The CSS Blog Network

Sanctions: The New Economic Battlefield

Image courtesy of Vladimir Solomyani/Unsplash

This article was originally published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on 6 August 2019.

Economic warfare is being fought with an intensity not seen since the period leading up to World War II as countries deploy tariffs, embargoes and economic sanctions to force policy changes or punish their adversaries.

Free trade is coming off second best, and global trade has stalled. There’s been no growth in trade volumes since late 2017, contributing to a slowing world economy.

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US-China Trade War: Why the EU Should Take Sides and Favour the Rules-based Order

This article was originally published by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) on 22 July 2019.

The recent G20 summit in Osaka in June failed to deliver a breakthrough in the growing US-China rivalry over trade and technological supremacy. Like the rest of the world, Europe is feeling the heat of the trade war US President Donald Trump unleashed against China. As a resolution of this tug-of-war is not in sight, the EU’s new leadership should start preparing a comprehensive response.

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China’s ‘New Type of Security Partnership’ in Asia and Beyond: A challenge to the Alliance System and the ‘Indo-pacific’ Strategy

Image courtesy of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This analysiswas originally published by the Elcano Royal Institute on 26 March 2019.

Since 2013 China has clearly called for the creation of a new security architecture in Asia. The May 2015 white paper on China’s military strategy explicitly advocates promoting ‘the establishment of a regional framework for security and cooperation’. This call was reaffirmed in October 2016 and detailed further in China’s white paper, published in January 2017, on security cooperation in Asia-Pacific. Since then, Chinese officials have repeatedly declared, one way or another, that the region needs to be restructured. On 16 February 2019, at the 55th Munich Security Conference, Politburo member Yang Jiechi declared that ‘China supports security dialogue among the Asia-Pacific countries and efforts to explore a regional security vision and architecture that fits the reality of this region’. 2

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Belt and Road Initiative 2.0: ‘Qualitatively’ Different?

Image courtesy of nali_wike/Pixabay

This article was originally published by the East-West Center (EWC) on 11 July 2019.

Following five years of periodic controversies and criticism – some factual, others contrived – President Xi Jinping used the Belt and Road (BRI) Forum in April to set the agenda for the next five years of his hallmark project. At the forum’s second edition, meant to promote a “stronger partnership network,” the Chinese leader pledged to “clean up,” stressed “zero tolerance” to corruption, and emphasized readiness to adopt “internationally acceptable” standards in the bidding process of BRI projects in the future. This language indicates Beijing’s openness to constructive criticism and willingness to objectively tweak some inherent weaknesses in the strategy and implementation mechanisms for the BRI during the 2013-2018 period. It also sets the stage for the start of “BRI 2.0,” where the stress is likely to be on the qualitative, rather than just quantitative, attributes. The following are some analytical pointers on how BRI 2.0 is likely to be different from version 1.0, especially keeping in mind what Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi referred to as a “high-quality” shift from “big freehand” to “fine brushwork” in planning BRI’s future projects.

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EU Policy in the Face of the Chinese Challenge

Image courtesy of European Council President/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Elcano Royal Institute on 6 June 2019.

As the People’s Republic of China transforms itself into a technological and military superpower, while maintaining a party-state system, there is increasing debate at the heart of the EU about the terms on which relations with the country should be pursued. Pressure has been exerted on the debate by the EU’s main ally, the US, whose strategic rivalry with China is growing daily.

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