Tuesday Stories

US-China To Hold Talks At Critical Point In Relationship
A host of issues from cyber security and currency wars to North Korea’s nuclear program and China’s numerous territorial disputes with its neighbors are likely to be addressed when the secretaries of state and treasury travel for talks with their Chinese counterparts on Wednesday.

The sixth annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue will take place for two days and come at a time of worsening relations between China and the US, experts say.

“U.S.-China relations are worse than they have been since the normalization of relations, and East Asia today is less stable than at any time since the end of the Cold War,” said Robert Ross, a political science professor at Boston College, tells The Washington Post.

Brookings Institution analysts offer their thoughts on the coming talks.

“Before leaving for the Beijing talks, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew expressed concern over China’s foreign-exchange intervention. Lew said China seemed to follow a path of ‘two steps forward and part of a step back’ on the exchange rate, said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, according to MarketWatch.

Will Palestinian-Israeli Relations Be Different A Decade From Now?
It is a scenario the world has seen before. Israeli military officials carry out airstrikes hitting targets in Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as part of a new offensive aimed at halting rocket attacks by militants, a US President urges restraint, and Palestinian leaders vow revenge.

Elliott Abrams, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, does not believe big changes are likely anytime soon, “due to the combination of domestic politics in the United States and Israel and among the Palestinians,” and the recent violence.

“Big changes are unlikely, and most likely a year from now the same leaders will be in place pursuing the same policies. We may yet see Hamas raise the level of terrorism and Israel respond by going after Hamas in Gaza in a significant way, and we may see President Obama offer his own proposal as to what a final peace agreement should look like. But once another round between Israel and Hamas is over, and once the ink is dry on Obama’s presentation, nothing fundamental will have changed. None of which should come as a great surprise to anyone who has been watching the so-called peace process roll on decade after decade,” he writes.

Experts Discuss Whether Threat From ISIS Is Real Or Imagined “Washington is treating the threat of ISIS as a byproduct of the governance problems in Iraq and the chronic civil war in Syria. But the problem we are facing today is that ISIS has now already crossed the Rubicon from being merely a symptom of existing conflicts to becoming a source and catalyst of new conflicts. It has done this through its territorial gains, by conflating the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars into one large battlefield, and by threatening the stability of the broader region. What this means is that solutions that might have worked in the past, like changes in the make-up of the Iraqi and Syrian governments, might be necessary, but are unlikely to be sufficient under current circumstances,” argue Ross Harrison and Michael W. S. Ryan in their latest op-ed in The National Interest.

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