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  • Author: Lane Burdette
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Submarine cables are critical infrastructure that carry nearly all internet traffic. However, unclear international governance does not always guarantee their protection, leaving global information networks vulnerable to sabotage and espionage. China’s access to submarine cables for strategic manipulation is greatly expanded through the Digital Silk Road and territorial claims in the South China Sea, posing a clear threat that requires a U.S. response. Current U.S. policy is uncoordinated and can be sorted into the isolationist, cooperative, competitive, and militaristic responses, which each present unique frameworks for future action. The isolationist response would disconnect the United States from insecure cable networks, limiting China’s influence over U.S. assets but reducing international connectivity. The cooperative response emphasizes international norms-setting processes to achieve multilateral agreements protecting cables from state influences. The competitive response advocates U.S. competition with China in the submarine cable market through alternate assistance programs, which would increase the redundancy of a secure network. Finally, the militaristic response explores the role of America’s military in defending submarine cables from foreign exploitation. This article recommends that future policy emphasize a combination of the competitive and militaristic responses in order to most immediately and effectively address China’s threat to information security along submarine cables while minimizing U.S. risk.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Governance, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, North America, Asia-Pacific, 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: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: The Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI), with the generous support of the Korea Foundation, organized six “Vision Group” roundtable conversations with leading American scholars and commentators to discuss the United States’ relationship with the Republic of Korea. The first was held in December 2019, the last in November 2020. The intent was to consider the future of relations during a time of change. The Vision Group comprised a wide range of expertise and opinion. This record conveys some of the insights and recommendations that arose during the conversations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Maximilian Ernst
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: This paper examines South Korea’s foreign policy towards China before, during, and after the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense dispute to investigate the limits of South Korea’s public diplomacy and soft power. South Korea’s official public diplomacy has the objective to “gain global support for Korea’s policies,” following Joseph Nye’s narrow definition of soft power. South Korea furthermore ranks high in the most relevant soft power indices. Based on the case of Chinese economic retaliation against South Korea in response to THAAD deployment, this paper argues that public diplomacy and soft power only work in the absence of traditional security contentions, but fail in the presence of such security contentions. The THAAD case also demonstrates the utility of traditional diplomacy, based on high-level summits and negotiations, to solve the very disputes that South Korea’s latent public diplomacy and soft power were unable to alleviate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Weapons
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Valerie Niquet
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: To Japanese authorities, there is no such thing as the “Senkaku question”. China is pursuing with increased assertiveness a strategy of coercion, using ambiguity and “grey zone” operations to put the onus of potential escalation on Tokyo.1 The vague and ambiguous nature of this strategic power play makes it all the more dangerous and complex. When Tokyo proclaims, with reason, that “the government continues to control and administer the territory by such means as patrolling and law enforcement,” it seeks to answer the permanent pressure that China exerts in the zone.2 However, the maintenance of the status quo, when China exerts an almost continuous pressure in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands and Japanese fishermen do not have access to part of Japan’s own national territory, poses other types of problems that the People’s Republic of China tries to exploit at the service of broader ambitions. It also poses a challenge in crisis management: how can the Japanese government be active and in control of situational developments, and not just reactive, without going as far as sparking a major incident in the East China Sea?
  • Topic: International Relations, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • 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: Masaaki Yatsuzuka
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: There is no question that China's presence in the Middle East is growing significantly. Will China continue to deepen its involvement in the region and play a role in shaping the regional order, taking the place of the United States? In other words, will China practice major power diplomacy in the Middle East? The view among researchers in China and elsewhere1 over this question is divided. To categorize their arguments into two camps, there is a cautious engagement theory that warns against the risk of getting caught up in the turmoil in the Middle East and recommends (or predicts) that China protect its economic interests while maintaining political neutrality vis-à-vis the Middle East as it has done so far. On the other hand, there is an active engagement theory advocating (or foreseeing) that China deepen its engagement, proactively participate based on the responsibility of a major world power in solving problems in the Middle East, and actively propose its own ideas in order to protect Chinese interests in the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Scott Lincicome
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Labor market and cultural disruptions in the United States are real and important, as is China’s current and unfortunate turn toward illiberalism and empire. But pretending today that there was a better trade policy choice in 2000—when Congress granted China “permanent normal trade relations” (PNTR) status and paved the way for broader engagement—is misguided. It assumes too much, ignores too much, and demands too much. Worse, it could lead to truly bad governance: increasing U.S. protectionism; forgiving the real and important failures of our policymakers, CEOs, and unions over the last two decades; and preventing a political consensus for real policy solutions. Indeed, that is happening now.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Markets, Bilateral Relations, Trade, Protectionism
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Patrick Suckling
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: China’s recent commitment to reach carbon neutrality before 2060 means that for the first time ever, India is on track to become the world’s largest emitter. At a time that demands urgent action if we are to stay within the goals of the Paris Agreement, this brings into contrast India’s traditionally bifurcated approach that it has used to guard against taking greater action in light of the responsibility of the developed world to lead the way. Nevertheless, in recent decades, a political appetite for climate action has been growing in India, including reinforcing its global leadership credentials at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Climate-related disasters have also driven public support for more constructive engagement by Delhi. However, this appetite does not yet match growing international expectations for Indian action, as momentum for global climate action and ambition accelerates rapidly around the world in the lead-up to the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow in November 2021. The election of U.S. President Joe Biden and recent commitments to net-zero by other Asian economies such as Japan and Korea underscore the weight of growing expectations on India. A sophisticated and holistic strategy to catalyze climate ambition from India is needed if the world is to succeed and help the country navigate a new low-carbon development model. India’s recent establishment of an Apex Committee on the Implementation of the Paris Agreement and its commitment to produce a long-term strategy to reduce emissions provide two particular openings for this even if signals elsewhere are mooted, including the impact of India’s economic response to COVID-19. And at a geopolitical level, India’s relations with China can help reinforce the need for action, and so too can India’s shifting relations with the G77 group of developing nations. This strategy must involve a mix of both greater political and policy engagement and deeper technical and financial support to help accelerate action — including through helping unlock greater private finance domestically. The recently announced U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership is an excellent first step in this regard. This Asia Society Policy Institute issue paper, Catalyzing India's Climate Ambition, authored by Senior Fellow and former Australian High Commissioner to India and Ambassador for the Environment Patrick Suckling, sets out how the wider international community should sensitively, constructively, and intelligently now work with India to catalyze greater climate ambition in the lead-up to COP26 and beyond.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Carbon Emissions, Decarbonization
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India
  • Author: Peggy Blumenthal
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: Many U.S. colleges and universities are anxiously wondering if newly admitted Chinese students will accept their admission offers and return to American campuses in fall 2021. Needing to balance a host of issues, will Chinese students decide to remain at home or study in a different host country? This IIENetwork Briefing paper assesses the current situation, explores possible outcomes for fall 2021 enrollments from China’s mainland and Hong Kong, and presents some ways that U.S. campuses are responding to these recruiting challenges during a changing political and health environment in both the host and home countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Higher Education, COVID-19, Study Abroad
  • Political Geography: China, United States of America
  • 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: Charles Dunst
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s close relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has led scholars and policymakers alike to suggest that Beijing’s backing will keep him in power. While Hun Sen himself seems to believe this to be true, his reliance on China is actually enflaming Cambodian discontent to such an extent that his planned patrimonial succession is at risk. Given the fragility of regimes mid-succession, Hun Sen’s Chinese shelter is augmenting the potential of his clan’s fall. Yet as Hun Sen faces increased domestic opposition, he will only further deepen ties with China in hopes of remaining in power, thereby creating a vicious cycle from which escaping will prove difficult.
