Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 9, No. 2, February 2021
Randall H. Cook Consultant
By all accounts, the U.S.-China strategic competition is alive and well. The news that China displaced the United States in 2020 as the world’s preferred destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was followed closely by publication of a new “Longer Telegram” proposing a U.S. whole of government strategy to contain PRC Premier Xi Jinping’s ambition to realign the geopolitical structure with China as the new fulcrum. The Biden Administration has sharply changed tack from its predecessor on a range of policies. But on China, there is remarkable continuity. The Trump Administration reset the U.S. strategic paradigm and there will be no going back. Complex interdependent engagement is out; realist bipolar competition is the name of the new (but really, a back to the future sort of) game.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 8, No. 9, September 2020
Source: Tim Bennett, (Unsplash).
Vikram Chopra CEO of Gift Jeenie
There’s a technology arms race developing between the West and China. At the frontier are emerging technologies such as 5G, Big Data, AI, Blockchain and Crypto. China already has an advantageous position in many of these areas, including 5G and AI, and is looking to challenge Bitcoin and the US dollar with its digital Yuan.
Facebook’s recent moves with Whatsapp and Libra are interesting strategies in this larger game of global tech domination where the likes of WeChat and TikTok have been resoundingly successful market leaders. A big reason for the success of WeChat is its complete market domination within China’s 1.4 billion population. Furthermore, Wechat has seamlessly integrated into the daily lives of its users. It’s more than just a chat application: it’s a platform for shopping, ordering groceries, booking travel, dry-cleaning, reserving a table at a preferred restaurant and sending money among other services. Add the 40 million global Chinese diaspora who use WeChat to communicate with loved ones back home, and you can see why WeChat is one of the leading social media networks with over 1.2 billion users globally.Continue reading →
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 8, No. 6, June 2020
Military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Chinese people’s victory in the Japanese Resistance War and the end of World War II, 2015. The number of tanks in China’s armored forces ranks third in the world. The main battle tanks have the ability to fight under nuclear and night conditions. Source: Press Service of the President of Russia.
William R. Hawkins Former U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee member
In February 1999, President Bill Clinton opened a major foreign policy speech by claiming, “Perhaps for the first time in history, the world’s leading nations are not engaged in a struggle with each other for security or territory. The world clearly is coming together.” This was the height of the post-Cold War delusion that history had come to an end and that a new world order had dawned based on a global partnership for economic development. Yet, Clinton knew that this was still a work in progress. In the same San Francisco speech he talked about conflicts in the Middle East, Southwest Asia and the Balkans, the threat of nuclear proliferation, and the need to bring Russia and China “into the international system as open, prosperous, stable nations.” The emphasis, however, was always on economics, a peaceful way to rise within classical liberal theory, transcending political issues and separating wealth from power in an interdependent world.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 8, No. 6, June 2020
Attorney General William Barr and other U.S. officials speak at a press conference on June 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Editor’s note: On June 4, Attorney General William Barr gave a press conference on the Black Lives Matter protests.
Attorney General William Barr was reasonable and respectful of the press at his conference. But I think it is unfortunately another example of what neuro-psychologist Rick Hanson calls “negativity bias”, an evolutionary phenomenon that “overlooks good news, highlights bad news and creates anxiety and pessimism.” In the past negativity bias worked to protect us. Now it can blind us to the present reality. Here is what I wish the Attorney General, President Trump and all our leaders would say instead. Continue reading →
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 8, No. 5, May 2020
A rear view of a businessman as he tries to sort out the mess of geopolitical events. Source: Pexels.
William R. Hawkins Former U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee
In the public mind, the outsourcing of jobs to China, which built the conveyer belt that carried Covid-19 from Wuhan to the world, was the fault of soulless transnational corporations. Greedy business tycoons were willing to deal with anyone in the pursuit of profit, regardless of larger consequences (of which the current pandemic is not the most dire). What cannot be overlooked, however, is that these private actors were given moral cover by intellectuals who assured them that they were fulfilling a higher purpose by spreading liberal values and promoting peace in a new era of globalization. Continue reading →