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  • Author: François Chimits, Ashley T. Lenihan, Jonathan Liebenau, Stephen Paduano, Anthony Vinci, Peter Watkins
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The Biden Presidency offers opportunities for a renewed effort at formulating a coordinated allied approach to technological and economic competition with China. The latest report from China Foresight at LSE IDEAS provides a guiding framework for transatlantic coordination, and offers insights into key elements of future cooperation. While challenges abound, the opportunities for action prove just as great in number.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Transatlantic Relations, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Higgott, Simon Reich
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: For some time, international relations has trended in the direction of an American and Chinese dominated binary world order. While the Trump administration has been an accelerator not a cause of this trend between 2016 and 2020, not coincidentally the post 2016 era has also seen key EU figures move to develop a strategy of greater "strategic autonomy". This interest in strategic autonomy was, in no small part, a reflection of growing European distrust in the reliability of both China and, increasingly, the USA. The paper shows, in contrast to the Cold War era during which the EU was unambiguously aligned, how the EU now appears to have embarked on a hedging strategy, albeit implemented more by default than design. In its desire to defend its core interests the EU appears to lean to one side or the other on an issue by issue basis in at least seven key policy domains identified in the paper. This approach is seen to be the outcome of its dual desire to articulate the values of its much touted “Geopolitical Commission" at the same time as it tries to continue its traditional institutional commitment to multilateralism. The paper concludes that the ambiguity present in this endeavour to straddle the realist-liberal fence only serves to expose the limitations of the strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, European Union, Geopolitics, Strategic Autonomy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Chris Alden, Stephen Paduano, Mzukisi Qobo, Lukas Fiala, Iginio Gagliardone, Yu-Shan Wu, Gidon Gautel, Lina Benabdallah
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The China-Africa relationship has continued to evolve over the last years. In light of the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will take place later in 2021, the latest report from LSE IDEAS China Foresight brings together an international team of experts to shed light on emerging and consolidated areas of engagement between China and Africa that will likely shape the relationship in the years to come.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Engagement
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Gidon Gautel
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The 2020s will see a flurry of space activity, with both national and commercial programs picking up pace. Both the United States and China hold strong ambitions in telecommunications, lunar exploration, and beyond. However, currently fraught relations between the superpowers are unlikely to improve and may yet deteriorate further. On the one hand, competition between both countries may drive space activities and foster technological innovation. On the other, as both superpowers expand their activities in space, geopolitical tensions may increase the risk of harmful dynamics that could endanger the sustainable rollout of future programs. In this Strategic Update, Gidon Gautel seeks to outline and call attention to two high-risk flash points arising from the development of the US and China’s national space programmes and industries.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Space, Innovation, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Chris Alden, Kenddrick Chan
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This Strategic Update explores how official Chinese foreign policy entities have used Twitter as a public diplomacy platform during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nature of their Twitter activity, and what this means for Chinese Twitter Diplomacy in the future.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Social Media, COVID-19, Twitter, Digital Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Vuk Vuksanovic
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: In recent years, the partnership between Serbia and China has been elevated to a historically unprecedented level. This partnership manifests itself through Chinese economic statecraft, technological partnership, security partnership, with political ties reaching an unprecedented degree during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as Vuk Vuksanovic examines, the future of this partnership will be dependent on the trajectory of China’s relationship with the West. As US-China relations are becoming adversarial, and as China’s relations with the EU are shaken, it will become increasingly difficult and risky for Belgrade to maintain its ties with Beijing. From ‘vaccine diplomacy’ to ‘debt-trap diplomacy’, this Strategic Update examines the Sino-Serbian partnership we are witnessing and what the future has in store for Serbian policymakers.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Partnerships, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Serbia
  • Author: Dimitri Zabelin
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: COVID-19 has accelerated the trend of deglobalisation and further entrenched China into the growing political and economic fort of Asia. This has made the US less effective at implementing policies aimed at curbing Beijing’s political ambitions and strength in the region. Washington must therefore make itself indispensable in Asia and employ strategies for bringing China into a global network that can collectively reign in the Asian giant’s growing influence.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Strategic Competition, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Yee-Kuang Heng
  • Publication Date: 11-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: In this Strategic Update, Professor Yee-Kuang Heng investigates European power projection and presence in the Indo-Pacific, and its converging nature with Japan’s attempt to shape the regional environment in its favour. While UK threat perceptions have converged significantly with Japan’s since former Prime Minister David Cameron’s promulgation of a “golden era” in relations with China, managing expectations of Japan’s attempt to ‘shape’ and encourage Europeanisation remains crucial. But is it fair to conclude that Japan has been successful in encouraging a stronger European presence to help it shape the Indo-Pacific order?
