The Economist

Este archivo solo abarca los artículos del periódico incoporados a este sitio a partir del 1 de mayo de 2007.

China is expanding its nuclear arsenal, from a few hundred weapons to roughly 1,000 by 2030. It may have 1,550 warheads or more by the mid-2030s—the limit agreed to by Russia and America in a deal originally signed between them in 2010. This Chinese buildup is changing geopolitics. The American-Russian bipolar nuclear system, which has dominated the nuclear balance for over half a century, is evolving into a less stable tripolar system that risks undermining long-standing pillars of deterrence and triggering a nuclear arms race.

All this comes as America prepares to modernise its ageing “triad” of nuclear-weapons delivery systems (land-based and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers).…  Seguir leyendo »

On Febraury 24th, the war in Ukraine will pass its one-year mark with no end in sight. The costs are mounting, Europe faces an epic refugee crisis, tens of thousands of people have died and total casualties now run into the hundreds of thousands. Plans to provide Ukraine with Western tanks, announced in recent days, indicate that America, Germany and others are settling in for a much longer war. But in a prolonged conflict, far more will perish. Western leaders would be making a big mistake by not pushing for negotiations to end the fighting, even as they continue to support Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

It is almost one year since Russian troops invaded Ukraine. In that time thousands of innocent civilians, as well as soldiers from both sides, have been killed. Towns and cities have crumbled under Russian strikes. The devastation has led some to call for Ukraine to sit down with Russia and negotiate peace. Yet the morale of Ukraine’s armed forces is as strong as ever, and its soldiers have defended their homeland more successfully than most thought possible. It would be a huge mistake for the country to enter into peace talks with Russia now.

There are many reasons why negotiating with Russia would be foolish.…  Seguir leyendo »

Neither Russia nor Ukraine is likely to achieve a decisive military victory in their ongoing war: both sides have considerable room for deadly escalation. Ukraine and its Western allies have little chance of ousting Russia from Crimea and the Donbas region, while Russia has little chance of forcing Ukraine to surrender. As Joe Biden noted in October, the spiral of escalation marks the first direct threat of “nuclear Armageddon” since the Cuban missile crisis 60 years ago.

The rest of the world also suffers alongside, though not on the scale of the battlefield. Europe is probably in recession. Developing economies struggle with rising hunger and poverty.…  Seguir leyendo »

Years ago in Jerusalem, I sat across the negotiating table with a minister in the Israeli government. My task was to try to encourage him to accept an arrangement whereby Palestinians would feel that Jerusalem was also their capital. His opening words welcomed me to the undivided and sovereign capital of Israel for the past 3,000 years and for the next 3,000 years.

For a moment, I felt I was on a mission impossible. However, after a complex process that hardly anyone believed in until the end, the parties finally agreed to the Oslo accords of 1993 that laid out a roadmap for peace between Israel and Palestine.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Biden administration is determined to challenge China’s high-tech aspirations. After a series of smaller moves, it has in recent months launched new export controls that broaden and deepen its denial of semiconductor technology to China in dramatic fashion.The rules add three big restrictions. First, they go beyond targeting specific companies and now start by denying exports to China of any chips that perform above a certain threshold. Second, they prevent any American citizen, green-card holder or company that does not have a licence to do so from working with any Chinese company to manufacture chips. Third, the new rules restrict the use of American tools, equipment or software anywhere in the world to manufacture and export advanced chips to China.…  Seguir leyendo »

Europe is facing a time of great challenge and uncertainty, with soaring energy prices driving inflation to record highs. The economic test is great. In the midst of this, the euro is our most tangible demonstration of European strength and unity.

During the 20 years of the euro’s existence we have faced a financial crisis, a sovereign-debt crisis, Brexit and the covid-19 pandemic. At each point the foundations and architecture of the currency have been strengthened. President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, and his energy war against the West, will be another crisis from which the euro area will emerge stronger and more united.…  Seguir leyendo »

As a result of advances in bioscience and biotechnology, synthetic DNA—the potential building blocks of a dangerous pathogen—could be just an online order away. In recent years, the cost of DNA synthesis has continued to plummet, new suppliers have emerged in countries around the world, and bench-top synthesis devices that make it easier for scientists to print DNA in their own labs are now commercially available. Safeguards have not always kept up.

Even more concerning, one of the main barriers to a step-by-step blueprint to assemble that DNA into a transmissible, lethal virus could be no more than a paywall in a peer-reviewed academic journal.…  Seguir leyendo »

Peace is not just the absence of fighting. So the view of some Western politicians that sitting down at a negotiating table is the first thing that needs to happen before peace can reign in Ukraine is a fundamental error. The war is not just about the indiscriminate killing that Russian forces have visited upon the Ukrainian people (though that is a big and brutal part of it). It is about the destruction of Ukrainian energy and food sources, the destruction of infrastructure, the illegal deportation of Ukrainian citizens and much more.

Calling for both sides to talk before Russia admits Ukraine’s very right to exist as a sovereign nation is ridiculous.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the weeks since Chinese authorities suppressed the anti-lockdown protests that began on November 25th, the “zero-covid” policy has been turned on its head. Under the pretext of following the democratic will, Chinese authorities have lurched from excessive caution to a hands-off approach.

