Sholto Byrnes
Sholto Byrnes
Columnist


The Ganlanba railway station in China's Yunnan Province, a station along the China-Laos railway and part of the Belt and Road Initiative. AP
Is South-East Asia on track to become a single market?

Projects like the Asean Express are examples of the benefits of countries connecting more, contrary to all the self-defeating talk about taking sides

July 18, 2024, 7:00 AM
Indian voters next to a cutout of Narendra Modi in Varanasi last month. Popular opinion was reflected to the degree that Modi lost his majority. AP
On democracy, the West isn't necessarily the best

The democracies in South and East Asia aren't perfect, but they have some lessons for those in Europe and North America

July 12, 2024, 4:00 AM
In all the discussions about Mr Biden, people should not not forget the value of age and experience. AFP
Biden's decline is the issue, not his age

In South-East and East Asia, some of the most towering figures in politics have continued well into their later years

July 03, 2024, 3:00 PM
An asylum seeker watches as police prepares to evacuate a migrant camp in the Parisian suburb of Pantin. AFP
Europe badly needs immigrants. Its leaders need to stop pretending otherwise

Demographic decline is a big problem. The population of the EU could decline by 6%, by 2100, which is one big reason why legal migrants should be welcome

June 27, 2024, 4:00 AM
G7 leaders watch a skydiving demo during their summit at Borgo Egnazia, Italy, this week. AP
The West should be a part of the emerging world order

The world lost a chance to unite after the disintegration of the Eastern Bloc. Let’s try not to lose another

June 20, 2024, 4:00 AM
Anyone who looks at X – to take one example – knows that there are a huge number of impassioned threads and conversations constantly going into great detail about what has been happening in Gaza. Getty
The online world isn't buying biased Gaza narratives

Only a few weeks after October 7, many were already arguing that Israel had lost the war for global opinion among the billions who are clicking and swiping

June 12, 2024, 2:15 PM
A US Marine helicopter takes off during a joint amphibious assault exercise with the Philippines off the waters of South China Sea. Getty Images
We need to replace the dying US-led rules-based order

But for new rules to be formulated, the starting point must be to acknowledge the wide range of perspectives beyond the western world

June 06, 2024, 4:00 AM
A Golden Rice breeder at a transgenic screenhouse in Los Banos, Laguna province, south of Manila. AFP
Why the battle for 'golden rice' has gone off the boil

The fight to ban this genetically modified superfood will effectively deny millions of children much-needed nutrition

May 30, 2024, 7:00 AM
Protesters chant as they demonstrate against the 'foreign influence' law, outside the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi, on Saturday. AFP
Georgia's foreign-funded NGO law should be none of Europe's business

There's only one way to interpret its objections to Tbilisi's attempt to curb foreign influence

May 23, 2024, 4:00 AM
French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping during a Franco-Chinese Business Council meeting in Paris on Monday. EPA
Macron seeks engagement with China. The rest of Europe should, too

The West has nothing to gain from being confrontational with China, and everything to gain from working with it

May 09, 2024, 7:00 AM
A protester wearing a watermelon yarmulke, in solidarity with Palestine, makes a peace sign as police clear a pro-Palestine protest camp near the Chancellery, on April 26, in Berlin, Germany. Getty Images
Israel-Palestine: We need peacemakers, not provocateurs

Peace is predicated on both sides putting themselves in the shoes of the other

May 02, 2024, 4:00 AM
A child swims in a pool filled with plastic bottles during an awareness campaign to mark the World Oceans Day in Bangkok. AFP
Why Asean will be desperate for a global treaty to address plastic pollution

A meeting in the Canadian capital this week could go a long away in tackling one of South East-Asia's biggest challenges

April 24, 2024, 2:00 PM
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had established himself as a voice of wisdom and necessary counsel. AP
Lee Hsien Loong’s time in office made Singapore a centre of globalisation

The departing Prime Minister's belief in international co-operation is increasingly underappreciated

April 18, 2024, 5:00 AM
The Israeli air strike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza drew criticism from western leaders, but many failed to act when more than 200 other humanitarians, mostly Palestinian, died during the past six months. AP
Why did it take the deaths of western aid workers for Biden to act?

The short answer seems to be: white lives matter. Palestinian lives? Well, not so much

April 08, 2024, 2:00 PM
The Chinese people could have some cheer this spring. Getty Images
Talk of a Chinese slump belies a world still keen to do business with Beijing

It isn't just ordinary South-East Asians who have a favourable view of the superpower – American and European investors do, too

April 04, 2024, 7:00 AM