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Strategy or Ambiguity? Taiwan-China Relations in the Age of Trump

Before even having time to organize his sock drawer in the White House, Donald Trump managed to endanger US relations with China and broke the policy tradition that had seen six presidents before him come and go. Traditionally, the US has acknowledged the One China Policy while engaging in trade …

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Gambling in Japan: Has Abe Gone Too Far?

Everyone travelling to Japan knows it: Pachinko (パチンコ). In the loud, well-lit halls dozens of people gamble, throwing steel balls into slot machines. The steel balls make a clicking sound (sounding like ‘Pachinko’ – explaining the name), and together the multiple rows of machines make a deafening noise. Still, the …

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Climate Change in 2017 – A Tale of Two Cities

In Washington, the Trump administration is currently repealing the previous administration’s climate change regulations. It is becoming clear that this administration won’t take a leading role in the fight against climate change. In Beijing, however, the Chinese government is sending out a different message. “It was the best of times, …

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Sea Level Rise – Climate Refugee Issue to be a Watershed for Bangladesh

In October 2016 a roadmap on climate finance by developed countries was released, targeting $100 billion for developing countries by 2020 to face global warming consequences. Set out in the COP21 Paris Agreement and the Green Climate Fund (GFC) framework, it aims to help developing countries anticipate future environmental hardship. …

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The long shadow of Ferdinand Marcos

“[It is] wrong, denies our history, erases the memory of lives lost and destroyed, mocks the collective action we took to oust the dictator, and denigrates the value of our struggle for freedom.” That was the reaction of Maria Serena Diokno, the Philippines’ top government historian, to President Rodrigo Duterte’s …

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Is China’s Environmental Dilemma Becoming an Issue of Legitimacy?

In 2015 the world witnessed what seemed the beginning of growing public dissent towards the effects that an almost three decade long surge for economic growth had on the environment. The protests consisted of Chinese of mixed class backgrounds who found common ground in their concern for a cleaner environment …

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US Military Presence in Japan: a Paradox between Local and National Security

For many governments, finding a balance between different groups of interest is a difficult task. This is especially the case for Japanese government, which has to deal with American military presence in Okinawa. On the one hand, local residents want the Americans to go, as Americans are perceived to threaten …

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A forgotten genocide – and why it matters today

After the 2014 winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi, Vladimir Putin announced they had been a success. When the 2014 winter Olympics started in Sochi, people gathered outside Russian embassies around the world to protest. Despite the protests, few ever heard about the Circassians, the indigenous people of the …

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Why prosperous Macau does not follow Hong Kong’s gamble for independence

4 September, 2016 was a watershed moment for Hong Kong: for the first time in the city’s history, parties supporting the independence of the territory were elected to parliament. As Hong Kong faces problems such as an influx of Chinese migrants, soaring housing prices, a lack of democracy, and a perceived …

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Hillary’s Russian Roulette

US-Russia relations have had a turbulent history, to say the least. But when Obama assumed the presidency in 2009 – less than a year after Russia’s invasion of Georgia, which threatened to plunge the US and Russia into a new cold war – he was eager to press the reset …

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