Insights

General Politics

Accidental war and Xi's sleepless nights

General Politics

Jens Presthus
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At a private meeting in Beijing before the covid-19 pandemic, President Xi Jinping confided to a visiting foreign guest that there were two things which kept him awake at night. The first, China falling into the middle-income trap. The second, China going to war with the US “by accident”. The latter concern of Xi could not be more pertinent in the wake of…

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Stuck in the middle: the MENA perspective on US-China relations

General Policy

Ahmed Helal
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This episode is part of our annual conference 'The Politics of'. This year's edition, 'The Politics of Decoupling', will present a global perspective on China’s industrial and political strategy for the next decade, and how it will affect its relationship with western-aligned countries.

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The geopolitics of development spending

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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Jon Garvie, Miranda Lutz, Stephen Adams and Jens Presthus take a deep-dive into the growing prominence of infrastructure spending, exploring how and why it is becoming a geopolitical fault-line between the West and China.

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China’s domestic struggle to internationalise the RMB

Financial Services

Jens Presthus
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Internationalisation of the Ren Min Bi (RMB) has again become a hot topic. Not just in western media, which often depicts it as a looming existential threat to the dollar-based global economy, but also within China. However, China is currently not in a position where it can remove capital controls – the minimum requirement for making the RMB an international currency –…

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Chinese regulation: rational or erratic?

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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In the last 12 months, we have seen countless Chinese companies caught in the crossfire of regulatory change in China – with significant financial impact. 

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Making Open Strategic Autonomy work – European Trade in a Geopolitical World

Trade & Manufacturing

Gregor Irwin
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Global Counsel has supported the European Roundtable of Industrialists in producing a flagship report on the EU’s trade policy and the challenges faced in more complex geopolitical environment. The report argues that being open to trade is a source of strength for supply chains, rather than weakness, and suggests how the EU might best put into practice its new policy of…

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After Alaska: tech investment and US-China tensions

TMT

Jens Presthus
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The meeting between US and Chinese officials in Alaska on March 19th left little doubt that the new Biden administration does not mean a quick rapprochement between Beijing and Washington. If anything, Chinese officials upped the ante by making it clear that they see little downside to taking a tough line and signalling that China will emerge confident from covid-19. …

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The China angle to the EU-China investment deal

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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The conclusion in principle of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) has been controversial. Many have wondered why the EU wanted to hastily finalise negotiations less than a month before Joe Biden could attempt to revive transatlantic cooperation, including on China. Questions about Beijing’s intentions have received less attention because there has…

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Russia and China tackle internet regulation

TMT

Stephen Adams
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Senior Associate, Jens Presthus, and Associate, Frederick Michell, join Senior Director, Stephen Adams, to look at internet regulation in China and Russia. They explore how digital companies, both foreign and domestic, could be affected by future regulation and how each country plans to tackle misinformation. Their discussion highlights that the two countries, whilst…

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Southeast Asia in 2021: three economic themes to watch

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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There is no country in Southeast Asia that has escaped the impact of covid-19 unscathed, although the intensity of the pandemic’s disruption and individual countries’ abilities to adapt have varied significantly. Early government intervention to restrict international travel and the implementation of strict lockdown measures meant that in terms of covid-19 cases,…

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China’s engineered economic recovery

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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The dust has now settled on China’s latest GDP figures. As usual, even without going into questions about the reliability of official numbers, the data dump has led to some confusion. Strong headline GDP growth has been widely reported, both inside and outside of China – pointing to a strong recovery. However, while China without a doubt currently is doing better than…

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Xi Jinping, the party and China beyond 2022

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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The pandemic and its economic fallout may have put Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China (CPC) under enormous pressure, but it has also allowed Xi to tighten his grip on power and widen the party’s role in the Chinese economy. He has done this by launching two campaigns: one that focuses on rooting out corruption in law enforcement, and one that seeks to strengthen…

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The looming risks of China’s corporate social credit system

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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China’s corporate social credit system (SCS) is set to be rolled out on a large scale this year. It rates, sanctions and rewards companies operating in China based on a long list of metrics and imposes strict rules that Beijing says aim to root out “untrustworthy” companies. With the social credit system, it could be argued that Beijing is also more strictly enforcing…

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ASEAN and the rise of China’s southwest

Trade & Manufacturing

Jens Presthus
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Beijing announced this summer it would establish new free-trade zones in the country’s southwest. This represents a significant development in China’s strategy to boost growth and expand its influence in Southeast Asia through its Belt and Road Initiative. China’s eastern provinces have until now been at the core of Beijing’s “opening up” strategy. But now, amid the…

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General Politics

China in Europe: systemic rival or strategic partner?

General Politics

Stephen Adams
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Global Counsel Senior Director, Stephen Adams and Senior Associate, Jens Presthus, discuss his recent blog about China’s relationships with the EU and individual European states.

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General Politics

China in Europe: systemic rival or strategic partner?

General Politics

Jens Presthus
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Last week’s EU-China summit and 17+1 meeting underscored something interesting in how China’s relationships with the EU and individual European states are developing. While a group of influential EU states view Beijing as a “systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance”, several EU and non-EU states increasingly see China as a strategic partner.

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