At Harris Bricken, we keep close tabs on what is happening around the world, and we know that our friends and clients do, as well. We are happy to provide this podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by international attorneys Fred Rocafort and Jonathan Bench, where we look at the world by talking with business leaders, innovators, service providers, manufacturers, and government leaders around the world.

In Episode #54, we are joined by Nadège Rolland, Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research.

We discuss:

  • How the June 1989 Tiananmen Square protests helped spark Nadège’s interest in China.
  • Working in the French national security establishment, and how it differs from its U.S. counterpart.
  • The March 2021 Anchorage meeting between Secretary of State Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang.
  • China-Europe relations, and the tensions between European countries’ values and their economic interests.
  • Why China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) should be of concern to the rest of the world.
  • The prospect of partial decoupling and the emergence of a subsystem where China is dominant.
  • Listening, and watching recommendations from:

We’ll see you next week for another exciting and informative episode when we sit down with Eduardo Diaz Rivera to discuss finance in Latin America.

This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.

 

Fred Rocafort  0:07 

Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other. The importance on the global stage of developing and developed nations waxes and wanes, while consumption and interconnectedness steadily increase all the while laws and regulations change incessantly requiring businesses to stay nimble. But how do we make sense of it all? Welcome to Global Law and Business hosted by Harris Bricken International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort.

 

Jonathan Bench  0:37 

And I’m Jonathan Bench. Every week, we take a targeted look at legal and economic developments in locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of international experts. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important, the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.

 

Fred Rocafort  1:02 

We hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Please connect with us on social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.

 

Nadege Rolland is a senior fellow for political and security affairs at the National Bureau of Asian research, and a non resident fellow at the Lowy Institute. Her research focuses mainly on China’s domestic foreign and defense policy, grand strategy, and the changes in global dynamics resulting from the rise of China prior to joining the NBR, Nadege served for two decades as an analyst and senior advisor on Asian and Chinese strategic issues to the French Ministry of Defense, for which she was awarded the Medal of Honor. Nadege, welcome to Harris Bricken, Global Law and Business.

 

Nadège Rolland  1:58 

Thank you very much.

 

Jonathan Bench  1:59 

Nadège  it is a privilege to have someone with your credentials on the podcast. So thank you for being with us. We look forward to picking your brain on a number of China related issues. To get things started, however, we’d like to learn how you got to this point in your career, in particular how your interest in China emerged. But feel free to go back as far as you want. Step us through what you’ve been doing anything interesting along the way, because certainly you have been involved in quite a few interesting things.

 

Nadège Rolland  2:25 

Yeah, well, thank you very much for for having me on the on the podcast. It’s a it’s a great honor to be here. That’s why China Well, it you have to go back in June and 1989. There was I was high school senior back then trying to figure out what my next step would be what kind of college I would want to go. And on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, they were students of my age, basically, demonstrating for more freedom in their own country. And so that really sparked my interest. I was really interested in this in this country, and in this wave for freedom and democracy that we could see back then in China. And I wanted to learn more. So I decided that I’m going to start with learning the language. And so this is what really started my journey. In college in in Paris, where I went to the National Institute for Oriental Languages, and cultures, learn Mandarin, for five years. And not just Mandarin, but also everything related to Chinese history, literature, geopolitics, as well as the region too. So that was the beginning of the, of the journey. And I, as I, as I grew into this, into this environment, I realized that Poetry and Literature were not really my thing I thought I was more interested in in the geopolitics of the region. I had an excellent professor who, who was, you know, teaching us what was going on in the East and South China Seas and the contentions between great powers in the region. And so that that really caught my attention. So this is where I, I started to think I want to, perhaps do something that’s more related to these issues than the cultural or business part of the China dimension.

 

Jonathan Bench  4:54 

It’s an interesting time that you got involved in China, he said in right around the Tiananmen time. We’re there other classmates, did you find others? Who were who were interested? Or did you feel like it struck you in a special way that you thought, you know, this is, this must be my calling in life that I need to I need to follow this thread?

