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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.

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COP27: Not good enough

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here on a Quick Take to get you kicked off for your week.

I thought I would talk about the Climate Summit, which has just concluded in Sharm El Sheik, the COP27 was not one of the better moments for global climate response. If there was a big win, and I wouldn't call it a big win, but at least it's progress, it's on the establishment of a loss and damage fund and the idea is to use funds from industrialized countries that pay for climate related losses that are already being experienced in the billions and billions of dollars in poorer countries. The developing countries have been demanding the developed world indeed put such a fund together. The problem is of course, that in addition to the reluctance to get it done, just saying that you have such a fund does not have a mechanism for distributing money, a mechanism for raising money, and certainly there is no cash, there's no financing yet. Maybe over time you'll see the private sector make donations into this fund, maybe you'll see some government commitments but for now at least, it's an announcement of intentionality without any there there. That's the big news, right? That's the actual major headline that came out.

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Biden & Xi Meet in Bali | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Biden and Xi meet in Bali

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: The G-20 of course is in full swing in Bali, Indonesia, and the first face-to-face meeting that Biden has had with Xi Jinping as president. And we shouldn't underestimate this. It's quite unusual. I mean, really unheard of, unprecedented that the two most important leaders on the global stage would have not met in person for two years. And that is indeed the case for Xi Jinping and President Biden. And it's particularly important because these are two leaders that know each other quite well and for a long time. When Biden was vice president, he had a lot of face time in many different venues with then-Vice President Xi, and they got along quite well. They actually like each other, they respect each other. I wouldn't go so far as to say they have a strong relationship of trust, but they enjoy each other's company.

And that's something that you get from Biden when you talk to him. You get the sense that he actually finds that Xi is someone he can deal with. And Biden's perspective on the world is informed by this "great man theory" of international diplomacy, that if you spend enough time with another human being, usually you can improve the relationship. And certainly, I think a big part of this meeting, a three-hour meeting that these two leaders just had on the sidelines of the G-20 is going to make a difference in slowing the escalation and the deterioration of the relationship between these two countries.

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"Red Wave" Coming in US Midterms | Quick Take | GZERO Media

"Red wave" coming in US midterms

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here. A Quick take to get you started on your week, and of course, we are looking forward, if that's the right term, to tomorrow's midterm elections in the United States. Increasingly a time of political dysfunction and tension and polarization and conflict, and tomorrow will certainly be no different.

First of all, in terms of outcomes, almost always in the United States, the party that is not in power, that doesn't occupy the presidency, picks up seats in the midterms. Tomorrow should be no different. Biden's approval ratings are not incredibly poor, but certainly low. View of the economy, which is the top indicator that most people say they are voting on, is quite negative, and expectations are negative going forward, even though the US isn't quite in a recession.

That means that the Republicans will easily win the House. I don't think that there's any need to question predictions around that front. It's more whether it's 15 seats or whether it's 30 seats, how much of a wave it actually looks like. Some believe that it's easier to govern if there's a 30-seat swing, because that will mean that the Republicans will be less beholden to relatively extreme members of their caucus.

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Brazilian Politics: Surprisingly Stable | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Brazilian politics: surprisingly stable

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here. A Quick Take to kick off your week. There's so much that we could talk about, but we just had elections in Brazil, and as expected, Lula will be the next president of the largest economy in South America. We haven't yet heard anything from Jair Bolsonaro. That, of course, is an open question, just how much he wants to be an election denier, how much disruption he wants to bring about. But there's no question that we are going to see that transition.

Now, not a big surprise here. Lula's been polling ahead consistently over the course of the past months, though it was a tighter race, ultimately only a 1.9% split between the two candidates, a couple million votes, which had been tightening over the course of the last few weeks. In part, that's because Bolsonaro did a better job towards the end of electioneering. In part, the economy was getting a little bit better in Brazil. But also, keep in mind, generally speaking, polls underestimate the support you'll get for anti-establishment populace. And one big reason for that is because if you really don't believe in institutions, you are not likely to tell pollsters who you're going to vote for. You know why? Because you don't trust them. Now, the good news is a lot of people that really believe in conspiracy theories don't even bother to vote. But nonetheless, if they are going to vote, they're probably not going to talk to pollsters about it. So you do get a bit of that shy, radical populous turnout that did happen this time around, but not enough to make a difference.

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China's Chilling Future | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Xi Jinping shaping China's chilling future

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here. A Quick Take to kick off your week. All sorts of things going on, but I want to focus on China because that is the most world-changing of the issues that are on our plate right now. Xi Jinping, breaking through term limits, securing for himself, not surprisingly, a third term as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. He is today, without question, the most powerful human being on the planet. And that should concern us in the sense that the system is incredibly opaque.

There are increasingly not effective checks and balances on his authority. It is also not aligned with the future that so many in the world are hoping for when it comes to the way that political and economic systems should function - rule of law, transparency, human rights. And I'm not suggesting that the United States has always been a shining example of all of those things, but certainly, you don't have the level of concentration of power in the US or any democracy that you presently have in authoritarian regimes, and particularly right now in China.

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Liz Truss Resigns | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Liz Truss resignation ends most shambolic premiership in UK history

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Breaking news waits for nobody as I'm in a car on the way to a very early morning flight on the West Coast in the US. But no, Liz Truss has resigned.

We all knew it was coming, but of course, she gets to pick the actual moment of 44 days. Shortest-lived, most shambolic premiership in British history. And I mean, truly coming at a horrible time for the country. The economy is in free fall. Inflation, much worse than in the United States. An energy crunch coming this winter. You thought that the Boris Johnson premiership was bad, and it was certainly clownish. There were lots of scandals. But in terms of policy at least they were much more coherent, if not always correct than Truss' month and a bit.

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Russian State-Sponsored Terrorism | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Russian attacks on Ukraine are state-sponsored terrorism

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here. A Quick Take to kick off your week, and of course we are still talking about the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Almost eight months now of since the initial invasion of Russia into Ukraine. The war continues to get worse. There's more hits on Ukraine. 30% of the country's electricity has been disrupted. More hits on cities focused on civilian casualties over the last week. These are the attacks that we've seen across the country by mostly missile and drone attacks by the Russians. Not even trying to say that these are military targets anymore. It's really state-sponsored terror by the Russian government.

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