Asia

  • Cohen in Forbes: Russia Sets Sights On Energy Resources Under Arctic Circle 


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  • US-Japan Trade Negotiations: A Narrow Scope is Key to Success

    US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Economic Revitalization Minister Toshimitsu Motegi kicked off long-awaited trade negotiations between the United States and Japan in Washington this week. While both sides have agreed to accelerate the talks, their scope is unclear.


    Japan wants to focus on tariffs on industrial and agricultural goods, referring to the possible outcome as a Trade Agreement on Goods (TAG), but the United States insists on a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation—encompassing goods, services, investment, and anti-currency manipulation.

    Beyond these differences in scope, there are important divergences on substantive matters, not the least of which is Japan’s preference for a free trade framework as opposed to the United States’ managed-trade approach. As a consequence, the talks could make speedy progress if narrowly focused, but could drag on if Washington insists on a comprehensive agenda.


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  • The World China Wants

    European Union leaders sat down this week in Brussels for a summit with a China it recently branded a “systemic rival,” and the United States is nearing the end game of trade talks with a China that national security documents refer to as a “strategic adversary.”
     
    So, it’s surprising that transatlantic leaders are neither working at common cause nor asking the most crucial geopolitical questions of our age.

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  • India Votes: Your Handy Guide to Elections in the World’s Largest Democracy

    India, the world’s largest democracy, kicked off a five-week-long parliamentary election on April 11. Unlike the United States, where the Democratic and Republican parties dominate, India is a multiparty system, giving voters a choice of candidates.


    At the national level, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the secular Indian National Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, whose father, grandmother, and great grandfather all served as prime ministers of India, are in a fight to lead the country. Modi has served as prime minister for the past five years.

    This handy guide will help you make sense of the contest.


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  • EU, China Agree to Deepen Trade Ties

    Both sides decide ‘there should not be forced transfer of technology’

    The European Union and China on April 9 agreed to strengthen their trade relationship, cooperate on WTO reform, widen market access, and not force businesses to hand over their intellectual property— the last a longstanding complaint of foreign investors in China.

    The announcement followed a meeting between European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Brussels.

    “We managed to agree a joint statement which sets the direction for our partnership based on reciprocity,” Tusk said.


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  • It’s Time to Invite Georgia to Join NATO

    On a visit to Tbilisi in March, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated a decade-old promise: Georgia will eventually join the Western military alliance. However, despite Stoltenberg’s comments, there is little discernible evidence to suggest membership for Georgia is in the cards.

    At NATO’s Bucharest Summit in 2008, the Alliance welcomed the transatlantic aspirations of Georgia and Ukraine and agreed that both countries will eventually become members of NATO. Since then, Georgia has taken meaningful political, economic, and military steps westward.


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  • Russia’s Venezuela Challenge

    The first major showdown of our new era of great power competition, unfolding with accelerating speed over the past ten weeks in Venezuela, has entered a dangerous new phase. That is true, most of all, for the Venezuelan people, but also for Latin American democracies and for vital US interests in the Western Hemisphere.

    How this drama turns out may mark the most significant test yet of the Trump administration's credibility, following a highest-level chorus this week of President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, who all declared – in one way or another – that Russia had to get out of the country.


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  • What Ukraine Needs from the West Isn’t Just Cash

    In 2019, Ukraine celebrates the centennial anniversary of the unification of its national lands. On January 22, 1919, theAct of Union marked a historic milestone: for the first time in centuries, the Ukrainian people had revived their nation and unified most of its territories. Then Russian aggression destroyed our freedom, like it did again in 2014. The aggression of the Bolsheviks was tragically supplemented by the West's shortsighted policy of pressure, misunderstanding, and non-recognition of Ukraine. The division and occupation of Ukraine subsequently created the conditions for the emergence of the Soviet empire and eventually led to colossal historical upheavals and causalities both on our land as well as throughout Europe.

    The anniversary of Ukraine’s unity is a symbol that captures the continuity of our struggle for independence and unity. For Ukrainians it is also a reminder of the high price of political mistakes and mass ignorance. For Europe and the world, it is an important reminder that it must not sacrifice the weak and or permit the local agendas of its neighbors to abandon its strategic values.

    Next week, we welcome government officials, experts, and diplomats to Kyiv for the annual Kyiv Security Forum. This year’s forum takes place between the first and second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, which is linked with the election of a new parliament in October and the subsequent formation of a new parliamentary coalition. The danger of a prolonged political confrontation and the high probability that the results of election cycle will yield a president limited in actions, a fragmented parliament, and an incapacitated government is no less a threat than Russian aggression in Ukraine’s east.


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  • Something Fishy Is Going on Between Iran and China (and Pakistan)

    Two of Beijing’s close allies, Iran and Pakistan, have been increasingly impacted by China’s growing appetite for fish, both for domestic consumption and to supply its processed fish industry. Stricter regulations in Pakistan and an internal political fight in Iran could make it harder for China to expand its fishing industry into their waters.

    Friction between Iranian political factions, chiefly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and President Hassan Rouhani’s government, is on the rise over the growing presence of Chinese fishing vessels in Iranian waters. Growing dissatisfaction by local fishermen over Chinese industrial-style fishing is contributing to the dispute. In Pakistan, meanwhile, new policies and regulations may impact seafood exports to China. 

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  • US Sen. Chris Murphy Warns Allies to Be Vigilant About the ‘Quiet Things’ Russia is Doing

    Says Russia funding ‘fight clubs and biker clubs’ in the Baltic States to exploit domestic instability

    US Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on April 3 warned NATO allies to be “constantly vigilant about the very quiet things that the Russians are doing that could ultimately lead to a traditional military confrontation.”

    Pointing to Russian support for “fight clubs and biker clubs” inside the Baltic States, Murphy said they are “just there waiting for some kind of domestic instability to allow for an opportunity to do in a NATO country what the Russians have successfully done inside Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in Ukraine.”


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