Democracy

A sailboat with a slogan celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China sails at the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, 27 June 2022. (CNS)

To leave or not to leave: The cry of Hong Kong’s youth

As the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover draws near, Hong Konger Thomas Chan reflects on the changes that have taken place over the last few years and the real and pressing issue of residents, especially the young, drifting away. Most are seeking better prospects abroad in a wry turn of events from a time when the city was viewed as the land of opportunity. Now, amid dreary skies and Telegram alerts announcing yet another citizen-police chase, the city stands forlorn as it watches its people leave.
Hungary-born US investor and philanthropist George Soros answers to questions after delivering a speech on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on 24 May 2022. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)

Why George Soros is obsessed with defeating Xi Jinping’s China

Chinese academic Sun Peisong notes that renowned financier George Soros has always been critical of China’s social system. While "the man who broke the Bank of England" has a keen eye for finance, Sun feels that Soros’s criticism of China’s “closed society” sheds light on his penchant for globalisation and dated means of making the wealthy wealthier.
The Texas state flag is flown at half-mast, in honor of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting, outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, on 31 May 2022. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Competition between democracy and autocracy a political fallacy

The US has defined major global events such as the war in Ukraine and its competition with China under the ideological framework of a fight between democracy and autocracy. But is the 21st century world just black and white? Lim Jim Koon, former editor-in-chief of Chinese Media Group, SPH Media, suggests that before we criticise others and demand them to change, maybe we should start by examining ourselves.
Soldiers of People's Liberation Army (PLA) are seen before a giant screen as Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the military parade marking the 70th founding anniversary of People's Republic of China, on its National Day in Beijing, China, 1 October 2019. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

Global Security Initiative — China’s solution to international security?

At the Boao Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forth the Global Security Initiative which has the concept of “indivisible security” at its core. Is this China’s answer to breaking up “small cliques” in international relations and seeking to build a community of common destiny for mankind?
People cross a pedestrian crossing in Hong Kong on 16 May 2022. (Peter Parks/AFP)

Why is the Hong Kong government targeting Telegram?

The Hong Kong government has announced that it is considering blocking Telegram in response to doxxing content on the social media platform. The app has also been accused of playing a key role in facilitating social and democratic movements. But if Hong Kong bans Telegram, will that be the city's first step towards conforming with the mainland’s internet censorship rules?
Police stand guard near the parliament building in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 17 May 2022. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP)

Families that rule: Thoughts about Asia's political landscape

The political environment in Asia has been marked with upheavals and instability. While each country has their own system of democratic elections in the modern sense, they appear to share a number of common themes that resembles the backward political practices of 19th century Europe. Academic Chen Liujun assesses the regional developments.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol looks on as US President Joe Biden delivers remarks in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, 20 May 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

South Korea's pivot to the US will impact ASEAN

New South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has a tough balancing act to pull off in his foreign policy as South Korea remains wary of greater US-China rivalry and China’s rise. The Yoon administration will likely continue to deepen its economic relations with ASEAN, and place more emphasis on security cooperation and a greater alignment with the US's values-based diplomacy.
Students take part in an evacuation drill in a primary school in Kunming, Yunnan province, China, 11 May 2022. (CNS)

China wants to create a new democratic system. Is that possible?

Domestic and external pressures compel China to face the issue of democracy. With growing affluence and diversity in the population, the government needs to find a way to incorporate various views that goes beyond the Mao-era “mass line”. In forging a new path, the Chinese Communist Party is feeling its way around bringing about a socialist neo-democracy, or what has been verbalised as “whole-process people’s democracy”. But what stands in the way of putting thought into action?
A man holds a cutout of Russian President Vladimir Putin during the "Immortal Regiment" march in Belgrade on 9 May 2022. (Andrej Isakovic/AFP)

Putin and Russia's greatest 'contribution' to history

Researcher Wei Da notes that the end of the Cold War left many questions unanswered, including the role of ideological tussles and the clash of civilisations. Among other things, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shows that a truly strong state is one with a limited government and a developed civil society. The international community has been jolted into action, and it is time to recognise that there is still some way to go to achieve modernisation.