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Russia & China vs “the West”

Russia and China have always had a complicated relationship. They almost went to war over a border dispute in 1969, and have historically regarded each other as neither friends nor enemies, but rather competitors for influence in Asia and elsewhere.

But that all started to change in 2014, the year Moscow and Beijing saw a US hand in the revolutions that prompted Russia to seize Crimea from Ukraine, and China to crack down on umbrella-wearing protesters in Hong Kong. China is increasingly thirsty for Russian oil and natural gas, and both have a common interest in standing up to “the West.”

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are now showing off their authoritarian bromance in the face of growing animosity from the US and its allies over flashpoints such as Ukraine and Taiwan.

We know how much of the West views Russia and China. But how do Russia and China view the West? Here's a hypothetical recent catch-up video call between BFFs Putin and Xi.

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No progress after US/NATO-Russia talks, Boris Johnson in trouble

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Kiev, Ukraine

First question, how is the crisis in this part of Europe developing?

Not good. There's been a week of intense diplomacy with talks in Geneva, and Brussels, and Vienna that produced virtually nothing. The Russian, sort of key demands are outrageously unrealistic. They know that is the case. The US is trying to engage them on somewhat different issues. We'll see if there's any prospect there, but it doesn't look too good. I think the likelihood is that we gradually will move into the phase of what the Russians call military technical measures, whatever that is.

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American strife: Will US democracy survive? Fiona Hill explains post-Jan 6 stakes

One year after the attack on the US Capitol, American democracy is still hurting.

For Ian Bremmer, a democracy dies when regular people like the rioters choose violence over votes, and we can no longer agree on objective reality. But Republicans have done such a great job at whitewashing that Democrats are now the ones with their back against the wall ahead of the November midterms.

On GZERO World, Ian spoke with Fiona Hill, a former US national security official with a dim view of what lies ahead for American democracy.

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Can talks between Russia and the West prevent war in Ukraine?

Amid mounting fears of a war between Russia and Ukraine, US and Russian representatives will meet in Geneva on Monday to discuss security issues, including NATO expansion and the recent Russian troop buildup on the border with Ukraine. Russia and NATO representatives will also meet in Brussels on Wednesday about the same tensions, with further talks in Vienna on Thursday hosted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We asked Jason Bush, senior analyst at Eurasia Group, what has prompted the flurry of meetings, and what can be expected from them.

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Kazakhstan unrest could affect Putin's view on Ukraine

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

What's happening in Kazakhstan?

Well, evidently rebellion, revolt, protest, massive threat of survival of the regime. And that's why Russia now are sending in troops. How will this affect Europe? See how it affects his attention towards Ukraine. He has to be worried when he's sitting in the Kremlin about the stability of the entire post-Soviet space. I think we're heading for dramatic weeks.

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Top Risks 2022

Every year, Eurasia Group, our parent company, produces its list of the top 10 geopolitical risks for the coming year. The report is authored by Eurasia Group's president, Ian Bremmer, and its chairman, Cliff Kupchan.

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What We're Watching: Musk irks China, Abbas meets Gantz in Israel, Putin requests Biden call

A scent of Musk in US-China space spat. Pull up! pull up! Beijing earlier this week accused the US of creating danger in space after Chinese astronauts commanding their country’s sparkling new space station nearly crashed into a satellite launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Beijing says the US government has to ensure that Musk’s satellites honor a 1967 treaty on safety in space. Given that SpaceX plans to launch thousands more satellites as part of its Starlink global internet access project, an already cluttered orbit is going to get even more dangerous. Governments will have to sort out who is responsible for policing private spacecraft. In the nearer term, we wonder whether this week’s near-miss space spat will have implications for Musk back on earth: China is currently the only country outside the US where his Tesla electric car company runs a factory (Germany is next, beginning early next year.) Chinese social media has reportedly lit up with criticism of Musk, with anecdotal accounts of calls for a Tesla boycott. That could hurt. Last year, Tesla sold $3 billion worth of cars in China, more than a fifth of its overall sales.

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Is Putin still Soviet? Wrong question

Thirty years ago this week, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, forced to choose between dissolving the USSR or trying to hold it together by force, decided to lower the flag and end 75 years of Communist rule. Boris Yeltsin became president of something called the Russian Federation, and the Cold War officially passed into history. Many on both sides of the old divide hoped for a clean break from a confrontational past and looked forward to a new, cooperative future.

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