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Can the International Solar Alliance Truly Be India’s ‘Gift to the World’?

Can the International Solar Alliance Truly Be India’s ‘Gift to the World’?

The Diplomat has removed paywall restrictions on our coverage of the crisis.In his most recent address to the nation, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the International Solar Alliance (ISA) India’s “gift to the world” in the fight against climate change. ISA, an inter-governmental organization, was jointly launched by India and France in 2015 on the side-lines of the COP21 climate conference. The idea was to harness clean and low-cost solar power in solar-rich countries to make them energy secure and self-reliant. Though it is a bit early to gauge the ISA’s achievements as an...

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2d ago
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South Korean Politician Adds China Interference Charge to Election Rigging Claim

South Korean Politician Adds China Interference Charge to Election Rigging Claim

In recent years, there have been among South Korean online users over China’s interference operations in the country. Although the issue has attracted quite a bit of online discussion, it has never broken into a mainstream debate in South Korea.That might change soon, however, with the latest suspicions by Min Kyung-wook, a journalist-turned-politician with the country’s conservative United Future Party (UFP), the main opposition party. His name is currently dominating trending keyword boards of main internet portal websites in South Korea. Min caught public attention after he claimed that...

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Tae
2d ago
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It Is Time for Space Governance Talks

It Is Time for Space Governance Talks

Japan’s launch of a new defense space unit within the Air Self-Defense Force, Russia’s ASAT test last month, and the announcement by France of its new defense space strategy are indicators of rapidly change space security dynamics. The absence of successful multilateral discussions could accentuate security concerns and force states to rely on deterrence in space as a state policy, with negative consequences for all. While this is yet to happen, there are signs of states beginning to act as if they are not left with any choice but to develop deterrence strategies for space. It is also to be...

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Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
3d ago
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Decoding Xi Jinping’s Speech at the World Health Assembly

Decoding Xi Jinping’s Speech at the World Health Assembly

The Diplomat has removed paywall restrictions on our coverage of the crisis.Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the World Health Assembly (WHA) on Monday, May 18. Decoding that speech shines a powerful light on China’s lines of defense as well as weaknesses and priorities for the future. This is the discourse the world will be confronted with in the next months.Beijing’s priority is to transform the perception of the COVID-19 pandemic from “China made” to a global health emergency a “catching the world by surprise,” where “races or nationalities are irrelevant.” The Chinese people are...

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6d ago
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Korean Media Report Sparks Outcry Over Abuse of Indonesian Crew Members on Chinese Fishing Ships

Korean Media Report Sparks Outcry Over Abuse of Indonesian Crew Members on Chinese Fishing Ships

Indonesians are sending thanks to a South Korean media channel after the station published an in-depth investigation earlier this month into the of several Indonesian crew members aboard a Chinese fishing boat.On May 5, Korean broadcaster MBC a report alleging abuse aboard fishing ships owned by Chinese company Dalian Ocean Fishing, Co. The report included video footage secretly taken by Indonesian workers showing crew members throwing the body of a deceased Indonesian man overboard.Three Indonesian crew members were thrown overboard after dying at sea, and another died after arriving in...

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Jenna Gibson
May 19
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Post-War Sri Lanka: Fractured and Unjust for Tamils

Post-War Sri Lanka: Fractured and Unjust for Tamils

Get first-read access to major articles yet to be released, as well as links to thought-provoking commentaries and in-depth articles from our Asia-Pacific correspondents.

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May 18
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The Strategic Implications of Indian Corruption

The Strategic Implications of Indian Corruption

As a result of COVID-19, heavy hitters in the United States and elsewhere are talking about investments and supply chains out of China. This dovetails with existing strategic concerns about Beijing. When looking around the Indo-Pacific for an alternative democracy-compatible, large market that has the potential to be increasingly strategically useful, pops to the fore.The Indian strategic community knows it and is chomping at the bit to “take the tide at the flood” and use the opening to redefine India’s place in the world. There is even of floating an Indo-Pacific Charter to replace the...

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May 15
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Restricting Chinese Journalist Visas Will Not Stop China’s Propaganda Campaigns

Restricting Chinese Journalist Visas Will Not Stop China’s Propaganda Campaigns

The United States continues to escalate its diplomatic struggles with China by tightening its visa approval policies for journalists from the country. Accusing China of “,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued new regulations on journalist visas granted to Chinese nationals. Starting on Monday, DHS officials will be allowed to review those visa applications more frequently. And instead of the original open-ended visas, the new journalist visas granted to Chinese nationals will be limited to 90 days, with the possibility of extensions.This is the latest move made by the Trump...

