Saturday, October 25, 2014
  1. China’s Hong Kong Follies

    Sin-ming Shaw

    China’s Hong Kong Follies


     looks at what is motivating the pro-democracy protesters.

    hong kong student umbrella Guillaume Payen/ZumaPress

    The massive protests that have roiled Hong Kong in recent weeks are ostensibly demands for more democracy. But they actually reflect frustration among a population that has been poorly governed by a succession of leaders picked by China’s central government more for their loyalty than their competence. READ MORE

  2. Ukraine’s Vote, Russia’s Fate

    Carl Bildt

    Ukraine’s Vote, Russia’s Fate


     on what is at stake in the parliamentary election on October 26.

    Ukraine July 2014 eletion Zurab Dzhavakhadze/ZumaPress

    When Ukraine’s voters go to the polls on October 26, not only the fate of their country will be at stake; so will the future of a significant part of Europe. To put it simply: the future of Ukraine will decide the future of Russia, and the future of Russia will have a substantial impact on the future of Europe. READ MORE

  3. China’s Silk Road Revival

    Shashi Tharoor

    China’s Silk Road Revival


     considers the motives behind China's Silk Road economic initiative.

    Xi Jinping nznationalparty/Flickr

    The phrase “Silk Road” evokes a romantic image – half history, half myth – of tented camel caravans winding their way across the trackless deserts and mountains of Central Asia. But the Silk Road is not just part of a fabled past; it is an important feature of China’s current foreign policy. READ MORE

  4. Qatar’s Jihad

    Brahma Chellaney

    Qatar’s Jihad


     is worried that a tiny country that was once a gadfly has transformed itself into a rogue elephant.

    ISIS soldiers Medyan Dairieh/ZumaPress

    Qatar may be tiny, but it is having a major impact across the Arab world. By propping up violent jihadists in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond, while supporting the US in its fight against them, this gas-rich speck of a country has transformed itself from a regional gadfly into an international rogue elephant. READ MORE

  5. Lebanon’s Gathering Storm

    Michael Young

    Lebanon’s Gathering Storm


     warns of sectarian conflict spreading to Lebanon, fueled by a worsening economy.

    Beirut Airport Lebanon AFP photo/Flickr

    With all eyes focused on sectarian violence in Iraq and Syria, little attention has been paid to rapidly deteriorating Sunni-Shia relations in Lebanon. If the international community is to counter the Islamic State and prevent the further erosion of order in the Middle East, its leaders will have to think about the region as a whole. READ MORE

Focal Point

305 pages
305 pages

Commentaries available in 12 Languages