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U.S. think tank lists U.S. domestic politics as top global risk in 2020

(People's Daily Online)    13:48, January 08, 2020

U.S. domestic politics will be the top global risk to the world for 2020, according to the annual forecast of political risks in 2020 released by U.S. political risk consultancy Eurasia Group on Jan.6, 2020.

“We’ve lived with growing levels of geopolitical risk for nearly a decade, but without a true international crisis. Outside of geopolitics, global trends have been strongly favorable. That's now changing,” said the report, which pointed out that 2020 is a tipping point.

“It’s the first time in history of our firm that a domestic political risk is No. 1,” Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, and also one of the compilers of the report, said on Jan. 6 in a conference call to discuss this year’s report.

“We’ve never listed U.S. domestic politics as the top risk, mainly because U.S. institutions are among the world’s strongest and most resilient. This year, those institutions will be tested in unprecedented ways,” explained the report.

“Institutional constraints have prevented President Donald Trump from realizing major parts of his agenda (much as they have presidents preceding him), but they haven’t stopped him from dividing the nation,” said the report.

Trump has been impeached in the House of Representatives, and he will be acquitted by the Senate, according to the report, adding “this dynamic will delegitimize the November presidential election. Democrats will feel impeachment was politically quashed to place the president above the law, while Trump will feel empowered to interfere with election outcomes, with impeachment no longer a credible instrument of political restraint.”

“In other words, we’ll have an election that—in advance—will be perceived as ‘rigged’ by a large percentage of the population,” said the report, pointing out that according to a 2019 poll by IPSOS, a global market and opinion research firm, just 53 percent of the public believed the presidential election will be fair.

“But the biggest drop in confidence has come among Democratic voters. In 2016, 84 percent of Democrats believed that year’s election was fair. The number fell to 39 percent in September 2019 when asked about this year’s election,” noted the report.

  “We face risks of a US election that many will view as illegitimate, uncertainty in its aftermath, and a foreign policy environment made less stable by the resulting vacuum,” the report said, suggesting that “the 2020 election is an American Brexit—a maximally polarized vote where the risk is less the outcome than the political uncertainty of what the people voted for.”

The report also listed other risks including US-China decoupling, US-China tensions, climate change, and discontent in Latin America, among others. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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