Norwegian soprano Margrethe Fredheim has won the inaugural Hong Kong International Operatic Singing Competition (2018) with performances of “Come scoglio” from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, “Song to the Moon” from Dvorak’s Rusalka and “Einsam in trüben Tagen” from Wagner’s Lohengrin.

The Second World War actually began on 7 July 1937 at the Marco Polo Bridge southwest of Beijing, when Imperial Japanese troops clashed with Nationalist Chinese forces. Japan had annexed Manchuria in 1931, but Chinese forces did not fight back then; instead, China’s leaders appealed in vain to the League of Nations. Six years later, after another Japanese-manufactured “incident”, China would fight back.

The principal argument of Terence Roehrig’s new book is that the United States will not and should not use nuclear weapons to defend Japan or South Korea. The US nuclear umbrella, he contends, has been little more than a bluff because the threat to use nuclear weapons, even in response to a nuclear attack, is not credible or necessary.

Haunted by Chaos: China’s Grand Strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, Sulmaan Wasif Khan (Harvard University Press, June 2018)
Haunted by Chaos: China’s Grand Strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, Sulmaan Wasif Khan (Harvard University Press, June 2018)

Before the Chinese Communist Party came to power, China lay broken and fragmented. Today it is a force on the global stage, and yet its leaders have continued to be haunted by the past. Drawing on an array of sources, Sulmaan Wasif Khan chronicles the grand strategies that have sought not only to protect China from aggression but also to ensure it would never again experience the powerlessness of the late Qing and Republican eras. The dramatic variations in China’s modern history have obscured the commonality of purpose that binds the country’s leaders. Analyzing the calculus behind their decision making, Khan explores how they wove diplomatic, military, and economic power together to keep a fragile country safe in a world they saw as hostile.