2022 marks nearly five decades since the death of Chinese leader Mao Zedong, but the legacy of his Great Leap Forward lingers on for Chinese farmers that raise livestock and fish or grow crops. Chinese history has made many demands of the country’s agricultural workers, relying on their labor while granting few benefits in return.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has maintained a bipartisan consensus on New Zealand’s relationship with China, which was nurtured over decades by successive governments. In return for a lucrative trading relationship, criticism of China has remained muted. Yet Ardern has likely sensed that the public mood on China is hardening.
Critics call the Afghanistan withdrawal one of the biggest failures of President Joe Biden’s administration. Afghanistan was indeed a failure of U.S. foreign policy. But the failure was not in how the U.S. left Afghanistan in August 2021. Rather it was in the fact that U.S. forces were still in Afghanistan in August 2021.
Papua New Guinea’s national elections were marred by violence and disenfranchisement, raising concerns about the state of the country’s democracy. Nevertheless, Prime Minister James Marape’s reelection is a sign of hope for the political system’s continuity. Now Marape’s task will be to meet the public’s high expectations.
In recent years, press secretaries in China’s Foreign Ministry have increasingly ventured beyond their podiums and onto social media, conducting rapid-response interventions on Western platforms like Twitter and YouTube. This reflects the emphasis Beijing is putting on finding creative ways to “tell better Chinese stories.”
U.S. President Joe Biden, who came into office seeking to do “less not more” in the Middle East, is increasingly using the focus on China as an excuse to again do more in the region. But using the “great power competition” frame to justify and shape U.S. engagement in the Middle East is unrealistic and likely counterproductive.
In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China engaged in a military show of force that raised fears Beijing could be preparing to take control of Taiwan by force, if not immediately, then in the near future. Such concerns are not off base, but fears of an imminent invasion of Taiwan are likely overblown.
In contrast to the reactions of some Western observers, Taiwan has remained remarkably unruffled by China’s reaction to Nancy Pelosi’s visit. From Taiwan’s point of view, China’s military display certainly represents a high-water mark in its pressure campaign, but part of a long pattern of behavior by Beijing.
In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, much of the commentary in the U.S. has been on the visit’s impact on U.S.-China relations. Unfortunately, the reactions within Taiwan and China have attracted less attention, as they are revealing of domestic factors driving decision-making on both sides of the strait.
In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China has responded with an unprecedented range of diplomatic, economic and military measures. The entire episode suggests that the One China policy, the diplomatic sleight of hand that has governed U.S.-China relations for over 40 years, might be reaching its expiration date.
In response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit this week to Taiwan, China has applied an expanded political, military and economic coercion toolkit to punish Taipei. That points to Beijing’s desire to increase the cost on Taiwan for attempting to expand its international space and further solidify the U.S.-Taiwan bilateral relationship.
The remarkable developments in Sri Lanka, in which a monthslong citizen mobilization led to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation last month, would have been unthinkable until recently. But while Rajapaksa’s resignation realized part of the protesters’ demands, there is still a long way to go for systemic change.
A video depicting a chained woman in a dark shack in the Chinese city of Xuzhou went viral, racking up more than 1.9 billion views on Chinese social media. But the reaction by authorities to the video show how online outrage is often corralled and stripped of its more systemic critiques of the state.
One year after the Taliban seized power in Kabul, the situation in Afghanistan is—in a word—worse. Now, the killing of al-Qaida’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a U.S. drone attack has raised renewed concerns that the Taliban are providing sanctuary to the terrorist group, which could have grave implications for the country’s future.