The CSS Blog Network

Make China Great Again: Xi’s Truly Grand Strategy

Image courtesy of Amber Smith/DVIDS

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 30 October 2019.

To the extent that any nation has a grand strategy, China surely does. The vision is no secret: Xi Jinping vows to make China great again. This resonates deeply: Since imperial decline in the First Opium War (1839 to 1842), every Chinese leader has sought the same, with broad popular support. Xi’s strategy for a modern China of unprecedented power and influence requires recapturing lost glories at home and abroad. It clearly entails reincorporating Taiwan, together with other unresolved island and maritime claims. China’s history and geography suggest that it now faces short-range opportunities and long-range challenges. China’s strategy thus has a broadly-defined arc that the United States should address with a strategy of “competitive coexistence” to safeguard American interests sustainably amid increasing Chinese assertiveness.

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Diplomacy in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Elcano Royal Institute on 11 October 2019.

Theme

The key question on the mind of policymakers now is whether Artificial Intelligence would be able to deliver on its promises instead of entering another season of scepticism and stagnation.

Summary

The quest for Artificial Intelligence (AI) has travelled through multiple “seasons of hope and despair” since the 1950s. The introduction of neural networks and deep learning in late 1990s has generated a new wave of interest in AI and growing optimism in the possibility of applying it to a wide range of activities, including diplomacy. The key question on the mind of policymakers now is whether AI would be able to deliver on its promises instead of entering another season of scepticism and stagnation. This paper evaluates the potential of AI to provide reliable assistance in areas of diplomatic interest such as in consular services, crisis management, public diplomacy and international negotiations, as well as the ratio between costs and contributions of AI applications to diplomatic work.

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Local Peace Processes and the Protection of Civilians

Image courtesy of UNAMID/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the IPI Global Ovservatory on 27 September 2019.

Resolving local conflicts between non-state armed groups, or between communities, is key to reducing violence against civilians. The United Nations is often involved in supporting local peace processes and seems to enhance the prospects for local conflict resolution. One major obstacle to a successful local peace process, however, is that local conflicts are often integrated into higher-level, national or transnational conflicts. A holistic approach to peacemaking is therefore necessary, which could allow peace to trickle down from the transnational or national level to the local, ultimately reducing violence against civilians.

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Terrorist Attacks in Russia

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These graphics provide an overview of the trend in terrorist attacks in Russia since 2008. For an examination of the impact of the 2014 economic crisis on counterterrorism in Russia and more, see ‘Russian Analytical Digest No. 237: Security Issues’.

Who Wins in China’s Great Central Asia Spending Spree?

Image courtesy of Kyle Glenn/Unsplash

This article was originally published by Eurasianet on 2 October 2019.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative seems to benefit only Central Asia’s richer countries.

Cynics often ask if China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has increased trade between China and its neighbors, or if it threatens to trap participants in debt. There are myriad reasons why countries sign on to the BRI. Some seek to plug gaps in domestic infrastructure, some to improve global trade ties, and some because China, with its population of 1.4 billion, is an attractive market for their goods.

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