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  • Author: Marcin Przychodniak
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The policy of repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang has become a significant element of criticism of China in the world. In March this year, the EU, U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on China over the matter. Moreover, the Netherlands, the U.S. and Canada described China’s actions as genocide. For China, however, its actions involving Uyghurs are a key element of domestic politics, which is why it presents accusations as disinformation. It has imposed counter sanctions, including on the EU, and their wide scope indicates that for China, Xinjiang is more important than, for example, the ratification of the Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI) with the EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, Genocide, Human Rights, European Union, Uyghurs
  • Political Geography: China, United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Asia, Netherlands, United States of America, Xinjiang
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The year 2020 was characterized by the intensification of US-China confrontation and strategic competition, which had been pointed out in the Strategic Annual Report 2019, in all areas from military and security affairs as well as dominance in advanced technologies and supply chains to narratives on coronavirus responses. Amid this confrontation, the rules-based international order faced even more severe challenges; the multilateral framework established after World War II with the United Nations at its core lost its US leadership and fell into serious dysfunction. While the international community is struggling to cope with the rapidly expanding outbreak of the novel coronavirus, China has been moving to expand its influence through increasingly authoritarian and assertive domestic and international policies on the rule of law and territorial issues, as well as through economic initiatives such as the existing “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) and its responses to the pandemic. The confrontation with the United States is becoming more and more pronounced, and the Indo-Pacific region is turning itself into divided and contested oceans. In this transforming strategic environment, expressions of support for the vision of a rulesbased “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP) that Japan has been promoting for the past several years, or announcements of similar visions have followed one after the other. The year 2020 also saw significant strengthening of the cooperative framework among four countries – Japan, the United States, Australia, and India (QUAD) – together with the enhancement of bilateral cooperation between countries in this group. At the same time, progress was also made in a regional cooperation framework that includes China with the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement in East Asia. The Strategic Annual Report 2020 looks back at major international developments since last year’s Report through the end of 2020, focusing on the transformation of the strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific region and the response of the international community.
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations, Multilateralism, COVID-19, Destabilization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Middle East, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Claudia Schmucker
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The European Union must position itself in a new geo-economic environment in which the United States and China are increasingly using their economies to shape international relations, as well as regional and global regulatory structures. Although the EU has a good grasp of the challenges that this new environment poses, it does have vulnerabilities in its bilateral and multilateral channels that require attention.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Environment, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Geopolitics, Regulation, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: China, United States of America
  • Author: Bryan Clark, Dan Patt
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Microprocessors are a critical element of US national infrastructure and manage the country’s energy grids, transportation systems, and telecommunications networks. Without a reliable supply of computer chips and microelectronic components, most US economic and societal activity would grind to a halt. The semiconductor manufacturing process is largely concentrated in East Asia, where manufacturers could be subjected to pressure or coercion by the People’s Republic of China. The semiconductor supply chain, and its inherent resilience and security, could be strengthened by US government investment to bring more steps of the microelectronics production and assembly process onto US shores. To guide government policies, this study proposes a four-factor framework measured from the perspective of the US microelectronics customers and industry. These factors include: resilience of continued microelectronics supplies to the US market; assurance that US microelectronics reflect their intended design and are free of security vulnerabilities; the ability of the US microelectronics industry to meet current microelectronics demand, which shapes the ecosystem; and the value added from US firms, which supports future demand.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, National Security, Science and Technology, Communications, Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Patrick M. Cronin
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: This report assesses China’s comprehensive approach to information power and its implications for the U.S.-Australia alliance. The purpose of the report is threefold: to enlarge alliance awareness of China’s whole-of-society information challenge; highlight critical responses to this challenge from Canberra and Washington; and deepen alliance thinking regarding strategy and policy. The scale and scope of China’s information enterprise distinguishes it from other countries. Overt persuasion campaigns and covert influence operations are thoroughly researched, carefully choreographed, and uninhibited by concerns over individual or sovereign rights. Beijing goes beyond the use of information and instead seeks to achieve primacy in discourse power by weaponizing narrative in ways analogous to asymmetric military strategies. China uses a distinctive whole-of-society approach to building a dazzling wealth of data and information. Aided by intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, decades of education training abroad, and other forms of acquiring information, China’s industrial policy goes beyond protectionist measures like subsidies. When Military-Civil Fusion is considered, this development has far more than economic and technological ramifications.
