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  • A Chinese conundrum with the US after Charlottesville

    2017-08-21 11:59

    The political crisis unfolding now in America, where the president’s top advisor Steve Bannon was forced to resign on August 18, is being followed with a mix of amusement and amazement in China. It is the latest episode in a long line of difficulties, which brought down five senior members of the ex...

  • America after the riots in Charlottesville

    2017-08-17 10:59

    The recent racist and xenophobic clashes in Charlottesville are no longer just an American internal affair, but because of the US’s role in the world, they cast a shadow over American leadership in the world, what kind of leadership it is going to be, and thus become an international matter. If Ame...

  • Pope Francis expands his global influence from Bernie Sanders to the Muslim world

    2016-04-19 10:03

    In a few hours last weekend, Pope Francis Bergoglio, further expanded his global influence by proving he is a protagonist in both the US presidential election and in the Muslim world. He first shook hands with US Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who had flown to Rome to take part in a Vatican c...

  • The euro crisis through the eyes of former Italian Prime Minister Prodi

    2015-07-30 04:26

    The following article is based on extensive conversations with former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the EU Romano Prodi.
    ROME: Europe is not just made of the accounting of the banks, the debts and compound interest owed by “delinquent” states to a community of financiers because of mis...

  • Putin's policy up against Europe and Asia

    2015-02-03 09:21

    If all roads lead to Rome then the old capital may provide a way out for its heir, Moscow, the third Rome, hemmed by the intractable peace and war in Ukraine. How to get there is very complicated, long-winding and starts with a miracle to coincide with the elections of the Italian President, Sergio ...

  • 'Red terror' guide to battling extremists

    2015-01-15 14:11

    The barbarous terrorist attack against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo marks a turning point, as many have noted, in the campaign Islamic extremists have launched against Western countries. It is significant because it came from people within France, not operatives or immigrants from abroa...

  • Europe's banks are in decent shape—but that is not enough to repair its economy

    2014-11-07 10:32

    FIVE years ago this month, the discovery of a black hole in Greece’s public finances marked the start of the euro-zone crisis. Policymakers have scrambled to contain it ever since. The outcome of their latest ploy, a probe of the continent’s banks intended to demonstrate their solidity, was revealed...

  • Eurasia needs a Sino-German axis

    2014-08-04 03:21

    Directionless reaction from the United States to the shooting down of Malaysian airline flight MH17 and the Ukrainian crisis generally reflects how the US has forgotten the importance of viewing Eurasia as a  whole, rather than a cluster of independent states. But by doing so, Washington is mak...

  • Ukraine creates arc of chaos

    2014-05-16 15:42

    As the Ukraine crisis pushes Russia closer to China, Moscow may become over-reliant on a much tougher customer than its Western adversaries. Meanwhile, anti-unification factions in Europe are sharpening knives over the implications of a pro-Brussels result in Kiev elections. As the tensions spiral, ...

  • Ukraine crisis forces Eurasian evolution

    2014-04-30

    BEIJING - It has not happened yet, but expectations are already enormous. A massive strategic and economic shift is expected to result from Russian President Vladimir Putin's to China in May. After decades of fruitless talks, Moscow and Beijing are now likely ready to sign a sweeping deal which wi...

  • Internet lessons to learn

    2013-10-29

    BEIJING - The whole issue of cyber security exploded in recent days in Europe, as news of America wiretapping its European allies has huge and multi-faceted implications for global safety and development. There are roughly three interrelated aspects to it, and China, although not part of the present...

  • US-Europe divide looms over Ukraine

    2014-03-05

    BEIJING - Russia's quasi-military action in Ukraine is reawakening the ghosts of the old Cold War. Western plans to expel Moscow from the Group of Eight and to protect states bordering the new Russian empire threaten to throw up a new political and economic curtain around Russia and its leader, Pres...

  • Geography and ideals clash in Ukraine

    2014-04-01

    The crisis in Ukraine is about many things, but it is chiefly about an important difference in the global perspectives of Russia and the United States. While Russia is concentrated on land and geography, the US has a vision focused on ideas and ideology. Both parties tend to forget the role of econo...

  • Ukraine crisis forces Eurasian evolution

    2014-04-30

    BEIJING - It has not happened yet, but expectations are already enormous. A massive strategic and economic shift is expected to result from Russian President Vladimir Putin's to China in May. After decades of fruitless talks, Moscow and Beijing are now likely ready to sign a sweeping deal which wi...

  • Berlusconi shadow hangs over Europe

    2013-07-18

    ROME - Interest rates on Spanish and Italian bonds have been converging in recent weeks, which is good news for Spain and bad news for Italy, for Europe and for the world. The situation in Spain is far for clear, and yet Spain is far less of a problem than Italy. Last week, Italy's Treasury failed ...

  • Ancient texts uncover meritocracy debate

    2013-06-25

    BEIJING - Imagine we were to discover a series of ancient manuscripts revealing that Plato actually copied all of his ideas from Parmenides, a preceding philosopher from Elea in southern Italy; that Aristotle rewrote treatises originally penned by Archytas, another philosopher from Taranto; and actu...

