Populism

Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at Coastal Carolina University ahead of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary in Conway, South Carolina, US, on 10 February 2024. (Sam Wolfe/Reuters)

US presidential election 2024: Unprecedented test of US democracy

Commentator Wei Da notes that a comeback win in the 2024 presidential election for former President Donald Trump would probably mean a threat to US democracy itself. Will Trump’s appeal be enough to bring him back to the White House?
A supporter holds up a sign in Manchester, New Hampshire, US, on 20 January 2024. (/Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The US has never been so divided

Academic Han Dongping notes that the 2024 US presidential election will likely be a rematch between current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. One thing for certain is that if Trump is re-elected, this will surely exacerbate the divide between "red" and "blue" America.
Members of Border Angels and migrants demonstrate at the US-Mexico border as part of International Migrants Day in Playas de Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, on 18 December 2023. (Guillermo Arias/AFP)

Populism and anti-immigration fervour surges in the West

Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang notes that populist fervour and anti-immigration sentiments in the US and Europe embolden each other and form a vicious circle, dominating major political issues. This has led to the potential political comeback of former US President Donald Trump and the rise of opposition parties in Europe.
Visitors rest on benches at a People's Liberation Army Flag Guard barrack near the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on 3 March 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

The curse of political correctness in China and the US

How the China-US conflict will end very much depends on the vociferous court of public opinion of each country. At the moment, political correct views are being spewed on both sides. Such behaviour shows a common human weakness to demonise the other and threaten to keep both sides locked in a vortex of vitriol. East Asia Institute academic Lance Gore implores the people of both countries to keep their senses and adhere to their better judgement. In particular, China should be clear-eyed that the combined strength of the US and its allies exceeds any level China may attain in the foreseeable future and act accordingly.
People have their dinner at a restaurant as a screen broadcasts Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering his New Year speech in Beijing, China, on 31 December 2021. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Can Xi Jinping ride the tiger year with success?

A Chinese idiom says: If you ride a tiger, it’s hard to get off! Since being handed the reins by the Communist Party of China a decade ago, Xi Jinping hasn’t experienced “the year of the tiger” according to the Chinese zodiac. He will be riding into the tiger year this crucial year of 2022. Speculations are running high in China as everyone is asking: does Xi know how to get off a tiger?
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is also the president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, holds up a placard reading "Corona disease countermeasures, New Capitalism. Diplomacy and security" at a debate session with other leaders of Japan's main political parties ahead of the 31 October 2021 lower house election, at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Japan, 18 October 2021. (Issei Kato/Reuters)

How Japan's political stance is becoming increasingly hawkish and conservative

Academic Toh Lam Seng traces the history of Japanese politics from its “1955 system” of clear policy difference between the conservatives and reformists to the more recent potato-potahto matches between conservative parties born out of LDP factionalism or splintering. Seen in this light, is the Japanese population really growing more conservative and politicians are merely tapping into this trend, or are the political parties themselves perpetuating an endless cycle of conservatism?
Bicycle and car commuters are seen crossing a busy intersection at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany, on 7 December 2020. (Odd Andersen/AFP)

Will the EU be setting global standards in a post-pandemic world? 

US-based researcher Yu Shiyu notes that the EU seems to have gained greater unity and internal coherence from the stress test of Covid-19. In contrast, the US seems to be more divided and has not found its way around the pandemic as well as its many other domestic issues. What has the EU done right to be able to be a standard setter in the post-pandemic era?
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?