Asia

Massif Brawl: China and India Clash in the Himalayas

Iron rods studded with metal tips and stones seem more suited to medieval armies than modern ones. But such weapons were what hundreds of Chinese and Indian troops wielded against one another in June 2020. They did so, ironically,...

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On the Sidelines: Trump Gives Up the WHO—and Makes America Weaker

On May 29, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States would leave the World Health Organization (WHO), a move that will further erode American influence. The decision also will further empower China, undermining the supposed reason for...

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Assessing North Korea’s COVID-19 Containment and Kim Jong-un’s Political Challenges

To contain COVID-19’s spread, North Korea has virtually shut the country’s borders, save for some limited trade. Unlike most other countries, North Korea is able to do so thanks to its normally tight border control and limited interaction with...

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China’s Two Meetings: Much Uncertainty and Few Answers

Normally, the annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) is a dull affair. Theoretically, the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) highest law-making group, its nearly 3,000 members constitute the largest parliament in the world. At the same time,...

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Beyond COVID-19, Part 13: Chaos in Hong Kong, A Georgian Anniversary, and Military Moves in Libya

Maia and Aaron are back with us this week! Last week, we took a little detour to discuss the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. It’s worth a read if you’d like to learn more about Taiwan’s COVID-19...

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Social Distancing: Australia’s Relations with China

Affronts to Australia by China’s top diplomat in Canberra and the Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper reached new heights in April 2020. What prompted their verbal barbs was the Australian government’s backing for an independent review into the...

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Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen Begins Her Second Term amid a Pandemic

On May 20, 2020, President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan began her second term in office. In a more subdued ceremony than is the norm, Tsai took the office of oath, along with new Vice President Lai Ching-te. Her second...

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Beyond COVID-19, Part 12: Taiwan’s International Stock Rises as Turkey’s Falls

Mid-May is upon us. I would like to thank our readers who have loyally read our weekly discussions throughout the pandemic. I hope you all are healthy and safe, and continue to stay the course in staying at home....

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Taiwan and the WHO in 2020: A Novel Virus and Viral Politics

The World Health Assembly (WHA)—the annual plenary session of the 194 members of the World Health Organization (WHO)—convenes on May 18, 2020. The perennial question of Taiwan’s participation and access has again become especially prominent and contentious, largely because...

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Pursuing Politics through Legal Means: U.S. Efforts to Hold China Responsible for COVID-19

Attempts in the United States to use legal means to hold the People’s Republic of China responsible for its role in novel coronavirus-linked harms are legally flawed and politically fraught. So far, they have taken several forms, each problematic...

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