The Quad: An ‘Asian NATO?’

“I don’t think the overwhelming majority of countries in the world would recognize that the universal values advocated by the United States… would serve as the basis for the international order.” [2]

Expressed by Director Yang at the March 2021 US-China Alaska summit, it’s the latest verbal attack on the US-led world order and its liberal values. As China steamrolled into the 21st century, President Xi has abandoned Deng Xiaoping’s ‘bide and hide’ strategy for a more assertive approach.

Israel and Palestine: a Microcosm of Global Vaccine Inequity

The current COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts are no exception to the division in access to resources between higher income countries and lower and middle-income countries. As of March 19, high income countries have purchased over 4.6 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which is more than the amount of vaccines purchased by countries classified as upper-middle income (1.5 billion doses purchased), middle income (700 million doses purchased), and lower income (670 million doses purchased) combined. [1] Higher income countries have purchased enough vaccine doses so that even groups not at risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms are able to get vaccinated. This unequal distribution means that health workers and elderly and immunocompromised people living in lower and middle-income countries would be less likely to receive vaccines than young, healthy citizens of high-income countries.

Punjab’s Kisaan Under a Modi Government

Punjab’s kisaan movement is the largest general demonstration in human history. An estimated 250 million people took action, that is 1 in 4 working persons. [1] And the protests continue to this day.

In September 2020, Prime Minister Modi passed the Indian Agriculture Acts of 2020, or the Farm Bills, as an attempt to deregulate markets and “ensure a complete transformation” of India’s agriculture sector. [2] However, the impact of these policies is severe for small farm holders who control more than 86% of India’s farmland. By limiting the bargaining power of small farmers, the state puts them at risk of exploitation when negotiating their produce to larger companies. Currently, Indian farmers have the right to sell their products to the government at a ‘minimum support price’ which safeguards the farmer to a minimum profit if the open market sets a lower price than the cost incurred. New farm bills dismantle this MSP system, forcing millions of farmers to sell products to agribusiness corporations. [3]

Abandoning the Color Line for the Revolutionary Line: the Antiracism of the Cuban Independence Movement

When most Americans think of revolution in Cuba, their minds immediately go to the revolution of 1959, which ended with the establishment of the first socialist government in the Americas. The 1959 revolution, however, was hardly the first revolutionary moment to sweep the largest island in the Caribbean. For three decades from the 1860s to 1898, the island was consumed by uprisings against the ruling Spanish government. Although these revolutions were eventually truncated by the arrival of a new imperial power—the United States—they serve as excellent examples of a truly antiracist, anticolonial struggle. These revolutions also serve to broaden our conception of the 1959 revolution by placing its nationalist elements and historical grievances in the proper context of a protracted Cuban struggle for independence. 

Wolf Warrior Diplomats and the Need for a More Perfect Union

China is on the rise. So is its pride in itself, its culture, and its form of government. Nowhere is this more evident than China’s “wolf warrior diplomacy,” or zhanlang waijiao, the new diplomatic practice adopted by Chinese diplomats after President Xi Jinping took office.

It takes its name from the successful 2017 Chinese action movie Wolf Warrior 2 where the lead character, played by popular martial arts actor Wu Jing, takes down an American mercenary, Big Daddy. The movie is filled with waves of nationalism and is reflective of Xi’s governing ethos of the “Chinese Dream” and the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

The Human Rights Legacy of Duterte’s Presidency: A Cautionary Tale

Since assuming office in 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has constantly had the world on its toes, waiting with baited breath for what his next move may be. Since ascending to the presidency, Duterte has garnered a reputation — one which seemingly cannot be constrained by borders — for his highly controversial and incendiary comments concerning topics such as women, the Catholic Church, the United Nations, and the media. As a politician, his actions do not stray far from his rhetoric of demagogy.

Redemption for AstraZeneca, the Misunderstood Shot of the Global Vaccine Rollout

When the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine released its initial clinical results, it was hailed as a necessary and game-changing candidate. Compared to the vaccine race’s other “winners”, Pfizer and Moderna, AstraZeneca was widely viewed as an accessible, affordable alternative that required less stringent storage conditions. [1] Like other leading vaccines, the AstraZeneca shot can drastically reduce severe or fatal cases of Covid-19. [2]

Today, the global vaccine rollout is well underway. It is also wildly unequal. While the United States and 42 other mostly high-income countries are on track to vaccinate their entire populations within the year, 67 low-income countries have not vaccinated anyone at all. [3]

Democracy is not to Blame: How Institutions Sink or Float a Country’s Covid-19 Response

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States has stood out for its failure to contain the virus’ spread. Meanwhile, governments in places such as Vietnam and China (after its initial attempts to conceal the existence of the virus) have been noted for the ways in which they have stopped the spread of Covid-19 within their borders. Given that Vietnam and China are both authoritarian countries, and the United States, a democracy, the popular idea has arisen that authoritarian governments are better at adequately preventing the spread of the virus. However, this is false. It is the quality of the institutions that matter, not the type of government.

South Korean Conservatism Perpetuated by the Cho, Joong, Dong

Fox News, CNN, and MSMBC consist leading cable news in the United States in 2020, a mix of liberal and conservative. [1] Chosun Ilbo, Joongang Ilbo, Dong-a Ilbo are the three most highly circulated newspapers in South Korea, all three of them conservative. As a native Korean, I’ve always wondered how the US has such successful liberal media outlets. Now, as an international student surrounded by peers from all around the globe, I’ve realized the real question is why all South Korea major media outlets are conservative.

Muslims in France: A Double Identity

This past October, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons provoked another deadly incident. After a French teacher showed cartoons of Prophet Muhammed to his class, he was beheaded by one of his students. Days later, three people were killed in front of a church in Nice. President Macron labeled the incident as an “Islamist terrorist attack.” [1] The recent killings have evoked widespread fear and memories of the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the November 2015, in which two Muslim gunmen broke into Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters and killed twelve people, as well as the Paris terrorist attacks. Can France construct a secure society without alienating its Muslim citizens?