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Chauncey Jung
May 14
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Welcome to the New Era of Chinese Government Disinformation

Welcome to the New Era of Chinese Government Disinformation

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long sought to influence the media and information space in other countries, and the effort has intensified over the . Much of the activity is overt — diplomats publishing op-eds or state-run news outlets generating propaganda. While some covert tactics were also documented, for many years there was no significant evidence that Chinese actors were engaging in aggressive disinformation campaigns like the one pursued by Russia on global social media platforms ahead of the 2016 U.S. elections. That has now changed.Over the past month alone, a series of...

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May 12
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North Korea’s Trade With China Continues Rapid Decline

North Korea’s Trade With China Continues Rapid Decline

The Diplomat has removed paywall restrictions on our coverage of the crisis.Efforts to combat COVID-19 have taken a toll on trade and economic growth worldwide, but North Korea’s decision to close its border to prevent the spread of COVID-19 domestically has essentially brought its trade with China to a halt.After shutting its border with China in late January, North Korean exports to China declined by in the first two months of the year. The full extent of the damage was unclear at the time, however, because China changed its reporting to include January and February data in a combined...

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Troy Stangarone
May 9
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Thai Elephants, Out of Work Due to Coronavirus, Trudge Home

Thai Elephants, Out of Work Due to Coronavirus, Trudge Home

The Diplomat has removed paywall restrictions on our coverage of the crisis.Get first-read access to major articles yet to be released, as well as links to thought-provoking commentaries and in-depth articles from our Asia-Pacific correspondents.

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Associated Press
May 8
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China’s Strategy for Hollowing out Hong Kong

China’s Strategy for Hollowing out Hong Kong

While the world is preoccupied with a fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing has been tightening its political grip on all aspects of Hong Kong’s civil society. Rumor has it that Beijing will push through legislating national security laws under Article 23 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law by unconventional means, such as massively disqualifying pro-democratic legislators or even directly applying a national law, widely argued as a major step to destroy the rights and freedom of Hong Kongers, and bring Chinese authoritarianism to Hong Kong.After the 2019 protests, the administration of Carrie...

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May 7
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The Chinese People Step up to Enforce China’s Nationalist Propaganda

The Chinese People Step up to Enforce China’s Nationalist Propaganda

With successful containment of COVID-19, Chinese politicians and media have hailed the Chinese system and praised Xi Jinping’s leadership. The people of China, in line with the government’s rhetoric, have also along with mocking other nations’ performance. Nationalistic self-congratulations and boasts are not exclusive to any nation, nor is it a modern phenomenon. As explained by , it was common for the feudal Chinese court to salute the greatness of the emperor and glorify the middle kingdom. He regards this “blandishment culture” (颂圣文化) as a “defect within Chinese history.”Yet, with the...

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Jo Kim
May 5
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COVID-19 Fans Religious Discrimination in Pakistan

COVID-19 Fans Religious Discrimination in Pakistan

The Diplomat has removed paywall restrictions on our coverage of the crisis.One would expect a global crisis to unite the whole of humanity, but examples of discrimination around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic are sadly numerous. In Pakistan, even during a global pandemic, discrimination on the basis of religion continues. From referring to the virus as “the Shia virus” to requiring Christians to recite the kalima to receive aid to denying ration bags to the Hindu community in Lyari after seeing their national identity cards (CNIC) — these are only a few examples of faith-based...

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May 3
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Did Xi Jinping Deliberately Sicken the World?

Did Xi Jinping Deliberately Sicken the World?

The Diplomat has removed paywall restrictions on our coverage of the crisis.We often ascribe a basic level of humanity to even the cruelest leaders, but People’s Republic of China leader Xi Jinping’s actions have forced us to rethink this assumption. Although the emergence of the novel coronavirus now known as SARS-CoV-2 was , the emphasis that its authoritarian system places on likely gave the disease a sizable head start . But most ominously, China’s obsession with image and Machtpolitik raises serious questions about its lack of moral limits.At some point the Chinese Communist Party...

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Ben Lowsen
Apr 30
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US Air Force Selects Raytheon to Build Nuclear-Capable Long-Range Standoff Missile

US Air Force Selects Raytheon to Build Nuclear-Capable Long-Range Standoff Missile

Last week, the U.S. Air Force announced that the Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) nuclear-armed cruise missile, a modernized U.S. nuclear capability, will be solely sourced from Raytheon. The decision ruled out an alternative bid by Lockheed Martin, which had its own design for the air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) that is slated to replace the AGM-86 ALCM.The decision marks the effective end of the LRSO’s Technical Maturation and Risk (TMRR) phase, whereby both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon had competed and offered separate LRSO designs. The TMRR began in August 2017.“Our competitive TMRR phase,...

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Ankit Panda
Apr 29
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Did Xi Jinping Deliberately Sicken the World?

Did Xi Jinping Deliberately Sicken the World?

