July 22, 2014

Fight or Fall: Internal flaws the UN must fix for South Sudan

By Alex Beck. As mentioned in the previous AIDemocracy article on South Sudan, the United Nations’ peacekeeping activities are currently providing badly needed security and shelter for civilians in UN refugee camps. This is, of course, a vital function that is essential for the survival of many South Sudanese civilians. However in addition to this task, the country’s UN peacekeeping force, known as United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS)*, has its own internal problems that need to be solved. The intent of this article is … [Read more...]

Bridging the Gap: ADIZ Controversy Highlights Need to Focus on US-China Cooperation

By Gao Qinglian China established an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea on November 23, 2013. An ADIZ is airspace over land or water in which the identification, location and control of civil aircraft are required in the interest of national security. These zones can extend beyond a country’s airspace in order to give the country more time to respond to foreign and possibly hostile aircrafts. There are several countries in the world that have established these zones, including the United States (the first country to … [Read more...]

Bridging the Gap: Reactions to the Shutdown

By Gao Qinglian Recently I was in Whitefish, Montana on a road trip from Seattle to Glacier National Park, one of the parks I have wanted to visit for years now. It was a beautiful Tuesday morning, so I decided to head down to the breakfast room at our hotel. The TV was on in the background, broadcasting the news of the recent “government shutdown,” but I wasn’t paying much attention. That’s why I was surprised when we arrived at the West Glacier and the rangers at the park entrance told us to the park was closed. Perplexed and stuck with nothing … [Read more...]

Bridging the Gap: An Initiative for Change

By Gao Qinglian In 1994 when I was 6, the first KFC was launched in my hometown in China. In 2000, I got my first piece of American clothing, a hoodie for an NBA team, the Chicago Bulls. Throughout my time in elementary school, all I knew about America was fried chicken and Michael Jordan. A decade later in 2011, I was working as a TA in an English Summer Camp‚ and my students who were about 11 and 12 pointed at the English teacher from America, shouting: “Alien!” To them, this teacher was someone akin to ET. In 2011, I came to America with two … [Read more...]

Bridging the Gap: A Reflection on the Fourth of July

By Gao Qinglian Last year, on the Fourth of July I went to Seattle Center with the Washington Secretary of State for my Naturalization Ceremony. I was told that being naturalized to an American citizen on Independence Day was very meaningful, and I could tell that July 4th meant a lot to Americans. The love of one's own country reaches a high point when a national day of celebration comes along. My country, the People’s Republic of China, was born on October 1st, 1949.  Last year on October 1st, I wore China’s national flag to school.  I was so … [Read more...]

Bridging the Gap: Graduating in America

By Gao Qinglian Last Thursday, June 13th, I completed my two-year masters study at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs. In Dean Sandra Archibald’s opening address, she mentioned the strong Chinese representation in the school and how it was a sign of globalization. There are 25 Chinese students graduating from Evans School this year and next year there will be another 25. The Chinese students in my school, who are just one small portion of the big study-abroad movement in China, speak English fluently, eat hamburgers and hotdogs, … [Read more...]

Bridging the Gap: The Power of the Media Lens

By Gao Qinglian I happened to watch a part of Joe’s speech in UPENN Commencement 2013 this Monday, in which I heard the following: “China is a great nation, and we should hope for the continued expansion. But ladies and gentlemen, their problems are immense, and they lack much of what we have. We have the best universities in the world. We have a legal system that is open and fair. We have the most agile venture capital system in the world. We lead the world in innovation and technology, all for a simple basic reason.” I think it was very … [Read more...]

Bridging Pacific: An Initiative Promoting the Importance of Cross-Cultural Understanding

By Gao Qinglian Three of my MPA colleagues from Evans School of Public Affairs and I founded Bridging Pacific, a nonprofit in Washington State, last month. The mission of Bridging Pacific is to promote mutual understanding and cultivate collaborative skills among college students from China and the United States. It was initiated by the strong belief the four of us hold that a better understanding and collaborative skill among Chinese and American students needs to be emphasized. After almost two years living and studying in America, my colleagues … [Read more...]

US and China: Pacifist Power in the Pacific

Pacific-Island

BY JARED PROUDFOOT When we think of the Pacific Islands, we think of coconuts, palm trees, lazy beaches, and friendly people playing ukuleles...right? Right. Well this may all be about to change, with tensions growing between two of the world's most powerful countries – the U.S and China, over geopolitical dominance in the tiny islands. Hillary Clinton recently became the first US Secretary of State to visit the Cook Islands for the Pacific Island Forum's Annual Summit, which is a gathering of the leaders of 15 Pacific Island countries. These 15 … [Read more...]

Riots in China: More Than Angry Patriots?

October is now upon us, evident by the crisp cold air of fall and the exciting conclusion to the first of three presidential debates. As I sat in the Barnes & Nobles Café with my hot cup of coffee trying to look as studious as possible (while reading the most recent issue of ESPN) I tried to reflect back on the month of September. It was a little surprising to realize that we had three major riots occur during the span of two weeks in different locations: the Middle East/North Africa, China, and Spain. I paid close attention to China in particular … [Read more...]