Philip Bowring

Philip Bowring is an Asia-based journalist, formerly the editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review and columnist for the International Herald Tribune.

Beyond Hong Kong: Unrest in Indonesia

The once reformist President Joko Widodo, now in his second term, gets swallowed up by the bureaucracy and overall Indonesian politics.

Read more »

Hong Kong and Beijing: A Tale of Two Cities

The current protests show that Hong Kongers aren’t just interested in money, and mainland elites worry that Hong Kong won’t remain a separate territory where they can safely store their money.

Read more »

Southeast Asia: From Trade Wind to Typhoon

Trade brought prosperity to many of the trading sultanates which lined the coast of the archipelago and peninsula.

Read more »

Southeast Asia: Three Interventions

China’s rise, the spread of Islam and the arrival of Europeans had a profound effect on the region.

Read more »

Southeast Asia: Sumatra and Java in their Prime

Chinese Buddhists traveled to Sumatra to improve their learning before proceeding to India and Sri Lanka.

Read more »

Asia Got Religion

Religion is proving an increasingly divisive factor in the politics of Asian nations.

Read more »

Southeast Asia: The Silk Road and the Roman Route

The Silk Road’s historical importance has been vastly exaggerated. It was the sea that was the most important link between east and west.

Read more »

Southeast Asia: Identity in Search of a Name

What does “Southeast Asia” mean beyond a random chunk of geography?

Read more »

The Islam Factor in Indonesia’s Elections

Using the Islamic lens is the focus of Western analysis when it comes to assessing Indonesia’s political present and future. This limits proper understanding.

Read more »

Philippines: On Top of the World?

An uncertain nation, a happy-go-loose leader and a global beauty pageant.

Read more »