Archivo de la categoria ‘Política Internacional’

The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 23/06/2017

POLITICO—D. M. Herzsenhorn / EU leaders look beyond Brexit and love what they see

  • At the European Council summit, European leaders looked ready to capitalize on the UK’s impending departure to push forward in areas, such as defense cooperation, where London had long thrown up obstacles.
  • Council President Donald Tusk: “This is the 80th European Council in which I have participated as prime minister or European Council president, but never before have I had such a strong belief that things are going in a better direction.”
  • The President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, used the gathering to continue pushing the conversation about the EU’s future that he jumpstarted with a well-received white paper earlier this year.
  • While UK Prime Minister Theresa May was allotted time to address other leaders, no time was allowed for response, as Tusk sought to block May from trying to use the Council forum to divide the remaining 27 nations.
  • Tusk planned for the 27 to discuss the issue of agency relocations once May had left the group. Dual-track Council meetings are required since her formal triggering of withdrawal negotiations in March.
  • “Some of my British friends have even asked me whether Brexit could be reversed and whether I could imagine an outcome where the UK stays part of the EU,” Tusk said. “I told them that in fact the European Union was built on dreams that seemed impossible to achieve, so who knows?”

Financial Times—C. Giles & A. Barker / Hard or soft Brexit? The six scenarios for Britain

  • The Financial Times outlines the paths available to the UK regarding Brexit. It looks at six scenarios, ranging from a highly disruptive exit without agreement to a smoother path that sacrifices control in order to remain enmeshed in the EU’s single market.
  • 1. No deal: It is simply not a viable option. There are almost no winners and the UK would be pursued in international courts for money the EU claims it owes.
  • 2. Divorce-only agreement: Could prove to be one of the most protectionist steps in UK peacetime history. The freedom to set the UK’s rules would encourage Britain to become an offshore tax haven.
  • 3. Limited tariff-free deal: This is quite a likely outcome, since the EU would like a free-trade deal in goods and such a deal is much easier to agree than deals on facilitating trade in services. It would make the UK a little like Canada in its dealings with the EU.
  • 4. Far-ranging trade deal: This outcome would maintain substantial payments to Brussels and probably continued EU influence over British law, but the UK would not have a direct say in EU law and regulations.
  • 5. Customs union: The UK would not be able to strike tariff reduction agreements in goods trade with countries such as the US and China — one of the principal rationales for Brexit. But such a deal would protect manufacturing jobs in the UK.
  • 6. Single market: In purely economic terms, it is difficult to see advantages of this arrangement compared with membership of the EU itself, but it is the least disruptive Brexit.

Foreign Affairs—C. P. Clarke / Is ISIS leader Baghdadi still alive?

  • The Russian military announced a week ago that it might have killed the ISIS chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in an airstrike in Raqqa. However, there are many reasons to be skeptical of this claim.
  • The academic scholarship on the effectiveness of the targeted killing of terrorist leaders is mixed. A study found that the removal of a terrorist group’s midlevel commanders is far more effective in preventing future attacks than removing the leaders. Another study notes that leadership decapitations can even be counterproductive, as they can strengthen a group’s resolve and create more sympathy for it.
  • Other scholars, however, find decapitation strikes to be an effective method of crippling an organization’s capability to maintain cohesion, and deem terrorist campaigns more likely to end quickly when counterinsurgents successfully target enemy leaders. ISIS could suffer from an identity crisis without Baghdadi, especially because there is no charismatic leader ready to take his place.
  • The removal of Baghdadi will by no means lead ISIS to collapse overnight. The root causes of ISIS’ insurgence—the civil war in Syria and Sunni disenfranchisment in Iraq—will likely remain unresolved for the foreseeable future.
  • The death of Baghdadi could even open the door to possible rapprochement between ISIS and al Qaeda.

Foreign Policy—P. I. Lipscy / The Trump Tower peace theory

  • President Trump has shattered long-standing U.S. traditions regarding transparency and conflicts of interest. His reluctance to divest from his overseas business assets creates a troubling wedge between his personal interests and the US national interests.
  • We face what might be dubbed a “nepotist peace”: the United States will avoid any conflict that puts a Trump Tower at risk.
  • While the US President faces incentives to protect Trump properties from the consequences of conflict, adversaries may actually be emboldened by their perception that he will act cautiously.
  • U.S. allies may come to see Trump Towers as a mechanism to prevent America’s potential abandonment, akin to the presence of U.S. bases and troops.

