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SnapshotsJan 14, 2021 | 21:50 GMT
Targeting China’s third-largest oil company highlights the South China Sea’s importance to U.S. strategy, which is unlikely to change under Biden.
The U.S. Adds Chinese Oil Giant CNOOC to Its Export Blacklist
The U.S. Commerce Department added the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to its entity list on Jan. 14, effectively cutting off China’s third-largest oil company from U.S. exports. The move highlights the South China Sea’s importance to U.S. strategy, which will likely continue -- though not necessarily expand -- under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. The Trump administration has significantly increased pressure on CNOOC in recent months, beginning in December when it added CNOOC to a separate U.S. Pentagon list of companies that are either owned by or controlled by the Chinese military, which will force certain U.S. investors to divest from CNOOC’s shares by mid-November. Just hours before the Commerce Department’s announcement, the S&P Dow Jones announced it was removing CNOOC from impacted indices to comply with a Jan. 13 presidential order banning U.S. investment into designated Chinese military-linked companies. As a result, major U.S. exchanges will likely delist
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SITUATION REPORTJan 14, 2021 | 19:03 GMT
Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan: Countries Issue Joint Declaration of Cooperation
Following their second out of trilateral talks in Islamabad, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan declared their intent to cooperate on combatting global issues such as terrorism, drug trafficking, Islamophobia and the discrimination of Muslim minorities, Dawn reported Jan. 14. 
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SITUATION REPORTJan 14, 2021 | 16:59 GMT
China, U.S.: Washington Adds Major Chinese Energy Company CNOOC to Entities List
The U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security has added the state-owned Chinese National Overseas Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to its entities list, citing the company's involvement in China's moves to enforce its sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea by harassing Vietnam and other countries’ offshore energy exploration activities in the region, according to a Jan. 14 press release.
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AssessmentsJan 12, 2021 | 21:55 GMT
Destroyed homes are seen in the village of Aldeia da Paz outside Macomia, Mozambique, after a militant attack on Aug. 24, 2019.
In Mozambique, Militants Will Gain Ground Until They Threaten the Government
Militants in Mozambique will continue to gain ground near the liquified natural gas (LNG) park under construction in the country’s north until the government deems the economic and political threat large enough to warrant foreign support. On Jan. 1, the French supermajor Total evacuated some of its personnel from its $20 billion LNG project being built on the Afungi Peninsula in Mozambique’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, effectively freezing work at the site. The decision came after the Islamic State affiliate in Mozambique, Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama (ASWJ) -- which is also a part of Islamic State’s Central African Province -- attacked a village less than one kilometer from the facility’s airstrip.
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SITUATION REPORTJan 12, 2021 | 19:45 GMT
Cuba: Country Designated as U.S. State Sponsor of Terrorism
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump declared Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism, citing the country’s refusal to extradite 10 guerilla leaders of Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN), as well as an American who fled to Cuba after being convicted of killing a New Jersey State Trooper, Reuters reported Jan. 11.
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AssessmentsJan 6, 2021 | 19:01 GMT
Peruvians wearing masks to protect themselves from COVID-19 wait outside a bank to collect government aid bonuses in Iquitos, Peru, on June 15, 2020.
Peru's Economy Gets a Wake-Up Call. Will Its Leaders Listen?
Peru is a rare emerging market country that has time to address long-term issues without putting immediate growth at risk -- but only if it takes advantage of that grace period to act. Peru’s primary economic headwinds include reduced growth momentum, with concerns about the country’s long-term financial prospects and political stalemates delaying crucial economic reforms. Such headwinds could hamper fiscal deficit reduction if Peru cannot legislate tax increases or resist spending pressure. In addition, global GDP growth will determine the demand for commodities and metals prices.
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Annual ForecastsJan 3, 2021 | 21:37 GMT
An image of the COVID-19 vaccine, President-elect Joe Biden, the Huawei logo, and a stock market sign
2021 Annual Forecast
The geopolitical environment in 2021 will be shaped by two global developments: the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's administration to restore collaborative relationships across the globe.
