EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 15/07/2020

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The New York Times – Adam Satariano, Stephen Castle and David E. Sanger / U.K. bars Huawei as tech battle between China and the West escalates

  • Britain announced on Tuesday that it would ban equipment from the Chinese technology giant Huawei from the country’s high-speed wireless network.
  • The victory for the Trump administration that escalates the battle between Western powers and China over critical technology reverses a decision in January, when Britain said Huawei equipment could be used in its new 5G network on a limited basis.
  • Britain’s about-face signals a new willingness among Western countries to confront China, a determination that has grown firmer since Beijing last month adopted a sweeping law to tighten its grip on Hong Kong.
  • Huawei’s critics say its close ties to the Chinese government mean Beijing could use the equipment for espionage or to disrupt telecommunications — a point the company strongly disputes.
  • The Economist / A ban on Huawei further worsens Britain’s relations with China

Foreign Policy – Kirsten Han / Opposition victories force a crack in Singapore’s carefully managed democracy

  • When Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, decided to call a snap election in the middle of the pandemic, he had almost everything going for him.
  • But that didn’t happen. Instead, the party’s vote-share slipped from the 70 percent it received in the 2015 election to 61 percent, and the Workers’ Party captured 10 out of 93 seats. This is the largest opposition presence Singapore has seen since 1966.
  • The Workers’ Party leader Pritam Singh will be officially recognised as leader of the opposition and given staff and resources. That’s a major concession by the government, since the role has previously been only an unofficial and unsupported one.
  • The usual chatter is that young Singaporeans are less concerned than their parents and grandparents about bread-and-butter issues, and choose to look instead to less “tangible” concerns such as racial inequalities and political rights.
  • Bloomberg – Melissa Cheok and Low De Wei / Singapore elects more women. These are the ones to watch

The Guardian – Daniel Boffey et al. / Revealed: Italy’s call for urgent help was ignored as coronavirus swept through Europe

  • On 26 February, with the numbers of Italians known to be infected by coronavirus tripling every 48 hours, the country’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, appealed to fellow EU member states for help.
  • An urgent message was passed from Rome to the European commission’s Berlaymont headquarters in Brussels. The specifications of Italy’s needs were uploaded into the EU’s Common Emergency Communication and Information System (CECIS).
  • But what happened next came as a shock. The distress call was met with silence. “No member state responded to Italy’s request and to the commission’s call for help,” said Janez Lenarčič, the European commissioner responsible for crisis management.
  • Leaders have been asked fundamental questions about the purpose of the European project when states fail to come to each other’s aid at the darkest times. This weekend the EU’s 27 heads of state and government will try to plot a way forward.
  • Financial Times – Tony Barber / EU recovery fund fight is about shaping the bloc’s future

The Economist / Emissions slashed today won’t slow warming until mid-century

  • Global average temperatures are roughly 1.1°C warmer today than in pre-industrial times and CO2 is the main culprit. It and other greenhouse gases are produced when fossil fuels are burned to generate energy or power engines, in steel and cement-making, by farming and deforestation.
  • But greenhouse-gas emissions do not cause an instantaneous rise in global temperatures, and neither does cutting them result in instantaneous cooling. Instead, it will take decades for today’s policy efforts to result in measurable impacts on global temperature.
  • Using climate models, researchers at Norway’s Centre for International Climate Research probed hypothetical futures in which emissions of nine different industrial pollutants, were either eliminated instantly or phased out at a rate of 5% each year, starting in 2020.
  • Running these simulations over and over again in order to get statistically reliable results suggests that cutting CO2 emissions could slow the rate of warming as early as 2033, but only if they are ended worldwide in 2020.
  • Financial Times – Archie Hall / Electric cars threaten to pull the plug on petrol stations

Today’s op-ed:

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.

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