The Economist / India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems

  • The past 3 years appear to have reinforced the idea that Indian PM Narendra Modi is an economic reformer. Under his tenure, India’s economic growth has accelerated, and the country became the fastest-growing big economy in the world.
  • But these appearances are deceiving. The central government’s response to a host of pressing economic problems has been to pass them to the states. Furthermore, his policy of demonetization was counter-productive, and the Indian economy is starting to drag, despite the fact that the winds are blowing in Modi’s favor.
  • Modi has been just as careful to court militant Hindus as jet-setting businessmen. Hindu nationalist thugs intimidate those who criticize the government for deviating from India’s secular tradition, or who advocate a less repressive approach to protests in Kashmir, India’s only state with a Muslim majority.
  • The fear is that, if the economy falters, Modi will try to maintain his popularity by stirring up communal tensions.

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

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The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 21/06/2017

The New York Times—B. Hubbard / Saudi Arabia rewrites succession as King replaces heir with son, 31

  • King Salman of Saudi Arabia promoted his 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman, to be next in line to the throne. He will be replacing the previous crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef.
  • As deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman spearheaded the development of a wide-ranging plan for the country’s future, called Saudi Vision 2030, which seeks to decrease the country’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy and loosen some social restrictions.
  • Mohammad bin Salman’s duties also included overseeing Saudi Aramco and, as defense minister, he was primarily responsible for the kingdom’s military intervention in Yemen.
  • Prince Mohammed has taken a hard line on Iran. “We won’t wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia. Instead, we’ll work so that the battle is for them in Iran,” said the new crown prince.
  • Saudis who work with Mohammad bin Salman praise him as detail-oriented and unafraid to take risks and break conventions, a rare trait in the historically cautious kingdom.

Financial Times—A. Raval / Oil flirts with bear market territory as supply angst persists

  • Renewed concerns about growing production from within the Opec and a reinvigorated US shale industry took global crude benchmarks on Tuesday to the lowest level since mid-November with Brent crude sinking to $46 a barrel.
  • A decline of more than 20 per cent from the most recent high—as occurred yesterday at some point—is typically considered a bear market.
  • Even as global oil demand is expected to rise in the coming months, traders have been focused on supply. Rising output in Libya and Nigeria, which were exempt from the supply deal because of conflict in both countries, have offset cutbacks from their Opec peers.
  • Olivier Jakob, from the consultancy Petromatrix: “Exports of crude oil from Saudi Arabia are still in the comfort zone of recent years; they are at the bottom of the comfort zone but not out of it. Compared to history, Saudi Arabia is only doing minimal service to support prices.”

POLITICO—J. Delcker / Merkel gives conditional backing to Macron’s eurozone plans

  • “Of course, one can think about a joint finance minister if the framework conditions are right,” Merkel said yesterday, referring to one of Macron’s main suggestions.
  • Merkel stressed she was also open to the idea of a eurozone budget — another one of Macron’s suggestions — “as long as it’s clear that this will truly strengthen structures and do meaningful things.”
  • Merkel also said she would push for talks over a free-trade agreement between the EU and the United States to be resumed.
  • “An agreement … would affect around 30 percent of global trade,” she said. “This is why I will advocate for not putting the project on ice, but to try to make further steps.”

Brookings—E. Ferris / Unpacking the numbers on global refugees

  • Two days ago, on the eve of yesterday’s World Refugee Day, the UNHCR released its annual Global Trends report, finding that 65.6 million people are forcibly displaced—the highest number since World War II.
  • Two-thirds of the world’s 65.6 million displaced remain within the borders of their own countries. As internally displaced persons (IDPs), they are often more vulnerable and receive less assistance than those who cross international borders.
  • Most of the growth in global displacement figures comes from this internal displacement and, to be fair, some of that increase is due to greater awareness of the phenomenon of internal displacement and improvements in data collection.
  • While growing numbers of refugees are always a cause for concern, last year’s increase of 1.1 million refugees in a world of 7 billion people should not be a crisis—certainly, not an unprecedented one.
  • The crisis is that our international refugee system was set up to respond to short-term emergencies, not to refugee situations that drag on for years and decades. Too many refugees and IDPs are forced to live in a limbo.

