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SnapshotsMar 5, 2021 | 21:18 GMT
Riot police approach protesters' barricades in an attempt to disperse a March 4, 2021, demonstration in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, against the military coup.
On Myanmar, Washington Moves Cautiously to Avoid Losing More Ground to China
Without the prospect of international cooperation, the United States is proceeding cautiously with pressure on Myanmar's military government in spite of a week of deadly crackdowns on anti-coup protesters. For now, it is stopping short even from imposing sectoral or deeper country-level trade restrictions, to say nothing of more aggressive financial sanctions, in order to keep Chinese influence in Myanmar from growing.
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SnapshotsMar 4, 2021 | 19:02 GMT
An illustration shows the Chinese flag overlaying stock prices.
Has China’s Economy Hit a Speed Bump?
Recent data suggests China’s economy may be struggling rather than roaring back from a seasonal slump, and that its impressive headline growth numbers in 2020 hid an incomplete and unbalanced recovery. Forward-looking purchasing manager indices (PMI) reported by China after the Lunar New Year were just slightly above 50, which shows a growing economy, but possibly at a slowing rate that could be worrying to Chinese officials. It’s too early to tell if the recent dips are temporary, cyclical or symptomatic of a greater slowdown, but dependence on the old model of credit-fueled investment and exports may not be sustainable. If not, then projected supercharged growth of 8-9% in 2021 could be unattainable and inconsistent with the Chinese government’s official narratives.
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On SecurityMar 1, 2021 | 22:20 GMT
Protesters clash with riot police during a rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia, on Jan. 23, 2021. Navalny was detained upon returning to Moscow after spending five months in Germany recovering from a near-fatal poisoning.
Russia: A Case Study on the Proliferation of Repression Tactics
Since the beginning of 2021, high-profile protests in diverse locations across the globe have called attention to the tactics governments are using to try to deter, disrupt and reduce the influence of mass demonstrations. Russia’s response to the widespread protests triggered by the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in particular, provides a poignant case study on how authorities are increasingly using a wider array of counter-protest tactics beyond physical repression, with implications for security and stability in places where there is significant protest activity.
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AssessmentsFeb 25, 2021 | 22:10 GMT
Chinese and EU flags stand at the chancellery on Jan. 26, 2021, in Berlin, Germany. The two entities recently reached a comprehensive agreement on investment.
The Future of Chinese Investment in Europe
The European Union will remain open to Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the coming years, but will limit China’s access to strategic sectors of its economy (such as technology). Brussels will also continue to confront Beijing over political, human rights and security issues. The European Union and the United States are the Continent’s primary sources of FDI, which limits China’s ability to leverage FDI to gain political influence. Investment in European infrastructure, such as ports and railways, offers Chinese exporters greater access to European markets, while the acquisition of high-tech companies and know-how gives Beijing access to sophisticated technology it can use for its domestic industrial plans. Europe sees the Asian giant as a source of funding, but in recent years, most countries have become concerned about the national security implications of rising Chinese investment. The European Union also wants to make the bilateral relationship more reciprocal, as the bloc
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AssessmentsFeb 24, 2021 | 22:33 GMT
A picture taken in London on Dec. 18, 2020, shows the logos of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft displayed on a mobile phone and laptop screen.
With Democrats in Power, the U.S. Push Against Big Tech Grows
As momentum builds in the United States for landmark antitrust legislation and lawsuits on Big Tech companies, potential changes to U.S. mergers law and limits on growth avenues for large tech firms like Google could impact U.S. dominance in the global tech space, increasing competition with Chinese and European firms. On Feb. 4, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the new chair of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, introduced a new bill aimed at updating the United States’ antitrust laws. The so-called Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act (CALERA) proposes giving more resources to antitrust investigators, as well as rewriting the way that mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are reviewed over antitrust concerns. Although it has not yet been presented to U.S. President Joe Biden, the draft bill does give hints about how the new Democratic-led government could treat antitrust law reforms and tackle Big Tech.
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On GeopoliticsFeb 22, 2021 | 22:05 GMT
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the situation in Myanmar following the recent military coup in Washington D.C. on Feb. 10, 2021.
Reviewing the Role and Effectiveness of Sanctions
Less than a month into his presidency, U.S. President Joe Biden has already stated that he will impose sanctions on coup leaders in Myanmar. Other White House officials have also suggested that sanctions against Russia are being drawn up following the recent jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In this context, we thought it would be useful to consider what sanctions entail, what goals they serve and what factors make them most effective. For the purposes of this review, we examine sanctions against state actors and their citizens, as those imposed against non-state actors like terrorist groups involve different considerations.
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SnapshotsFeb 19, 2021 | 21:36 GMT
A rechargeable Lithium-ion battery for the Volkswagen ID.3 electric car is pictured Feb. 25, 2020, at the Volkswagen car factory in Zwickau, Germany.
A Battery Ruling Complicates Biden's Efforts to Secure the Green Energy Supply Chain
The U.S. International Trade Commission's Feb. 10 ruling that South Korean battery maker SK Innovation had stolen trade secrets from another South Korean battery maker complicates ongoing Biden administration efforts to accelerate the domestic adoption of electric vehicles and U.S. efforts to ensure the accessibility and security of critical resources and technologies like lithium-ion batteries.
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GuidanceFeb 16, 2021 | 13:58 GMT
The Federal Reserve Building on June 17, 2020, in Washington.
Where Is the U.S. Economy Going?
The U.S. economic outlook remains one of muddled optimism with the economy growing. Still, the expectations for renewed, sustainable growth should be tempered by the reality that COVID-19 has led to long-term malignancies in the U.S. and global economies.
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On SecurityFeb 12, 2021 | 10:00 GMT
British fine china company Wedgwood on Oct. 14, 2020, in Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire, England.
Understanding Economic Espionage: The Past
For most of the previous two millennia, China was the international commercial center of the world. Products such as silk, porcelain and tea were rare and expensive in previous eras. The only way to get them was through trade with China. Commercial scheming by foreign powers to share in the profits generated by these products motivated trade secret theft that undermined China's monopoly on those products.
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