Since the start of the war in Ukraine, some analysts have warned that supporting Kyiv militarily would undermine Washington’s ability to counter China. In fact, the reverse is true. The increasingly hawkish U.S. posture toward China is more likely to undermine assistance to Ukraine as well as U.S. alliances in Europe and Asia.
Japan recently announced a series of changes to its defense policy, drawing criticism from rivals and praise from partners. A clearer understanding of the situation requires more balance and less hyperbole. As important as what changed in Tokyo’s defense posture is what did not change—namely, the pacifist stance at the heart of it.
Instead of repairing cross-strait relations, Beijing seems content to maintain its uncompromising approach toward the government of President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan. Beijing is hoping that a more amenable government will be elected in 2024, when Taiwan holds its next presidential election. But that might be a losing bet.
For over five years, she has been the global face of a different kind of leadership. But when she resigned as New Zealand’s prime minister Thursday, Jacinda Ardern’s face looked gaunter and more drawn than usual, revealing the strain of having governed the country through the Christchurch shooting and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mongolia ended 2022 with a bang when protesters stormed the seat of government in the capital in December. The demonstrations fizzled out, but the corruption allegations that triggered them continue to rankle. Combined with other problems at home and complex relations with China and Russia, 2023 is shaping up to be a challenge.
New Delhi’s latest effort to establish “peace and normalcy” in the Jammu and Kashmir region has muzzled even the most vocal of Kashmiris. So if silence is the goal of the campaign, it has worked. Yet the false sense of peace created by improvements in the economy and security landscape belies the stark reality on the ground.
Last year, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio warned before the outbreak of war in Ukraine that a full-scale invasion would force Japan’s hand on supporting economic and political efforts to isolate Moscow. Since then, Japan’s opposition to the war in Ukraine has only sharpened, with a lasting impact on bilateral relations.
As the West ramps up its efforts to help Ukraine survive Russia’s ongoing invasion, European and U.S. policymakers are already examining their failure to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin for lessons that might help develop a more effective strategy to respond to Beijing’s increasingly assertive foreign policy posture.
Over the past decade, China has targeted Central and Eastern Europe with its influence operations, cultivating leaders, building ties with regional media and developing telecom infrastructure. Yet despite these efforts, and as the war in Ukraine rages on, Beijing has seen its soft power and popularity in the region wane.
Despite denials of a clampdown on press freedoms from the Hindu nationalist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a growing number of journalists face harassment and threats of violence. Nowhere is this more evident than among the reporters who cover religion and communal violence, which is on the rise in India today.
In response to growing criticism for its lack of diversity, Marvel Studios has featured an increasing number of women and people of color as heroes over the past five years. But despite the course-correction, its creations remain stubbornly American in terms of perspective. That may not work out well for the studio.
One of the dangers of a U.S. foreign policy consensus is that once it’s formed, there are enormous market incentives for analysts in Washington to formulate smart-sounding ways to operationalize it, rather than to question it. We see all of these dynamics on display now when it comes to U.S. policy on China.
For many, predictions are simply a fun exercise. But for pundits, they are more than that, as they offer a stress test for how well we truly understand our world. In order to predict, we must first understand. In that spirit, then, here’s my own stab at predicting what 2023 will have in store: a true “end of history” moment.
The EU failed to agree to a bloc-wide policy to require pre-departure coronavirus testing for travelers entering from China, amid a new wave of COVID-19 infections there. France, Italy and Spain already require a negative test result for travelers from China, but the EU was unable to agree on a similar requirement.
Afghan commandos who fled to Iran to escape the Taliban are now being recruited to fight alongside the Russian military in Ukraine. Tempted by high salaries and lacking stable incomes or other means of support for their families, many of these U.S.-trained fighters see joining the war effort in Ukraine as the least bad option.