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  • Note to Abbas: Wake up, China is reshaping the Middle East

    2017-01-16 15:29

    The president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) was in Rome in the week-end to try to get the Pope, almost the ultimate super soft power, to support his cause. This diplomatic effort came after a new terrorist attack in Israel, when a truck rammed innocent bystanders, followed b...

  • the U.S. is sending a dangerous message

    2015-05-30 12:12

    Americans can say and argue that “we are not helping ISIS”, and that is fine, but looking at things from the outside: if the U.S. is not helping indirectly ISIS, and ISIS still survives, it looks even worse for the U.S. It looks as if it has lost any grip there … which may be true, but it is extreme...

  • U.S.-Iran nuke deal creates new political dimension for Mideast and Central Asia: Sisci

    2015-04-06 07:30

    America’s nuclear deal with Iran creates a new political dimension in the Middle East and Central Asia. It’s important for the moment to focus on the general security picture for the region, leaving aside the existential concerns raised by Israel about the disruptive potential of lifting sanctions a...

  • Papal challenge rocks US's Syria plans

    2013-09-10

    Through his impassioned appeal to avert Western military intervention in Syria's conflict, Pope Francis has challenged the global American political centrality. This is toll bell ringing for Washington, but also for a Chinese leadership that is often forgetful of the weight of the Holy See. The mes...

  • The jasmine lesson: Reform beats revolution

    2013-07-31

    BEIJING - Two years after the start of the wave of jasmine revolution Revolutions in the Middle East, the situation appears to have gone back to where it began. Most countries, starting with Egypt, are reinstating some kind of dictatorship or authoritarian regime, while others that were formerly (or...

  • China widens stride on Middle East stage

    2013-05-08

    BEIJING - China has decided to enter the realm of Middle East politics, offering to host for the first time in Beijing a summit between Israelis and Palestinians and attempting to confront vexing questions at the heart of the many conflicts in the region. The summit initiative is not intended to u...

  • China mourns loss of policy prophet

    2013-01-24

    In early 1998, the niche-market Chinese journal Strategy and Management published a hefty bilingual report on the years 1997 and 1998. There, a then little-known author, Zhang Xiaodong, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, argued for a new Chinese policy o...

  • China's chance to stem Syrian blood

    2012-03-01

    BEIJING - In Syria, China decided to experiment with some new policy on the Middle East. It has vetoed a United Nations intervention in the country, something that in Libya opened the road to the toppling of the Muammar Gaddafi regime, and now it is looking for some creative solution. It is clear th...

  • Israel, Palestine and the art of war

    2011-10-14

    BEIJING - Last week, recently appointed United States Secretary of Defense and former Central Intelligence Agency boss Leon Panetta expressed concern about Israel's growing political isolation while Egypt and Turkey were taking more vocal stands against the Jewish state. This underscores the lingeri...

  • A role in Middle East prosperity

    2011-09-30

    BEIJING - It is possible that the Palestinians would have asked the United Nations to acknowledge them as a full-fledged state even without the ongoing wave of "Jasmine" revolutions sweeping the Arab world. But certainly, the present drive for international recognition of a state of Palestine woul...

  • US vapor trail leads to Jasmine revolt

    2011-09-01

    BEIJING - Over the past few days, the United States' strategy in the Muslim world has been paying high rewards, objectively foreboding even larger US plans. Last week, a drone operated by the Central Intelligence Agency killed al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, after the earlier e...

  • Arab unrest keeps China on its toes

    2011-03-31

    BEIJING - Last Saturday, March 26, anti-government demonstrations engulfed several cities in Syria, an old Middle Eastern dictatorship supporting the Islamic fundamentalists who periodically attack Israel from southern Lebanon. The Syrian president, 45-year-old trained ophthalmologist Bashar al-As...

  • Technology clears a way through the maze

    2010-04-16

    BEIJING - In its international posture this week over the question of Iran's nuclear program, China observed the best traditions of diplomacy. Smiling, bowing its head and listening patiently - and sticking resolutely to an old maxim: soft outside, hard inside. The point for China in discussions d...

  • Korea: The hexagon of uncertainty

    2003-08-30

    BEIJING - North Korea has managed to pull another rabbit out of its hat - threatening the world with the test of a nuclear bomb, while holding multilateral talks and listening to what the United States had to offer. In fact there were two distinct aspects to the Six-Way Talks that wound up in Beiji...

  • Will China revalue the yuan?

    2003-08-19

    BEIJING - Maybe it's because its population is so large (over 1.3 billion). Maybe it's because its civilization is so ancient and different or maybe it's because its economy went through extraordinary growth - (about 9 percent a year for the past 25 years) but it is very easy to paint China as a mon...

  • Moment of truth nears for Pyongyang

    2003-08-14

    BEIJING - The multilateral talks on North Korea tentatively scheduled for late this month in Beijing could be a moment of truth - for China, as well as Korea itself. In the past days the Chinese media have reported US Central Intelligence Agency allegations that Pyongyang has already built two nucl...

  • Hug vs handshake, and what it means for Asia

    2003-07-24

    BEIJING - The recent meeting between US President George W Bush and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi broke many old molds in trans-Atlantic relations and opens new geopolitical perspectives other European and Asian leaders will be forced to consider. Asia has been interested in recent years...

  • The trouble with Tung

    2003-07-15

    BEIJING - The challenge of Hong Kong, where some 500,000 people on July 1 took to the streets against their local government, is only the latest of a series of serious tests for Beijing. But it could have long-term consequences for the stability of Greater China. The people of Taiwan, who go to the...

  • SARS-weary Beijing looking to new issues

    2003-06-10

    BEIJING - In this time of waning severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) cases, Chinese President Hu Jintao is being simultaneously pulled in several directions as issues unrelated to the illness are re-emerging in China's political landscape. The people of Beijing are fed up with the SARS alarm. ...

  • America's Eurasian reshuffle

    2003-03-12

    By Francesco Sisci and Lu Xiang BEIJING - The terror attacks of September 11, 2001, seemed close enough to Samuel P Huntington's forecasts in his famous The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, but the consequences for the world appear now, some 18 months after those events, comp...

  • Pyongyang shoots down diplomatic hopes

    2003-02-26

    BEIJING - Chinese diplomacy is the first victim of a North Korean missile that landed in the Sea of Japan 35 miles off the South Korean coast just hours before the inauguration of South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. The test launch occurred on Monday, a day before world leaders gathered in Seoul to...

  • Iraq: The war that will break the West?

    2003-02-22

    BEIJING - It's an odd twist of fate. This weekend US Secretary of State Colin Powell will come to Beijing to confer with his Chinese counterparts about the forthcoming war in Iraq and the troublesome situation in North Korea. In China, until recently a Cold War foe, he will find more support than in...

  • Political reform on tap

    2003-02-04

    BEIJING - Real political reform appears to be coming to China, and coming fast. In recent months, the communist leadership has been publicizing new proposals indicating its strong drive toward substantial political reforms. The ultimate goal of these proposals is to convert the People's Republic of ...

  • US: Political war on multiple fronts

    2003-01-24

    BEIJING - The crisis in Korea seems about to end and the result is what has been expected for months: the United States will give North Korea the food and fuel it refused to provide after Washington renounced its 1994 agreement, claiming that Pyongyang had contravened its part of the deal. From now...

  • History awaits China's Korea move

    2003-01-14

    BEIJING - In 1950 Mao Zedong made a historic decision for his country and for the world. He decided that it was more important to fight the Americans in Korea than trying to recover Taiwan, held by runaway Kuomintang (KMT) troops. This decision and the direct clash between US and Chinese troops in K...

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