ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 24/10/2017

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The Guardian—T. Phillips / Xi Jinping becomes most powerful leader since Mao after change to China’s constitution

  • Xi Jinping has been consecrated as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong after a new body of political thought carrying his name was added to the Communist party’s constitution.
  • “The congress unanimously agrees that Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era shall constitute [one of] the guides to action of the party in the party constitution,” a party resolution stated.
  • Bill Bishop, publisher of the Sinocism newsletter on Chinese politics: “[The decision] means Xi is effectively unassailable … If you challenge Xi, you are challenging the party – and you never want to be against the party.”
  • Jude Blanchette, expert in Chinese politics from New York’s Conference Board research group: “We are not at the point, like in the Cultural Revolution, where mangoes that Mao Zedong touched are worshipped. But we are certainly seeing a movement towards a new type of politics … one that is borrowing heavily from [the Mao era].”
  • South China Morning Post—Choi Chi-yuk / Anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan steps down from top Chinese leadership as Xi Jinping’s name is enshrined in Communist Party charter

Financial Times—J. Ganesh / Europe could see more Catalonias

  • The material gap between cities and deindustrialised heartlands has grown over decades to become the most troublesome faultline in western democracies.
  • The anger that poor regions feel for the rampant metropolis — that Pas-de-Calais feels for Paris, that Indiana feels for New York — might turn out to weigh less than the grievances that flow in the opposite direction.
  • There will be no restoration of the city states. But there is every prospect of cities demanding more self-rule as relations deteriorate with nations that seem to need and resent them all at once.

Reuters—G. Reilhac & G. Baczynska / Most EU states push reform of labor rules sought by France’s Macron

  • Most European Union states agreed on Monday on reforming the bloc’s labor rules that poorer countries value for giving them a competitive edge.
  • The issue of the so-called posted workers pits wealthier countries against poorer peers keen to preserve current rules. These rules allow citizens from poorer EU countries to work elsewhere in the bloc for salaries higher than they would get at home but still lower than the local labor force.
  • Most of the EU’s 28 members (including France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, among others) backed a compromise that would cap posting workers abroad at 18 months and introduce a four-year transition between reaching a final agreement on the reform and its taking effect.
  • The Commission declared that part of the transport sector, namely transit, would not be regulated by the posting rules.
  • For Macron, the reform is seen as crucial to convince his voters of a need for difficult economic reforms at home by showing he stands up for their interests in the EU.

Brookings—S. Gross / Lower for longer: The implications of low oil and gas prices for China and India

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.

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