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China agitating Taiwan to demonstrate power, not start WWIII

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at Chinese warplanes, the Pandora Papers, and Facebook's major outage.

What is China signaling by sending warplanes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone?

Well, it's not their airspace. They've done this before. They do it a lot. In fact, on some days, a year ago, in the past, they've had over 20 incursions on a day. Over the last few days, it has been record levels, so clearly, they're agitated. They want to show that they're strong and assertive. Having said that, we are not on the brink of World War III. There is a greater chance of accidents happening, and that would be a really bad thing, but on balance, this doesn't cross any red lines between the two countries. I think the headlines are a little breathless on it.

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Does alcohol help bring the world together?

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer takes a look at the yin and the yang of alcohol's role in high-level diplomacy and society at large. Alcohol can bring people together just as easily as it can tear them apart. From a 1995 Clinton/Yeltsin Summit where a drunk Yeltsin almost derailed Bosnian peace talks, to Obama's Beer Summit and the recent G7 Summit, booze plays a part in how world leaders interact. Globally, alcohol consumption has been steadily increasing, by over 70 percent between 1990 and 2017, according to one report. . Low and middle-income nations like Vietnam, India, and China are a driving force behind that trend, with drinking in Southeast Asia rising by over 34 percent between 2010 and 2017. And yet, amidst this global booze boom, the world has only grown more and more divided.

Watch the episode: The (political) power of alcohol

Podcast: Alcohol, diplomacy & society, from Edward Slingerland's perspective

Listen: A deep dive down the bottle to examine the role alcohol has played in society, politics, and global summitry—from the earliest hunter-gatherer days to that memorable Obama Beer Summit in 2009. Joining Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast is philosopher Edward Slingerland, whose new book Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way Into Civilization makes a compelling, if nuanced, case for alcohol's place in the world.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

How booze helps get diplomacy done

Why do (most) world leaders drink together? It can get them to agree on stuff they wouldn't while sober. Booze "helps people get cooperation off the ground, especially in situations where cooperation is challenging," says University of British Colombia professor Edward Slingerland. Alcohol, he explains, allows you to "see commonalities rather than just pursuing your own interest," which may put teetotaler politicians — like Donald Trump — at a disadvantage. Watch his interview on the next episode of GZERO World. Check local listings to watch on US public television.

DOTUS: Dogs of the United States

Meet Major and Champ. Biden's victory also means the White House is once again…a doghouse. We'll introduce you to some of the pets of leaders around the world.

Watch the GZERO World episode: What you still may not know about Joe

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