Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60 from an undisclosed room at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
What was China Vice Premier Liu He's message at Davos?
The message was that China is open for business, supports entrepreneurship, wants to engage in the global economy. Open, open, open. If you were just listening to the translation, you'd think it was a Western leader. Didn't mention COVID once. Sounds great. Kind of extraordinary given the reality of what China's been through over the last couple of years, but certainly tailored message to the audience that he was seeing.
Is Ukraine dominating Davos again?
Well, you don't see the same level of money being spent on Ukraine here at Davos. There isn't a Russian war crimes House like there was last year. But let's be clear, there are no Russians in attendance, not one. They're not allowed. They're not invited. Beyond that, Ukraine, and particularly the impact of the Russian war on the global economy, on the Europeans, on global security, given that we are in the middle of Europe, that is a very big deal here at Davos. I would say it is by far the single most important issue being discussed, especially if you include the direct knock-on issues as they affect the economies here in Europe.
Is Ursula von der Leyen the new face of Europe?
I would argue yes. Of course, Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, believes that he should be the new face of Europe, and what a face it is. But after Merkel stepped down, and for years and years was considered really the leader of Europe, I think that the fact that the EU, the European Union has become so much stronger in its governance when I talk about fiscal policy or defense policy or health policy or energy policy, and the fact that it does have a leader and that leader is von der Leyen. She may not be as well known as Macron internationally, but for anyone that is actually doing business with Europe, either in public policy, direct government to government relations, or in their economy and investment, I would say von der Leyen has actually become the more important figure. Sorry about that, Emmanuel, but you can work on it.