COVID-19 and Britain’s Integrated Review: surveying the global environment

By Michael Clarke It’s inevitable that the government’s ‘Integrated Review’ of external relations has gone on hold during the COVID-19 crisis, not least because the international environment is being changed, perhaps fundamentally, by it. Michael Clarke addresses the government’s key challenge – to work out the difference between those existing trends that are being exacerbated …

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China and the WHO’s ‘Health Silk Road’ (健康丝绸之路)

by Helen Ramscar In March 2020, when Dr Aylward, Senior Advisor to the WHO Director-General, cut short a video interview rather than comment on, or even mention, Taiwan’s impressive response to the Covid-19 crisis, it appeared that offending China was too great a risk to countenance. His lack of candour appeared a sinister indication of …

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Securing Strategic Integration

The UK's Integrated Review of foreign, defence, security and international development policy cannot be undertaken meaningfully during Phase 1 of the Covid-19 crisis and it has been paused until sometime next year. In the meantime, the Securing Strategic Integration report published by the D Group this week offers the best outline defining how to create something 'strategic' from …

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Wuhan is Ground Zero: We Still Need to Know What Happened

Helen Ramscar It’s almost 20 years since I stepped into a Chinese ‘wet market’. As a ‘lǎowài’ (‘foreigner’), it was certainly an eye-opener. So, when in January 2020 news started to trickle out of China of a new SARS-like coronavirus spreading from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, the assumption that the heaving wet market …

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COVID Phase 2: Time for a Hard-Nosed Look at Why COVID in the Poor World Matters So Much to the Rich

Michael Clarke Within the rich world, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to pass its peak over the next month. But then the ‘COVID phase 2’ period begins, and it will be brutal. It will be brutal because the pandemic will then be approaching a peak in the emergent economies and the developing world, and whatever …

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Ventilators for Covid-19: A Scramble for Africa

Helen Ramscar The COVID-19 crisis is certainly not all about ventilators*, but their availability is emerging as a revealing index of preparedness for a pandemic crisis. As the UK scrambles to get another 8,000 ventilators this week, aiming to have 18,000 in place for the projected peak of the UK’s first Covid-19 crisis, it’s worth …

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‘Vaccine Diplomacy’ in Phase 2 of the Covid-19 Crisis

Helen Ramscar As all countries grapple with mathematical models, limited or inaccurate statistics and try to flatten exponential curves, citizens’ hopes are pinned on governments having an exit strategy to the Covid-19 crisis and the arrival of a safe vaccine. But some very challenging questions combining medical ethics and public policy remain to be answered …

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