In Beijing on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama called on China to be a "partner in underwriting the international order" instead of "undermining" it. One key American strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, is strongly promoting the idea that Obama's notion should be pushed further and formalized into a "Pacific Charter."
Now that Xi and Abe have had their icy handshake, China and Japan need to move forward. Hotlines are necessary, but so is continued leadership: for President Xi, to ensure that anti-Japanese nationalism does not dictate policy towards Tokyo; for Prime Minister Abe, to tamp down tendencies towards historical revisionism.
Most of the Chinese artists who attended his speech on the arts were older than Xi himself. Communication between such figures who use the old Communist Party language, and the most active population--now under 40 and with no firsthand experience of the Cultural Revolution -- is practically impossible.
The number of Chinese students seeking to be educated in the West has received significant media attention in recent years, but what about the flipside? What will this mean for the further development of higher education institutions in modern China and for their influence with educators and students around the world?
Shock and Awe was the name for the onslaught of missiles and bombing that was to initiate the U.S. invasion and would intimidate Saddam, quickly bringing his regime into submission. Little did we know that the opening days of the second Iraq war marked the end of the era of America as the world's dominant military power.
For the past week, the commercial arteries of Hong Kong have been clogged with (mostly) student demonstrators clamoring for "democracy." What is the end game here? I predict resolution, albeit one unsatisfying to most Westerners as well as a minority of Hong Kong citizens who aspire an American brand of democracy.
In Hong Kong, they may be protesting with umbrellas, but in Taiwan earlier this year, it was sunflowers. Hong Kong's protesters know as well as PRC policymakers that Taiwan is still watching very closely, and Beijing's wrong-footed response in Hong Kong today could halt Ma's push for greater Taiwanese cooperation.
A terrible irony is that, seen in the relatively short term of 25 years, the Tiananmen Square event didn't help the cause of China's progress to democracy, but seems to have led the government to take China to an opposite extreme. One possibility is that Hong Kong protestors will be compelled to give in if the region is to function at all, and the cycle of post-1989 China will repeat itself with more restrictions and less freedom.