Sign up for GZERO Media's global politics newsletter

{{ subpage.title }}

Luisa Vieira

GOP-led US House will get tougher on China — but not as much as you'd think

Republicans succeeded in unseating Democratic leadership of the House in this US midterm election and will take control of the lower chamber early next year. Still, one foreign policy issue that seems to enjoy unusual bipartisan consensus in Washington is China. While there’s some truth to that assessment, there are differences in the China-related issues that each party tends to emphasize. There’s also quite a lot of partisan politics undergirding deliberation and debate over China.

Both parties are vying to position themselves as the better choice to lead the United States in rising to the China challenge. The Republican primary for the 2024 presidential race will get underway soon, and GOP hopefuls will be competing with each other, seeking to convey to voters their credentials as critics of the Chinese Communist Party. More than 80% of Americans now hold unfavorable views of China, but Republican voters express comparatively greater concern, and that is reflected in GOP candidates’ relatively outspoken support for hawkish China policy.

For both of these reasons, even though the Biden administration continues to take a tough line on China, Eurasia Group analyst Anna Ashton fully expects a Republican-controlled US Congress to charge that the White House is not being tough enough. We asked her how this might affect American policy toward Beijing.

Read Now Show less
TITLE PLACEHOLDER | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Ukraine taking the battle to Russia

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

What should we expect from Xi Jinping's visit to Saudi Arabia?

A lot more investment. The Chinese expect themselves to be one of the last men standing in terms of global energy demand for fossil fuels. The Saudis, of course, the cheapest major producers out there, think in the transition they'll be the last man standing in terms of supply, and that really aligns these countries much more than with the United States over the medium- to long-term. I'm also really interested in any conversations about security because behind the scenes, the Chinese have been talking to a lot of countries about where they might put their first military base in the Middle East. The whisper is Oman. Something to watch out for going forward.

Read Now Show less

A researcher wearing cleanroom suit displaying a wafer in the lab of Shanghai Microsemi Semiconductor Co., Ltd. in Shanghai, China.

Reuters

Who’s winning the war over chips?

When it comes to semiconductor production, there’s just one superpower: Taiwan. The self-governing island produces more than two-thirds of the world’s chips, and almost all of the advanced ones.

But with Taiwan’s geopolitical fate uncertain, both Washington and Beijing are racing to build their own dominance and self-sufficiency in the chip industry.

We sat down with Eurasia Group geo-technology expert Xiaomeng Lu to learn more about where this battle is heading. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Read Now Show less
Iran World Cup Players: Threatened at Home, Consoled by US Team | World In :60 | GZERO Media

US-Iran World Cup sportsmanship amid political tensions

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

How did Iran's attention in the World Cup impact protests at home?

Well, I mean, it certainly didn't slow them down any. When you see the Iranian national team first refusing to sing the national anthem and then singing it as woodenly and non-passionately as humanly possible because they've been threatened, and threatened about their families at home if they aren't singing it, that's a hell of a message to send to the Iranian people. And the fact that this country does not reflect its regime, a team does not reflect its regime, it's just extraordinary. And also, I just have to say that all of the pictures and the videos we've seen of the Iranian team and the American team actually coming together, the Americans consoling the Iranians, who have been under such massive stress and crying, and I mean, you can't even imagine performing at that level on the global stage, given the level of additional political pressure and danger that they're actually under. My heart goes out to those guys, and of course to the Americans for doing such a great job representing our country.

Read Now Show less

A protester wears a mask in the shape of corn during an anti-GMO rally in Mexico City.

REUTERS/Bernardo Montoya

What We're Watching: US-Mexico corn fight, Chinese crackdown

US and Mexico spar over corn

Mexico and the United States are on a collision course over an issue of serious economic concern to farmers on both sides of the border: Mexico’s imports of US corn. Mexico is the world’s second-largest importer of corn (after China), and much of it comes from the country’s giant neighbor to the north. Before he became president in 2018, candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador promised to halt the import of genetically modified corn by January 2024 over fears that GMO seeds would threaten Mexico’s own corn varieties. A total ban on GMO corn would cut US corn exports to Mexico by half, with major fallout for the US agriculture sector. The Trump and Biden administrations have both tried to bargain with López Obrador over this question, in part by reminding him that US corn is a major source of Mexico’s animal feed and that the quantities sold by the US would be impossible to replace. But so far, Mexico’s president hasn’t budged. With the deadline for action looming, Washington threatened legal action on Monday under the terms of the USMCA trade deal, which was signed by the US, Mexico, and Canada in 2020.

