The Economist / Beijing’s approach to business grows increasingly muscular
- On January 9th the Ministry of Commerce struck back against American sanctions. It said that it may force Chinese companies to stop complying with “unjustified extra-territorial application of foreign legislation” (in Beijing’s eyes, that means virtually all of it).
- It also gave Chinese firms the right to sue foreign and domestic companies that have complied with some foreign sanctions for compensation. The measures are part of a broader trend, as the Communist regime led by Xi Jinping adopts an increasingly muscular stance towards the private sector.
- In November it halted the $37bn initial public offering of Ant Group, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce empire, two days before the firm was due to debut in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
- The same month the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), created in 2018 from three regulators, issued rules to rein in e-commerce giants and, in December, it opened an antitrust investigation into Alibaba. On January 10th the Communist Party’s main body for political and legal affairs vowed to take trust-busting more seriously.
- Financial Times – Tom Mitchell, Yuan Yang and Ryan McMorrow / Jack Ma vs Xi Jinping: the future of private business in China
The New York Times – Nicholas Fandos / House sets impeachment vote to charge Trump with incitement
- House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump on Monday for his role in inflaming a mob that attacked the Capitol, scheduling a Wednesday vote to charge the president with “inciting violence against the government of the United States” if Vice President Mike Pence refused to strip him of power first.
- Moving with exceptional speed, top House leaders began summoning lawmakers still stunned by the attack back to Washington, promising the protection of National Guard troops and Federal Air Marshal escorts after last week’s stunning security failure.
- The authorities announced plans to deploy up to 15,000 National Guard troops and set up a multilayered buffer zone with checkpoints around the building by Wednesday, just as lawmakers are to debate and vote on impeaching Mr. Trump.
- “I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” Mr. Biden said Monday, referring to a swearing-in scheduled to take place on a platform on the west side of the Capitol, in the very spot where rioters marauded last week, beating police officers and vandalizing the building.
- The Washington Post / Who Joe Biden picked to fill his Cabinet
Foreign Policy – Ted Nordhaus and Seaver Wang / China breaks decades of climate gridlock
- Xi Jinping’s announcement in September that China would cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2060 caught the world by surprise, turning conventional climate wisdom on its head.
- Since the mid-1990s, most observers have believed that the United States held the key to global climate action. And even today, the incoming Biden administration continues to embrace the conceit.
- China, by contrast, has fundamentally changed the rules of the game. Its announcement was quickly followed by net-zero pledges from Japan and Korea. The breakthrough, it appears, has taken place in Asia, not Washington.
- Xi’s landmark announcement marks an overdue departure from the principle of “separate and differentiated responsibilities,” which has long guided international efforts to address climate change.
- Bloomberg – Will Mathis and Akshat Rathi / Renewables need ‘shock’ to push ahead of fossil fuels in Africa
Foreign Affairs – Richard Haass / Present at the destruction
- From the beginning, the essence of the Trump foreign policy has been disruption of arrangements and policies that largely served the United States well for three-quarters of a century.
- But the damage wrought by the events in Washington on January 6—the lawlessness and violence at the U.S. Capitol and the refusal, by Trump and dozens of Republican members of Congress, to accept the results of the November presidential election—will be even greater, on U.S. foreign policy as well as on U.S. democracy.
- We have gone from “present at the disruption” to “present at the destruction.” What took place last week was a distinctly American failure, but the consequences go far beyond American shores.
- A post-American world, one no longer defined by U.S. primacy, is coming sooner than generally expected—less because of the inevitable rise of others than because of what the United States has done to itself.
- Project Syndicate – Richard Haass / Donald Trump’s costly legacy
- Euractiv – Kira Taylor / Most Europeans plan to curb flying and eat less meat for climate, EU poll says