Xi and Bun: The Chinese President's Ordinary Meal Turned Extraordinary

A politician’s choice of meal and his table manners are revealing of his habits, personality, and mindset. In 2013, Xi Jinping’s unannounced visit to Qinfeng Restaurant, an ordinary chain bun shop in Beijing, surprised the entire nation. While China has since changed significantly and Xi’s public lunch is not likely to repeat, the event continues to remain vivid in Chinese public memory and internet more than five years on.

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Expenditures of Unknowing: Failures in COIN

From Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, United States counterinsurgency policies (COIN) strategy has led to marathons of expensive conflict by failing to balance “winning the hearts and minds of the people” and avoiding being seen as an occupying force. With an understanding of the role of politics and importance of population-centric strategy, perhaps United States counterinsurgency policies should begin to focus mostly on deterrence and negotiation, rather than force and occupation.

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Importance of Human Rights in North Korea Negotiations

In December 2018, the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on three senior North Korean officials in response to the regime’s ongoing violation of human rights in accordance with the 2016 North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act (NKSPEA). The integration of human rights issues into global security negotiations is an effective foreign policy strategy that both serves as an additional mechanism of containment and a long-term tactic that can transform the norms of oppressive regimes.

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Is the World Seeing a Change in the Will of the People?

Only twenty years ago, democracy was the champion system of the world. Today however, the very countries that are often regarded as the bastions of democracy and liberalism are electing the system’s downfall. So a question arises: do the people no longer want democracy? Or more importantly, is the world seeing a change in the will of the people?

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The Nauru Question: Australia and the South Pacific’s ‘Ring of Steel’

Nauru is the smallest republic in the world, yet its significance towards Australia, New Zealand, and the broader South Pacific region is paramount. The re-opening of the Nauru Regional Processing Centre for refugees in 2016 has proven to be a rather problematic sticking point, offering challenges to local diplomatic relations as well as stimulating international discussion over fundamental questions of human rights. What would happen to Nauru next?

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Indian Citizenship Law Disenfranchises Millions

In July 2018, the Modi government released a draft of the National Register of Citizens as part of the 2016 Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to remove Indian citizenship from individuals who arrived in the country after 2014. The new law effectively stripped four million Assamese residents of Indian citizenship, a targeted move of exclusion and marginalization that should outrage the global community. A broad front is necessary to stop this exclusionary agenda in its tracks, and this will require organizing within India as well as concerted uproar by the global community.

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The Future of the Environment: Sustainability with Chinese Characteristics?

China has achieved an industrial revolution within twenty years that took many Western countries an entire century; yet, this accomplishment has also compacted a century of environmental pollution issues into a mere two decades. An important question to ask is how China — as the world’s next emerging superpower — will balance its sustainability efforts and economic growth.

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Departure of Ambassador Haley and the Future of the United Nations

The legacy of Ambassador Nikki Haley continues to be divided and her departure from the United Nations has left numerous challenges for the new United States ambassador to reform the organization in this increasingly globalized world. But just because the U.N. will need to address these challenges and criticisms, that should not be a reason to abandon our efforts all together.

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The Misunderstood African Diaspora in America

The African diaspora population has been consistently increasing in America, reaching a population of 2.1 million and making up 4.8% of the United States’ total immigrant population in 2015. Given the increasing presence of the African diaspora in the U.S., a central question remains, when will America began to educate itself about Africa and its people?

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U.S Provides Aid to Egypt, Human Rights Abused

By choosing to sideline human rights concerns in an effort to address national security interests, the Trump administration has effectively given Egypt’s government a green light to continue to abuse human rights in the same way they have for years

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The Mediterranean Crisis of Les Misérables

One day more. Another day, another destiny. This never-ending road to Calvary. When I first heard Jean Valjean’s lament, the main character of the acclaimed Broadway musical and Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, I was only a six-year old child that hardly understood what being a refugee implied. Seventeen years later and after having devoted my graduate studies to the analysis of International Relations, I do not only understand the depth of Jean Valjean’s claim, but I can’t help to identify it in every refugee that has arrived at the European coastline since 2011.

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The Dynamics of Fiji-New Zealand Relations: What Now, and What Next?

This year will prove to be a momentously telling year for Fiji. 2018 sees the second wave of democratic national elections since Frank Bainimarama’s coup, and is an event that will be closely observed by its estranged South Pacific neighbour, New Zealand, among others. If both nations recognise their shortcomings and atone for them, the storm clouds can and will part in the South Pacific.

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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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