Since March 2017, the autonomous region of Xinjiang has gained, once again, media coverage because of the continuous clashes between the local Uyghur population and the Chinese government forces.
The escalating trade war between the United States and China will be one of the hot issues during the Buenos Aires G20 meeting. This trade conflict, probably the most important since the second world war, started last January with the US introducing safeguard tariffs on imports from the world of solar panels and tariff rate-quotas on imports from the world of washing machines. These tariffs have been introduced in response to requests by US manufacturers.
Afghanistan remains an awkward fit within China’s Belt and Road Initiative concept. Look at most maps of Xi Jinping’s keynote foreign policy concept cutting a route across Eurasia, and they tend to go tidily around Afghanistan.
The twentieth summit between the European Union and China, which ended on 16 July 2018 in Beijing, reinforces the collaboration between the two actors both at the economic-commercial and the geopolitical levels.
With US President Donald Trump apparently hell bent on upending global rules, can Europe and Asia join forces to shore up a rapidly weakening multilateral order? New initiatives unveiled by the European Commission for revamping the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and setting governance standards for transport, energy and digital connectivity offer opportunities for more joint Europe-Asian action.
The state of relations between Europe and China on the issue of bilateral direct investments has recently become more and more delicate. Precisely since the end of 2017, which marked a milestone in Europe-China economic relations. For the first time ever, Chinese direct investment flows exceeded their German counterparts, traditionally the largest European investors in the Middle Kingdom.
Since the beginning of trade tensions with the US, Beijing intensified its outreach to Europe in search for allies. In a ‘charm offensive’, China showed goodwill by suggesting it would make economic and political concessions. Particularly, it addressed issues of reciprocity, i.e. EU requests to have equal access to the Chinese market as Chinese investors and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) do in Europe, and Europe’s concerns over Chinese initiatives undermining EU unity and rules.
“Friends are revealed in misfortune”. This is what the Chinese President Xi Jinping declared at the opening of the Eastern Economic Forum taking place on 11–13 September 2018 in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok. And friends are indeed necessary to counter a powerful enemy.
No great power relationship has been as volatile as that between the United States and China. The US and China are each too globalized and dynamic to contain, too successful and entangled with each other to divorce without causing another global financial and geopolitical earthquake. The United States is here to stay as a great power. China is back as one. The Middle Kingdom seems likely to become ever wealthier, technologically advanced, internationally prominent, and militarily powerful.