You can now read 10 articles each month for free on BostonGlobe.com.

The Boston Globe

Ideas

Uncommon Knowledge

What testing doesn’t show about teachers

And other surprising insights from the social sciences

Are we the global bad guys?

Since China’s rise as an economic power, many American foreign policy observers have been concerned that China is supporting unsavory regimes, especially in Africa. But maybe we’re just projecting. A recent analysis of data on the dollar value of international arms transfers reveals that the United States has done significantly more business than China with regimes—around the world, and in Africa—that are less democratic and have worse human rights records. According to the authors, then, “what is most remarkable is that China, which has not been as bad as countries such as Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus, has attracted so much criticism.”

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than $1 a week