Europe’s China policy challenge
As it tries to manage the effects of the trade war with the United States, China is seeking more allies and partners in the West. Europe could benefit greatly – if it could speak with one voice. China is exploiting divisions in the EU, intensifying its relations with cash-strapped member states. But Europe as a whole stands to benefit from constructive engagement with Beijing, especially if it can steer the latter toward continued reform.
Japan’s new outreach in Asia
China’s rise as an economic and military colossus has transformed the geopolitics of East Asia. Its most powerful neighbor, Japan, has embarked on a more self-reliant course, even as it continues to lean heavily on its alliance with the United States. Tokyo is expanding its contacts, both economic and strategic, with Southeast Asia, India and Australia.
Reforming the African Union
Bucking the world trend, Africa in 2018 was marked by important advances toward free movement, free trade and closer cooperation between states. The main advances were on the economic front, with the agreement to create a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). While trade liberalization has the potential to be transformative for Africa, disparate stages of development, protectionist impulses and political tensions may prevent meaningful advances.
Brexit: An unnecessary problem
British Prime Minister Theresa May finds herself in a tough spot on Brexit: Brussels is unwilling to make more concessions, but the British Parliament looks unlikely to accept the current agreement. It didn’t have to come to this, but a lack of pragmatism on both sides has brought us here. A hard Brexit will cause a lot of disruption, but it could also offer an opportunity for a new start in politics on both sides of the English Channel.
Two scenarios for the future of U.S.-China relations
There are no longer any illusions that the U.S. sees any potential in partnership with China. The two countries have entered into a strategic competition that in the worst case, could quickly become a cold war-style confrontation. Negotiation on the biggest economic sticking points could ease tensions, but only for the short to medium term. The emerging rivalry of the two powers is with us to stay.
GIS Dossier: Europe as a global player: The Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa
The most important part of Europe’s security perimeter in the 21st century may be its southern rim. The migration crisis of 2015 was only a foretaste of the demographic, economic and political pressures that are building up in the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the approaches tried by European powers in this vital and growing region have generally failed. They need to get it right as new rival enters the neighborhood – China.
The U.S. and China: The trade war and the broader confrontation
As the “trade war” between the U.S. and China looks set to last, it is time to ask if the confrontation is more about “war” than “trade.” In fact, China is simply carrying on the ideological battle initiated by the Soviet Union in the 20th century. This time, however, with its hybrid totalitarian-capitalist system, Beijing is a more formidable foe. For now, the pragmatic Chinese may back down for strategic reasons, but in the long term, the showdown is likely to intensify.