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China has a good chance of becoming the dominant space power in the 21st century, and it's not just looking to copy NASA on the way to the top. Instead, the country is paying close attention to what innovative US companies like SpaceX are doing as well. To get ahead in space, communism is learning from capitalism.

In the summer of 2019, a small Chinese rocket launched from an inland spaceport in the southern part of the country. Close-up photos, posted afterward on Chinese social media accounts, showed small grid fins affixed to the upper part of this Long March 2C rocket for the first time.…  Seguir leyendo »

El inicio de un nuevo gobierno permite replantear las relaciones bilaterales, así como las multilaterales. El abandono de tanto compromiso internacional por parte de Donald Trump, generó muchas expectativas respecto al gobierno de Joe Biden. Abonaba ello la vasta experiencia internacional de Biden, que presidió la Comisión de Relaciones Exteriores del Senado y fue vicepresidente, en contraste con la nula experiencia de Trump.

La participación de Biden en la Conferencia de Múnich en febrero, lugar de encuentro de la comunidad diplomática transatlántica, fue una primera señal. Ella indicó el interés de la Casa Blanca por fortalecer los alicaídos lazos con la UE y la OTAN.…  Seguir leyendo »

The opening session of US-China talks in Anchorage, Alaska on 18 March 2021.

The latest bilateral talks between the US and China show that the evolving dynamics between the two countries are becoming increasingly complex. The stakes are high and too much is on the line to let the US-China rivalry escalate into a military conflict. Instead, both countries need to come together to develop a joint vision for a sustainable and peaceful world.

In recent years, several simplistic narratives seem to have taken hold in the US-China relationship, chief among them, that liberal democracies are under threat by the rise of non-democratic competitors around the world, particularly China, who seemingly threaten the international rules-based system.…  Seguir leyendo »

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from right, during the opening session of U.S.-China talks in Anchorage on Thursday. The meeting, full of blunt remarks and harsh exchanges, fell short of even the low expectations that had been set for it. Credit Pool photo by Frederic J. Brown

Since taking office nearly two months ago, the Biden administration has been a whirlwind of activity in reforming and revisiting almost every key problem area but one: the chaotic and incoherent China policy it inherited from the Trump administration.

Top U.S. and Chinese officials met Thursday in Alaska for the first time since the new administration took power. The meeting, framed as little more than a chance for each side to state their well-known positions, fell short of even those low expectations.

In a series of blunt remarks, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said that the U.S. government had “deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyberattacks on the United States and economic coercion toward our allies” — actions, he said, that “threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Protestas en Ecuador contra las medidas económicas impuestas por el Gobierno ante la pandemia. STRINGER / Reuters

Con medio millón de muertes por la pandemia, la recesión económica más aguda de región alguna, y un bajo crecimiento proyectado para 2021, América Latina atraviesa la peor crisis del siglo, según la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe de la ONU (CEPAL). La toma de posesión del presidente Joe Biden ha despertado esperanzas en toda la región. Y no es tanto por esperanzas de programas de rescate masivos (que no vendrán), sino por un cambio en las políticas de Estados Unidos del último cuatrienio, que causaron estragos en las Américas.

Un buen ejemplo es el préstamo de 3.500 millones de dólares por la Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo Internacional (IDFC) de los Estados Unidos a Ecuador.…  Seguir leyendo »

Estados Unidos y China pueden entenderse

Cuando llegue el momento de valorar el legado del nuevo presidente de EE UU, Joe Biden, una variable tendrá un peso enormemente significativo: las relaciones que haya forjado su Administración con China. La competición entre ambas potencias se ha convertido en la gran envolvente de la geoestrategia global, pero los términos en los que se producirá distan mucho de estar irrevocablemente definidos. Pese a su más que evidente rivalidad, EE UU y China están condenados a entenderse y, a buen seguro, Biden actuará con mayor pericia, responsabilidad y altura de miras que su predecesor. De que Washington y Pekín consigan encarrilar su relación bilateral dependerán, en gran medida, la paz y la prosperidad de la humanidad en el siglo XXI.…  Seguir leyendo »

Xi Jinping meets Joe Biden at a welcoming ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images.

