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CvT: A Path Forward for China in the 14th Five-Year Plan

As China prepares to celebrate the 100th year of the Chinese Communist Party in 2021, it will be able to celebrate the achievement of becoming a "moderately prosperous society" by eradicating extreme poverty nationwide. The world will have to check back in a few more years to see if China has been able to accomplish the more difficult feat of becoming self-reliant in an increasingly globalized world.

CvT: Taiwan Arms Deal – Holding a Knife to US-Taiwan-China Relations

While the Trump administration has embarked on a collision course with China over the One-China Policy, the incoming Biden administration will be tasked with either maintaining the political shift of the current administration or returning the US-Taiwan relationship to its historical precedent. As Biden continues to fill key cabinet positions, the world will look with watchful eyes as to how the president-elect approaches the next potential US-China hotspot and the implications that his selections may have on the next four years of US-China relations.

CvT: The Global Threat of US Disempowerment of the UN Human Rights Council

It is commonly accepted that the United Nations has not always proven to be the most efficient body through which to pass regulation or reform. However, rarely is a single country able to implement policies on an international level without the support and allyship of the HRC. Although the council includes member-states like China, Cuba, Russia, and others with complicated human rights records, US participation would add a powerful voice at the table in support of more stringent human rights practices.

CvT: Taiwan’s Dilemma – An Island Caught in the Middle

While Taiwan has long been a contentious subject interwoven in international politics, the Trump administration seems to have opened the door to toeing Beijing’s “red-line” when it comes to relations with the Island. Though some speculate that Biden will continue in the past Administration’s footsteps and address the growing threat of China in the Taiwan Strait through arms sales, it remains to be seen if the incoming Biden administration will continue to openly transition away from the historical US stance to Taiwanese relations or if it will quietly return ambiguous equilibrium to the Strait.

CvT: A Mixed Bag – Pompeo’s Asia Tour

America’s emerging strategy for countering China’s influence received its trial by fire last week. While certain aspects emerged unscathed, others withered on touch. The principal concerns for the countries that Secretary Pompeo visited were economic development and sovereign claims, and they were all outwardly wary of entanglement. As a result, security partnerships, which connote political alignment, will likely develop at a much slower rate than economic ties.

CvT: Zero Emissions by 2060 for a Cleaner, Safer China

President Xi has made clear his intention to protect China’s environment from further degradation and make China an “ecological civilization” by 2049. His surprise pledge in September to achieve carbon neutrality, or net-zero carbon dioxide emissions, by 2060 and peak emissions by 2030 fits this narrative. In a speech before the UN, President Xi emphasized public health and global environmental stewardship as the driving forces behind China’s increasingly ambitious climate goals. However, the motivating factors for China’s carbon neutral pledge are actually much broader.

CvT: US Intel Community on the Threat Posed by China

According to a two-year review conducted by the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI), the US Intelligence Community (IC) has not sufficiently adapted to changing technological and geopolitical environments shaped by a rising China. The China Deep Dive Report, released by the HPSCI on September 29th, based its findings on hundreds of interviews and over a dozen visits to intelligence facilities.

CvT: The Next Cyber Battleground – Washington’s CNP vs. Beijing’s DSI

As China's technological influence continues to grow in the United States, it stresses the lengths that both the US and China are willing to go in order to protect national sovereignty and data security from prying actors. As tensions over the safeguarding of governmental, corporate, and citizen data grow between Washington and Beijing, the CNP and DSI initiatives may set the stage for the next cyber battleground between the two nations.

CvT: A Dark Debate for US Democracy

The 2020 presidential debates have undoubtedly departed from presidential norms. Through an emphatic display of mutual disrespect, the most recent debates involving President Trump and former Vice President Biden have gained traction both nationally and globally. While the American public tunes in to the United States’ presidential debates to evaluate the current and future health of Washington, the United States' allies and rivals alike, including China, have used the recent debates to develop diplomatic strategies for a post-election America.

CvT: A Look Into the DoD’s 2020 Report on Chinese Military Power

For the past 20 years, the Department of Defense (DoD) has released an annual report to Congress on military and security developments in the People’s Republic of China. By assessing the PRC’s national strategy and growth, the DoD aims to provide a framework by which lawmakers can steer foreign policy. 2020 has been far from an ordinary year for the two countries, as is highlighted in the 2020 report’s critical insights on developments in military, strategy, and economy.

CvT: The Delicate Balance Over the Future of Japan

Although recent actions, including US export controls on Huawei and other Chinese technology companies, have impacted Japan’s economy and the political calculus for future relations, Yoshihide Suga’s government will likely continue to balance its respective relationships with the US and China. Neither nation is seen as the sole long-term solution to Japan’s vision of political primacy, but rather as a realistic means to reestablish a powerful and independent Japan. Yoshihide Suga will draw upon all internal and external resources to resolve domestic issues and reshape foreign policy within the region.

CvT: US-China Relations to Suffer as Ambassador to China Steps Down

The United States’ Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, announced his resignation on September 14 to officially end his three-year post in the position. Given the timing of his resignation, right before the upcoming 2020 election, it is likely that the critical position of US ambassador to China will remain unfilled for months - regardless of the outcome of the presidential election. There are concerns that this prolonged lapse where the US ambassador position remains unfulfilled will further halt communications between the two countries, and will drive yet another wedge between the US and China.

CvT: The Swinging Door of EU-China Relations

The EU seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard-place as its alliance with the US and its trade relationship with China is increasingly at odds. As a close ally commonly aligned with the US on global political and economic issues, the EU is also becoming more wary of a rising China, citing it as a strategic rival. All things considered, as the relationship between China and the US continues to deteriorate, a door has swung open for the EU to offer a stable Western relationship for China in exchange for significant trade-related benefits with the bloc’s largest trading partner. Whether or not the two countries manage to address the outstanding concerns remains to be seen.

CvT: EU-China Investment Deal – Will Economics Price Out the Trans-Atlantic Alliance?

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel headlined a virtual summit meeting with President Xi Jinping last month to expedite the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) between the European Union and China. The September 2020 summit was meant to conclude seven years of protracted talks surrounding the expansion of Chinese market access for EU investors, the removal and reduction of forced technology transfers (FTT), and future trade relations between the two partners. While patience may be virtuous, particularly when commercial diplomacy talks can cement trade rules for decades at a time, this current round of talks revealed a conspicuous reality for the world’s largest trading bloc - its uncomfortable position between the US and China.
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