  • Topic: International Relations, Power Politics, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Paul Charon
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last few decades, analysis of international relations and strategic issues has developed rapidly in China, both within the Chinese Communist Party– state apparatus and in think tanks and universities. However, the richness of this field of study is in stark contrast to the absence of any real open reflection on the question of foresight. If, like other nations, China is committed to understanding the world in which it is evolving and to identifying possible changes, the function of foresight has not been conceptualised or institutionalised to the same degree as in the West. Foresight analysis in China is marked by several salient features: firstly, it remains almost non-existent in Chinese institutional frameworks dedicated to the analysis of international relations; secondly, the concepts of the ‘black swan’ and the ‘grey rhino’ have made a significant breakthrough, particularly in economics, before being cannibalised and politicised by the Party; and thirdly, the reading of the horizon remains essentially informed by the Party’s vision, fears and obsessions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Parties, Domestic Policy, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: John Lee
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Evergrande is one of the top-two real estate developers in a still highly fragmented Chinese sector. Its main strategy is to achieve ever-increasing scale (rather than profitability) in order to move ahead of and crowd out commercial competitors. It has also amassed the largest land reserves of all Chinese developers, which were financed through massive borrowings. By 2018, Evergrande held 822 pieces of undeveloped land in 228 cities, with a planned gross floor area of 3.28 billion square feet of new homes—the equivalent of 10 percent of Germany’s entire housing stock. It paid $75 billion just for this undeveloped land. Although Evergrande’s market share is only around 4 percent, its borrowings stand out. Its current balance sheet liabilities amount to an estimated 2 percent of China’s gross domestic product (GDP), while its off-balance-sheet liabilities could be another 1 percent of China’s GDP. This makes Evergrande the most indebted property developer in the world. Burdened by this debt, struggling to meet its debt interest and repayment obligations, and viable only if property asset values and sales continue to increase, Evergrande faces possible financial collapse—an event bound to have flow-on effects for the Chinese economy. However, the unusually high global interest in Evergrande has arisen because its woes are increasingly seen as symptomatic of those faced by the broader Chinese economy, which is struggling with enormous levels of indebtedness and overreliance on the real estate sector. Debt held by nonfinancial institutions in China increased from about 115 percent of GDP in 2010 to around 160 percent of GDP currently. This is the most rapid and largest increase in a 10-year period for any major economy and makes the level of debt held by Chinese nonfinancial institutions one of the highest in the world. The real estate sector accounts for around 15 percent of GDP, while property services account for another 14 percent—the highest in any developing economy. The share of the real estate sector as a proportion of GDP was only about 4 percent in 1997 and 9 percent in 2008. Since 2008, up to a third of all domestic fixed investment has gone into real estate, and up to half of total national debt is linked to the real estate sector.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Debt, Economics, Markets, Business
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Eric B. Brown, John Lee, Thomas J. Duesterberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Under Xi Jinping, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has established as its paramount geopolitical objective the replacement of the free and open, rules-based order in Asia with an alternative world order, one that is to be dominated by the interests and values of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This decision presents a danger to the entire world, not just to any one state or group of states. For, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the March 2021 US-PRC meeting in Alaska, the alternative to a rules-based order “is a world in which might makes right and winners take all, and that would be a far more violent and unstable world for all of us.” In furtherance of its objectives, the PRC is in the midst of a large military build-up, but there is much more. For today’s CCP, political power grows not only from the “barrel of the gun,” as Mao Zedong once put it, but also from cutting-edge technologies. Thus, while Beijing pours billions into artificial intelligence and surveillance tech to impose its new “digital totalitarianism” inside the PRC, from Hong Kong to Xinjiang, it is also using its growing technological prowess to press its larger geopolitical agenda in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. It is weaponizing technology and connectivity, along with trade, finance, and other policy instruments to try to rule the key technologies and industries of the future, as well as to improve its strategic positioning and acquire political power over other countries—for instance, through its bid to dominate other nations’ most sensitive data networks, or via the export of its suite of “social stability” technologies, i.e., the “techno-tyrant’s toolkit.” In all this, the CCP’s intent is to entrench its power and Leninist norms and practices to the extent it can do so beyond the PRC’s borders, and to make other nations, or at the least their ruling elites, beholden to it. So in addition to the PRC’s militarily destabilizing activities in the West Pacific and incursions into India’s Himalayas, there is also a “geo-technological front.” If Xi’s CCP succeeds at enmeshing other countries in its expanding “PRC sphere of technological influence,” it could unlock and be able to exploit decisive military, economic, diplomatic, and ideological advantages.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Alliance
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, East Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • 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: Peter Rough
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: When Xi Jinping, the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), dreams of global domination, he worries about one thing above all else: a hostile United States backed by its allies—and on the Eurasian landmass, the US has no more important ally than Europe. As a result, Xi has worked to weaken the transatlantic alliance through a two-pronged economic stratagem. First, under the guise of globalization, China has insinuated itself into the European economy, creating dependencies. Second, Beijing is manipulating those dependencies to hollow out and supplant Europe’s advanced economies. To give this deception cover, China has built a vast political network across Europe, from basic sympathizers to outright spies. Until recently, barely anyone took notice, but the financial crisis and forever wars of the past two decades, culminating in the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, lured the self-confident Xi out into the open. During the coronavirus pandemic, China revealed an aggressive attitude toward Great Britain’s former colonies that shocked the United Kingdom. In the span of mere months, London shifted from cooperation to confrontation. In July, it became the first country in Europe to block the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, from its next-generation networks. Germany, the continent’s most important country, still sees China as key to post-pandemic recovery and economic growth, however. Xi has exploited this attitude to strike an investment agreement with the European Union (EU), the chief purpose of which is to forestall a transatlantic approach under the new US president, Joe Biden. Together, the United States and Europe have unparalleled advantages against any competitor. Now is the time for cooperation, before Xi’s dreams become our collective nightmare.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Aparna Pande, Husain Haqqani
