“America is back”: World leaders welcome Biden’s inauguration

Past US presidents could historically be relied on by allies to stand up for democracy and multilateral institutions (in words at least, if not always in deed). Countries expecting the same from Donald Trump’s administration have had a rocky four years. For some, Trump represented a welcome break from America’s reputation of meddling in other […]

Biden’s most significant executive actions, from immigration to climate change

Following an unusual inauguration ceremony, US president Joe Biden got right to work. In a symbolic move, Biden signed 17 executive actions, ranging from orders to memoranda and directives, that are in line with the promises he’s made to govern differently from his predecessor, Donald Trump. The flurry of orders—which deal with the pandemic, climate change, […]

The EU reaches an eleventh-hour deal on investment with China

European leaders reached a compromise with China on an investment agreement nearly a decade in the making, two days before the new year—the EU’s self-imposed deadline. Earlier today (Dec. 30), European Council president Charles Michel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen spoke via videoconference with Chinese president Xi Jinping. They were later joined […]

What a Biden presidency means for the UK

Every four or eight years the US elects a new president who holds a different view of the transatlantic relationship than his predecessor—and the countries of Europe have to adjust. Typically, no matter who is in the White House, London benefits from its “special relationship” with Washington. But UK prime minister Boris Johnson is surely […]

China has big climate plans but the EU isn’t impressed

Chinese president Xi Jinping made a major and unexpected announcement on Tuesday (Sept. 22) at the UN general assembly: China, the world’s second largest economy and largest polluter, will become carbon-neutral by 2060. And yet the European Union, one of China’s biggest allies on climate change, seems decidedly unimpressed. Climate change and the EU-China relationship […]

Do temperature checks for Covid-19 work?

Among the many out-of-body experiences created by this pandemic—moments where I’ve thought, “what would Pre-Covid Me think if she saw me like this?”—none have marked me quite so much as having my temperature checked at the entrance of indoor spaces. Traveling through Turkey in early September, it at first felt alien to approach restaurants, tourist […]

Covid-19 is shaking up the citizenship by investment industry

Before Covid-19 connections and money could buy almost anyone the right to live pretty much anywhere they wanted. The industry known today as CRBI—citizenship and residence by investment—began in 1984 in the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and Nevis, which offered a passport to foreigners who “invested substantially” in their economy. Today, more than half […]

China’s diplomatic visit to Norway is a reminder of its Arctic ambitions

On his first diplomatic trip since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi will stop by Italy, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and… Norway. The inclusion of a non-European Union member on a trip whose purpose is, ostensibly, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China […]