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GuidanceOct 11, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Indian students form the Chinese character for the name of Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Chennai on Oct. 10, 2019, ahead of a summit between Xi and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.
For China-India Ties, the Status Quo Will Do
For two of Asia's most enduring military rivals, the search for harmony is taking center stage in a relationship rooted in decades of mistrust. Chinese President Xi Jinping was set to arrive in India on Oct. 11 for an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mamallapuram. Xi hosted Modi last year after bilateral ties deteriorated during the 2017 Doklam standoff, in which thousands of Indian and Chinese troops nearly came to blows. For Xi, a preoccupation with U.S. President Donald Trump's trade war as part of Beijing's broader strategic competition with Washington explains why he wants calm with neighbors like New Delhi. And for Modi, a desire to avoid confrontation with China -- the superior military and economic power -- explains why he wishes to sustain high-level dialogue with Xi. Ultimately, however, any dialogue will strive purely to manage tensions, which will only grow in the long run
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AssessmentsOct 2, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
The sun rises over an LNG terminal at sea.
Pakistan Strives to Switch to Natural Gas
Hoping to quench its economy's growing thirst for energy, Pakistan has turned to several multinational companies for an ambitious expansion of its liquefied natural gas terminals on the Arabian Sea. On Sept. 20, Petroleum Minister Omar Ayub Khan said Pakistan had chosen ExxonMobil, Trafigura, Royal Dutch Shell, Gunvor and Tabeer Energy to build five LNG facilities. Ayub's announcement touches upon a broader plan to boost the country's LNG processing capacity while shifting the economy's reliance away from oil. With a shortfall in domestic production expected to persist as more customers sign on to the grid, Pakistan's burgeoning demand for natural gas will drive ever-more LNG imports in the next few years. And though some might hesitate to invest in Pakistani LNG lest local partners run afoul of a far-reaching (and allegedly politically motivated) anti-corruption campaign, the growth of the country's LNG demand creates major opportunities for international energy companies looking
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Contributor PerspectivesJul 31, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Supporters of Guatemalan presidential candidate Alejandro Giammattei rally in Guatemala City on July 21, 2019.
Guatemala's Next President Faces a Stacked Deck
Guatemalans will return to the polls Aug. 11 to complete a presidential election marked by corruption scandals and disqualifications involving multiple candidates, including some former front-runners. The two remaining candidates are no strangers to the presidential stage. Sandra Torres, a former first lady who divorced her husband, former President Alvaro Colom, so she could legally run for president, is on her third campaign. In 2015 she finished second to current President Jimmy Morales, who is limited to a single, four-year term. Her opponent, Alejandro Giammattei, is making his fourth run at the presidency. High on the list of issues both face are the perennial Guatemalan concerns about corruption and security. Though both Torres and Giammattei have addressed these issues, understanding how they stack up against them is not so simple.
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On GeopoliticsJul 18, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
This map shows the theater of the war between Russia and Japan in 1904.
Seoul and Tokyo Stare Each Other Down
Economic progress might alleviate historical trauma, but it's unlikely to solve it. Today, South Korea and Japan are vibrant democracies that enjoy robust economies and protection under the U.S. military umbrella, yet Japan's wartime actions continue to cast a long shadow over its relations with its neighbors in Northeast Asia. South Korea's 35 years under Japanese rule, status as a fellow U.S. ally and vulnerable geopolitical position between Japan and China ensure that Japan's imperial legacy is particularly contentious on the peninsula. This painful history has been front and center since the 2017 election of President Moon Jae In, who has taken a more confrontational stance on historical issues. Indeed, their ties have become much frostier in the past two years -- to the extent that Tokyo has even launched a Trump-style trade war in recent weeks. Given the deep connections between their economies and Japan's long-time trade surplus, Tokyo
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AssessmentsDec 11, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
This photo shows an Iraqi man checking a mass of wires connecting homes in Baghdad to electricity.
Iraq's Electricity Sector Is Caught in the U.S.-Iran Power Struggle
Iraq has an electricity problem. Blackouts and brownouts are common during the country's broiling summers. Its aging and inefficient generation and transmission systems suffered $7 billion in damage at the hands of the Islamic State, but even before the jihadist group's push through Mosul in 2014, Iraq's electricity sector was struggling to keep up with demand. To supplement its own production, the country imports electricity and natural gas from Iran, but even that incomplete solution to its power shortages could be coming to an end soon. As the United States continues its pressure campaign against Iran, Washington has demanded that Baghdad come up with a plan to wean itself off Iranian energy supplies, which constitute a significant chunk of Iraq's electricity needs. That presents new Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi with a formidable challenge. Annual demand for electricity in Iraq, which hit a peak of 24,000 megawatts (MW) in 2018, is climbing
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AssessmentsAug 9, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (C) and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a summit at the Belt and Road Forum on May 15, 2017, in Beijing.
China's Belt and Road Initiative Finds Shaky Ground in Eastern Europe
As China expands its influence around the world, Europe has become a prime destination for Chinese investment and infrastructure projects. Chinese companies have poured over $300 billion into the Continent over the past decade, lately under the Belt and Road Initiative, to acquire strategic assets in Western Europe, develop energy and port infrastructure in Southern Europe and increase transport connectivity to Eastern Europe. Three former Soviet states – Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova – have emerged as an important part of this effort, offering China an overland corridor to access the European market. Because of their small economies and their geographic position between Russia and the West, however, the countries will present a challenge for China's Belt and Road Initiative.
