With Xi Jinping’s growing grip on absolute power in China, the country seems to be transitioning from a one-party authoritarian state to a personal dictatorship, firmly under Xi’s thumb. This may sound like splitting hairs, but the ramifications are crucial. In this article Matthew demonstrates how Xi’s grip on absolute, and perpetual, power will affect the West, looking at three major sticking points: The Climate Emergency, the stability of Sino-Western relations, and the Taiwan question.
“China is not rising, as such; it has risen”. Whether we in the West like it or not, China is a global power. To focus on unempathetic and belligerent critiquing of China will only lead to a new Cold War. In order to productively engage and compete with this adversarial powerhouse we must understand the key tenets of its power: historical authority, stability, and prosperity.
Every crisis China faces has the ability to strengthen or undermine the grip the Chinese Communist Party has over the state. What was the impact of COVID-19? Eva suggests that over the last year popular distrust and anger has transformed into national solidarity and pride, with party and popular nationalism being the key driver of this process.
Does the changing dynamic of the Indo-Nepali relationship cast doubt over India’s influence within South Asia? Neelanjana highlights that while Delhi’s influence remains intact within Kathmandu, by continuing in its attitude towards its smaller neighbour it is committing geo-political hara-kiri given Beijing’s looming presence in the Indian subcontinent.
In June 2019, two record-breaking sized protests gripped the streets of Hong Kong over the reading of the extradition bill. Why did this bill trigger an unprecedented response from the public? The author argues that ‘people in Hong Kong see their protected freedoms of speech, assembly and press, as well as the rule of law, being eroded. While tensions were escalated using petrol bombs, lasers, metal weapons, and tear gas, he argues that the true factor intensifying the protests is ‘the continual struggle for a more competitive and responsive government’ within the one country two systems framework.