FOCUS on Frozen Conflicts: Taiwan-China

Taiwan’s defense minister, former Taiwanese general Chiu Kuo-cheng, made headlines recently when he stood before the Legislature Yuan and predicted that China would launch a full-scale invasion of Taiwan by 2025. According to ABC News, the Chinese government in the past few weeks has sent more than 150 military aircraft to fly through Taiwan’s air defense zone in an attempt at intimidation.

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Focus on Elections During Coronavirus: South Korea

In March 2019, toward the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, South Korea became one of the first countries outside of China to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The country adopted a liberal yet effective way to flatten the infection curve, ultimately enabling the country to host their parliamentary elections on April 15 as scheduled. The results were staggering.

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Focus on Elections During Coronavirus: New Zealand

Many individuals have pointed to the astounding efforts of New Zealand to control COVID-19. Along with the international community, the country’s handling of the coronavirus was also praised by its citizens. This played an important role in the re-election of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who orchestrated early virus restrictions. Her immediate plan was to not just control the spread of the virus, but eliminate it entirely.

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Focus on Elections During Coronavirus: Ethiopia

2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is facing a critical moment as ethnic tensions boil. Abiy was elected in 2018 and is seen by many outsiders as a reformer seeking to lead Ethiopia away from the current system of ethnic federalism towards a more unified, secular federalist form of government. Under the constitution, Ethiopia is divided into nine ethnically-based regions that are each granted a significant amount of autonomy from the central government.

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Focus on Mass Migration: Venezuela

A refugee is defined as “someone with a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion”. A migrant, meanwhile, is defined as “someone who voluntarily leaves his or her country of origin to seek a better life and who does not face impediments to returning home”. Yet for the five million people who have fled from Venezuela since 2015 neither of those definitions accurately describes their circumstances. 

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Focus on Mass Migration: Myanmar

The Rohingya population is an estimated one million in Myanmar, which has a majority Buddhist population. Although the Rohingya can trace their origins centuries back, the government denied the Rohingya legal recognition as one of the country’s official ethnic groups. In 1982, the country passed the Burma Citizenship Law, which essentially denied the Rohingya citizenship and left many stateless. The government of Myanmar sees the Rohingya as “illegal immigrants from Bangladesh,” says BBC News.

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