Chatham House—T. Raines, et al. /  The future of Europe: comparing public and elite attitudes

  • Based on a major survey across 10 EU countries, a new report shows a lack of consensus among the elite over the future of EU integration – and a pronounced divide within the public on issues of identity.
  • The elite are more likely to experience the benefits of EU integration and are more liberal and optimistic. Meanwhile, there is simmering discontent within the public, large sections of whom view the EU in negative terms, want to see it return some powers to member states, and feel anxious over the effects of immigration.
  • Within the public, there is a pronounced divide between more liberal and authoritarian-minded groups, particularly on issues of identity.
  • There is a lack of consensus among the elite on important questions about the EU’s direction. While the elite overwhelmingly feel they have benefited from the EU, they are far from united in their attitudes to further integration.
  • Strategies for the EU’s future that emphasize a process of multi-speed integration among specific states ignore the fact that important fault lines cut across the continent as a whole. This suggests the need for a flexible approach to future integration that is built on more than a notion of an EU core and periphery.

The Economist / Finland tests an unconditional basic income

  • Kela, Finland’s national welfare body, picked at random from Finland’s unemployed (who total 10% of the workforce) to take part in a two-year pilot study to see how getting a basic income, rather than jobless benefits, might affect incentives in the labour market.
  • Kela will not contact participants directly before 2019, lest that influences outcomes. Participants will be followed for ten years to identify long-term effects.
  • Big unions, with (mostly male) members in permanent jobs in heavy industry, manage unemployment funds and do not want to lose control, so they dislike the idea of a basic income. In contrast, the idea appeals to those that represent part-time service staff, such as (mostly female) cleaners or retail workers.
  • 70% of Finns like the idea of the grant in theory, but that drops to 35% when respondents are told already high income taxes would have to rise to pay for it.

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

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The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 19/06/2017

Foreign Affairs—A. Goldhammer / Macron’s party wins a parliamentary majority

  • Macron’s win has given a new lease of life to the Fifth Republic, whose institutions were designed with a powerful President in mind.
  • Aware of Hollande’s shortcomings, Macron, with surprising sure-footedness for a political novice, has thus far availed himself of every opportunity to project images of strength.
  • French citizens had become accustomed to the idea that reform was impossible. Now, even if they do not like the change Macron represents (and the disappointing turnout in the legislative elections suggests that the new president could face some nasty bumps), they actually see opportunities ahead.
  • The somewhat stronger-than-expected showing of the opposition parties in the second round may prove to be a blessing in disguise for the new president, who might otherwise have let his guard down prematurely.

Financial Times—A. Barker / Brexit talks: what to expect on day one

  • Today, the UK and the EU embark on the first day of formal Brexit negotiations, aiming for a constructive and orderly launch.
  • The complex negotiating process is expected to stretch to November 2018 with ever increasing pace and intensity.
  • David Davis, Britain’s Brexit secretary: “While there is a long road ahead, our destination is clear — a deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU. A deal like no other in history.”
  • Davis also said that the “row of the summer” would be over sequencing — the European Commission’s insistence that trade talks only start once Britain gives assurances on a gross Brexit bill of up to €100bn and settles questions over the rights of 4m migrants caught out by Brexit.

Reuters—A. Sytas / NATO war game defends Baltic weak spot for first time

  • US and British troops have carried out the first large-scale NATO defensive drill on the border between Poland and Lithuania (in an area known as Suwalki Gap), rehearsing for a possible scenario in which Russia might try to sever the Baltic states from the rest of the Western alliance.
  • Russia denies any plans to invade the Baltics, and says it is NATO that is threatening stability in Eastern Europe by building up its military presence there and staging such war games.
  • Before Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, no forces from other alliance members were stationed in the Baltic states; now four battlegroups totaling just over 4,500 troops have been deployed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
  • NATO officials believe Moscow will hold its own exercise in Russia and Belarus on a much greater scale in September—possibly involving 100,000 troops—under the codename “Zapad” (West). Baltic officials believe Moscow will also rehearse an attack on the Suwalki Gap during Zapad.

The New York Times—T. Arango / Iraqi Forces Begin Assault on Mosul’s Old City

  • Iraqi forces on Sunday began penetrating Mosul’s heavily populated old city, in the last phase of a monthslong battle against the Islamic State militants.
  • The battle for Mosul — the largest city that the Islamic State has controlled in a vast territory straddling the border between Iraq and Syria — is already in its ninth month. American commanders have described the battle as one of the toughest in urban warfare since World War II.
  • The offensive by the Iraqi forces was met with fierce resistance by Islamic State fighters, suggesting that the battle on the streets of Mosul could go on for days or weeks.
  • Humanitarian groups have been warning for weeks about the perils to civilians in the old city, where the United Nations believes up to 150,000 people are trapped, running low on food and water and held by Islamic State fighters as human shields.

