Hakka Revivalism: A Story of Language Conservation in the 21st Century

In December 2017, Taiwan (Republic of China) became the first government to recognize Hakka as an official national language. For the Hakka, a ‘guest people’ without a homeland, preserving its language remains the most vital aspect of continuing the group’s culture, which has played such an indispensable role in shaping China and Southeast Asia in recent history.

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The United Nations' systemic failure to respond to humanitarian crises

Since the inception of the United Nations in 1945, the maintenance of international peace and security has been its top mission and central theme. However, recent history has proved that the organization, in its current form, is impotent at responding to massive abuses of human rights especially when it comes to genocides and ethnic cleansing.

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Detonating the South Pacific: Beaches, Bombs and the Movement for Denuclearisation

While 2017 has seen the resurfacing of the chronic nuclear question plaguing international affairs, it also brings forth a hopeful reminder — the 30th anniversary of New Zealand’s stringent nuclear-free foreign policy. The South Pacific has proven that there remains a very real alternative to atomic diplomacy, and should be recognized for its efforts in advocating for communication and diplomacy rather than open atomic deterrence.

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Climate Change: Actions Speak Louder than Words

We might know all the facts and all the necessary steps that need to be taken not to reach the 2°C threshold. But actually acting upon this knowledge is a whole different story. We need to understand the importance of nature and how people are affected by it: not just factually, but emotionally. In a globalized world, we need to extend our empathy to all corners of the earth. Climate change knows no circle nor national border.

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Soul-Searching During the Fourth Industrial Revolution

A.I., Big Data, IoT, Cloud, 3D printing, Bio-engineering, Smart farming, Drones, Self-driving. All these big words signify the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). What is unique about the term is that it was pointed out in advance, unlike the former three.

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Women As A Source Of Survival And Advantage: The Case For Saudi Arabia

When it comes to economic assets, Saudi Arabia has historically missed out on leveraging its most important reserve, the capacity and capabilities of women. Indeed, women are the key ingredient to bringing about true transformation to our country. Today, under the visionary HRH Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, we are seeing the beginnings of this take shape.

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Addressing the Rohingya Crisis: What is Happening in Myanmar?

The Rohingya crisis has recently saturated western media, but the persecution of these people has intensified within the last 200 years. Paralysis in the international community aggravates generations of abuse with consequences felt within and beyond Myanmar. The current situation is devolving into ethnic cleansing, threatening a "final solution" for the Rohingya people.

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Refugees are not the Villains

In 2011, the U.S. and its allies tried to forcefully install a democratic system in Libya by removing its president of 42 years, Muammar Gaddafi. He was killed soon after by militants. Gaddafi had succeeded in improving many societal services in Libya, including education, health, and housing. According to the World Bank, in 2010 Libya had the sixth highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa, and its population’s life expectancy ranked number one. In his 2011 remarks on Libya, while Gaddafi was still in power, President Obama said, “Of course, there is no question that Libya – and the world – will be better off with Gaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means.” Unfortunately, Libya has been standing on shaky grounds ever since the U.S and its allies removed Gaddafi from power...

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Bluster with Bombs: Trump’s Ultimately Meaningless Strike on Syria

The use of sarin indicates that Assad’s chemical weapons program is far more extensive than intelligence experts and policymakers believed. In the wake of the 2013 chemical attack in the Ghouta district outside of Damascus, the U.S. and Russia backed a plan by which Syria would give up its chemical stockpiles. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)would then transport and dismantle them under international supervision. By spring of 2014, the Obama administration reported that all of Syria’s reported chemical weapons had been removed from the country. Since then, the Syrian government has used chlorine gas on rebels on multiple occasions.  

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Temporary Fixes

Leveling contradictory examples of isolationist, pragmatic and Machiavellian policy choices, the new president appears to be leaping down the same path of support for brutal authoritarian regimes and to be supporting vicious insurgent movements in favor of a “quick fix” in the Middle East. Clearly failing to hide his reverence for the autocratic institutions of oppressed nations, President Trump is pursuing an unsustainable, counterproductive and outright dangerous policy that, according to all logic, will produce tangible benefits for neither the American people nor the average citizens of literally any other country.

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Venezuela is at Risk of a Coup

On Thursday, Venezuela lost its last vestige of representative democracy when President Nicolas Maduro, aligned with the country’s supreme court magistrates, suspended the Venezuelan National Assembly. In a move derided by the international community, Maduro and the magistrates removed the opposition party from power and effectively completed Venezuela’s transformation into a one-party state. These developments, coupled with an economic and humanitarian crisis, make a military-backed coup d’etat against Maduro’s government a very real possibility.

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Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong (and why Morten Jerven Gets It Right)

The use of one trend—chronic growth failure—to describe postcolonial African growth is like drawing a linear line of best fit through a circular function. While the line will inadvertently intersect the function twice, this line in no way properly describes the relationships between data points. Combine this with the one-size-fits-all insistence that bad institutions and bad governance account for slow growth. We are left with a determination for why growth in Africa has failed that may appear aesthetically salient, but exercises no real explanatory power or guidance for future strategies.

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Refugees and Regimes: Using Historical Precedent to Address the Migrant Crisis

The belief that the United States is not in an adequate state to embrace refugees ignores not only the strength of the U.S. as a global world power, but also the example that countries with far fewer resources than the United States set. Lebanon has the greatest per capita concentration of refugees in the world. With a two-year political vacuum, decades-old internal divisions, and an infant government, Lebanon is in a comparatively far less adequate position to welcome refugees.

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The European Far-Right: A Platform Rooted in Fear, Not Fact

Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician and founder of the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom (PVV) was recently indicted in a hate speech lawsuit for rousing discrimination against immigrants in his country. The Netherlands is holding federal elections in mid-March. Wilders’ party is leading in nearly every poll. The PVV is set to win.

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Chinese College Student Perspectives on President Trump and Why They Matter

So how do Chinese college students in China view President Trump? The answer is not in Trump’s favor. Because of his campaign rhetoric and aggressive stance on the South China Sea - most notably Steve Bannon’s prediction of a war in the region – the Chinese people have long been wary of Trump’s foreign policy ideas. Talking with Chinese students at Tsinghua University and Peking University, I found that they believe Trump’s behavior and attitude towards their country is unhealthy for developing a constructive relationship between the two nations.

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