Human Rights

Russia’s Surveillance State Struggles to Wean Itself Off the West
China, Human Rights

Russia’s Surveillance State Struggles to Wean Itself Off the West

But days later, the police began to show up at the homes of dozens of protesters and journalists who had covered the event, which was considered illegal by the Russian authorities. They had been identified by Moscow’s network of 200,000 facial recognition cameras, thought to be one of the largest networks in the world outside China. According to Amnesty International , some of the activists and journalists were detained immediately, while others were summoned to police stations. On April 21, as allies of the Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny warned that his life was in grave danger three weeks into a hunger strike, protesters rallied in towns and cities across Russia. By the end of the day, only a few dozen people had been arrested in Moscow, a far cry from the thousands of protest...
China’s Military Activities Near Taiwan ‘destabilising’, Pose ‘risk Of Miscalculation’: US
China, Human Rights

China’s Military Activities Near Taiwan ‘destabilising’, Pose ‘risk Of Miscalculation’: US

Weighing in on the latest incursion by the Chinese military warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (IZ), Pentagon not only said that it was “destabilizing” but flagged the “risk of miscalculation” with an increase in Beijing’s activity near the island. Taiwan which is claimed by Beijing, witnessed the largest daily incursion as more than two dozen Chinese military planes flew into the island’s air defence zone. In the wake of the latest move by China, a Pentagon spokesperson told the Japan Times that Beijing’s “increasing military activities conducted in the vicinity of Taiwan are destabilizing and increase the risk of miscalculation.” At least 28 Chinese military planes had entered Taiwan’s IZ on June 15 which also marked Beijing’s largest incursion since the self-ruled ...
Biden’s Plan to Cooperate With Europe on Tech
China, Human Rights, Politics

Biden’s Plan to Cooperate With Europe on Tech

Today, the tech race has again become a key dimension of power and ideological competition, with artificial intelligence, chips, digital platforms, data flows, 5/6G, cloud and edge computing, the Internet of Things, blockchain, biotech, and quantum technologies at the forefront. This week, as U.S. President Joe Biden made his first trip to Europe for the G-7, NATO, and U.S.-European Union summits, his administration must find a way to work with the EU—despite their differences—to recast how the world’s two most important democratic tech powers approach digital governance. In the 1960s, mainframe computers, aeronautics, space, nuclear research, and semiconductors occupied the front lines of geopolitics. Powers in Europe were wracked by the thought of suffering a “technological gap” with th...
Is Europe Any Good at Soft Power?
China, Human Rights, Politics

Is Europe Any Good at Soft Power?

It’s time for the European Union to follow this example. It should set up an ambitious, generous program for foreign students to study at European universities and use it as a soft power tool. This program should start immediately, and right at Europe’s doorstep, as a direct European response to President Alexander Lukashenko’s hijack of a Ryanair flight in May to abduct opposition leader Roman Protasevich: Europe should invite thousands of Belarusians to come and study and do research at universities all over Europe. Just after the First World War, the United States started a massive, new operation: academic fellowships for foreign students to come and study in the United States. America had just won the war. It was a proud new superpower, eager to put itself on the global map for the fi...
The Sneaky Conservatism of China’s Feminist Dramas
China, Human Rights

The Sneaky Conservatism of China’s Feminist Dramas

One of the most important scenes in the Chinese TV drama The Rational Life depicts the protagonist, a 33-year-old single woman called Shen Ruo Xin (played by popular actress Qin Lan), calmly rejecting a persistent suitor. She is gracious but firm, thanking him for his generosity while adroitly turning down his attempts to win her heart with expensive gifts. “It’s only a necklace,” he cajoles her. “You’re overthinking it.” She replies that she doesn’t “have a lifestyle worthy of a necklace like this” and continues: “I know you stand on higher ground than me and have a better view [of the world] than I do. But I really hope that it’s through my own hard work that I stand where I deserve to be, and am rewarded with the sights that are meant for me. I don’t want to be tugged along by someone ...
Biden’s Mission to Defeat Digital Sovereignty
China, Human Rights, Politics

Biden’s Mission to Defeat Digital Sovereignty

Today, the tech race has again become a key dimension of power and ideological competition, with artificial intelligence, chips, digital platforms, data flows, 5/6G, cloud and edge computing, the Internet of Things, blockchain, biotech, and quantum technologies at the forefront. This week, as U.S. President Joe Biden made his first trip to Europe for the G-7, NATO, and U.S.-European Union summits, his administration must find a way to work with the EU—despite their differences—to recast how the world’s two most important democratic tech powers approach digital governance. In the 1960s, mainframe computers, aeronautics, space, nuclear research, and semiconductors occupied the front lines of geopolitics. Powers in Europe were wracked by the thought of suffering a “technological gap” with th...
Tom Tugendhat Is the British MP China Hates Most
China, Human Rights, Politics

Tom Tugendhat Is the British MP China Hates Most

At 48 this month, British Member of Parliament Tom Tugendhat has a young, smooth, face. The head is ringed with dark, blondish hair; the smile all top teeth. But if he is a touch cherubic, there is a hardness there, too. The skin is taut, especially around the jaw; the eyes are two blue flints that can look brown. But it’s those incongruities that make him interesting—much like his politics. Tugendhat’s story is of passing through all of Britain’s institutions—with a caveat. Public school (but metropolitan), the army (but a reservist), Oxbridge (but postgrad). Everything about Tugendhat is theoretically correct, but slightly off. He is like a blurred daguerreotype of a traditional Tory; different but sufficiently similar, which is how change always comes—at least in Britain. And what he r...
How Maduro Beat Sanctions
China, Human Rights

How Maduro Beat Sanctions

It was against that background the Trump administration radically changed the United States’ approach to Venezuela’s economic and political crises. In an attempt to support the protesters, then-U.S. President Donald Trump began an aggressive policy of sanctions against the Maduro administration, believing such measures would accelerate a political transition in Venezuela by financially strangling the regime. In August 2017, Venezuela was in the middle of its largest wave of protests in recent history, with a record-breaking 100 consecutive days of rallies. At the time, and alongside brutal acts of repression from Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro regime (such as the killing of more than 100 protesters that year by security forces), there was a nationwide belief the country’s young people would n...
What’s the Point of the G-7?
China, Human Rights, Politics

What’s the Point of the G-7?

In U.S. President Joe Biden’s first overseas trip, he will visit the United Kingdom for the G-7 summit, Brussels for meetings with NATO and the European Union, and then over to Geneva for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That gives us a lot of material to debate. Where should we begin? Matthew Kroenig: Hi Emma. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it’s exciting to see that people are starting to travel again. I notice more happy sightseers on social media; my wife and I just booked a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for later this summer; and Air Force One is wheels up on its way to Europe. Matthew Kroenig: Hi Emma. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it’s exciting to see that people are starting to travel again. I notice more happy sightseers on social media; my wife and ...
Can Biden Pivot to Asia While Israel and Gaza Burn?
China, Human Rights, Politics

Can Biden Pivot to Asia While Israel and Gaza Burn?

Intervention or Restraint? A Washington debate on pressing issues for policymakers. Can Biden Pivot to Asia While Israel and Gaza Burn? By Emma Ashford , a senior fellow in the New American Engagement Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and Matthew Kroenig , deputy director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. Matthew Kroenig: Hi Emma! It is a beautiful spring day in Washington, I have my second COVID-19 shot scheduled for later in the day, and I have finished teaching for the semester. I would almost be in a good mood if it weren’t for a few pesky issues like war in the Middle East. Emma Ashford: Another week, another continent, another war. It’s been a pretty active year on the foreign-policy front. Te...