A Rohingya refugee boy who is among those being relocated from a camp near the Bangladesh Myanmar border waits to receive a food card, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Jan. 21, 2018 (AP photo by Manish Swarup).

Editor’s note: This article is the first in a new series on food security around the world. One year has passed since the most recent wave of Rohingya refugees streamed into Bangladesh, fleeing a brutal and indiscriminate security crackdown in their home state of Rakhine, in western Myanmar. On Monday, a United Nations commission recommended the investigation and prosecution of senior leaders in Myanmar’s security forces for “the gravest crimes under international law.” Almost 900,000 Rohingya refugees now reside in a network of camps in southern Bangladesh, largely reliant on external assistance for their basic daily needs. Food insecurity is […]

A truck moves a container from China Shipping at a port in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong province, July 6, 2018 (ChinaTopix photo via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it. A new chapter in the trade war between the United States and China begins today as officials from both sides meet in Washington, though analysts have low expectations for the talks. In light of President Donald Trump’s relentless tariff threats and reported grumblings in China over how Beijing has responded, where does the situation stand 48 days into the trade war? Press reports indicate that Chinese leaders have reframed their outlook on Trump’s tariffs, […]

The Dave Johnston coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyoming, July 27, 2018 (AP photo by J. David Ake).

The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled its proposal to relax environmental regulations on coal-burning power plants across the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Affordable Clean Energy rule would roll back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which had placed stricter national pollution standards on power plants in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and push American utility companies away from coal and toward natural gas and renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. It is the Trump administration’s biggest move yet to boost the American coal industry. But according to the EPA’s own analysis, the new rule could lead […]

Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Robert Lighthizer and Peter Navarro in the White House before President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on steel imports, Washington, March 8, 2018 (Photo by Oliver Contreras for Sipa via AP Images).

In just four decades, China has become a major global economic power. In recent years, it has surpassed Germany as the world’s largest exporter of merchandise. It is the world’s second-largest source of foreign investment, and third-largest recipient. Using an exchange rate that takes into account the lower cost of living in China, it has surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest economy, though still a much poorer one. And under its “Made in China 2025” industrial plan, the government wants to become an innovation hub and move up the manufacturing value chain to become largely self-sufficient in […]

A street scene in Thamel, a commercial zone in Kathmandu, Nepal, Dec. 8, 2016 (Photo by Jurgen Schwenkenbecher for DPA via AP Images).

Thousands of women and girls from Nepal are trafficked into India each year, and many are forced into sex work. The government is well aware of the problem of human trafficking, but interventions have been too minor to be effective. The most obvious solution may be the hardest: creating opportunities at home so people don’t want to go abroad. BELAHIYA, Nepal–Chanda Basnet, an aid worker with the Nepalese NGO Maiti Nepal, stands beside a blue tin shack that functions as her organization’s field office in this border town. A few dozen meters behind her, an enormous stone gate marks the […]

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivering a speech at a dinner hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London, April 19, 2018 (pool photo by Toby Melville via AP).

Approximately 29,000 public school teachers in New Zealand went on a full-day strike on Aug. 15, demanding higher wages and improved working conditions. An estimated 400,000 schoolchildren were affected by the strike, which follows a similarly disruptive strike by nurses last month. These large-scale labor actions are a serious challenge for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s center-left coalition government, which was elected last year with union support. In an email interview, Grant Duncan, associate professor of politics at Massey University in New Zealand, discusses the political significance of the strikes. WPR: What are the main issues driving the recent teachers’ and […]

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte poses for a selfie with Muslim lawmakers following the presentation of the signed Bangsamoro Organic Law at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, Aug. 6, 2018 (AP photo by Bullit Marquez).

On July 26, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law paving the way for the long-awaited creation of a new self-governing region encompassing Muslim-majority areas on the Philippines’ conflict-wracked southern island of Mindanao. Known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, it had been fiercely debated by lawmakers and rebel leaders amid political wrangling and ongoing violence. It aims to end a bloody separatist conflict that began in the early 1970s and has claimed thousands of civilian lives. The bill’s passage is the culmination of four years of talks between the government and the 30,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has been fighting […]

Chinese veterans attend a grand rally to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Aug. 1, 2017 (Photo by Ke Wei for Imaginechina via AP Images).

In recent months, veterans of China’s armed forces have staged large-scale demonstrations to demand financial compensation and other benefits they say they have not been given. The government responded in March by creating a new Ministry for Veterans’ Affairs, but many veterans remain dissatisfied. While the demonstrations have so far not broadly threatened the Chinese Communist Party’s legitimacy, they pose a unique challenge to President Xi Jinping’s government. To learn more about the historical context and broader significance of the veterans’ protests, WPR spoke via email with Jieren Hu, an associate professor at Tongji University’s School of Law in Shanghai. […]

Imran Khan, the presumptive next prime minister of Pakistan, addresses his supporters during a campaign rally in Lahore, Pakistan, July 23, 2018 (AP photo by K.M. Chaudary).

