Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 35 n°195

Big questions loom as Xi Jinping visits Vladimir Putin

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 20 marzo 2023

Two stories of global significance are jostling for attention. I’m gripped, first, by the latest chapter in the geopolitical saga that is about to unfold in Moscow. A three-day state visit by Xi Jinping to Russia, in which he will show solidarity with his fellow autocrat Vladimir Putin, is one of those moments when you can almost see great-power politics shifting. Our analysis explains what this visit signifies for China and Russia—and America.One thing is clear: in the year or so since Mr Putin visited China in the run-up to the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has grown weaker and more dependent on its bigger Asian neighbour. Not only is Russia suffering directly (incurring immensely high casualties in Ukraine, for example), it has become ever-more isolated diplomatically than before. As Alexander Gabuev writes in a guest essay this weekend, Russia is on the path to becoming a vassal state, cut off from Europe and America, and there to do China’s bidding. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr Putin over the forced abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. Could he really end up on trial in The Hague? The smart answer is to dismiss the idea—indeed, my Charlemagne colleague is sure that he won’t. But strange things can happen. In 2001 I interviewed Carla del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of an international tribunal established to try war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. I silently scoffed when she told me that another man indicted for war crimes, Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president, would pay for his misdeeds. But she was right: Milosevic died, mid-trial, in a Dutch cell in 2006. Perhaps Mr Putin should read up on that case. The other big story of the week concerns fear and uncertainty in the financial world. Our latest cover story asks how deep the rot runs in the banking world. The consequences of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank continue to rumble on, and not only in America, where several regional banks look wobbly. Some fear it’s beginning to feel like 2007 again. After limping on for years Credit Suisse has just been swallowed by a rival, UBS, for more than $2bn. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve meets this week for perhaps its most consequential decision in recent years. Until recently the Fed had merely a difficult task of adjudicating between the threat of recession and persistently high inflation. Now, after years of rock-bottom interest rates, it must also worry about the consequences for badly run banks of quickly raising rates. Our new article lays out the dilemma. I’m watching several other stories. We have just published a look at the warming relationship between India and Japan, two big Asian democracies worried about China’s rise, as their leaders meet. Back in Europe there’s a familiarity to the drama in France, as parliamentarians prepare for a vote of confidence in Emmanuel Macron’s minority government tomorrow. As president he won’t fall, but his prime minister and government could. All because of public anger that the state retirement age is set to rise to 64 (no, that’s not a typo) from 62. Either way, his presidency will be left severely weakened. Adam Roberts Digital editor The Economist

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