European options for managing a rising China.

Abstract How should Europe respond to China’s growing economic and military capabilities, and to the more assertive foreign policy behavior it has generated? Should it seek to check or even resist China’s rise, or should it instead rely on a strategy of engagement and accommodation? Three distinct and coherent strategic visions exist that could guide Europe’s policy and strategy toward China and the Asia Pacific over the next 10 or 15 years. These range from narrow commitments to Europe’s own security and material prosperity to more ambitious and expansive efforts to shape and influence events in the Asia Pacific. These three strategic visions are (1) balancing, (2) engagement, and (3) retrenchment. After outlining and evaluating each strategic vision, this article then offers a brief review and analysis of Europe’s current approach toward China, which is a hodgepodge of engagement and retrenchment. The article concludes by examining what might cause Europe to pursue a clearer and more consistent strategic approach toward China in the years ahead.

The title is Europe’s response to China’s rise: competing strategic visions and the author is Richard Maher.

You can download the paper below.

Europe’s response to China’s rise.

 

EU and same sex marriage.

 

The term ‘spouse’ within the meaning of the provisions of EU law on freedom of residence for EU citizens and their family members includes spouses of the same sex.

 

Although the Member States have the freedom whether or not to authorise marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory.

That is from the Court of Justice of the European Union and while I agree with the sentiment, will only further widen the cultural gaps in the EU.

There is a time when it is more important to be effective than right.

The press release announcing the decision can be read here.

How does OBOR threaten American strategy in Eurasia?

First, its naval dimension works in synergy with overland projects that span regions of critical geostrategic value, taking advantage of China’s central position along the Eurasian rimland. While U.S. leaders have focused on Beijing’s maritime buildup in East Asia, and while most analyses have derided its massive investments in poor and unstable parts of continental Eurasia, those initiatives are mutually reinforcing, part of the same grand design, which is to push the U.S. toward the periphery of the Eurasian rimland, thereby marginalizing its geostrategic influence.

 

Second, Beijing seeks to offset the United States’ military primacy. Its buildup in maritime East Asia and the South China sea is worthy of attention but it is also designed in response to the U.S. naval presence and to the alliances that American leaders have nurtured along China’s southern flank since the early years of the Cold War. Regardless, this specific challenge should not absorb the bulk of the United States’ resources. For all of its military initiatives, Beijing’s key priority is to make strategic gains by leveraging its superior geoeconomic assets: vast and fast-growing market, full state control over the economy, and massive financial reserves.

 

Third, to advance its interests, China exploits the cracks in U.S. post-Cold War hegemony. Washington’s interferences in Russia and Iran’s respective spheres of influence, and its military interventionism in the Middle East, triggered a nationalist and Islamist backlash that significantly diminished its resources and credibility. The unending global war on terror and misguided attempts at forceful democracy promotion only compounded this strategic overreach, while the militarization of Washington’s national security apparatus reduced its ability to tackle the deeper roots of those multi-dimensional challenges.

The title of the work is “What Does China’s Belt and Road Initiative Mean for US Grand Strategy?” and other interesting points made throughout.

The author Thomas P. Cavanna is and the rest can be read here.

How MBS’s Blockade Not Only Failed to Achieve Its Goals but Backfired

In the initial weeks after the blockade was announced, Qatar’s imports dropped nearly 40 percent from the same time a year earlier.  Today those numbers have returned to normal as Doha, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas, responded by developing new trade routes, propping up its banks with state money and helping local firms develop domestic output of some goods – including food. Qatar has also begun to develop the world’s largest LNG field that it shares with Iran in the Persian Gulf

 

According to an International Monetary Fund report from March, Qatar’s banking system has recovered from initial outflows and the economy is expected to grow 2.6 percent this year – compared to 2.1 percent in 2017. Even the country’s fiscal deficit is estimated to have narrowed to about 6 percent of gross domestic product in 2017 from 9.2 percent in 2016 , the IMF said.

Noting improvements in their human rights record, the article notes…

The reforms include legislation that would improve labor standards for migrant workers, including a domestic workers law, and a draft law granting permanent residency to children born to Qatari mothers and foreign fathers and to some foreign residents living in the country.

You can read more at Haaretz, here.