A majority of Tibetan parliamentarians-in-exile oppose the Dalai Lama’s decision to step down as their political leader. The political future of the Dalai Lama was on the agenda Tuesday when the Parliament-in-exile met in Dharamsala, India.
Australia and Mongolia recently signed a number of agreements to increase bilateral business and educational cooperation. In an e-mail interview, Li Narangoa, a professor in the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University, discussed Australia-Mongolia relations. WPR: What is the extent of existing trade between Australia and Mongolia? Li Narangoa: Trade between Australia and Mongolia has been small, with a total value of about $25 million in 2010. Though Australia and Mongolia established diplomatic relations in 1972, a serious trade relationship began only in the 1990s, when Mongolia introduced a democratic political system and free-market reforms. […]
The American commander of all coalition forces in Afghanistan, Army General David Petraeus, says security responsibility will begin to be transferred to Afghan forces in the coming months and that U.S. troops will begin to withdraw in July as planned.
For the authoritarian leader, holding onto power is both an art and a science. Much depends on crafting a strategy to deal with the unique social and political characteristics of a given country. However, autocrats also take cues from events in foreign countries and build their institutions accordingly. Many observers of global politics are watching China and North Korea to see if protests and unrest currently roiling the Middle East will spread there. The leaders of China, Myanmar, North Korea and other authoritarian states are watching North Africa just as closely, in order to learn what to expect next. One […]
On Jan. 27, Raymond Davis killed two armed Pakistanis in a crowded part of Lahore, firing his Glock pistol nine times through the windshield of his car at the two motorcycle-borne men and landing every shot. He then exited his car to photograph and film the men, who he alleged were trying to rob him. According to autopsy findings, one was still alive when Davis photographed them. A third Pakistani was killed when he was hit by a vehicle responding to Davis’ subsequent call for backup. Both Davis and the backup car fled the scene. The police successfully intercepted Davis […]
Over the weekend, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered a glimpse into China’s apprehension toward the popular uprisings in the Arab world when he rejected comparisons between China and the Middle East. “We have followed closely the turbulence in some north African and Middle Eastern countries,” said Wen, according to the Associated Press. “We believe it is not right to draw an analogy between China and those countries.” His remarks coincided with two worthy op-eds in the U.S. media questioning the likelihood that unrest may spread to China. “The communist government in Beijing is clearly worried,” wrote Francis Fukuyama in the […]
India has vehemently opposed the imposition of a no-fly zone in strife-torn Libya. Though New Delhi supported U.N. Security Council Resolution 1970, authorizing ecomonic sanctions against Col. Moammar Gadhafi and referring Libya to the International Criminal Court, India has made it clear that it stands against any kind of military intervention in the troubled state. However, New Delhi’s aversion to intervention is far from consistent: When it comes to South Asia, in particular, intervention in the internal matters of other states has long been part and parcel of India’s foreign policy. In 1971, India fought a war with Pakistan and […]
Myanamar has opened with one of its biggest ever precious gem sales where the government will flaunt its ruby industry. However, the country won’t be showing off it’s virtual slave behind the business that brings in billions of dollars to prop up the country’s ruling junta.
The story reads like a spy novel. The setting is Kyrgyzstan. The U.S. government pays billions of dollars to a mysterious American businessman known to the public only as the owner of a burger-and-beer joint. His mission: grease the right wheels in order to purchase and transport large volumes of fuel for the U.S. military. Accusations that the Kyrgyz government took kickbacks from these shady deals lead to the toppling of its leader. The Russians, as top fuel suppliers in the region, get involved, followed by the Chinese. Relations among governments grow strained. Meanwhile, dogged journalists find that the mysterious […]
With Indian newspapers still carrying obituaries of the country’s strategic doyen, K. Subhramanyam, who passed away in February after almost a half-century at the forefront of New Delhi’s strategic debates, it is worth considering the object of Subhramanyam’s concern during his final days: the implications for India of a proposed U.S.-China grand strategy agreement hammered out by a group of policy experts in Washington and Beijing. The document proposed a series of strategic compromises between China and the U.S., including a massive Chinese investment in the U.S. economy in return for an informal nonaggression pact, particularly with regard to the […]
Last month, the Philippines deported 14 Taiwanese citizens suspected of fraud to China, a move largely seen in the international community as legally justified but diplomatically tone-deaf. The Philippines justified the decision by claiming that the 14 were Chinese, not Taiwanese, in a de facto denial of Taiwan’s separate sovereignty from the mainland. Manila’s snub of Taipei, its longtime friend and partner, speaks to an Asian region increasingly willing to accede to Beijing on issues touching on Taiwan’s sovereignty. Legal issues aside, the row has exposed how much the self-ruled island’s already minimal global leverage has dwindled beside that of […]
Who’s in charge in North Korea? Contrary to what some news coverage has suggested in recent months, the answer is obvious: Kim Jong Il. Ever since the North Korean leader suffered a stroke in the summer of 2008, media reports have been rife with speculation that he would soon give way to a successor, or else that a struggle for power was raging in Pyongyang. Much of that speculation was idle, little of it informed, and some of it motivated. North Korea may be opaque, but this much is clear to close observers of its hermetic ruling circles: In January […]
A tense encounter on the South China Sea found a Philippine survey ship approached by two Chinese vessels, threatening to ram the survey ship. The area where the conflict happened contains large oil and mineral deposits and is claimed by many countries as their own. The Philippines is demanding an explanation from China over an incident.
BEIJING — An emerging consensus holds that domestic price bubbles and the high degree of nonperforming loans littered throughout China’s financial system represent imminent threats to China’s continued economic rise. However, doomsday evocations of a Chinese crash ignore the fact that, if and when a day of reckoning arrives, China may be able to use its sovereign wealth to engineer a soft landing, thereby avoiding the more-apocalyptic scenarios often predicted. Indeed, a controlled bust may even yield benefits by moderating subsequent growth, and many analysts remain bullish on China’s long-term fundamentals. This market sentiment has been buoyed by recent evidence […]
Nine children have been killed in a NATO air raid in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. They were out collecting firewood on Tuesday when a they were hit. General David Petraeus, the international forces commander, has personally apologised to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the deaths.
Great powers are sometimes molded by events as much as, if not more than, by grand strategy. In 1898, the United States — at the time an isolationist and anti-colonial power — entered onto the world stage after Spain allegedly sank the USS Maine in Havana Harbor. The commercial adventures of the East India Company compelled the British state to intervene in China, sparking the Opium Wars, while in 1850, the British foreign secretary, Lord Palmerston, ordered the British navy into the Aegean in order to protect a British subject, Don Pacifico, and reclaim his lost property. All were defining […]
Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan recently signed a series of railway agreements aimed at implementing the North-South Transport Corridor, including constructing rail links to connect the Iranian cities of Qazvin, Rasht and Astara. In an e-mail interview, Taleh Ziyadov, a doctoral fellow at Cambridge University, and Regine A. Spector, a visiting research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, discussed transport cooperation among Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan. WPR: How extensive are the existing transportation links among the three countries? Taleh Ziyadov and Regine A. Spector: Azerbaijan and Russia are connected by railroad and by a recently constructed modern highway linking […]