ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 09/01/2018

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The New York Times—Choe Sang-Hun / North Korea to send athletes to Olympics in South Korea in breakthrough

  • In talks held at the border village of Panmunjom, North Korean negotiators quickly accepted South Korea’s request to send a large delegation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In addition to the athletes, the North will send a cheering squad and a performance-art troupe.
  • It was not immediately clear whether North Korea attached any conditions to its decision to attend.
  • South Korea suggested that the two Korean teams march together during the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
  • South Korean officials were also expected to explore whether North Korea is interested in talks with the United States to ease tensions over its nuclear arms programs.
  • The South also proposed that the two countries revive their program of temporarily reuniting elderly people who have not seen their cross-border relatives since the Korean War.

Financial Times—Lucy Hornby & Anne-Sylvaine / Emmanuel Macron targets deals during China state visit

  • French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to China’s imperial past during a state visit this week as he sought deals for French industry and co-operation on global issues such as climate change and terrorism.
  • Macron came bearing the offer of an industrial partnership for Airbus with China on the A380 if Chinese airlines place orders for the world’s largest passenger jet.
  • French relations with China are not without friction. Macron’s plans to tighten the screening of Chinese investments in Europe and to beef up the EU’s anti-dumping trade tools have alarmed Beijing.
  • China’s offer of investment without political interference has helped it make inroads into former French colonies in Africa that remain an important market for French conglomerates.

Project Syndicate—Adair Turner / China’s green opportunity

  • Environmental improvements in Beijing reflect China’s growing understanding that a truly green economy promises not only to improve quality of life, but also to create enormous opportunities for technological and political leadership.
  • Chinese power investors, in both solar and wind, are certain that within the next ten years they could deliver renewable power to China’s coastal regions at a price well below current prices for coal-generated electricity.
  • Support for green technologies features prominently in the Made in China 2025 program, which aims to push Chinese manufacturing to world-leading scientific and technical standards. The faster that Chinese policy drives a transition to a low-carbon economy, the greater the technological and economic opportunity.
  • The government has stated that it will soon set a date beyond which no fossil-fuel cars may be sold in China. A fair bet is that it will shock the world by announcing a date far earlier than 2040, the deadline set by both France and the United Kingdom.
  • President Xi Jinping aspires to make China an attractive economic and social model for others to emulate, seizing the opportunity created by US President Donald Trump’s tarnishing of the American brand to boost Chinese “soft power.”

Politico—Emily Schultheis / German parties agree to drop 2020 climate goal: report

  • Angela Merkel’s conservatives (CDU-CSU) and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) agreed during preliminary coalition talks, which began on Sunday, to give up the country’s climate goal for 2020 — to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels.
  • Instead, the parties said they would put together a plan to reach that goal in the early 2020s, and would stick to the country’s 2030 goal of a 55 percent emissions reduction.
  • The CDU-CSU and the SPD are expected to wrap up discussions by the middle of the month, at which point they will decide whether to progress to formal negotiations.

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

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