(HRW) – Donald Trump takes office today having vowed to enact policies that would threaten rights at home and abroad if actually implemented, Human Rights Watch said today. Human rights advocates, elected officials, and members of the public should press Read More
(TFC) – Does a change in leadership alter the course of the cycle of insurgency within the United States? Some are hopeful. They’re going to be disappointed. The cycle of insurgency is a set pattern that responds to various influences Read More
Japan (FPIF) – Shinzo Abe’s on a road trip to define Japan’s new identity in an era of Trump and Duterte. Two names explain Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s current tour of South East Asia: Rodrigo Duterte and Donald Trump. Just a Read More
Europe (FPIF) – For leftist critics of the EU, reform looks unlikely — but aligning with right-wing Euroskeptics looks worse. Maybe there’s a third option. When European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg this past September, he Read More
Switzerland (CK) – Among the diplomats, corporate titans, politicians and celebrities circulating at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year will be a fresh face: Chinese President Xi Jinping. It is no accident that 2017 marks the first year that Read More
Ukraine (SCF) – Ukraine is currently in limbo: it has lost the guidance of its American mentors (due to Hillary Clinton’s failure in the US presidential elections), Europe is busy with its own problems, and the past year has not brought Read More
Middle East (NEO) – There’s a good chance that the dreams about peace and prosperity won’t betray the people of the Middle East this year around. It won’t be an exaggeration to state that that’s what the absolute majority of those Read More
(SCF) – There has been troubling brewing in the South China Sea for quite some time. The difficulties arise around territorial claims of sovereignty centred upon a collection of islands involving claims of various nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Read More
(HRW) – Trump, European Populists Foster Bigotry, Discrimination The rise of populist leaders in the United States and Europe poses a dangerous threat to basic rights protections while encouraging abuse by autocrats around the world, Human Rights Watch said today in Read More
Palestine (NI) – A father and his two daughters were three of the first Palestinians to suffer injuries related to Gaza’s electricity crisis this year. They have been left with moderate burns after a candle the girls lit to do their Read More
Turkey (SCF) – Among the major geopolitical challenges of 2017 that could seriously alter the balance of power in the international arena, particular attention should be given to the developing situation in Turkey. The final weeks of 2016 showed increasing cooperation Read More
Mexico (GV) – For many Mexicans, 2017 has got off to a shaky start. This is due primarily to increasing fuel costs for cars, which spiked by around 20% overnight (it now takes 20% of the minimum daily wage to buy 1 liter of gasoline) thanks to Read More
Israel (Tasnim) – Israel says it is cutting a substantial amount in its annual dues to the United Nations this year in protest of last month’s Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity on occupied Palestinian territories. The announcement made by Read More
The New York Times reported on Sunday that US special forces have been deployed in a number of Baltic states in order to ‘counter possible Russian aggression’ and ‘shadowy efforts’ by Moscow to destabilize the region.
This announcement comes amid a tour of Eastern Europe by several prominent US politicians, led by none other than notorious war hawks, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The tour reached a peak over New Year’s weekend with McCain making an appearance with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the war ravaged Donbas region.
WHAT DOES Hung Hsiu-Chu intend to achieve with her upcoming visit to the US in January? Most likely, the timing of the trip is because Hung’s ideological rival, current president Tsai Ing-Wen, will make a stopover in the US in January en route to an official diplomatic visit with Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, four of the 21 remaining countries which still acknowledge the sovereignty of the Republic of China. While it known that Tsai will meet with US government officials during her stopover, it has been rumored that Tsai will meet with US president-elect Donald Trump. Although such a meeting is highly unlikely, such rumors come after the diplomatic shake-up that occurred in wake of the phone call between Tsai Ing-Wen and Donald Trump which occurred in December.
Indeed, would Hung herself seek a meeting with Trump? If it probably would be too sensitive for Trump and Tsai to have a face-to-face meeting, never mind the unprecedented nature of the Tsai-Trump phone call, Trump would probably never meet with Hung. But Hung could still do much damage on her trip, such as taking advantage of her trip to paint a picture of Taiwan which suggests that Taiwanese are in fact, in favor of Chinese unification, with Tsai being an outlier, or more likely, attempting to create the perception that Taiwanese are more divided on unification/independence issues than they actually are.