The last year was one of near-constant North Korea missile testing. Dozens of launches have put the region on edge and are driving an increasingly militarized response from South Korea and Japan. Meanwhile, China has done much to enable this state of affairs by its lackadaisical attitude toward North Korea.
Though North Korea’s nuclearization efforts have faded from the headlines, the country has continued to improve its capabilities and can now plausibly reach any location in the continental United States with a nuclear weapon. In the absence of a deal to curb its nuclear and missile programs, North Korea’s arsenal will only grow more lethal.
Voters in Nepal turned out in force this year to elect lawmakers across the local, provincial and federal levels of government. That signaled that the country’s federated system, instituted in 2015, is gradually gaining legitimacy. As Nepal consolidates its political configuration, however, the next hurdle may be higher.
Last month, a U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessel off the coast of Ecuador was forced to take evasive action when a Chinese fishing boat tried to ram it to avoid being boarded and inspected. The incident highlights the growing risk for conflict over fishing rights amid heightened geopolitical rivalry on the world’s oceans.
Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has begun to challenge America’s role as the key economic and political actor in Asia. Increasingly repressive at home, Xi has not shied away from asserting China’s regional authority. But while China’s rise often makes headlines, it is not the only trend shaping events in Asia.
Recent protests in China drew comparisons to the political demonstrations of 1989, as well as to more localized and group-specific protests since 1990. This raises questions of how the present protests differ from previous ones, whether they represent a new type of protest, and how outside policymakers can best respond to them.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia last week for a four-day trip that included three summits in Riyadh with a range of Arab leaders. A bilateral strategic agreement signed by Riyadh and Beijing during Xi’s visit signals Saudi Arabia’s determination to diversify its partnerships and China’s growing role in the region.
China’s former leader Jiang Zemin died last week at the age of 96. As the country enters a period of mourning, many foreign observers of Chinese politics continue to reflect on Jiang’s impact on Chinese foreign policy, while many in China will be thinking of his legacy as the Chinese Communist Party’s leader.
Who is to blame for Afghanistan’s food insecurity crisis depends on whom you ask. What almost everyone agrees on, though, is that it is a manufactured disaster stemming from multiple, interrelated policy-driven causes. Ultimately, the blame game only adds a political layer to the problem, making it even more difficult to fix it.
Five days after the country’s general election on Nov. 19 resulted in a hung parliament, Malaysia’s king appointed veteran opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, as prime minister. Anwar and his reformist bloc must now navigate a fragmented parliament and unify an untested coalition that includes its long-time adversary, the UMNO party.
The protests against China’s zero-COVID policies are notable for featuring overt criticism of Xi Jinping, the CCP and the country’s political system. Coming just weeks after Xi was reappointed to a third term as party leader, the protests are a major reversal in the triumphalist narrative he and the CCP had hoped to portray.
Back in 2020, the West’s initial difficulties in responding effectively to the coronavirus pandemic looked like a propaganda godsend for Beijing. Now, with China’s COVID-19 response triggering the biggest protests the country has seen in decades, it looks like the regime’s effort to capitalize on the pandemic has backfired spectacularly.
This week, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gave a speech that some commentators took as evidence that Sunak intends to soften London’s stance toward China. In reality, domestic politics and international events are unlikely to permit major changes to one of the most controversial aspects of British foreign policy.