China

Straddling the Wilderness Between Russia and China in Colin Thubron’s ‘Amur River’

Lee Polevoi

During his travels, Thubron crosses more than 1,100 miles along this vast waterway—not only on horseback, but by train, car, and boat. His trek encompasses visits to desolate villages and decaying monasteries, with encounters that range from friendly and well-meaning, to more sinister interactions with local police. Who says no one is intrepid anymore? Colin Thubron is intrepid.

Ukraine: A Deeper Look Into the Threat of a Potential World War

Antonio Graceffo

At the end of World War II, Russia wanted assurances that NATO would not shift eastward, threatening Russian territory. After the fall of the Soviet Union, however, Ukraine and other Eastern European nations became independent, removing the buffer zones between Russia and NATO. Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and the Baltics have all become NATO members, and Russia sees this as a security concern.

The New Great Game and Shifting Alliances: U.S., India, Russia, China, and Pakistan

Antonio Graceffo

The original Great Game was played out in the 19th Century, between Britain and Russia in Afghanistan, an ever-shifting military, economic, and geopolitical competition, which often took the form of proxy wars, with the great powers backing local forces, to fight one another. Today, the region is host to an even larger and more complex Great Game, with implications for the fate of the modern world, as it is being played out between several of the world’s largest, nuclear-capable, armies: the United States, India, Russia, China, and Pakistan.

China’s Economy Teeters While Xi Tightens His Grip

Antonio Graceffo

Over the past decades, the Chinese economy has been growing, at breakneck speed, largely fueled by tremendous export volumes, massive debt, and over-reliance on the real-estate sector. Now, manufacturing is suffering under ongoing coronavirus lockdowns, energy shortages, and supply-chain disruptions. The debt bubble seems about to burst, and the real-estate industry will be the first casualty, with ripples eventually being felt throughout China and the rest of the world.

Why the Taiwan Question Matters

Antonio Graceffo

Taiwanese President Tsai Ying-Wen, a popular, pro-independence leader who has been elected to her second term, has thanked the U.S. and other Western countries for their support. She gave a speech on National Day, saying, “We will not bow to China.” Taiwan is firmly committed to remaining independent, but is careful not to declare independence.

President Biden Promises More Successful Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

Kelly Hyman

Regarding China, Biden described his relationship with President Xi Jinping as “cordial” but acknowledged concerns over rights abuses and expects to compete with China on multiple levels such as trade, technology, and military power. He has also addressed China’s growing dominance in Iran, warning the Xi government that the U.S. will enforce Trump administration sanctions on Iranian oil—which China is increasingly buying.

Mikhail Gorbachev Warns Us About What Is at Stake

Adam Gravano

Much of Gorbachev's discussion hinges on East-West relations, particularly between Russia and the United States. This is logical, as certain interests of pre-Soviet Russia were taken up by the Soviet Union, and, post-Soviet collapse, these same interests were transferred to the nascent Russian Federation (and carried on to the present).While there is a brief chapter covering both China and India, with a brief discussion of Malaysia included, the discussion borders on the facile.

‘AI Weiwei: Yours Truly’ - Paying Respect to the Man, Artist, and Legend

Sandra Bertrand

In 2013, Ai was incarcerated for 81 days as a Chinese dissident. Three months after his release, hopeful curator Haines traveled to Beijing to visit the artist in his studio, where he was under house arrest.  Her goal was to persuade him to create a work on freedom and human rights abuses.  Her venue of choice?  Alcatraz. For Ai, he was obviously tired of “making installations I can’t attend.” Through virtual walkthroughs and a reverential persistence on Haines’s part, a plan was put into action.   

A ‘Post-Truth’ Society and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Romin W. Tafarodi

The following year, 2017, was notable for the addition of a neo-Orwellian phrase to the post-truth glossary. It began on Jan 21, with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claiming of Trump’s inaugural ceremony, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe.” The claim was promptly fact-checked and cast into doubt. Nonetheless, indefatigable Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer on television the next day, claiming he was simply providing “alternative facts.”

U.S. and China Prepare for a New Cold War

Tony Walker

America now has the worst record globally in dealing with the pandemic. Things being equal, this will constitute a significant drag on Trump’s re-election prospects, hence his flailing about in search for scapegoats. Leaving aside American domestic politics – the Democrats will not want to be accused of being soft on China in a presidential election cycle – the much bigger question is the extent to which the pandemic will disrupt, even overturn, a globalizing world.

 

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