Jürgen Habermas’ theory of civic discourse imposes binding rules on debate in order to subsequently bind behavior. Perhaps this could be extended to international affairs. Scholar Wang Minmin advocates establishing “a set of negotiable yet binding communicative rules and values, [and] world opinion [that] would both allow civic discourse and act as the binding power of an international norm.” Such an approach would require “that we must first acknowledge the differences in moral orders on both sides, but then also move beyond this to realize the common ground on which both sides stand.”
  • Seán Golden 25 March 2024
    From March 4 to 11, 2024, the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress held their annual joint double session, Lianghui (两会) in Chinese. The former is the highest legislative body in China’s governmental structure. The latter is the highest advisory body. In theory, all branches of government are subordinate to the National People’s Congress. In practice, government leaders present their work reports, and the Congress approves both the reports and the government’s accompanying proposals.
  • Alessandra Tommasi 12 January 2024
    Most people in Taiwan support maintaining the status quo in the island’s political dispute with mainland China for now (28.6 percent) or indefinitely (32.1 percent). Less than 8 percent support either unification with the PRC as soon as possible or maintaining the status quo while moving toward unification. Nearly 63 percent of the population feels “Taiwanese” and an even larger majority (84.3 percent) opposes a “one country, two systems” model, especially after Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong. Given these data, and that the PRC views the island as a “rogue” province and has vowed to eventually bring it back under control – not excluding military intervention – it is no surprise that mainland affairs and the relations with China are absolutely key to Taiwan’s upcoming elections.
  • Seán Golden 10 July 2023
    China’s foreign policy faces complexity due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It seeks access to resources and markets for its development and aims to challenge the dominance of the US, EU, and NATO. China cannot support Russia nor back NATO’s leadership. It seeks stability through diplomacy and maintains strict political control. However, Putin’s invasion and NATO’s response create strategic headaches for China, affecting its carefully promoted multipolar world order. China’s stability seems more secure than Russia’s, but uncertainties remain amid the changing global landscape.
  • Seán Golden 30 November 2022
    Jiang Zemin’s death coincided with a wave of protests against the current Chinese government’s zero-COVID policy. He came to power in China as the result of waves of protest in favour of political reform in 1989. In contrast to the current situation, his period in power may be perceived to have been more open, but he repressed Falun Gong movement and never advocated for opening reforms
  • In recent decades the world has gradually understood the importance of transitioning to a clean energy economy, buoyed by the prospective of catastrophic environmental collapse. However, few know that this transition largely rests on the employment of a few critical minerals whose global demand is set to skyrocket in the near future. Of particular importance in this case are the so called “rare earth” minerals, which have been at the center of US-China tensions on trade and technology in the recent decade. This article will give a brief account of the current situation regarding the rare earth elements supply chain and how it has been at the center of Us-China competition.
  • In the present world computers, cars, phones, televisions, refrigerators have become commodities which are so present that it is difficult for many to imagine a life without them. All these items work thanks to tiny devices called semiconductors. But what are they? How are they produced? And how have they ended up at the center of the present US-China trade war? This article will attempt to give a brief account of the present US-China competition on semiconductors, how it is affected by external factors like the Covid-19 pandemic, and what it might entail for the future.


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