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U.N. Deploys More Peacekeepers in the CAR, But Will It be Enough?

U.N. Deploys More Peacekeepers in the CAR, But Will It be Enough?

Last Monday, in a ceremony at Bangui airport, about 1,800 additional peacekeepers and police joined a mission under U.N. control in the battle-torn Central African Republic CAR), along with the previous contingent of 4,800 African troops and 1,000 international police. The new reinforcements have come from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, …

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Cultural Cleansing with Chinese Characteristics?

Cultural Cleansing with Chinese Characteristics?

In the remote northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang, China authorities are certainly being exhaustive in their attempts to stem a spike in the long-running activity of Islamic militants. Recent attempts have involved the use of drones employed to locate, capture and kill suspected Islamic militants in the region, as well as restrictions being placed on the practice of Islam and the wearing of beards and veils in public.

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Chinese Autonomous Province May Seek to Limit Uighur Births

Chinese Autonomous Province May Seek to Limit Uighur Births

Authorities in the violence-prone Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China are sparing no measure in their crackdown on existing terrorists, and through a recently proposed policy, may even be trying to stem the birth of future terrorists. After a series of anti-terrorism efforts have repeatedly failed to stem the ongoing violence, a recent article in the party political theory journal Qiushi suggests Xinjiang may soon adopt limits on the ability of ethnic groups to bear children.

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Big Brother v. Big Bang

Big Brother v. Big Bang

On Jan. 5, 1930 Mao Zedong wrote the essay, “A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire.” Yet over 80 years later, the phrase still rings true in today’s fragile and fractured China. One such recent example, although not nearly as serious in scale to what Mao was contemplating, occurred …

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Vietnam Steps Up Efforts to Protect Fishing Fleet

Vietnam Steps Up Efforts to Protect Fishing Fleet

In a time of heightened tensions between Asian nations with claims to the waters of the East and South China Seas, the deployment of an offshore oil rig back in May by Beijing in disputed waters with Vietnam was not going to be an event without ramifications. The rig’s deployment …

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Is Vietnam Spinning Out of China’s Orbit?

Is Vietnam Spinning Out of China’s Orbit?

Beijing’s formidable display of aggression this year is backfiring, as its neighbors scramble to beef up their military capabilities and forge defensive alliances both within and outside the region. One such notable alliance making the headlines this past week is between the U.S. and Vietnam. Vietnam, much like U.S. allies …

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Unrest in Xinjiang Leading to Extreme Measures

Unrest in Xinjiang Leading to Extreme Measures

Local authorities in China’s restive Xinjiang region are going all out in their efforts to fight terrorism, including those in the northwestern city of Karamay, who are now banning people who wear veils, head scarves, a loose-fitting garment called a jilbab, clothing with the crescent moon and star, and those …

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Universal Values with Chinese Characteristics

Universal Values with Chinese Characteristics

Chinese President Xi Jinping, certainly has a huge task before him – not only cracking down on rampant corruption, but attempting to change the mindset of a population which some say has lost its moral compass. A recent circular from the Communist Party’s powerful Organisation Department stated that party officials …

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Beijing Needs to Rethink its North Korean Refugee Policy

Beijing Needs to Rethink its North Korean Refugee Policy

In an apparent act of defiance, North Korea on Tuesday fired rockets several kilometers north of a popular South Korean tourist observatory near the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).  North Korea has also threatened a fourth nuclear test, in violation of United Nations sanctions, and has test-fired short-range missiles and rockets four …

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Should the U.S./EU Send Naval Observers to the South China Sea?

Should the U.S./EU Send Naval Observers to the South China Sea?

The Boston Global Forum (BGF), a non-profit forum for international scholars, hosted its opening session on July 2, aiming to engage leaders from the United States, Asia, and the United Nations to discuss the crisis in the South China Sea.  BGF Chairman and Co-Founder Michael Dukakis moderated the discussion, with …

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A Soft Power Stumble

A Soft Power Stumble

Ever since it became a rising economic power, China started to realize the need for soft power in order to increase its global competitiveness.  In Africa, Beijing found itself competing with Western companies backed by development agencies imposing good governance and human rights restrictions.  Beijing sought to appeal to some …

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Why is China Building Artificial Islands?

Why is China Building Artificial Islands?

When planning an international beach holiday, few holidaymakers think of China when choosing to spend their time on a beach.  China does boast one top destination for beachgoers, Hainan island, but the quality of most of its mainland beaches has diminished greatly in recent years by floating trash, oil slicks, …

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Beijing’s A La Carte Approach to Foreign Policy

Beijing’s A La Carte Approach to Foreign Policy

Following the largely negative international reaction to its latest aggressive actions in Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, Beijing may be trying a new approach in settling longstanding territorial disputes with its neighbors.  On Monday, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced China is prepared to resolve its border disputes with India …

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Rock, Paper, Scissors in the South China Sea

Rock, Paper, Scissors in the South China Sea



photo: WN.com
Rock, paper, scissors is a popular game among youth in China, and can be played anywhere and anytime between two people.  In the game, both participants count to three and then …

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A Clash of Civilizations in the Central African Republic? (Part 2 of 2)

A Clash of Civilizations in the Central African Republic? (Part 2 of 2)

Is the crisis in the Central African Republic a “clash of civilizations”?
A recent report entitled “Behind the Headlines: Drivers of Violence in the Central African Republic” from Enough, a Washington-based project of the Center for American Progress whose goal is to end genocide and crimes against humanity, is particularly revealing. …

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About the Author

Gary Sands
Gary Sands

Gary Sands is a Director at Highway West Capital Advisors, a venture capital, project finance and political risk advisory, and contributed a number of op-eds for the South China Morning Post, U.S. News and World Report, Washington Times, International Policy Digest, Eurasia Review, Indo-Pacific Review, Global Times, Caijing and Shanghai Star Business Journal. He was previously employed in lending and advisory roles at Shell Capital, ABB Structured Finance, and the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He earned his Masters of Business Administration in International Business from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Science in Finance at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. He spent six years in Shanghai from 2006-2012, and has also lived in Zurich, London, and Rio de Janeiro. He is based now in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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