Beijing is already experiencing a major outbreak. The rest of China is probably close behind and will face a massive wave in January. But because the government reversed its longstanding policy without a roadmap to reopening, undervaccinated elderly citizens have not been given enough time to get a booster shot. The result is likely to be more than a million deaths over the next few months– hundreds of thousands of them preventable.…  Seguir leyendo »

The demise of FTX, the crypto exchange run by Sam Bankman-Fried, is horrifying, but it’s a tale as old as time. Opaque processes and intermediation concealed extreme leverage, poor risk management and alleged fraud. The Economist recently asked whether, in the wake of FTX’s collapse, crypto could be useful for anything other than scams and speculation. The decentralised finance movement, or “DeFi”, which is built on the technology underlying cryptocurrencies, is nascent. But it offers transparent protocols that also enshrine inviolable user protections.

Centralised crypto companies that take custody of user assets, such as FTX, are known as “CeFi”. CeFi and traditional financial institutions, such as banks, are prone to risk build-ups.…  Seguir leyendo »

The war in Ukraine has unveiled a paradox. On the one hand, it shows that the Western international order, created after the second world war and rebranded at the end of the cold war, is crumbling. On the other, the West has shown itself to be more cohesive and robust in its response than might have been expected. It is a paradox that Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden probably discussed when they met in Washington this month.

The war marks the end of the illusion that there is a truly global liberal order. Many countries in the global South are reluctant to oppose Russia despite the fact that principles of non-aggression, sovereignty and territorial integrity are at stake.…  Seguir leyendo »

Today the developing world produces 63% of greenhouse-gas emissions, led by China and India. America and Europe cajole them in the hope of accelerating their transition away from fossil fuels. New onshore solar- and wind-power facilities are now cheaper to build than new coal and gas plants, and private finance will flow if regulated appropriately, proclaim Western officials. They preach at conferences like COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, asking developing countries and the emerging industries in them to do more. But many take umbrage at this prejudicial framing.

Global warming is caused by the stock of greenhouse gases. The earth has a carbon budget, a fixed amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, above which there are irreversible adverse effects.…  Seguir leyendo »

The centralisation of political power in China allows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to tightly control society. In the past week demonstrations over President Xi Jinping’s “zero-covid” policy in cities across the country, involving people from a variety of backgrounds, came as a surprise. That is probably because citizens rarely protest against government measures in this way; simultaneous national resistance to them is less common even than in other autocratic states, such as Russia. The party learned tough lessons in Tiananmen Square in 1989. It has since meticulously designed a system that can pre-empt major protests before they occur.

One part of the system relies on technology.…  Seguir leyendo »

The sudden eruption of anti-lockdown protests across China in the past week caught its leaders—and the world—by surprise. The first demonstrations took place in Xinjiang and Shanghai and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has crushed countless mass protests in the past with ruthless efficiency, scrambled to respond.

Chinese authorities have now adopted a mixed approach to curb the demonstrations. It combines an increased police presence and intimidation of protesters with promises of more refined implementation of the government’s “zero-covid” policy—which remains unchanged. Whatever the immediate outcomes of the protests, which now appear to be over, they will probably influence policy for the remainder of President Xi Jinping’s time in power.…  Seguir leyendo »

King Charles III has conferred a signal honour on South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa. He has invited him on a state visit to Britain this month, the first by a foreign leader since the king came to the throne. That is in spite of South Africa’s refusal to condemn Russia’s merciless war in Ukraine. In October the country abstained in a UN vote on a resolution demanding Russia reverse course on its illegal annexations of occupied areas of eastern and southern Ukraine. Just 34 other countries abstained and five voted against the resolution; 143 countries voted in its favour. The youth league of Mr Ramaphosa’s party, the African National Congress (ANC) even sent a delegation to observe the rigged referendums on annexation.…  Seguir leyendo »

The war in Ukraine is about more than Ukraine. In Vladimir Putin’s view it is part of his single-minded war on the West and on the kind of free societies that thrive there. Why don’t we see that reality with sufficient urgency?

At the Rome Summit in 2002, which I chaired, as NATO’s secretary-general at the time, alongside Mr Putin, I believed that Russia wished to join the club of countries that had put the cold war behind them. So did the leaders of the 19 NATO-member countries present at the table. I wasn’t the only one who harboured the thought, or the hope, that we might have found a new way to deal with an angry country.…  Seguir leyendo »

A young woman died in hospital in Iran on September 16th after being detained by the morality police for showing too much of her hair. Mahsa Amini’s death ignited protests in more than 100 cities and street protesters openly declare that the Islamic Republic must go. The people of Iran are tired of theocratic tyranny. The movement’s chant is “Women, Life, Freedom”. But the realisation of this slogan will only be possible under a democratic and secular government.

During the 43 years since the revolution, many Iranian people have lost their lives for opposing the government. The true number killed is not clear as the government never reports such statistics.…  Seguir leyendo »

The death and destruction that result from the climate crisis disproportionally affect the world’s poorest countries and people. Yet they have contributed the least to global greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is already happening faster than many communities around the world can adapt to its effects, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That is with a mere 1.1°C of global warming—and we’re heading for 2.8°C.

Developing countries are therefore aiming to put climate-related “loss and damage” at the centre of the UN climate negotiations taking place in Egypt; and to demand support to cope with it. For example, Pakistan suffered devastating floods this year, with economic losses estimated at up to $40bn.…  Seguir leyendo »

The coming of cold and wet weather on the Russian-Ukrainian front hinders the advancing side and helps the defending one, so the chances of large-scale movements look increasingly slim over the coming months. This static confrontation has rekindled the idea that talks with Vladimir Putin would be desirable. Not only has the eccentric Elon Musk spoken on the subject, but also the famous economist Jeffrey Sachs. The latter went furthest, saying that it was a mistake not to go along with Mr Putin’s conditions in March. Back then those conditions included demands that Ukraine recognise occupied territories as Russian, maintain a neutral status and demilitarise.…  Seguir leyendo »