For Quartz, I looked at what post-communist regimes - in Poland, in Belarus, in Hungary, in Russia - may tell us about what to expect under a Trump administration:
Trump, meanwhile, has four years—or longer—to determine how he can neuter his successor should America manage to oust him. In the interim, there are a slate of policies on his docket that would entrench not only his kleptocratic interests, but also allow him, together with the GOP, to create an internal empire less responsive to the plurality of voters and more responsive to wealthy and regressive special interests. Think of this as a redux of the Hungarian experience over the past few years, which has seen prime minister Victor Orbán inject his self-labeled form of “illiberal democracy” into the European Union.
And with The Diplomat, I parsed a new read on the Amur River, and what it portends for Sino-Russian relations:
In 1900, as the Boxer Rebellion seared Beijing, officials hundreds of miles northward came to a decision. Community leaders in Blagoveshchensk, a Russian metropole along the Amur River – that great, gurgling run dividing southeastern Russia from northeastern China – found themselves rattled, rocked by the anti-Western forces suddenly rippling through China. As such, local leaders began gathering the Chinese residents throughout their city, some four or five thousand in all, in an attempt to expel anyone they thought may pose a risk to local stability. Led by contingents of Amur Cossacks, the Russian denizens of Blagoveshchensk rounded up thousands of ethnic Chinese to push back across the border – back across the Amur, the ninth-largest river in the world.
The other side, of course, was too far for a simple swim. The first into the water, caught in the current, drowned. The others attempted to plead, or to flee, to no avail. Soon the Cossacks were joined by old men and children alike, gunning or axing down those who refused to swim across. As Dominic Ziegler, The Economist’s Asia editor, recounts in Black Dragon River, his masterful examination of the Amur River’s bloodied history, “No more than one hundred reached the other shore. It was not, the official note stated, a crossing ‘but an extermination.”