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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Society”

As Hong Kong dims, Asia Can Learn Much From Singapore, East Timor And Bhutan

The story of Asia today remains very much one driven by its largest nations and economies. An increasingly assertive China, a slow-growing Japan, a rising India and a still emerging Indonesia dominate the headlines, along with mounting tensions from the Korean peninsula. Yet, all of “Asia rising” can take a lesson from some of the region’s smallest countries.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

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Saudi Arabia Must Prepare For The Post-Petroleum Order

What’s the larger picture of Mohammed bin Salman as a reformer? The prince is trying to prepare Saudi Arabia for a post-petroleum order, in theory by unlocking competitiveness and creativity. His plan is detailed in Vision 2030. It includes reducing the number of royal family members on the government payroll. It also increases domestic tourism—based on the premises that the under-thirty generation has fewer resources to travel abroad for entertainment and tourism, and a desire to keep Saudi money within the kingdom.

Read Here – The National Interest

Return of The City-State

Photo by Alex Jodoin on Unsplash

We are just as deluded that our model of living in ‘countries’ is inevitable and eternal. Yes, there are dictatorships and democracies, but the whole world is made up of nation-states. This means a blend of ‘nation’ (people with common attributes and characteristics) and ‘state’ (an organised political system with sovereignty over a defined space, with borders agreed by other nation-states). Try to imagine a world without countries – you can’t. Our sense of who we are, our loyalties, our rights and obligations, are bound up in them.

Read Here – Aeon

Iran’s ‘City Of Mullahs’ Has A Surprising Side

Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this city was pious and sedate… Qom became the bedrock of Iran’s theocracy and remains one of the country’s holiest places — home to 200,000 religious scholars, a destination for Shiite Muslim pilgrims and a center of Islamic thought in a country whose political system is controlled by the clerical establishment. But the city of about 1 million is no longer single-mindedly religious, and its clerics are not immune to the anxieties bubbling beneath the surface of modern Iran.

Read Here – The Los Angeles Times

Sikhs in America: A History of Hate

The 1907 episode in a seaside timber town in Washington came to be known as the Bellingham Riots. Really, though, there were no riots. There was a pogrom. At the time, the U.S. was suffering through deep economic distress, a panic-filled recession that had begun the year before. Angry anti-immigrant sentiment was ascendant. And hundreds of Sikh men who had traveled from India to Bellingham to toil in the lumber mills paid the price.

Read Here – ProPublica

Does China’s Money Threaten Canada’s Sovereignty?

What does China want from Canada? And should Canadians, contrary to their welcoming prime minister, be worried about China’s interest in this land, particularly its urban real estate? No Canadian region is more impacted by Mainland Chinese capital than Metro Vancouver, a relatively small city of 2.5 million.

Read Here – Vancouver Sun

Why India And Pakistan Hate Each Other

As India and Pakistan celebrate their twin 70th birthdays this August, the frontier post of Wagah reflects the profound dysfunction in their relations. On its side Pakistan has built a multi-tiered amphitheatre for the boisterous crowds that come to watch the show. The Indians, no less rowdy, have gone one better with a half-stadium for 15,000. But the number of travellers who actually cross the border here rarely exceeds a few hundred a week.

Read Here – Economist

India & US, Spot The Difference

Donald Trump and Narendra Modi both rose to power as the result of popular rage against longstanding political elites. Corruption, insider politicking, and common people’s perceived lack of access to power were prominent themes in both campaigns. Both campaigns fed, as well, on the real distress of the have-nots in our respective societies.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Trump Just Redefined Western Values Around Faith, Not Democracy

U.S. President Donald Trump just sought to redefine the West. In a speech to cheering crowds in Warsaw on Thursday, Trump described the West’s values in terms of religion and culture and called for the defense of its civilization against radical Islam. It amounted to a manifesto for his foreign-policy vision. The address included repeated invocations of God, faith, tradition, national sovereignty and family. It made only passing reference to what are usually cited as core Western values: the rule of law, democracy and freedom of speech. Religious tolerance did not get a mention.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Leaks, Lies, And Chinese Politics

It may seem odd that Chinese elites would use leaks at all, given the Communist Party’s opacity and Beijing’s tight control of the press. But it is precisely because China’s media is not free that leakers seeking to damage their opponents may turn to foreign outlets. In doing so, they take advantage of the fact that the Great Firewall is permeable and that the information they share can spread—if not among the wider public, then at least among high-level officials.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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