Patrick Brown

Eye on Asia

Former CBC correspondent Patrick Brown has reported from world capitals and dusty backwaters for over 30 years, with a particular emphasis on Asia, having been based at different times in Bangkok, Delhi and, most recently, Beijing. He now splits his time between Canada and China as an independent documentary-maker. Follow Patrick Brown on Twitter: @truthfromfacts

Latest from Patrick Brown


The king is dead — can Thailand's playboy prince usher in an era of calm?

With the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand has entered a season of grief and uncertainty, writes Patrick Brown.

Hong Kong's young activists run for office

With names like Demosisto and Youngspiration, which sound more like cellphone apps than political parties, the young activists who two years ago brought Hong Kong’s traffic to a standstill for 79 days with huge demonstrations, are running for office.

Thailand, Philippines witnessing reversals of people power: Patrick Brown

Developments in Thailand and the Philippines demonstrate how, in many countries, democratic progress is being reversed

China prepares to ignore a binding decision on territorial dispute

Increasingly used to elbowing its maritime neighbours aside with the swagger of a local bully, China calls an international tribunal's impending ruling on the South China Sea dispute a "piece of trash paper."

Scars left by China's Cultural Revolution remain 50 years later: Patrick Brown

Times have changed since China's Cultural Revolution began five decades ago this week, but many scars it left are still unhealed and the political system that created Mao Zedong is still in place, Patrick Brown writes.

The unbearable futility of trying to deal with North Korea

If there is to be regime change in Kim Jong-un land, it won't come from world powers, Patrick Brown writes. The international community, perhaps especially China, doesn't seem to know what to do in the face of North Korea's nuclear provocations.

This time Burma's generals may finally have to admit defeat

Once again the party of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has defeated Burma's ruling military at the ballot box, and this time it looks like they may actually get a chance to rule, Patrick Brown writes. Now will come the hard part.

Have China, Taiwan finally stopped staring each other down?

For the first time in 66 years, the leaders of China and Taiwan are going to sit down together on Saturday, in Singapore, and have a formal meeting about what the future may bring. As Patrick Brown writes, this could be historic on any number of fronts.

President Xi's U.S. trip and the 'Chinese dream': Patrick Brown

The trappings of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the U.S. are evidence China is getting the respect its leader thinks it deserves, Patrick Brown writes.

Stock market crash 101, China's lesson in capitalism: Patrick Brown

​The collapse of China's rollicking stock market bubble has erased trillions in corporate valuations and scarred a generation of first-time plungers. But the biggest damage in a year of living dangerously is probably to China's own leadership, Patrick Brown writes.

Adrift at home and at sea, the plight of Burma's stateless Rohingyas

Burma has much to answer for, given the way it has treated its effectively stateless Muslim minority Rohingyas over the years, Patrick Brown writes. But so do its Southeast Asia neighbours who so callously turned these desperate boat people away.

Today's Vietnam taunts Beijing, tantalizes the West

In today's Saigon, Patrick Brown writes, the gap between rich and poor would make Marx and Engels choke on their Big Macs. The Communist utopia Ho Chi Minh was fighting for proved as illusory as the Communist menace the U.S. fought against.

Visionary, perhaps, but Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew was not democracy's friend

The man who transformed Singapore into a financial powerhouse, admired in the West, Lee Kuan Yew was also emulated in Beijing for a host of other reasons, Patrick Brown writes. Lee, whose funeral is today, leaves a complicated legacy.

Orient express, China's grand plan for a New Silk Road

With the West otherwise occupied, China has been expanding its high-speed trains and ports in a series of big investment, diplomatic moves across southeast and central Asia. Called the New Silk Road, the proposed trade network is vast, fast and hugely ambitious, Patrick Brown writes.

Hong Kong protests: A clash of two very different cultures

The scheduled 'talks' on Friday between Hong Kong protesters and the region's executive council are exhibiting at least some signs of mutual respect, Patrick Brown writes. That alone shows how much Hong Kong differs from the rest of China.