Entering the next decade, what would constitute a sort of nuclear option would be for Russia to divert to China most of the natural resources sold to the West, whose retribution is packages of sanctions, while importing from China the advanced technologies required for Russia.
The number of countries that recognise Taiwan fell to 20 in 2017. With the Vatican about to switch to China, its last European ally will have gone.
Iraqi Kurdistan’s just-completed referendum regarding independence from Iraq has provoked an overwhelmingly negative response in the Middle East and beyond. There is no question that most Kurds support transforming their highly autonomous region in northern Iraq into an internationally recognized independent state. The “yes” vote in the referendum was a whopping 92 percent.
The “one country, two systems” model is not perfect, but it is a pragmatic and realistic approach to reunifying the mainland and Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau. It allows the two sides time (50 years or longer) to come up with solutions that could bridge the development gap – economic, political, social and cultural – between the three sides. What’s more, mainland China will never allow any of the three to declare official independence.