Stories about China

An open letter to Indians

Dear Indians, As someone whose recent family history is very much a consequence of partition, I am no stranger to the divisiveness of Pak-India politics. Despite a shared history and culture, we stand today as two nuclear armed nations that have fought three wars against each other. Hatred for the other is fostered in both countries – neither India nor Pakistan is innocent as far as propagating hyper-nationalist aggression is concerned, but this time around, it feels slightly different. This time around, your government, sections of your media, and sections of your civil society (in concert with the government) are behaving in an exceptionally immature and dangerous manner. They ...

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Are America’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation policies laughable?

“The group of Obama’s running around and talking about meaningless sanctions until today is highly laughable.” Stated the North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman after conducting the fifth and the biggest nuclear test. Was calling Obama’s push for the sanctions ‘laughable’, sheer defiance on North Korea’s part, or something else? Thereby hangs a tale. It all started in 1974 when India was caught red-handed making a nuclear bomb, using the nuclear material provided by USA and Canada for peaceful purposes under bilateral agreements. America and the other six governments inferred that the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would be insufficient to prevent nuclear proliferation and formed an informal ‘nuclear ...

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Philippine’s Rodrigo Duterte: An effective leader or a despotic one?

Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.  First, he has been accused of large scale human rights violation, where tens and thousands of people have lost their lives due to extra judicial killings, drug trafficking, rape, murder, arson and other related criminal activities. The second incident relates to an interview he had given, where, when asked how he would react if Barack Obama were to criticise him for extra judicial killings of over 1,000 persons involved in drug trafficking and other acts of crime, he responded with cuss words against the president. Although Duterte realised his faux pas and expressed regret over his ...

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Donald Trump thrives because Americans now only care about themselves – not America

With the rise of Donald Trump and the politics of pandering to people’s baser instincts, the following question becomes more crucial; can the current wave of racism, anxiety and cultural despair in American society accelerate America’s decline? Of all the factors that are causing the decline, cultural despair and politics of cultural despair are the most threatening. America’s decline has been stirring quite a debate worldwide for a few decades now. This topic cannot be answered in a plain yes or no; rather it merits a multi-layered analysis. With the rise of the rest, the shade of this debate has gotten gloomier. Joseph Nye, in his ...

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Pakistan Cricket Board’s case of the missing Usmans

Unpredictability is the word that best describes what drives the daily operations in Pakistan cricket. Players touted to be “the next big thing” get sucked into doldrums of financial constraints or fitness issues, inevitably resulting in them having to give up cricket entirely. Three players with similar names and twists of fate came onto the scene with great intent and promise but eventually went missing without logical reasoning. Usman Khan Shinwari When the selection committee announced his name in the T20I squad for the series against Sri Lanka, scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates, Usman Shinwari was a name unknown to many. Hailing ...

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Would you like to have a child who is intelligent, athletic, good looking and genetically modified?

Would you like to have a child who is intelligent, athletic, good looking, and musically gifted? Designer babies are now possible as genetic enhancement projects are getting underway in China. Most Western countries are studying the development; with the exception of the United States, genetic modification of germline human cells is on hold. I remember when I was young, the first in-vitro fertilisation child born in Pakistan created a moral debate. For months, all across the country, people kept asking questions about the legitimacy of the IVF child. There was a strong resistance from conservatives which has disappeared; it is ...

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Why are all state-owned entities in Pakistan so corrupt?

In Pakistan, nearly every state-owned mega corporation is prone to corruption. This is evident through cases pertaining to the rental power plants, the Nandipur power plant, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).  Simply put, state-owned entities are the strength of the economy, especially for states that realise their significance. Widespread globalisation has already begun posing a threat to the domestic industrial growth of weaker states. After the fold of the civilian government in Pakistan during the 70s, Bhutto changed the foreign policy around. He shifted his focus from Russia and China towards the US due to their help with fighter jets ...

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China – a brave new world

Think of China for a second and images of Manchurian with hot sauce and lots of ketchup will come to mind. Think for a few seconds longer and you will be thinking about dragons, chop sticks, an alien language and possibly one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Now picture a country that has preserved its culture and adopted many features and aspects of the world that are familiar to you. Picture a country that, in its attempt to merge the old and new, the conventional and the extraordinary, has inevitably begotten a brave new macrocosm. Be there or be square Galileo’s theory about ...

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Will China ever allow India to be part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group?

Before the start of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) plenary session in Seoul on June 24, 2016, the word was out that China would not be supporting India’s membership into the NSG. China had exhibited a similar reluctance towards India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. Although China managed to stonewall India’s application, what came as a total surprise to them was that out of 48 countries, 44 countries openly supported its membership; evidence of India being recognised as an emerging global power. In fact, the Chinese negotiator was pulled up because of the unprecedented support India received at the meeting. Those who have been following ...

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In this day and age, can we truly survive without social media?

In a world where we so heavily rely on social media, it’s difficult to fathom a world where it would cease to exist. Until recently I was immersed in a life where social media is central to our existence. I was part of a world in which we live, eat, breathe and sleep social media. According to statistics, any given individual will check their phone on an average of 100 times a day. (I took the liberty to count one day, and it’s close enough!). We spend a mindless number of hours scrolling through our news feeds, checking the latest ...

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