James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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The World Next Week: Iran Talks and Hu Travels

by James M. Lindsay
January 13, 2011

The North American International Auto show in Detroit.

The North American International Auto show in Detroit. (Mark Blinch/courtesy Reuters)

The podcast for The World Next Week is up. Bob McMahon and I sat down to talk about the upcoming P5 + 1 talks with Iran in Istanbul; Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the U.S.; the UN Human Rights Council’s advisory committee meeting; and Detroit’s North American International Auto Show.

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The highlights:

  • The P5+1 continues to show surprising solidarity in the face of Iranian efforts to split the coalition.
  • President Obama’s meeting with President Hu probably will not produce any major breakthroughs as Beijing continues to assert its new global power. The Chinese so far have not repeated past practice and offered Washington a few diplomatic “gifts,” such as releasing dissidents from jail, on the run-up to the summit.
  • As the UN Human Rights Council’s advisory committee meets in Geneva, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, gears up to pass legislation that would bar the United States from participating in the Council’s work until it boots off countries that the State Department regards as major human rights abusers.
  • The North American International Auto Show gives GM, Ford, and Chrysler an opportunity to strut their stuff, but car sales remain anemic and the communities that are home to now-shuttered Big Three auto plants struggle to deal with the consequences of the shake-up in the auto industry.

Bob and I aren’t the only commentators discussing these issues. The Guardian covers Iran’s warning to the P5+1 while Forbes discusses the nuclear facilities inspections that will precede the talks in Istanbul. John Pomfret at the Washington Post, who recently joined CFR as an adjunct fellow, discusses the Chinese military’s test this week of a stealth aircraft, while Xinhua and Reuters discuss the expectations for Hu’s visit. The Financial Times covers the UN’s recent work on business and human rights. Bloomberg discusses the North American International Auto Show as a measure of the industry’s recovery, and MSNBC previews the eco-friendly cars we are likely to see on display in Detroit this year.

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