  • Topic: International Relations, Science and Technology, Alliance, Data, Information Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Australia, United States of America
  • Author: Robert Greenway
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The Abraham Accords constitute the beginning of a transformation of a region that has confounded many, and that will continue to be a vital battleground astride the security and economic interests of world powers. American leadership was a necessary but alone insufficient condition to the emergence of this agreement. American leadership will remain essential to its growth and evolution. The alignment of our regional partners and allies in both economic and security domains will ensure that the agreement endures. It will also incentivize others to join us in pooling critical capacities to advance and defend mutual interests. This transformation serves to constrain Iran – the threat from which has been recognized as causal – even as it constrains the malign influence and predatory practices of China and Russia. They will continue to manufacture and exploit fissures among the U.S. and its regional partners if we fail to exploit the favorable shift in the region’s security and economic architecture. On the other hand, appropriate support will allow the Abraham Accords to advance and secure America’s interests with the use of significantly fewer resources and with more capable partners integrated as never before.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Marcos Caramuru, Philip Yang
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: China’s post-Covid plans regarding national investment and foreign policy are ambitious and its success depends on the ability to build trustworthy relations with its Asian neighbors and the great powers. The XXII China Analysis Group meeting gathered experts to discuss China’s positioning and the ways in which it could overcome challenges and aim for a positive bilateral agenda with the USA during the Biden administration.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Investment, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Jacob Stokes
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: China and North Korea pose intertwined challenges for U.S. and allied policy. The Korean Peninsula constitutes just one area among many in U.S.-China relations. Meanwhile, issues on the peninsula remain central to the future stability and security of Northeast Asia and implicate many broader questions about regional and global order. Dealing with China and North Korea as an interlocking pair requires integrated policies that balance the risks and rewards of various possible approaches. This policy brief explains how to develop such policies and why they are the best option for the current regional landscape. North Korea plays several roles in China’s foreign policy. These include diverting geopolitical attention away from China, providing Beijing with an opportunity to cooperate with other states, creating a point of leverage for China to extract concessions on separate issues, and acting as a flashpoint with the potential for a regional war that directly affects China’s security. At any given time, some roles will be more pronounced than others, but each of them is always present to some degree. Any integrated U.S. strategy toward the pair will have to account for a volatile geopolitical landscape in Northeast Asia. Major trends include closer ties between Beijing and Pyongyang, deteriorating U.S.-China relations, and South Korea’s desire, especially under the government of President Moon Jae-in, to engage North Korea while balancing ties with China and the United States. The United States should employ a strategy toward China and North Korea that blends calibrated pressure and results-oriented engagement. The goal of this strategy should be problem-management rather than problem-solving. Washington should implement this approach across four areas: shaping U.S.-China relations regarding the Korean Peninsula; engaging North Korea on political and security issues; promoting stable deterrence in the region; and coordinating a shared inter-Korean and foreign policy with South Korea. Key recommendations for the United States include acknowledging that major breakthroughs are unlikely with either China or North Korea; proposing four-party nuclear and peace talks with South Korea, North Korea, China, and the United States; and standing up a Nuclear Planning Group that includes Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo to bolster deterrence and stem nuclear proliferation pressures.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Jim Townsend, Andrea Kendall-Taylor
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Arctic’s melting icecaps are changing more than the geography of the region. The diminishing sea ice and declining snow cover have allowed for new shipping lanes and growing access to natural resources, increasing geopolitical competition in the region. A defining feature of this competition is the growing interest and activity of Russia and China in the Arctic. Not only have the two countries increased their presence in the region, but coordination between them is growing. Political observers in Washington and beyond understand well the challenges that Russia and China each pose to the United States. But little thought has been given to how their interests and actions will combine and the challenges that such alignment will pose for the United States and its allies and partners. Previous CNAS research has highlighted the risks that greater Russia-China cooperation creates. This research argues that the growing partnership between Moscow and Beijing is amplifying the challenges that both actors pose. In the Arctic, Russia and China’s interests are converging around resource extraction projects, the expansion of the Northern Sea Route, and the enhancement of operational awareness and security cooperation. The increasing synergy in the Arctic will be most consequential for the United States on two fronts: First, Beijing is working with Moscow to improve its military capabilities. Second, Russia is increasing its economic reliance on China in the Arctic in ways that may raise Moscow’s willingness to back Beijing’s priorities in other regions and on other issues to avoid jeopardizing its economic ties with Beijing. Increasing military cooperation: Through joint research and, to a lesser extent, its joint military exercises with Russia, China is enhancing its military knowledge of and insight into the Arctic. Though China’s actual military presence in the Arctic is minimal, the two countries’ cooperation is enhancing Chinese insight into Russian dual-use technology, which Beijing can use to build its military capabilities. China can learn from Russia’s dual-use and hybrid capability development in the Arctic, accelerating its efforts to erode U.S. military advantages and posing a greater threat in the event of military conflict. Russia and China may also strengthen their military relationship in the Arctic in the future, including expanding the scope of their joint exercises in the region. Ultimately, sustained or deepening Russia-China military cooperation may threaten America’s ability to deter Chinese and Russian aggression in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Natural Resources, Geopolitics, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia, Arctic
  • Author: Richard Higgott, Simon Reich
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: For some time, international relations has trended in the direction of an American and Chinese dominated binary world order. While the Trump administration has been an accelerator not a cause of this trend between 2016 and 2020, not coincidentally the post 2016 era has also seen key EU figures move to develop a strategy of greater "strategic autonomy". This interest in strategic autonomy was, in no small part, a reflection of growing European distrust in the reliability of both China and, increasingly, the USA. The paper shows, in contrast to the Cold War era during which the EU was unambiguously aligned, how the EU now appears to have embarked on a hedging strategy, albeit implemented more by default than design. In its desire to defend its core interests the EU appears to lean to one side or the other on an issue by issue basis in at least seven key policy domains identified in the paper. This approach is seen to be the outcome of its dual desire to articulate the values of its much touted “Geopolitical Commission" at the same time as it tries to continue its traditional institutional commitment to multilateralism. The paper concludes that the ambiguity present in this endeavour to straddle the realist-liberal fence only serves to expose the limitations of the strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, European Union, Geopolitics, Strategic Autonomy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, United States of America