China

Xi Jinping: a reign of failure

11 minute read As Russia flirts with recession, its international standing permanently marred by images of the Bucha butchery, there will be no shortage of embarrassment in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping miscalculated drastically by declaring a “no limits” partnership with Moscow in February, only three weeks before the invasion of Ukraine. China’s international reputation […]

China Culture War

Why the lab leak theory refuses to die

10-minute read Conspiracy theory isn’t what it used to be. The term has taken on a pejorative quality of late, and those who subscribe are increasingly viewed as dangerous lunatics. It was once the case that a person who believed in shadowy government cover-ups was considered eccentric but harmless. Celebrity adherents were smilingly indulged. In […]

China

Dealing with the Devil: debt traps on the Belt and Road

8-minute read   The coronavirus crisis has frozen construction projects all along the Belt and Road, the century’s most ambitious geopolitical venture. Researcher Wade Shepard reports that “work has stopped along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Cambodia’s Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone has come to a standstill, the Payra coal power plant in Bangladesh has been delayed, and projects […]

Culture War Philosophy & Psychology

The judicious rulebreaker: misunderstanding Jordan Peterson

11-minute read No one attracts criticism like Jordan Peterson. Since his emergence as a public intellectual in 2016, Peterson has been accused of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and right-wing conspiracy theorising. He stands apart from the other members of the so-called ‘Intellectual Dark Web’, his name a by-word for everything that is supposedly […]

Culture War

Fake News and Low-Resolution Narratives

10-minute read   A pleasing thing about growing older is that one’s experience and hopefully wisdom gently increase, not unlike a middle-aged waistline. It can be hard to know whether you’re becoming better and quicker at spotting patterns, discrepancies, and contradictions in the media, or maybe it’s just cynicism with a little confirmation bias sprinkled […]

China

The long shadow of Tiananmen Square

14-minute read   Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. On this day in 1989 martial law troops fired on student protesters and random bystanders outside the Square at the heart of Beijing, killing an as-yet-unconfirmed number – perhaps as high as ten thousand.i The number of the dead counts as one […]

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