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China 2.0

Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution, Seen From China's Press And Social Media

While newspapers have been heavily censored, real discussion is taking place on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, and other online forums. But even there, someone is keeping watch.

"Change begins with a fight"
"Change begins with a fight"
Meiqi An

The stakes are rising in Hong Kong, as the pro-democracy "Umbrella" movement holds firm on its fifth day despite warnings from Chinese authorities to disperse. On Thursday, following the previous day's national day celebrating the founding of the People's Republic, state police in Hong Kong warned demonstrators of “serious consequences” if they continue their unauthorized gathering. Up to 87 rounds of tear gas have been tallied, but demonstrators continue to stay in Hong Kong's central financial district, umbrellas in hand, demanding free elections.

And how is it all playing out in mainland China? The movement, like others that challenge the central government directly, has been heavily censored in newspapers and television. Even independent dailies and websites go no further than simply quoting the state-run People’s Daily and Xinhua Agency on this issue.

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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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