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

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The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 16/06/2017

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The New York Times—J. Hirschfeld Davis / Moving to scuttle Obama legacy, Donald Trump to crack down on Cuba

  • In a partial reversal of Obama’s policy of appeasement with Cuba, Trump will outline stiffer rules for American travelers visiting Cuba and a sweeping prohibition against transactions with companies controlled by the Cuban military.
  • Trump is delivering on a politically potent promise he made to the Cuban-American exile community based in Miami, which backed him in last year’s election and was deeply opposed to the détente. However, his shift falls short of the wholesale reversal that many hard-liners were seeking.
  • The Trump administration will lay out conditions that the Cuban government would have to meet before the restrictions could be lifted, including holding free and fair elections, releasing political prisoners and allowing Cuban workers to be paid directly.
  • Many business leaders and human rights oppose Trump’s move, and even members of the US administration have privately argued that the effort to normalize relations with Havana had yielded national security, diplomatic and economic benefits for the US.

Financial Times—J. Brunsden / Greece and creditors reach deal on next part of bailout

  • Greece and its international creditors have reached a deal on the next stages of Athens’ €86bn bailout, removing the risk that it could default on more than €7bn in debt repayments that fall due next month.
  • Thursday’s deal resolves a stand-off between the Washington-based IMF and the EU over the conditions for the fund to take part in Greece’s bailout.
  • The IMF is set to formally join the rescue programme, but delay providing any money to Athens until the eurozone gives more clarity on what debt relief it is prepared to offer.
  • The Greek government is hoping that the bailout breakthrough can open up the possibility of the European Central Bank starting to buy its bonds as part of its economic stimulus programme.

Foreign Policy—C. MacDiarmid / ‘I want to die in the shadow of the flag of an independent Kurdistan’

  • President Masoud Barzani recently announced plans to hold a referendum on Kurdish independence, scheduling the vote for September 25.
  • The US remains committed to its one-Iraq policy, and neighboring Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan’s largest trading partner, has labeled the referendum “irresponsible” and a “grave mistake.”
  • “If this decision is made by referendum and the reaction is to isolate us, let our people die,” Barzani said in an interview with Foreign Policy. “That will be a ‘glory’ for the world that they have killed our people by starvation just because those people wanted — through democratic means — to express their destiny.”
  • The oil-dependent economy of Iraqi Kurdistan has languished with the fall in prices; the majority of the workforce is on the public sector payroll and is only receiving partial salary payments from the cash-strapped government.
  • The referendum lacks a legal mechanism for implementing its results — at most, it will be seen as providing officials with a mandate to pursue secession talks. Barzani was eager to emphasize that fracturing Iraq didn’t have to result in instability. “We will do whatever is necessary to support Prime Minster Abadi to make him successful in his premiership,” said Barzani.

Brookings—B. Milton-Edwards / GCC crisis: How to resolve the diplomatic rift

  • The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has seen its share of splits and disagreements. The present crisis, however, is by far the worst and most threatening in terms of politics, security and economy.
  • One individual who is clearly equipped to undertake a mediation role is the octogenarian Sheikh Sabah al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, who already had success doing so in previous rifts. He is more than a mere intermediary—rather, he can leverage Arab and Gulf-based cultural, religious, and identity norms of appeal that resonate with all sides.
  • However, this time around it is unclear whether international actors such as the US or the EU will help or hinder conflict management.
  • Overall, the best approach would be for Washington to refrain from sending incoherent messages, stand back and adopt a more impartial stance, in order to give regional dispute resolution efforts a real chance to work.

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

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The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 15/06/2017

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Financial Times—E. Luce /  The Anglo-American democracy problem

  • Much of the anti-establishment cynicism in America and Britain was born during the Iraq war. But that pales against the generation-long triumphalism of Anglo-American capitalism.
  • France, for example, has done a better job at keeping its left-behinds above water than its Anglo-Saxon rivals. The French have their own vulnerabilities, but they are high-class problems against those facing America and the UK.
  • No two countries have done more to broadcast their meritocracies than the US and the UK. Yet the two rival each other for the worst records of income mobility in the western world.
  • The US and Britain suffer from an illusion about the value of qualifications. They routinely confuse having a college degree with being skilled, and the stigmatization of the least educated has backfired.
  • The two Anglo-Saxon countries stand out among western democracies as unmarked by revolution or occupation during the 20th century. The longer a country is stable, the more complacent it becomes.

