Argument

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with China's former President Hu Jintao

China’s Steps Backward Began Under Hu Jintao

Beijing’s new aggression and ideological reaction started well before Xi Jinping.

Russian President Vladimir Putin via teleconference call at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow on May 26, 2020.

Putin Is Warping Russia’s Pandemic Response

Doctors are being attacked and critics silenced as Moscow tries to control the narrative.

U.S. President Donald Trump (left) delivers remarks at a Keep America Great rally in Phoenix on Feb. 19. Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) gives a speech during a ceremony in Jerusalem on Jan. 23.

Russia’s Cynicism Is Infecting U.S. Politics

The two great powers have always been mirrors of each other—for good and bad.

U.S. troops load up into personnel carriers to take them toward Washington, D.C., from the Joint Force Headquarters of the D.C. National Guard on June 2.

Tiananmen Can Happen Here

Westerners learn the wrong lessons from a distant massacre.

Beijing magistrates wearing court uniforms join workers demonstrating in support of student hunger-strikers gathered at Tiananmen Square, in Beijing on May 18, 1989.

Xi Jinping’s Tiananmen Family Lessons

The Chinese leader learned one key thing from his father: The party comes first.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in Beijing

Belarus Is Having an Anti-‘Cockroach’ Revolution

For three decades, Alexandr Lukashenko has successfully crushed all organized opposition to his rule—but the pandemic has changed everything.

Kim Jong Un on Television

A Modest Proposal: Open Ties With North Korea

Washington should drop its bluster and take a diplomatic step in its relationship with Pyongyang.

A pro-democracy protester waves a British colonial flag in Hong Kong

Hong Kongers’ Route to Britishness Winds Through the Ruins of Empire

Hong Kongers were given second-class nationality. Now they’ve been promised more.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to guests during a campaign stop in West Point, Iowa, on Oct. 23, 2019.

Biden Could End Kleptocracy’s Grip on the United States

A new administration can make the changes needed to break a rotten global system.

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the White House to go to St. John's Church in Washington on June 1.

A Moment of National Shame and Peril—and Hope

We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of American democracy, but there is still a way to stop the descent.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wears a protective face mask inside a courtroom at the district court of Jerusalem on May 24, during the first day of his corruption trial.

Netanyahu Could Be a Statesman, but He Prefers to Be a Provocateur

Israel’s prime minister has always been Janus-faced. Any hope that his good side would emerge in a unity government is quickly evaporating.

Government advisor Dominic Cummings arrives home in London on May 25 after giving a press conference responding to allegations that he and his family broke U.K. coronavirus lockdown measures.

How Dominic Cummings Made Himself Irrelevant

By getting caught violating lockdown rules, Boris Johnson’s advisor has thrown away a massive polling lead—and with it, his almost total power over Britain.

A banner bearing a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. Election Will Determine Assad’s Future

Washington’s approach to Syria won’t change, but divergent approaches to Iran could have an indirect effect on the Syrian economy—and the Assad regime.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a Bible outside St John's Church across from Lafayette Park in Washington on June 1.

Autocrats Love Using the Bible as a Prop. Americans Shouldn’t.

As he posed on a church step, Trump’s false idols were on full display.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (left) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a meeting in Managua on July 22, 2019.

Iran Is Working Hard to Revive Anti-U.S. Operations in Latin America

Reactivating old alliances in America’s soft underbelly is not as easy as it seems.

A stuffed doll of Pepe the Frog sits at the main entrance of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong on Nov. 23, 2019.

Canada May Host the World’s First Incel Show Trial

There’s plenty of reason to doubt a misogynist murderer deserves to be prosecuted as a terrorist.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (center) with his wife, Emine Erdogan, followed by then-International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde (left) in Paris on Nov. 11, 2018, prior to commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the  armistice ending World War I.

Why Erdogan Won’t Ask the IMF for Help

Turkey’s economy is a mess, but its president won’t seek an IMF loan because the conditions would mean giving up his extensive patronage network.

Windows of the Grand Hotel in Taipei are illuminated to form the word "zero" after Taiwan reported no new COVID-19 cases for two consecutive days, on April 17.

How Taiwan Can Turn Coronavirus Victory Into Economic Success

Taiwan beat the virus with efficient government and advanced technology—the same ingredients that power the economy.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Kim Is Back, but North Korea Still Isn’t Stable

There’s a lot more to worry about in Pyongyang than just its ruler’s health.

A family watches Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on a television at their home in Amritsar on March 24.

Leaders Can’t Lift Lockdowns Without Public Trust

Germany’s reopening is working because Angela Merkel treats citizens like adults; China’s is succeeding because people see results. In India, there’s no trust—and little evidence of progress.

Riot police in Hong Kong

China’s Crackdown in Hong Kong Won’t Spare Foreigners

Business as usual is over in the city, whether companies like it or not.

Dominic Cummings, a special advisor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, looks on during Johnson's press conference about the ongoing situation with the coronavirus outbreak in London on March 17.

The Decline and Fall of British Lying

In Britain’s hierarchical culture, the crime for the upper classes isn’t telling lies—it’s getting caught.

A portrait of Charles-Alexandre de Calonne (1734-1802), French politician and economist.

Forget Hamilton. This Is Europe’s Calonne Moment.

The EU is still muddling through its post-pandemic recovery—and 18th-century history suggests that disaster could await.

Riot police stand guard during a protest against a planned national security law in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on May 27.

China’s Surging Nationalism Has Claimed Hong Kong

The new national security measures won’t be the end of Beijing’s belligerence.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil Is Suffering. Bolsonaro Isn’t.

The Brazilian president is proving that right-wing populism has ways of overcoming self-inflicted disasters.

Prisoners charged with belonging to the al Qaeda-affiliated MUJAO armed group are taken out of a jail at the gendarmerie in the northern Malian city of Gao while they wait to be transferred on a military flight to Bamako on Feb. 26, 2013.

Al Qaeda and ISIS Had a Truce in Africa—Until They Didn’t

The Sahel region was inching toward stability, but conflict between local jihadi groups is threatening to bring back chaos.

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