Recap: Top 5 stories in 2017

Most popular in 2017

5. The origins of China’s Singles’ Day

Singles' Day is the world's largest shopping festival.

“Retail businesses in China have noticed that single urban people with stable incomes and a zest for living possess high purchasing power.” ─ Xiang Gao

Chinas Singles Day festival, also known as Double 11 Day, generated a record 168.2 billion yuan (NZ$36.5 billion) in sales this year. But what is this occasion and how did it come about? Read how an event for the footloose and fancy-free evolved into the world's biggest shopping carnival.

4. Seven things that have changed in Asia since 2008

Rohingya in Sittwe, Myanmar. (Photo: Graeme Acton/RNZ)

“The new coalition government faces a complicated and delicate Asian political context.” ─ Chris Wilson

The Labour Party and New Zealand First are back in government for the first time since 2008. Take a look at what has changed in the region in the past decade.

3. Maps: Projected Asian population in NZ in 2038

Check out these interactive maps displaying Statistics NZ’s population projections of the broad Asian ethnic group in New Zealand between 2013 and 2038.

2. What it’s like to work with the dead in Southeast Asia

Sian Halcrow conducts archaeological research in Southeast Asia.

“As archaeologists, we are not only working with the dead but also often working with living cultures different from our own.” ─ Siân Halcrow

New Zealand archaeologist Siân Halcrow sheds light on the challenges and ethics of researching human remains in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia.

1. Chinese business principles: Guanxi, mianzi, renqing

Gao Hongzhi, a researcher of Chinese-Western business relationships, explains the three principles that underscore how business is done in China.

Other 2017 good reads

5. ‘Reporting on Philippines needs to go beyond whats low-hanging fruit’ 

Duterte received overwhelming support at the polls.

"Filipinos want a thriving economy and a stable income, but they know this can only happen in an atmosphere of stability and peace." ─ Aries Arugay

Behind the smoke of the Duterte presidency lies a country whose investment confidence and growth remains strong – a fact that doesn't get a lot of media coverage, says political commentator Aries Arugay.

4. What’s needed for an India-New Zealand FTA to materialise

The FTA negotiation process with India has been slow and frustrating.

“From India’s perspective, any comprehensive FTA will involve not just goods but also services, investments, movement of natural persons and technology.” — Rahul Sen

The FTA negotiation process with India has been slow and frustrating, but complementarities in the areas of services, investment and technology can help overcome some political sensitivities associated with tariff elimination, writes Rahul Sen. 

3. Sam Rainsy: ‘Totalitarian drift in Cambodia worrying’

Sam Rainsy visited New Zealand in September 2017.

“When you are in opposition, there are three possibilities: Either you are assassinated, or you are jailed, or you a forced into exile." — Sam Rainsy 

Former Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy talks about the state of Cambodian democracy and how overseas Cambodians are helping in the fight to democratise their homeland.

2. Bonnie Glaser: ‘Chinese influence a global problem’

Bonnie Glaser visited New Zealand in December 2017.

"Countries can benefit a great deal from their economic largesse, but ... [they] need to be clear-eyed about what China’s intentions are." — Bonnie Glaser

Countries worldwide should take a leaf from Australias deep-dive investigation into PRC-directed influence operations and review their transparency rules, says China expert Bonnie Glaser.

1. How to understand North Korea 

Understanding DPRK is a complex and political process, says an expert.

"Many things we know about North Korea, even from the historian or academic perspective, come out of the US system. There’s always going to be a US slant." — Shine Choi

What you know about the DPRK is probably false – but the road towards a nuanced understanding of North Korea is a complex one, says political expert Shine Choi.  

– Asia Media Centre