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Analysis

Early Warning Brief: Xi Jinping Issues Tough Warnings to Enemies Within the Party (Jamestown Foundation)

Willy Wo-Lap Lam writes for Jamestown Foundation: While President Xi Jinping’s position as the most powerful politician in China seems beyond doubt, he has been busy quashing apparently growing dissent within the mid- to upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Widely recognized as the CCP’s “leadership core for life,” Xi, who is also CCP General Secretary and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), has issued a series of unusually tough warnings against real and potential foes. This is despite the fact that although the party is riven with rival factions that may either disagree with Xi’s policies or his overweening personal ambitions (Liberty Times, February 19; Rfi.fr, June 30), there does not seem to be a unified movement against his iron rule.

go to Jamestown Foundation: Early Warning Brief: Xi Jinping Issues Tough Warnings to Enemies Within the Party – Jamestown

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Analysis

Kharkiv State Aviation Production Enterprise Enters Freefall (Jamestown Foundation)

John C.K. Daly writes for Jamestown Foundation: The sudden collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), in December 1991, and fracturing into 15 independent states effectively destroyed its unified, centrally planned, autarkic economy. The massive former Soviet defense sector was particularly hard-hit; during the 1990s, it scrambled to cope with hyperinflation, raw material shortages and cancelations of orders, all while attempting to reorient itself toward the global capitalist economy. 

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Uncategorized

New Transport Routes in Central Asia and Caucasus Trigger Intra-Regional Competition (Jamestown Foundation)

Paul Globe writes for Jamestown Foundation: Perhaps not surprisingly, the development of railways in Central Asia and of shipping routes and pipelines across the Caspian Sea are routinely characterized as elements of geopolitical competition among major outside powers, including Russia, China, Turkey, the United States, Iran and India (see EDM, February 19, 2013May 23, 2017March 21, 2019April 23, 2020December 15, 2020). But such a focus often overshadows the views and actions of the countries in the region, each of which is generally more concerned with boosting itself at the expense of regional competitors, even if that delays progress on vital projects.

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Analysis

(Belarus) Minsk Retaliates Against European Sanctions by Ridding Country of ‘Agents of Western Influence’ (Jamestown Foundation)

Grigory Ioffe writes for Jamestown Foundation: In Belarus, the government’s assault on media outlets and other entities with Western funding continues. Just on July 14, the authorities conducted searches of the offices of 23 entities, including the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Viasna Human Rights Center (connected to Human Rights Watch), the headquarters of the Belarusian Popular Front party, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Batkaushchyna (“Fatherland”—which develops ties with Belarusians abroad), the organization Comradeship for Belarusian Language, and others (Zerkalo.io, July 14).

go to Jamestown Foundation website: Minsk Retaliates Against European Sanctions by Ridding Country of ‘Agents of Western Influence’ – Jamestown

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Analysis

(Ukraine) President Zelenskyy Reshuffles Government, Drops Powerful Interior Minister (Jamestown Foundation)

Oleg Varfolomeyev writes for Jamestown Foundation: Two years after taking office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has decided to reshuffle his government again. Unlike in spring 2020, when Zelenskyy replaced the ambitious Oleksy Honcharuk with the less well-recognized Denys Shmyhal as prime minister, this time the reshuffle has been rather slow and gradual. That ongoing process is making sitting government ministers and their retinues nervous and may be prompting many of them to, for now, prioritize self-preservation over pursuing any long-overdue reform initiatives. The ministerial musical chairs began last winter and will likely extend into the fall. With the carefully calculated shakeup, President Zelenskyy is apparently preparing the ground for his reelection campaign in 2024, despite promising in 2019 that he would serve for only one term. His recent personnel decisions may also have been influenced by Western creditors and partners, which demand reforms and steps against corruption. Most conspicuous has been the replacement of powerful interior minister Arsen Avakov, which may entail implications for national security.

go to Jamestown Foundation website: President Zelenskyy Reshuffles Government, Drops Powerful Interior Minister – Jamestown

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Analysis

(China/Central Asia) Beijing Expanding Size and Role of Its ‘Private’ Military Companies in Central Asia (Jamestown Foundation)

Paul Globe writes for Jamestown Foundation: For the last several years, China has made use of its own private military companies (PMC) to guard Chinese industrial sites and transportation networks across Central Asia that it views as essential to its broader “One Belt, One Road” (more recently known as the Belt and Road Initiative—BRI) project. But now, in the wake of the withdrawal of the United States’ forces from Afghanistan, the rising strength of the Taliban and the militant group’s growing threats to Central Asian countries (see EDM, July 13), Beijing is expanding the presence and mission of these PMC troops. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during a recent swing through Central Asia, told regional leaders that Beijing’s reliance on imported PMCs to guard local strategic infrastructure will be an important new form of security assistance to them against any threat from the outside (Eurasia Today, July 16). This expanded Chinese activity inevitably challenges other players in the region, including the Russian Federation, Turkey and the United States.

go to Jamestown Foundation website: Beijing Expanding Size and Role of Its ‘Private’ Military Companies in Central Asia – Jamestown

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Analysis

(Russia/Moldova) Russia Abandons Moldovan Clients, Will Deal With the New Pro-Western Government (Part Two) (The Jamestown Foundation)

Vladimir Socor writes for Jamestown Foundation: From Russia’s standpoint, Moldova’s former president Igor Dodon and his Socialist Party are serial losers and expired assets following their latest defeat in the July 11 parliamentary elections. The Western-oriented President Maia Sandu and her Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), winners of two consecutive landslide elections, now hold the entirety of state power. Russia has no choice but to deal with the new incumbents, and it has cautiously signaled that intention (see EDM, July 1315).

go to Jamestown Foundation website: Russia Abandons Moldovan Clients, Will Deal With the New Pro-Western Government (Part Two) – Jamestown

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Analysis

(Russia/Ukraine) Putin’s Fixation on Ukraine Is Demagogic, Delusional and Dangerous (The Jamestown Foundation)

Pavel K. Baev writes for Jamestown Foundation: World leaders rarely publish their visions of current affairs in the form of essays, but President Vladimir Putin developed a habit since returning to the Kremlin in 2012. His latest treatise, “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” stands out among his other works representing this vast body of literature. Instead of submitting it to a Russian or Western media platform (German Die Zeit was the most recent periodical), he published it directly on the Kremlin website, explaining further that this “analytical material” was “more than just an article” (Kremlin.ru, July 13). The lengthy historical narrative is as selective with its facts and contains as little actual truth as most of Putin’s previous writings on contested historical subjects; but it is the political message that is supposed to be clear-cut (Meduza, July 14). Putin aims to address several key audiences simultaneously, and the sum total of these mixed messages is convoluted and disconcerting.

go to Jamestown Foundation website: Putin’s Fixation on Ukraine Is Demagogic, Delusional and Dangerous – Jamestown

Categorie
Analysis

(China/South China Sea) A new People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard Law caught regional and international attention at the beginning of the year

Lan Anh Nguyen Dang writes for Jamestown Foundation: A new People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard Law (中华人民共和国海警法,Zhonghua renmin gongheguo haijing fa) caught regional and international attention at the beginning of the year (Vnexpress, January 30; Kyodo News, February 9; Inquirer, February 12; South China Morning Post, February 25). It is one of many notable legislative projects in the maritime and security domain that the Standing Committee of China’s 13th National People’s Congress (全国人大常委会,quanguo renda changwei hui) has deliberated and passed during the last year and a half.

go to Jamestown Foundation website: Implications of 2020 and 2021 Chinese Domestic Legislative Moves in the South China Sea – Jamestown