smart & soft power
After lambasting both Tokyo and Beijing over their trade and currency policies, the new President of the United States has made constructive contact with the leaders of both Japan and China. But conflicting statements by American policymakers indicate that Washington will take time to craft a lucid policy towards Asia. As America reassesses its Asia policy, Europe must redefine its own relationship with the region.
Montreal has been named as the best city in the world for students.This international ranking of university cities has seen Paris slip from first place - a position the French capital has held for four years. [...] It will add to suggestions that Canada will attract a bigger slice of the lucrative international student market, particularly if there are concerns about changes to entry rules under President Trump.
What happened to me in the first two weeks of 2017? I became a novice K-pop fan. But seriously, what’s so unusual about that? Are there not millions of K-pop fans too? Yes, that would be true, until I tell you my age. K-pop bands target teenagers, not grown-ups and certainly not people who are almost senior citizens like me. But wait, I also became a novice fan of Korean drama shows.
Europeans have every reason to worry about U.S. President Donald Trump. He has declared NATO “obsolete.” He’s spoken more glowingly about Russian President Vladimir Putin than about most Western European leaders. And he’s suggested he will apply his transactional vision of diplomacy to his country’s alliances. [...] Its European members must show unity of purpose and vision: The time has come to create a European pillar of NATO.
The dominant foreign policy vision animating left and right in recent years has been promiscuous intervention. While elites disagreed on tactics and targets, both major political parties shared a belief that Washington should micro-manage the world. [...] However, national interest is not enough. America’s approach should be enlightened, in which a concern for others tempers Washington’s role around the globe.
The story of China is well-known. China has achieved a remarkable economic growth lifting its country out of poverty. It presents itself as an economic model to the Global South, an alternative to one with liberal democratic political infrastructure. However, its rise on the world stage has not been supported by a commensurate positive national image.
The soft power capabilities of the EU are weakening for a number of reasons, including institutional confusion, Brexit, the Refugee crisis, terrorism, the rise of populism, resistance among member states to further enlargement given the Union’s economic problems. [...] Given this situation, political developments in the Western Balkans that have a direct impact on regional security must be closely monitored.
The match also represented something else: a case study in the globalization of European soccer, with a decidedly Chinese flavor. Both teams were acquired in 2016 by Chinese investors for a total exceeding $1 billion, a capstone to a flurry of Chinese purchases of European soccer clubs over the past two years. [...] China’s big soccer play is of a piece with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” idea of attaining national greatness