America’s relationships with its core democratic partners are set to rebound dramatically after US president-elect Joe Biden takes office. Allies in Europe and Asia relish the prospect of an American president committed to adhere to democratic traditions at home, honor strategic commitments abroad, and be a team player.

Solidarity among the world’s democracies is especially important when it comes to standing up to China. But the European Union’s decision to sign an investment accord with that country underscores the potential for serious discord. Even though the Biden camp cautioned the EU against moving ahead with the agreement, it nonetheless sealed the deal, pending ratification.…  Seguir leyendo »

In 2016, when nearly everyone in China thought that Hillary Clinton would win the White House, one group in particular was confident of a Donald Trump victory. Back when most goods flowed from China, merchants in the trading hub of Yiwu received four times more orders for Trump than for Clinton merchandise.

This year, just as popular opinion in China is sure that Trump will lose in November, the merchants of Yiwu are back in the spotlight. They report that Trump is beating Joe Biden in orders, but as at least one writer points out, 2020 is not 2016. The trade war means that Americans now order their Trump and Biden stickers and signs from all over the world, making Yiwu a less reliable barometer than last time around.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Trump administration announced on Friday that starting on Sunday, it will ban the popular short-video app TikTok from app stores in the United States. The issue, the administration says, is that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is Chinese, and Washington is worried that the personal data of the many millions of Americans using the app could be siphoned off to China and misused.

To some, that concern may seem excessive or its timing politically opportunistic, but the danger posed by TikTok is real: In fact, it is only a stand-in for far greater risks.

The problem isn’t just TikTok. The tech giant Huawei — which the U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of arguably the worst congressional vote in this century.

On that day in 2000, the Senate approved Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with the People’s Republic of China by a vote of 83-15. President Bill Clinton signed the legislation into law, declaring: “China will open its markets to American products from wheat to cars to consulting services, and our companies will be far more able to sell goods without moving factories or investments there.”

Republican Rep. Bill Archer of Texas, the lead sponsor of the bill, remarked, “The American people support this agreement because they know it’s good for jobs in America and good for human rights and the development of democracy in China.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Future of space travel belongs to the country that wants it most, and China leads the charge illustration by The Washington Times

On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings, Harris Poll asked young people in the United States and China what they wanted to be when they grew up. The results were strange. Most American youth surveyed — the young people who belonged to the only country to have ever placed astronauts on the lunar surface — admitted that they wanted to be professional “Vlogger/YouTubers” when they grew up. It was the Chinese youth who overwhelmingly aspired to be astronauts.

Speaking to Chinese state media in 2018, the head of China’s lunar program, Ye Peijian, outlined the Chinese view of their national space strategy in explicit geopolitical terms, specifically in naval terminology:

“The universe is an ocean, the moon is the Diaoyu Islands [sic], Mars is Huangyan Island.…  Seguir leyendo »

No teman. No voy a hablarles de la que nos ha declarado, a traición y sigilosamente, el coronavirus. Ya tienen ustedes bastante con la ración diaria que les sirven periódicos y telediarios. Me refiero a la que mantienen de un tiempo acá las dos grandes superpotencias mundiales, aunque habrá que buscarles nuevo apodo, ya que el actual se les han quedado corto. Hablo, como habrán adivinado, de Estados Unidos y China, que se disputan la hegemonía del siglo XXI. Un país muy joven y otro muy viejo, con tantas similitudes como diferencias. Países-continentes, con una cultura muy suya y una población tan inteligente como trabajadora, que ya han escrito su capítulo en la Historia Universal, pero dispuestos a seguir liderando al menos uno de los bloques que rigen el mundo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Illustration by The New York Times; photographs by Erin Schaff/The New York Times, Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times and Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a speech that many likened to a declaration of a Cold War against China. Gone, he said, was “the old paradigm of blind engagement” that had prevailed since the Nixon administration. “If we want to have a free 21st century,” he continued, “the free world must triumph over this new tyranny.”

