3 main international challenges for the US?


What is the “nine-dash” line in the S-China Sea?

  • Self-declared maritime border that asserts China's claim to territorial waters.
  • Contested locally by Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
  • China & Japan locked in separate dispute over the East China Sea.

UK economy Macrosnap?

  • Looking pretty good.
  • Growth solid and inflation trend healthy (i.e. receding fear of deflation).
  • Bank of England keeping interest rates low to ensure recovery sustained.

ISIS twice – real and virtual?

  • Real: Controls territory (in Iraq and Syria).
  • Virtual: Dominates social media, inspires, motivates.
  • If Russia plane incident in Egypt turns out to be an ISIS offshoot act of terrorism, signifies how dangerous the virtual ISIS can be.

Obama blocks Keystone Canada-US Pipeline?

  • Debate and decision were largely political.
  • i.e. both the democrat-against argument (bad for environment) and conservative-for argument (creates jobs) were exaggerated according to energy & policy experts.
  • Major victory for environmental movement, gives US credibility ahead of Paris December climate talks + boosts Obama's environmental credentials during last year in office.

Macrosnap this weekend’s China-Taiwan summit?

  • First meeting between leaders of Chinese Communist party and Taiwan's Kuomintang since 1945.
  • Chinese motivation: Good for international image + concerned about strength of pro-independence opposition party in Taiwan.
  • Taiwanese motivation: Current president wants to boost image domestically as opposition party looking poised to defeat him in January.

Macrosnap current Taiwan politics?

  • These days governing Kuomintang is relatively pro-China and anti-independence.
  • Pro-independence opposition DPP has gained strength in recent years.
  • Looks like DPP could win January Presidential election, and also win majority in legislature.

Explain the current political status of Taiwan?

  • Not strictly recognised as a country, but 22 small countries/entities have diplomatic relations with it.
  • Lost its UN seat in 1971, but it has it's own military.
  • US established diplomatic relations with China 1979, but also committed to defending Taiwan's self-governing status.

Macrosnap Taiwan-China 1949 rift?

  • Civil war in China 1927-1950 (Communists vs. Kuomintang).
  • Mao Zedong's Communists take power in Beijing in 1949.
  • Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang nationalists form their own government in Taiwan - China considers it a renegade province.

Egypt political Macrosnap?

  • 2013: Sisi (army chief) overthrows post-Mubarak, newly-elected Islamist government (of President Morsi) in popularly backed coup.
  • 2014: Sisi wins Presidential election - starts clamping down on any dissent.
  • 2015: Sisi authoritarianism re-ignites old confrontation in Egypt between radical Islamists & army - volatile situation.
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