Opinion


Unforgettable Tiananmen

Thirty years ago this month, I was in Beijing as a British development minister for the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank. But what took place at that gathering – including the seating for the first time of a delegation from Taiwan – was overshadowed by what was happening across the..

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A Compulsive Matter: Mandatory Voting and its Discontents Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

The session is on Radio National, Australia’s effort at highbrow airings on the wireless. And, to be fair, it often does not disappoint. But on this occasion, there was a general sense of bonhomie amongst the participants on the Big Ideas segment, a glee about living in a glorious country far in..

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India’s Cult of Modi

In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power at the helm of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after articulating a vision of a revived India, a manufacturing giant with high-tech capabilities which could meet the rising aspirations of a growing young population. Modi promised voters..

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Japan Then, China Now Monday, May 27th, 2019

“When governments permit counterfeiting or copying of American products, it is stealing our future, and it is no longer free trade.” So said US President Ronald Reagan, commenting on Japan after the Plaza Accord was concluded in September 1985. Today resembles, in many respects, a remake of..

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How Will the US-China Trade War End?

Dashing hopes of a quick agreement on trade relations with China, US President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed punitive tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods. Now that the Chinese government has responded with new tariffs on $60 billion of US products, the United States is..

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How to Live Better and Stop Destroying the Planet Saturday, May 25th, 2019

Earlier this month, a bleak global assessment of the shocking state of life on Earth made headlines worldwide. According to the report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), about 12% of all known animal and plant species are now threatened..

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The Russians Are Coming Friday, May 24th, 2019

Is Russia engaged in a new type of war against the West? If so, what effect might it be having on Western politics? Such questions are roiling the United States after the publication of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which states unequivocally that Russia launched a “sweeping and..

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Are Indian Democracy’s Weaknesses Inherent?

The failure of the Indian state to provide basic public services and implement job-creating infrastructure projects was a prominent theme in the country’s recent general election. In this regard, critics often compare India unfavorably to China’s seemingly purposeful and effective authoritarian..

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INDIA REPOSES FAITH ON ONE MAN WITH HUGE EXPECTATIONS

2019 Parliamentary election in India is unique ,since it has not been a contest between political parties but a contest between one man and several others who are pledged haters of the single man. People reposed faith on the one man and gave him a second term as Prime Minister of India. It is now..

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The Real Cost of Trump’s Tariffs

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump suddenly revealed that a trade agreement between the United States and China was not imminent after all. On the contrary, on May 10, the Trump administration raised its previous 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25%, and threatened to..

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Monsanto, Scientific Deception and Cancer Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Money may not be able to buy the purest love, but it can buy the best, life-ending cancer. For Monsanto, giant of rule and misrule in matters of genetically modified crops, known for bullying practices towards farmers, things have not been so rosy of late. Ever the self-promoter of saving the world..

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Can the Belt and Road Become a Trap for China?

Critics often claim that China is using its massive “Belt and Road Initiative” as a form of coercive “debt-trap diplomacy” to exert control over the countries that join its transnational infrastructure investment scheme. This risk, as Deborah Brautigam of John Hopkins University recently..

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In Defense of Europe Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

The geopolitical chessboard is back. Following a post-1989 interlude in which the direction of history seemed to tilt toward a peaceful liberal international order, we now witness mounting great-power competition, quests for hegemony, and quasi-imperial expansion. Russia is brazenly breaking..

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A Vote for Populists Is a Vote for Putin

On May 18, European right-wing leaders assembled in Rome for a rally ahead of the European Parliament election this week. Among the attendees were Marine Le Pen of National Rally in France, Geert Wilders of the Dutch Party for Freedom, and representatives from the Danish People’s Party, the Finns..

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Challenging Orthodoxies: Alabama’s Anti-Abortion Law Monday, May 20th, 2019

It seems like a grand ploy of massive distraction. On the surface, the move by Alabama to place the most onerous restrictions on the granting of an abortion has become a lighting-rod of conviction for Democrat agitators. And not just them. The fear, and one with suggestive implication, is that..

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The Global Consequences of a Sino-American Cold War

A few years ago, as part of a Western delegation to China, I met President Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. When addressing us, Xi argued that China’s rise would be peaceful, and that other countries – namely, the United States – need not worry about the “Thucydides..

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It’s Cheaper to Talk than to Cut Emissions

Earlier this month, the UK parliament declared that the planet is facing a “climate emergency,” making the United Kingdom the first country to do so after cities like Los Angeles, London, Vancouver, and Basel. It’s a move that sums up all that is wrong with climate policy: politicians are..

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