News and Opinion From a Team of Young People

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Asia

China’s gunboat diplomacy

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China for the past 1,000 years has focused on consolidating power over its vast and diverse landmasses; China has to focus on preventing nationalist sentiment and any possible rebellions from territories such as Tibet and Xinjiang seeing themselves as independent from the Han Chinese which dominate China politically, economically and culturally. Meaning China historically has only been able to have a Green Water Navy  to patrol its maritime borders, and not the Blue Water navy (a maritime force capable of exerting influence globally) that it desires. However, recent developments mean that the realisation of a strong Blue Water Navy is becoming more of a possibility. On the 28th June, China launched Asia’s biggest and most advanced warship, enabling China to strengthen and modernise its navy.…

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Baluchistan, India and China: Poetry in Politics

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One of my more unfortunate habits is projecting my own sense of poetic justice and a sense of overarching narrative onto reality. Though in my head it immeasurably improves the 6:00 news, in reality it is more of a troublesome habit that clouds my understanding of international politics. Despite this, there is something irresistibly human about looking for pattern or a story in events – searching for something solid and dependable in an ocean of uncertainty and doubt. The desire to feel an emotional connection with characters in an unfolding history; this is a habit that –though I recognise it’s profound distance from reality- I guiltily indulge in. It is for this reason that I take particular interest in the unfolding drama in the East…

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Is the time right to revaluate Hong Kong’s ‘pressure-cooker’ style of education?

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Having collected my AS exam results, I breathed a sigh of relief as a very long year had come to a conclusion. I found myself wondering how other students my age have been faring in other countries over the past year. Hong Kong, a high density population of 7,000,000 has 3 universities in the annual Time Higher Education ranking. This is an impressive feat for a country with such a comparatively small population. The Hong Kong education system is reputed as one of the best in the world, producing a high number of students which go on to further education and high-paying jobs. However, it is all swings and roundabouts. Hong Kong’s education system has its fair number of vocal cynics and has been labelled…

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Should We Be Worried About the Situation in the South China Sea?

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A common theme when discussing China (and a theme that I have mentioned in numerous articles) is that of events currently unfolding in the South China Sea. For those of you who don’t watch the news, the situation is as follows: The South China Sea is an area (plot twist) just south of China. The sea is considered by most of the world as international waters, however China claims almost all of it. This has upset the other nations that border the sea –e.g. the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan- and has prompted the USA to test China by constantly sailing vessels through these waters to demonstrate exactly how ‘international’ they are. This has obviously annoyed China, who have taken their claims further by building airports and…

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Korean Reunification: Can it Ever Become a Reality?

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The Cold war divided the entire world. Even in those states that weren’t torn apart by conflict, ideological differences split families and communities. International politics was split into two camps: Communist and Capitalist. Since the Cold War ended in the 90s, many of the countries that had previously been divided have been reunited. Germany and Vietnam being prime examples of this. But one pre-cold war state remains divided and has dominated newspaper headlines in recent years: Korea. The division of Korea began in 1945, when the newly independent state (free from Japanese rule for the first time in 35 years) was split between a communist north and capitalist south. As relations between the USSR and USA deteriorated, so did the plan for reunification. Free elections…

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China’s Foreign Policy – Simplified

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In any discussion of current affairs and international relations, there is always one topic that always crops up – China. Whether it be through Trump’s bizarre obsession with the country or the threat it poses to the European steal industry, we are constantly being warned about the danger posed by China to the West. But what do all those warnings actually mean? How is it that China is becoming such a scary prospect for western leaders? Xi Jinping is the current leader of China, having taken office in 2013. Xi’s leadership style is certainly different to that of his predecessors – several western commentators have noted that he seems to be attempting the mimic Mao’s dictatorial style, though just stopping short of a personality cult.…

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