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Chinese weapons in Manila on Oct. 5
Geopolitics

Why Chinese Arms Sales In Asia Are Booming

Beijing has become one of the largest weapons exporters in the world, allowing it to gain new allies and place its pawns strategically throughout the continent.

HONG KONG — Last week, China's ambassador to the Phillipines, Zhao Jinhua, delivered 3000 assault rifles to Manila during a ceremony at the Philippine Army headquarters. At the end of June, Beijing had already offered the archipelago a shipment of arms worth $7.3 million. The police and the army will use this to combat Muslim militants and as part of a vast anti-drug campaign that has already left more than 13,000 dead.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. "China is now one of the five biggest arms exporters in the world, just behind the United States, Russia and France," notes Siemon Wezeman, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, who researched the subject. Between 2011 and 2015, China sold military equipment to 37 countries, and 75% of these exports went to Asia or Oceania. Pakistan has received the lion's share (35%), followed by Bangladesh (20%) and Burma (16%).

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Last month's trial of Mahmoud O. in Germany
Terror in Europe

Mental Health And Jihad, Are Islamic Terrorists Insane?

Voltaire reminds us that today's Islamic fanaticism is a kind of pathology of religious faith.

PARIS — So who was Stephen Paddock? Was the Las Vegas assassin a "very, very sick individual", as described by Donald Trump? Or a jihadist combatant, recently converted, as ISIS maintains? Or both — or neither? For now, there is no clear response to these questions. But an analogous perplexity returns, again and again, as acts of violence proliferate around the world. In France, in Europe, in the United States, from knife attacks to truck massacres, from shootings to assaults, the same question continues to resurfaces: are we dealing with a "real" terrorist or a mentally ill person? A fanatic or someone unstable? I believe that while this question no doubt is legitimate, it is extremely limited. What is worse, instead, is that it risks making us blind to a more fundamental philosophical analysis that is sorely needed.

The practical scope of this question has to do with the police, first and foremost. The investigation is vastly different, for the police and for the specialized services, if an assailant is a psychopath caught up in some fit of delirium rather than a trained jihadist, acting on orders, as part of a network, controlled by an organization. Despite all this, the boundary between the two is not necessarily easy to trace, because multiple factors tend to blur together.

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A welder prepares steel rails in Zhengzhou in 2017.
China

Warning To The West: Don't Let China Hijack Global Capitalism

The U.S. has a long history of inhibiting Chinese expansion in Asia. Now, Donald Trump is handing them the keys.

PARIS — Donald Trump makes it clearer by the day that he is the best gift the United States could have ever given to China. Thanks to the new American administration, Xi Jinping — with his successful blend of absolutism, nationalism and economic modernization — is accelerating the reconfiguration of the infrastructure networks and trade relations that shape globalization.

The chaos that has taken hold in Washington contrasts with the long-term strategy conducted by Beijing that aims not only to surpass the United States but also to impose a new global leadership. The U.S. has become the weak side of the strategic Beijing-Moscow-Washington triangle with the country's power and credibility continually compromised by the erratic behavior of Donald Trump.

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