Mr. Pompeo’s speech made plain that the relationship between the two superpowers had reached a nadir in recent months, strained by escalating rounds of diplomatic sanctions and retaliations over territory, intellectual property, trade, the coronavirus, allegations of espionage and the repression in Hong Kong, among other disputes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Firefighters responding to a fire at the Chinese Consulate in Houston on July 21. Credit Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press

We’ll probably never know exactly what sorts of documents were incinerated at China’s Consulate in Houston in the days before the United States forced it to close on Friday, after accusing it of being a hub of espionage. We may also never know what caused this month’s catastrophic fire aboard the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard, a massive amphibious assault ship that was being fitted out to double as a small aircraft carrier, in the port of San Diego.

What we should know is that the two fires are actually one. We are racing toward a conflict with China we may be ill-prepared to wage.…  Seguir leyendo »

Resumen ejecutivo1

La superioridad tecnológica es una dimensión crucial en la competición entre EEUU y China, la cual añade presión sobre unas ya de por sí tensas relaciones transatlánticas. Este documento analiza narrativa y realidad a partir del nexo entre las nuevas tecnologías, la defensa de valores compartidos, su reglamentación y las varias dimensiones geopolíticas. Los valores vienen captando una atención creciente en el debate transatlántico en torno a la tecnología, especialmente a raíz de la proliferación de sistemas de vigilancia basados en la inteligencia artificial (IA) y de otros aspectos exportables de tecno-autoritarismo, aunque también en términos de ideología y geopolítica.…  Seguir leyendo »

Donald Trump managed to avoid touching off a forest fire in the tinder-dry forest around Mount Rushmore with his Independence Day fireworks display, but instead his administration seems to be doing its best to set Asia on fire in the South China Sea.

Two aircraft carrier strike groups headed by the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Nimitz have moved into the South China Sea for the largest military exercises in years just as China has been holding its own drills around the Paracel Islands, which it seized from Vietnam in 1974 in a move the United States has never accepted.…  Seguir leyendo »

China's response to the coronavirus outbreak has provided a pretext for some in Washington to spar even more openly with Beijing. Top White House advisor Peter Navarro accused the Chinese government of exploiting the pandemic to advance its interests, and one senator even claimed that China is "trying to sabotage" America's search for a vaccine and is bent on "world domination." Steve Bannon, the mastermind of President Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, attributed the death of George Floyd, in large part, to China's misdeeds.

This cartoonish depiction of villainy might be dismissed as campaign season hyperbole if it weren't informing real policy proposals.…  Seguir leyendo »

Maybe it was no coincidence that the German government chose Leipzig as the location for the special E.U.-China summit, scheduled to take place later this year.

After all, Leipzig’s citizens were the first to turn out in droves in 1989 to protest the East German Communists’ despotism and contempt for freedom. Many feared the regime would indiscriminately mow down protesters who demanded basic democratic liberties, just as the Communist Party of China had done in June that same year.

Fortunately, the result was very different: The regime crumbled, the Berlin Wall fell and the country was reunited. Germans call Leipzig “Heldenstadt,” city of heroes.…  Seguir leyendo »

A man walks past a bag printed with the portrait of China's revolutionary leader Mao Tse-tung on display outside a shop in Hong Kong. Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images.

Harder Line Could Accelerate Animosity with China

Coronavirus has dramatically reshaped the political and economic context for the US foreign policy debate. With more than 20 million Americans unemployed - and an unemployment rate above 13% - more than 125,000 deaths and the rate of infections continuing to climb across the south and south-west, and President Donald Trump polling more than 8% behind Joe Biden, it is hardly surprising that China and its role both in the pandemic and in the US economy continues to dominate foreign policy discussions.

In both the United States and Europe, the severity of the health and economic crisis driven by the pandemic has raised the stakes for policy on China and - especially in the UK, Germany, France and the wider EU - is tipping the balance towards those who advocate for a harder line on China.…  Seguir leyendo »

The World Health Assembly (WHA) -- the biggest event on the global health agenda -- held on Monday and Tuesday this week, can be easily summed up: The Trump administration threatened to take the UN agency off life support as it fights a global pandemic -- and Chinese President Xi Jinping threw it a new life line.

Xi -- widely criticized for his government's failure to sound the alarm over the situation in Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus outbreak began -- was able to manipulate the 73rd WHA into a much-needed PR makeover for China. Meanwhile, the United States walked away, threatening to pull funding and membership from the World Health Organization (WHO) -- potentially hobbling its ability to deliver a robust response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.…  Seguir leyendo »