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The US ought to counteract the influence of Chinese authoritarianism early and often. One relatively low-cost way is to encourage India to engage more deeply as a competitor with China in the global economy. A democracy since its independence in 1947, with a population about the same as that of China, India is that country’s natural rival in Asia. Beginning with India’s decision in 1990-91 to liberalize its economy, the nation has gradually opened its vast market to global trade. Fueled by fresh access to foreign capital and technology, India’s economy grew over six percent during the first decade of the 21st century. In May 2014, this progress was further advanced by the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For the first time in India’s history, a conservative administration had a clear parliamentary majority, making it possible to legislate foundational, market-positive reform. India has adopted a new insolvency and bankruptcy code and replaced multiple taxation regimes across its states with a federal goods and services tax, which is welcome. But India has done little to end its excessive protectionism. Its distrust of foreign corporations, a legacy of colonial rule, endures. Indian policy makers may believe that the US is so eager for Indian competition with China that Washington will grant them a pass on restrictive trade and investment policies. But there is a better choice. India is nowhere near its full economic potential, and the fix isn’t complicated. The Biden agenda for India should encourage India to lower tariffs, to remove barriers to foreign retail, to roll back unnecessarily restrictive data privacy rules, and to provide economic incentives for foreign investment.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, 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: Frederico Mollet
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: In its 14th Five-Year Plan, China has mapped out a grand economic and industrial strategy that upends many of the assumptions that underpin the EU's approach - how can the Union respond? With this new plan, the EU can expect tougher competition and greater protectionism in its economic relations with China. A further blurring of the public-private sector distinction in the country's economic model will make it harder to combat unfair Chinese competition. And while China is actively courting foreign investment, it is also signalling greater protectionism to products not made in China, which will lead to European investors' and exporters' interests diverging. To balance the scales, the EU should adapt its own strategy by: continuing to develop trade instruments to combat unfair competition at home and abroad; ensuring that these instruments and institutions can respond to unfair competition from private companies benefiting from state capital investment; ensuring that the extensive and often opaque government holdings in private firms are reflected in foreign direct investment and export controls; incorporating China's attempts to reconfigure supply chains into its own assessment of strategic dependencies, identifying areas that could become vulnerable; prioritising the improvement of access to the Chinese market for goods and services produced in Europe; developing alternative sources of growth, and boost demand and reduce barriers within the Single Market to offset greater Chinese protectionism; and ensuring that its industrial policy efforts will enable European industry to match China's developments. The present moment may mark a turning point in EU–China relations: in a little over three months, an agreement on an investment treaty was followed by sanctions and countersanctions. Geopolitical conflict ratchets up between China and the US. Beijing's new economic course will reshape its global relationships. China's protectionist turn and growing one-sided dependencies will threaten Europe's long-term strategic autonomy and undercut any attempts to construct a balanced approach to EU–China relations. If the EU's multi-track strategy is to work, a concerted effort is required to preserve economic parity and balance between the two powers.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Economy, European Union, Grand Strategy, Industry, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • 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: Thomas Fingar
  • Publication Date: 11-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Following the 2021 Taihe Civilizations Forum, the Taihe International Communications Center hosted an online discussion on October 8 that captures the candid and profound reflections of senior officials whose actions have shaped the course of ties between China and the United States. Dr. Thomas Fingar, Shorenstein APARC Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, and former Assistant Secretary of State, and Senior Colonel Zhou Bo (ret.), Senior Fellow at Center for International Security and Strategy at Tsinghua University, China Forum Expert, and former Director of Center for Security Cooperation of the Office for International Military Cooperation of Ministry of National Defense, were invited to join this dialogue. During their conversation, Dr. Fingar and Senior Colonel Zhou exchanged ideas on important topics such as the current state of China-U.S. relations, the future development of the two countries' bilateral ties, the rationale behind the US foreign policy and the American alliance system, as well as the "extreme competition" that China and the U.S. are trapped in.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Hegemony, Conflict, Rivalry, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • 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
  • Author: Chris Alden, Stephen Paduano, Mzukisi Qobo, Lukas Fiala, Iginio Gagliardone, Yu-Shan Wu, Gidon Gautel, Lina Benabdallah
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The China-Africa relationship has continued to evolve over the last years. In light of the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will take place later in 2021, the latest report from LSE IDEAS China Foresight brings together an international team of experts to shed light on emerging and consolidated areas of engagement between China and Africa that will likely shape the relationship in the years to come.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Engagement
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Yee-Kuang Heng
  • Publication Date: 11-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: In this Strategic Update, Professor Yee-Kuang Heng investigates European power projection and presence in the Indo-Pacific, and its converging nature with Japan’s attempt to shape the regional environment in its favour. While UK threat perceptions have converged significantly with Japan’s since former Prime Minister David Cameron’s promulgation of a “golden era” in relations with China, managing expectations of Japan’s attempt to ‘shape’ and encourage Europeanisation remains crucial. But is it fair to conclude that Japan has been successful in encouraging a stronger European presence to help it shape the Indo-Pacific order?
