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2022 Showed Xi Jinping Is Not Invincible; 2023 Will Be “Rocky Year” for Him | GZERO World

2022 showed Xi Jinping is not invincible; 2023 will be "rocky year" for him

What a year 2022 has been for Xi Jinping.

On the one hand, China's leader made clear he's the big boss after the 20th Communist Party Congress. On the other, he's been forced to roll back his zero-COVID policy following protests and the damage to the economy.

What will 2023 hold for Xi?

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2022: The trouble with autocrats

The three big international politics stories of this year – Russia’s war on Ukraine, the uprisings in Iran, and China’s bid to lockdown COVID – have something basic in common: All are the result of authoritarian leaders who’ve painted themselves into dangerous corners, and they all sit atop political systems that make these kinds of crises inevitable.

Putin’s war

Russia’s Vladimir Putin has isolated himself from dissenting voices in his country and within his government, and it appears that many senior state officials and military leaders were surprised when he ordered the invasion of Ukraine last February.

Then, Putin himself was surprised to learn that billions supposedly invested in military modernization in recent years had been stolen or wasted, leaving his armed forces entirely unfit for purpose.

And because the Russian state sharply restricts the flow of accurate information within the country and criminalizes dissent, anxious Russians are now prey to every new rumor of a pending mobilization that might send more young Russians into a military meat grinder.

The result: The lack of accurate information flowing up or down the Russian system allowed Putin to start a war he can’t finish – with resulting damage to Russia’s economy, military, and political standing that will last for decades. Yet, the world pays a heavy price with the loss of Ukrainian and Russian lives, with higher energy and food prices triggered by the war, and with money and resources devoted to the conflict that might have been invested in human potential.

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Ukraine taking the battle to Russia

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

What should we expect from Xi Jinping's visit to Saudi Arabia?

A lot more investment. The Chinese expect themselves to be one of the last men standing in terms of global energy demand for fossil fuels. The Saudis, of course, the cheapest major producers out there, think in the transition they'll be the last man standing in terms of supply, and that really aligns these countries much more than with the United States over the medium- to long-term. I'm also really interested in any conversations about security because behind the scenes, the Chinese have been talking to a lot of countries about where they might put their first military base in the Middle East. The whisper is Oman. Something to watch out for going forward.

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UN General Assembly Issues: War in Europe, Inflation, Climate Change | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Inflation, war, climate headline at UN General Assembly

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

As high-level week at UNGA gets underway, that's United Nations General Assembly, what is top of mind for visiting world leaders?

I don't know. How about war on the ground in Europe? How about massive inflation happening in food prices and energy prices around the world? How about how the Europeans get through a very cold winter and what happens as a consequence of that when they don't have enough energy, and prices are like two, three, four, five times what they were last year? How about climate change ongoing and still becoming a bigger and bigger problem every year? Lots to talk about at UNGA, depends on who you talk to though. Depends on who you talk to.

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Gabriella Turrisi

Hard Numbers: Global chips glut, DRC border jam, Amazon deforestation

35: Remember last year's big semiconductor shortage? It's over. High inflation, China's zero-COVID policy, and Russia's war in Ukraine have slashed global demand for chips, with the benchmark Philadelphia Semiconductor Index dropping 35% in 2022.

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Annie Gugliotta & Jess Frampton

Hard Numbers: Zero-COVID censorship, Russian default, NATO’s rapid reaction, Indian political shenanigans

5:Zero-COVID in China until 2027? A senior Communist Party official, in a notice published on Monday, said the policy would remain in place for the next five years. He probably didn’t run his statement by Xi Jinping, since Chinese censors immediately scrubbed it from news sites and social media.

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COVID Zeroes In on Xi Jinping | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

COVID zeroes in on Xi Jinping

The Chinese president thinks his zero-COVID policy can stamp out the disease entirely until a rude awakening changes everything.


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British PM Boris Johnson looking puzzled.

Leon Neal via Reuters

What We're Watching: Confidence in Boris, Shanghai reopens, chicken inflation

The Boris vote is coming

Following last week’s Gray report, findings from an investigation into allegations that Boris Johnson attended lockdown-violating social events during the pandemic, it seemed that the UK prime minister might avoid a vote of no-confidence in his leadership of the Conservative Party. But a clumsy response — Johnson claims the report “vindicated” him — and resulting criticism this week from members of his party suggest the vote is coming, perhaps as soon as next week. Here are the basics: It would take a formal request from 54 Tory MPs to force a vote and a simple majority of 180 Tories to oust him. For now, it appears the vote would be close. A narrow victory would leave him a diminished figure, but he could survive in power until a national election in 2024. A loss would create a wide-open, two-month contest to lead the party forward. The vote may wait until after a pair of crucial parliamentary by-elections on June 23. A loss for Conservatives in both those votes might seal Johnson’s fate.

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