Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for China

The 2014 annual gathering of the world’s business and financial elite in Davos was initially supposed to consider major issues of our time, such as inequality and climate change. I say consider and not debate because one cannot rationally expect a serious discussion of possible ways to tackle inequality at a conference which reunites its… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

For a few weeks in April, Kim Jong-un has suceeded in making North Korea the hottest flashpoint on the planet. However, even as the international media was focusing on the war of words and the military posturing, inside North Korea significant changes were afoot. According to Andrei Lankov, a Russian specialist on the Korean peninsula,… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Mopping up after Sarkozy

François Hollande, the French president, is currently back from a state visit to China. Hollande hopes to expand trade in Asia, as France’s current account deficit has reached 75 billion euros, a third of which is with the Middle Kingdom. His task has been made difficult by the recent history of French-Chinese relations. In 2008,… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

China and the EU model

For almost two years now I have avoided dealing on my blog with China’s spats with Japan, its tensions with ASEAN partners or its apparent inability to reign in the excesses of its obstreperous North Korean protégé. Although China is fast becoming an economic superpower, its foreign policy has remained far less successful than its… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

In the ’50s, the fear of depression had prompted Americans to resort to military capitalism, leading to the creation of the military-industrial complex they are now downsizing. The lesson, however, was apparently lost in Asia : a MIC is relatively easy to set up, very expensive to run and exteremely difficult to dismantle. With the… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The day after the close of the presidential election in the US has marked the start of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), whose agenda is that electing China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, and his new Politburo colleagues. Incumbent president Hu Jintao leaves behind a country whose GDP has quadrupled under… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

A year ago, a group of superior US officers with Republican credentials were involved in a geopolitical brainstorming session at the National Defense University in Washington. The group was asked to provide answers regarding the US’ place in the world and to outline a ten-year national security plan. Edward Luce was invited to attend and… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

In an intelligent and highly readable essay, Fareed Zakaria, a close Obama adviser, analyses the fundamental changes in the distribution of power in international affairs, away from US dominance. He claims that what we are witnessing today is one of geopolitics’ “tectonic power shifts”, the third in the last five hundred years in order of… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

One of the key issues in IR & geopolitics is that of hegemonic transition. In the space of only thirty years, the world as we knew it has gone from bi-polar (international affairs dominated by the USA and the USSR) to unipolar (with the US as the only superpower left), to what is now a… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi