Is Europe’s gas and electricity price surge a one-off?

bruegel.org

Surging natural gas prices in Europe, driven by rising demand and tight supply, are pushing up electricity prices; to prevent volatility, governments need to commit more clearly to a low-carbon future.

Since January 2021, natural gas prices have soared by more than 170% in Europe (Figure 1), sparking concerns about the potential macroeconomic implications.https://e.infogram.com/1p761ygy79gngyhz5yydwzln9lanq3km1rm?parent_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bruegel.org%2F2021%2F09%2Fis-europes-gas-and-electricity-price-surge-a-one-off%2F&src=embed#async_embed

Both demand and supply factors have contributed to a tightening of the European gas market.

European gas demand is increasing in residential heating, industry and power generation. Higher demand for residential heating due to a cold winter and widespread remote working pushed up overall European gas demand by 7.6% in the first quarter of 2021. Also, a combination of continued industrial output rebound, summer heatwaves with increased use of air conditioning and rallying EU carbon prices fostering a switch from coal to gas, kept European gas demand high throughout the second quarter of the year.

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What’s Behind Europe’s Skyrocketing Power Prices

bloomberg.com

Europe’s energy ambitions are clear: to shift to a low-carbon future by remaking its power generating and distribution systems. But the present situation is an expensive mess. A global supply crunch for natural gas, bottlenecks for renewable energy and wind speeds in the North Sea among the slowest in 20 years, idling turbines, have contributed to soaring electricity prices. As winter approaches, governments are preparing to intervene if needed in volatile energy markets to keep homes warm and factories running.

1. What’s the problem here?

Energy prices skyrocketed as economies emerge from the pandemic — boosting demand just as supplies are falling short. Coal plants have been shuttered, gas stockpiles are low and the continent’s increasing reliance on renewable sources of energy is exposing its vulnerability. Even with mild weather in September, gas and electricity prices were breaking records across the continent and in the U.K. Italy’s Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said he expected power prices to increase by 40% in the third quarter. In the U.K., CF Industries Holdings Inc., a major fertilizer producer, shut two plants, and Norwegian ammonia manufacturer Yara International ASA curbed its European production because of high fuel costs, as the crunch started to hit industrial companies.

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‘Here to stay’: Indo-Pacific Quad leaders to meet at White House

First in-person leader meet of US, Japan, India and Australia grouping signals ‘durability’ despite differences.

The so-called 'Quad' grouping will hold its first in-person leaders meeting on Friday [File: Kiyoshi Ota/Reuters]
The so-called ‘Quad’ grouping will hold its first in-person leaders meeting on Friday [File: Kiyoshi Ota/Reuters]

By Joseph Stepansky 23 Sep 2021, Al Jazeera

The leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia will meet on Friday for their first in-person person summit of the Indo-Pacific Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or so-called “Quad” grouping.

The informal arrangement, with the countries first working together in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, has increasingly solidified since 2017. It has been fuelled by consecutive US administration’s policies towards China, and aided in no small part by individual tensions between Tokyo, Canberra, New Delhi with Beijing.KEEP READINGUS to join Australia, India, Japan in first-ever Quad summitWhat is the Quad and can it counter China’s rise?Quad goals: US, Indo-Pacific allies to up India’s vaccine outputCan the Quad effectively counter China’s influence?

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Vietnam Continues Efforts to Reduce Trade Dependence on China

by Bich T. Tran, ISEAS

As of August 2021, Vietnam has officially joined 15 FTAs, including six ASEAN FTAs with regional partners (China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia, and New Zealand) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. In this photo, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) is pictured on a TV monitor clapping next to other country signatories during the signing ceremony for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact at the ASEAN summit that is being held online in Hanoi on 15 November 2020. Photo: Nhac NGUYEN, AFP.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • Vietnam’s trade deficit with China has grown rapidly since 2001. Its heavy dependence on Chinese intermediate and capital goods creates vulnerabilities in its entire production chain.
  • China has a history of using trade as a weapon to punish countries with which it has disputes. Escalating tensions in the South China Sea have served as a wake-up call for Hanoi to reduce its trade dependence on Beijing.
  • Towards this end, Vietnam, has over the past few years, signed a number of new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs), including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which excludes China, and the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
  • However, Vietnam’s efforts to reduce its trade dependence on China through these FTAs have not produced desired outcomes. Both the CPTPP and the EVFTA have come into force in Vietnam for a short while, and it may take more time for Vietnam to fully benefit from them.
  • In the meantime, Vietnam will need to take proactive measures to increase the utilization rate of these agreements and push forward economic and institutional reforms to strengthen its overall economic resilience. If Vietnam is successful in these efforts, its trade reliance on China, which is likely to persist in the short to medium term, will be less of a concern.

