Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy leads supporters to submit petitions to Western embassies calling for an independent investigation into alleged election irregularities, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Oct. 24, 2013 (VOA photo by Heng Reaksmey).

Last week, Cambodia’s ruling and opposition parties agreed to a power-sharing arrangement, bringing an end to a political crisis dating back to the country’s July 2013 general elections. The year-long standoff included an opposition boycott of parliament and mass protests that recently culminated in violent clashes and the arrest of seven opposition lawmakers-elect for charges of “leading an insurrection.” The opposition party, the National Rescue Party (CNRP), under the leadership of Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha, had bitterly contested the results of last year’s polls, in which the National Election Committee (NEC) announced the long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) of […]

Javier Solana at the 2012 SDA Presdient's Dinner, Brussels, Belgium, May 27, 2012 (Security and Defence Agenda photo licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).

World Politics Review’s Maria Savel had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Javier Solana regarding the European Union’s relations with China, ASEAN and Asia as a whole. Dr. Solana is president of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and previously served as the European Union high representative for the common foreign and security policy, NATO secretary-general and Spanish foreign minister. The following is a condensed version of their conversation. World Politics Review: Germany-China ties indicate a lot of the fault lines in the European Union and its approach to China in terms of balancing national and European interests. […]

A mother and her daughter tie yellow ribbons with messages for missing passengers and victims aboard the sunken ferry Sewol at a group memorial altar in Seoul, South Korea, July 28, 2014 (AP photo by Lee Jin-man).

SEOUL, South Korea—Last week, South Korea marked 100 days since the ferry disaster that left 304 people dead, most of them young high school students. The sinking of the Sewol, as the ship was named, has grown into much more than a heartbreaking tragedy. It has become a landmark event in the country’s history, one whose impact on South Korea’s politics, economy and self-image continues to grow. Memorials to the dead are visible throughout Seoul, and the sounds of continuing protests by relatives of the victims and their supporters can be heard across the city. More than anything, the Sewol […]

Entrance to the summit of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, Lisbon, Portugal, July 24, 2008 (AP Photo by Joao Henriques).

Last week, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) held its 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government in East Timor. The meeting produced several resolutions regarding scientific and cultural topics, as well as a number of political statements linked to Guinea Bissau’s elections and mutual political support in international institutions. But perhaps the most important decision made at the summit was the acceptance of Equatorial Guinea, currently the third-largest oil exporter in sub-Saharan Africa, as a full member of the CPLP. The four-year process that led to last week’s outcome was far from smooth, as Portugal vetoed Equatorial […]

An often neglected but fundamentally important victim of conflict is the physical manifestations of a community, a people, a nation—their heritage. The cultural heritage of France and Belgium was utterly devastated during World War I, epitomized by the burning of the medieval library at Leuven and destruction of the cathedral of Rheims. A century later conflicts in states such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria continue to be characterized by the destruction of cultural heritage. So how far have we come in protecting cultural heritage from the devastating effects of war? Over the past century, surprisingly far, and at the same […]

Missile launchers on the deck of the Chinese destroyer Haikou, U.S. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, July 5, 2014 (Kyodo via AP Images).

On July 23, China conducted its third declared ballistic missile defense (BMD) test in the past four years, with the Defense Ministry announcing afterward that the test had “achieved the desired objectives.” But it would be premature to conclude that Beijing now embraces BMD. China lacks the capabilities to establish an operational missile defense network, even as Chinese officials continue to attack U.S.-sponsored BMD efforts. Instead, the recent tests are designed primarily to overcome adversary missile defenses as well as to develop China’s anti-satellite systems, a capability renounced by the United States as strategically destabilizing, which ironically is the same […]

For the better part of their existence, the global anti-war and the environmentalist movements have typically existed side by side, each pursuing noble but separate aims. Today, however, a new trend has become apparent: the mutually reinforcing interaction between human violence and planetary change. No longer can peace and the environment be seen as separate issues. Consequently, no longer can the two movements merely work side by side; they must work as one. From Violent Conflict to Environmental Stress Data collection on war-related environmental effects is dangerous, complex and costly, meaning that our understanding of the environmental impact of war […]

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and the Indian navy fleet oiler INS Shakti conduct a refueling at sea exercise, Indian Ocean, April 13, 2012 (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Apprentice Andrew K. Haller).

Yesterday India and the United States kicked off the 2014 Malabar naval exercise, the latest in a series of joint exercises going back over two decades, with the Japanese navy participating as well. This serves as an opportunity for the United States to demonstrate its commitment to naval engagement in the region, to reassure nervous allies in the face of an expansionist China and to refocus the U.S.-India relationship, which is widely seen as off track. The exercise will consist of activities on and around Japanese territory. According to a statement from the Indian navy, the exercise will include exchanges […]

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his counterparts from five central Asian nations pose prior to their talks in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, July 16, 2014 (Kyodo via AP Images).

