Almost all discussion of Afghanistan after 2014 hinges
on the withdrawal of western forces. Yet into that gap a major power is
stepping—China. China’s involvement in turn poses major questions, vis-à-vis Pakistan, India and their own
point of friction—Kashmir.
US drones are often thought of as focused
entirely on action against Al-Qaeda and associates, particularly in Pakistan.
But the CIA's expanding global net extends into the Pacific, linked to the
surveillance operations of the National Security Agency.
The trial of the
disgraced Chinese politician is hurtling towards its predictable conclusion.
But a spectre still haunts the Party, and all those at play in China’s
political life. It is the spectre of the Cultural Revolution.
China's new leader Xi Jinping has gathered more power more quickly than any of his predecessors. The big test now facing him will be to translate his concern about corruption into decisive action - and the early signs are promising, says Kerry Brown.
Vladimir Putin’s attempts
to draw the countries of central Asia into his fledgling Eurasian Union creates
a dilemma for some of them: if they take up his offer, they might lose their
valuable trading links with China. Li Lifan and Raffaello Pantucci discuss their options.
How will Russia react
to China’s rapid ascent as a global power? Will it develop its eastern links to
spite the West, or join a USA led attempt to freeze Beijing out? Pavel Salin
argues that this is a simplistic view of things and that Moscow may choose a
Primorsky Territory is seven time zones away
from the capital and has the largest economy in the Russian Far East. There is justifiable irritation at Moscow’s
insistence on a one-size-fits-all model of government oriented towards Europe
and levels of frustration are forcing people to leave, says Olesya Gerasimenko.
relations with China have long been governed by need and fear, even when they
were supposedly linked by common ideology. Now China’s financial might
means it can offer seductive loans to its cash-light neighbour.
But Russia has so few specialist China-watchers to offer proper advice, says Alexander Gabuyev.
Tibet has once again become the centre of international attention after a wave of self-immolations. Beyond these tragic acts, Tibetans are looking for new forms of protest against Chinese rule, such as Lhakar, a weekly celebration of Tibetan traditions.
The Swedish Academy's award of the Nobel literature prize to the
Chinese novelist Mo Yan violates the principles of its founder and
represents a collusion with authoritarian power, says the Sweden-based
Chinese writer Mo Li.
The imminent accession to power of China's fifth generation of leaders since 1949 focuses attention on the background and character of its new president. Xi Jinping's route to the summit, and the crucial fall of his fellow princeling Bo Xilai along the way, is assessed by William A Callahan.
A new leadership in China will govern a system devoting huge resources to controlling its people and preserving its power. But the needs of the future require different tools and thinking, says Kerry Brown.
What US foreign policy should we expect if Romney was to win in
November? His statements during the campaign suggests adherence to his neocon
advisers' hard line stances on many topics, including hawkish positions on China, Iran and Russia. One week before the election, Commander-in-chief Romney
remains a mystery.