Good evening. When you think of Edward Snowden, your first thought likely doesn’t involve the U.S.-China dynamic. But it probably should, as this week’s cover story makes clear. Elsewhere, we have a Q&A with Dennis Blair, a retired admiral, who makes the case that electric vehicles should be seen as a national security priority; a closer look at U.S. investments in the 31 PLA-affiliated companies recently banned by Trump’s executive order; an exploration of how China’s new drug procurement system is upending Big Pharma; and an argument for more expansionary fiscal policy in China.
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Seven years ago, when Edward Snowden shared classified documents about U.S. cyber surveillance, the disclosures caused international outrage and fueled debate in the U.S. about the proper balance between civil liberties and national security. But as this week’s cover story from Eli Binder and Katrina Northrop shows, the leaked documents also had an unintended impact in Beijing, not too far from where Snowden was holed up in a Kowloon hotel. Now, as tensions in the the U.S.-China technology relationship reach an all-time high, the Snowden effect is critical context to understand how this dragon was let out of its cage.
On November 12th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring U.S. investment in Chinese-military affiliated firms. Investors may not purchase new shares in the companies after January 11, 2021, and have until November 2021 to divest. For this week’s Big Picture data graphics, The Wire took a look at the initial 31 companies that have been named (more are expected to follow), other actions that have been taken against the companies, and what’s at stake for big fund managers like Black Rock, one of the world’s biggest asset management firms.
The new bidding system for generic drugs has upended the businesses of some global drug makers in China, The Wire‘s Katrina Northrop reports. The vast majority of contracts for commonly used generic drugs have been won by Chinese drug makers with global brands like Pfizer, Merck and Eli Lilly losing out. Out of the 291 winning bids in the two rounds of procurement this year, for instance, only seven were won by foreign pharmaceutical firms. Now, global firms are scurrying to rethink their position in the world’s second largest drug market.
Admiral (Retired) Dennis Blair is a former Director of National Intelligence and former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command. He is now a member of the Energy Leadership Council of Securing America’s Future Energy, a non partisan organization that aims to improve America’s energy security. In this week’s interview with The Wire’s David Barboza, he talks about why electric vehicles are a national security priority and how U.S. businesses have failed to think about the big picture.
Admiral Dennis Blair
Illustration by Lauren Crow
In 2020, China’s economy will probably grow by 2-2.5 percent — significantly more than other major economies, which are facing contractions. But China still faces serious economic challenges, and Yu Yongding, who served on the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China, argues in this week’s op-ed that these challenges can only be addressed with a more expansionary fiscal policy.
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