Political systems

In this file photo from 6 January 2021, supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol, in Washington, DC. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

America's flawed democracy: When power and cognitive abilities of the people fail to match

Academic Deng Xize notes that the 2020 US election demonstrates what he terms the Socratic Trap, referring to the gap between people’s cognitive abilities and the power they hold. How will this affect the democratic process, and what are the shortcomings of democracy?
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather at the west entrance of the Capitol during a "Stop the Steal" protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C., 6 January 2021. (Stephanie Keith/REUTERS)

Capitol siege: Is American democracy doomed?

US academic Zhu Zhiqun gives his take on the future of US leadership and the state of its democracy, making the sad observation that from now on, no one in the world is likely to see, respect, or depend on the US in the same way again. But is American democracy truly doomed?
A Chinese flag is seen at the landing site of the return module of China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe in Siziwang Banner, in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on 17 December 2020. (STR/AFP)

Is China indeed the biggest threat to the US?

Over the past few years, and especially in the past few months, the US has been painting China as its biggest threat and even enemy. Are these claims valid or exaggerated? What does it mean for the incoming Biden administration, and will it be able to improve China-US relations? Economics professor Zhu Ying explores the topic.
A supporter of President-elect Joe Biden celebrate his victory in Wilmington, Delaware on 7 November 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP)

Chinese liberal intellectuals divided over Trump and the US elections

Liberal intellectuals in China are not a monolithic group. While the elites within the community once served to moderate divergent views, disagreements laid bare by the recent US elections shows that deeper schisms run deep, especially between those espousing conservative and liberal views.
People wearing face masks walk along a street during a rush hour in Bejing on 16 December 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Chinese academic: How the West's perception of China plummeted in 2020

Even as 2020 will go down in history as the year of the coronavirus, economics professor Zhu Ying notes that it also marks a shift in how Western countries view China — and not in a good way.
A taxi drives along a road before the city skyline in Hong Kong on 15 August 2020. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

A reshuffle of global financial centres on the cards?

Research analyst Fiona Huang argues that globalisation has a huge part to play in building global financial centres. If basic prerequisites such as close cooperation with regulators and market stability are met, the next-level condition for a flourishing global financial centre is an open attitude towards global capital and culture. How will the changing political milieu around the world today lead to a reshuffle of global financial centres?
President-elect Joe Biden waves to supporters as he leaves the Queen theater after receiving a briefing from the transition COVID-19 advisory board on 9 November 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)

The US is getting old but China is still too green

Zhou Nongjian observes that there was a large slate of older candidates in this year’s US elections including incumbent President Trump who is 74 and President-elect Joe Biden who is 78. It is not an exact science of course, but he notes that this large crop of “oldies” is a metaphor for a greying America, or put bluntly, a country that is fast deteriorating and way past its prime. Notwithstanding, will China be fooled by such a veneer of weakness or stay watchful and humble?
US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 30 September 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

Chinese socialism against American capitalism: The final showdown?

The Soviet Union and China have both previously tried and failed to overtake the US in various aspects. However, China's rise in the past few decades and the new Cold War has given China renewed impetus to duel the US for supremacy. Have they got enough firepower now with a government-led economic model that has a fair component of a market economy? Economics professor Zhu Ying looks at who might win.
A demonstrator wearing a protective mask holds a “Follow The Money” sign outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, 9 July 2020. The court cleared a New York grand jury to get President Donald Trump's financial records while blocking for now House subpoenas that might have led to their public release before the election. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg)

Chinese academic: The US is where money rules behind the facade of democracy

Chinese academic Qiao Xinsheng notes that despite its image of being democratic, the US is driven by capitalism and an individualism enjoyed only by a small number of elites. Such pre-existing conditions lead to a fragmented society made worse by the actions of President Donald Trump.