Last week, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Central Asian counterparts in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, as part of the fifth Central Asia Plus Japan (CAPJ) Dialogue. Initiated in 2004, the dialogue has served as the foundation for recent ties between Tokyo and five countries in Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. This year’s meeting focused on enhancing economic cooperation in the agricultural and energy sectors, while also discussing potential security collaboration. Prior to the CAPJ Dialogue, Japan channeled its engagement with the region through its so-called Silk Road Diplomacy, which it launched in 1997 to […]

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the city of Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan, July 9, 2014 (AP photo by Allauddin Khan).

While the world’s attention this week was focused on Gaza and Ukraine, security remained precarious in Iraq and Afghanistan, the two lynchpins of America’s conflict with transnational terrorism. The recent elections in Afghanistan offered a glimmer of optimism, but neither the Taliban’s ability nor its willingness to launch terrorist attacks has abated. There is no sign that the Afghan security forces will someday be able to defeat the movement. Meanwhile, the Iraqi military cannot reverse the advances of ISIS extremists, and there is no sign that a competent, inclusive government will emerge in Baghdad. Iraq and Afghanistan remain stark reminders […]

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States, Natal, Brazil, June 16, 2014 (AP photo by Julio Cortez).

The United States missed out on a rare geopolitical opportunity this past week. Vice President Joe Biden, who has emerged in Barack Obama’s second term as more of an alter ego for the president on both the domestic and international stages, should have taken a short trip to Brazil for the World Cup final. Sure, the U.S. team had already been eliminated, but as the fabled “reassurer” who travels to different parts of the globe to shore up American commitments, Biden still had a plausible excuse to drop in at the close of the tournament: to congratulate Brazil on a […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping at Seoul National University, South Korea, July 4, 2014 (photo from the website of the Republic of Korea licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license).

SEOUL, South Korea—Washington’s plan to shift its attention toward Asia, the famed “pivot,” has been postponed or at least slowed by the rash of crises in the Middle East over the past three years. But East Asia, as it turns out, is not waiting for the U.S. Major countries in the region, including America’s key allies and its top emerging rival, are actively jockeying for influence, assertively reassessing relations with their neighbors and generally stirring for what could become a significant realignment of power in the world’s fastest-growing region. America’s strategic and diplomatic position on the eastern shores of Asia […]

There is a timeless observation according to which younger generations never fail to rebel against their parents’ values. In reality, most rising generations of youth do not overthrow the ways of their ancestors, but rather carry them forward, even teaching them to their own descendants. This is evidenced by the simple fact that, generation after generation, certain cultural beliefs and traits continue to be identified with particular regions. Today in the Middle East, for example, as in the past, the Koran continues to be revered. And in China, many of the basic precepts of Confucianism still hold sway, as they […]

China’s post-1980s generation—around 240 million people born between 1980 and 1990—has received greater media coverage in China than any previous generation; moreover, assessments of this generation have varied widely. Often called the “me generation” and noted for an addiction to online games, Western fast food chains and Hollywood films, they have also received high praise for their selflessness and altruism after their response to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Such a diversity of perceptions is not surprising since this generation, which is crucial to China’s continuing economic success and international rise, clearly holds values that are far more contradictory than earlier […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping (Defense Department photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo).

On July 14, Xi Jinping began his second official visit to Latin America as president of China. The trip touches off with Xi’s participation in the sixth BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, which begins today. After this meeting of emerging market leaders, Xi will attend a Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) meeting in Brasilia, followed by visits to Argentina and Venezuela, where China maintains substantial energy-related interests. Xi’s Latin America tour will conclude on July 23 after a stop in Cuba. Xi’s trip is largely consistent with China’s previous state visits to Latin America. Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela […]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raises hands with Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani, left, and Abdullah Abdullah, right, at the United Nations Mission Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 12, 2014 (U.S. State Department photo).

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy in Kabul this weekend paved the way to resolving Afghanistan’s current election crisis, while helping to establish a potential framework for addressing more-enduring problems embedded in that country’s political system. In so doing, Kerry’s effort fortified Afghanistan’s ability to overcome future political challenges with less dependence on U.S. intervention and support. Despite the successful deal-making, however, Afghanistan continues to face major challenges. Kerry’s trip proved essential for resolving the immediate crisis caused by Abdullah Abdullah’s refusal to accept that his rival, Ashraf Ghani, had overcome a weak first-round showing to surge ahead […]

Students leave a testing site for China’s national college entrance examinations, in Nanjing, China, July 7, 2020 (Chinatopix photo via AP Images).

Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here. China’s post-Mao generation, born since Mao Zedong’s 1976 death, has had formative life experiences that fundamentally differ from China’s older generations. Unlike their elders, Chinese born in the post-Mao era have not suffered the trauma of civil war, revolution, collectivization, starvation or the chaos of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. They also have been far more geographically mobile than older generations, whose ability to move freely was highly constricted by the government’s strict residential […]

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