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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/03/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/03/2021

Financial Times – Michael Peel, Christian Shepherd and Demetri Sevastopulo / China retaliates after US, EU and UK impose sanctions

  • The US, EU, UK and Canada have imposed sanctions on China over its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in a co-ordinated move that sparked an immediate retaliation from Beijing.
  • Travel bans and asset freezes have now been imposed on four officials and a security organisation over persecution and mass internments of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region.
  • The EU was the first western power to announce the sanctions and was hit with immediate retaliation from China’s foreign ministry, which imposed travel bans on 10 EU individuals and four entities.
  • This included MEPs that have criticised Beijing’s policy, such as French MEP Raphaël Glucksmann, German scholar Adrian Zenz and Swedish analyst Björn Jerdén, as well as potentially all 27 PSC ambassadors.
  • Politico – Stuart Lau / China slaps retaliatory sanctions on EU officials

The New York Times – Jim Tankersley / Biden team prepares $3 trillion in new spending for the economy

  • President Biden’s economic advisers are pulling together a sweeping $3 trillion package to boost the economy, reduce carbon emissions and narrow economic inequality, beginning with a giant infrastructure plan that may be financed in part through tax increases on corporations and the rich.
  • After months of internal debate, Mr. Biden’s advisers are expected to present the spending proposal to the president and congressional leaders this week, as well as begin outreach to industry and labor groups.
  • But the enormous scope of the proposal highlights the aggressive approach the Biden administration wants to take as it tries to harness the power of the federal government to make the economy more equitable, address climate change, and improve American manufacturing.
  • Mr. Biden’s advisers plan to recommend that the effort be broken into pieces, with Congress tackling infrastructure before turning to a second package that would include more people-focused proposals, like free community college, universal prekindergarten and a national paid leave program.
  • The Washington Post – Jeff Stein and Tyler Pager / White House prepares massive infrastructure bill with universal pre-K, free community college, climate measures

The Guardian – Oliver Holmes / Israelis vote in fourth national election in two years

  • Israelis are voting in their fourth national election in two years, the result of an unprecedented political deadlock that has seen the country’s longest-serving leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, face off against multiple rivals.
  • This time round, the prime minister is hoping that voters will credit him for a world-beating coronavirus vaccination campaign that has seen Israel reopen shops, bar and restaurants while simultaneously pushing down infection rates.
  • Netanyahu’s preferred path to victory would be what is being called a “full rightwing government”, composed of extreme nationalist, hardline religious and far-right parties. Israel’s most prominent left-leaning paper, Haaretz, has called this potential outcome a “nightmare”
  • In opposition, Yair Lapid, a former TV host and finance minister, hopes his Yesh Atid party can become a significant force. However, to do that, the self-proclaimed “centrist” will likely have to forge alliances with parties from across the political spectrum.
  • Foreign Policy – Jonathan H. Ferziger / Netanyahu stumbles before election as UAE deal-signing blocked

Project Syndicate – Ursula von der Leyen and Werner Hoyer / A global green deal

  • As we approached the end of 2020 – Europe’s hottest year on record – we in the European Union made a collective decision to reduce our greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030. 
  • The European Commission now is following through on this commitment with concrete policy changes, and the European Investment Bank is backing the effort with its financial power.
  • To confront the immediate challenges that lie ahead, our two organizations are convening governments, international institutions, and investors on March 24, 2021, for a landmark event: “Investing in Climate Action.”
  • Climate action requires far-reaching structural change and tremendous levels of investment around the world. To keep the increase in global temperature as close to 1.5°C as possible, we must support decarbonization efforts beyond our borders. That is why we need a Global Green Deal.
  • Bloomberg – Jennifer A Dlouhy / Oil industry titans vow climate collaboration with White House

Today’s argument:

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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