U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Yang Jiechi held a six-hour meeting in Zurich on October 6 in an attempt to manage “intense competition” between their two countries. The meeting took place against a backdrop of growing Chinese incursions of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and a decision by the Biden administration not to remove Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods until Beijing keeps its trade commitments.
On October 10, Iraq will hold national parliamentary elections, the fifth national elections since Iraq adopted its 2005 constitution. And despite waning expectations about what these elections might accomplish, they remain an important avenue for pursuing change through peaceful means.
With the global energy sector responsible for two-thirds of carbon dioxide emissions, renewable energy has enormous potential to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis while simultaneously addressing energy poverty in developing states worldwide. However, clean energy development is far from smooth sailing, as renewable energy infrastructure requires ten times more land than the fossil fuel equivalent to generate the same power.
On September 16, China applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). USIP’s Carla Freeman says China’s membership in the CPTPP will only increase Beijing’s relative regional influence and prompt more calls for the Biden administration to also join the pact.
Over the past two months, China has sought to resuscitate its relations with Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD), the deposed party of Aung San Suu Kyi. Many analysts speculate the move reflects eroding confidence on Beijing’s part in the military junta’s staying power. But does it?
“All the energy of the country is focused on October 10” as Iraq prepares for crucial parliamentary elections, says USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed. “We’ll see if it will produce a government and a parliament that [is] closer to what the people expect … and restore some of the faith of the voters in the process.”
When throngs of Haitian migrants rushed the U.S. border recently, it was only the latest manifestation of a society battered by trauma. In just the previous two months, Haiti had seen the murky assassination of its president, devastating floods and an earthquake that killed thousands and wiped out nearly 140,000 homes. As fragile states go, Haiti is in a league all its own. To avoid a repetition of the scene at the border — or one that’s worse throughout the hemisphere — it is time to consider a long-term, robust U.N. mission that matches the scale of the challenge with the size and persistence of the international response.
USIP’s Dan Markey says the growth of the Quad — a partnership between the United States, Australia, India and Japan — can be seen as a counter to China, but “instead of being principally a military organization, the Quad … will focus on more positive ventures” such as vaccine diplomacy, climate change and technology.
The pullback in 2021 of international military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa’s Sahel region not only shows the limits of such foreign interventions. It forces policymakers to more urgently examine other ways to support the sustainable social changes that can stabilize violence-stricken nations. New USIP research sharpens an insight about one powerful method to achieve such changes—nonviolent, citizens’ movements that improve governance and justice. Effectively, the research shows, religion helps more often than we may think. Of more than 180 nonviolent campaigns for major political change since World War II, a majority have involved religion in some way.
Examples abound of women and youth on the front lines of recent nonviolent action campaigns—from Alaa Salah leading demonstrators in Sudan in 2019 to the thousands of young people marching against the coup in Myanmar in early 2021. Yet significant social, cultural, and economic barriers can prevent both women and youth from participating in nonviolent action. This report, based in part on firsthand reports from activists in seven diverse countries, sheds light on these barriers and makes concrete recommendations for maximizing the impact of women and youth in nonviolent action.