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Europeanization, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Indo-Pacific
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This policy paper sets out the various interests and goals of global powers (the US, Russia, China and the EU) in the Mediterranean, and the measures they are undertaking to implement them. The document also describes Israeli policies vis-àvis the powers’ activities in this region, and points to the principles that should guide them. The paper is based on a July 2019 meeting in Jerusalem of the research and policy working group on Israel in the Mediterranean, held at the initiative of the Mitvim Institute, the Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations and Haifa University’s National Security Studies Center.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Israel, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: Erin Engstran, Caitlin Flynn, Meg Harris
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Women make up more than 80 percent of North Korean migrants to South Korea. This paper provides a gendered analysis of their migration and offers recommendations to address the systematic oppression and abuse of North Korean migrant women and girls. Gendered human rights abuses and societal shifts in gender roles due to famine contributed to women leaving in record numbers. On the journey, often via China, women face human trafficking fueled by China’s skewed sex ratios, sexual violence, and the threat of extradition back to North Korea where defectors are imprisoned, tortured, or killed. Even those who successfully complete the journey suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, discrimination, and difficulty adjusting into South Korean society. Interventions and policies must acknowledge the gendered dimension of migration to effectively address the harm North Korean women and girls experience.
  • Topic: International Relations, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Migration, Women, Refugees, Gender Based Violence , Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: James M Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: Israel resides at the cusp of the widening US-Chinese divide, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Israel attests. Pompeo’s visit was for the express purpose of reminding Jerusalem that its dealings with Beijing jeopardize its relationship with Washington.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Arms Trade, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Asia, Palestine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: James M Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout may rewrite the security as well as the political and economic map of the Middle East. The crisis will probably color Gulf attitudes towards the region’s major external players: the US, China, and Russia. Yet the Gulf States are likely to discover that their ability to shape the region’s map has significantly diminished.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Security, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Mordechai Chaziza
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: The Middle East was already plagued by war, famine, and wholesale death in the form of multiple civil wars when the outbreak of Covid-19, a novel coronavirus, added pestilence to the mix. The pandemic offers a unique prism through which to assess the way China interacts with Middle Eastern states in time of crisis. While many countries in the Middle East suspended bilateral air travel, repatriated their citizens from China, and prevented Chinese workers from returning to the region, the same governments also sought to maintain close relations, expressed support for Beijing, and delivered aid to China. The findings show that at least for now, the relationship between China and the Middle Eastern states remains close. However, it may take months to see the full ramifications of the pandemic in the Middle East, so it is too soon to tell how China’s interactions with the countries of the region will develop.
