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AssessmentsFeb 7, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An employee sits in the showroom of an Apple store in Beijing after it closed for the day on Feb. 1, 2020.
The Coronavirus Spreads Fears of a Shutdown in China's Tech Sector
Without question, the new coronavirus has taken a toll on China and many other places in the world, infecting at least 30,600 people and killing 633 as of Feb. 7. But only now, as the Lunar New Year holiday draws to a close, is Beijing preparing to assess just how much economic damage the coronavirus outbreak has wrought, especially as China is central to the global electronics and information technology sector. Ultimately, the breadth of the impact depends on how far the virus spreads beyond its current location. Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan, are not critical nodes for the vast majority of China's electronics sector. But neighboring provinces, including Shaanxi, Henan and Jiangxi, are home to cities that are prominent in the global technology sector, while the provinces with the second and third most confirmed cases so far, Zhejiang and Guangdong, are arguably China's two most critical areas for tech.
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AssessmentsJan 31, 2020 | 18:47 GMT
This photo shows a masked vendor and customers of his wares in an alley in Wuhan, China, on January 31, 2020.
Measuring the Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Outbreak
The coronavirus outbreak that has killed scores and sickened thousands is set to deliver a significant blow to China's already-weakening economy. Quarantines and travel bans put into place to limit the spread of the illness already have disrupted one of the country's busiest travel and spending periods of the year, the Lunar New Year holiday, which began Jan. 25. The lockdowns have created major supply chain disruptions in Hubei province, the key Chinese transit hub and major manufacturing center for automobiles, fiber optic cable and machinery where the outbreak started. Public transportation, including trains, planes and ferries in and out Hubei -- whose provincial capital, Wuhan, was the epicenter of the outbreak -- have been suspended, with the freedom of movement curtailed for some 60 million people. The disruptions are not limited to the province, however, as business and industrial activities across the nation, already substantially slowed or even suspended
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AssessmentsJun 14, 2019 | 21:22 GMT
Supporters of Han Kuo-yu show their enthusiasm for the populist mayor of Kaohsiung City during a campaign event in Taipei on June 1, 2019.
Taiwan Enters a High-Stakes Campaign Season
Taiwan is preparing to enter a fierce campaign season as it looks ahead to presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 11, 2020, with the election results set to determine the dynamics of Taiwan's relations with China for years to come. Since the election of Tsai Ing-wen as president in 2016, the strait separating Taiwan from mainland China has become a center of tensions between China and the United States as Tsai and her government have pursued a pro-independent agenda, China has stepped up its efforts to militarily intimidate Taiwan, and the United States has increased its support for Taiwan. The increasingly precarious geopolitical situation guarantees high stakes for Taiwan's upcoming elections and makes familiar proxy battles between the island's pro-independent camp and those favoring stable ties with China even more apparent.
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On SecurityOct 23, 2018 | 05:30 GMT
A Mexican Army expert in protective gear displays crystal meth paste at a clandestine laboratory near la Rumorosa town in Tecate, Baja California state, Mexico on Aug. 28.
How the Globalization of Mexican Business Helped Spread Crime
Recently, I found myself explaining to a client how illicit goods flow into and through Mexico and then onward to the United States, and it occurred to me that there are many logistical similarities between Mexican transnational criminal organizations and the countless manufacturers operating in Mexico. After further consideration, it became clear that many of the factors that make Mexico an attractive destination for foreign businesses also make it attractive for criminal enterprises. It is no mistake that the pieces of real estate that Mexican criminal groups fight over often directly overlap with major logistical and production nodes of the traditional economy. In many ways Mexico's globalized criminal landscape is a mirror of its globalized legitimate economy -- and they have both been growing in power.
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AssessmentsMay 17, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
For China, All Roads (and Belts) Lead to Europe
China's Belt and Road Initiative encompasses six economic corridors. But in geographic and ideological terms, Europe represents the end of the new Silk Road. Increased connectivity with Europe could offer China a chance to expand market and its access to high-tech and strategic assets, thereby facilitating domestic industrial reform. Despite Beijing's stated goal to foster greater integration throughout Eurasia with its Belt and Road scheme, however, its approach on the Continent has so far emphasized bilateral or subregional agreements with states in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Mediterranean. The strategy has raised concerns among the European Union's central powers that Beijing's influence in the countries could threaten their own, particularly as the bloc's political and economic rifts widen.
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AssessmentsApr 10, 2017 | 15:37 GMT
Westinghouse Nuclear Bankruptcy
A Bankruptcy of Nuclear Proportions
In any given year, a handful of companies file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States. Rarely, however, does one of these filings reverberate beyond the boardroom and into the realm of geopolitics. Those that do -- Lehman Brothers in 2008, or the "Big Three" U.S. automakers in 2008-10 -- usually involve hundreds of billions of dollars. But the next big geopolitically relevant bankruptcy may be on the horizon, and the amount of money involved is tiny next to the collapses of the past decade.
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On GeopoliticsMar 29, 2016 | 10:58 GMT
Thirty years into the information technology revolution, new developments continue to change the world. As tech conglomerates such as Google continue to advance and expand into new industries, they could become supranational powers beyond state control -- and yet integral to it and new global powers.
The Tech Revolution Comes of Age
Technological revolutions frame historical eras. Each cycle thrusts new sectors into prominence, turning companies into strategic assets for their respective governments to exploit. The information technology revolution is no different. The companies that operate in this space -- such as Samsung, Apple, Google, Facebook and Baidu -- are among the most powerful in the world today. At the same time, they often find themselves at the center of geopolitical disputes.
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