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Geopolitics

A Religious Awakening As China Booms

Disoriented by economic growth, China has gone from 100 to 300 million believers. But religion is still held on a tight leash by the authorities.

If you ask Ma Ying the reasons for her recent immersion in Christian faith, don't expect some lyrical speech on illumination. It all started in a cold and dank Beijing café during a winter morning in 2009. The 29-year-old woman was depressed. "I had just left my job as an assistant because my boss was very brutal," she confesses. "I couldn't take it anymore, being under-employed with miserable pay, despite my college degree."

At home, things weren't much better. Her parents kept blaming her for still not being almost 30, and still not married. "Human relations are too brutal in China today; things are going too fast, no one cares about anyone," she sighs. When a waitress in the café told her about her prayer group and the warmth she found there, Ma Ying listened carefully and was soon on board. "For the first time in my life I found people who were really interested in me, who treated me as their equal," she says today.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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