This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

A statue of Belgium’s King Leopold II is smeared with red paint and graffiti in Brussels on June 10, 2020.

(Image: Virginia Mayo/Associated Press)

Colonialism Made the Modern World. Let’s Remake It

Adom Getachew

New York Times

“Decolonize this place!” “Decolonize the university!” “Decolonize the museum!”

In the past few years, decolonization has gained new political currency — inside the borders of the old colonial powers. Indigenous movements have reclaimed the mantle of “decolonization” in protests like those at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline. Students from South Africa to Britain have marched under its banner to challenge Eurocentric curriculums. Museums such as the Natural History Museum in New York and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Brussels have been compelled to confront their representation of colonized African and Indigenous peoples.

But what is “decolonization?” What the word means and what it requires have been contested for a century. (Read more)

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This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

Hong Kong Was a Test Run for 'Wolf Warrior' Diplomacy | The ...

(Image: Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Hong Kong Was a Test Run for ‘Wolf Warrior’ Diplomacy

Rob York

National Interest

There has been much talk about China’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy, named for a series of patriotic Chinese films. The reasons for this terminology are debated and not embraced by all Chinese diplomats, but since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and plummeting of U.S.-China relations, the world is noticing a newly confrontational approach to foreign affairs; a very undiplomatic form of diplomacy.

That they have only noticed this spring suggests they haven’t been following events of the past year in Hong Kong closely enough.

In June 2019, Hongkongers rose up to deliver a stinging rebuke to their chief executive, Beijing loyalist Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, when she attempted to amend the territory’s laws and allow for the extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China. It wasn’t just the tens of thousands of people who showed up on June 12 to fight police and block entry into the Legislative Council building, preventing a vote from taking place and forcing the suspension of the bill. No, this was far broader than that, with up to two million people—nearly one-third of the city’s population—participating in some rallies in opposition to the amendment. (Read more)

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