The meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Donal Trump of the US in the G20 Buenos Aries in November resulted in a reprieve of sorts – a three month pause on the imposition of further tariffs on goods exported from China to the US. This was despite fears already issued by some of Trump’s administration that over USD200 billion of goods would have taxes introduced and that in some cases these would rise to over 20 per cent by the new year.
When we trace China’s efforts in international standard-setting over the past decade, two interesting patterns emerge
Elections, when free and fair, are regular and legitimate occasions to vie for power in a democratic country. In order to compete and to be elected, political competitors, usually organized into parties or movements, must follow the democratic principles that rule electoral competitions.
In President Donald Trump’s first year in office, U.S. policy relating to supporting democracy abroad became starkly divided. At the level of “high policy”—direct engagement and messaging by President Trump and his principal foreign policy advisers—the United States sharply downgraded its global pro-democratic posture. Trump’s praise of dictators, criticism of democratic allies, and anti-democratic actions at home recast the United States as at best an ambivalent actor on the global democratic stage. Yet at the same time, pro-democratic “low policy”—quiet but serious engagement by U.S.
Many European politicians see the ascending trajectory of quarrels between the USA and Russia as worrisome and unhelpful for upholding security and stability in Europe. At the same time, they keep asking for a firm US leadership in countering and containing Russia’s military pressure and unconventional aggressiveness.
On November 6th (and for several weeks before, in the many states that permit early voting), Americans will go to the polls to choose all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 35 of the 100 Senators, and a variety of state and local officials. Currently, Republicans hold a dominant position in U.S. politics, controlling the presidency, both houses of Congress, and a strong majority of governorships and state legislative chambers.
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.
“I have a message for the people of Iran: The United States hears you; the United States supports you; the United States is with you.” It is July 22, Sunday night in California. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech at the Ronald Reagan library in Simi Valley. The event title seems an eloquent call for action: “Supporting Iranian Voices”. Pompeo addresses the “Iranian people” 17 times in his speech.
In the contemporary history of US-Russia relations, practically every presidential meeting runs the risk of being pinned to a reference point in Cold War history. The coming summit between Presidents Putin and Trump - their third personal encounter but first as a separate meeting - is no exception. Some in Russia liken the importance of this summit to the face-to-face meetings between Nikita Khrushchev and Dwight Eisenhower during the first official visit by the Soviet leader to the US in September 1959.
In NATO's Southern flank, the general picture is quite bleak. There is a general failure of governance as the Eastern Mediterranean and its adjoining regions remain an extremely turbulent and unstable neighborhood, where the security environment continues to be "Hobbesian".