Archive for the ‘World current affairs’ Category


How strong is China’s claim to Taiwan? And what about Mongolia?

August 6th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Taiwan has been settled for at least 25,000 years. Ancestors of Taiwanese indigenous peoples settled the island around 6,000 years ago. In the 17th century, large-scale Han Chinese immigration to western Taiwan began under a Dutch colony and continued under the Kingdom of Tungning. The island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of […]

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Another match is lit in the tinder-dry Balkans

August 2nd, 2022 by Roger Darlington

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It is something of a joke among my family and friends that, when I visit a country, shortly afterwards there is some sort of catastrophe or crisis. You can see what I mean from this blog posting. Now, it’s only a couple of months ago that […]

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A review of “The Age Of The Strongman” by Gideon Rachman (2022)

July 20th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Rachman is the chief foreign affairs columnist for the British newspaper the “Financial Times”. He has written a well-researched, immensely informative, very readable and – at least for my liberal sensibilities – insightful and balanced review of the rise over the past two decades of a series of political figures whom he calls the strongmen […]

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The tragedy of Sri Lanka

July 9th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

For months now, Sri Lanka has been in the grip of an economic crisis that has devastated the country and utterly impoverished most of its citizens. The latest news is that the Presidential Palace has been stormed and the Prime Minister’s home has been burned down. It is something of a joke among my family […]

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Ever heard of the Suwalki Gap?

April 11th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

I doubt that you have – but many people in the Baltic States and in the Russian military are well aware that this is a short stretch of land, a mere 50 miles (100 kms), which is the only connection between the Baltic States and the rest of the European Union. On one side is […]

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The latest suffering by the people of Sri Lanka

April 7th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

“Over the past few months, Sri Lanka has been facing a dire financial crisis on multiple fronts, triggered partially by the impact of Covid-19, which battered the economy, as well as mounting foreign debts, rising inflation and economic mismanagement by the government, led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The country barely has any foreign currency reserves […]

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Is Ukraine an artificial state, as President Putin suggests, or a true state, as President Zelensky argues? What constitutes a nation state anyway?

March 26th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

At present, I am reading a fascinating history of Ukraine: “Borderland” by Anna Reid. What is clear is that the reality of Ukraine as a nation state is a very recent one. For many centuries, most of what we now call Ukraine was ruled by Lithuania or Poland or a combination of the two. For […]

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What Arnold Schwarzenegger has to say about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

March 18th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

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Why did Putin order the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

March 15th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

“This war was not inevitable, but we have been moving toward it for years: the west, and Russia, and Ukraine. The war itself is not new – it began, as Ukrainians have frequently reminded us in the past two weeks, with the Russian incursion in 2014. But the roots go back even further. We are […]

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As the Covid-19 pandemic runs on, how bad is it looking?

March 11th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

An article in today’s “Guardian” newspaper reports a new estimate of the Covid-19 global death toll: “The Covid-19 pandemic may have claimed 18.2 million lives around the world, more than three times the official death toll, a new study suggests. The higher figure is a better estimate of the true global casualty figure to the […]

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