The mini-storm in a tea cup over the telephone exchange of pleasantries between US President-Elect Donald Trump and Taiwan’s pro-independence party head of its government, TsaiIng-wen, is worth trying to unpack. This is not so much for this episode itself in terms of what it may portend for U.S.-China relations under the incoming new administration as much as may tell us about Beijing’s ‘One China’ conundrum. This pertains not just to Taiwan but to Hong Kong and Tibet as well. It may also carry wider implications for other BRICS countries and emerging powers on integrationist ‘national questions’ and those pertaining to regional integration.
The election of Donald J. Trump cast a long shadow over recent negotiations at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference (COP22). This blog post assesses the new climate realities of a Trump presidency, the potential consequences for the Paris Agreement, and the on-going climate actions of U.S. corporations and citizens. The post also considers the opportunities left for China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and lingering questions concerning the future role of the U.S. in climate diplomacy.
Recent years have been marked by a deepening crisis in established democracies. In the United States the take-over of the Republican Party by Donald Trump has brought about a melt-down of the political culture and defied much analysis about Hillary Clinton winning a historic election in a much divided country. Indeed Donal Trump is now the President elect of the United States of America, the world’s only military superpower.
As the world celebrates the life and times of Fidel Castro as a revolutionary, politician, internationalist and statesman, scholars of revolution and humankind in general have been bequeathed a treasure trove of critical and emancipatory ideas. South Africa as a country that is currently grappling with a multiplicity of challenges including leadership, poverty, unemployment, inequality, domestic violence, crime, etc. has an opportunity to learn from the life experience of Fidel Castro.
International law defines refugees as people who have fled their homes due to conflict situations or the threat of persecution; they are not to be returned to the situations they fled from nor are they to be expelled1. Members of the international community have a duty to protect refugees, a duty which was affirmed in the aftermath of World War II with the ratification of the 1951 Refugee Convention2 which gave birth to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (a programme under the United Nations tasked with the protection and support as well as in assisting with the voluntary repatriation of refugees).