Mongolia’s then-prime minister, Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, attends the Mongolia-China Business Forum in Beijing, April 11, 2018 (Imaginechina photo via AP Images).

In a presidential election on June 9, voters in Mongolia handed a landslide victory to former Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party, or MPP. Buoyed by a strong campaign in which he promised to firmly address the country’s endemic corruption, empower its youth and equitably allocate its rich natural resources, Khurelsukh took 67 percent of the vote—the largest winning share since Mongolia’s democratic transition in 1990. He was sworn in last Friday and will be the first president to serve a single six-year term under a 2019 constitutional amendment, passed by the MPP-dominated parliament, that did […]

Students and migrant workers walk near a construction site at Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, in Chongqing, China (AP photo by Alexander F. Yuan).

In July 1971, one month after the publication of the Pentagon Papers and a year before the Watergate break-in that would eventually cause his downfall, Richard Nixon gave one of the most interesting, and in retrospect, important, speeches of his political career. Still relatively unblemished by scandal, Nixon was cruising toward what would become a gigantic reelection win. He had his eyes fixed firmly on the future and on his long-standing penchant, if not obsession, with international affairs. In a speech to Midwestern media executives that even now remains underappreciated, Nixon said that because of the all-consuming effect of the […]

A banner showing Chinese leader Xi Jinping with a group of Uyghur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China’s Xinjiang region, Sept. 20, 2018 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, China Note, which includes a look at the week’s top stories and best reads from and about China. Subscribe to receive it by email every Wednesday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your email inbox. If the Chinese leadership hoped this week’s grandiose celebrations marking the Chinese Communist Party’s centennial would deflect international attention from China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, they’ll be sorely disappointed. To begin with, the United States introduced fresh sanctions on Chinese silicon over allegations of […]

Performers dressed as rescue workers gather around the Communist Party flag during a gala show ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, June 28, 2021 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

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. For the past four decades, a narrative has taken hold among policymakers and the general public alike suggesting that China’s rise will continue indefinitely, even when mathematics and demographics suggest otherwise. Between the 1980s and the turn of the millennium, this notion was fueled by China’s astonishing double-digit growth. In more recent years, although expectations of growth have been tempered, hopes for and fears that China is on the rise both politically […]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar following their talks in New Delhi, India, April 6, 2021 (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service photo via AP Images).

In late April, India and Russia announced the establishment of a “2+2” dialogue between each side’s ministers of defense and foreign affairs. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted at the time that this will “add further momentum to our strategic partnership.” Until recently, India had adopted this format only with Australia, Japan and the United States—the other members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, better known as the Quad—while Russia has an equivalent arrangement with only a few select countries. The announcement comes at a time when geopolitical trends, as well as consequent foreign policy adjustments in both Moscow and New […]

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, center, at a daily briefing in Beijing, Feb. 24, 2020 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

In a new book, the Bloomberg reporter Peter Martin, a former Beijing correspondent, sets out to understand what makes China’s diplomats tick—specifically, why a growing number of them are adopting an aggressively nationalistic stance in their public statements and in private meetings with foreign counterparts. The conduct of these “wolf warriors,” as they have come to be known, tends to play well back home, but it also undermines China’s reputation and runs counter to traditional diplomatic aims. In “China’s Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy,” Martin traces the historical lineage of today’s Chinese diplomats back to the early […]

Lee Jun-seok speaks after being elected leader of the conservative opposition People Power Party, in Seoul, South Korea, June 11, 2021 (pool photo by Kim Min-hee via AP Images).

In the staid world of South Korean politics, a 36-year-old entrepreneur with no experience in public office is a highly unconventional choice to head up a major party, yet that is who the conservative opposition People Power Party chose as its leader at its convention earlier this month. Lee Jun-seok entered the race as an underdog but went on to best four well-established rivals, including two veteran lawmakers, and become the youngest-ever leader of a mainstream political party in the history of South Korean democracy. Lee takes the PPP’s helm at a pivotal time, as the party gears up for […]

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, right, and former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd during a meeting in Taipei, April 15, 2021 (Taiwan Presidential Office photo via AP Images).

Ever since Taiwan’s first direct presidential election in 1996, American and Taiwanese presidential terms have neatly overlapped. The first democratically elected Taiwanese leader, Lee Teng-hui, shared his term with Bill Clinton. Lee’s successor, Chen Shui-bian, served concurrently with George W. Bush, while Ma Ying-jeou’s presidency coincided with Barack Obama’s. Relations in the Lee/Clinton and Chen/Bush years were bumpy, but both sides were content with a low-key relationship. The pattern broke when American voters rejected Donald Trump’s bid for a second term, making Tsai Ing-wen the first elected Taiwanese president to overlap with two different U.S. presidents, Trump and Joe Biden. […]

