PARIS—What does the world look like when you’re not watching it? Every year at the end of August, I have the chance to answer that question when, for two weeks, I unplug and check out of the online media sphere. Often, with the help of my archaic non-smart phone, I’ve been able to remain entirely out of reach of the internet and email. This year, I limited my “staycation” news consumption to a morning glance at The New York Times homepage. By some odd fluke, my August media fast has often meant learning about major news events the old-fashioned way: […]
Economics & Business Archive
On Monday, Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced he would further slash budgetary spending and reimpose previously discontinued agricultural export taxes, in an effort to stave off an ongoing currency crisis that has seen the Argentine peso plummet since December. The new measures are an effort to regain investor confidence and secure an enhanced bailout package from the International Monetary Fund. Despite a June deal with the IMF for a $50 billion credit line, Argentina’s currency has continued to depreciate, with the peso tumbling to new lows in the past week. Argentina’s liquidity crisis is the result of a perfect storm […]
Will More Latin American Countries Follow El Salvador and Recognize China Over Taiwan?
El Salvador’s decision last month to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establish relations with China came as a blow to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who condemned Beijing for “increasingly out-of-control international behavior.” The move also prompted a harsh response from the United States, as the White House expressed “grave concern” and accused China of “political interference in the Western Hemisphere.” However, according to R. Evan Ellis, a research professor of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College, both Washington and Taipei may be powerless to prevent more countries from following suit. In an email interview, he explains […]
Taking Stock of the RCEP’s Prospects as China and Japan Get on a ‘Normal Track’
Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it. Signs of improved ties between China and Japan have rekindled hopes of swift progress toward establishing the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, which would be the world’s largest free trade deal if it ever comes to fruition. China initially unveiled the agreement as a rival to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from after taking office. Japan led the efforts to salvage and revise the TPP without the […]
Do Axed Infrastructure Projects in Malaysia Spell Trouble for China’s ‘Belt and Road’?
Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series about China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, a major infrastructure and development program across Eurasia. Speaking to reporters on the final day of a five-day visit to China last month, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced that his government would cancel three major Chinese-financed infrastructure projects due to concerns over the projects’ costs and debt burdens. The announcement came as other Chinese-financed projects in Pakistan and Sri Lanka—part of the country’s sweeping Belt and Road Initiative—ran into trouble. In an email interview, Yun Sun, director of the China Program at […]
To ancient Greeks, the dog days of summer came when the star Sirius, known as the dog star, was positioned prominently above the horizon just before sunrise. The star was linked with disaster, even war, at the height of a hot summer. Its meaning evolved over the centuries as it was translated from ancient Greek to Latin and, eventually, English. In Washington this summer, U.S. trade policy has suffered through its own version of the dog days. There was the lethargy associated with trying to resolve the trade war with China. There was the sudden storm of President Donald Trump […]