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From 12 to 17 June 2022, the World Trade Organization (WTO) held an extended 12th ministerial conference (MC12), after it had been postponed twice owing to the pandemic. Although the outcome of the MC12 was the result of hard-won compromises, it covers a wide range of key agenda items and may be said to provide new momentum for the WTO, which critics have often portrayed as moribund. The WTO has proved its centrality for crafting multilateral solutions for global challenges, notably against the backdrop ...

US Congress and trade policy tackling China

Накратко 04-03-2022

In the first year of the 117th US Congress (2021-2022), members of both the House and the Senate saw an urgent need both for a trade policy offensive specifically for the Indo-Pacific region to maintain US leadership in setting international standards and norms, and for an upgrade of defensive trade policy tools to address China's unfair trade practices. Congressional initiatives have coincided with debates in the European Parliament on the EU's Indo-Pacific strategy and on legislative proposals ...

China's meteoric economic and military rise, authoritarian political system and non-market economic model, and growing US-China strategic competition, have had a significant impact on how bilateral research ties are perceived in the US, and on how the US Congress and the Trump and Biden administrations have shaped the US research ecosystem in response to China's 'Thousand Talents' programme.

US Congress approach to US-Taiwan relations

Накратко 01-03-2022

The first year of the 117th US Congress (2021-2022) under a 'unified government', where President Biden's party holds a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, saw strong bipartisan support for shaping closer security, economic and political ties with Taiwan. Perceived as a vibrant democracy, worth protecting to secure peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region, the Biden administration invited Taiwan to the 2021 US Summit for Democracy, defining shared values rather ...

In recent years, the US has taken a range of steps to strengthen US legislation and enforcement practice from a human rights, trade and foreign policy perspective in the fight against the widespread use of forced labour in the increasingly complex global supply chains of the 21st century. A prominent example is the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act of 2021. It bans imports from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in the north-west of China, except where importers can rebut the presumption ...

Since the People's Republic of China (PRC) launched its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy project has drawn widespread criticism, including for challenging the traditional model of multilateral infrastructure financing. Western-led bilateral and plurilateral infrastructure and connectivity initiatives designed as alternatives have remained fragmented and have been dwarfed in scope and scale by a geographically and thematically rapidly expanding ...

The 50-year-old controversy between Japan, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan over the sovereignty of a group of tiny, uninhabited islets and rocks in the East China Sea, administered by Japan and referred to as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, as the Diaoyu Islands in the PRC and as the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan has become a proxy battlefield in the growing Sino-US great power competition in the Indo-Pacific, against the backdrop of a widening Sino-Japanese power gap. Since 1971, when ...

On 12 December 2019, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the EU's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules ('the Enforcement Regulation') of 15 May 2014. The Enforcement Regulation enables the EU to suspend or withdraw concessions or other obligations under international trade agreements in order to respond to breaches by third countries of international trade rules that affect the EU's commercial ...

Lack of reciprocity in access to the Chinese market and the absence of a level playing field for EU investors in China have posed major challenges for EU-China investment relations in recent years, with the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) being considered by the EU a key instrument to remedy this state of play. The CAI negotiations aimed at establishing a uniform legal framework for EU-China investment ties by replacing the 25 outdated bilateral investment treaties (BITs ...

Of all the disputed areas claimed by China, the South China Sea (SCS) has been the most prominent in recent years, since it involves the largest number of actors with overlapping claims to maritime features and waters, as well as non-claimant countries, owing to its strategic importance as one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. In 2020, China stepped up its salami-slicing tactics to assert its sweeping 'historic' rights, while Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam dismissed them in ...