"The crisis unleashed by Yanukovich's rejection of EU overtures in favour of closer ties with former master Moscow has cast fresh light on the intrigue and promiscuous politics of Ukraine's post-Orange Revolution elite; like all good businessmen, oligarchs hedge their bets."
Vice President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 4, 2013, during the vice president's trip to Asia. The vice president also spoke to the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and the U.S.-China Business Council on December 5, 2013.
A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: UN inspectors visit a heavy-water plant in Iran; Ukraine faces ongoing protests and potential political crisis; and U.S. vice president Joe Biden wraps up his trip to Asia.
"While there is a great deal of variation in the responses based on region, province, urban versus rural, education level, income, and gender, the 2013 survey findings give reason for cautious optimism as Afghans move into critical elections and security transition in 2014."
"Mandela's example is a ringing endorsement of what is derisively known as the "great man school of history"–the notion that influential individuals make a huge difference in how events turn out," writes Max Boot.
The Obama administration has embraced the most ambitious agenda on trade and investment liberalization in the past two decades, but more must be done to remove trade barriers in services, which is where the United States is most competitive, according to Ted Alden.
In the wake of the preliminary accord reached with Iran, Julia Sweig proposes that the Obama administration pursue a diplomatic resolution to another vexing element of U.S. foreign affairs: the relationship with Cuba.
"Egyptian voters might well be asked to approve the new constitution without knowing much about when their new president and parliament will be elected or what sort of system will govern the parliament. They may not know whether the defense minister who ousted Morsi will run for president or whether a malleable civilian will be put forward for the job. They may not even know whether the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party will be dissolved and therefore banned from running for seats in parliament. All these are salient points, because the vote in January will be more a popular referendum on the July 2013 coup than one on the draft constitution itself, which few are likely to read."
Speakers: Thomas Carothers, Daniel C. Kurtzer, and Shibley Telhami Presider: Richard N. Haass
Experts discuss the situation in Egypt, the impact on U.S. interests, and recommendations for U.S. policy.
This meeting is part of the "What to Do About" series, which highlights specific issues and features experts who put forward competing analyses and policy prescriptions in a mock high-level U.S. government meeting.
Americans are conflicted about the U.S. role in the world: a record 52 percent surveyed recently said "the United States should mind its own business internationally," the highest recorded response in fifty years and up from 30 percent just a decade ago. Furthermore, a record 80 percent of the public believe that the United States should address domestic problems over international ones.
"All of these steps are meant to ensure that the prime minister, and not the Army chief, is the most powerful Sharif in Pakistan. But that status is not easy to guarantee: before he was toppled by Musharraf, in 1999, Sharif thought that his position was invulnerable, thanks to a landslide victory that gave him an overwhelming majority in Parliament. If the direct threat of a coup has receded, today Sharif faces a broader array of checks on his power."
Vice President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered remarks to the press in Tokyo on December 3, 2013. The meeting was the beginning of the vice president's travel in Asia, to discuss the Obama administration's rebalance to Asia and China's announcement of an Air Defense Identification Zone.
The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, conducted a written interview with Vice President Joe Biden on December 2, 2013, before the vice president's trip to China, Japan, and South Korea. The interview covers China's announcement of its Air Defense Identification Zone, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, defense and cybersecurity alliances, and the Obama administration's "pivot to Asia."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.