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CHINA’S WARDEN

CHINA’S WARDEN

The first thing to know about Chen Quanguo is that his political star is rising.


Last year, he became one of 25 members of China’s Politburo, arriving at this point in part thanks to his forceful leadership in Xinjiang province, a large region blessed with abundant natural wealth in China’s far west. It’s also an area inhabited by an estimated ten million Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking minority that makes up a large percentage of the country’s Muslim population.

This distinction has also earned him lots of new attention in Europe and the United States, where China’s critics accuse him of a crackdown that centers on “re-education camps” the United Nations says are used to imprison as many as one million Muslims.

Chen knew something about the mechanics of repression before arriving in Xinjiang. He has also served as Party Secretary, the highest provincial position, in Tibet, another region where Beijing has faced separatist pressures and ethnic unrest.

To enshrine “socialist civilization” in Buddhist Tibet, Chen reportedly…

  • installed more than 100,000 Communist Party officials in Tibetan villages
  • established party organizations in more than 1,700 Buddhist temples
  • ordered temples to display images of senior party officials
  • and multiplied the number of police on the streets.

In Xinjiang, the installation of civilization has become more systematized. It includes…

  • sending Party officials to live in Uighur villages
  • setting up a system of police checkpoints outfitted with cameras and facial-recognition software
  • closing mosques
  • training police in state-of-the-art crowd-control techniques
  • and setting up the above-mentioned camps.

Chen is the only person ever to govern in both Tibet and Xinjiang.

The critical question: Is Chen’s political career on the rise because senior officials in Beijing want to reward his willingness to take on the country’s ugliest political jobs? Or because they consider him an innovator in techniques that might one day be employed on a broader national scale?

Dating and debates, music festivals and dance classes, work and education – an increasing amount of our social interactions now take place online. With this shift to virtual venues, ensuring kindness and respect in everyday interactions and encounters is more important than ever.

The digital space has become a fundamental part of the national and international conversation, and has also, at times, become a breeding ground for bullying, trolling and hate speech. There is a clear need for more "digital good" to ensure that online encounters have a constructive impact on everyone involved. To learn more about digital good and what it means, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

As the global vaccination race heats up, the most populous country in the world is trying to do three very hard things at once.

India, grappling with the second highest confirmed COVID caseload in the world, recently embarked on what it called "the world's largest" coronavirus vaccination campaign, seeking to inoculate a sizable swath of its 1.4 billion people.

That alone would be a herculean challenge, but India is also making hundreds of millions of jabs as part of the global COVAX initiative to inoculate low-income countries. And as if those two things weren't enough, Delhi also wants to win hearts and minds by doling out millions more shots directly to other countries in its neighborhood.

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Millions of people leave their home countries each year, fleeing conflict or violence, seeking better work opportunities, or simply to be closer to family. What proportion of those people are women? In many of the countries that are home to the largest migrant populations, a majority, in fact. While many women leave home for the same reasons as men (social instability or economic opportunity) gender-based violence or persecution often play a special role in women's decisions to pick up stakes and move. Here's a look at the gender breakdown of some of the world's largest migrant populations.

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele is an unusual politician. The 39-year old political outsider boasts of his political triumphs on TikTok, dons a suave casual uniform (backwards-facing cap; leather jacket; tieless ), and refuses to abide by Supreme Court rulings.

Bukele also enjoys one of the world's highest approval ratings, and that's what helped his New Ideas party clinch a decisive victory in legislative elections on February 28, securing a close to two-third's supermajority (75 percent of the vote had been counted at the time of this writing).

His triumph will resonate far beyond the borders of El Salvador, Central America's smallest country, home to 6.5 million people. Now that Bukele has consolidated power in a big way, here are a few key developments to keep an eye on.

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Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (a little over) 60 Seconds:

The Biden administration announced its first sanctions. How will it affect US-Russia relations?

Not very much. About as bad as they were under the Trump administration, even though Trump personally wanted to be aligned with Putin, the administration was not. This is the same approach on sanctions as we've seen from the European Union, they could go a lot harder. It's not sector level. It's not major state enterprises. It's a few Russian officials that were involved in the chemical program for Russia. And at the end of the day, the Russians are annoyed, but they're not going to hit back. That's that. Okay.

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