* Bich T. Tran is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Antwerp, a Fellow at Verve Research, and an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). Her research interests include Vietnam’s grand strategy, Southeast Asian states’ relations with major powers, and political leadership.

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Hơn 750 căn cứ ở 80 nước: Mỹ lấn át Trung Quốc triển khai sức mạnh ở nước ngoài

PLO  – TRI TÚC23/09/2021 – 15:34

Quân đội Mỹ vận hành hơn 750 căn cứ hải ngoại trải khắp 80 quốc gia trong khi Trung Quốc chỉ có một căn cứ quân sự hải ngoại tại Djibouti.

Hơn 750 căn cứ ở 80 nước: Mỹ lấn át Trung Quốc triển khai sức mạnh ở nước  ngoài | Quân sự | PLO
Lính Mỹ rời căn cứ không quân Bargam ở Afghanistan hồi tháng 7. Ảnh: TWITTER

Với trọng tâm chiến lược của Mỹ hiện đang chuyển sang khu vực Ấn Độ Dương –Thái Bình Dương với mục đích chế ngự Trung Quốc, các lực lượng vũ trang Mỹ đang ráo riết vũ khí hóa khu vực châu Á-Thái Bình Dương vốn đang dần trở thành tâm điểm toàn cầu về rủi ro xảy ra xung đột lớn tiếp theo.

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Chiến lược cảng biển của Trung Quốc khiến Mỹ “ngồi trên đống lửa”: Mạng lưới trải rộng hơn 60 quốc gia

soha –  Lưu Bình – 19/09/2021 – 15:28

Trong những năm gần đây, Mỹ đã nhiều lần bày tỏ lo ngại về việc Trung Quốc tiếp quản các cảng biển quan trọng trên Biển Địa Trung Hải.

Chiến lược cảng biển của Trung Quốc khiến Mỹ "ngồi trên đống lửa": Mạng  lưới trải rộng hơn 60 quốc gia
Chủ tịch Trung Quốc Tập Cận Bình thực hiện chuyến thăm tới cảng Châu Sơn Ninh Ba, tỉnh Chiết Giang, miền đông Trung Quốc. Ảnh: Xinhua

Đầu tháng 8/2021, một nhân viên của cảng Ninh Ba, Trung Quốc bị phát hiện nhiễm virus Covid-19, nhà chức trách đã từng đình chỉ hoạt động vận hành của cảng này, dẫn đến sự chấn động trong ngành vận tải biển toàn cầu. Sự cố này làm nổi bật sự mong manh của chuỗi cung ứng toàn cầu và tầm quan trọng của các cảng trong nền kinh tế thế giới ngày nay.

80% thương mại toàn cầu được hoàn thành bằng đường biển và các cảng là đầu mối của giao thông vận tải đường biển. Trung Quốc không chỉ có 7 trong số 10 cảng hàng đầu thế giới tại chính lãnh thổ của họ, Bắc Kinh còn thông qua các doanh nghiệp nhà nước tiến hành đầu tư xây dựng các cảng, hỗ trợ xây dựng hoặc cho thuê ở ít nhất 60 quốc gia.

Tiếp tục đọc “Chiến lược cảng biển của Trung Quốc khiến Mỹ “ngồi trên đống lửa”: Mạng lưới trải rộng hơn 60 quốc gia”

EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific


SOTEU BannerOn 19 April 2021, the Council adopted conclusions on an EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific [1]. As a follow-up to the Council conclusions, the Commission and the High Representative presented a Joint Communication on the EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy on 16 September 2021.

Why an EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific?

The Indo-Pacific region is increasingly becoming strategically important for the EU. The region’s growing economic, demographic, and political weight makes it a key player in shaping the international order and in addressing global challenges.

The EU and the Indo-Pacific are highly interconnected. The EU is already the top investor, the leading development cooperation partner and one of the biggest trading partners in the Indo-Pacific region. Together, the Indo-Pacific and Europe hold over 70% of the global trade in goods and services, as well as over 60% of foreign direct investment flows.

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Biden’s Covid Summit

New York Timses newsletter

At the opening of a virtual Covid-19 summit organized with the U.N., President Biden called on world leaders, pharmaceutical executives, philanthropists and civil society organizations to forge a global consensus around a plan to fight the coronavirus crisis.

“We need to go big,” Biden said. “It’s an all-hands-on-deck crisis.”

