China does still have considerable economic power — as evidenced recently during a dispute with South Korea over the deployment of a U.S.-led missile defense system in the country. However, North Korea may be a harder sell: China shares a long border with the Hermit Kingdom and is believed to be fearful that its neighbor could potentially collapse, leaving open the possibility of war on its doorstep and huge numbers of refugees entering China.

America does not accept the one-China principle. Instead it has the one-China policy, which acknowledges that China has such a principle—not quite the same thing. America does not recognise Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan, nor does it recognise Taiwan as an independent state. It does plenty of trade with it, though. Small as it is, Taiwan is the ninth-largest buyer of American exports, outstripping Italy and India.

For months, Assad's army has been on the advance across Syria. But its military success has only been possible due to the significant assistance...from Iran and Russia -- and from local Syrian militias. Now, these fighters are taking over control in many areas, committing murder, looting and harassing civilians. And nobody can stop them, not even Assad himself. Indeed, the militias are now more powerful than even the country's leader and have become the real holders of power in Syria.

U.S. film executives are flocking east just as the noose is tightening on free expression there. President Xi Jinping has presided over the harshest crackdown on intellectual life in decades, with hundreds of dissenters jailed ... It’s not just politically sensitive subjects that are circumscribed...the national media regulator warned local news programs not to “express overt admiration for Western lifestyles” — generally the sort of lifestyles glorified by Hollywood aware of its creativity deficit. In 2016, Beijing accelerated its Silicon Valley shopping spree, buying tech and talent it couldn’t produce at home. Americans often observe that China is imitative, not innovative, and that its politicized universities and denial of personal freedom make it dependent on others for new ideas. That may have been important before China got rich, but does China’s inability to foster innovation still matter now that it can purchase it overseas?

much of the backlash against immigration (and globalism) is not economic but cultural: Many people still care about their own versions of national identity and mistrust global institutions such as the EU ... rising unemployment didn’t make British regions more likely to vote to leave the EU, but a growing migrant population did. These voters were bothered less by competition from immigrants than by their perceived effect on the country’s linguistic, religious and cultural norms.

By midcentury, the world’s fastest-growing region, Africa, is projected to see its population more than double, while the slowest-growing region, Europe, is expected to see its population decline by about 4 percent. This means that in 2050 there will be around 3.5 times more Africans (2.5 billion) than Europeans (707 million). In 1950, there were nearly twice as many Europeans as Africans ... And for the first time ever, Islam will challenge Christianity as the world’s largest religion.

as the rebels became increasingly radicalized, many began to see groups like ISIS as the bigger threat. Hezbollah morphed from needless aggressor to the only entity standing between Lebanon and a fundamentalist Islamic state ... And while Syria’s brutal civil war isn’t over—and the group faces enemies, both from within and without—Hezbollah has solidified its standing as the most powerful force in Lebanon. Once dependent on Assad for its survival, the group is now stronger than he is.

the resolution draws a clear distinction between residents of the settlements, along with the products produced there, and Israeli residents and products, and urges member states to distinguish between these “in their relevant dealings.” The E.U. has already decided that Israel must identify products from the settlements with a label and has proposed to exclude the settlements from free-trade privileges. The new resolution invites all member states to impose similar restrictions.

Russians between the ages of 18 and 24 approve of him [Putin] at a higher rate than any other age group: 88 percent ... they are proud of their country and its stature in the world, associate its military prowess with greatness ... These young men and women know little of the privations, habits, and cruelty of Soviet life ... Their desire for staid normalcy—intact families, reliable, if unsatisfying, jobs—is their response to what they lacked in the Nineties and found in the Putin era.