The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is about to pass into oblivion. But its verification provisions merit further attention, both as a reflection on lesson learned from the past, but also as indicators for the future.
The mass internment of Xinjiang’s Uyghurs in supposed ‘re-education’ facilities as a means of combatting violent extremism suggests that Beijing lacks confidence in the effectiveness of its intelligence architecture, and by extension, its capacity to identify and eliminate actual terrorist threats.
Washington has indicated that the death of Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour will bolster the peace process. However, it is doubtful that Mansour’s demise will advantage the Afghan government and its Western partners, either militarily or at the negotiating table.
China is playing a positive role in Afghanistan, but needs to take a greater ownership and direction of the potential peace process. As a partner with positive relations in both Kabul and Islamabad, Beijing is well placed to play this role.
The pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has defeated the Nationalist Party (KMT) in Taiwan’s elections. Beijing’s reaction to the result will depend on how it interprets the DPP’s intentions towards the existing framework defining cross-strait relations.