Stories by Dave Lawler

Egypt's Sisi could rule until 2030 after winning referendum

A friendly greeting committee outside a polling place in Cairo. Photo: Islam Safwat/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Egypt's elections authority says 89% of voters approved constitutional changes giving President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi new powers and clearing the way for him to hold on to power until 2030. The changes have already passed through parliament.

The backdrop: Sisi, who took power following a 2013 military coup and began a ruthless crackdown on dissent, won a sham presidential election with 97% of the vote last year. He has now cemented his status as Egypt's dictator without losing his position as a U.S. ally.

China's road to global dominance

Illustration of Chinese President Xi Jinping holding a small globe
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expecting upwards of 40 world leaders to join him in Beijing later this week for the second international gathering on the Belt and Road Initiative — China's plan to build a massive network of ports, roads and railways across some 65 countries.

Why it matters: Belt and Road is just one element of China's plan to supplant the U.S. as the dominant global superpower within the next three decades. By the time Beijing's ambitions were widely understood in Washington, China’s success had already begun to feel inevitable.

Countries, corporations refuse to criticize China over mass Uighur detentions

A sandstorm hits the city of Aral in Xinjiang earlier this month. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

There are upwards of 1 million Uighur Muslims detained in China's Xinjiang region — yet the leaders of Pakistan, Indonesia and, most recently, Volkswagen (which has a factory in Xinjiang) claim they don't know anything about it.

Between the lines: "This is a difficult issue to address precisely because China has the world's second-largest economy" and is "ruthless" when challenged, says John Herbst, a former longtime diplomat now at the Atlantic Council.