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Defense – Towards a rigorous Code of Conduct for the South China Sea (East Asia Forum)

Aristyo Rizka Darmawan writes: The South China Sea became an important highlight of the recent ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus. All delegations agreed that maintaining peace and security in the disputed area is one of the most important issues in the region and called for unity in the defence sector. To keep the peace it will be necessary to preserve […]

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Iraq/USA – Treat Iraq’s Iran-aligned militias like ISIS (Brookings)

Ranj Alaaldin writes: Iraq is beset with crises. In the scorching summer heat, the country is suffering from electricity and water shortages, longstanding challenges that have routinely resulted in violent protests as part of wider grievances around lack of services and rampant corruption. On July 12, a hospital fire killed at least 60 people as a result […]

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China – The Shanghai middle class: Embracing “cosmopolitanism with Chinese characteristics”? (Brookings)

Cheng Li writes: There is no doubt that the Chinese middle class is a dominant political and economic force that will have a profound impact on both China and the world. But the political outlook and worldviews of this powerful contingent are far less clear-cut. Given that the rapid rise and explosive growth of China’s […]

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TechInnovation/Drone/Pandemic Response – Assessing the impact of drones in the global COVID response (Brookings)

Faine Greenwood writes: As COVID-19 swept through the world in early 2020, technology companies scrambled to repurpose their products to fight the pandemic. This repurposing was especially pronounced in the civilian drone industry, whose companies predicted that the pandemic would prove the value of their map-making, inspection, and delivery technology. As drones were adapted for everything from […]

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Taiwan – Examining the role of cross-Strait relations in Taiwan’s politics (Brookings)

Lev Nachman and Ryan Hass write: Lev Nachman recently returned to the United States after living in Taipei for more than two years, where he was a Fulbright scholar and studied social movements and political parties in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Nachman who also previously lived in Taiwan, is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University’s […]

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USA – Addressing America’s crisis of despair and economic recovery. A call for a coordinated effort (Brookings)

Brookings writes: Despair in American society is a barrier to reviving our labor markets and productivity, jeopardizing our well-being, health, longevity, families, and communities—and even our national security. The COVID-19 pandemic was a fundamental shock, exacerbating an already a growing problem of despair. go to Brookings: Addressing America’s crisis of despair and economic recovery (brookings.edu)

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USA – Solidifying the DFC-USAID relationship (Brookings)

Eric Postel and Anthony F. Pipa write: Transforming the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) by expanding its resources and authorities while merging it with other financing mechanisms—including the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Development Credit Authority (DCA)—to create the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) understandably required a major sales effort. While the foreign policy elites […]

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West Africa – Is West Africa ready for a single currency? (Brookings)

Aloysius Uche Ordu, Ali Zafar, and Jan Muench write: Since the early 2000s, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been pursuing a common currency agenda, centered on the “eco,” with the intention of reducing barriers to doing business across the region and increasing trade overall. While the implementation of the new currency has […]

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USA/Global Tax Reform – Can President Biden deliver on global tax reform? (Euractiv)

Dick Roche writes: When the OECD launched its Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) taxation initiative, the Obama administration, while supportive of the project’s aims, was cautious. The US lead negotiator commented that in the BEPS process every other country wanted the US “to pay for lunch.” go to Euractiv: Can President Biden deliver on […]

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Turkey/Eastern Mediterranean – Blue Homeland: Turkey’s Strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean (Euractiv)

Antonia Colibasanu writes: As Turkey’s dreams of joining the European Union have faded, Ankara has shifted its strategy toward the West. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s latest moves – a visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the announcement of a resumption of […]

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Europe/Iraq/Belarus – EU pushes Iraq to stem migrant flights to Belarus (Euractiv, AFP)

Euractiv writes: The European Union said on Thursday (29 July) it was pressing Iraq to help stem the flow of migrants to Belarus who are then smuggled across the border into Lithuania. go to Euractiv: EU pushes Iraq to stem migrant flights to Belarus – EURACTIV.com

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Slovenia – Slovenian opposition calls for independent probe into Pegasus concerns (Euractiv)

Sebastijan R. Maček writes: Slovenia’s opposition Social Democrats have called on Prime Minister Janez Janša to initiate an independent, voluntary forensic investigation of mobile devices of political leaders, journalists and civil society in the face of the Pegasus surveillance scandal. go to Euractiv: Slovenian opposition calls for independent probe into Pegasus concerns – EURACTIV.com