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2021: Groundhog Day in a G-Zero world

Did 2021 actually happen, or are we still stuck in 2020? So many things seem to have barely changed this year. After all, we’re entering yet another holiday season worried about a fresh wave of the pandemic, and uncertain about what comes next for our economies and our politics.

In a lot of ways, the past 365 days feel like a year of unfulfilled promise. Let’s have a look back at what did, and did not happen in 2021.

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S2 Episode 8: COVID Continued: What the world will look like in 2022

Listen: While 2021 brought incredible breakthroughs in science and billions of COVID-19 vaccine doses were delivered globally, the pandemic seems far from over as the new year approaches. Add in an urgent need for climate action, uneven economic recovery and supply chain disruption, plus growing tensions between the world’s two biggest economies—the US and China—and you basically want to pull the covers over your head. But still, there are reasons to be hopeful about 2022.

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The next great game: Politicians vs tech companies

Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, our parent company, has opened this year’s GZERO Summit with a provocative speech on the near future of international politics. Here are the highlights.

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What We’re Watching: US-China Olympics drama, Venezuela’s struggling opposition, Syria goes narco

US government reps will boycott Beijing Olympics. The US announced Monday that American government officials will not attend the Beijing Winter Olympics. China responded to reports of the diplomatic boycott by saying that the move is a “naked political provocation” and an affront to China’s 1.4 billion people. For months, the Biden administration has toyed with whether to skip the Beijing Games because of China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. Washington, however, has not banned US athletes from competing, which would be a major escalation at a time when US-China relations are at their lowest point in years. Still, from Beijing’s perspective, the move is humiliating and a blow to its prestige on the world stage, particularly if other countries follow suit and pull their representatives, too. Beijing vowed Monday to hit Washington with “countermeasures” if it goes ahead with the diplomatic boycott, though it’s unclear what the CCP might whip up as payback.

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S2 Episode 6: Common prosperity, coal, and competitiveness: The US and China (part II)

Listen: The relationship between the US and China is rapidly evolving. Economic and political decisions made today will impact power dynamics in both the near and long term. We'll examine the Chinese government's plans to shape industries, continue its domestic growth, and deliver on commitments made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, we'll explain what those decisions may mean for Chinese and US investors in the near future.

The latest episode of Living Beyond Borders, a special podcast series from GZERO and Citi Private Bank, is the second in a two-part series on the relationship between the US and China. Moderated by Caitlin Dean, Head of the Geostrategy Practice at Eurasia Group, this episode features David Bailin, Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of Investments for Citi Global Wealth, Steven Lo, Co-Head of Citi Global Wealth for Asia Pacific, and Ian Bremmer, President at Eurasia Group and GZERO Media.

Listen to part 1 of this conversation.

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Biden-Xi virtual summit shows breakthroughs in US-China relationship

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at his return to international travel, Joe Biden & Xi Jinping's virtual summit, and the Belarus-Poland border crisis.

How was your return to international travel?

Well, actually it was pretty straightforward. I mean, you think that you hear all these lockdowns and all these quarantines, but the fact is Singapore is incredibly efficient. The one thing that's kind of unusual is you have this app you have to put on your phone. You turn it on, you have to keep your phone on and they track you absolutely everywhere, which is pretty weird and kind of dystopian, but it works for closing down COVID. Aside from that though, no problems getting in here. No problem walking around.

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South Korea's delicate US-China balancing act

South Korea is a close US ally, but also shares a border and does a lot of trade with China, so it's always walking a tightrope between Washington and Beijing. The South Koreans, says veteran Korea correspondent Jean Lee, are worried about growing US-China competition — but there's not much they can do about it. "We can't choose. We live next to China, we have lived next to China for millennia, but we are a staunch US ally," she explains. "I think there's no question that their loyalty lies with the United States, but it's very clear as well that so much of their financial future lies with China as well. Watch a clip of Lee's interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: The Korean Peninsula from K-Pop to Kim Jong-un

Subscribe to GZERO on YouTube to be the first to see new episodes of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: http://bit.ly/2TxCVnY

What We’re Watching: Biden-Xi on Zoom, Cuban protest, Duterte family drama, Qaddafi junior for prez, Steele Dossier skewered

US-China virtual summit. Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will meet face-to-face (virtually) on Monday for the first time since Biden became US president last January. The two have a lot to discuss: trade wars, the 2022 Beijing Olympics — which Biden won't attend, but probably won't boycott — and how to deliver on the joint US-China pledge on climate made at COP26. But the elephant in the Zoom room is Taiwan, an ultra-sensitive issue for China. Xi is seething at the Biden administration's recent public support for the self-governing island, which the Chinese regard as part of their own territory. The Americans insist they are simply doing what they've always done since 1979 — pledging to help Taiwan defend itself. Can Biden and Xi navigate these issues in a calm, cool way? It may help that the two leaders have known each other for more than a decade, when they were both VPs. With US-China relations getting chillier by the day, the stakes are high.

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