  • Italy's Internet politics menace China

    2013-04-03

    BEIJING - It is, if you will, the usual tale of two countries: one very large and one quite small; one overpopulated, one mid-sized; one eager to succeed, the other timid. Both are old civilizations; pizza, noodle, and rice eaters; superstitious; and fond of firecrackers, Marco Polo, art, and good f...

  • 'Clean' Grillo stirs Italy's political mess

    2013-02-26

    ROME - No government can be formed, and Italy will be impossible to rule. This is what most commentators and traditional political leaders have been saying in Rome in recent hours, in the wake of momentous general elections that expressed no clear parliamentary majority and saw the rise of the anti-...

  • Papal vote takes a Chinese hue

    2013-02-20

    BEIJING - The conclave that opens in a few days for the Catholic Church to chose a new pope is a historic occasion for China and Asia. This time among the candidates in position for the papacy is a Filipino of Chinese origin, Luis Antonio Tagle, Cardinal of Manila. Vatican experts say that his inc...

  • he euro lives, but unity is dead

    2012-11-28

    BEIJING - Greece is saved and the euro sound. Yet it is the European Union that has fallen apart in the most recent round of the crisis on the old continent. The bet that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made with the eurozone on Greek debt paid off. Initially, Europe wanted only the IMF to i...

  • Hope in a new kind of union

    2012-09-05

    The European Union is at a dead end. This is not because the Germans, Italians, and French and the failing Spanish and Greeks are at loggerheads about how to improve their national accounts. The EU is ending because it is hopeless: there is no hope, no program, and no real plan to hold the union tog...

  • Maritime disputes expose Asian fault lines

    2012-08-30

    BEIJING - Even in normal times, a quarrel between the world's second- and third-largest economies is important. In times of crisis, when the No 2 power, China, is the largest single contributor to the economic growth of the rest of the world, it becomes crucial for everyone. The current tension be...

  • Merkel's missing dream

    2012-07-19

    BEIJING - "Europe" is no dream, no political mission; it is not something that will drive people to cast their heart over all risks. Nevertheless it must be pursued for very practical reasons in the interests of everybody, including Germany. This is the European Union according to German Chancellor ...

  • Vatican rumor-mill spins relentlessly

    2012-06-20

    ROME - Shortly after Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope in 2005 and took the name of Benedict XVI, a very reputable Italian bimonthly, Limes, published an essay revealing the ballots cast for the new Pope. It was the first time since papal elections in a secret conclave were started some half a mille...

  • China can fiddle as Rome burns

    2012-06-14

    ROME - Is there any chance that Italy, as we have known the country since the end of World War II, will survive the current crisis? I don't think so, and the consequences of this could reverberate as far as to China. Italy as a political unit is an invention of the 19th century. Before that, it wa...

  • Time is tight as Europe quakes

    2012-05-10

    BEIJING - Stock exchanges worldwide fell on Monday following European election results that punished the rulers who had agreed to the German-backed austerity measures. In France, Francois Hollande won the presidency by promising to reverse many policies of his predecessor, thus scaring markets ove...

  • Good reason to red-carpet Merkel

    2012-02-09

    BEIJING - If a political Europe is ever to be born, its conception will have been in Beijing last week, during the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Within a period of about nine months, the gestational period for humans, we shall know if this new polity will be really born or we shall witne...

  • China and the shadow of German history

    2011-12-15

    BEIJING - The momentous rise of China continues to lead many historians and political scientists to draw parallels with the rise of Germany in the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th. Anyone who underscores the differences and highlight the distance between those times and now seems doomed t...

  • Merkel right - and wrong

    2011-11-29

    Last Friday, at the end of an inconclusive meeting between the heads of government of the three major countries in Europe, the interest rates of some of the "risky" European bonds shot up once more. Italian bonds, from the largest "beleaguered" nation in the eurozone, went over the dangerous 7% mark...

  • Save Rome, bomb the euro (and the world)

    2011-11-09

    BEIJING - I was recently in Italy, where some officials gave me the following document because they were unsure about its authenticity. It was attributed to North Korean "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il. I found it difficult to take seriously and attempts to verify its authenticity have been in vain. Pyong...

  • The scalpel and the needle in foreign policy

    2011-11-03

    VENICE - Differences in policy and strategy on issues of defense, the economy and trans-Atlantic relations are not merely differences in interests or agendas but have deep foundations in separate cultural traditions. If a consensus can ever be reached between Europeans, Americans, and Chinese, it mu...

  • Save the euro, bomb Rome!

    2011-10-27

    ROME - It is possible that the ongoing European Union summit on the European debt crisis, which is threatening to kindle a global economic meltdown, will manage to patch together a reasonable solution regarding Greece, the country that started the problem. However, it is unlikely that much will be...

