As President Xi Jinping officially begins his third term leading China, his ideological approach will be tested by instability - both within and outside his country.
Much attention is being focused on energy supply security issues, especially for European oil and gas supplies. The latest Russian decision to halt natural gas sales to Poland and Bulgaria has reinforced that continent’s awareness of the perils of unreliable suppliers. Europe’s short-term focus is on sanctioning Russia and then backfilling the forgone oil and gas from other sources.
Out of the rubble of World War II, we collectively and deliberately built an institutional order that established norms of acceptable behavior and placed constraints on powerful nations. While work remains to create broader economic opportunity and some regions have suffered terrible conflict, the economic and financial globalization that this order fostered nevertheless yielded the greatest period of peace and economic prosperity that humanity has ever known. The more than 70 years since the war’s conclusion are, however, very atypical, and we are now returning to a setting far more familiar to any student of history, where strength and power supersede norms and rules. The world is characterized by a renewed struggle between illiberal autocracy and liberal democracy.
Together with many business and economic leaders around the globe, we at the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise support the harshest feasible sanctions against Vladimir Putin in the immediate interest of Ukraine and its people. More broadly, we view such measures as vital to the long-term survival of democratic values. But as the Russian invasion continues, seemingly unabated by unprecedented economic and financial sanctions, we must ask: what more is feasible? And for how long can such restrictions be sustained?