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  • Author: Abdullah Al-Arian
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Prof. Abdullah Al-Arian discusses how Islamist movements have historically viewed diplomacy as important to their activist missions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Diplomacy, Politics, History, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, Egypt, United States of America
  • 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: Peter Valente, Matthew Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Last year’s MS Westerdam cruise ship fiasco - in which 1,455 passengers and 802 crew were turned away from five different ports before being welcomed by Cambodia - raised many questions regarding how governments and the international community can improve their responses to global health crises. It also offers a window into the Cambodian government’s response to a global health crisis in the context of an important bilateral relationship — U.S.-Cambodia relations. Shortly after 700 new passengers boarded the Westerdam in Hong Kong on February 1 the cruise ship found itself stranded in the Indian and Pacific oceans ping-ponging between Japan, Guam, the Philippines, and Thailand until February 13, when Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen allowed the Westerdam to dock in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The incident serves as an interesting window into how domestic regime security considerations combined with mixed motives in international relations influenced Cambodian decision making. One of the more bizarre facets of the Westerdam’s story was the in-person, relatively unprotected meet-and-greet between the Westerdam’s passengers and the Cambodian prime minister immediately after docking and amidst a global health crisis over the highly contagious COVID-19 virus. There has been much speculation by the media on the motivations of Cambodia’s decision and the prime minister’s personal welcome. Some of the various theories appearing in Western media include: diplomatic motives toward home countries of the passengers and crew (particularly the United States), Chinese political influence causing Cambodia to play down the dangers of COVID, or some combination of domestic and international politics.
  • Topic: International Relations, Bilateral Relations, Crisis Management, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Cambodia, North America, Southeast Asia, 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: Patrick M. Cronin
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Diplomacy with North Korea must factor in an understanding of the Kim regime’s fears and insecurity. Pyongyang’s military actions and negotiating gambits jeopardize the United States, South Korea, and other nations’ vital interests and policy goals. Accordingly, the study of North Korean threat perceptions—how Kim Jong-un thinks about the utility of force and about threats to his regime—is essential for averting strategic surprise and buttressing diplomacy. National security strategy should be systematic, a deliberate calculation about national capabilities to achieve crucial objectives. It should be infused with an understanding of other actors, both friend and foe. A coherent national security strategy begins with clear and realistic written objectives. If aims are vague, it will be difficult to concentrate resources and mobilize others around a common cause. Similarly, if a nation’s goals are too ambitious and surpass the prospects or means for success, then the national security strategy represents wishful thinking and will likewise be difficult to carry out. What is needed is a serious attempt to grapple with the world as it exists and to harmonize a nation’s crucial ends with existing means.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, National Security
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • 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