October 9, 2019

AFF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: China’s Growing Influence, Withdrawing Responsibly from Syria, and Free Trade in Africa

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? See here for info on how we can help make that a reality.

Beijing’s Best Joke Yet by Erin Dunne (Fall 2018) in The Bulwark
On Sunday night, the NBA became the latest part of corporate America to accept Chinese propaganda as the price for market access. After Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, the NBA released an apologetic statement that, among other things, implied that standing up for democracy was “regrettable.” (The league’s Chinese-language version was even worse, noting that the NBA was “extremely disappointed in the inappropriate comment.”)

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were quick to condemn the NBA’s capitulation to the Chinese Communist Party line. Some of the strongest criticism came from Republicans with Sen. Marco Rubio labeling the NBA’s statement “disgusting” and Sen. Ted Cruz writing that he was “proud” of Morey’s support for Hong Kong…

How Trump can save the Kurds: Accept more refugees by Brad Polumbo (Summer 2018) in The Washington Examiner
We’ll never fix Syria. The Middle Eastern country is a war-torn, bloody mess gripped by civil war and falling apart at its seams. That’s why President Trump is right to have just pulled American troops out of northern Syria and ought to get all of our troops out of the country in short order.

We were able to displace and destroy ISIS, but we can’t un-break a broken nation. That doesn’t mean we should just throw our hands up and watch the Kurds, our allies against ISIS, be slaughtered after our exit from Syria…

Without strong property rights, an African free trade area is meaningless by Alexander Hammond (Spring 2019) in City Press
President Cyril Ramaphosa [of South Africa] is getting more vocal about his support for the new African Continental Free Trade Area.

At the beginning of September, during the World Economic Forum in Cape Town, Ramaphosa even described the free trade area as possibly “the greatest opportunity for economies on the [African] continent to generate growth through trade.”…