Simon Leitch

Dr Simon Leitch is a former university lecturer. His PhD focused on Chinese foreign policy. His current interests are authoritarianism, free speech and Asia-Pacific politics.

Genocide – The Ultimate “Whataboutism”

Observing the use of “whataboutism” has become of a speciality of mine, given it is so common in diplomacy and in general argument on university campuses.  Whataboutism refers to the practice of responding to an accusation by making a counter-accusation.  It amounts to charging someone with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their allegation or …

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Farce Amid Bloodshed — Myanmar and the International Response

Throughout February and March of 2021, a running battle was being fought on the streets of Yangon between Myanmar’s new military government and its opponents. The coup of February 1 was proving to be a less than peaceful power transition, and hundreds were killed in clashes in which police or the army used live ammunition. …

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After Taiwan

What comes after a change in international order?  How can we even conceptualise this question?  Rather than debate the language and meaning like a post-modernist, it is better to use recent anecdotes like a historian.  To begin to answer the question, to hone our thinking, to establish something about the range of possibilities, I like …

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The Xinjiang Distraction, Genocide, and the Low Tide of Human Solidarity

Is genocide taking place in Xinjiang?  Are there really concentration camps, re-education centres, torture chambers and forced sterilisation?  Or can we take the Chinese government at its word and accept that China has done nothing but take the necessary security measures to combat terrorism? On the surface, the opening question appears to hold great moral …

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Freedom of Speech – The Case for Pessimism

Freedom of Speech – The Case for Pessimism

Today, freedom of speech is under threat. In truth, the freedom to express one’s views has never been either absolute or uncontested. Laws against insulting religion have been weaponised against free-thinkers since ancient times. Libel suits constantly pit activists and journalists against corporations, governments and their armies of lawyers throughout the liberal-democratic world. Terrorist campaigns, …

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