Taiwan long has been one of the globe's most dangerous tripwires. Other than a brief period after World War II, the island has not been ruled by the mainland for more than a century. The 23 million people living on what was once called Formosa have made a nation.
Last month the Taiwanese people voted overwhelmingly for Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party, which formally advocates an independent Taiwan rather than "one China" encompassing both mainland and Taiwan.
China has come far. But it has even further to go. Where it ends up is likely to depend on whether the government comes to trust its people and becomes accountable to them. If not, the 21st Century is unlikely to end up as the Chinese Century.
The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center should be on the "to see" list of anyone visiting the city. You'll be simultaneously fascinated and appalled by what the Chinese have gone through--and thankful that you have not!
This week the Atlantic Magazine published "The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?" by Graham Allison. I have a great deal of respect for Graham Allison and he lays out a series of compelling arguments. But I believe he will be proven wrong in this case.
Obama's China syndrome is that he seeks both to engage China and to contain China. Both are appropriate and arguably quite necessary goals for American statecraft. But they presuppose a state of creative tension between the established superpower and would-be superpower.
Regardless of the policy choices that Chinese leaders must face, the average Chinese citizen will not be able to go to the polls. How they choose to voice their frustration and how Chinese policymakers react will be a very interesting dance over the next 18 months.
Adults who lived through the Cultural Revolution are only too aware of the mercurial horror of past Communist rule. A high school student told me that his father urged him to study in America because of the restrictions on freedom.
Taiwan is not a typical destination for Westerners yet it is popular with Chinese visitors. Taiwan has its own President, constitution, armed forces and currency but is officially called the Republic of China (ROC) despite being part of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
The PRC has become masterful at playing the international system against itself, whether on issues related to maritime law or development finance, as has been skillfully demonstrated with the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The best way to minimize political confrontations between church and state is to reduce government restraints on religion. Christians have no unified view of politics, and that is as true in China as in America. But believers everywhere agree on the importance of being allowed to worship God.
His brutal, unpredictable dictatorship has disappeared, but in its place has emerged a blander, more prosaic and bureaucratic authoritarian system. Still, the Chinese people remain in chains, though their fetters now are gold and silver.
We live in a complex world and the sheer quantity of trying to keep track of things will sometimes flood the most devoted news junkie. With all of this happening, there's probably not much happening now that that Hong Kong thing or whatever it was has stopped happening, right? Wrong.
A bitter extended exchange between two very old friends from Capitol Hill's contingent of Vietnam vets -- Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain -- captured the spirit of anger and disarray that presently characterizes America's geopolitical posture.
Can a state remain a party to a treaty or convention without being bound by its rules? Can contracting states adhere to an international legal regime and simultaneously opt out of any binding force required or to be required by that regime?
On this visit, I was once again astounded by the Chinese embrace of Western music. Consider these statistics: Thirty years after the end of the Cultural Revolution when western music was banned, approximately 40 million people are studying piano and 10 million studying violin.
What if you live in a society where the very ideas you harbor are punishable by imprisonment -- or worse? How much of being an artist becomes about simply having the courage to express your ideas in verbal or physical form?
A distracted America gives China a much freer hand as it seeks to establish dominance throughout the South China Sea. At least in theory. Bandwidth, or lack of the same on the part of the U.S., is China's ally in this situation.
The democratic election and swearing-in of Lobsang Sangay by the Tibetan people in exile as their prime minister and political leader are important events not just for the Tibetan people, but for spirit of democracy worldwide.