As a rising global power, and being the largest and most important economy and military power in Asia, China has had the luxury of being able to do more or less whatever it wants in challenging its neighbors over disputed land and sea claims — knowing that in all likelihood, it would not be challenged. That has changed in recent years.
Security will remain high on the Saudi agenda amid concerns over the rise of ISIL, a Sunni jihadist group that has gained control over large sections of Syria and Iraq. ISIL militants overwhelmed Iraqi military forces following the launch of major offensive in June. And while the advance was largely halted with the help of Shiite militias and foreign air support, the occupation of significant territory in northern and central Iraq poses a threat to Saudi unity and regional stability.
It’s easy to be pessimistic about the future of freedom. At home, government grows ever larger. The expansion may occasionally slow, but it never stops. Abroad, the state is even more oppressive in such countries as China, Russia, Venezuela, and North Korea. Yet, sometimes liberty advances with extraordinary speed. Like 25 years ago in Europe.
Being a big believer in the lessons taught by history, I’m inclined to think that the current ‘love fest’ between China and Russia probably will have a limited shelf life. Natural resource acquisition and the gyrating geopolitical chess board are the primary reasons why both countries are enjoying a bilateral rapprochement. This is unlikely to last.
In March 2014, the 612-member National Assembly approved an overhaul of the 1995 foreign investment law. This was a key step forward in the program of economic liberalization initiated by President Raúl Castro as part of a strategy for laying the foundation for a smooth transfer of political control to a younger generation of leaders from the PCC in 2018.
In his new book, Markets over Mao: The Rise of Private Business in China, Nicholas R. Lardy, one of the world’s leading China experts and a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, makes a strong case that the market — not the state — has been the key factor in the country’s remarkable rise.
Special Report—Colombia is arguably one of the countries in Latin America with the greatest potential to build a significant and profitable relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Despite the legacy of more than 60 years of violence and civil war, Colombia has a diverse modern economy with a large and well-educated urban middle class, political stability, and a functional business, financial, logistics and legal infrastructure.
Now more than a decade after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Iraq remains deeply troubled by dangerous ethnic and sectarian divisions, woeful security conditions, and chronic political instability in Baghdad that has undermined the central government’s efforts to firmly establish its authority throughout the country. Those weaknesses have long prevented Iraq from realizing the potential of its massive oil reserves, and more recently, have exposed the country to an existential threat.
Special Report — North American defense, Arctic security, and Russian imperial delusions are large interlocking topics. My purpose here is to provide context, linkages, and a broad analysis with some key specifics. In the space permitted, the assessment cannot be comprehensive. But I will examine some of the crucial actual and potential threats to Canada and possible ways to understand, counter, or at least mitigate these.
SPECIAL REPORT—As the United States becomes an ever-greater energy producer, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and other relatively large energy producing countries will be negatively impacted. And with decreasing U.S. dependency on Middle Eastern oil, China, now the world’s largest consumer of energy, will become more influential there. But the biggest impact will be on the United States, which stands to significantly benefit in terms of economic growth, manufacturing output and corporate competitiveness.
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