Taiwan: An Accelerating Crisis?

by Alan Heil The tiny democratic Chinese-speaking Pacific island republic lies within sight of Communist China and is now facing twin crises: a coronavirus outbreak in addition to long-standing potential threats from the mainland superpower. Taiwan’s population is 24 million, compared to mainland China’s 1.4 billion. Michael Mandelbaum of Johns Hopkins University describes the Taiwan…

Xiao Qi Ji

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. THE PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE SIDE OF INDIA’S GRIM PANDEMIC NEWS: The COVID-19 statistics that continue to come out of the United States and many countries are numbing. The depressing death figures for India the other day, for example, were hard to comprehend. The country reported more than 4,500 deaths in one day — the worst single-day, COVID-19…

Seeds of Democracy in a Tumultuous World

Can the North African country of Libya offer hope for reforms elsewhere? On March 16, a new national unity civilian government took power in Tripoli.  In the words of a recent Washington Post editorial: “After a decade of chaos, the oil rich nation has taken a significant step toward a new political order.” Libya’s recent…

cherry blossoms Jefferson Memorial

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. HATE CRIMES — ANOTHER PUBLIC DIPLOMACY CHALLENGE: Our ambassadors and PD officers suddenly have a new challenge: explaining what President Biden has called a “skyrocketing spike” of harassment and violence against Asian Americans and the need for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to pass Congress. On several occasions since taking office, President Biden has clearly…

satellite image of arctic circle

Arctic Strategy — an Awakening Interest

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a passenger in a space capsule with a view of the Arctic Ocean, with its polar icecap kissing the coasts of the U.S. state of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and hovering close to Russia. That schematic map of Planet Earth’s northernmost region is vividly depicted on page 45 of…

Dr. Biden at podium

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. HONORING “WOMEN OF COURAGE” AND ADVANCING A “FEMINIST FOREIGN POLICY”: For the past 15 years, the State Department has marked International Women’s Day by recognizing a group of amazing women who have shown unusual courage and leadership. This year’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) ceremony, held March 8, 2021, seemed better and more inspiring than…

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. MATT POTTINGER, CHINA, AND “VACCINE DIPLOMACY”:  Matt who? Although he is not a household name, the low-profile Pottinger probably had more influence on the Trump Administration’s “get tough on China” policy and strategic communications than anyone else. As NSC’s Asia Director and then the Deputy National Security Advisor from the very start of the Trump…

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. A STUNNING DAY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: Friday, February 19, 2021 was not “just another news day” for America. If you were a U.S. diplomat, especially a public diplomacy officer, it was arguably a great day. Several things happened within just a couple of hours to significantly explain and advance U.S. policy of partnership, cooperation, engagement…

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. FACTS ABOUT THE “LEAN” PUBLIC DIPLOMACY BUDGET: The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD) has released an important report that is essential reading for anyone interested in the state of public diplomacy as practiced today by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM). Called 2020 Comprehensive Annual Report on Public Diplomacy…