Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Sept. 13, 2016 (Lintao Zhang by photo via AP).

Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, concluded a six-day state visit to China last week that included meetings with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Dejiang. Phuc also attended the China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Nanning and made a business-focused visit to Hong Kong. But the trip’s primary focus was deepening economic and people-to-people ties, which have been strained in recent years by spillover from China and Vietnam’s disputes in the South China Sea. During Phuc’s meetings in Beijing, he and his Chinese counterparts seemed eager to de-emphasize those South China Sea […]

Residents of Calais gather next to the foreign affair ministry during a protest, Paris, March 7, 2016 (AP photo by Christophe Ena).

Last week, the United Kingdom announced plans to begin building a barricade at the French port of Calais, dubbed by some media the “Great Wall of Calais.” The U.K. will foot the bill, and the barrier will complement a fence that already protects the port and is guarded by heavily armed French police. The move followed massive protests held by French truck drivers and farmers, who threatened to block the port until Calais’ large migrant camp, known as the “Jungle,” is dismantled. Protesters argue that the camp, which, according to some estimates, is home to 9,000 migrants, has led to […]

European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager gives a press conference on a case against Apple, Brussels, August 29, 2016 (EU Commission photo by Georges Boulougouris).

In late August, the European Union ordered Ireland to collect more than $14 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple. The move followed an investigation by the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, which found that Apple’s effective corporate tax rate on its European profits had fallen from 1 percent in 2003 to just 0.005 percent by 2014. At a press conference announcing the move, the EU commissioner responsible for competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, said that “member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies—this is illegal under EU state aid rules.” EU member states are allowed to set […]

An employee of Doctors Without Borders stands inside the charred remains of their hospital after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike, Kunduz, Afghanistan, Oct. 16, 2015 (AP photo by Najim Rahim).

Once taboo, the targeting of hospitals and health care providers in wartime has become such a frequent occurrence in today’s conflict zones that Doctors Without Borders, the humanitarian aid organization that goes by its French acronym MSF, now calls it the new normal. Attacks that previously seemed to occur unintentionally or sporadically now appear to be a deliberate strategy of war. This is particularly the case in Syria and Yemen, where hospitals and doctors are targeted so often that medical care now has to be provided in places such as caves and chicken coops in order to avoid detection by […]

Demonstrators protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA, Hannover, Germany, April 23, 2016 (AP photo by Markus Schreiber).

Trade is essential to every economy in the world. But policies to further liberalize trade are under attack. Both U.S. presidential candidates oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiated by President Barack Obama with 11 other Pacific Rim countries, though Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has supported it in the past. The Republican candidate, Donald Trump, has threatened to withdraw from the World Trade Organization and impose steep tariffs on imports from China and Mexico if they do not comply with his demands. In June, a majority in the United Kingdom—albeit a slim one—voted to leave the European Union, the world’s […]