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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

China’s Middle Class Tightens Its Belt

The sea change in consumer behaviour has apparently worried Beijing. In September, China’s cabinet pushed for supportive mechanisms to boost consumption, following its move in August to raise the threshold for collecting income taxes to 5,000 yuan per month from the previous 3,500 yuan.

Read Here – Nikkei Asian Review

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Deconstructing Trump’s Foreign Policy

It is possible to think two things at once: that U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy has been “bad,” which many think it has been, and that it has offered a somewhat coherent alternative for how the United States should conduct itself beyond its borders. This suggests that the casual and smug dismissals of Trump, on domestic and foreign policy alike, are missing something important.

Read Here – Brookings

Is A Thaw Coming In US-China Relations?

The news about U.S.-China relations has been decidedly negative lately, particularly since U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s fiery speech criticising the Chinese government on October 4. But now, amid the trade war and continuing tensions in the South China Sea, there are glimmers of hope for a thaw.

Read Here – The Diplomat

Hun Sen’s Power Paradox

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is continuing to push the limits of personal power consolidation. While his strategies have been highly successful so far, they are likely to result in greater political insecurity in Cambodia. Several concerning developments have emerged in 2018. Since the Supreme Court banned the main opposition party — the Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP — in November 2017, Hun Sen has further consolidated his power by appointing family members to top government positions.

Read Here – East Asia Forum

With Public Opinion Now “Swinging Towards Remain”, May’s Deal Looks Less Likely Than Ever

Is the United Kingdom swinging against Brexit? That’s the conclusion of a 20,000-person mega-poll by Survation for Channel 4, which finds that Remain leads Leave by 54 to 46 per cent. The poll comes with the warm glow of being produced by the one traditional polling company to get the 2017 election result right, and also its size, but it is, of course, just one poll. It does, however, echo the general shift towards Remain that most polls have shown.

Read Here – New Statesman

US Renews Iran Sanctions; India, China Get Oil Waivers

The United States snapped sanctions back in place to choke Iran’s oil and shipping industries, while temporarily allowing top customers such as India and China to keep buying crude from the Islamic Republic. Having abandoned a 2015 Iran nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump is trying to cripple Iran’s oil-dependent economy and force Tehran to quash not only its missile and nuclear programmes, but also diminish its influence in the Middle East.

Read Here – Mint

The Only Responsible Choice Is A Democratic U.S. Congress

Since Donald Trump was sworn in as president in January 2017, he has put America’s democratic system under constant assault. The country has learned that, by itself, the Constitution is not enough to sustain effective and responsible government. This requires, in addition, norms of restraint and good conduct. The president hasn’t just neglected to abide by those norms: He has mocked and repudiated them.

Read Here – Bloomberg Opinion

How Estonia Secures Its Electronic Elections From Kremlin Attacks

Americans fret a lot about the threat of a crippling cyber attack. But the small European country of Estonia lived through one, a 2007 Kremlin-led effort to destabilize the country by attacking government websites. Yet the experience only strengthened Estonians resolve to extend digital service to its people, most notably electronic voting.

Read Here – Defense One

Why India Looks The Other Way On Myanmar

While the West moves to re-isolate Myanmar after a short period of re-engagement, neighbouring India is taking a more realpolitik approach to reports of massive rights abuses by the nation’s security forces. Indeed, India is doing its utmost to improve relations while the United States and European Union impose new sanctions aimed specifically at Myanmar’s military, including top soldiers involved in the abuses.

Read Here – Asia Times

Regional Risks Of Rising U.S.-Iran Rivalry

The U.S. is pursuing a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that includes the re-imposition of key energy and banking sanctions. With Tehran refusing to capitulate over its nuclear program or regional policies, the U.S.-Iran rivalry could escalate across the region.

Read Here – International Crisis Group

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