China and the Perils of Bipartisanship

Not a single congressional Republican voted for the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Not even the so-called moderate Republicans, the handful that backed the second impeachment of Donald Trump, deigned to support an economic package that helps Americans hardest hit by the pandemic. The entire Republican caucus didn’t just snub the Democrats. They ignored the Republican mayors, as well as...
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One in a Billion

The story of An Wei overlaps almost perfectly with the story of Communist China. Born in a small village some distance from the northwestern city of Xian, An Wei was seven years old when Mao took control of the country in 1949. As the son of peasants, he was part of the first generation of schoolchildren to get a Communist education. He participated in the new communes of the Great Leap Forward,...
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America: The Unreliable Superpower

The nightmare is over. The vanquished beast has crawled back to Mar-a-Lago to lick his wounds. The heroes are hard at work repairing the damage. As America returns to the international stage, the world heaves a collective sigh of relief. That, at least, is the story the incoming Biden administration is telling. “America is back, multilateralism is back, diplomacy is back,” as Linda...
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What Explains COVID’s East-West Divide?

COVID-19 has been ruthless in choosing winners and losers around the world. The obvious “losers” have been those countries led by right-wing nationalists: Brazil, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, and (until recently) the United States. These five countries are responsible for more than half of the world’s coronavirus infections and nearly half the deaths. Just as obviously, the...
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Biden Won’t Reset Foreign Policy On His Own

Joe Biden is a cautious man of the center. He has anchored the moderate camp of the Democratic Party for several decades. For many, he is a welcome antidote to the last four years of fire and fury, like a bite of white bread to alleviate the pain of a mouthful of habanero pepper. The reassurance Biden provides is that of the status quo ante. Donald Trump promised a return to an illusory golden...
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