Monday Headlines

Does ISIS Pose A Threat To China?
It is known that a number of citizens from Australia, Britain and the US are fighting for ISIS, but what about China and does the terror group pose a threat to them?

According to Gary Sands of The Diplomat, there are up to 100 Chinese citizens who might be fighting for ISIS, many of whom are Uighurs, the a Muslim Turkic-speaking ethnic minority group which has caused internal problems for China.

“While some Chinese diplomats may be publicly downplaying the threat of IS coming to China, Beijing is likely heightening its activity in response to comments made in early July by IS speaking of revenge against several countries, including China, for seizing ‘Muslim rights..'” Sands writes.

Whether real or not, Sands believes, Beijing will use the talk of Uighur participation to justify their crackdown.

“Beijing is likely to use reports of an Islamic State presence in Xinjiang as propaganda to step up their fight against terrorism. Sadly, much as we saw happen to the Chechens, Kashmiris and Palestinians following the events of September 2001, Beijing’s reaction to the perceived threat of IS will likely only lead to more innocent victims, more counterattacks by extremists, and the radicalization of Uighur youth. All of which could one day fulfill the prophecy of IS entering the region,” he adds.

Protestors Rally For Democracy In Hong Kong
In Taipei, hundreds of people held a sympathy demonstration in support of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong Sunday.

Reuters reports that as many as 80,000 people have thronged the streets after the protests flared on Friday night but no independent estimate of numbers was available.

The crackdown by Hong Kong police, however, only fueled the fire and encouraged more to come to the streets.

“What is going on now, in addition to any immediate public order issues, is a battle for the hearts and minds of the Hong Kong public,” Michael C. Davis, a professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, told The New York Times.

Brookings Scholars On Syrian Airstrikes
As U.S.-led air strikes proceed against ISIS and other targets in Syria and Iraq, Brookings experts continue to offer their insight on and recommendations for the path forward.

Is The World Really As Unstable As We Believe?
Joseph Camilleri, a professor of International Relations at La Trobe University, notes that a sense of unease appears to be permeating rich and poor nations alike.

But, he asks, is the world truly teetering on the edge of a new Dark Age? Perhaps not a Dark Age, but Camilleri suggests the world is at the edge of the start of a new Cold War, or the continuation of a Cold War that never ended. The fact the US and Russia both are modernizing their nuclear forces brings this home and adds the fears many have.

“The nuclear risk is compounded by US efforts to retain global supremacy just as Russia is reasserting itself after two decades of humiliating decline. China’s virtually irreversible rise, the Sino-Russian marriage of convenience and the emergence of new centres of influence, notably Brazil, India and Iran, add to the high levels of risk and uncertainty,” he says.

Furthermore, in the midst of immigration troubles, the outbreak of Ebola, and a financial meltdown, national institutions have fallen short of meeting their responsibilities.

n all of this the problem is governance failure. National institutions are struggling in advanced industrial states as well as in failed states.

“Parliaments, governments and political parties, buffeted by volatile transnational markets and rapid technological change, lack the competence, resources and legitimacy to manage complex cross-border flows. To hide their irrelevance, they resort to short-term fixes, political spin and security hysteria,” he observes.

An engaged civil society, inter-civilizational communication and the ability (albeit not the will) for multilateral organizations to hold actors to account are reasons, he argues, not to despair.

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