Foreign Policy Spring 2021

FOREIGN POLICY is the premier, award-winning magazine of global politics, economics, and ideas. Our mission is to explain how the world works -- in particular, how the process of global integration is reshaping nations, institutions, cultures, and, more fundamentally, our daily lives.

United States
Foreign Policy
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6 期号


featured contributors

Kishore Mahbubani is a distinguished fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute and the author of Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy. He was selected as a FOREIGN POLICY Global Thinker in 2010 and 2011. Janine di Giovanni is an author, foreign correspondent, senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and columnist at FOREIGN POLICY. Her latest book is The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches From Syria. Nikhil Kumar is a writer and journalist based in New Delhi and a former bureau chief in South Asia for Time magazine and CNN. Rim-Sarah Alouane is a legal scholar, commentator, and Ph.D. candidate in comparative law at Toulouse Capitole University in France, focusing on religious freedom, civil liberties, constitutional law, and human rights. David Sepkoski is…

from the editor

WHEN U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN TOOK OFFICE on Jan. 20, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for him. He was, after all, assuming power after a deadly siege on the Capitol—a horrific event that marked the country’s first-ever violent transfer of power. Biden was also entering the White House amid the deadliest pandemic in a century and the worst job market in decades. His task was to not only fix those historic crises but rebuild Washington’s alliances abroad, tackle climate change, and address the growing challenge presented by China. Plus, to deal with all these issues, he had to somehow unite a deeply divided Congress, even as polls revealed that 3 out of 4 Republicans believed he was not the legitimate winner of the election. That’s a lot of…

biden’s policy must center racial justice

As soon as they were inaugurated, U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris started making good on their campaign promises. They reentered the Paris climate accord, renewed U.S. support for the World Health Organization, and ended the Trump administration’s travel bans targeting nationals of select Muslim-majority and African nations. Racial justice was also high on the list of issues that they identified as most pressing and requiring action in their first 100 days. On Jan. 26, Biden rolled out his administration’s first steps to advance racial equity and promote national unity and reconciliation. He issued four executive orders spanning issues that affect multiple racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States, namely Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander Americans. The first executive order directed the Department of Housing…

western companies should leave china

In a February survey, 96 percent of German businesses active in China said they planned to stay there. That’s because there’s money to be made. There is, alas, also the matter of image. In a 2020 report, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) reported that 27 factories in nine Chinese provinces were using Uyghur workers from Xinjiang, including forcibly interned ones. “Those factories claim to be part of the supply chain of 82 well-known global brands,” ASPI found, and “some factories appear to be using Uyghur workers sent directly from ‘re-education camps.’” Although Beijing does not allow outside observers access to the camps, ex-inmates who have managed to leave China have provided harrowing accounts of systematic rape of female detainees and other crimes. The brands identified by ASPI include Abercrombie &…

the rise of the patriotic blockbuster

It’s no coincidence—or secret—that China is churning out patriotic blockbusters, which have overtaken Hollywood films at the Chinese box office in recent years. But it’s not as explicit as Beijing handing out orders. Instead, the government has shifted its approach from direct intervention to indirect incentivization by shaping the economic conditions of the film industry to favor patriotic cinema. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) faced a trade-off between economic liberalization and social control of the film industry, especially after the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989. Rejecting the contradiction, the party pursued both—a balancing act that would come to define the Chinese development experiment across sectors. In 1990, the head of the Ministry of Radio, Film, and Television’s film bureau told the New York Times that the Chinese film industry was facing…

the new anti-china alliance will fail

Australia, India, Japan, and the United States have perfectly legitimate concerns about China. It will be uncomfortable living with a more powerful China. And it’s equally legitimate for them to hedge by cooperating in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, informally known as the Quad. Unfortunately, the Quad will not alter the course of Asian history for two simple reasons: First, the four countries have different geopolitical interests and vulnerabilities. Second, and more fundamentally, they are in the wrong game. The big strategic game in Asia isn’t military but economic. Australia is the most vulnerable. Its economy is highly dependent on China. Australians have been proud of their remarkable three decades of recession-free growth. That happened only because Australia became, functionally, an economic province of China: In 2018-2019, 33 percent of its exports…