As the US, Russia and China test each other’s patience and strategic focus, speculation about the chances of a world war has hit a new high.
HONG KONG – At the beginning of this century, when China launched its “going out” policy – focused on using foreign-exchange reserves to support overseas expansion and acquisitions by Chinese companies – few expected the country quickly to emerge as a leading economic player in Latin America.
BEIJING – Last month, US President Donald Trump enacted steel and aluminum tariffs aimed squarely at China. On April 2, China retaliated with tariffs on 128 American products. Trump then announced 25% tariffs on another 1,300 Chinese products, representing some $50 billion of exports.
WASHINGTON, DC – Last week was a most unusual one for President Donald Trump’s administration.
All the attention being given to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica regarding their breach of public trust and exploitation of personal data is richly deserved.
CAMBRIDGE – Why were democratic political systems not responsive early enough to the grievances that autocratic populists have successfully exploited – inequality and economic anxiety, decline of perceived social status, the chasm between elites and ordinary citizens?
LONDON – The world will soon witness a historic test of wills between China and the United States, two superpowers whose leaders see themselves as supreme. In the immediate sense, it will be a battle over trade.
NEW YORK – Parts of the world are experiencing eruptions of hyper-masculinity. The president of the United States presents himself as a kind of caveman, beating his chest, grabbing women “by the pussy,” and roaring like a great ape.
CAMBRIDGE – In the future, if not already, the Silicon Valleys of artificial intelligence (AI) will be in China. The tech firms Xiaomi, Baidu, Didi Chuxing, Meituan, and Toutiao are all headquartered in Beijing. Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant, is based in Hangzhou.
LONDON – It’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Flowers are starting to bloom, as the sun shines brighter and longer each day. When it comes to world affairs, however, the outlook is hardly rosy.