A medical worker gives a coronavirus vaccine shot to a patient at a vaccination facility in Beijing, Jan. 15, 2021 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, China Note, which includes a look at the week’s top stories and best reads from and about China. Subscribe to receive it by email every Wednesday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your email inbox. After getting off to a slow start when it was launched in January, China’s vaccination campaign has picked up pace, hitting 1 billion total doses administered Saturday, according to the National Health Commission. It is well on track to meet its goal of vaccinating 40 […]

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying during a daily briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing, Sept. 1, 2020 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

Like their counterparts from around the world, Chinese diplomats tend to be well-credentialed, sophisticated, multilingual and knowledgeable about their host countries and institutions. Yet an increasing number of Chinese envoys and officials are adopting a stridently nationalistic, even belligerent tone in their official statements. Some of these “wolf warrior” diplomats, have even shown a willingness to spread conspiracy theories or use doctored images in order to score points. While this aggressive behavior often plays well back home, it tends to undermine the traditional goals of diplomacy by hardening foreign attitudes toward China. Peter Martin, a Bloomberg reporter who was previously […]

A new border wall stretches along the landscape near Sasabe, Arizona, May 19, 2021 (AP photo by Ross D. Franklin).

Back in 1990, when the Soviet bloc was crumbling into new nations, Kenichi Ohmae, a Japanese organizational theorist and management consultant, had the audacity to suggest that humankind was on the cusp of a new “borderless world,” in a book of the same name. Ohmae’s goal was mainly to sketch out new ways for businesses to adapt and take advantage of a world that he argued would be increasingly globalized, where nation-states and the borders that help define them would become less and less relevant. For more than two decades, the world seemed to be moving in the direction of […]

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a plenary session at the NATO summit in Brussels, June 14, 2021 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, China Note, which includes a look at the week’s top stories and best reads from and about China. Subscribe to receive it by email every Wednesday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your email inbox. Europe’s souring on China has been long in the making, but the unprecedented broadsides from leaders of the G-7 bloc and NATO this week cemented a tougher collective trans-Atlantic stance against Beijing. “China’s stated ambitions and assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international […]

President Joe Biden speaks at the United States-European Union Summit at the European Council in Brussels, June 15, 2021 (AP photo by Patrick Semansky).

What does President Joe Biden’s first foray into international summitry reveal to us about the quality of his vision for America’s place in the world? As might be expected, some of the priorities he pursued in meetings this week with the leaders of the G-7, NATO and the European Union are timely and well-founded. Think reassuring America’s oldest allies after the persistent disruption of the Trump years. Think building consensus around a collective response to increasingly aggressive Russian behavior, whether via cyberattacks emanating from that country or the menace Moscow poses to Ukraine or the Baltic states. In the more […]

Representatives of Taiwan’s Indigenous groups listen as President Tsai Ing-wen delivers an apology on behalf of the government, Taipei, Taiwan, Aug. 1, 2016 (flickr photo by the Office of the President of Taiwan).

One day in July 2013, Tama Talum, an Indigenous Bunun man living in a mountainous area of southeastern Taiwan, set off to hunt game at the request of his 92-year-old mother, who was hungry for the traditional meat of her youth. The expedition was a success, and Tama was able to kill one Formosan serow—a kind of mountain goat—and one Reeves’ muntjac, a small deer. However, on his way home, he was arrested and charged with violating the laws of the Republic of China, or ROC, the formal name for the state that governs Taiwan. In 2015, Tama was convicted […]

People walk with candles to mark the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, outside Victoria Park in Hong Kong, June 4, 2021 (AP photo by Kin Cheung).

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, China Note, which includes a look at the week’s top stories and best reads from and about China. Subscribe to receive it by email every Wednesday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your email inbox. China’s censorship apparatus goes into overdrive every year as the June 4 anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre nears. So it wasn’t surprising that the Chinese internet, particularly the virtual private networks that are used to scale the “Great Firewall,” saw a spike in disruption […]

A Chinese national flag near the surveillance cameras in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, March 15, 2019 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

This week, the 10th anniversary installment of RightsCon, the annual “human rights meets Silicon Valley” jamboree, will take place, with more than 8,500 participants expected to take part in 500 virtual sessions over five days. Ever since Edward Snowden revealed the U.S. government’s mass surveillance programs, the human rights community has perceived Big Tech and Western governments as the two principal “bad guys” in the global tech landscape. But the rise of China and the advent of a multipolar world will bring new human rights challenges associated with technology, including one the human rights community has yet to focus much […]

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshide at a news conference in Tokyo, May 7, 2021 (AP photo by Hiro Komae).

Speaking at the opening of a new parliamentary session in mid-January, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide vowed that this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo would be “proof of humanity’s victory against the coronavirus.” Nearly six months later, Suga’s promise has yet to materialize. Authorities this week extended states of emergency in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan’s two largest cities, in light of COVID-19 caseloads that, while down significantly from their May highs, remain elevated. The country’s health care system is under severe strain, and the government’s vaccine rollout is proceeding at a painfully slow pace. While Japan controlled the […]

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