A few general interest links to start off the week:
The Washington Post has a story comparing ISIS to actual nation states. There’s a lot of interesting tidbits in the article, but there was one that stuck out to me in particular. Namely, after analyzing ISIS tweets between August 18 and September 3, the Internet technology company Recorded Future, found that the Islamic State had an 11 percent favorability rate among Twitter users [i.e. 11 percent of tweets about ISIS were favorable to the group]. By contrast, China’s favorability rating was only 10 percent, while France’s was 13 percent. So much for Chinese soft power.
This figure is particularly shocking in light of the fact that the same analysis found that if ISIS was a country, it would have been the second most talked about country on Twitter after the U.S.
Also on the Washington Post, Jackson Diehl discusses China’s “creeping invasion.” The article cites Japanese scholars as suggesting that China may have learned from Russia’s moves in Ukraine and decided to chart a less brazen course.
An article in the official China Daily seems to disagree. It says that China has a new diplomacy. Citing speeches by Xi Jinping, the analysis says that Chinese diplomacy will take a “more proactive approach” and the country “no longer needs to keep such a low profile on any issue.”
The Wall Street Journal claims that, “In exports, capital spending and foreign investment, India today is remarkably similar to China circa 2001.”
Also from WSJ, China’s yuan-denominated loans doubled in August from the month before.
Vali Nasr argues that what the U.S. really needs is a grand strategy.
James Hardy notes that the U.S. has overtaken Russia as India’s primary arms supplier. He then discusses the implications of this.
Some early reviews of Francis Fukuyama’s upcoming book, Political Order and Political Decay.
The Council on Foreign Relations has a new report out on U.S. debt. The report notes that in 2000, the U.S. had one of the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios in the G7. It now has about an average debt-to-GDP ratio for G7 countries. Most worrisome for Americans, “At its current rate, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio will be higher than all G7 countries except Japan by 2040.”