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AssessmentsDec 30, 2020 | 21:25 GMT
A poster showing six Russian intelligence officers charged with carrying out global cyberattacks is displayed before a news conference at the U.S. Department of Justice on Oct. 19, 2020, in Washington D.C.
SolarWinds Will Spur Biden Into Action on State-Backed Cyber Threats
The recent SolarWinds hack will prompt U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to increase Washington’s cyber resources and, potentially, its offensive capabilities in order to better deter against future cyberattacks by Russia, as well as other state actors. This intensified focus on state-backed cyber threats will likely include more U.S. investments into cyber defense over the next four years. The Biden White House will also continue to deploy sanctions against assailant countries, though such sanctions will likely be narrow in scope for fear of stoking aggressive retaliatory measures against U.S. entities and causing significant economic damage to countries like Russia and China that are essential to the global economy. 
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SnapshotsDec 29, 2020 | 20:18 GMT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Alternate Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benny Gantz (left) attend a cabinet meeting in the Knesset on May 24, 2020.
What Another Israeli Election Means for Netanyahu and Normalization
Israel’s new election season will empower Israeli nationalists and foreign policy hawks, straining relationships with its U.S. and European allies and potentially setting back normalization efforts with states such as Sudan, Morocco, Oman and Saudi Arabia. After failing to pass a national budget, Israel’s Knesset dissolved itself on Dec. 22, triggering yet another early ballot. Disputes over the length of the budget timeline helped catalyze long-standing tensions between the Israeli unity government’s primary political anchors, with Blue and White party head Benny Gantz accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party of trying to use the national budget to better position themself for future elections. Israel’s fourth general election in less than two years is now set for March 23. 
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AssessmentsDec 28, 2020 | 16:21 GMT
Containers are seen stacked at a port in Qingdao, China, on Jan. 14, 2020.
The Fate of Trump’s China Tariffs Under Biden
The Biden administration will probably maintain many of the existing U.S. tariffs on China, ushering in a lengthy period of restrictions that will likely prompt businesses to consider shifting their supply chains and operations outside China. While President-elect Joe Biden says he intends to review the tariffs U.S. President Donald Trump placed on China, he has said he will not make any "immediate moves" regarding them. Nevertheless, as the phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China winds down and concludes in 2021 and China continues to remain far behind committed levels of purchases, the Biden administration is not likely to add significantly more tariffs on China to those already existing.
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GuidanceDec 24, 2020 | 16:58 GMT
The EU and British flags in front of the European Commission headquarters on Dec. 9, 2020, in Brussels.
The EU and U.K. Reach a Trade Deal, Ending Brexit. What Now?
Five years of economic uncertainty for households and companies that began with the Brexit referendum of 2016 have come to an end. The European Union and the United Kingdom have reached a free trade agreement that covers most goods, but only a limited number of services. This means that manufacturers in the European Union and the United Kingdom will be able to continue trading with each other from Jan. 1, 2021, without any quotas or tariffs, and the heavily disruptive scenario of trade under World Trade Organization tariffs has been avoided. On the contrary, the services sector (which represents around 80% of the British economy) will have limited access to the EU single market.
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AssessmentsDec 23, 2020 | 15:59 GMT
EU flags fly outside the European Commission building in Brussels on Dec. 7, 2020.
The EU Seeks to Update Its Regulation of Big Tech
Sweeping new EU draft rules will increase the pressure on large tech companies, but debates over their proposed requirements and penalties will likely limit their impact on big tech. The legislation's ultimate fate depends in part on how the European Union frames the proposals to the incoming Biden administration because its receptivity to rules that disproportionately affect U.S. firms could prove decisive to their implementation.
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On GeopoliticsDec 22, 2020 | 21:22 GMT
The Austin, Texas, headquarters of SolarWinds.
Putting the SolarWinds Hack in Geopolitical Context
The latest cyberattack against U.S. government computer systems reflects Russia's strategic position on the world stage, its perceived vulnerabilities and its continued use of gray area operations to maintain a strategic edge against the United States. Russia is unlikely to back down from continued operations in the future, even in the face of U.S. sanctions or counteroperations.
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