Ben Bland

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US Speaker of the House Of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, poses with Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen, in Taipei, Taiwan on 3 August 2022. Photo: Handout/Getty Images.

China’s fading ties with Washington?

Dr Yu Jie

US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi’s, visit to Taiwan has plunged China-US relations into a new low as the reservoir of trust forged between the two sides over the last 40 years appears to be almost exhausted.

However, her move will likely not result in the full-scale crisis across the Taiwan strait that some hawkish voices in both Beijing and Washington believe. Instead, Beijing will most likely offer a combination of military posturing toward the US navy and economic sanctions on Taiwanese agricultural and manufacturing products in order to send a clear bellwether to any future potential visits by high-level Western political figures.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, left, and President Xi Jinping of China in 2017. Credit Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Getty Images

When President Biden met his Indonesian counterpart, Joko Widodo, last month in Glasgow, he praised Indonesia’s “essential” leadership in the Indo-Pacific and “strong commitment” to democratic values.

But the reality of American engagement with the world’s third-most-populous democracy has been more tepid than these warm words imply, belying Indonesia’s position as the leading Southeast Asian power and a vital balancing force in the geopolitical contest of our time between the United States and China.

The Biden administration has spent much of its first year in office shoring up support among allies and partners who share Washington’s concerns about Beijing but were bruised by four years of Donald Trump.…  Seguir leyendo »

With its reputation for being clean, super-efficient and safe, the Mass Transit Railway is one of the world’s best metro systems and has long been a point of pride for Hong Kongers. This past Sunday, that familiar and reassuring space was brutally invaded by a rampaging gang that beat dozens of innocent people with sticks in an apparent attempt to scare off pro-democracy activists.

This vicious attack shocked Hong Kongers and observers of the deepening political crisis in the city. In response, thousands of Hong Kongers returned to protest near the site of the assault this weekend, even though the police had not authorized the demonstration.…  Seguir leyendo »