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  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: With the presidential primary season having ended this week, the race for the White House now heads for the party conventions. Since effectively securing the Republican nomination, Texas Governor George Bush has regained his poll lead over the de facto Democratic nominee, Vice-President Al Gore. If Bush retains a clear poll lead by the convention season, the current signs of apprehension amongst Democratic leaders will become more apparent. If Gore can more closely identify himself with the economy's exceptionally strong performance, he is perfectly capable of staging a full recovery and securing victory in November.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: A recent meeting of Asian countries on how to combat increasingly violent pirates in the region follows landmark prosecutions of those involve, but years of half-hearted action by coastal states. The International Chamber of Commerce has already called on ASEAN trade bloc nations to join China and Japan in signing the 1988 UN Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (the Rome convention). It would allow pirates caught in seas beyond national maritime jurisdictions to be prosecuted as international criminals. However, 14 of the 16 countries at the Japanese-sponsored talks in Singapore last March have yet to sign. Findings will be presented to a high-level international conference between regional maritime security agencies and government shipping bodies in Tokyo this month.
  • Topic: Security, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, Singapore
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: China's relatively rapid growth cannot mask the fundamental problems the economy faces. The government will be forced to continue to apply stimulus to the economy, but the sustainability of this approach is limited. The positive impact of eventual WTO membership will take time to be felt, while accession–related reforms and increased foreign competition will prove disruptive. The country has a limited time in which to prepare.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Christiaan Vrolijk
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Kyoto Protocol agreed in December 1997 was a landmark, but not an end point. Negotiations are on going to fill in the gaps left in the Protocol. From 2 to 14 November the Conference of Parties met again to follow up on Kyoto in its fourth session (COP-4) in Buenos Aires. After the media hype of the Japan meeting, the lack of news coverage was not entirely deserved. Although discussions had to focus on filling in the details in the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, these details will determine just how big a step Kyoto was The Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) was negotiated at the \'Earth Summit\' in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and has entered into force in 1994. Under the Convention the Parties have committed themselves to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations \'at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system\'. The headline commitment for the countries listed in Annex I of the Convention, the industrialized countries, is to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, and to show a reversal in the trend of growing emissions before the year 2000. The Conference of Parties meets annually as the supreme body of the Convention, dealing with various issues related to it. The Kyoto Protocol, negotiated at COP-3 in Japan, is a Protocol to the FCCC, and as such was also on the negotiating table of the COP in Argentina. It sets out renewed, and now legally binding, emission reduction commitments for the Annex B Parties (the industrialized and former COMECON countries). The overall commitments add up to a 5% reduction from 1990 in a basket of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, some industrial gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6) and emissions and removals from land-use change and forestry (LUCF). After its entry into force, the Meeting of Parties (to the Kyoto Protocol) will take over the responsibility for the Protocol issues Many Annex B Parties that have taken up commitments under the Kyoto Protocol stressed the importance at working on the rules for the mechanisms of the Protocol. The EU also stressed the need for limits on the use of these mechanisms and a compliance regime. The G77/China stressed the importance of a debate on the adverse effects and impact of responses. One of the commentators said that Article 17 on international emissions trading \'contains the basic principles, but its main feature is the fact that it can be interpreted to anyone\'s liking\'. Many articles leave room for further work by the COP. Even if the text was not deliberately ambiguous, only general principles were described, so that the 170 Parties at the negotiations could reach agreement, with a later COP to decide on the details of the issue This paper will first briefly discuss the science of climate change and then consider the Buenos Aires Plan of Action and the most important individual issues of the conference.
  • Topic: Environment, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: In the past nine months, the United States and the United Kingdom have pursued a low-intensity military campaign against Iraq. Such actions have been made easier by a lack of political scrutiny. However, the US administration in particular now faces mounting criticism from France, China and Russia, who favour a relaxation of policy, and domestic US interest groups favouring a more activist stance. Despite these pressures, US President Bill Clinton is unlikely to change policy significantly in his remaining 18 months of office.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iraq, United Kingdom, Middle East, France
  • Author: Keun-Wook Paik, Jae-Yong Choi
  • Publication Date: 01-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The lack of indigenous oil and gas resources in Northeast Asia is a real obstacle to the region's economic development, and the region has paid the price. The importance of the introduction of pipeline gas into Northeast Asia lies not only in diversifying supply sources but also in providing price leverage for the region's consumers. Despite many implementation problems, the Sino-Russian agreement on East Siberian gas and pipeline development laid a firm basis for the introduction of pipeline gas into the region, and this could fundamentally affect the region's energy supply balance in the coming decades. The introduction of pipeline gas will open a new era of multilateral cooperation in the region. It is now no longer a matter of whether but when and how this gas will be introduced. Northeast Asia — comprising China, Russian Asia (Siberia and the Far East), Korea and Japan — forms the world's biggest market for liquefied natural gas (LNG). Out of world trade totalling just over 100 bcm in 1996, 63.8 bcm was imported by Japan and 13 bcm by Korea, together representing 75% of the world total. Given that China is set to import both LNG and pipeline gas in the next decade, there will be further rapid growth in the region's demand for gas. Many questions about the scale of expansion, the introduction of pipeline gas as a part of the expansion, the role of natural gas in power generation, and the establishment of multilateral cooperation for the pipeline development remain unresolved. Nevertheless, recent announcements by CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation) of two contracts signed with the Kazakstan government for the development of oilfields for transport via pipeline to western China are a strong signal that the Northeast Asian region is set to witness the introduction of long-distance pipeline oil. In the longer term, these developments may be eclipsed by the development of pipeline gas. This paper briefly reviews the potential gas and oil supply sources to the Northeast Asian region and recent developments, together with the problems that need to be tackled for early implementation of pipeline gas. After presenting the results of a unique survey on the views of both Japanese and Korean companies on the Northeast Asian natural gas market and the development of long-distance pipelines, the paper discusses the implications of such developments.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, Northeast Asia