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TOPIC: xi jinping

In The News

Ukraine Recaptures New Village, NYC Climate March, Surf’s Down For Pet Python

👋 ሰላም*

Welcome to Monday, where Ukraine claims its second significant frontline gain in three days, tens of thousands march down Manhattan to demand an end to fossil fuels, and an Australian man is slapped with a big fine for an unusual surfing stunt. Meanwhile, Boris Gorozovsky in Russian independent news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii looks at the passport limbo for exiled Belarusians.

[*Selam - Amharic, Ethiopia]

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Xi Jinping's G20 Absence — And Risks Of A Splintering World

There will be no Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping at this weekend's summit of the world's 20 leading economies in New Delhi: a symbol of the fragmentation of the world that has accelerated since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

-Analysis-

If ever a symbol of the divisions in today's world was needed, the summit of the world's 20 leading economies, the G20, offers it to us on a silver platter.

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Make No Mistake, The Hawks Are Running China

China released a new map where it borrows strips of lands from its neighbors. Although this is far from being the first time the country is involved in territorial disputes, Beijing's growing military shows it has the power (and will?) to try to make it a reality.

-Analysis-

PARIS — Imagine if tomorrow, one of France's neighbors published a map that showed entire swathes of French territory as its own. And did the same with many other neighbors. That is, in simple terms, what China did last week — and as you can image, its neighbors are not pleased at all.

The map, published by China's Ministry of Natural Resources and circulated on social media, has drawn condemnation from all of China's neighbors: Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and of course the special case of Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be a stray part of its own territory.

But the strongest reaction came from India, after two disputed Himalayan regions were presented as being part of China. Narendra Modi's government responded yesterday with a show of military force on the borders with Pakistan and China.

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Why India Should Bet On A BRICS Future (And Let G20 Pass On By)

With the G20 in New Delhi around the corner, India risks finding itself the wrong side of history, and end up as an observer and not one of the drivers of a "once in a lifetime" change.

-Analysis-

NEW DELHIIndia may believe it is in strategic competition with China over leadership of the Global South but the recent BRICS meet made it clear who is calling the shots. Watching from afar, the U.S.-led G7 nations could see that China was the key determinant of the summit’s accomplishments and that their own influence over the developing world had diminished substantially.

The biggest unsaid gain made by China was the deft shifting of its global geopolitical game – based on "common prosperity and cooperative security" — from east Asia to the 54-nation African continent. The attendance of some 35 African nations at the Johannesburg summit as South Africa’s invitees, followed by 50 African nations attending the third China-Africa Peace and Security forum in Beijing on Aug. 29 is testimony to the attraction President Xi Jinping’s "Global Development Initiative" (GDI) and "Global Security Initiative" (GSI) hold for the Global South.

The focus of the China-Africa Peace and Security forum was on peacekeeping (most of China’s 2,700+ peacekeepers are in Africa), counterterrorism, cyber security, humanitarian aid and military education.

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In The News
Emma Albright, Laure Gautherin, Valeria Berghinz and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Gabon Coup Leader Sworn In, Escaping Burning Man, Google Turns 25

👋 Ǹdéèwō!*

Welcome to Monday, where Gabon’s coup leader is sworn in as “transitional president” after President Ali Bongo was ousted last week, Russia launches an attack on one of Ukraine’s biggest grain ports and the most-used search engine celebrates its 25th birthday. Meanwhile, in Les Echos, Basile Dekonink reports from the small Balkan nation of Albania, where incessant waves of emigration have decimated demographics.

[*Igbo - Nigeria]

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Geopolitics
Pierre Haski

Ukraine War And BRICS Ambitions? Why The Superpowers Still Hold The Cards

The war in Ukraine has become globalized, with its effects being felt from Africa to China. The only hope of de-escalation is in a potential diplomatic summit between the U.S. and China this autumn.

-Analysis-

PARIS — Beware of optical illusions. The fact that the war in Ukraine has become globalized doesn't mean it's a world war. Nonetheless, its impact is being felt everywhere, and political decisions regarding the unfolding conflict in Ukraine, fueled by doubts and ideological divisions, cannot be reserved to the European theater alone.

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Take the BRICS Summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in Johannesburg this week: It may give the impression that a coherent anti-Western bloc is emerging. The reality is more complex, and while the participants all benefit from this political display, their differences are immense. Yet, we must not overlook the political message being sent out by this emerging "club" of nations.

When it comes to the Sahel region of north-central Africa, for example, we risk falling into the same distorted reflection of reality. After the putsch in Niger, it would be a mistake to see these repeated coups d'état as just one facet of the new global Cold War. The presence of the Wagner group and the specter of Russia are an opportunistic result of instability rather than its cause: the political crisis is first and foremost an African one.

Confusing cause and consequence can lead to over-reactions, of which history is full of examples. Still, the African continent is being dragged unwillingly into the shockwave of the invasion of Ukraine.

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Geopolitics
Yves Bourdillon

China And Taiwan: The Why, When And How Of An Inevitable War

Beijing is obsessed with absorbing the “rebel island,” but a peaceful reintegration seems more and more unlikely. Despite the risk of an economic, and maybe military, confrontation with the U.S. and allies, an attempt by China to take Taiwan by force is probable, sometime between 2027 and 2049.

-Analysis-

BEIJING — In all probability, China will attack Taiwan one day. Everything points to this dramatic scenario, which would lead to an economic and perhaps even military conflict between Beijing and the U.S., vying for position as the world’s leading powers and “bosses” of the Pacific.