Pakistan’s new government, which takes office on Aug. 18, will confront a raft of pressing challenges at home. They include a looming economic crisis; an unhappy political opposition, led by the previously ruling PMLN party, which could seek to obstruct the government’s legislative measures; and the omnipresent threat of extremism. Foreign policy won’t be the initial focus of presumptive Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration in Islamabad. Still, Khan faces five major foreign policy tests requiring immediate attention. How he responds to them will offer an early read on his government’s thinking on foreign policy. His actions will also help determine […]

A child rests near the entrance to a mosque where a banner reads “Love the party, Love the country” in the old city district of Kashgar in western China’s Xinjiang region, Nov. 4, 2017 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it. The repression of China’s Uighur ethnic minority has been Beijing’s worst-kept secret for years. There have been plenty of reports of crackdowns in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, with this 2012 briefing from WPR just one example. More recently, details of an emerging surveillance state in Xinjiang have been filling Western media outlets. But despite the available information, China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims has largely remained off the international agenda. It remains to […]

People and motorists are reflected on an electronic display panel showing video footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping near the central business district of Beijing, China, May 30, 2018 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

While the U.S.-China trade war has been getting the headlines, investors from China are running into resistance in countries around the world, including the United States. Typically, governments welcome foreign investment, especially local governments, as a mechanism to create—or save—jobs, reinvigorate their economies and gain access to new technologies. Growing investment outflows from China, however, are pushing some national governments to take a more skeptical look at Chinese money. In a measure aimed primarily at China, Congress strengthened the ability of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, to review and block transactions that might […]

A Chinese construction worker stands on land that was reclaimed from the Indian Ocean for the Port City Colombo project,  Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 2, 2018 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).

No stranger to political controversy, the International Monetary Fund may soon find itself embroiled in one that pits China’s interests against those of the United States. Beijing’s hugely ambitious international development project, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, is raising fears of debt crises in the developing world, and the IMF may be called in to clean up the mess. The U.S. is poised to oppose any IMF deal providing funds that would ultimately go to pay off Belt and Road-related tabs. How the IMF handles this situation could give clues about how the institution will deal with competing […]

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Toshimitsu Motegi, the Japanese economic revitalization minister, hold talks in Washington, Aug. 9, 2018 (Kyodo photo via AP Images).

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Minister for Economic Revitalization Toshimitsu Motegi ended two days of “productive talks” last week and signaled they would hold another round in September. With significant gaps remaining on key issues and much at stake in the bilateral economic relationship, the next phase of talks could be an important turning point for the two allies. Negotiators are aiming to further bridge the divide on issues like auto tariffs and Japanese market access for American exports before a likely meeting next month between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a feasible but challenging […]

Three men head north toward Algeria after crossing the Assamaka border post in northern Niger, June 3, 2018 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the implications of renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran and a new round of tariffs against Chinese imports. For the Report, Leila Beratto talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about Algeria’s campaign of mass expulsions targeting migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, and why it has rights activists and neighboring countries up in arms. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your […]

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen greets supporters at a campaign event, Phnom Penh, July 7, 2018 (AP photo by Heng Sinith). 

Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party now utterly dominate Cambodia, after the CPP won control of the entire lower house of parliament in elections late last month. The regime had, of course, ensured in advance that the CPP would sweep the vote, the culmination of Hun Sen’s increasingly brazen repression. There were few if any impartial observers on election day. With Cambodia’s political regression all but complete, what is left for the remnants of the opposition? How will key international donors and foreign countries respond, and what’s next for Hun Sen himself? The Cambodia National Rescue Party, […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping leaves after addressing a joint press conference with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the government’s Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, July 24, 2018 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

Editor’s Note: China Note is WPR’s new China newsletter. Every week, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it. In China, anyone who strays from the Communist Party line assumes a precarious position. Take rights activist and retired economics professor Sun Wenguang. Last Wednesday, the noted critic of the Chinese government appeared on Issues & Opinions, a Mandarin-language program for Voice of America, to do a telephone interview. His segment, however, featured several surprise guests when Chinese security officials broke into Sun’s house in Jinan, in […]

President Donald Trump gestures toward the crowd after speaking at the United States Steel Granite City Works plant, Granite City, Illinois, July 26, 2018 (AP photo by Jeff Roberson).

How will President Donald Trump’s trade wars end, assuming they do? There are at least some hints now about how things may play out, and they are not reassuring. Administration officials keep saying that the tariffs imposed against China and other American trading partners, including close allies in Canada and the European Union, are being used as leverage to remove unfair trade practices abroad, improve market access for U.S. exporters and reduce the deficit. But it is looking more and more like the outcome could instead be continued trade protection in myriad forms. One little noticed aspect of Trump’s trade […]