Political risk consultants say US-China relations one of top risks for 2019

Eurasia Group released its yearly political risk report this month

Trump and Xi shake hands in front of their respective national flags

Trump and Xi shake hands in front of their respective national flags (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Political risk consultancy firm Eurasia Group has published its “Top Risks for 2019” report, which lists U.S.-China tensions as one of the biggest harbingers of political calamity this year.

Eurasia Group was founded by Ian Bremmer in 1998 and has offices around the world that conduct research into international affairs to predict which things are most likely to be obstacles for the global political community in the upcoming year.

This year, the firm has listed U.S.-China relations and “bad seeds” among the biggest risks.

The group claims that “something fundamental has broken in the relationship between Washington and Beijing that can't be put back together,” and that U.S. engagement of China is no longer working because the marginal amount of trust that previously existed between the two nations has now dissipated entirely.

Analysts say they are sceptical about whether the ceasefire on tariff impositions called in December will remain beyond its initial 90-day agreement. Regardless of whether either side continues to introduce more tariffs or not, economic relations will deteriorate, as U.S. and Chinese supply chains continue to fragment, the report states.

Dilapidating U.S.-China relations are also one of several “bad seeds” that have begun to germinate in the run up to 2019, the organization claims. The state of the EU, NATO, the G7, the G20, the WTO, Russia and the Kremlin, regional power structures in the Middle East and Asia are all on a downward trend, the report states.

It additionally proclaims that Donald Trump’s leadership is not only causing domestic political meltdown but is having knock-on effects in global institutions, and transforming political alliances around the world. Deteriorating trust, due to the fact that Trump views alliances as “corsets that restrict the U.S.'s ability to pursue its interests,” may begin to reshape how the rest of the world fundamentally values U.S. allegiance, the report claims.

Eurasia group lists the other eight biggest risks as: cyber warfare, European populism, political volatility within the U.S., an “innovation winter,” anti-liberal order coalitions, Mexico, Ukraine and Nigeria. The firm lists Brexit as an additional potential risk as the actual outcome of the process is still wholly unpredictable.

The full report can be read on the Eurasia Group website.