The items listed below represent potential emerging issues that our analysts are tracking. These can be long term or short term, but will be updated daily. If an item on our Watch List becomes critical, we will email you a full analysis explaining its significance.
Each Saturday, we will follow up our daily Watch List for each week with our conclusions on these issues.
- China, Taiwan, U.S.: Chinese President Xi Jinping said Taiwan is the top issue for China-U.S. relations, according to Chinese state media. Beyond the usual issues – U.S. backing for “One China” and U.S. arms sales and other military support for Taiwan – what might Xi be looking for in the near term? How does Xi’s strengthened position domestically affect Taiwan? Let’s review our understanding of China’s Taiwan strategy.
- China: China’s long-awaited “super-regulator” – the Financial Stability and Development Committee – finally launched. It was expected to oversee China’s main regulatory bodies. On Nov. 9, Chinese state media said it will also supervise local governments, monetary policy and industrial policy, among other things. Its broad mandate makes it perhaps the foremost body to gauge the direction and effectiveness of China’s reform efforts. Will this body have the teeth to enforce painful reforms?
- India, Russia: Russia suspects that India violated the terms of a weapons agreement and allowed the United States to visit and observe Russian submarine technology. Russian media outlet Kommersant claimed that there were technical specialists among the U.S. observers. India is the largest destination for Russian military products, receiving 38 percent of all of Russia’s arms exports. What does this allegation say about U.S.-India and Russia-India relations?
- Spain: Madrid announced that it is considering a constitutional change that would allow regions to hold independence referendums. At first blush, this seems to be against Madrid’s own interests, especially given how it reacted to the Catalonia vote. Is this just a fig leaf, or is Madrid really content to further devolve power to the regions?