  • More than just a load of hoopla

    2011-08-24

    BEIJING - United States Vice President Joe Biden's visit broke new ground with his Chinese counterparts, but an unexpected brawl in Beijing between American and Chinese basketball teams is, with hindsight, perhaps most useful to all parties. For the first time it clearly illustrates the many and gro...

  • A spaghetti mess in the rice bowl

    2011-08-04

    BEIJING - Has Italy reached a dead end? Will it rekindle a global crisis? These may be extravagant questions at a time much larger and more important countries, China and the United States included, face tough choices. But Italy is different. Elsewhere, the way out looks treacherous, but at least po...

  • Reading between the lines of the Vatican rift

    2011-07-28

    BEIJING - The rift between China and the Holy See is deepening as it enters the rutted territory where Rome and Beijing historically have something in common: convoluted political procedure. The issue is extremely complicated, but for once, it is worth delving into the details, as they are very re...

  • Give us back the German empire

    2010-05-06

    BEIJING - Even on May 1, when Germany was guiding the European Union and International Monetary Fund draft of the carefully crafted rescue plan for Greece, the Greek problems seemed far from over. Many doubt the plan will solve all the troubles that started in Athens and which are now spilling into ...

  • China 'fails' test over North Korea

    2005-06-30

    BEIJING - In 1978, Chinese troops went into Vietnam to "teach Hanoi a lesson", completing a full circle of bilateral relations that went from almost complete integration to enmity. China was putting pressure on Vietnam, which itself had invaded Cambodia and forcibly changed the regime there. China'...

  • Game of nerves in Northeast Asia

    2003-04-30

    BEIJING - What would happen if tomorrow a few US fighters bombed all known North Korean facilities engaged in the production of nuclear weapons? Would Pyongyang retaliate? Would it fire missiles at Japan or bombard Seoul? Or would it just shout and cry and do nothing? Would Kim Jong-il's political ...

  • China's bureaucracy: A virus's best friend

    2003-04-22

    BEIJING - It is the biggest political earthquake since the time of Tiananmen in 1989. On Sunday both the Chinese minister of health, Zhang Wenkang, and the newly appointed mayor of Beijing, Meng Xuenong, were demoted and blamed for the mishandling of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) cris...

  • In Beijing, diplomatic opportunities abound

    2003-04-19

    It's all up to the US, says North Korea (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/ED19Dg01.html) SEOUL - This Sunday Beijing will be transformed into a busy diplomatic hub. On Easter Day, Christian-educated Indian Minister of Defense George F...

  • China goes down with UN defeat

    2003-03-21

    BEIJING - The accountancy of foreign policy is always extremely difficult. Choices that might seem wrong in the short run may prove right in the long run, and vice versa. In his first news conference on Tuesday, China's new Premier Wen Jiabao insisted on a political solution for the crisis in Iraq,...

  • China's Achilles' heel: The 'floating population'

    2003-03-17

    By Francesco Sisci and Lu Xiang BEIJING - China's severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic has taken Chinese leaders by surprise by revealing many inadequacies of government organs, primarily the inability to make quick evaluations and responses to health emergencies. It has also exposed a...

  • The Pyongyang puzzle: By whim or design?

    2003-01-11

    BEIJING - The political zig-zags taken by the North Korean government are signs of weakness, but it remains unclear whether this weakness is the result of a domestic power struggle or simple miscalculations by Pyongyang's Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il. Even by the standards of North Korea, with its illus...

  • North Korea: Such a nuisance

    2003-01-03

    BEIJING - North Korea is staging its little play at a strange time, before the opening of a grander drama in which the United States will attack Iraq, or the Iraqi generals will topple Saddam Hussein and open their doors to US presence in their country. North Korea threatens nuclear disaster, rattl...

  • BOOK REVIEW :The triangle of violence

    2002-12-21

    Romanzo Criminale by Giancarlo De Cataldo
    Reviewed by Francesco Sisci It is 1978, and a gang of young, violent, second-rate hoodlums decides to try to play big and bring to Rome the methods and organization of their more successful counterparts in Sicily or Calabria. It is a time when terrorism...

  • Pyongyang: A blot on the map

    2002-12-20

    Part 1: Alone again, naturally (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/DL19Ad01.html) BEIJING - In October when Chinese President Jiang Zemin went to Texas to see US President George W Bush, the two spoke of North Korea. Jiang said he favor...

  • North Korea: Alone again, naturally

    2002-12-19

    BEIJING - Once upon a time, when they fought the common enemy of imperialism and when the son of the supreme leader Mao Zedong, along with a million of his countrymen, died defending that land, their ties were officially reported to be as like "lips and teeth" - one would die without the other. Now ...

  • Lonely China looks to NATO

    2002-11-19

    BEIJING - On the last day of the Communist Party Congress last week Thursday, China confirmed that it had approached North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General George Robertson in Brussels to open exploratory talks aimed at starting a "dialogue" with the Western military alliance. NATO di...

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