
South Asia Delegate to the Berlin Film Festival; Independent Film Curator based in Mumbai; Winner of National Award for Best Film Critic; Jury Member of 20 international film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Venice; written for/edited 19 books, mainly on cinema, and media worldwide (Indian/ Asian/ World/ archival cinema),

Vu Duong Luan
Research Fellow, Institute of Vietnamese Studies and Development Science, Vietnam National University, Hanoi (History of Vietnam, Early Modern East Asia, China-Southeast Asia Interactions, and Asian Borderland Studies),

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