The president pointed to two especially urgent challenges: vaccinating the world and solving a global oxygen shortage, which is leading to unnecessary Covid deaths. Tiếp tục đọc “Biden’s Covid Summit”

Dấu hiệu bất thường trong chi tiền hỗ trợ người dân

07:55 – 18/09/2021 THANH NIÊN303  phản hồi

Để hỗ trợ kịp thời người dân gặp khó khăn do ảnh hưởng dịch bệnh Covid-19, chính quyền TP.HCM triển khai nhiều đợt chi tiền hỗ trợ với cam kết không để người dân thiếu đói.

Người dân thuộc nhóm lao động tự do đang phản ánh những thắc mắc, bức xúc về cách chi trả tiền trợ cấp với cán bộ UBND P.2, Q.8 (bìa trái) /// Thanh Niên

Người dân thuộc nhóm lao động tự do đang phản ánh những thắc mắc, bức xúc về cách chi trả tiền trợ cấp với cán bộ UBND P.2, Q.8 (bìa trái)THANH NIÊN

Tuy nhiên, vừa qua nhiều người dân ngụ tại địa bàn P.2 (Q.8, TP.HCM) bức xúc phản ánh đến Báo Thanh Niên về việc chi tiền hỗ trợ của phường này quá bất cập, đáng ngờ, khiến họ đi tới đi lui và về tay không. Thậm chí, có trường hợp đã qua đời do Covid-19 nhưng vẫn cùng nhiều người trong gia đình có tên trong danh sách nhận tiền, nhưng chính quyền địa phương chỉ giải quyết cho 1 trường hợp… PV Thanh Niên đã vào cuộc tìm hiểu.

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Remarks by President Biden Before the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

SEPTEMBER 21, 2021

United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York

10:01 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, my fellow delegates, to all those who dedicate themselves to this noble mission of this institution: It’s my honor to speak to you for the first time as President of the United States. 

We meet this year in a moment of — intermingled with great pain and extraordinary possibility.  We’ve lost so much to this devastating — this devastating pandemic that continues to claim lives around the world and impact so much on our existence. 

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Mười điều rút ra từ sự ra đời của Liên minh AUKUS

Nghiên cứu quốc tế –

Tác giả: Hoàng Anh Tuấn

Hiệp định Đối tác tăng cường an ninh ba bên giữa Mỹ, Anh và Australia (AUKUS) có phiên âm khá thú vị (ô kis) – “Hôn nhau cái nào” – đến mức Tổng thống Biden cũng cảm thấy thích thú khi phát âm tên liên minh mới trong bài diễn văn đánh dấu sự ra đời của AUKUS.

Tuy nhiên, việc thành lập AUKUS thì hoàn toàn nghiêm túc, chẳng “lãng mạn” chút nào, và là kết quả của những nỗ lực thương lượng không ngừng nghỉ trong nhiều tháng trước đó của quan chức cấp cao 3 nước, trước khi AUKUS chính thức ra đời ngày 15/9/2021 vừa qua.

Tạm thời có thể rút ra 10 nhận xét nhanh từ sự ra đời của AUKUS như sau:

Tiếp tục đọc “Mười điều rút ra từ sự ra đời của Liên minh AUKUS”

Thực trạng đào tạo Luật sư ở Việt Nam và Mỹ?

HILAP – Đỗ Chinh

Điều kiện để trở thành luật sư

Đào tạo Luật sư ở Mỹ

Về đầu vào: việc đào tạo luật ở Mỹ là đào tạo sau đại học, sinh viên luật là những người đã tốt nghiệp đại học – có bằng cử nhân một môn khoa học bất kì. Các khoa luật ở Mỹ tuyển sinh viên đầu vào rất khắt khe, thường lựa chọn những sinh viên thật sự xuất sắc. Những người trúng tuyển sẽ theo học 3 năm tại khoa luật để lấy bằng J.D – ( jurist doctor ) – văn bằng luật cơ bản ở Mỹ. Độ tuổi trung bình cho sinh viên khoa luật tốt nghiệp ở Mỹ là 29, độ tuổi cho con người hoàn thiện về nhân cách và giữ vững lập trường lời nói và hành động.

Tiếp tục đọc “Thực trạng đào tạo Luật sư ở Việt Nam và Mỹ?”

Why Aukus is welcome in the Indo-Pacific

America’s efforts to strengthen deterrence of China are gathering momentum
GIDEON RACHMAN

James Ferguson illustration of Gideon Rachman column ‘Why Aukus is welcome in the Indo-Pacific’

© James Ferguson

The Australia-UK-US security pact — Aukus — has been greeted with rage in China and France. But more significant than the flamboyant anger in Beijing and Paris are the countries that are quietly applauding the agreement.

