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Xi’s Fight Against Corruption: A Hoax?

Corruption in China has been a longstanding truth that remains today. In 2013 the PRC was ranked 80th out of 178 countries in the Transparency International’s Corruption Preceptions Index. Since the 1980s widespread surveys have been carried out to the public and have shown that corruption represents one of the top concerns of the general public. However, as China has ... Read More »

Semester Abroad: A Little Taste of Expat Life

About seven months ago I was waiting in line at Schiphol Airport, jumping around like a little kid seeing a puppy for the first time. This very moment was what I had been waiting for ever since I was in my last year of high school. Finally, I was going on my exchange and the destination was even beyond what ... Read More »

The Greatest Trek in History

With China’s economy having experienced a rise that is second to none, the government often boasts about having lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. What is often forgotten is that this has also led to one of the greatest migration movements in human history. China booms, but it does not do so everywhere. While the overwhelming majority of industrial ... Read More »

Is the ‘ASEAN Way’ finally bearing fruit?

For years, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) was criticized and seen as stumbling block for the improvement of diplomatic relations. Today, this multilateral organization is only a few steps away of forming an economic community and has already concluded free trade agreements with China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and India. Have we now been proven wrong in our criticism of ... Read More »

Chinese Orphanages: Hatching Social Problems

On March seventeenth, the Guangzhou Orphanage in China announced the shocking amount of disabled children dropped off at the baby drop-off hatch that had opened no more than two months earlier. Many babies had died due to a lack of care or too severe diseases and the world was shocked. How did it get to this, and is the Chinese ... Read More »

Turkey: A Country Torn Between Going East or West

By Yuri van Hoef With corruption scandals coming to light in December 2013, Istanbul’s Taksim square once again became the site of major anti-government protests. Earlier, in May 2013, what started as a small environmental protest against the demolition of parts of the park, quickly escalated into full-blown protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ... Read More »

Taiwan: How Not to Communicate Negotiations

While the US and the EU continue their negotiations about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) under disputable circumstances, namely the lack of public oversight, negotiators should maybe take a look at Taiwan: The student-led mass protests give a striking example of what can happen if governments try to implement questionable trade agreements behind closed doors or even against ... Read More »

The Perks of an Exchange

The road towards a career constitutes a never-ending story and is imbued with making choices. One of these is whether or not to step out of your comfort zone, and take on the challenge to study abroad. After careful consideration, overwhelming amounts of paperwork and endless procedures I decided to go on an exchange, and here I am, studying at ... Read More »

Carrying trade into cold waters

“No, there are no penguins in the Arctic.” The confusion about the polar regions is still not settled in the popular mind, while on the other hand serious business interests start to come into play in one of the globe’s most fragile ecosystems. With climate change advancing at a pace never experienced before, the sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean ... Read More »

Where the judge harms you more than the gang

Dubai. The name stands for wealth, opportunities and shiny facades. But how does the oil-rich gulf country actually run and think? Eight young men just got jailed for up to one year for posting a parody internet in the internet. The sharia law and strict judges have no sense of humour when it comes to issues of “national security”. The ... Read More »