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Taiwan – Tsai’s high stakes on Taiwan’s upcoming referendum (East Asia Forum)

Bill Sharp writes: Taiwan will vote on four referendum items on 18 December, the result of which could make or break the remainder of President Tsai Ing-wen’s time in office. The referendum was rescheduled from 28 August by the Central Election Commission due to the spread of COVID-19 in Taiwan.

go to East Asia Forum: Tsai’s high stakes on Taiwan’s upcoming referendum (eastasiaforum.org)

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USA/South Korea/Japan – Washington should pursue a digital deal with Seoul and Tokyo (East Asia Forum)

Elliot Silverberg and Daniel Aum write: In June 2021, the United States and the European Union announced the creation of a joint trade and technology council, an initiative that aims to put democracies at the forefront of writing the rules governing digital trade. Despite their embrace of shared liberal values, the member nations will have to reconcile conflicting national interests. The council will also face resistance from China, which continues to extend the influence of its authoritarian model over the digital landscape. As nations jockey for position, the United States should expand its multilateral efforts in Asia — beginning with a three-way digital trade deal with Japan and South Korea.

go to East Asia Forum: Washington should pursue a digital deal with Seoul and Tokyo | East Asia Forum

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Democracy/Information Manipulation – How democracies can win an information contest without undercutting their values (Brookings

Jessica Brandt writes: Dueling French and Russian trolls sparred with one another online as they vied for influence in multiple African countries, Facebook revealed late last year. It was the first time the platform called out individuals affiliated with a Western liberal democratic government for coordinated inauthentic behavior on its platform. The French operation, which had been underway since 2018, used fake accounts to pose as locals in target countries, commenting on content related to current events and pushing back on criticisms of French foreign policy posted by the Russian operation. “We have these two efforts from different sides of these issues using the same tactics and techniques,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said of the episode, “and they end up looking sort of the same.” That is a problem.

go to Brookings: How democracies can win an information contest without undercutting their values (brookings.edu)

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USA – As the eviction moratorium ends, we need a long-term solution to housing insecurity (Brookings)

Carl Romer and Andre M. Perry write for Brookings: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium for the COVID-19 pandemic provided acute relief to people who were struggling to pay rent. That moratorium expired on July 31; however, neither abruptly ending it nor prolonging it will solve the problem of housing insecurity, particularly in Black-majority neighborhoods and for low-income, essential workers.

go to Brookings: As the eviction moratorium ends, we need a long-term solution to housing insecurity (brookings.edu)

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Philippines – The Philippine economy under the pandemic: From Asian tiger to sick man again? (Brookings)

Ronald U. Mendoza writes: In 2019, the Philippines was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It finally shed its “sick man of Asia” reputation obtained during the economic collapse towards the end of the Ferdinand Marcos regime in the mid-1980s. After decades of painstaking reform — not to mention paying back debts incurred under the dictatorship — the country’s economic renaissance took root in the decade prior to the pandemic. Posting over 6 percent average annual growth between 2010 and 2019 (computed from the Philippine Statistics Authority data on GDP growth rates at constant 2018 prices), the Philippines was touted as the next Asian tiger economy.

go to Brookings: The Philippine economy under the pandemic: From Asian tiger to sick man again? (brookings.edu)

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USA – The coming eviction crisis will hit Black communities the hardest (Brookings)

Carl RomerAndre M. Perry, and Kristen Broady write: According to a 2020 report by the Aspen Institute, an estimated 30 million to 40 million people in the U.S. are at risk of eviction due to the COVID-19 housing crisis. Previously, a national moratorium on evictions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protected these households from losing their homes. But on July 31, that moratorium expired.

go to Brookings: The coming eviction crisis will hit Black communities the hardest (brookings.edu)

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China/USA – The long game. China’s grand strategy to displace American order (Brookings)

Book Cover.jpg

Rush Doshi writes: This introductory chapter summarizes the book’s argument. It explains that U.S.-China competition is over regional and global order, outlines what Chinese-led order might look like, explores why grand strategy matters and how to study it, and discusses competing views of whether China has a grand strategy. It argues that China has sought to displace America from regional and global order through three sequential “strategies of displacement” pursued at the military, political, and economic levels. The first of these strategies sought to blunt American order regionally, the second sought to build Chinese order regionally, and the third — a strategy of expansion — now seeks to do both globally. The introduction explains that shifts in China’s strategy are profoundly shaped by key events that change its perception of American power.

go to Brookings: The long game: China’s grand strategy to displace American order (brookings.edu)

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USA – No child deserves to be left offline this school year—here’s how Congress can hel (Brookings)

Nicol Turner Lee writes: In a few short days or weeks, most K-12 students will physically return to the classroom—at least, this is the plan. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that local districts encourage mask wearing regardless of vaccination status. But some cities and school districts are still questioning such mandates, despite the rising number of vaccinated and unvaccinated people being infected by the COVID-19 Delta variant. The current immunization ineligibility among children under 12 years of age further complicates public health mitigation as some of them may become carriers of the virus to their parents and other close relatives, if not careful.

go to Brookings: No child deserves to be left offline this school year—here’s how Congress can help (brookings.edu)

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Turkey/Eastern Mediterranean – Turkey’s New Moves in the Eastern Mediterranean (BESA Center)

writes: In July 2021, Israel expressed full support to the Republic of Cyprus in the wake of the unilateral reopening of the Varosha coastline by Turkey. Last year, it also showed solidarity with Athens during Greek-Turkish tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. While the tripartite partnership is progressing, Ankara is seeking to expand its footprint in the region and is pursuing a two-state solution in Cyprus. It is also applying a new foreign policy methodology to Greece while remaining adamant in its demands.

go to BESA Center: Turkey’s New Moves in the Eastern Mediterranean (besacenter.org)

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