The Diplomat has removed paywall restrictions on our coverage of the crisis.We often ascribe a basic level of humanity to even the cruelest leaders, but People’s Republic of China leader Xi Jinping’s actions have forced us to rethink this assumption. Although the emergence of the novel coronavirus now known as SARS-CoV-2 was , the emphasis that its authoritarian system places on likely gave the disease a sizable head start . But most ominously, China’s obsession with image and Machtpolitik raises serious questions about its lack of moral limits.At some point the Chinese Communist Party...

thediplomat.com
Ben Lowsen
Apr 26
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COVID-19 in Asia: A Country-By-Country Guide

COVID-19 in Asia: A Country-By-Country Guide

COVID-19 is a truly global problem, touching every corner of the world. From the direct health impact to economic, social, and political consequences, the pandemic has the potential to reshape countries across the globe — even those yet to report any confirmed cases. But while the problems are similar, the impacts on and responses from each country are unique.This report, , The Diplomat’s consulting service, briefly outlines “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of the COVID-19 fallout in the Asia-Pacific region. Below, our experts outline what you most need to know about the response from each...

thediplomat.com
Apr 22
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Amid COVID–19, Pakistan Launches an ‘Islam Friendly’ Action Plan to Keep Mosques Open

Amid COVID–19, Pakistan Launches an ‘Islam Friendly’ Action Plan to Keep Mosques Open

Last week, Pakistan’s to formulate a plan for congregational prayers during the month of Ramzan (Ramadan). The Pakistani state agreed to a after consultation with religious scholars of all sects.The crux of the plan is that the government in Pakistan has decided to keep all mosques open, a key recommendation made by clerics of all major seminaries. The decision could have disastrous public health implications amid the COVID-19 pandemic as its implementation and agreed guidelines are unlikely to be followed or enforced across the thousands of mosques across the country. What is particularly...

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Umair Jamal
Apr 22
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Islamic State Terror in the Maldives as COVID-19 Arrives

Islamic State Terror in the Maldives as COVID-19 Arrives

Understanding the Boat Arson Attack ISIS and Violent Extremism in the MaldivesGet first-read access to major articles yet to be released, as well as links to thought-provoking commentaries and in-depth articles from our Asia-Pacific correspondents.Extremism During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

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Apr 19
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Taiwan’s Baseball, Basketball Leagues Back in Action as the World Watches

Taiwan’s Baseball, Basketball Leagues Back in Action as the World Watches

Taiwan’s pro baseball league played the first game of its 2020 season on April 12, becoming one of the few leagues to resume its schedule as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic and drawing interest from global fans eager to watch live sports.Fans in Taiwan can’t attend ballgames, however: Large gatherings remain banned in Taiwan, so some teams have replaced spectators with robots and cardboard cutouts.Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) is believed to be the only major pro baseball league holding games. Its Super Basketball League (SBL), meanwhile, has completed its...

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Nick Aspinwall
Apr 17
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US Space Command: Russia Tested Direct Ascent Anti-Satellite Weapon

US Space Command: Russia Tested Direct Ascent Anti-Satellite Weapon

Russia has conducted another test of its Nudol hit-to-kill interceptor, designed for anti-satellite missions, U.S. Space Command said in a statement on Wednesday. The test took place from Russia’s Plesetsk test site.The test, which involved the system known as PL19/Nudol, did not involve a live orbital target. U.S. officials criticized the test.“This test is further proof of Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control proposals designed to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting their counter-space weapons programs,” said...

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Ankit Panda
Apr 17
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China Confronts Major Risk of Debt Crisis on the Belt and Road Due to Pandemic

China Confronts Major Risk of Debt Crisis on the Belt and Road Due to Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to cause a wave of economic crises along China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). With several BRI countries already facing high external debt and likely to be hit hard by the pandemic, Beijing is poised to confront multiple, simultaneous debt crises in countries where it is heavily invested. As highlights, China would have faced constraints on its future lending and debt renegotiations even if the pandemic had not occurred. But now, China faces a serious test to preserve the BRI, to maintain its own domestic financial stability, and to cooperate in an...

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Apr 17
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China’s Digital Payment Revolution: Lessons for Libra

China’s Digital Payment Revolution: Lessons for Libra

Since Facebook announced its new digital currency project “Libra,” it has faced fierce pushback from global regulators and financial sectors. Libra, designed with an associated global payment system, has the ambition to make monetary transactions as convenient as messaging for billions of people worldwide. Libra is joining a global online payment revolution led by China, where nearly half of the world’s digital payments are made. QR codes have conquered China’s stores, restaurants, and public transportation for instant payments; using cash and credit cards is obsolete. Mobile payment...

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Dongyao Nie
Jul 17
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