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Geopolitics

China-USA: Who Will Own The “Pacific Century”?

Essay: A Chinese commentator notes a disturbing uptick in U.S. drumbeating in the Pacific region. But China’s response, he warns, should be diplomatic pragmatism not more nationalistic posturing.

US Naval exercise in the South China Sea
US Naval exercise in the South China Sea
Xie Tao

BEIJING - In early 1941, when America was still standing by as a neutral observer of the European battlefield, Time Magazine founder Henry Luce wrote an essay calling on his countrymen to abandon isolationism, assume the role of democratic missionary and establish "the first great American century."

Fast forward to another American essay, delivered last month by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the eve of the 19th gathering of leaders of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum. Clinton described how America's strategic focus over the next decade will shift to the Asia-Pacific region. This, she declared, will establish "America's Pacific Century."

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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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