From IMF Survey, a look at how Asia is playing a crucial part in reshaping the global economy. A review of Illusive Utopia, Theater, Film, and Everyday Performance in North Korea by Suk-young Kim. Drukonian Moves: Bhutan is swearing by happiness — but is it such a good thing? A review of Unfinished Revolution: Indonesia Before and After Suharto by Max Lane. From Asia’s mountainous heart flow rivers on which half the world’s population depends: Kenneth Pomeranz on the Great Himalayan Watershed. China, Russia and the United States are the main competitors, and the match is particularly intense in Kabul, Islamabad and Teheran; the Great Game, however, is also played in the five “stans” — Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kirghizstan. Singapore's business-friendly climate has seen the country grow by leaps and bounds but it's all based on a murky, billion-dollar illegal trade in sand. Social alientation, Thai-style: Finding the “essence” of a nation in the package of cultural archetypes presented to tourists — for a price. Mao Zedong and All That: A telling battle over China’s history curriculum. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia on the "democratic instinct". With the July Sumo tournament over, Japan has a champion but is left with many bitter memories surrounding the national sport. Burma's emerging nuclear weapons program is met with an ambiguous international response (and more).

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