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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Kazakhstan’s Leader Nursultan Nazarbayev Resigns

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has abruptly announced his resignation 29 years after taking office. In a televised address on Tuesday, the 78-year-old said he has made the “difficult” decision to terminate his authority as president, but did not give a specific reason for the shocking decision.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

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Is This The Last Dalai Lama?

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet. His departure exposed the rift between the Tibetan faithful and the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.), one which has not closed in the six decades since—and which threatens to become even deeper once the current Dalai Lama, 83-year-old Tenzin Gyatso, passes on.

Read Here – China Files

What Rouhani’s Visit To Iraq Tells Us About Iran’s Syria Policy

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s recent landmark trip to Iraq was closely monitored and discussed from various aspects by the media and analysts around the world. Some observers put their focus on the bilateral aspect, talking about the importance of the visit in terms of Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, while others analysed it within the context of Iran’s plans to overcome the US sanctions…But a largely ignored — and yet very important — aspect of the Iranian president’s three-day visit to Iraq is the explicit and implicit implications of the trip for Iran’s policy in Syria.

Read Here – Al Monitor

 

US Announces Plan For New ‘Exascale’ Supercomputer But Timeline May Fall Behind China’s Schedule

The supercomputing race between the world’s two largest economies escalated after the US unveiled plans for its first machine to cross the “exascale” performance threshold by 2021, putting it roughly a year behind a similar plan from China.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Emerging Markets Aren’t Out Of The Woods Yet

How should emerging-market governments deal with the new original sin? One way would be to develop a large domestic institutional investor base that sets its objectives in domestic currency terms and is thus insulated from exchange-rate swings. National pension systems contribute to this goal, and many emerging-market countries, such as Chile and Mexico, have made solid progress in this direction.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

China’s Economic Black Box

The accuracy of China’s official growth statistics is once again in question. Last week, at the annual “two sessions” conference, Premier Li Keqiang announced that China would reduce its 2019 target for GDP growth to between 6 and 6.5 percent—previously, it was “around 6.5 percent.” That same week, a group of Chinese economists published a paper with the Brookings Institution concluding that China’s official nominal growth rates from 2008 to 2016 were being overstated by as much as 1.7 percent.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Facebook’s Vulnerabilities Highlighted During A Terrible Week

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has had a very bad week, even in the context of a very bad year. The week of bad news actually started March 8 with a proposal from U.S. senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren to break up the company. Then there was the longest-ever outage of Facebook’s social network and services, which almost overshadowed news of a criminal investigation into its data-agreements with other companies…But the ultimate blow came on Friday with the massacre of 50 people in New Zealand, live streamed on Facebook.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Also read: Why Tech Didn’t Stop The New Zealand Attack From Going Viral

A Smouldering Volcano: Pakistan And Terrorism After Balakot

Although propitious political circumstances made the Balakot crisis between India and Pakistan manageable, Pakistani terrorism remains the principal continuing threat to stability in South Asia. U.S. policy moving forward must relentlessly pressure Pakistan to crack down on jihadi groups or risk continuing crises in the region.

Read Here – Carnegie Endowment For International Peace

Jaish-e-Mohammed: Under The Hood

Masood Azhar is deeply plugged into the Pakistan military’s intelligence setup, or at least those parts of it with which he shares an appreciation of the need for the Islamic world to have a strong center to provide protection to Muslims all over the world. Azhar is for the Deobandi jihadis what Lt. General Hameed Gul (former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI who was part of the Afghan jihad of the 1980s) was for the ISI – an inspirational figure who is well connected in the jihadi world and resolutely believes in Ghazwa-e-Hind (the battle for a definitive conquest of India) and the ultimate crusade against all non-Muslims.

Read Here – The Diplomat

The Relationship Between The Size of China’s Economy And Its Military Posture

There is no question at this point that the relative sizes of the U.S. and Chinese economy today are much closer than those of Japan and the U.S. in the interwar period. And long story short, underselling the size of the Chinese defense budget and overselling the size of the Chinese economy does tend to obscure the magnitude of China’s defense buildup.

Read Here – The Diplomat

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