China

COP26: Sharma’s Tears

14 November 2021 COP26: Sharma’s Tears By Gwynne Dyer Closing the two-week COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Saturday, Alok Sharma, the British president of the 197-country conference, declared “We’ve kept 1.5 (degrees Celsius) within reach, but its pulse is weak.” But he was close to tears several times in his closing remarks. That was …

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COP26: A Mixed Bag

9 November 2021 COP26: A Mixed Bag By Gwynne Dyer It’s not too early to assess the success or failure of COP26, the climate summit that began in Glasgow on 31 October. The first week, while the heads of state are there, is when all the big promises are announced; the second week is devoted …

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Will China Invade Taiwan?

10 October 2021 Will China Invade Taiwan? By Gwynne Dyer China’s President Xi Jinping promised on Saturday that “The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland… will definitely be fulfilled.” That was a threat to Taiwan, but a threat without a deadline. However Chinese state media, in the form of the ever-rabid ‘Global …

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Too Big To Be Equal?

6 September 2021 Too Big To Be Equal? By Gwynne Dyer Never mind the destruction of the relatively free society of Hong Kong (no emergency airlift like Kabul, but the number of people fleeing Hong Kong may ultimately be larger). Never mind the persecution of the Uyghurs, or the Orwellian surveillance society that the Communist …

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Inflection Point

21 July 2021 ‘Zeitgeist’ is a slippery word. At best it’s just a fancy German way of saying ‘the spirit of the times’; at worst it is only pretentious noise. So maybe we should say ‘inflection point’ instead. I think we are passing through an inflection point. People who have taken climate change seriously for …

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Iran: Giving Up On JCPOA

14 June 2021 “Lifting Trump’s sanctions, @SecBlinken, is a legal& moral obligation, NOT negotiating leverage. Didn’t work for Trump – won’t work for you,” tweeted Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif late last month. But what if US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (and President Joe Biden) have just decided that reviving the 2015 nuclear …

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Falling Birth Rates

18 May 2021 The birth rates are falling fast in all the world’s more prosperous countries, but the generation now in their middle years have not yet grasped what that means for their later years. If they end up needing some sort of assisted living, either at home or in a care home, they will …

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The ‘Defence’ Follies

25 March 2021 In the early decades of the Cold War, this was the season when NATO defence chiefs would announce their spending plans for the next year, and they would almost always ‘discover’ some new threat from the Soviet Union to justify the money. In the United States, for example, the intelligence services traditionally …

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