Such a conflict could involve European countries and possibly the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Vietnam and India. A Beijing victory would allow it to dominate all of Asia-Pacific.

Indeed, Xi Jinping’s regime is obsessed with the idea of reintegrating the “rebel island,” as it calls Taiwan — arguing that it was under Beijing’s control for part of its history (from 1683 to 1895; the rest of the time, it was under Portuguese, Dutch and then Japanese sovereignty, before the remains of the nationalist regime, defeated by Ma, landed there in 1949).

Giving it up is unthinkable for the Chinese leader, as illustrated by his insistence, in his “Chinese Dream” doctrine, that “Taiwanese separatism” would be the “most serious threat to national rejuvenation.” Reintegration will happen, according to him, by means fair or foul. In all probability, that means by force.

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Geopolitics
Bahadır Kaynak

Why Erdogan Is Watching Modi's Seduction Of The West So Closely

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was received warmly in the U.S. and in France — visits which must have provoked some jealousy in Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces many of the same anti-democratic criticisms as Modi, can't expect the same kind of red-carpet welcome in Washington.

-Analysis-

ISTANBUL — It has been a pretty good month for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which included greenlighting Sweden's NATO membership and holding a one-on-one meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden.

Based on these news, and not long after Turkey's recent presidential election, it looks like Erdogan is taking steps to straighten out his relations with the West. Finally, a chance to leave the tension-filled recent years behind, despite numerous ongoing issues.

However, some on the other side of the world are waltzing through the doors Erdogan can barely crack open. While Ankara deals with weapon embargoes, alongside political and economic pressures, some leaders with similar policies are welcomed on the red carpet.

I’m talking about the kind reception Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received recently,first in the U.S. and then in France. Modi’s visit to the U.S., about a month ago, was shadowed by the Wagner mercenary uprising in Russia, but it was a development that was worth talking about.

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In The News
Chloé Touchard, Valeria Berghinz Anne-Sophie Goninet and Katarzyna Skiba

Auckland Shooting, Kissinger Meets Xi, Columbus Letter Returned

👋 नमस्कार*

Welcome to Thursday, where a shooting leaves two dead in Auckland as the soccer Women’s World Cup kicks off in New Zealand and Australia, Russia launches new attacks on Odessa and Mykolaiv and Italy’s got some 15th-century mail. Meanwhile, Persian-language media Kayhan-London reports on the murder of a 15-year-old girl by her parents, in the context of so-called “honor killings” in Iran.

[*Namaskār - Marathi, India]

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Geopolitics
Pierre Haski

For China, Putin's Russia Has Become A Lesson In How Not To Exercise Power

There are many lessons to be taken from Yevgeny Prigozhin's aborted uprising in the halls of power China. Going forward, Beijing will see Russia as a model on what to avoid in maintaining stability autocratic rule.

-Analysis-

Russia is an endless source of lessons for China. In 1991, after the demise of the USSR, the Chinese Communist Party produced a film to learn from its lessons. It was shown to all Party cadres as a kind of anti-model. Thirty years later, Russia once again demonstrates the mistakes to avoid if one wants to be a lasting dictatorship.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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China remained silent on Saturday as the Wagner mutiny unfolded. It waited for its conclusion before downplaying what was described as a mere "incident". The day after, a Russian vice-minister was in Beijing to reassure the country, as China is the most vital ally to Russia during times of economic sanctions.

It is not necessarily displeasing to Beijing to see Vladimir Putin weakened, as it strengthens China's influence. However, Beijing is concerned about him being too weakened, as it would no longer serve Beijing's interests in its cold war with the United States. This is now the risk at hand.

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In The News
Yannick Champion-Osselin, Sophie Jacquier, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Katarzyna Skiba

Submarine Search Sounds, Biden Calls Xi A “Dictator”, Stonehenge Solstice

👋 Kamusta!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where time is running out to find the missing Titanic submarine explorer, Joe Biden calls Xi Jinping a “dictator,” and the“best in the world” restaurant is in a surprising city. Meanwhile, Laura Berlinghieri in Italian daily La Stampa highlights renewed efforts by the country's right-wing government to crack down on same-sex parents.

[*Tagalog, Philippines]

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Geopolitics
Pierre Haski

U.S. And China — In Search Of That Sort-Of Sweet Spot Called Détente

The U.S. Secretary of State is visiting Beijing — but even if it's a sign of de-escalation, tensions remain high between the two sides, and it's clear the détente has yet to arrive.

-Analysis-

PARIS — Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, is in Beijing this weekend to meet with Chinese leaders.

Originally scheduled for February, the visit was canceled in the wake of the Chinese spy balloon affair over the United States — so the visit is significant in of itself.

But one visit does not a détente make. The gulf between Beijing and Washington has become too large to be bridged in a few hours of talks. Still, it had become unhealthy and even worrying that these two modern superpowers had hardly spoken to each other for seven months. The last time they communicated was the Bali summit meeting between U.S and Chinese leaders Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in November.

Meanwhile, rhetoric on both sides has continued to escalate. Military tensions are becoming increasingly frequent in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait. The U.S. military has released videos of high-risk aerial and naval encounters that put both armies at risk of an accidental clash that could easily spiral out of control.

Last month, Washington suggested a meeting between the two defense ministers during a conference in Singapore, but Beijing refused, as its minister was subject to U.S. sanctions. In other words, the mood is not one of détente.

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