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Pointing to the Future

What China Can Gain from Trump’s Trade War.  The unintended consequence of the trade war with the US is that China is now fortifying itself for a new era of political and economic challenges. In the longer term, reducing its reliance on foreign trade and imported technologies will leave China less willing to acquiesce to US-designed rules.

China is Losing the New Cold War.  As China enters a new “cold war” with the US, the Communist Party of China seems to be at risk of repeating the same catastrophic blunders of the Soviet Union. Like the Soviet Union, China is paying through the nose for a few friends, gaining limited benefits while becoming entrenched in an unsustainable arms race.

The US-China Trade War is About More Than Trade.  The Trump administration perceives China to be an existential economic threat over the coming decade due to the Belt and Road Initiative and “Made in China 2025”. This has led to China viewing the Trump administration’s actions as a version of a containment policy rather than in purely trade terms.

China’s Aid: The Image Boost.  China is supporting the expansion of several key industries in Africa to help improve its global image and deflect criticism of its development approach and signature Belt and Road Initiative.

Will Chinese Development Projects Pave the Way to Inclusive Growth.  While China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has provoked a great deal of speculation and controversy, there are reasons to believe that it could be effective at spreading economic development gains to rural and remote areas within low-income and middle-income countries.

China’s Arms Trade: A Rival for Global Influence.  China becoming a major arms exporter in recent years coupled with their growing geopolitical ambitions has become the launch pad for China to increase its military influence across Africa.

Where Interests Meet.  Trump wants America’s allies and partners to do more and as a rising power, India is eager to take more responsibility for promoting regional peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. The first ever “two-plus-two” meeting between India and the USA is a platform set more ambitious goals for the future.

The 2+2 Dialogue: A Step Forward Despite Hurdles.  The US has already invested significantly in India’s rise and its views on China’s belt and road initiative align with those of India’s, signaling that India-US Indo-Pacific cooperation has never had greater momentum. The inaugural India-US 2+2 dialogue has been another significant step in the same journey.

Two Discourses on Strategic Autonomy.  India has begun to take a more practical view of “strategic autonomy” and has shed some inhibitions against security cooperation with the West. Both, India and Europe need to strengthen their security partnership as a hedge against the rise of new regional hegemons and the US retrenchment in Eurasia.

Reconnecting With Europe.  Over the last four years, the NDA government sought to intensify engagement by launching an expansive engagement with European countries at the political level. This has led to a rapid advance in the engagement with the EU currently mapping out an “India Strategy” expected to lay out an ambitious new agenda for the relationship.

The Rupee is Falling and India Should Let It.  The Indian Rupee is one of Asia’s worst performing currencies, losing 12% this year. However, a weaker Rupee would also offset competition of cheap imports from countries like China, which could give domestic industries a much-needed boost.

India is Standing Still As Global Trade Changes.  Global trade is changing swiftly with the increase in regional trading agreements (RTAs) over the last decade. India must keep up by focusing on structural reforms, such as rationalizing India’s tariff structure.

The Perils of Digital Protectionism.  Some policy practitioners in India have begun to advocate a China-like approach to digital economy regulation. However, India’s only serious chance at creating a production base is by leveraging inward flows of finance and technology towards serving global value chains and not reproducing the Chinese template.

India’s Energy Needs and Ambitions, and The Global Implications For Carbon Emissions.  India’s energy strategy is important for any global discussion about lowering carbon emissions. However, scaling renewable energy and deep decarbonization of India’s energy system will require a host of technical, policy, and regulatory improvements.

China’s Tech Bubble.  With the Chinese government pumping money into the tech sector, there is an abundance of cash, but a deficit in strong, well-managed tech firms in China. This has led to bad start-ups getting funded when they shouldn’t, and good start-ups being overfunded and overvalued.