Analysis + Opinion | Older

In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participated in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Analysis + Opinion

January 19, 2018

‘Fire and Fury’ shows Trump’s shifts on China

Audrey Jiajia LiBoston Globe

It is clear that in the Trump Administration, neither hawks like Bannon nor doves like the Kushners are interested in challenging Beijing on value issues…

Chinese women, inspired by the #MeToo campaign that originated in the United States, come forward with their own stories. Photo: Handout

Analysis + Opinion

January 9, 2018

A #MeToo movement in China

Audrey Jiajia LiSouth China Morning Post

The #MeToo movement is starting to bring about real social change in much of the world, yet its impact in China has been limited even as pioneers try to make a difference.

A North Korean military training exercise in August.

Analysis + Opinion

December 6, 2017

The price of war with North Korea

Barry PosenNew York Times

The complexity, risks and costs of a military strike against North Korea are too high. A combination of diplomacy and deterrence…is a wise alternative, says Barry Posen.

Manual workers should be respected and cherished, not repaid with arrogance, discrimination and humiliation. Illustration: Craig Stephens

Analysis + Opinion

November 29, 2017

Beijing’s cruel eviction of its migrant workers

Audrey Jiajia LiSouth China Morning Post

As a society urbanises, its “hardware” and “software” should both improve. Manual workers should be respected and cherished, not repaid with arrogance, discrimination and humiliation. 

Jalen Hill reads his statement during a news conference at UCLA on Nov. 15 in Los Angeles. Three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China admitted to the crime and apologized before coach Steve Alford announced they were being suspended indefinitely.

Analysis + Opinion

November 22, 2017

Trump intervened with Xi on UCLA players. But what about human rights activists?

Audrey Jiajia LiBoston Globe

Some may argue that in the “America First” era, the president understandably pays far less attention to the fate of foreign human rights activists than that of US citizens. 

Analysis + Opinion

November 20, 2017

Nuclear stability, conventional instability: North Korea and the lessons from Pakistan

Ankit Panda and Vipin NarangWar on the Rocks

This is the twelfth installment of “Southern (Dis)Comfort,” a new series from War on the Rocks and the Stimson Center. The series seeks to unpack the dynamics of intensifying competition — military, economic, diplomatic — in Southern Asia, principally between China, India, Pakistan, and the United States.

Grace Mugabe at a church interface rally in Harare, November 2017.

Analysis + Opinion

November 17, 2017

Why Zimbabwe's military abandoned Mugabe

Philip MartinForeign Affairs

Zimbabwe’s recent military putsch is all the more remarkable. For the first time in the country’s 37 years of independence, the military has intervened directly in domestic politics against the wishes of the civilian head of state.

Hotel attendants for delegates pose in Tiananmen Square as the 19th party congress closed on October 24. Photo: Simon Song

Analysis + Opinion

November 11, 2017

China, a model for gender equality? The reality would say otherwise

Audrey Jiajia LiSouth China Morning Post

The glaring absence of women in top national decision-making bodies, and a culture where sexism and misogyny still thrive, mean female empowerment in China still has a long way to go.

Donald Trump talked to China's President Xi Jinping as Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived for a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9.

Analysis + Opinion

November 9, 2017

Trump and Xi forge a friendship with a frightening edge

Audrey Jiajia LiBoston Globe

Despite his China-bashing campaign rhetoric, President Trump is enjoying the warmest reception of his overseas trips — since his inauguration — in Beijing.


Analysis + Opinion

November 1, 2017

What next for Kurdistan?

Aswo Safari and John TirmanThe Huffington Post

The central government of Baghdad all along was threatening the Kurdistan regional government, as did Turkey, Syria, and in particularly Iran.

Ai Weiwei's guilded cage

Analysis + Opinion

October 26, 2017

Ai Weiwei: The enemy of walls

Audrey Jiajia LiThe Boston Globe

Ai Weiwei is not an enemy of the state. He is an enemy of walls, physical or virtual, no matter who builds them, Trump or Xi Jinping.

Analysis + Opinion

October 25, 2017

What political science tells us about the risk of civil war in Spain

Sara PlanaWar on the Rocks

Spanish stability may well turn on what happens near the regional parliament building in Barcelona’s Barri Gotic—in the shadow of Roman and medieval relics — as Catalan citizens prepare to form human shields to literally block Spanish direct rule.

Analysis + Opinion

October 16, 2017

Deadly Overconfidence: Trump thinks missile defenses work against North Korea, and that should scare you

Ankit Panda and Vipin NarangWar on the Rocks

Could a president’s overconfidence in U.S. defensive systems lead to deadly miscalculation and nuclear armageddon? Yes. Yes, it could. If Trump believes — or is being told — that American missile defenses are that accurate, not only is he factually wrong, he is also very dangerously wrong.

Saudi election officials sit at a polling station in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Dec. 12, 2015. (Dina Fouad/AFP/Getty Images)

Analysis + Opinion

October 10, 2017

Women will soon be issuing fatwas in Saudi Arabia. This isn't as groundbreaking as you'd think.

Richard A. NielsenThe Washington Post

Within days of the reversal of Saudi Arabia’s infamous driving ban for women, the Saudi government announced that women will be authorized as muftis to give state-sanctioned Islamic legal rulings. Yet those hoping that this move extends women’s rights in the kingdom will probably be disappointed.

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke Tuesday during the 86th Interpol General Assembly in Beijing.

Analysis + Opinion

September 26, 2017

China’s delicate dance with ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘dotard’

Audrey Jiajia LiBoston Globe

Mao Zedong succeeded in joining the nuclear club, and no external force in the world could undermine his grip on power after that. 

Analysis + Opinion

September 15, 2017

Command and control in North Korea: What a nuclear launch might look like

Vipin Narang and Ankit PandaWar on the Rocks

A new nuclear state, in a major crisis with a conventionally superior nuclear-armed adversary, contemplates and prepares to move nuclear assets in the event it has to use them. Who controls the nuclear forces?

If Kim Jong Un feels threatened, he may believe he has no other choice. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Analysis + Opinion

September 8, 2017

Why Kim Jong Un wouldn’t be irrational to use a nuclear bomb first

Vipin NarangThe Washington Post

North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is advancing quickly. Soon Kim Jong Un will be able to deliver it to our shores, if he cannot do so already.

Analysis + Opinion

September 4, 2017

Welcome to the H-Bomb Club, North Korea

Ankit Panda and Vipin NarangWar on the Rocks

After months of anticipation, it finally happened. On Sunday morning, September 3, at precisely noon local time, North Korea detonated its sixth nuclear device ever to test a presumably new thermonuclear bomb design.

Analysis + Opinion

September 1, 2017

Why India did not ‘win’ the standoff with China

M. Taylor FravelWar on the Rocks

The end of a standoff between India and China over a remote road on the Doklam plateau has prompted a vibrant discussion about the lessons learned. The emerging consensus is that India “won” and China “lost.”

North Korea

Analysis + Opinion

August 23, 2017

Should you be worried about North Korea?

Jim WalshAl Jazeera

To no one's surprise, I can't "save us", but I can give you a sense of where things stand, where they might be going, and a few things we might want to do, writes Jim Walsh in a recent opinion piece.