WORLD ROUNDUPWarren Buffett’s Taiwan Pullout | American Power’s Staying Power | Thailand’s Military Has No Good Options, and more

Published 25 May 2023

·  Why Warren Buffett’s Taiwan Pullout Has Unsettling Implications
Buffett’s withdrawal might make the world a bit more dangerous

·  Like It or Not, America Needs Chinese Scientists
Collaboration among U.S. and Chinese scientists is essential to U.S. prosperity and security – and can be done safely

·  Thailand’s Military Has No Good Options
The generals could subvert last week’s opposition victory, but it would guarantee a political crisis

·  China’s “Blue Dragon” Strategy in the Indo-Pacific Makes America and India Restless
As China expands upon the seas, India may find its traditional middle-path foreign policy is a luxury it can no longer afford

·  The Myth of Multipolarity
American power’s staying power

Why Warren Buffett’s Taiwan Pullout Has Unsettling Implications  (Jim Geraghty, Washington Post)
If you pay attention to what Warren Buffett thinks, you’re probably doing it for investment advice, not geopolitical predictions. But there’s something more than a little unnerving about the “Oracle of Omaha” selling his conglomerate’s remaining shares in the world’s largest chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), because he isn’t confident that Taiwan is a safe place to do business anymore.
On an analyst call this month, Buffett said, “I don’t like its location, and I’ve reevaluated that.”
“I feel better about the capital that we’ve got deployed in Japan than Taiwan. I wish it weren’t so, but I think that’s the reality, and I’ve reevaluated that in the light of certain things that were going on.”
Buffett’s withdrawal from TSMC might make the world a tiny bit more dangerous. If Buffett isn’t sure Taiwan is a safe place to invest anymore, then it’s a sign that China’s intimidation is already working. Economic power is a form of leverage — after all, Taiwan must pay for its military defenses — and if China can scare foreign investors away from Taiwan, it will gradually but steadily erode Taiwan’s ability to pay for what it needs to deter an invasion.

Like It or Not, America Needs Chinese Scientists  (Dan Murphy, New York Times)
Concerns about Chinese influence threatens America’s ability to attract the top talent it needs to maintain global leadership in science and higher education. This should worry Washington. Economic and military advantage is contingent on superior science, technology and innovation — and the competition for talent is global.
The best science is often done by international research teams, presumably because researchers can select from a broader range of potential partners. In the absence of clear concerns about national security, discouraging international collaboration only limits the pool of possible collaborators, potentially weakening the research.
This is especially true when it comes to China, which has become a scientific power.
Concerns over academic collaboration with China are legitimate, and China’s government has contributed to the deterioration of academic cooperation. The present circumstances call for more transparency among scholars, and scholars pay greater attention to the implications of collaborating with foreign scientists.
But let’s ensure that the United States remains the best place in the world to study STEM and entices foreign graduates to remain here after completing their degrees. (Cont.)