Food delivery workers near a TV screen showing Chinese leader Xi Jinping attending the closing ceremony of the National People’s Congress, in Beijing, China, May 28, 2020 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and Freddy Deknatel talk about China’s latest encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy, and how it might affect U.S.-China relations. They also discuss the Trump administration’s latest move to finish off the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, and the outdated logic guiding the administration’s Iran policy more generally. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS | Spotify Relevant Articles on WPR:Why China’s Xi Opted for the ‘Nuclear Option’ in Hong KongChina’s Aggression Amid the Pandemic Has Little to Do With COVID-19Trump’s Iran Strategy Is Still Just an Anti-Obama VendettaThe Trump […]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel inspect an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sept. 6, 2019 (pool photo by Roman Pilipey via AP Images).

The European Union has struggled mightily in recent months to assert itself as a strategically autonomous and relevant actor in response to an increasingly aggressive China. In April, the EU drafted a report critical of Chinese disinformation efforts related to the spread of the novel coronavirus in Europe, but it bowed to pressure from China and removed most of the criticism leveled at Beijing that had been included in the initial draft, which leaked to the press. The subsequent public criticism led the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, to receive a tongue-lashing at a hearing of the […]

President Donald Trump listens during a session at Ford’s Rawsonville Components Plant, which is now manufacturing personal protection and medical equipment, Ypsilanti, Michigan, May 21, 2020 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

Six months after the emergence of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, and four months after it became a global outbreak, its political and economic fallout continue to take shape. As government policies adapt and evolve in real time to the changing features of the pandemic, so too do the geopolitical implications. So far, three scenarios have been advanced with regard to COVID-19’s potential impact on the international order. They can be broadly characterized as a change at the top, in which a triumphant and capable China replaces the bungling U.S. as the world’s dominant power; a descent into multipolar […]

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, center, and other officials attend a press conference in Hong Kong after returning from the National People’s Congress in Beijing, May 22, 2020 (AP photo by Kin Cheung).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. China’s decision last week to impose controversial national security legislation on Hong Kong was stunningly brazen, bypassing the territory’s legislative process and undermining its autonomy. Though risky for the Chinese Communist Party, the move falls in line with the aggressively nationalist agenda it has pursued ever since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012. The sweeping legislation, which is expected to pass Thursday at the National People’s Congress, the annual meeting of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, will criminalize “foreign interference” […]

Flags with the logo of the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei in Bonn, Germany, April 6, 2020 (Photo by Horst Galuschka for dpa via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Edward Alden is filling in for Kimberly Ann Elliott this week. During the Cold War, the United States created and led two quite different international trading systems. The first, and by far the better known, was the open, multilateral trading system. Its aim was to expand free trade and market principles around the world, and it culminated after the Cold War in the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995. What began with just 23 nations in the aftermath of World War II, with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, today includes 164 countries […]

Peruvian Foreign Minister Gustavo-Meza Cuadra, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing, Nov. 29, 2019 (pool photo by Florence Lo via AP).

The coronavirus pandemic has yet to peak across Latin America and the Caribbean, but China is already maneuvering to try and capitalize on the crisis and bolster its position and influence in the region. The heated blame game between Washington and Beijing over the coronavirus’s origins will eventually fade from the headlines, and Chinese leaders are quietly working to ensure that when it does, the strategic ground will have shifted in their favor. At the heart of these efforts is a campaign for ideological supremacy, to show the moral equivalence and even the supposed superiority of the Chinese communist system […]

An Avangard intercontinental ballistic missile lifts off from a truck-mounted launcher somewhere in Russia (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP).

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration found itself defending proposed cuts in funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its 2021 budget request to Congress. The cuts, which were the latest in a consistent pattern of reductions in CDC funding over the past 10 years, threaten to further hamper the government’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. But they are part of a much broader trend of gradually deprioritizing critical institutions, one that threatens key government functions meant to provide stability in an unpredictable world. Like the CDC, the State Department […]

Security officers wearing face masks stand guard outside before the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, May 21, 2020 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

From the moment Chinese leaders belatedly recognized that a deadly new pathogen was spreading rapidly in the city of Wuhan and beyond, it became apparent that the coronavirus would play a defining role in shaping the image and power of China and its regime for years to come. Beijing has been working overtime ever since not just to contain the virus at home, but to shape the narrative of the pandemic there and abroad, seeking to portray China and its rulers as wise, efficient, powerful and generous. China’s ultimate goal is to emerge from this crisis as a more powerful […]

Dr. Joseph Ballinger gives Marjorie Hill, a nurse at Montefiore Hospital in New York, the first vaccine for the H2N2 virus to be administered in New York, Aug. 16, 1957 (AP photo).