  • Topic: International Relations, Health, Bilateral Relations, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Choong Yong Ahn
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: India and South Korea, Asia’s third- and fourth-largest economies, respectively, established a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2010 and upgraded their relationship to a special strategic partnership in 2015. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s “New Southern” policy and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Act East” policy share important objectives and values through which Korea and India can maximize their potential to pursue high tech-oriented, win-win growth. Both countries face the great challenge of diversifying their economic partners in their respective geo-economic domains amid newly emerging international geo-economic dynamics as well as rapidly changing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. Given the two countries’ excessive dependence on the Chinese market and potential risks and uncertainties involved in the U.S.-China trade war and related security conflicts, South Korea and India need to deepen bilateral linkages in trade, investment, and cultural contacts. South Korea-India cooperation is crucial in promoting plurilateralism, prosperity, and harmony in East Asia. This paper suggests a specific action agenda to fulfill mutual commitments as entailed in the “Special Strategic Partnership” between these two like-minded countries of South Korea and India.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations, Industry
  • Political Geography: United States, China, South Asia, India, Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Jagannath P. Panda
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: Both India’s and South Korea’s strategic choices are deeply influenced by the rapidly evolving Indo-Pacific construct, particularly amid a mounting U.S.-China rivalry. With India’s “Look/Act East” policy and South Korea’s “New Southern Policy” offering a perfect stage for deepened mutual cooperation, both nations need to further their relations to build Asia’s future while advancing their respective national interests. With both countries following stringent foreign policies as a result of the actions of their immediate neighbors, they present a geopolitically strategic complementarity for their relationship to prosper and emerge as one of the most important relationships in the region. Seoul’s hesitation to overtly embrace the “Indo-Pacific” concept is not really a barrier; rather a geo-political overture to discard the balance of power politics and pursue an autonomous foreign policy. India’s preference for the “Indo-Pacific” is equally based on strategic autonomy, imbibing universal values and an inclusive regional order. Both countries emphasize a free and rules-based Indo-Pacific and have immense potential to establish security and connectivity partnerships as the keystone of their bilateral ties. With India and South Korea understanding the economic importance versus security ramifications of China, and with Japan’s reemergence as a key regional, if not global actor, both countries need to bring serious strategic intent to their relationship. Making use of the ASEAN platform and bilateral dialogues, South Korea and India have the potential to become one of the strongest Indo-Pacific partners of the 21st century
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia, South Korea, Korea, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Valerie Niquet
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: China plays a significant role in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, where the current Director-General of the WHO was Minister of Health and then Minister of Foreign Affairs. This opaque influence and the support given by Beijing to Dr. Tedros seems to have weighed on the positions taken by the WHO in the face of the Covid 19 crisis. The consequences of these decisions are now being felt worldwide and contribute to undermining the credibility of a fragile multilateral system.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, United Nations, World Health Organization, Multilateralism, Soft Power, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Thiago Gehre
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: The BRICS is a group of countries formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that began to operate formally in 2009 as a legitimate, efficient and durable agent of governance in the world order (ACHARYA 2016: 1-27). Scholars all over the world –many of them cited here in this article –have painted the image of the BRICS as an ‘economic colossus’, assuming an underdeveloped intra-bloc cooperation restricted to economic issues. Nonetheless, from an economic starting point, the BRICS has evolved in the last years expanding its cooperation capabilities to a huge array of issues that encapsulates innovation and sensitivity.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Geopolitics, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Isolated from the international community, Myanmar is deepening its dependence on China. But closer ties, Beijing-backed megaprojects and private Chinese investment carry both risks and opportunities. Both states should proceed carefully to ensure local communities benefit and avoid inflaming deadly armed conflicts. What’s new? The Rohingya crisis has strained Myanmar’s relations with the West and much of the Global South, pushing it to rely more on diplomatic and economic support from China. With a China-Myanmar Economic Corridor proceeding, and smaller private-sector projects proliferating, China’s investments in Myanmar are poised to shift into higher gear. Why does it matter? Many of these projects are located in or near areas of active armed conflict, and are often implemented without sufficient transparency, consultation with local communities or awareness of the local context. They risk empowering armed actors, heightening local grievances and amplifying anti-Chinese sentiment, which could lead to a popular backlash. What should be done? China needs to take more responsibility for ensuring that its projects benefit local communities and Myanmar’s economy, and do not exacerbate conflict. The Myanmar government should enhance its China expertise to negotiate and regulate projects more effectively. Both sides need to practice greater transparency and meaningful community consultation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Bilateral Relations, Conflict, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Wouter Zweers, Vladimir Shopov, Frans-Paul van der Putten, Mirela Petkova, Maarten Lemstra
