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May 1, 2018

China
Xi’s China Is More Authoritarian at Home and More Assertive Abroad, Argues Elizabeth Economy in New Book

May 1, 2018—“One of the great paradoxes of China today,” writes eminent China scholar Elizabeth C. Economy, “is Xi Jinping’s effort to position himself as a champion of globalization, while at th…

May 22, 2018

South Africa
South-Africa-Ramaphosa-US-Relations-Bad U.S.-South Africa Bilateral Relationship Faces Difficult Road Ahead

While on the UN Security Council, South Africa is likely to adopt positions on issues ranging from Iran to Palestine and Israel that will be opposed by the Trump administration. There are also tariff and trade issues that will set back the relationship.

April 4, 2018

China
Soybeans being sorted Trump and Xi Agree: Short-Term Gain for Long-Term Pain

Perhaps President Trump will succeed in reducing the bilateral trade deficit with China simply by reducing bilateral trade.

May 17, 2018

Burundi
https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN1IH1YI-OZATP Burundi's Vote Could Keep Nkurunziza President Until 2034

Burundians are at the polls today to vote in a referendum on constitutional amendments that would, among other things, change the country’s rules around term limits.

April 13, 2018

China
Djiboutian workers stand at the opening of the Doraleh Multipurpose Port China’s Strategy in Djibouti: Mixing Commercial and Military Interests

With the opening of the first overseas Chinese military base in Djibouti, this tiny Horn of Africa country has become a testing ground for the mixing of China's commercial and military interests abro…

May 9, 2018

Diplomacy and International Institutions
CHOGM Through the Commonwealth, the UK Tries to Curtail Internet Shutdowns

The Commonwealth does not get much attention in the United States. Few will have noticed that its member governments committed to avoid disrupting internet access in their countries, an attempt to st…

May 4, 2018

South Africa
UN-Voting-Nikki-Haley UN Voting Report Could Upset U.S.-South Africa Relationship

Ambassador Haley seems to be saying that if a country consistently votes against the United States in the UN, its bilateral U.S. assistance will be in jeopardy. 

April 27, 2018

Women and Women's Rights
U.N. mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura with members of the Women Advisory Board during Syria peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 2016. Inclusion Riders for War and Peace

At the 2018 Academy Awards, Oscar winner Frances McDormand explained how movies can be more diverse: inclusion riders. This approach is one worth considering outside of Hollywood—including in the con…

January 18, 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa-Trump-Ambassador-Letter-Shithole Former U.S. Ambassadors to Africa Protest President Trump’s Remarks

Seventy-eight former U.S. ambassadors to African countries (including me) have signed a public letter to the president asking him to "reassess" his views on Africa and its citizens.

April 20, 2018

Myanmar
A group of Rohingya refugees after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, September 1, 2017. The Rohingya Crisis

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority group, are fleeing persecution in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State, fueling a historic migration crisis.