The many Indo-Pacific nations that are worried by China’s increasing belligerence look to America, not France, to balance Chinese power. Japan and India, the two largest economies in the region outside China, have welcomed Aukus. Later this week, the White House will host a summit meeting of the leaders of the Quad — the US, India, Japan and Australia. Week by week, the US is visibly strengthening its network of security relationships across the Indo-Pacific.

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Global Strategy 2021: An Allied Strategy for China (The Atlantic Council)

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This strategy was produced in collaboration with experts from ten leading democracies.

Foreword

Following World War II, the United States and its allies and partners established a rules-based international system. While never perfect, it contributed to decades without great-power war, extraordinary economic growth, and a reduction of world poverty. But this system today faces trials ranging from a global pandemic and climate change to economic disruptions and a revival of great-power competition.

As Henry Kissinger has pointed out, world order depends on the balance of power and principles of legitimacy. The rise of Chinese power is straining both aspects of the existing rules-based system. China benefited from the system and does not seek to kick over the table as Hitler did with the 1930s international order, but China wants to use its power to change the rules and tilt the table to enhance its winnings. Beijing is directing its growing economic, diplomatic, and military heft toward revisionist geopolitical aims. While we once hoped that China would become what we considered a “responsible stakeholder” in a rules-based system, President Xi Jinping has led his country in a more confrontational direction.

Some analysts portray a new Cold War, but this historical metaphor misunderstands the nature of the new challenge. The Soviet Union was a direct military and ideological threat, and there was almost no economic or social interdependence in our relationship. With China today, we have half a trillion dollars in trade and millions of social interchanges. Moreover, with its “market-Leninist” system, China has learned to harness the creativity of markets to authoritarian Communist party control. It announced its intent to use this system to dominate ten key technologies by 2025. We and our allies are not threatened by the export of communism – few people are taking to the streets in favor of Xi Jinping thought – but by a hybrid system of interdependence. China has become the leading trading partner of more countries than the US. Partial decoupling on security issues like Huawei (discussed below) is necessary, but total decoupling from our overall economic interdependence would be extremely costly, and even impossible in the case of ecological interdependence such as climate change or future pandemics. For better and worse, we are locked in a “cooperative rivalry” in which we have to do two contradictory things at the same time.

Addressing the China challenge will require a collective effort on the part of the United States and its allies and partners, in which we leverage effectively our hard and soft power resources to defend ourselves and strengthen a rules-based system. Some pessimists look at China’s population size and economic growth rates and believe that the task is impossible. But on the contrary, if we think in terms our alliances, the combined wealth of the Western democracies – US, Europe, Japan – will far exceed that of China well into the century. A clear strategy with well-defined goals that neither under- nor over-estimates China is necessary for the current moment. Over the past two years, the Atlantic Council has convened high-level meetings of strategists and experts to produce just that.

In this paper, Global Strategy 2021: An Allied Strategy for China, Matthew Kroenig and Jeffrey Cimmino, along with expert collaborators from ten of the world’s leading democracies, propose a logical and actionable strategy for addressing the China challenge. The strategy articulates clear long- and short-term goals and several major strategic elements to help achieve those goals.

First, the paper calls for strengthening likeminded allies and partners and the rules-based system for a new era of great-power competition. This will require, for example, prioritizing innovation, repairing infrastructure, and establishing new institutions to bolster democratic cooperation. A successful strategy begins at home.

Second, likeminded allies and partners should defend against Chinese behavior that threatens to undermine core principles of the rules-based system. Executing this element will mean prohibiting China’s engagement in economic sectors vital to national security, countering Chinese influence operations, and deterring and, if necessary, defending against, Chinese military aggression in the Indo-Pacific.

Third, the authors recognize that China also presents an opportunity, and they recommend that likeminded allies and partners engage China from a position of strength to cooperate on shared interests and, ultimately, incorporate China into a revitalized and adapted rules-based system. Thus, efforts should be made to cooperate with China on issues of shared interests, including public health, the global economy, nonproliferation, and the global environment.

They argue that the desired endpoint of the strategy is not everlasting competition or the overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party, but rather to convince Chinese leaders that their interests are better served by cooperating within, rather than challenging, a rules-based international system. They pay attention to both the rivalry and the cooperative possibilities in the relationship.

The paper presents a sound strategic framework and a comprehensive and practical plan for the US and its democratic allies to follow as they address the China challenge. I encourage experts and officials from the United States and allied nations to study this thoughtful report. Following this strategy could help leading democracies cope with the China challenge and advance a revitalized rules-based system for years to come.

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