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: This Clingendael Report explores whether and how China’s approach to the six non-European Union (EU) countries of the Western Balkans (the WB6) relates to EU interests. It focuses in particular on the question of whether China’s influence affects the behaviour of the WB6 governments in ways that run counter to the EU’s objectives in the region. China engages with the Western Balkans primarily as a financier of infrastructure and a source of direct investment. This is in line with China’s main strategic objective for the Western Balkans – that is, to develop the Land–Sea Express Corridor, a component of its Belt and Road Initiative, aimed at improving China–EU connectivity. This report proposes a number of actions based on recognising the developmental needs of countries in the Western Balkans, and accepting that China’s economic involvement is inevitable and potentially beneficial for such developmental needs. In particular, the EU should maximise accession conditionality as a tool to influence the conditions under which China is involved in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Direct Investment, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Denny Roy
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic threatened to damage China’s international reputation just as the Chinese government under Xi Jinping was peaking in its promotion of China as a model political system and superior international citizen. Beijing launched a massive diplomatic effort aimed at both foreign governments and foreign societies. The goal was to overcome initial negative publicity and to recast China as an efficient and heroic country in the eyes of international public opinion. The crisis created an opening for China to make gains in its international leadership credentials as the world saw the superpower United States falter. Ultimately, however, Chinese pandemic diplomacy contributed to a net decrease in China’s global prestige, largely because domestic political imperatives motivated behavior that generated international disapproval and distrust for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government. This paper summarizes the content of Chinese pandemic diplomacy through the key period of January through May 20201, identifies specific strengths and weaknesses of China’s effort, and briefly assesses its global impact.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Arik Burakovsky, Dina Smeltz, Brendan Helm
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: With both Russia and China facing increasingly confrontational relations with the United States, the two countries have increased ties with each other and have pursued similar approaches in opposition to the US government concerning Iran, Syria, and Venezuela. Steve Biegun, US Deputy Secretary of State, recently characterized the developing relationship between Russia and China as one built on “mutual determination to challenge the United States.” To better understand how experts think about Russia’s relations with the other great powers, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs recently conducted a survey of 201 American experts on Russia. The survey finds that a majority describe the relationship between Russia and China today as one of mostly partnership. They also describe India as primarily a partner to Russia, both today and in the future. By contrast, they say that Russian relations with the United States and the European Union are mostly competitive. But they anticipate that in 20 years, rivalry between Russia and China will grow, perhaps creating space for reducing tensions with the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Power Politics, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Arik Burakovsky, Dina Smeltz, Brendan Helm
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: US Experts Anticipate Future Decline for Russia Among the Great Powers OCTOBER 6, 2020 By: Arik Burakovsky, Assistant Director, Russia and Eurasia Program, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University; Dina Smeltz, Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy; Brendan Helm, Research Assistant Although President Trump initially hoped for improved relations between the United States and Russia, during his tenure the US government has overtly declared Russia a top threat to US national security. Congress and the administration widened Obama-era sanctions against Russia after alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Data from a recent survey of American experts on Russia, conducted by The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs paints Russia as a declining power. The results show that while experts anticipate changes in the global balance of power in the next 20 years, with China overtaking the United States, they do not expect Russia to come out stronger over that time frame. Experts draw attention to Russia’s cracked economic and political foundation in the present and its likely decline over the next two decades due to economic mismanagement and faltering soft power. Now there are the lingering economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to add to this list.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Power Politics, Economy, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sruthi V.S.
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The ambitious $400 billion deal between China and Iran has garnered worldwide attention. The 18-page draft proposal says that China will facilitate the infusion of about $280 billion to Iran. This major economic and security partnership between China and Iran has raised India’s concerns against the backdrop of its ongoing border conflict with China. According to the New York Times report, the proposed China-Iran deal talks about expanding China’s presence in Iran’s “banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects”, and in return China will receive a steady supply of oil from Iran for the next 25 years at a discounted price. There are more than 100 projects listed in the draft that will see Chinese investments; these include building Free Trade Zones and several very significant ports. The Chinese will also help Iran build infrastructure for 5G networks and come up with an internet filter like the Great Firewall in China. The stronghold of China in Iran could also result in undermining US policy in the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Middle East, India, Asia
  • Author: Niranjan Jose
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: This year’s border stand-off in the Galwan Valley between China and India following China’s encroachment into Indian territory, is a reminder of India’s perennial problems with Beijing. The latest violation is an example of the staunch stance China has adopted against India. Neither nation is interested in a full-fledged confrontation. In this scenario, New Delhi has no option but to engage with Beijing to resolve the dispute through dialogue; however discussion and confidence-building initiatives by itself will not lead India towards problem-solving. China’s confrontational approach towards India and the border disagreement set the right background as to why it could not be a better opportunity for India to meaningfully engage with Taiwan. India and Taiwan both are Asian democracies pursuing an effective resolution of dynamic social and ethnic problems, and both face aggressive Chinese security policies aimed at establishing regional hegemony. From a strategic security perspective, both India and Taiwan are deeply concerned about the rising assertiveness of Beijing in the region. The China element can become a tool for moving closer to the strategic communities in New Delhi and Taipei. India and Taiwan have a variety of mutual concerns, ranging from controlling China’s growth to a political and economic partnership. For Taiwan, China’s current trade war with the US has made several Taiwanese firms keen to reduce their vulnerability on China. Indian government initiatives such as Smart Cities, Make in India, Digital India, and Start-up India were launched to increase India’s viability for foreign investors, making it an attractive destination for Taiwanese corporations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, India, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Janka Oertel
