Financial Times – Demetri Sevastopulo & Courtney Weaver/ Trump uses State of the Union to reveal Kim summit
- President Trump revealed during his second State of the Union that an assembly with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place on February 27 or 28. Mr. Trump highlighted his role in avoiding the conflict with North Korea: “If I had not been elected president of the US, we would right now . . . be in a major war with North Korea”.
- Although he tried to display a more cooperative image, President Trump talked about partisan topics such as the famous construction of the southern wall, a recurrent theme that triggered the shutdown of the federal government for its longest time in history. Moreover, he raised concerns on the need to protect the frontier, for which he said he would send 3,750 troops.
- He also stressed the need to put an end to inquiries about the Russian relationship concerning the presidential campaign: “An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations,” he stated.
- POLITICO – POLITICO Staff / Dem response to the State of the Union
Project Syndicate – Arvind Subramanian & Josh Felman / The coming China shock
- The development pattern supported by Chinese politicians, based on a tight governmental control of the economy is no longer valid mainly due to the raising of national debts.
- China would experience a slowing development, along with a depreciating exchange rate, though a total crisis is not expected.
- As a result of Xi Jinping leadership, China has become less open, instead of Western beliefs during 1990s and 2000s, that aimed for a more open and democratic China.
- Concerning its impact, any discontinuity in China’s economic strength would have profound consequences on the international scene.
Euractiv – Frédéric Simon / ‘It’s complicated’: EU offers political backing but no funding for CCS
- The European Commission has supported the carbon capture and storage (CCS) as one of the technologies that will decarbonize the European economy in the medium run.
- Nevertheless, previous practices as well as the long decision-making timeframe may hinder the adoption of CCS. Funding is a major concern for EU Officials, and doubts on this topic were also related to the bloc’s budget decision-making process.
- Technology itself is another cause of EU hesitations towards CCS, and EU Commissioner Arias Cañete addressed that “CCS is necessary to address emissions that cannot be addressed via other means”, which indeed shows it will be regarded as a last resort.
The New York Times – Andrew Higgins & Mujib Mashal/ In Moscow, Afghan peace talks without the Afghan government
- Russia reasserted itself a player on the Afghan region after the start of talks between Taliban and senior Afghan politicians. Three decades after the retreat of Soviet troops from the area, Russia aims at speeding the exit of the United States from the field.
- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, supported by the United States, harshly censured the assembly, which undermines the authority of his cabinet. Afghan politicians present on the meeting were headed by former President Hamid Karzai, and consisted of former officials, representatives of political parties and current members of the Afghan Parliament.
- Both sides agreed to a framework on two different issues: a Taliban guarantee that Afghan soil would never again be used by terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, and a pledge from the United States to withdraw its troops.
- POLITICO – Supriya Sridhar / Democrats: Afghan peace talks must include women
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.