Read Now Show less

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks by video link during NATO's annual parliamentary assembly in Madrid, Spain.

Europa Press/ABACA via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: NATO doubles down on Ukraine, Erdoğan mulls Syria ground operation, Chinese COVID protests mellow, news outlets make Assange petition

Lasting support for Ukraine?

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin hoped for a quick victory that would disarm Ukraine and replace its government. Ukrainian fighters, backed and armed by NATO governments, have shredded Putin’s Plan A. His Plan B is to inflict punishment on Ukrainian civilians with attacks on the infrastructure that provides light and heat during the cold, dark winter ahead to try to divide opinion in Europe and the United States over their long-term support for Ukraine’s government. That’s the backdrop for two noteworthy pieces of news this week. On Tuesday, NATO foreign ministers, gathered in Bucharest, will renew their vow, first made in 2008, that Ukraine will one day join their alliance. In the meantime, individual member states will offer more weapons, perhaps including US small precision bombs fitted to rockets that help Ukraine strike enemy targets deep behind Russian lines. The alliance itself will offer electricity generators, fuel, and medical supplies. The message to Moscow: You won’t win a war of attrition. Ukraine’s allies will boost that country’s defenses for as long as it takes to deny Russia a victory.

Read Now Show less
Covid Protests Spread in China | Quick Take | GZERO Media

COVID protests spread in China

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: My goodness, speaking of kicking off your week, all across China, demonstrations of the sort that we have certainly not seen under Xi Jinping rule about COVID, about zero COVID, and the loss of liberties that Chinese citizens have faced, but also increasingly moving towards demands for free speech and open media, and even Xi Jinping's removal, certainly unprecedented in this country in the last decade. Xi now, of course, on his third term, having removed term limits, consolidated extraordinary power, but some people really aren't happy about it.

What's going on here? Well, first of all, the proximate cause, the spark that set this all off was an apartment building fire in Xinjiang, where the firefighters were not able to adequately respond because of COVID quarantine measures. So, they couldn't get hoses to actually fight the fire because they weren't allowed in, they didn't have the keys, it was locked down. And as a consequence, a lot of Chinese citizens died. That led to demonstrations all over the country, ostensibly in solidarity with this incredibly poor mistake on the part of local Chinese leaders in Xinjiang, but also really increasingly frustrated with the fact that zero COVID in China has been an incredible disruption to daily life for hundreds of millions of Chinese.

Read Now Show less

People gather for a vigil and hold white sheets of paper to protest COVID restrictions in Beijing, China.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

What We're Watching: China losing on zero-COVID, "winning" in Taiwan

Chinese people vs. zero-COVID

Unprecedented protests against Xi Jinping and his controversial zero-COVID policy have hit the streets and college campuses across China. On Saturday, demonstrators in the financial hub of Shanghai, the country’s largest city, waved blank sheets of paper to show defiance and demanded the unthinkable: that the all-powerful Xi step down. Similar scenes were seen from Beijing to Nanjing.

Such widespread protests are extremely rare in tightly controlled China, especially against Xi. But zero-COVID, despite recent tweaks, has not only affected everyday life and the economy — it may also have been the cause of a recent fire that killed 10 people in Urumqi, the capital of the northwestern Xinjiang region. While the tragedy may have sparked the latest round of protests, for months snap lockdowns have been triggering clashes between residents and officials in other cities. China’s low vaccination rate, ineffective homegrown vaccines, and the high elderly population support Beijing’s insistence on zero-COVID. However, the policy isn’t working anymore, with case numbers now hitting record highs. Xi just got a third term as Communist Party boss, putting him on the path to likely rule as long as he wants. Will the recent protests — which so far have been met with strong police action — force him to rethink the policy, or double down on it?

On Monday, some big cities responded to the unrest by (slightly) relaxing COVID curbs. However, Beijing and Shanghai stepped up security in protest areas and national state media clarified that zero-COVID is here to stay.

Read Now Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

Latest