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Highlights From CFR

June 1, 2012

The World This Week

Chen: China Democracy 'Slow But Irreversible"

Chen Guangcheng, Jerome A. Cohen

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng spoke to CFR members in New York yesterday, and revealed his optimism that democracy will emerge sooner rather than later in China. He spoke of his escape and asylum in the United States, along with his hope that the Chinese government would allow him to return. Read the transcript »

Chen Guangcheng Is China’s Real Soft Power

Elizabeth C. Economy

Chen has the potential to emerge as the most potent weapon in China's otherwise fairly dismal arsenal of soft power. Despite his negative experience, Chen revealed himself as an optimist and a Chinese patriot. Read more on Asia Unbound »


Iran Talks Will Continue

Richard A. Falkenrath

Nuclear talks with Iran are unlikely to lead to a deal in the short term. Yet even if they are not yielding an agreement, the talks defuse international tensions, lower the price of oil, and make less likely a military engagement with Iran. Read the interview »

Iran Is Dependent on the Global Economy

Ray Takeyh

Iran's Supreme Leader needs the United States as an enemy and a robust nuclear infrastructure to legitimize his rule. Yet, these enmities only further erode Iran's economy and potentially threaten Khamenei's hold on power. Read the testimony »

Is South Korea Undermining Sanctions Against Iran?

Michael A. Levi

Analysts have speculated whether Seoul was attempting to sneak in extra imports of Iranian crude oil in April before European sanctions began. A careful look at the data, however, suggests that the spike in Korean imports is less peculiar than it seems. Read more on Energy, Security, and Climate »


How Assad Learned to Quash a Rebellion

Patrick Seale

In February 1982, Bashar al-Assad's father put down a rebellion by his Islamist opponents in the city of Hama. Three decades later his son faced down a similar rebellion in Homs. These two events were remarkably similar: both Assads believed they were wrestling not only with internal dissent but with a large-scale American and Israeli conspiracy. Read more on »

What Are the Options for Syria?

The Syrian regime's ongoing crackdown on mostly civilian protestors has claimed as many as fifteen thousand lives and displaced thousands more. International response has been limited by divisions in the UN Security Council and a wariness about a military option. Read the Backgrounder »

A Syrian Turning Point for Russia?

Mona Yacoubian

Last week's massacre near Houla has galvanized international outrage and may begin to turn Russia significantly away from Syria, even though Russia has blocked firm international action in the past. Read the interview »

The World Ahead

Eurozone Is at a Critical Juncture

Robert E. Rubin

The unravelling of the eurozone will have serious consequences for the region, and it will have serious—and even severe—consequences for the entire global economy, including the United States. Watch the video »

Piecemeal Reform on Immigration May Bring Change

Despite concerns about curbing illegal immigration, changing demographics, and maintaining the country's global competitive edge, experts expect that political polarization and gridlock will continue to make comprehensive immigration reform unattainable. Piecemeal reform is more likely and may bring incremental change. Read the Backgrounder »

Taylor Sentencing a Step Forward for International Justice

John Campbell

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor was sentenced to fifty years in prison this week for his crimes against humanity. Justice has been done, but the criticisms voiced by Taylor's defense highlight the difficulties in creating a system of international jurisprudence. Read more on Africa in Transition »

Jobs, Not Gas Prices, Will Matter in November

The correlation between consumer confidence and gas prices is not as strong as that between consumer confidence and unemployment. View the Geo-Graphic from CFR's Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.

World Events Calendar

May 31 - June 7: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Travel to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey
CFR Resources on: Europe »

June 4: Anniversary of Crackdown on Protests in Tiananmen Square
CFR Resources on: China »

View the Calendar »

Inside CFR

A Conversation with Marco Rubio: The senator from Florida discusses foreign policy challenges facing the United States, including Iran's nuclear weapons program, Syria, and more. Watch the video.


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