Foreign Policy

Our high weekend reads

US President Donald Trump isn’t the first world leader to try to steal an election, but he may be the leader to have received the slightest international backlash. While Trump works to undermine American democracy, most of the world’s leading pro-democracy bodies – from the European Union to the United Nations – have remained silent.

As Switzerland becomes one of the worst COVID-19 hotspots in the world, staff and diplomats at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva fear the organization will struggle to keep the coronavirus at bay at personal peace conferences later this month.

And liberal Chinese Americans are fighting back against the racism and false news that have dominated Chinese-language social media this US election cycle.

Here are Foreign policy‘s top weekend reads.

US Representative Jim Jordan stands with dozens of people demanding that the Pennsylvania vote be halted on the steps of the State Capitol in Harrisburg on November 5th on unsubstantiated allegations of fraud. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

1. America’s Democracy Downgrade

Far more worrying than President Donald Trump’s refusal to allow the US election is the world’s failure to condemn Trump’s actions and call him for what he is – a sore loser and angry autocrat, writes Nic Cheeseman.

The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, puts on his face mask during the United Nations-sponsored talks on a new constitution for Syria on August 27 at the United Nations Office in Geneva.FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP via Getty Images

2. UN peace making in the age of the plague

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Geneva, the seat of the United Nations European headquarters. But the organization is pushing ahead with its peace conference plans and fueling concerns about a major outbreak. Foreign policyColum Lynch reports.

A mask of Russian President Vladimir Putin on sale at a souvenir stand in St. Petersburg on January 29. OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP via Getty Images

3. Biden’s Putin Challenge

Too often Washington seems to want better relations with Moscow than Moscow does with Washington. In January, US President-elect Joe Biden shouldn’t make this mistake, writes David J. Kramer.

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside the governor’s house to protest the results of the November 7th U.S. presidential election in St. Paul, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

4. Liberal Chinese Americans are fighting right-wing WeChat disinformation

Sino-American liberal voices have taken the WeChat battlefield to balance right-wing conspiracy content and engaged a minority bloc that has increasingly exerted influence in US elections, writes Shen Lu.

Kenyan newspapers with the headlines “Donald Trump Fired!” and “Biden wins!” in Nairobi on November 8th. Simon Maina / AFP / Getty Images

5. Biden’s priority in Africa should be debt relief

Africa’s debts, which have gotten into crisis areas as a result of the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, threaten to push the continent further into China’s hands – unless Western powers intervene, writes Theodore Murphy.

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