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SnapshotsJul 11, 2018 | 19:12 GMT
Libya: In a Fight Over Oil, Hifter Makes a Strategic Withdrawal
Libyan oil exports might make a quicker rebound than expected. On July 11, the head of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Hifter, returned control of five eastern oil terminals to the National Oil Corp. based in Tripoli, the home of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). In so doing, Hifter reversed an earlier decision to let the unrecognized National Oil Corp. in Benghazi control the terminals. The Tripoli oil company announced that it would lift a force majeure later in the day and would shortly resume to full production. In offering an olive branch to Hifter, GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj called on the U.N. Security Council to form a committee to audit Libya's finances. Hifter, who is loyal to the rival government in the east, has accused the GNA of supporting militias that attacked the oil terminals last month.
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AssessmentsFeb 12, 2018 | 13:46 GMT
A worker walks among pipes and valves at the Dashava natural gas facility on September 18, 2014 in Dashava, Ukraine.
A More Assertive Ukraine Returns to Russian Natural Gas
For years, Russia has politically manipulated natural gas exports to Ukraine, adopting a carrot-and-stick approach in raising or reducing the price of much-needed energy at will. Ukraine has been spared the need to import natural gas from Russia's Gazprom since November 2015, but the country is once again beating a path to Moscow's door to purchase natural gas. This time, however, the situation has changed: Ukraine is buying Russian natural gas, yet its achievement of strategic objectives in recent years means it is unlikely to ever be as dependent on Moscow's energy resources again -- even as the issue of Russia's natural gas exports continues to loom large in European political discussions.
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AssessmentsJan 25, 2018 | 14:55 GMT
A collective in a hilltop shantytown in Caracas created its own currency, the panal, to fight chronic shortages of cash in inflation-ridden Venezuela.
For Venezuela, There's a Little Light at the End of the Tunnel
After the turn of the millennium, Venezuela enjoyed a windfall thanks to high oil prices that bankrolled massive public spending. Fast-forward a decade, however, and the situation is bleak: An insolvent central government and high inflation are impoverishing a whole generation of Venezuelans. The current situation will likely force any new administration to attempt major structural reforms to stabilize the economy over the next decade, beyond the current stopgap measures of slashing imports and printing more bolivars. In the short term, the overriding political question centers on whether embattled President Nicolas Maduro will step aside to allow others to begin addressing the crisis. But even after any immediate solution to Venezuela's political impasse, the country's leaders will face the difficult task of fixing a broken economy. Venezuela's leaders may succeed in taming inflation within the decade, but they are likely to bequeath a country that is deprived of much of its
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Annual ForecastsDec 26, 2017 | 11:57 GMT
Though the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula can't be ruled out, the United States will probably try to avoid a costly preventive strike against the North's nuclear weapons program that would plunge the global economy back into recession.
2018 Annual Forecast
North Korea's likely achievement of a viable nuclear deterrent next year will give rise to a new and more unstable era of containment. As the specter of war looms in the Asia-Pacific, China and Russia will band together while the United States cracks down even harder on Iran -- as well as its own trade partners.
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SnapshotsOct 13, 2017 | 23:45 GMT
U.S.: Trumpeting the Decline of the Iran Nuclear Deal
U.S. President Donald Trump stood behind his campaign trail rhetoric when announcing his plans for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal. On Oct. 13, Trump announced that he would not recertify the deal to Congress when it comes up for review in two days. Rather, he announced that he would push Congress to amend current legislation on the deal and outlined a new U.S. policy to contain Iran's regional ambitions.
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Quarterly ForecastsOct 2, 2017 | 07:58 GMT
An emerging nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula will rise to the top of the United States' agenda this quarter, reducing the priority of less pressing issues as Washington works furiously to avoid -- and prepare for -- the worst.
2017 Fourth-Quarter Forecast
An emerging nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula will rise to the top of the United States' agenda this quarter, reducing the priority of less pressing issues as Washington works furiously to avoid -- and prepare for -- the worst. As the White House's gaze remains fixed on Pyongyang's arsenal, Europe, Japan and China will turn their attention inward to wrestle with important questions about their political futures.
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GuidanceJul 23, 2017 | 13:59 GMT
Global Intelligence: Week of July 24, 2017
From discord in Europe and the Gulf, to issues affecting trade, the global energy supply and the status quo in Syria, July shows no signs of being a quiet month. Stratfor's weekly intelligence digest explores key events from the previous seven days and looks ahead to what matters in the coming period.
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GuidanceJul 8, 2017 | 16:51 GMT
Global Intelligence: Week of July 10, 2017
Global Intelligence: Week of July 10, 2017
In the wake of the meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, representatives from the United States and Russia will follow up with key countries involved in the standoff between the two rival nations. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew to Ukraine directly after the G-20 summit to quell fears that the progress between Moscow and Washington will come at Kiev’s expense. Similarly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to Germany to meet with his counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel. Berlin has been the key negotiator among all sides over Ukraine and does not want the United States to dilute its influence in the overall negotiations.
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GuidanceJul 2, 2017 | 13:02 GMT
Global Intelligence: Week of July 3, 2017
World leaders will converge on Hamburg, Germany, starting July 7 to discuss matters of global importance. As a number of forces gradually rebalance the global order over the coming years and even decades, nationalists and globalists will be pitted against each other. As world leaders meet on the sidelines of the conference, we will see the fight to change (or to preserve) the world order seep into all aspects of the event, including into discussions on trade, climate change and security.
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