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China's December 2013 lunar landing on the front page at a Beijing newsstand
China's December 2013 lunar landing on the front page at a Beijing newsstand
Liu Bo

BEIJING — For many Chinese, the successful Dec. 14 moon landing of the Chang'E-3 expand=1] spacecraft was a moment of particular pride and joy. China has become the third country in the world to independently achieve a soft landing on the Moon and begin a round of lunar prospecting. It is also a milestone in China's space industry development after a lapse of 37 years since the last Russian lunar landing.

However, not everyone here was so thrilled. "So the red state flag has made it to the Moon. What has this got to do with us?" one Chinese online comment read, summing up much of the public skepticism.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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