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Abstract: Since the onset of the covid-19 crisis, there has been a new convergence of EU member states’ assessment of the challenges China poses to Europe. The Sino-European economic relationship lacks reciprocity, and there are mounting concerns within the EU about China’s assertive approach abroad, as well as its breaches of international legal commitments and massive violations of human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Overall, there is growing scepticism about the future trajectory of the relationship, which provides an opportunity for a more robust and coherent EU policy on China. In its remaining months, the German Council presidency could use this momentum to create institutional structures to improve the EU’s capacity to act. In doing so, it will be crucial to ease concerns about Franco-German dominance of the China agenda – especially those of eastern and southern European countries – while enabling all member states to become more engaged in shaping the EU’s future approach to China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights, European Union, Economy, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Susi Dennison, Pawel Zerka
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Abstract: A new pan-European survey conducted by ECFR shows that, after the onset of the covid-19 crisis, there has been a rise in public support for unified EU action to tackle global threats. This is grounded in Europeans’ realisation that they are alone in the world – with their perceptions of the United States, China, and Russia worsening overall. The pandemic has made European voters keenly aware of the need to prepare for the next crisis. There is growing support for the fulfilment of climate change commitments in every surveyed country. Respondents still believe in the value of European cooperation, but generally feel that EU institutions have not helped them enough during the crisis. Policymakers need to elicit voters’ support for a strong European voice on the global stage by building coalitions and identifying areas in which there is either a consensus or a bridgeable divide.
  • Topic: International Relations, European Union, Economy, Alliance, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Martin Michelot
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: During November 2019, EUROPEUM co-organized the second Transatlantic Policy Forum along with CEPA, a leading US think-tank. The private roundtable provided a unique opportunity for candid and open discussion about the issues that are at the heart of transatlantic cooperation. Our research fellow Martin Michelot concluded a debrief and analysis of these debates. 2019 will certainly go down as a year when the political unity of the Alliance was tested - and when NATO held together strong. The year ended with a NATO Leaders Summit that centered around the comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron a month prior, where he declared NATO to be in a state of “brain death” and cast a shadow on whether the collective security guarantee would still hold strong in the near future. That was not the only moment of transatlantic tension: tensions flared over European 5G markets, which may be built by Chinese companies, and trade has become an inflamed issue between Europe, the U.S. and China. The debrief includes analysis of NATO, U.S.-EU Trading Relations and a to-do list for transatlantic cooperation.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Trade, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America, North America
  • Author: Bates Gill
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: It is frequently noted that the Chinese word for "crisis" combines characters connoting "threat" on the one hand and "opportunity" on the other. This bit of linguistic trivia can be overdrawn. For China and the COVID-19 crisis, however, it rings true: the pandemic and its aftermath have generated dangerous problems for the Chinese leadership while also opening enticing opportunities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Power Politics, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Joseph de Weck
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Do you want to know how Beijing would like Europe to act? Take a look at Switzerland. Switzerland and China have been close for decades. It was the first Western nation to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in January 1950. Bern wanted to protect investments in the new People’s Republic from nationalization and hoped Swiss industry could lend a hand in rebuilding China’s infrastructure after the civil war. Being friendly to China paid off, but only 30 years later, once reformer Deng Xiaoping took the reins of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In 1980, Swiss elevator producer Schindler was the first foreign company to do a joint venture in China. Today, Switzerland is the only continental European country to have a free trade agreement (FTA) with China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Switzerland, Sweden
  • Author: John Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Throughout the United States, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is exploiting COVID-19 in an effort to reshape the global order and enhance China’s international leadership at the expense of the US. A range of prominent commentators further assert that the Trump administration bears much of the blame for this turn of events. This argument tends to rest on twin assumptions:1 China is winning the battle of narratives when it comes to comparative national competence and its decisiveness in responding to its COVID-19 outbreak. The Trump administration is damaging America’s standing by getting off to a bad start in its response to the pandemic, exposing the underlying weaknesses of American institutions and preparedness for such a crisis. These arguments correctly acknowledge that the global pandemic is occurring within a context of US-China strategic, political, and economic competition and/or rivalry. This is the point of warnings to the administration that there is more at stake than containing and managing the virus, even if that is the immediate priority.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics, Health, National Security, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia