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Hard Numbers

$228 billion: China imported about $228 billion worth of integrated circuits in 2016 – more than it spent on imported oil. The country is investing heavily to try to wean itself off its reliance on the US for semiconductors and other key tech components amid escalating tech-trade tensions.


80 million: Nearly 80 million households in India have installed toilets since Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his “Clean India” program to bring universal sanitation by 2019. Before the program launched four years ago, nearly 600 million people in India regularly relieved themselves in the open, contributing to the spread of diseases and other public health problems.

20: Since the First World War, economic sanctions have only achieved their stated objective about a fifth of the time, according to the Peterson Institute. The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control currently lists 28 open sanctions programs against various countries and trans-national groups.

13: China accounted for about 13 percent of total funds invested in US startups that took venture capital investment from 2015-2017, ranking second only behind Europe as a source of foreign funds.

1.4: India spends about 1.4 percent of its yearly economic output on healthcare, less than half what China spends as a portion of GDP, and less than a quarter of US healthcare spending. Today, the Modi government is set to roll out the first phase of a new program designed to provide poor families with up to $7,100 each year to cover health care costs.

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On Wednesday, Joe Biden will become president because eighty-one million Americans, the highest tally in US history, voted to change course after four years of Donald Trump's leadership. Like all presidents, Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris, take office with grand ambitions and high expectations, but rarely has a new administration taken power amid so much domestic upheaval and global uncertainty. And while Biden has pledged repeatedly to restore American "unity" across party lines — at a time of immense suffering, real achievements will matter a lot more than winged words.

Biden has a lot on his agenda, but within his first 100 days as president there are three key issues that we'll be watching closely for clues to how effectively he's able to advance their plans.

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We're only a few weeks into 2021 and that 'fresh new start' that so many had been hoping for at the end of 2020 has not exactly materialized. But what gives World Bank President David Malpass hope for the coming year? "The promise of humanity and of technology, people working together with communication, where they can share ideas. It allows an incredible advance for living standards." His wide-ranging conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

It wasn't pretty, but we made it to Inauguration Day. These last four years have taught the US a lot about itself — so what have we learned?

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and it is the last full day of the Trump administration. Extraordinary four years, unprecedented in so many ways. I guess the most important feature for me is how much more divided the United States is, the world is, as coming out of the Trump administration than it was coming in. Not new. We were in a GZERO world, as I called it well before Trump was elected president. The social contract was seen as fundamentally problematic. Many Americans believed their system was rigged, didn't want to play the kind of international leadership role that the United States had heretofore, but all of those things accelerated under Trump.

So perhaps the most important question to be answered is, once Trump is gone, how much of that persists? It is certainly true that a President Biden is much more oriented towards trying to bring the United States back into existing multilateral architecture, whether that be the Paris Climate Accord, or more normalized immigration discussions with the Mexicans, the World Health Organization, the Iranian Nuclear Deal, some of which will be easy to do, like Paris, some of which will be very challenging, like Iran. But nonetheless, all sounds like business as usual.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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