Throughout the past decade China has been using debt-trap diplomacy as a way of exerting influence on countries around the world.

Debt-trap diplomacy: A creditor country intentionally extends excessive credit to a debtor country, thereby inducing the debtor into a debt trap.

China’s deep pockets


With international opinion towards China beginning to turn, it must adopt an increasingly hostile nationalist outlook in order to prevent it turning on itself.

Nationalism: The belief that the nation should be one’s primary source of identity and a support its interests. Can be separated into civic nationalism, which emphasises the shared values of a nation, and ethnic nationalism, which emphasises the ethnic similarities of those within the nation.

Global Opinion

Hong Kong

When Hong Kong was handed back to the China from the United Kingdom in 1997 after 100 years of British rule, the Sino-British Joint Declaration came into effect. The declaration would be allow Hong Kong to retain its liberal democratic way of life for a period of 50 years, allowing them to maintain their own…


The practice of diplomacy is something that has existed for as long as there have been nations. However, with recent revolutions in the sectors of transportation and communications, is this ancient practice under threat?

Diplomacy: the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means.

The Death of Diplomacy?

Transportation and communication revolution

Historically, embassies and consulates housed delegations of foreign nations that had been sent abroad in order to represent their nation’s interests in a foreign country. Due to the distance, it was necessary for diplomats to be trusted to operate with a high degree of autonomy. …


The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, believed to have been conducted by Israel, was a clear and obvious attempt to thwart a nuclear deal between the Biden administration and Iran.

Background

In 2015, Iran agreed a long-term deal on its nuclear programme with a group of world powers known as the P5+1 (US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany). Under the agreement, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. The accord covered uranium enrichment, the handling of plutonium and the prevention of the secret development of nuclear weapons, all in return for the lifting of economic sanctions that had cost the country more than $160bn (£118bn) in oil revenue from 2012 to 2016 alone (1). …


In recent decades, China has been expanding its global influence through the establishment of international institutions, designed to expand revisionist ideals throughout the world.

Institutionalism: A political belief that membership to institutions aids in global peace efforts, as members become increasingly interconnected and are able communicate more effectively. Often associated with neoliberal international relations theory.

Just as the US is able to exercise global influence through its dominance of the Bretton Woods institutions (The World Bank and the IMF), China has been assembling a parallel system of international organisations through which it aims to wield global influence. I have dubbed these organisations Alternative International Institutions (AIIs). …


Despite being the second wealthiest country in the world, China remains comfortably authoritarian — How?

Democracy: a political system with that allows citizens to express their political preferences, has constraints on the power of the executive, and provides a guarantee of civil liberties.

The word Democracy comes from the Greek words dēmos “people” and krátos “power”: “the people hold power.”

According to Classic Economic Modernisation Theory, as a society develops economically, the values of people within that society gradually change from being focused on survival, to being more focused around self-expression. People need no longer focus on providing basic necessities and enter a period of post-materialism that champions concepts such as freedom and individualism. …


As China continues to expand its influence in South East Asia, can ASEAN hold them off?

The origins of ASEAN

On 8 August 1967, the Foreign Ministers of five South East Asian nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) came together to sign a document that would initiate the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Throughout the 20th century, the organisation would expand to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (1).

Originally, the organisation was formed in response to growing regional concerns about the Vietnam war and the growing influence of Communism, with ASEAN’s founding members believing in strength in numbers. The organisation has focused on maintaining peace in the region and expanding cooperation for mutual growth. Overall…


“No friends but the mountains”

In order to understand the plight of the Kurdish people, we must first understand the distinction between a nation and a state. A nation is a cultural concept, defined as a collection of people bound together by shared values, traditions, language, religion, history and sometimes race, often occupying the same geographical area. A state, on the other hand, is a political entity with a political association having supreme jurisdiction over a defined territory. This territory often encompasses at least one nation. …


Hegemony: leadership or dominance, especially by one state or social group over others.

Behind Asia, Africa is the fastest growing region in the world. Its 1.1 billion population is expected to double between now and 2050, with its economy predicted to be well on its way to $5 trillion (1). It is easy to see then why China is so interested in developing tighter links between Asia and Africa.

China’s interest in the region, though, is not born of a malevolent desire for African economic growth. Rather, China views Africa as a massive and relatively untapped source of fuel and…


How China tightening its grip on Hong Kong has further alienated Taiwan.

For over a century, from 1842–1949, China existed as a fractured nation, with some areas controlled by foreign imperial powers and others by local warlords. Despite unifying the Chinese mainland in the mid 20th Century, China’s ruling party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), holds the view that China is still a fractured nation, considering Taiwan to be a fundamental part of China. Historically, Taiwan has been considered part of China. However, when the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government lost the civil war against the communists in 1949, they took the Chinese fleet and gold reserves and fled, establishing an autonomous state…

Arthur Quayle

Political writer with a focus on East Asia. Asian and International Studies (MA) student at the University of Nottingham. I also write for Evolv Ideas.

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