Politics

Will Europe Get Tough on China?
China, Politics

Will Europe Get Tough on China?

The highlights this week: The G-7 summit shows some U.S. allies could get on board to counter China, Beijing admits damage to a reactor after an alert at a nuclear power plant , and the U.S. Defense Department plans a new task force in the Asia-Pacific. Welcome to Foreign Policy’s China Brief. The highlights this week: The G-7 summit shows some U.S. allies could get on board to counter China, Beijing admits damage to a reactor after an alert at a nuclear power plant, and the U.S. Defense Department plans a new task force in the Asia-Pacific. If you would like to receive China Brief in your inbox every Wednesday, please sign up here. Biden Courts Allies to Counter China The G-7 summit that concluded this week produced a communiqué that was unusually strong on China, including planned a...
Biden’s Plan to Cooperate With Europe on Tech
China, Human Rights, Politics

Biden’s Plan to Cooperate With Europe on Tech

Today, the tech race has again become a key dimension of power and ideological competition, with artificial intelligence, chips, digital platforms, data flows, 5/6G, cloud and edge computing, the Internet of Things, blockchain, biotech, and quantum technologies at the forefront. This week, as U.S. President Joe Biden made his first trip to Europe for the G-7, NATO, and U.S.-European Union summits, his administration must find a way to work with the EU—despite their differences—to recast how the world’s two most important democratic tech powers approach digital governance. In the 1960s, mainframe computers, aeronautics, space, nuclear research, and semiconductors occupied the front lines of geopolitics. Powers in Europe were wracked by the thought of suffering a “technological gap” with th...
Is Europe Any Good at Soft Power?
China, Human Rights, Politics

Is Europe Any Good at Soft Power?

It’s time for the European Union to follow this example. It should set up an ambitious, generous program for foreign students to study at European universities and use it as a soft power tool. This program should start immediately, and right at Europe’s doorstep, as a direct European response to President Alexander Lukashenko’s hijack of a Ryanair flight in May to abduct opposition leader Roman Protasevich: Europe should invite thousands of Belarusians to come and study and do research at universities all over Europe. Just after the First World War, the United States started a massive, new operation: academic fellowships for foreign students to come and study in the United States. America had just won the war. It was a proud new superpower, eager to put itself on the global map for the fi...
Biden’s Mission to Defeat Digital Sovereignty
China, Human Rights, Politics

Biden’s Mission to Defeat Digital Sovereignty

Today, the tech race has again become a key dimension of power and ideological competition, with artificial intelligence, chips, digital platforms, data flows, 5/6G, cloud and edge computing, the Internet of Things, blockchain, biotech, and quantum technologies at the forefront. This week, as U.S. President Joe Biden made his first trip to Europe for the G-7, NATO, and U.S.-European Union summits, his administration must find a way to work with the EU—despite their differences—to recast how the world’s two most important democratic tech powers approach digital governance. In the 1960s, mainframe computers, aeronautics, space, nuclear research, and semiconductors occupied the front lines of geopolitics. Powers in Europe were wracked by the thought of suffering a “technological gap” with th...
The Frightening COVID Origin Charge Against China’s Shi Zhengli, Wuhan’s Bat Virologist
China, Environment, Politics

The Frightening COVID Origin Charge Against China’s Shi Zhengli, Wuhan’s Bat Virologist

It was at 7 pm on December 30, 2019, that Shi Zhengli, the Director of the Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), says she received her first intimation about what would later turn out to be SARS-CoV-2, better known around the world now as the virus behind COVID-19. The institute’s Director had allegedly called her to tell her that samples had come in from a hospital of patients who were suffering from an atypical pneumonia thought to be from a coronavirus. She was told to drop everything she was doing, return to WIV, and begin studying it. She returned to Wuhan, over 800 km away, by train. What had happened in the 16 years before that and what transpired in the 1 year and 5 months after, may hold the key to answering perhaps the biggest prevailin...
Spain Takes a Leap to the Populist Right
China, Politics

Spain Takes a Leap to the Populist Right

Ceuta, a 7-square-mile patch of territory with a population of only 85,000, was quickly overwhelmed by the arrivals. After border police lost control of the situation, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez sent the Army to detain the immigrants and eventually send them back to Morocco. On Wednesday, the crisis seemed to have abated after Morocco reinstated controls on its side of the border. In less than 24 hours at the start of this week, at least 6,000 migrants, including 1,500 minors, crossed the border from Morocco to Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on the North African coast. To elude the border fences at this outpost of the European Union, most of the migrants swam to a beach in Ceuta. Some crossed on rafts, and at least one person drowned. The border is normally quiet and strictly controll...
Tom Tugendhat Is the British MP China Hates Most
China, Human Rights, Politics

Tom Tugendhat Is the British MP China Hates Most

At 48 this month, British Member of Parliament Tom Tugendhat has a young, smooth, face. The head is ringed with dark, blondish hair; the smile all top teeth. But if he is a touch cherubic, there is a hardness there, too. The skin is taut, especially around the jaw; the eyes are two blue flints that can look brown. But it’s those incongruities that make him interesting—much like his politics. Tugendhat’s story is of passing through all of Britain’s institutions—with a caveat. Public school (but metropolitan), the army (but a reservist), Oxbridge (but postgrad). Everything about Tugendhat is theoretically correct, but slightly off. He is like a blurred daguerreotype of a traditional Tory; different but sufficiently similar, which is how change always comes—at least in Britain. And what he r...
Asia’s Stakes in the Biden-Putin Summit
China, Politics

Asia’s Stakes in the Biden-Putin Summit

Skeptics, however, point out that both Washington and Moscow are downplaying expectations for the summit and that multiple difficult issues continue to hobble the U.S.-Russian relationship. If China’s fear of the United States drawing Russia away from its influence are far-fetched, it may be similarly unrealistic for the rest of Asia to hope for an early and significant reset of the triangular dynamic between Washington, Beijing, and Moscow. If Beijing is likely to watch next week’s summit meeting in Geneva between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin with a bit of concern, New Delhi is cheering the two leaders on, hoping they find a way to get along. Better relations between the United States and Russia will certainly make it easier for India to balance an increa...
What’s the Point of the G-7?
China, Human Rights, Politics

What’s the Point of the G-7?

In U.S. President Joe Biden’s first overseas trip, he will visit the United Kingdom for the G-7 summit, Brussels for meetings with NATO and the European Union, and then over to Geneva for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That gives us a lot of material to debate. Where should we begin? Matthew Kroenig: Hi Emma. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it’s exciting to see that people are starting to travel again. I notice more happy sightseers on social media; my wife and I just booked a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for later this summer; and Air Force One is wheels up on its way to Europe. Matthew Kroenig: Hi Emma. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it’s exciting to see that people are starting to travel again. I notice more happy sightseers on social media; my wife and ...
Can Biden Pivot to Asia While Israel and Gaza Burn?
China, Human Rights, Politics

Can Biden Pivot to Asia While Israel and Gaza Burn?

Intervention or Restraint? A Washington debate on pressing issues for policymakers. Can Biden Pivot to Asia While Israel and Gaza Burn? By Emma Ashford , a senior fellow in the New American Engagement Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and Matthew Kroenig , deputy director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. Matthew Kroenig: Hi Emma! It is a beautiful spring day in Washington, I have my second COVID-19 shot scheduled for later in the day, and I have finished teaching for the semester. I would almost be in a good mood if it weren’t for a few pesky issues like war in the Middle East. Emma Ashford: Another week, another continent, another war. It’s been a pretty active year on the foreign-policy front. Te...