The UK’s exit from the EU is a cautionary tale to other forms of regionalism. The US has dominated NATO, the North American Free Trade Area, and is also committed to constructing new types of regionalism such as the TPP and TTIP. Yet, it is questionable if this non-inclusive form of regionalism established will be sustainable.
Observers have argued that China did not fully appreciate the implications of not participating in the arbitration process. Not only did it give up its right to appoint the arbitrators, it also gave up its right to present its legal arguments and evidence to the tribunal and the international audience.
When intellectuals stop presenting options and start demanding outcomes, their democratic function has come to an end. The tyranny of a meritocratic intellectual class, Aristotle’s tyranny of the best, is a tyranny all the same.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen planned to seek closer economic relations with the countries of Southeast Asia, so as to reduce Taiwan’s dependence on trade and other commercial relations with China. However, questions soon arose concerning how promising Tsai’s plan might be.
Zhang Dejiang, a ranking politburo member of the Chinese Communist Party, visited Hong Kong in May 2016. The highlight of his trip turned out to be gatherings with selected pro-democracy politicians from the island who espouse a more moderate position.
Today, Western democracy is trapped with its self-inflicted damage. Voting works if and only if voters understand what it is really about and the Brexit poll clearly demonstrated that the direction of fundamental policy choices could be out of the control of the people at large.
The June 23 Brexit referendum saw the UK vote to leave the European Union. The exit decision shocked the world with implications not only in the political and economic arenas of the UK and EU, but which also has far reaching repercussions beyond Europe.
China has won the title of the “world’s builder” by applying its monetary resources via aid and investments and expertise to construct roads, railroads, dams, communications facilities, pipelines, ports, economic zones and more to projects abroad. America was once the world’s “connector.’ That is no more.