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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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SnapshotsJun 30, 2020 | 19:49 GMT
China's Security Law Ushers in a New and Uncertain Era in Hong Kong
The passing of China's new Hong Kong national security law marks the start of an uncertain and potentially volatile phase in the city's ongoing political crisis, as pro-democracy forces square-off with newly empowered city authorities backed by Beijing, increasing the risk of a sweeping crackdown on dissent that could also impact foreign institutions. Whether the next period sees tumultuous protests or a stifling of the pro-democracy camp will now depend on how Hong Kong authorities choose to apply their new sweeping powers and how the prosecution of such crimes proceed in the court system. Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp, for its part, will work to balance the need to maintain public furor against Beijing's ongoing erosion of the city's autonomy with the need to also save its strength for September legislative council elections, where it hopes to gain ground and challenge Beijing-aligned authorities.
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Quarterly ForecastsJun 29, 2020 | 00:02 GMT
2020 Third-Quarter Forecast
While many of the trends identified in our annual forecast remain slowed down by COVID-19, their pace is picking up as countries carefully emerge from lockdown.
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AssessmentsJun 9, 2020 | 19:38 GMT
Pro-democracy protesters shine the flashlights on their cellphones as they take part in a rally in Hong Kong on June 9, 2020.
Hong Kong’s Election Lights the Fuse for Another Wave of Unrest
A year after the city's extradition bill prompted more than a million people to take to the streets in June 2019, marking a watershed moment in last year's protests, Hong Kong's political crisis is heating up once again. The next three months in Hong Kong will see protests kick back into high gear as pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps focus on winning Legislative Council elections planned for September. The central government in mainland China will fast-track its controversial national security laws ahead of the polls to increase control over protestors and politicians, while the regional Hong Kong government will work to fulfill its side of the legislation. The White House, meanwhile, will pressure China to ease back on its encroachment in Hong Kong by possibly stripping away the city's special tariff treatment, but will weigh carefully whether to escalate further to financial measures that would cripple Hong Kong's status as a business hub
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AssessmentsMar 24, 2020 | 14:59 GMT
Workers operate a production line of a new material company in Lianyungang, China, on March 23, 2020.
China's Economy Braces for a COVID-19 Double Hit
In China, the economic fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak will drag on 2020 GDP growth as the country endures the twin hits of both the early-year domestic slowdown and the as-yet-unknown drop in overseas demand in key markets. But the country’s high debt levels -- partly fueled by its massive stimulus during the 2008 financial crisis, in addition to the structural slowdown already underway before the outbreak -- means Beijing will hesitate to mirror the large-scale spending being implemented in other virus-ravaged economies, such as the United States, Japan and South Korea. China will now have to choose whether to help buoy its employment and annual growth targets through spending that could jeopardize long-term economic stability.
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GuidanceMar 2, 2020 | 21:47 GMT
South Korean soldiers in protective suits spray disinfectant on March 2, 2020, in Daegu, South Korea.
In South Korea, COVID-19 Burdens an Already Strained Economy
South Korea's growing number of domestic COVID-19 cases puts the country's already beleaguered economy under further strain, risking the ruling progressive camp's position in upcoming legislative elections that could render President Moon Jae In a lame duck. This worsens a difficult situation given South Korea's deep links to the Chinese economy, also hit by COVID-19.
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SnapshotsFeb 21, 2020 | 19:56 GMT
G-20 Finance Leaders Gather as Virus Outbreak Looms Over World Economy
The global economy is in a prolonged slowdown and geopolitical, financial and economic risks are high. The coronavirus outbreak that began in China adds to the uncertainties and the International Monetary Fund proposes an unspecified coordinated economic stimulus. Yet, international collaboration is frayed and the likelihood of major economies acting in concert is low, which implies that major countries will prioritize national goals.
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AssessmentsFeb 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image of the Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh, the busiest seaport on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal.
Bangladesh's Congested Ports Risk Choking Its Economy
To maintain its status as one of Asia's most promising emerging markets, Bangladesh is pursuing an ambitious infrastructure overhaul -- and its powerful neighbors are champing at the bit to seize the new investment opportunities at hand. In recent years, Bangladesh has experienced explosive economic growth, thanks in large part to its booming garment industry. But the country's outdated infrastructure has struggled to keep up with demand, leading to long delays and higher shipping costs at the country's main seaport of Chittagong. With Bangladesh’s international trade expected to only grow in the coming years, so too will the need to build alternative ports that can lessen the load on Chittagong. And India, China and Japan have all shown they're more than willing to help, forcing Dhaka to delicately navigate around its suitors' vying strategic interests to secure the capital needed to boost trade revenue and take its economy to the next level.
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Contributor PerspectivesJan 31, 2020 | 10:45 GMT
North Koreans rally in support of the Workers' Party at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on Jan. 5, 2020.
North Korea's Kim Jong Un Finds Himself in a Bind of His Own Making
There is a long-standing, somewhat cliched view in the community of North Korea experts that Pyongyang always holds the strategic initiative when dealing with the United States. While it may well have been the case in the past, North Korea may no longer have much freedom of action. Pyongyang finds itself in an unenviable position facing a stark and narrow choice: Start real denuclearization as demanded by the United States and lose much, or even all, of its hard-won nuclear and missile potential, or cling to the nukes and accept its rising dependence on China, with existential risks for North Korea's sovereignty.
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AssessmentsJan 16, 2020 | 09:30 GMT
This photo taken on Oct. 2, 2019, shows fishermen boarding their boats at a small jetty on Made Island off Kyaukphyu in Myanmar's Rakhine state.
In Myanmar, Beijing Gets a Leg up on the Competition
For China, there's no time like the present to foster closer links with a key country on its frontier. Amid China's push for better transport connections, tighter border control and deeper energy security to the south, President Xi Jinping will begin a two-day visit to Myanmar on Jan. 17. Negotiations regarding some megaprojects have sparked significant concerns about China's looming presence -- and its strategic intentions -- in Myanmar, but the country may find its options to push back significantly curtailed. Indeed, with Myanmar facing Western isolation over its treatment of the Rohingya and struggling to forge national unity, China's assistance is more essential than ever if Naypyidaw is to fulfill some of its domestic priorities -- namely, advancing a peace process with ethnic armies along the northern border, managing the Rohingya crisis and developing the weak Myanmar economy. Such a situation, naturally, is bound to put China in a
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SITUATION REPORTDec 17, 2019 | 19:36 GMT
North Korea: Russia, China Circulate Proposal to Lift Some U.N. Security Council Sanctions
China and Russia have circulated a proposal to the U.N. Security Council to lift some sanctions on North Korea, particularly export restrictions of seafood, statuary, textiles and laborers, as well as carve out exemptions for inter-Korean road and railway connections, The Japan Times reported Dec. 17.
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