Project Syndicate—C. Bildt / Urbanization 2.0

  • The future will be shaped by two key trends: digitization and urbanization. The possibilities introduced by the former will likely help us overcome the problems associated with the latter.
  • As we enter a period of hyper-urbanization, municipal and regional governments will need to step up their efforts to curb energy use and introduce new green technologies.
  • Without the policies and infrastructure in place to absorb new arrivals, megacities could fail, and degenerate into urban jungles that pose a security threat to surrounding regions and the world beyond.
  • Addressing the challenges associated with hyper-urbanization will require deeper dialogue among global cities themselves. We should not exaggerate the differences between the most and the least advanced global cities, as security solutions in Toronto might very well be applicable in Karachi.

POLITICO—J. Plucinska / Roam like at home? Not so fast

  • “Eliminating roaming charges is one of the greatest and most tangible successes of the EU,” the EU institutions touted in a collective statement Wednesday.
  • However, dozens of telecoms providers have applied for exemptions to the rules, allowing them to continue charging marginal roaming rates if only temporarily, while others in countries including Poland refused to implement the rules according to EU demands.
  • The Commission downplayed these cases and said it will encourage national regulators to whip into shape the telecoms operators trying to flout the rules.
  • The fortunes of smaller telecoms should improve in the coming years. The rates telecoms providers charge each other are expected to drop progressively as part of the agreement struck between the Commission, Parliament and Council earlier this year.
  • When that happens, telecoms providers in Southern European countries will feel the pain as they get less income from tourists’ home telecoms providers.

Financial Times—L. Hornby / China’s consolidation push turns to sprawling power sector

  • Beijing is weighing ambitious proposals to consolidate its electricity generators into national energy behemoths, a process that may result in a triopoly of power giants commanding nearly a trillion dollars of assets.
  • According to the plan, Beijing would be forcing mergers of the “Big Five” coal-dependent power generators with large state-owned coal miners and nuclear power generators.
  • The logic is that fewer but larger groups would end the mutually destructive race to build new power plants, which has outpaced growth in electricity demand.
  • The nuclear industry objects to mergers with debt-ridden coal-fired plants, many of which are located in areas with little power demand.

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

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The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 14/06/2017

POLITICO—D. M. Herzsenhorn & J. Barigazzi / Brussels prepares penalties over refugee inaction

  • The European Commission on Tuesday voted in favor of taking action against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for refusing to comply with their obligations under the bloc-wide relocation scheme.
  • The relocation scheme legally obliges all member countries to make a pledge to take in refugees at least every three months — and it is failure to do this that led to Tuesday’s infringement proceedings.
  • Migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said that if the governments reconsider their position the Commission could change its decision.
  • The formal infringement process starts with a letter from the Commission and countries usually have up to two months to respond and make their case. In the worst case scenario, if the country still does not comply it can face financial sanctions.

Financial Times—G. Rachman / Emmanuel Macron will offer no mercy to Theresa May

  • There are some hopes in the Remain camp in Britain that the combination of a weak May and a strong Macron may help to get Britain off the hook of a hard Brexit. But that is unlikely.
  • Macron’s vision of a revitalised France, inside a revitalised EU, actually works better if Brexit proceeds uninterrupted.
  • A Brexit in which Britain is seen to suffer also serves a crucial domestic political purpose for Mr Macron, as it would hurt Marine Le Pen.
  • With Britain out and the big eastern European countries pushed to the margins, the EU might begin to feel a little more like the original “Europe of Six”.
  • With a hard Brexit, the City of London would lose its “passport” to do euro-related business and supply chains for British manufacturers would be disrupted. France has a unique chance to hoover up jobs in finance and manufacturing.

