Please click here if this newsletter looks incorrect


Asia Update

August 2015

Asia-related activities of Bertelsmann Stiftung and insights into important developments in the region.





Dear Readers,

Whichever way one looks at the complex debate on the rise of Asia, one thing is certain: what is happening in Asia today is of utmost importance to the rest of the world. Political and economic developments in the region have a global impact, a phenomenon which gets stronger with increasing globalization and digitalization. The region is changing with fast pace, presenting challenges but also opportunities to develop a more inclusive approach to global governance. Whether countries and the international community will be able to react successfully to these rapid developments depends on their understanding of the region.

To contribute to such an understanding, Bertelsmann Stiftung’s program “Germany and Asia” presents the Asia Update. This newsletter provides an overview of the Asia-related activities of Bertelsmann Stiftung and insights into the key developments in the economies and societies of China, India and Southeast Asia.

The first issue invites you to join us for an evening with the prominent thinker Ian Buruma who will give a talk on Asia 70 years after the end of the Second World War. This invite is followed by an interview with the renowned author Pankaj Mishra on what Asia’s rise means for the West and by an article on how China could look like in 2030. An analysis of Thailand’s new draft constitution rounds up our first issue.  

I hope you enjoy the first issue and wish you a pleasant read.


Stephan Vopel
Director, Program Germany and Asia



Asia Briefing with Ian Buruma

Berlin, August 31, 6pm: While Asian countries are remembering the 70th anniversary of World War II, the geopolitical situation in present-day Asia has been compared to Europe on the eve of World War I: Established and emerging powers are competing for influence in the region. Long-standing disputes over historical responsibility and territorial claims are undermining the stability in the region. Ian Buruma, renowned Author, historian and Professor of Democracy, Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College, New York, will explore Asia's past that won't go away on August 31st at the Bertelsmann's Representatice Premises, Unter den Linden 1 in Berlin. Register here



A conversation with Pankaj Mishra

The rise of Asia and the ideas that lie behind it are shaping the 21st century. The hegemony of the West seems to be collapsing and with it Western norms and political ideals that many had taken for granted. These developments pose grave challenges, but they also offer opportunities to develop a new and more inclusive vantage point to look at world affairs, as the renowned author Pankaj Mishra pointed out in an interview. Watch the interview here


Asia Scenarios

China in 2030

Projections for China's future are abundant - result of a desire to reduce uncertainty and complexity. However, most forecasts are merely based on a mix of gut feeling and linear projections of the past. Scenario planning shifts the focus to a range of different possibilities and opens new opportunities for strategic planning. Bernhard Bartsch shows five alternatives for China in 2030. Read the German article here


Asia Policy Brief

Thailand One Year After the Coup

One year after the military seized power once again, the country has become a dictatorship. Serhat Ünaldi argues that the draft constitution that has been written since then will not bridge the political divide that runs through the Country. Read more



You don't want to receive this newsletter anymore or want to edit your newsletter profile? Please click here.


Dr. Peter Walkenhorst

Senior Project Manager


Bertelsmann Stiftung

Carl-Bertelsmann-Str. 256

33311 Gütersloh


Tel: +49 5241 81-81172




The Bertelsmann Stiftung, based in Gütersloh, Germany, is a nonprofit, private

operating foundation in accordance with Section 1 of North Rhine-Westphalia's Foundation Law.

The district government of Detmold serves as its supervisory authority.

Founder: Reinhard Mohn

Chairman of the Board of Trustees: Prof. Dr. Werner J. Bauer

Executive Board: Dr. Ralph Heck (Chairman), Dr. Brigitte Mohn