Topic Category: Politics

On July 20, Cuba formally reopened its embassy in Washington for the first time in 54 years, a step that was reciprocated by the U.S. in mid-August. However, it will be some time yet before relations are fully normalized. The Republican-dominated U.S. Congress has made clear that it will not approve the lifting of the embargo on trade and investment with Cuba in the absence of substantive political reform.

Topic: Politics
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The grand coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU and the center-left SPD is showing signs of strain. This, however, is not cause for concern given the conflicting policy preferences of the governing parties — which include the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the CSU — and the series of regional crises that Merkel has had to manage over the last two years.

Topic: Politics
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Whenever China is mentioned in a presidential campaign, the consequences are rarely good. In 2012 residents of Ohio, where anti-Beijing ads proliferated, might have believed that the campaign hinged on which candidate was tougher on China. Next year U.S. policy toward the People’s Republic of China might become a broader election issue, leading to serious damage in the relationship.

Topic: Politics
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Modern Singapore’s political landscape has often served as a bellwether for what other countries in Asia have come to expect from their polities — maintenance of the status quo, with enough of a sliver of opposition voices at election time to enable the country to call itself a ‘democracy’ with a straight face. That wouldn’t pass the smell test in much of the rest of the world, but it works well in Singapore.

Topic: Politics
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Last year Narendra Modi won an unusually strong majority in India’s parliamentary election. Previously barred from receiving a U.S. visa because of charges that he incited sectarian violence, Modi visited the U.S. last September and was warmly welcomed by both the Obama administration and Indian-Americans. He was treated as the leader of the next great power.

Topic: Politics
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Financial stability requires sound money, not artificially low interest rates that encourage risk taking, penalize savers and misallocate capital. Sustainable asset prices rest on long-term economic growth, which is strongly influenced by the choice of economic policies and institutions.

Topic: Politics
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More than one year after seizing control of the government in a coup, the military shows no signs of relinquishing its hold on power. In April, Thailand’s junta lifted the martial law that had been in effect since last May. However, that move was not a step toward reform. Instead, the prime minister was given a great deal of control.

Topic: Politics
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Despite Washington’s efforts to persuade its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies that a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran would serve their long-term interests, most Gulf Arab monarchs remain far from sold. In addition to economic concerns about the potential reintegration of Iranian gas and oil into global markets, the GCC fears that a thaw in U.S.-Iran relations will diminish the council’s strategic value to Washington.

Topic: Politics
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On May 22, 2015, the U.S. Senate passed the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, better known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), by a vote of 62–37. At the same time—and in the same vote—the Senate passed the Trade Adjustment Assistance Enhancement Act (TAA). The bills were passed, respectively, as Title 1 and Title 2 of H.R. 1314, or the “Trade Act of 2015.”(1)

Topic: Politics
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Given its diverse cultural, linguistic and religious mosaic, nationalism is always lurking beneath the surface in Asia. The competition for natural resources has only exacerbated the tendency for nationalist sentiment to emerge, threatening the concept of Pan Asianism. Natural resource nationalism is evident in a variety of countries and has manifest itself in a number of ways, ranging from more restrictive foreign investment and trade policies, to militarism.

Topic: Politics
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