The End of the American International Order: What Comes Next?

This is the text of a speech delivered by Ian Bremmer on November 18 at the 2019 GZERO Summit in Tokyo.

China has made its decision. Beijing is building a separate system of Chinese technology—its own standards, infrastructure, and supply chains—to compete with the West.

Make no mistake: this is the single most consequential geopolitical decision taken in the last three decades. It’s also the greatest threat to globalization since the end of World War II.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Globalization has lifted billions of people from poverty around the world. We now live longer, healthier, and more productive lives than ever before. We are better educated and better informed than at any time in history. There has never been a better place and a better time to be alive than right here, right now.

So why are so many people so angry, and why is globalization under unprecedented threat?

Why are citizens in country after country bitterly casting aside both governing and opposition parties in favor of political disruptors?

At this moment in history, why is there so much alarm?

Because this IS a moment of transformation, and uncertainty. In much of the world, the lightning-fast, cross-border flows of ideas, information, people, money, goods and services—the same forces that have created so much opportunity and prosperity—also generate fear.

Fear that the world now becomes more complicated and more dangerous in real time. Fear that the world we knew is gone for good, and fear that no one is willing and able to do anything about it.

I want to talk with you today about why all this is happening, and why it’s so vitally important that we’re having this conversation at this moment—and in the heart of this great country.

Japan is both blessed and burdened by its unique place in this G-Zero world. Japan has the political stability, the foresight, and the technological talent to help lead the world into a brighter future than the one we currently face. We all have reason to hope that Japan’s leaders, its companies, its political will, and its people will help lead the transition toward a new order, one in which human ingenuity, moral imagination, and courage can help all of us meet the challenges to come.

The Geopolitical Recession

When I started Eurasia Group in 1998, our clients were interested almost exclusively in the so-called emerging-markets countries, those that presented both big growth opportunities and …read more

Source:: Time – World


China Urges the U.S. to “Stop Flexing Muscles” in the South China Sea

BANGKOK (AP) — China on Monday urged the U.S. military to “stop flexing muscles” in the disputed South China Sea, a point of persistent friction in a relationship both sides said was generally improving.

A spokesman for the Chinese ministry of defense, Col. Wu Qian, told reporters in Bangkok that the South China Sea was among numerous issues discussed earlier in the day when U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper held his first face-to-face meeting with the Chinese defense minister, Gen. Wei Fenghe. They met for more than half an hour on the margins of a broader Asia defense officials’ conference.

“We agreed to keep talking and engaging frequently,” Esper told reporters afterward in a brief exchange. “We continue to make progress on any number of issues.”

The South China Sea for years has been a major point of contention between Beijing and Washington. China claims the South China Sea as its sovereign territory, but those claims overlap with those of other Asian governments. The United States has no territorial stake but has periodically sailed Navy ships through areas of the sea that China considers off-limits.

Wu, the defense ministry spokesman, told a news conference that Esper and Wei had a “very positive and constructive” meeting and “agreed in many areas.” But he was clear that Beijing is irritated at the U.S. Navy’s presence in the South China Sea. Wu said Wei reaffirmed China’s commitment to safeguarding “territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests” in the South China Sea.

“The Chinese side also urges the U.S. side to stop flexing muscles in the South China Sea and do not provoke and escalate tensions in the South China Sea,” he said through a Chinese interpreter. Asked by a reporter to be more specific about Chinese objections, Wu said the U.S. should “stop intervening in the South China Sea and stop military provocations.”

Asked about China’s view on the civil unrest in Hong Kong, Wu said, “Ending violence and restoring order is the most pressing task we have in Hong Kong.”

…read more

Source:: Time – World


Hong Kong Police Storm University Campus Occupied by Protesters

Police briefly stormed Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University Monday morning after a violent, days-long siege on the protester-occupied campus saw some of the most violent battles since the unrest began six months ago.

Protesters have spent days barricaded inside the fortress-like campus. Police surrounded the university on Sunday and issued an ultimatum, warning anyone choosing to remain in the area could be charged with rioting and threatening to use live ammunition if met with further resistance. But protesters continued to counter the volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets with gasoline bombs, slingshots and bows and arrows.

Clashes went on throughout the night as scores—potentially hundreds—of protesters repelled police advances, including an attempt to get through with an armored vehicle. Smoke billowed above the grounds as barricades were set ablaze. One police officer was stuck in the leg with an arrow, while students said some protesters suffered hypothermia after they were doused by water canons in the night.

As dawn broke, riot police momentarily breached the main entrance, reportedly making some arrests. But fiery explosions seen on livefeeds appeared to push the officers back again not long after.

By Monday morning, a stream of black-clad protesters made a dash for the exits, but were driven back by tear gas and rubber bullets.

Polytechnic University adjoins the Cross Harbour Tunnel—a vital artery that connects the Kowloon peninsula with the banking and commercial districts of Hong Kong Island, lying on the opposite shore of Victoria Harbour. Protesters have forced the tunnel’s closure for days by erecting burning barricades across the tunnel approach roads, razing toll booths and hurling objects from a footbridge that leads from the campus across the toll plaza.

The fiery confrontations at the university and the looming threat of live rounds mark a sharp escalation in the protests, which started out with peaceful marches in June. The movement has increasingly turned more violent as police attempts to quell the unrest drive more protesters into adopting radical tactics.

Galvanized by the death of a student who fell during demonstrations earlier this month, protesters have shifted from the standard fare of weekend rallies to instead holding daily strikes that have snarled traffic and prompted schools to cancel classes for over a week.

University students, who form the front line core of the movement, occupied five university campuses last week, fortifying the entrances and seizing the surrounding transport routes. But while the other campuses emptied over the weekend, a standoff culminated …read more

Source:: Time – World