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Europeanization, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Karsten Friis
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: What are the possible short-, medium- and long-term implications of the coronavirus for global security and defence? In this Strategic Update, Karsten Friis investigates the pandemic's potential consequences for the world, its armed forces, the integration of Europe, US-China relations, as well as the concept and practice of 'war' more broadly. Although much remains uncertain, the disruptions which are beginning to emerge demand a reckoning with a changed world -- and world order.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Vuk Vuksanovic
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic reached the Balkans, Serbia has energetically taken its partnership with China to the next level. This happened as Belgrade embraced China’s “mask diplomacy” campaign of supplying medical equipment to the countries affected by the pandemic. However, while Russia has supplied aid to Serbia to combat the pandemic, it has not received the same attention from the Serbian leadership and public the way China did. Therefore, the pandemic has proven to be a potent ‘revealer’ and reminder of the lack of substance and depth of differences in the Serbo-Russian partnership.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Partnerships, Geopolitics, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: George Magnus
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: Globalisation has faltered, and faces significant political challenges. In both the US and China, voices are calling for a reduction of economic interdependence between the two countries. In the US, this has taken the name of decoupling, in China, self-reliance. At the same time, China’s President, Xi Jinping has vocally championed globalisation in various global fora in recent years. Understanding of China’s systems of government and business, as well as its global interests, is lacking when compared to that of the US. In this Strategic Update, George Magnus investigates what is meant when China’s leadership speaks of globalisation, and what the implications of the answer are for the rest of the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Globalization, Leadership
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Linda Yueh
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: Economic diplomacy in the 21st century will face a different set of challenges stemming from the changed global economy, US-China tensions, as well as a backlash against globalisation, among others. Therefore, the conduct of economic diplomacy, i.e., how a country manages its foreign economic relations including trade and investment, must adapt. The framework for economic diplomacy should seek to balance commercial openness with strategic foreign policy aims, broadly defined. It should situate a country within the 21st century global economy with its new drivers, promote a rules-based system in order to mitigate Great Power tensions, and recognise that all foreign economic policy is ultimately also domestic. There is no one general approach but there are several principles, each with their own challenges, for governments to consider, which is set out in this Strategic Update.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Investment, Trade, Economic Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Alexandros Zachariades
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: Crisis has returned to the Eastern Mediterranean where Greek and Turkish economic interests, legal claims, and armed forces are squaring off. In this Strategic Update, Alexandros Zachariades explores how the two NATO powers arrived at the current confrontation, how the contest intersects with issues ranging from China to Libya, and how the international community can resolve the tension.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, NATO, Economics, Leadership
  • Political Geography: China, Turkey, Greece, Libya, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: Vuk Vuksanovic
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: Despite being one of the most important allies of the United States in the Middle East, Israel has been building a new partnership with China since 2013. The repositioning is motivated by changes in the country’s strategic environment, its crisis in the relationship with the United States during the Obama years, and its economic and infrastructural needs. However, Israel is still deeply anchored in its alliance with the United States, which will impose limitations on how far its partnership with China can grow. For now, nevertheless, this relationship attests to the new geopolitical reality of the 21st century in which even the most ardent US allies, such as Israel, must hedge their bets and diversify their partnerships by engaging China.
  • Topic: Partnerships, Alliance, Strategic Competition, Multipolarity
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: George Magnus
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The Chinese government’s draconian actions to control the coronavirus seem to be producing a remarkable economic contraction. As so many are unable to attend or resume work at the moment, the government’s palliative economic measures may gain little traction. Although the demand shock will eventually fade, other longer-term issues will surely endure. The supply shock will be less obvious but more corrosive. The government’s questionable conduct in managing the public health crisis has unveiled significant features about governance in Xi’s China that can be mapped on to China’s development. While this crisis is the biggest challenge Xi has faced, there is little doubt that he will survive it, champion the party’s role in the nation’s rescue, and feel emboldened to continue with his authoritarian governance. Yet it is this that, in the long run, will prove incompatible with China’s economic development ambitions.
  • Topic: Development, Economy, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Charles Dunst
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: Southeast Asia, while still a reservoir of goodwill for the US, has in recent years come increasingly under China's umbrella. In this Strategic Update, Charles Dunst analyzes China's expansion there, discusses Southeast Asians' American predeliction, and offers steps the US can take to "win back" the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, International Affairs, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Southeast Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Valentin Weber
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The deterioration of Sino-American relations and the rise of novel forms of statecraft have given way to a worrying new feature of the international system: technological spheres of influence. In this Strategic Update, Valentin Weber explains how we have arrived at this novel geopolitical arrangement, where in the world the greatest contestation lies, and what the future of technospheres may hold.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations, International System
  • Political Geography: China, United States of America
  • Author: George Magnus
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The conventional narrative is that China is, or will, by 2030, be the largest economy in the world. Based on commonly held expectations historically about prewar Germany, the USSR and Japan, greater humility would not go amiss. It is not preordained that past economic trends will continue, especially in view of a much compromised outlook for both China and the rest of the world in the 2020s
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This LSE IDEAS Special Report - with senior contributors from politics, journalism, and academia - looks at the internal causes and consequences of the return of the 'Middle Kingdom'. It explores the extent to which Deng's momentous economic reforms in 1978 have shaped modern China, what the country's expanded international role under Xi means, and who really makes Chinese foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China