China

Will More Ethnic Minority Organizations Join Myanmar’s Revolution?
China

Will More Ethnic Minority Organizations Join Myanmar’s Revolution?

Min Aung Hlaing took the public opportunity to criticize the elected government he deposed. Groups representing Myanmar’s ethnic minorities have long demanded greater local political control. The general said the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by ousted state leader Aung San Suu Kyi, had named the bridge after her father, the revolutionary hero Aung San, against the “wish of the local people” in Mon state. In contrast, he said, the military government would safeguard “democracy and federalism.” On June 1, Myanmar Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who leads the junta that took power in a February coup, presided over a ceremony to rename a bridge in Mon state, one of seven regions where most inhabitants are not Bamar, the country’s ethnic majority. A civil war has simmered in Mya...
Taro Aso’s Taiwan Slip Was Likely Deliberate
China

Taro Aso’s Taiwan Slip Was Likely Deliberate

Under its post-World War II constitution, Japan is prohibited from military conflict except for self-defense. But Aso reckoned that an attack on Taiwan, just 70 miles from some small islands under the jurisdiction of Okinawa, could represent an “existential threat” to Japan’s security. The southernmost prefecture is home to more than half of U.S. forces in Japan. “If a major incident happened, it’s safe to say it would be related to a situation threatening the survival [of Japan]. If that is the case, Japan and the U.S. must defend Taiwan together,” Japanese media quoted Aso as saying . Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso is 80 years old, and in his 42 years in politics he’s often stumbled into trouble. But when he last week blurted out support for Japan coming to Taiwan’s aid in the c...
Afghan forces say Taliban being driven out of western city
China

Afghan forces say Taliban being driven out of western city

From 9/11, to intense fighting on the ground, and now full withdrawal of US-led forces, here’s what happened. 9/11 Al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, carries out the largest terror attack ever conducted on US soil. Image caption The World Trade Centre is reduced to rubble Image copyright by Getty Four commercial airliners are hijacked. Two are flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, which collapses. One hits the Pentagon building in Washington, and one crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people are killed. First air strikes A US-led coalition bombs Taliban and al-Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan. Targets include Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad. The Taliban, who took power after a decade-long Soviet occupation was followed by civil war, refuse to hand over...
The Geopolitics of Empathy
China

The Geopolitics of Empathy

For this reason, one of the lessons I try hardest to impart in my courses is the importance of empathy : the ability to see problems from another person’s (or country’s) perspective. To do this does not require agreeing with their view; it is about grasping how others see a situation and understanding why they are acting as they are. The reason to do this is eminently practical: It’s harder to persuade a rival to alter its behavior if you don’t understand its origins. States compete and contend for many reasons, and sometimes those reasons are abundantly clear to the protagonists. But in other cases, the root causes of the disagreement are not well understood, and the level of animosity is greater than it should be. In this latter case, states know they disagree, but they are either confu...
China Knows the Power of 5G. Why Doesn’t the U.S.?
China

China Knows the Power of 5G. Why Doesn’t the U.S.?

Biden’s plan is an important step to combating China’s rising influence. But it needs to prioritize technology more, especially 5G, which is carrying the world into the next era of the internet. The B3W plan doesn’t explicitly mention 5G, even though that technology is beginning to transform how we communicate and live by expanding information access, automating everyday services, and advancing smart cities and policing. Essentially, 5G has the power to affect all four areas of the B3W plan, and how it is built, used, and governed can tip the scales in favor of authoritarianism or democracy in any given country. The G-7 should recognize 5G’s power—and the risks it poses in the wrong hands—by making 5G a central thread that ties its infrastructure plan together and promoting it in B3W. Las...
The CCP’s Greatest Strength Is “Self-Reinvention”
China

The CCP’s Greatest Strength Is “Self-Reinvention”

Whatever the qualms about the party and China’s political system, it is difficult to argue that the party has not been successful. In 1949, China was poor, partially colonized, and citizens had an average life expectancy of 41. Today, the mighty G-7 nations see it as a serious competitor. And the CCP did this on the scale of 1.4 billion people. This achievement is unmatched, but can the party keep doing it—and for how long? I would like to suggest that the party is now engaged in a significant project of renewal, which is placing this century-old organization at the vanguard of the nation’s youth. The world may be missing this important development. Shanghai—This week, the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP, celebrates its centennial. Founded in 1921 by 12 men in a modest Shanghai townhouse...
Why Is Ted Cruz Threatening Angela Merkel?
China

Why Is Ted Cruz Threatening Angela Merkel?

“This letter serves as formal legal notice that these goods, services, support, and provisioning [for vessels involved with Nord Stream 2] risk exposing Fährhafen Sassnitz GmbH and Mukran Port, as well as your board members, corporate officers, shareholders, and employees, to crushing legal and economic sanctions, which our government will be mandated to impose. These sanctions include potentially fatal measures that will cut off Fährhafen Sassnitz GmbH from the United States commercially and financially,” Cruz, Cotton, and Johnson wrote last August to Harm Sievers, the port’s managing director, and Fridjof Ostenberg, its legal director. Whatever one thinks of Nord Stream 2, these were highly unusual threats. Not only were they directed against a German company that operates in Germany and...
Comrades of the Ring
China

Comrades of the Ring

It has been 20 years since the premiere of film director Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring. As Amazon approaches completion of principal photography on season one of their $465 million TV reimagining of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Second Age, a continuation of the epic neo-medieval visuals that have become synonymous with Middle-earth appears inevitable. However, the emergence in April of Leningrad TV’s Khraniteli (“Keepers”), a “lost” two-part 1991 Soviet television retelling of Volume I of The Lord of the Rings, has provided Western and young Russian Tolkien fans alike with brief but colorful insight into an alternative vision of the tale. This delightfully lo-fi production, with its earworm opening song, rudimentary special effects, and cobbled together costumes, has been labeled by some...
China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance
China

China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance

For 20 years, the United States’ presence in Afghanistan, though not always appreciated, has nevertheless served as a predictable and stabilizing force. Now, the prospect of renewed Taliban rule has sparked major anxiety among the region’s powers. For example, earlier this month, Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar visited Moscow and Tehran while Taliban representatives were in each city, raising questions about whether back-channel negotiations are ongoing. Moscow is preparing to leverage the six-nation Collective Security Treaty Organization to address potential trouble at the Afghan-Tajik border, which is being taken over by the Taliban on the Afghan side. As Pakistan’s relations with the Afghan government rapidly unravel , Islamabad appears to have negotiated a quid pro q...
Is Western Finance Underestimating Chinese Political Risk?
China

Is Western Finance Underestimating Chinese Political Risk?

The highlights this week: Western finance firms are underestimating political risk in China, the Communist Party is tightening control at the grassroots, and newly empowered regulators are blocking tech mergers . Welcome to Foreign Policy’s China Brief. The highlights this week: Western finance firms are underestimating political risk in China, the Communist Party is tightening control at the grassroots, and newly empowered regulators are blocking tech mergers. If you would like to receive China Brief in your inbox every Wednesday, please sign up here. Didi’s Problems Aren’t Being Priced Properly Ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing continues to be punished by the Chinese authorities in the aftermath of its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The firm has been made to take down another ...