Rising Asia Journal
Rising Asia Foundation

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Issue Information
  • Lessons from Justice Bao Zheng: Hong Kong's Judicial Independence would benefit China and the World
    Toh Han Shih

    Lessons from Justice Bao Zheng: Hong Kong's Judicial Independence would benefit China and the World

    As pro-China entities are exerting increasing pressure on the Hong Kong judicial system, it is worth remembering a judge who lived about one thousand years ago during the period of the Northern Song dynasty. Justice Bao Zheng was known for his honesty, and he has an important message for present-day China.

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  • The Myanmar Test: Is ASEAN Truly at Political Crossroads?
    Ryan Mitra

    The Myanmar Test: Is ASEAN Truly at Political Crossroads?

    ASEAN’s consensus-oriented modus operandi as a Formal Intergovernmental Organization has already nullified the efficacy of the organization in recurring crises in Myanmar, and this could yield a new form of informal grouping evolving in the context of other geopolitical developments in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific at large.

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  • The South Vietnamese Flag and Shifting Representations of the Vietnamese American Experience
    Tuan Hoang

    The South Vietnamese Flag and Shifting Representations of the Vietnamese American Experience

    The sight of the South Vietnamese flag in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021 has aroused curiosity and criticism. Missing in the commentaries, however, is the multiplicity of its symbolism to Vietnamese Americans who had come to the United States as refugees or immigrants. Although its visual symbolism is forever tied to the history of the former Republic of Vietnam, its underlying meaning has changed to reflect the experience of Vietnamese after the fall of Saigon, not before.

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  • Remembering Michael H. Hunt: An Historian of Integrity, Reason and Wit
    Harish C. Mehta

    Remembering Michael H. Hunt: An Historian of Integrity, Reason and Wit

    Reading the literature of the Vietnam War with Professor Michael Hunt was an intellectual voyage over choppy political waters that few had undertaken at the time because he had assembled the latest historical studies on the topic and encouraged us, his graduate students, to view the war from the perspectives of all the actors involved.

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Research Articles
  • “The Emperor is a Woman!” Changing Representations of Empress Wu in Chinese Popular Culture, 1939-2010
    Jing Chen

    “The Emperor is a Woman!” Changing Representations of Empress Wu in Chinese Popular Culture, 1939-2010

    Claiming the throne at the age of sixty-seven, Wu Zetian, commonly known as Empress Wu, is a controversial figure in imperial China’s historiography. In becoming the only female ruler in Chinese history, Empress Wu is often depicted in the popular imagination as either an enforcer of the patriarchal order or a rebellious heroine against it. The cultural representation of Empress Wu has thus undergone a series of rewrites, reformulations, and certainly reimagination in cinema and theater, where her depictions were shaped by landmark periods in Chinese history. Despite the empress’ iconic presence across a variety of Chinese cultural formats, there has rarely been any scholarly discussion about her cultural and political significance from the perspective of cinema studies. This article examines three important cinematic and theatrical works by Fang Peilin, Guo Moruo, and Tsui Hark in order to explore the ways in which the cultural imagination of Empress Wu has been radically shaped over a span of some seventy years by contemporary discourses on gender, sexuality, and nationalism. The article argues that such a cultural representation has become a convenient confluence of a wide array of ideological connotations. By offering an interdisciplinary interrogation into this multi-layered historical figure, my analysis sheds some light on the study of the discursive relationship between Chinese popular culture and the historical development of state politics, and the ways in which the empress has been employed by various ideologies.

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  • The Strategic Culture of India's 'Third Republic'
    Vinay Kaura

    The Strategic Culture of India's 'Third Republic'

    This article argues that a distinguishing characteristic of the ‘Third Republic,’ a label used for the Narendra Modi government, is discernible in India’s calibrated effort to reshape its strategic culture as it aspires to emerge as a global power. India’s ways of dealing with security issues refer to its strategic culture, which encompasses the attitudes, values, symbols, traditions, and practices of managing threats and the use of force. However, strategic culture is a theme that is not very popular in Indian foreign policy discourse. One of the main reasons for its lack of popularity is the ambiguity about its precise nature and the operational dynamics. For instance, Indian policymakers conflate the country’s extant attitudes and beliefs about war, diplomacy and security with classical Indian treatises—Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Arthashastra. This article demonstrates the changing notions of ‘strategic autonomy,’ which have traditionally informed India’s strategic culture. The reshaping of India’s strategic culture is occurring because of China’s assertive and aggressive behavior which has caused concern among American policymakers who are promoting the Indo-Pacific concept. The new U.S. President, Joe Biden, has expressed his intention to work with India to preserve a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region. This article contends that since the structural realities of the international order would not allow the Biden administration to radically change America’s policy toward China, India would incrementally overcome its hesitation for strategic alignment. India’s integration of the Indo-Pacific and the Quadrilateral into its foreign policy thinking will have a lasting impact on the country’s strategic culture.

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  • Modernizing the Security Doctrine to Resolve Conflict in India's Northeast
    Ingudam Yaipharemba Singh

    Modernizing the Security Doctrine to Resolve Conflict in India's Northeast

    A new security doctrine is needed to resolve the long-running conflicts in Northeast India, which must be analyzed afresh both from traditional and non-traditional approaches because the socio-political culture and regional geopolitics are infused with the challenges of insurgency and economic underdevelopment. The region, therefore, requires the most special treatment to end mistrust and improve connectivity between the people and the government. This article recommends that a paradigm shift away from national or international security to human security would have far-reaching implications for actors and institutions. Such an approach would focus on threat insecurity, development insecurity, insecurity of women and children, unemployment, poverty, ethnic mistrust/conflict, and insurgency. The article also recommends the adoption of a gender-sensitive perspective for conflict resolution to replace the gender-blind approach taken by policymakers and researchers. Such an approach is needed because men and women are differently involved in armed conflicts, but policies and research have reflected a blindness to this. The approach advocates the adoption of a practical strategy for the Northeastern states to be made equal stakeholders at every stage of the decision-making process for comprehensive regional development.

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Book Excerpt
  • Old and New Risks, Rivalries, and Conflicts
    Ang Cheng Guan

    Old and New Risks, Rivalries, and Conflicts

    As the Cold War recedes further into the past, the old security order dominated by the United States and the regional structure created by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is increasingly under siege, with a new global strategic rebalancing underway. The Southeast Asian region is forced to contemplate new risks and the emergence of new rivalries and conflicts. In his new book, Southeast Asia After the Cold War, Ang Cheng Guan offers a complete, analytically informed contemporary history that covers the whole region, tracing developments from 1990 till around 2018-2019 and highlighting change, continuity, and the larger context in which decisions have been made.

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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.


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 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),

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),

Shubhrajeet Konwer
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Gauhati University (India's North East, Foreign Policy, Security, and Border Studies),

Siddharth Mallavarapu
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),

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),

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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