Months into the coronavirus pandemic, it has become clear that countries that recently dealt with other outbreaks of infectious diseases have been more successful in containing COVID-19. From East Asia and the Pacific to West and Central Africa, authorities have made good use of epidemiological expertise they acquired from tackling outbreaks of SARS, MERS, Swine flu and Ebola to quickly roll out containment measures. Yet even governments lacking such experience should have been able to foresee the destructive potential of COVID-19. President Donald Trump may insist that “there’s never been anything like this in history,” but the history of the […]

Chinese sailors at a concert featuring Chinese and foreign military bands in Qingdao, China, April 22, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to monopolize the attention of leaders around the world, some observers have concluded that China is attempting to exploit the crisis for geopolitical gain. From its disputed western border with India to the contested waters of the South China Sea, an increasingly common narrative is that Beijing has stepped up its assertive behavior against its neighbors to settle old scores. Targets of China’s recent provocations include Taiwan and Hong Kong—which Beijing would like to see integrated with the mainland—as well as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Yet this narrative is exaggerated. The reality is that […]

A government propaganda poster showing Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the words “China Dream” in Wuhan, China, April 2, 2020 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. In a speech Monday to the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for international cooperation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular for greater support for the developing world. Xi’s remarks were a bold assertion of Chinese leadership at the WHO and in global efforts to contain the coronavirus, carefully designed to deflect international criticism of Beijing’s handling of the initial outbreak. At the annual meeting of […]

A motorcyclist drives past a poster calling on people to take care of their health amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 14, 2020 (AP photo by Hau Dinh).

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam—As countries around the world debate how quickly they should reopen their economies amid the coronavirus pandemic, Vietnam is largely ahead of the curve. A national social distancing campaign that shut down non-essential businesses ended on April 22, and life has returned to a striking normalcy. Restaurants, bars, cinemas, barbers and other shops have reopened, though karaoke parlors and nightclubs are still closed. Sporting events and festivals are now allowed to resume as well, with the country’s top soccer league scheduled to hit the pitch next month. Domestic tourism is slowly picking up, as authorities ease […]

President Donald Trump arrives to speak about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, May 11, 2020 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

What happens when a superpower is not so super anymore? If you accept the premise that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and its devastating economic impact, most Americans on both the left and the right will come to view U.S. global leadership as “a luxury rather than a necessity,” as Steven Metz put it last week, then what would the post-Pax Americana world order look like? Most observers think America will step back after COVID-19, and that sounds about right—although it is far from clear whether that would be a few years on the bench, until the U.S. […]

People wear face masks to protect against the coronavirus on a street in Taipei, Taiwan, March 30, 2020 (AP photo by Chiang Ying-ying).

When members of the World Health Organization convene via video conference next week for the 73rd annual World Health Assembly, they will largely focus on the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. But despite earning plaudits for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak, Taiwan will not be dialing in. China has long pressured other states to exclude Taiwan from the WHO, along with other United Nations bodies, because it considers Taiwan to be a rebellious province of China rather than a sovereign nation. Beijing did allow Taiwan to attend the World Health Assembly as an observer during a […]

Workers disinfect the streets to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Qamishli, Syria, March 24, 2020 (AP photo by Baderkhan Ahmad).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein, Freddy Deknatel and Prachi Vidwans talk about the problems around the world—from Syria’s civil war to human rights abuses in China—that are being overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic and risk deteriorating further. They still must be addressed somehow whenever this crisis is over. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS | Spotify Relevant Articles on WPR:Is All Hope Lost for a Global Cease-Fire Resolution at the U.N.?As COVID-19 Hits Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi and the Military Seek an Electoral EdgeThe ‘Swedish Model’ Is a Failure, Not a PanaceaThe […]

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres briefs reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York, Feb. 21, 2020 (DPA photo by Luiz Rampelotto via AP Images).

Is it too late for the United Nations Security Council to make even a modest contribution to international stability during the coronavirus pandemic? After negotiating for the better part of two months, the council’s member states have yet to agree on a resolution addressing the security consequences of COVID-19. Last Friday, the United States refused to endorse a text that the body’s 14 other members were ready to back. It is not clear that a compromise is possible. This is a pity, because the draft resolution the U.S. nixed—worked out by France and Tunisia, the former a permanent member of […]

People hold placards with portraits of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as they wait to welcome Xi outside the airport in Chennai, India, Oct. 11, 2019 (AP photo by R. Parthibhan).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. Reports that hundreds of Chinese and Indian soldiers recently clashed along the countries’ disputed border are a troubling development for Beijing and New Delhi, which have tried to project stability in their rocky relationship. Scores of troops were reportedly involved in a scuffle last weekend at the remote but strategic Naku La pass in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, an area that adjoins the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border that separates Chinese and Indian-controlled territories. […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 291 2 Last