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Richard Javad Heydarian
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He is an Assistant Professor in political science at De La Salle University, and consultant/policy advisor to a number of local and international institutions. As an expert on current and international affairs, he has written for or interviewed by ABC, Agence France Presse, Aljazeera English, Bloomberg, BBC, CNN, Channel News Asia, CCTV, Foreign Affairs, USA Today, Voice of America, The Straits Times, The National Interest, The Nation, The Financial Times, The Diplomat, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, NPR , among many other publications. He is the author of How Capitalism Failed the Arab World: The Economic Roots and Precarious Future of the Arab Uprisings. He is also the author of the forthcoming book Asia's New Battlefield: US, China and the Struggle for Western Pacific State.

His areas of specialization are South China Sea disputes, emerging markets, and Middle East politics. He can be reached at

Entries by Richard Javad Heydarian

Philippines and Japan: An Alliance Beyond History

(5) Comments | Posted August 23, 2015 | 8:53 PM

The 70th anniversary of the end of Second World War has transformed into a critical juncture for Asia, particularly in Northeast Asia where Japan, China and the Korean Peninsula still grapple with a traumatic past. Despite the region's remarkable economic success in the post-war period, anchored by deepening regional integration...

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Philippines' Competition Conundrum: A Nation of Oligopolies, Dynasties and Autocratic Nostalgia

(4) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 10:45 PM


As Benigno "NoyNoy" Aquino entered his final year in office, the question of how to assess his legacy has gained greater salience. Both his opponents and supporters have powerful arguments to present.

Among sympathizers, Aquino has been hailed for, among other things,...

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China and the Philippines: Asia's Most Toxic Relationship

(25) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 11:25 AM


In the West, it is often said that Asians are a different bunch, that they conduct diplomacy in a more subtle fashion -- disguising their differences under the veil of cultural solidarity and burgeoning economic ties. I vividly recall the 'guidelines'...

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Philippines' Survey Republic: Popularity and the Making of Presidents

(38) Comments | Posted August 9, 2015 | 8:03 PM


Though the formal campaign season is yet to kick off, the Philippines is already gripped by an election fever. By and large, the overall political atmosphere is beaming with optimism and hope; it is festive and lively rather than anxious and...

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Aquino's Dilemma and the Philippines' Fate: The Question of Succession

(27) Comments | Posted August 1, 2015 | 3:43 PM

In his magnum opus War and Peace (1869), Russian literary genius Leo Tolstoy eloquently underplayed the impact of singular leaders (think of Napoleon Bonaparte) on the dialectical flow of history. Preempting the social scientists of the 20th century, he brilliantly discussed the...
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Philippines' Moralpolitik: Good Governance and Aquino's Legacy

(49) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 10:58 AM


Genuine political reform is no easy feat, especially in a country like the Philippines, which has been dominated by a fairly coherent oligarchy for much of recent history. Since many powerful forces have a stake in preserving the status...

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The Philippines vs. China: The Real Fight in the South China Sea

(105) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 5:59 AM


Though China has effectively boycotted the arbitration proceedings at The Hague, the Arbitral Tribunal has (once again) given Beijing the opportunity to respond to Manila's claims and arguments. From the Philippines' voluminous memorial, submitted in March...

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China vs. the Philippines: Will International Law Resolve South China Sea Disputes?

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 10:46 PM


Will the 21st-century global order be led primarily by might and military muscle or rights and norms? We may get an answer in the near future.

The Philippines' quest for peacefully resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea has entered a...

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Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: China's Trojan Horse?

(3) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 5:11 PM


The struggle for hegemony in Asia has entered a critical phase.

China has stepped closer to claiming full-fledged economic leadership in Asia by officially launching the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which has been the centerpiece of the Xi administration's...

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Chinese-Filipino Community's Dilemma: The Philippines, China, and the South China Sea Disputes

(151) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 5:00 AM


At its very core, the Philippines is an idea, representing a pluralistic land with hospitable people, who have always welcomed persecuted people from around the world. It is an all-embracing society that has been open to peoples from around the world.


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Time for China and the Philippines to Talk: Resolving the South China Sea Conundrum

(25) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 9:08 AM


Among American foreign policy hawks, President Ronald Reagan has been continuously portrayed as the tough, principled leader, who stood up to an "evil empire" (Soviet Union) and facilitated its demise by employing a combination of uncompromising diplomacy and rapid military buildup. One...

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South China Sea: Philippines Running Out of Options

(31) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 2:01 AM

For decades, China's foreign policy has been shaped and guided by Deng Xiaoping's -- the late Chinese paramount leader, who oversaw the opening up of the country to forces of globalization -- famous dictum: "Hide your strength, bide your time."

Recognizing the imperative of national development, after decades...

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Philippine Economy and Elections: How Political Cycles Shape Emerging Markets

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 10:56 PM

Soon, the Philippines will be engulfed by an election fever. And in promising emerging markets like the Philippines, electoral cycles are extremely crucial to shaping the short-to-medium term growth trajectory of the country.

In recent years, the Philippines' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has expanded by about 6...

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Philippines' Economic Development and the 'Pacquiao Paradox': Shining Individually, Whimpering Collectively

(24) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 11:11 AM

For years, I have covered the emergence of the Philippines as the darling of global investors. (In fact, a number of my works on HuffPo have focused on this issue.) After countless exchanges with economists, consultancy agencies, and businessmen in the country and beyond, it is quite clear to me...

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Pax Sinica in the South China Sea: End of American Hegemony in Asia?

(1) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 2:59 PM

The United States may no longer be the economic pivot of Asia. It was left isolated and embittered, when practically all of its allies and strategic partners decided to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in what looked like nothing less than a strategic coup de...

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The Real 'Iran Prize': The Next Great Emerging Market

(2) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 3:55 PM

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," Chinese Philosopher Lao-tzu once said. When it comes to bringing Iran -- the heir of the great Persian civilization -- out of the cold, the recently announced Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) framework agreement, after days...

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Philippines' City of Illusions: Time for an Economic 'EDSA Revolution'

(33) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 3:50 PM

Earlier this year, I was astonished by a commercial, which features no less than Leonardo Di Caprio, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, who playfully endorse a luxurious and lavish new casino and integrated resort in the Philippines, City of Dreams Manila. By all means, both the glossy...

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Philippines' Mindanao Dilemma: Aquino, the Mamasapano Tragedy, and the Future of the Peace Process

(2) Comments | Posted February 14, 2015 | 6:09 AM

Emotions are running high. There are even talks of a possible coup d'état against the government. Benigno "Pinoy" Aquino, who has managed to maintain relatively high approval ratings almost five years into office, is now confronting a growing call for his resignation. Even if he survives what some...

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Pope Francis in the Philippines: Inspiring Political Transformation

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 9:59 AM

Pope Francis' recent visit -- capturing the hearts and minds of Filipinos from all walks of life, regardless of gender, class, and religion -- to the Philippines couldn't be timelier. The Southeast Asian country, the sole Catholic-majority nation in Asia, was in desperate need of a sacred touch of magical...

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Philippines' Shallow Capitalism: Westernization Without Prosperity

(150) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 12:10 PM

As the sole Catholic-majority nation in Asia, with a distinct combination of Spanish and American colonial past, the Philippines stands as one of the most unique countries. Yet, many Westerners tend to find the country too familiar -- that is to say, not as "exotic" as other neighboring countries --...

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