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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Itay Ben On/GPO/dpa

What We’re Watching: Blinken’s Middle East chats, Erdogan’s bid to split Nordics, Peru’s early election, China offers baby incentives

Blinken meets with Middle East leaders

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken picked a volatile time to visit the region. After first stopping in Egypt to meet with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the US’ top diplomat touched down in Israel on Monday, where he took part in a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. But Blinken’s visit comes amid a violent flareup in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last week, Israel carried out an operation in Jenin in the West Bank, targeting members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in an operation that killed nine people, including civilians. Meanwhile, on Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire on Jews praying at a synagogue in East Jerusalem, killing seven. Then on Saturday, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy shot a father and son in Jerusalem’s Old City. What’s more, Israel is currently in the throes of a constitutional crisis as Netanyahu’s right-wing government seeks to dilute the power of the independent judiciary. But analysts say that the top agenda item is undoubtedly Iran. Over the weekend, Israel reportedly struck a compound in the Iranian city of Isfahan used to manufacture long-range missiles. (For more on the Isfahan attack and why Iran is feeling increasing pressure at home and abroad, watch Ian Bremmer’s Quick Take here.) It’s unclear whether the US was informed in advance about the strike, but Israeli leadership has in the past clashed with Washington over Jerusalem’s go-at-it-alone approach to dealing with Iran. As things become increasingly volatile in the Iran-Israel shadow war, Blinken presumably wants to make sure that the US is kept in the loop. On Tuesday, Blinken will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel's opposition leader Yair Lapid.

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Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: India set to overtake China

In the next few months, India is set to overtake China as the world’s most populous country. With 70% of its people under the age of 64, India is in a prime position to expand its workforce and economic output — and solidify its place as a global economic juggernaut. By contrast, China’s population shrank last year for the first time since the 1960s. The growing elderly demographic is causing massive concerns about Beijing’s growth prospects, forcing the Chinese Communist Party to scrap its one-child policy in recent years. We compare the two countries' population sizes since 1960 and forecasts for the next few decades.

Tributes are left at the site where an apartment block was heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike in Dnipro, Ukraine.

REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

What We're Watching: Russia lashes out, Khan ups election ante, China's population shrinks

Russia strikes civilians, braces for long war in Ukraine

At least 40 people died in Saturday's Russian missile strike on an apartment building in Dnipro, Ukraine's fourth-largest city, authorities said Monday. It was one of Russia's deadliest attacks against Ukrainian civilians since the invasion began, as Moscow doubles down on the strategy of targeting civilians to turn the tide of the war in its favor. Meanwhile, the Washington, DC-based Institute for the Study of War on Sunday claimed that the Kremlin is preparing for a drawn-out conflict and a fresh mobilization to push back against Ukraine's military gains in recent months. What does that mean for Kyiv? That the US and its NATO allies will need to stay the course on providing weapons to keep the Russians at bay. Clearly on message, the UK on Friday announced that it would for the first time send Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine. This might open up a can of worms within NATO: Poland wants to supply the Ukrainians with German-made Leopard tanks but has yet to get the green light from Berlin, while the US, Germany, and France have so far only agreed to give Ukraine light armored vehicles. If they all go a step further and send in the heavy equipment, Vladimir Putin will know that Ukraine's friends remain committed to its defense and are less worried about Russia escalating.

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The Graphic Truth: US and China not making enough babies

For decades, the Chinese Communist Party was worried about overpopulation. In 1978 it told Chinese families they could only have one kid to contain the ballooning population size. But after years of restricting the number of births, China's population is now shrinking — fast. This demographic trend is a massive problem for China, currently vying to overtake the US as the world's largest economy. Meanwhile, the US population has also started to decline over the past decade. We compare their population growth rates from 1961-2020.

Why a US-China War Is Unlikely in 2022 | GZERO World

Why a US-China war is unlikely in 2022

The US may not have its political house in order right now, but neither does China. And that reality, explains Ian Bremmer, is what will prevent any cold or hot war between the world's two most powerful nations in 2022.

China faces several problems. Its economic engine is running out of gas, its population is aging, and its debt is out of control.

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Gabriella Turrisi

The Graphic Truth: China's baby bust

Six years after China relaxed its one-child policy in place since 1978, Beijing announced this week that it will now allow parents to have three children. The ruling Communist Party, which half a century ago was worried about overpopulation, is now desperate for Chinese couples to have more babies to bolster the country's sluggish population growth rate, which has plummeted in recent years due to the rising cost of living. For Beijing, this is a very big deal, as a declining and aging population could make it very hard for the country to maintain the strong economic growth needed to rival other economic powerhouses, like India or the US. We take a look at China's population growth, fertility rate, and GDP per capita over the past 70 years.

TITLE PLACEHOLDER | Quick Take | GZERO Media

China's uncertain future & its new three-child policy

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Happy post long weekend. I want to do a quick take today on China, because you will have seen that the two-child policy has now gone the way of the one child policy. It is now a three-child policy. The one child policy, when they got rid of it, didn't really move people towards faster childbearing, as education rates improve, as well improves ... demographic explosion is reduced. And it's very hard to turn that around with a pro natality policy. Very few countries around the world have been able to accomplish that. And China is clearly not one of them.

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Gabriella Turrisi

China has a big population problem

The world's most populous country has a big new problem: not enough babies. New census data show that at some point later this decade, the number of people living in China will start to fall.

How will that affect China's bid to overtake the US as the world's largest economy? Are there political implications for President Xi Jinping? China's leaders have so far been slow to come to grips with the magnitude of the looming demographic threat. GZERO talked with China experts at Eurasia Group to discuss the challenges ahead.

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