Since the start of the war in Ukraine, some analysts have warned that supporting Kyiv militarily would undermine Washington’s ability to counter China. In fact, the reverse is true. The increasingly hawkish U.S. posture toward China is more likely to undermine assistance to Ukraine as well as U.S. alliances in Europe and Asia.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last week and accomplished little. While the organization is not meaningfully addressing the hemisphere’s problems, let alone solving them, small improvements could lead it to a place where it might be able to in the future.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen completed a three-country trip across Africa this week that saw stops in the continent’s west and south. The visit sought to expand economic ties between the United States and Africa, in line with Washington’s much-touted desire to “reset” relations with the continent.
“Brazil is back,” Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said shortly before being sworn in for a third term as president. His foreign policy agenda marks a clean break from that of his predecessor with a focus on reengagement with the world. But that may be harder to achieve now than it was when Lula first took office 20 years ago.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany has been weening itself off of its dependence on Russian energy, despite grave predictions about the potential fallout, including fears of a financial meltdown. But as the winter cold has descended on Europe, these concerns of rationing and shortages have not been borne out.
Instead of repairing cross-strait relations, Beijing seems content to maintain its uncompromising approach toward the government of President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan. Beijing is hoping that a more amenable government will be elected in 2024, when Taiwan holds its next presidential election. But that might be a losing bet.
European Commission officials are crafting a response to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, as it becomes more apparent that Washington is unlikely to adopt changes to assuage European concerns. This week in Davos, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid out some of the steps the union will take to keep Europe’s industry competitive.
Mongolia ended 2022 with a bang when protesters stormed the seat of government in the capital in December. The demonstrations fizzled out, but the corruption allegations that triggered them continue to rankle. Combined with other problems at home and complex relations with China and Russia, 2023 is shaping up to be a challenge.
Last year, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio warned before the outbreak of war in Ukraine that a full-scale invasion would force Japan’s hand on supporting economic and political efforts to isolate Moscow. Since then, Japan’s opposition to the war in Ukraine has only sharpened, with a lasting impact on bilateral relations.
As the West ramps up its efforts to help Ukraine survive Russia’s ongoing invasion, European and U.S. policymakers are already examining their failure to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin for lessons that might help develop a more effective strategy to respond to Beijing’s increasingly assertive foreign policy posture.
Over the past decade, China has targeted Central and Eastern Europe with its influence operations, cultivating leaders, building ties with regional media and developing telecom infrastructure. Yet despite these efforts, and as the war in Ukraine rages on, Beijing has seen its soft power and popularity in the region wane.
One of the dangers of a U.S. foreign policy consensus is that once it’s formed, there are enormous market incentives for analysts in Washington to formulate smart-sounding ways to operationalize it, rather than to question it. We see all of these dynamics on display now when it comes to U.S. policy on China.