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China

China: Who Can Stop The Tyranny Of The Privileged Class?

Essay: Recent cases of badly behaving sons of the rich and powerful has riled the Chinese public, raising real questions about whether a country’s ruling class is more powerful than the state itself.

Different worlds collide in China's largest cities
Different worlds collide in China's largest cities

BEIJING - "The father is his son's passport, and the son is his father's epitaph." This may sound like some ancient Chinese saying, but it is actually some very modern commentary buzzing among bloggers these days in China. Time and time again the children of celebrities aggressively flaunt their wealth and connections.

In a famous case last year, the son of the chief of the national police hit two people with his car, killing one of them. He drove off from the scene shouting his father's name. After a long delay, he is now serving six years in jail.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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