PM Kishida addressing the military after announcing that the defense budget will be doubled amid rising china tensions. The country will maintain its pacifism

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.

China-Taiwan tensions have gotten worse under Taiwanese President Tsai (DPP), but are not expected to get better under a KMT president

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.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister, is set to retire due to burnout

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.

In Mongolia, a difficult political and economic situation is made even more challenging by shifting relations with China and Russia

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.

in Jammu and Kashmir, India is cracking down on human rights after revoking Article 370

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.

Japan's PM decided to take a tough line on Russia relations after the invasion of Ukraine

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.

China's President, Xi Jinping, amid a US vs China trade war and the threat of an indo-pacific alliance

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.

China's Xi Jinping visits Eastern Europe in an effort to gain soft power there

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.

As much as any other single development, China’s rise over the past two decades has remade the landscape of global politics. China rapidly transformed its economy from a low-cost “factory to the world” to a global leader in advanced technologies. Along the way, it has transformed global supply chains, but also international diplomacy.

A journalist in India amid a rise in Hindu nationalism and attacks on press freedom and democracy

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.

Marvel Studios' actors on the red carpet in Russia, an international market that had previously been good for the box office for the MCU

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.

President Xi Jinping amid a US vs China trade war and shaky relationship

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.

President Xi Jinping of China and President Putin of Russia amid a global battle between democracy and autocracy

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.

Since his overwhelming victory in India’s May 2019 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has doubled down on Hindu nationalism and illiberalism. Meanwhile, the country faces foreign policy challenges, including its relationship with Pakistan and competition for regional influence with China. What will the rest of Modi’s second term bring?

COVID testing in Europe for travelers from China

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.

US-trained Afghan commandos, who are now being recruited by Russia to fight in the war in Ukraine, before the Taliban takeover

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.