The New York Times—A. Higgins / On a tiny Norwegian island, America keeps an eye on Russia

  • An American-funded radar system is under construction on a Norwegian island in sight of the Kola Peninsula, a Russian territory studded with high-security naval bases and restricted military zones.
  • President Putin has vowed to make Russia the dominant player in the high north as climate change opens up new shipping routes from Asia to Europe, new gas and oil prospects and a new arena for great power rivalry.
  • The joint American-Norwegian radar project has infuriated Moscow, which sees it as part of a Pentagon drive to encircle and contain Mr. Putin’s resurgent Russia.
  • Russia’s generals and many Norwegians believe that the new radar is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to develop a global missile-defense system, making it a prime target for attack in the event of a conflict.
  • Russia views American efforts to develop a missile shield as a direct threat to the one area in which it can still compete — nuclear deterrence.

Brookings—D. Victor & K. Yanosek / The next energy revolution: The promise and peril of high-tech innovation

  • After the shale revolution, smarter management of complex systems, data analytics, and automation are remaking the energy industry once again, boosting the productivity and flexibility of energy companies.
  • These trends are likely to keep energy cheap and plentiful, responsive to market conditions, and more efficient than ever. In short, they are—for the most part—good news for the world.
  • However, they could destabilize countries whose economies depend on revenue from traditional energy sources, and cheap fossil fuels will make it harder to achieve the deep cuts in emissions needed to halt global warming.
  • To tackle climate challenges, countries must invest more in innovation. At the Paris climate change conference in late 2015, the world’s biggest governments pledged to double their spending on energy R&D. So far, however, they have not delivered.

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

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The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 13/06/2017

Project Syndicate—J. S. Nye / Xi Jinping’s Marco Polo Strategy

  • If China chooses to use its surplus financial reserves to create infrastructure that helps poor countries and enhances international trade, it will be providing what can be seen as a global public good.
  • Reallocation of China’s large foreign-exchange assets away from low-yield US Treasury bonds to higher-yield infrastructure investment makes sense, and creates alternative markets for Chinese goods.
  • The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is first and foremost a political vision. India is not happy to see a greater Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean, and Russia, Turkey, and Iran have their own agendas in Central Asia.
  • Overall, the United States should welcome China’s BRI. If a rising China contributes to the provision of global public goods, the US should encourage the Chinese to become a “responsible stakeholder”, in the words of Robert Zoellick.
  • While the BRI will provide China with geopolitical gains as well as costs, it is unlikely to be as much of a game changer in grand strategy, as some analysts believe.

South China Morning Post—L. Chung / Angry Taiwan threatens rethink of cross-strait relations as Panama switches ties to Beijing

  • An indignant Taiwan said on Tuesday it would rethink its relations with the mainland in the wake of Panama’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with the island in favour of Beijing.
  • The decision by Panama ends 105 years of formal relations between it and the Republic of China.
  • Taiwan’s foreign minister, David Lee, expressed grave regret over Panama’s decision and hit out at Beijing’s “chequebook diplomacy” in its attempts to woo away Taiwan’s allies, whose number has now dwindled to just 20.
  • Taiwan’s foreign ministry announced that it would end diplomatic relations with Panama, shut down its embassy and withdraw all its financial and technical aid for the country.

The New York Times—N. MacFarquhar & I. Nechepurenko / Across Russia, protesters heed Navalny’s anti-Kremlin rallying cry

  • In the biggest antigovernment demonstrations in Russia in years, thousands of people gathered in more than 100 Russian cities to denounce corruption and political stagnation, despite official attempts to stifle the expression of outrage.
  • Among the hundreds of people arrested was Kremlin foe and anticorruption crusader Aleksei A. Navalny, the main architect of the demonstrations. Navalny was sentenced to 30 days in jail for organizing an unauthorized protest.
  • The demonstrations were also an effort by Navalny to force the Kremlin to let him run against President Putin in the March 2018 presidential election, even if he has virtually zero chance of winning. A felony conviction, which Navalny has called politically motivated, bars him from running.

Financial Times—J. Brunsden & P. Stafford / Brussels insists on power to control euro clearing after Brexit

  • The European Commission will announce today that it wants a new system to vet whether, and under what conditions, non-EU clearing houses should be allowed to handle large volumes of euro-denominated business.
  • The Commission’s plans — which will now be studied by national governments and the European Parliament — would charge the European Securities and Markets Authority with determining which clearing houses present systemic risks.
  • The plans are a direct response to concerns in Paris and some other capitals about London maintaining a post-Brexit role as a pillar of EU securities and derivatives markets, when it will no longer be covered by the bloc’s rules.
  • London’s euro-clearing business is a critical part of its financial services sector and can top a notional $900bn a day.

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

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