• China Expanding Detention Camp Network in Xinjiang

    China’s network of detention centers in the northwest Xinjiang region is much more extended than previously thought and has been expanded in recent years. The number of facilities where China is believed to have detained more than 1 million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities is around 40 percent greater than previous estimates and the network has been growing despite China’s claims that many Uyghurs have been released.

  • Pandemic Crushes Guyana’s Dreams of Big Oil Profits as “Resource Curse” Looms over Oil-Producing Nations

    This year was supposed to bring great things for Guyana. ExxonMobil discovered massive oil deposits off the South American country’s Caribbean coast in 2015, and Guyana sold its first cargo of crude oil this February. But Guyana’s dreams of fabulous wealth this year have been dashed by COVID-19, which has delayed production and slashed oil demand. Compounding its coronavirus troubles, Guyana shows warning signs of the so-called “resource curse,” in which a country’s new oil wealth crowds out other productive economic sectors, breeds corruption and triggers political conflict. Very few petrostates have adequately diversified their economies. Exceptions include Malaysia and Dubai, which have both used oil wealth successfully to build a broader economic foundation and have avoided the dreaded “resource curse.” Those countries should be models for Guyana.

  • U.S.-China Fight over Fishing Is Really about World Domination

    China’s aggressive, sometimes illegal fishing practices are the latest source of conflict with the United States.

    China has the world’s largest fishing fleet. Beijing claims to send around 2,600 vessels out to fish across the globe, but some maritime experts say this distant-water fishing fleet may number nearly 17,000. The United States has fewer than 300 distant-water ships. Governments often use the fishing industry to advance their diplomatic agenda, as my work as a historian of fishing and American foreign relations shows. The United States used fishing, directly and indirectly, to build its international empire from its founding through the 20th century. Now China’s doing it, too.

  • U.K. Nuclear Power: The Next Huawei?

    London’s relations with China — hailed as entering a “golden era” only four years ago — have deteriorated badly over the coronavirus crisis and the Hong Kong issue, hitting a nadir when the U.K. finally bowed to U.S. pressure to ditch Huawei’s involvement in its new-generation internet (5G) rollout. China warned the U.K. it would face “consequences if it chooses to be a hostile partner” after London announced its Huawei’s decision. Nuclear power, once a key part of the U.K. energy plans, faces rising costs, cheaper renewables, and domestic opposition – but it also finds itself at the center of a row between London and Beijing that could prove fatal.

  • The Prospect of China-Iran Axis

    What will ties between China and Iran look like in the future? Amos Yadlin and Ari Heistein write that a recently leaked draft of a partnership agreement between Beijing and Tehran may provide some insight. The document outlines a framework for increased Chinese investment in Iran, strategic cooperation, and Iran’s integration in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The potential agreement has rattled some in Washington, stoking concerns that America’s assertive foreign policy has solidified a dangerous alliance between key, anti-American powers in East Asia and the Middle East.

  • Brexit Uncertainty, Migration Decisions Spark Brain-Drain Worries

    A new study found that, over the last four years, the “collective uncertainty” triggered by Brexit has sparked major changes in migration decisions, equivalent to the impact of a serious economic or political crisis. The study reveals the U.K. is facing a potential brain drain of highly educated British citizens, who have decided to invest their futures in continental Europe. The study compares changes in migration and naturalization patterns of migrating U.K. citizens before and since the Brexit referendum. 

  • The Long Haul: China's Grand Strategy

    China has delineated specific objectives regarding economic growth, regional and global leadership in evolving economic and security architectures, and control over claimed territory. In several cases, these objectives bring China into competition, crisis, and even potential conflict with the United States and its allies. The authors of a new report on U.S.-China competition make the case that the kind of country China becomes, and the way that its military evolves, is neither foreordained nor completely beyond the influence of the United States or U.S. military.

  • Guyana: U.S. Imposes Sanctions as President Granger Refuses to Accept Election Defeat

    The United States has imposed sanctions on the current government of Guyana, led by President David Granger and his APNU party, after the refusal of Granger and his supporters to accept the results of the March election, which saw the opposition PPP, led by Irfaan Ali, winning the election by about 16,000 votes. Regional leaders called on Granger to respect the democratic process and step aside.

  • Beware a China-Russia Nexus in Central Europe Amid US-EU Neglect

    Until recently, Russian and Chinese influence across Europe generally reflected their distinct strategic aims. But their interests increasingly converge. Common to both Vladimir Putin’s and Xi Jinping’s strategies is the decoupling of the United States and Europe. Jakub Janda and Richard Kraemer write that leaders on both sides of the Atlantic will have to act in concert – and fast – to forestall an even greater corrosion of the democratic norms that have kept the peace – or helped restore it, in the case of the wars in the former Yugoslavia – for three-quarters of a century.

  • U.S. Ending Sanctions Waivers on Iran's Civilian Nuclear Program

    The United States has announced it will end sanctions waivers that allow Russian, Chinese, and European firms to carry out civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, effectively scrapping the last remnants of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a move dismissed by Tehran as “desperate.”

  • Snapback of Sanctions under the Terms of the Nuclear Deal Is Fully Justified Today

    “If Iran today wants a serious discussion about sanctions relief, it should start by abandoning the key threat Tehran poses to international peace and security: its uranium enrichment program,” writes David Albright, a nuclear weapons expert and the president of the Institute for Science and International Security. “Instead, Iran holds its own people hostage over the deadly coronavirus outbreak in a cynical campaign for wholesale sanctions relief.” The willingness of Iran’s leadership to refuse epidemic aid and thus dramatically, and unnecessarily, increase the number of sick and dying Iranians; the willing of the leadership to intensify and deepen the severe economic deprivation and misery across the country – and do all that in order to grow an economically nonviable, menacing uranium enrichment program — “That alone should lead all to consider just what is the real purpose of Iran’s enrichment program,” Albright writes.

  • Mapping the China Debate

    The debate over U.S. foreign policy toward China is often reduced into the usual hawk-versus-dove metaphor. Hawks see U.S.-China great power competition as requiring a more aggressive posture, while doves worry about the downsides of an adversarial relationship. Ganesh Sitaraman writes that this dualist frame glosses over the fact that neither camp has a shared set of views. Rather, both hawks and doves contain a variety of subgroups—and some subgroups disagree with others on critical policy questions. “But without tractable categories for analysis, the debate over policy toward China is too often imprecise and confusing.”

  • A Healthy Dose of Realism: Stopping COVID-19 Doesn’t Start with the WHO

    There’s a proven approach to combating the global threat of the novel coronavirus, Frank L. Smith III writes. It was used to eradicate smallpox during the Cold War. Rather than relying on the World Health Organization (WHO), success depends on a “great-power concert.” Today, this means concerted action by the United States and China.

  • Venezuela to Escort Fuel Tankers from Iran Despite U.S. Threat

    Planes and ships from the Venezuelan armed forces will escort Iranian tankers as soon as the vessels, carrying barrels of fuel for the South American country, enter Venezuela’s  exclusive economic zone, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said on Wednesday. Padrino said he was thankful for Iran’s solidarity as the coronavirus pandemic adds to its economic woes. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, but its capacity to refine is limited.

  • Has COVID-19 Killed Globalization?

    Even before the pandemic, globalization was in trouble. The open system of trade that had dominated the world economy for decades had been damaged by the financial crash and the Sino-American trade war. Now it is reeling from its third body-blow in a dozen years as lockdowns have sealed borders and disrupted commerce. The Economist writes that those three body-blows have so wounded the open system of trade that the powerful arguments in its favor are being neglected. Wave goodbye to the greatest era of globalization—and worry about what is going to take its place.