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On GeopoliticsJul 3, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A map of China.
China’s Rise as a Global Power Reaches Its Riskiest Point Yet
China is an empire in the modern sense -- a nation strengthened (but also held hostage) by its long supply chains, compelled to ever greater economic and political intercourse to preserve its interests, and increasingly drawn into the security sphere as well. It uses its economic, political and military leverage to expand its own direct sphere of operations, from the South China Sea to India and across Central Asia into Europe. The more engaged it is internationally, the more dependent it is on maintaining and strengthening those connections, which are critical for Chinese economic growth and, by extension, domestic management of its massive, diverse and economically unequal population. 
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AssessmentsMay 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An aerial photo shows villagers sowing highland barley seeds with agricultural machinery in the fields in Lhasa, the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, on April 22, 2020.
COVID-19 Tensions Place Australian Farmers in China's Crosshairs
On May 10, Australian grain producers issued a joint statement warning that China has made a provisional decision to impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Australian barley imports of up to 80.5 percent, effectively shutting down their exports to China. Sources within the Australian government say the timing of these tariffs is linked to the recent uptick in Chinese tensions over COVID-19, though Prime Minister Scott Morrison has publicly since said he does not believe the two are related. China's economic pressure, however, would have to expand beyond barley and the small group of beef slaughterhouses to compel Australia to reconsider its support of U.S. efforts to counter Beijing's rise. If Beijing threatens more sweeping measures against Australian beef exports, or turns to targeting wool exports, Canberra may be prompted to change its approach. But as things stand, barley producers in Australia have other options.
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AssessmentsFeb 26, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows fanned-out 50, 100, 200 and 500 banknotes of the euro, the currency of the eurozone.
The Eurozone Braces for a Rocky Year
Households, companies and investors alike should brace for a year of lackluster economic growth in the eurozone. The European Commission expects the 19-member currency area to grow by only 1.2 percent this year -- the same rate as 2019, but below the 1.9 percent and 2.5 percent growth seen in 2018 and 2017, respectively. While uncertainty about the future of global trade has taken a toll on Europe's economic climate and manufacturing sector, domestic consumption has nonetheless remained strong due to rising employment and modest increases in wages. The next few months, however, will present multiple sources of geopolitical risk that will continue to stall economic expansion across the eurozone, and could potentially lead to temporary recessions in countries such as Italy.
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SnapshotsFeb 12, 2020 | 23:05 GMT
Lebanon's New Government Steels Itself for Painful Reforms
In Lebanon, there's no rest for the weary. After finally winning a confidence vote on Feb. 11 to formally take office, Lebanon's new government must immediately turn its attention to a very pressing task: implementing cost-cutting measures to unlock external support funds that will be critical if the country is to exit its worst economic crisis in 15 years. Hassan Diab's government overcame popular anger to win a vote of confidence in parliament. Now, it'll face greater fury in trying to solve Lebanon's economic woes.
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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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AssessmentsJan 29, 2020 | 09:00 GMT
This photo shows palm oil fruit after harvest.
In India’s Rift With Malaysia, Palm Oil and Politics Don't Mix
A burgeoning dispute between the world's biggest importer of edible oils and one of the world's biggest suppliers of them is heating up in Southeast Asia. On Jan. 8, India restricted imports of refined palm oil and palm olein. While the trade cuts didn't call out any specific countries, they were intended to hit Malaysia after its leader condemned the Indian government's controversial new policies as being discriminatory against Muslims. As the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) struggles to revive India's sluggish economic growth, it will have all the more incentive to advance the religious and identity-based issues underpinning its Hindu nationalist platform. And as evidenced by its palm oil rift with Malaysia, New Delhi won’t be afraid to leverage its trade market to coerce smaller countries into silence. 
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AssessmentsDec 9, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
Close-up of 500 Argentine peso bills stacked on different value notes.
Argentina's Economic Sins Come Back to Bite
When he takes office on Dec. 10, Argentina's new president, Alberto Fernandez, will quickly find his hands tied, having raised expectations of simultaneously increasing government spending while lowering inflation. But while those campaign promises may have earned Fernandez the seat, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the many other foreign creditors who keep Argentina's lights on won't tolerate such visions of grandeur. Without a long-term program to solve the country's economic crisis, or the cash to make good on its heaping pile of IOUs, Buenos Aires will likely be forced to once again default on a large part of its debt next year, sending the already impoverished country even deeper into a tailspin. 
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Contributor PerspectivesOct 22, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
This file photo taken around 1930 shows New York's George Washington Bridge during its construction.
Great Powers Invest in Infrastructure. The West Was the Prime Example.
For the past 250 years, Western Europe and North America have led the way not just in inventing new technologies of transport and communication, but also -- and equally importantly -- in building the infrastructure without which these technologies would be useless. The West has sunk astonishing amounts of energy and capital into updating and replacing its infrastructure, over and over again, as new technologies have emerged. Having the best infrastructure has been a key to global dominance since the 18th century, but in the early 21st, there are alarming signs the West is losing its strategic lead. Everywhere, infrastructure is creaking and crumbling. Every part of the system seems to be getting old at the same time. How the West deals with this challenge -- or, perhaps, opportunity -- will do much to shape the geoeconomics and geopolitics of the 21st century.
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AssessmentsOct 9, 2019 | 22:34 GMT
Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak speaks during the launch of Turkey's New Economic Program for 2020-2022 in Ankara on Sept. 30, 2019.
Turkey's Fragile Economy Faces a Blowback
For Turkey's economy, the day of reckoning may be near. The White House and U.S. Congress may disagree on Turkey more than ever, yet both the president and a top Republican senator alike have been bellicose in their economic threats to Ankara in recent days, pledging, respectively, "to destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey" and impose "sanctions from hell" on the country over its invasion of northeastern Syria. After plumbing the depths in summer 2018, Turkey's economy has stabilized somewhat, possibly convincing Ankara that it is prepared to handle whatever comes next. Nevertheless, Turkey's invasion will put its economy at risk amid the threat of U.S. sanctions -- and potentially drive even the European Union to take an economic shot at Ankara itself. All told, Turkey's new venture into Syria against the Kurds means the country is facing a potentially long period of economic pain.
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