 

Nadège Rolland  5:11 

Well, I think the other students of my age back then were, I think they were very much into business mindset, you know, because this was, we were like, 10 years after the reform and opening of China. So there was a lot of a lot of business to be made, it was really a great time, you know, early 1990s. were, were they the economic growth of China was really starting to kick off and the, the commercial angle was, was really important for them. And they thought that they would learn the language to start having those business conversations, of course, and, and being that world, and I was never interested in this. Personally, many of them, I think, we don’t have that alumni network, like most of the colleges in the US have, unfortunately, but I have kept some sort of relations with with some of my other students of that time, and some of them have completely shifted their interest in other areas after that. For many of us, I think we were sort of pioneers, because we were interested in Chinese language at a time when actually it was just starting to kick off in all domains. I think many of the focus was still Japan, also back then. So the, the Japanese department was was much bigger than the Chinese department in and the college where I went. But no, really, for me at what I, I don’t know, it was that it was the interest in those sort of big strategic questions, I found that very fascinating. And I, my personal inclination was also maybe to, I had this desire to serve. So I thought for a while going into the military, I wanted to be a fighter jet pilot, but didn’t last long. Because just the, the sight of a roller coaster makes me sick. So I thought that’s probably not a good way for me to continue pursuing a career. But having that in mind, you know, being fascinated and so interested in those issues, and then realizing that it could also be a way I mean, there there could be also, Vick, there could also be a way for me to serve my country, not necessarily wearing a uniform, but in broader national security issues in the in the in the national security world. That really led me to 20 years into the French government, then starting as a, as an analyst for the Ministry of Defense, and gradually going into different levels of my expertise. And ending up as a as a senior advisor to the Minister on Asian issues. I was lucky enough to be able to, to continue to nurture this expertise throughout those years. Many people, many of my colleagues who have started more at the lower level of expertise, as analysts have then had to shift into management capacities, where they basically have more administrative roles, but not so much this expertise that they used to have and they have lost on the way this is a trade off. I never was a manager really, I never was a director of a department. But I was able to continue to deepen my expertise in looking at China issues from various angles. And what I’m doing now at the National Bureau of Asian research is a sort of a it’s a continuation on that journey. I don’t do policy making anymore. But that policymaking streak is always important, as in think tanks were supposed to make, you know, policy recommendations for policymakers. So it’s it’s a nice blend and it’s a it’s a nice place to be at this stage of my career.

 

Fred Rocafort  9:47 

Now this is a good segue into the next question that we have for you. I started my own career in government spent a few years working for the State Department some of that time in Washington some of that time overseas. And I’ve always had a curiosity regarding how other governments work. Frankly, I remember sometimes having meetings with counterparts from embassies or other governments basically. And it was always interesting to compare notes and to see how their work differed from from our work, you have a good vantage point, I think from which to to compare. So I’d like to hear your thoughts regarding the differences right between what the French national security establishment looks like, and what the what the American one does, but just would also love to hear whether it’s in the form of anecdotes and stories, or just in terms of your thoughts on the subject? Well, what’s the experience? Like, I think that not just people like me, who’ve had the experience of working within that system, but also entire world, just because of the movies and the TV series, I think a lot of people have a sense of how the US government works. In the English language, media environment, there’s just so much available, right? I mean, I think people in England know about our, our executive branch, you know, people in Australia probably do, but I think, at least if you don’t speak the language, there might be less out there. So I’d just love to hear more about what that experience is like working in the circles of power in France?

 

Nadège Rolland  11:24 

Well, first of all, there’s a question of scale, that’s pretty obvious, you know, between the US superpower, and what is now become a middle power, I think for France. It’s not as centralized that what the US has, you know, you have a national security adviser, National Security Council, that is supposed to oversee all these issues. It’s more dispersed in the French administration. Although there has been over the last few years, I think in the awareness that these issues have to be somehow put at the highest political level and supervised or or overseen from from that level. It’s still it’s still dispersed, you will find very expert clusters on these issues. And basically, all the biggest administration’s the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for example, has a department that looks at proliferation and, and defense matters and, and other things, I think the ministry for economy and finances also have their own sort of strategic thinkers there that think in terms of national strategies and, and national security. So it’s much more diffuse. And so we do things, ad hoc, most of the time. So basically, we’re convening task forces within the administration, interagency, if you want. Usually, under the help of the Prime Minister’s Office, sometimes it’s under the handle of the the president’s office, sometimes it’s at their lower level, I took part in task forces that I put together at the at the level of the Ministry of Defense. We’re not allowed to do that, theoretically, because we don’t have the the authority to convey these, these groups, but it usually works very well on specific issues, where we retain, again, the domain expertise in defense and national security issues. So it’s much more flexible. And there, I think in comparison with the US, we don’t have the same. It’s also much more isolated in some way, like we don’t have lobbying groups pressuring the decision making as you would have in the US. On the other hand, there’s also maybe less communication or outside of the administration. So you know, this idea that in the US, you have the revolving door that policymakers are looking for expertise from think tanks and other agencies or entities outside of government. This is not really the culture in France, there’s there are some little bits and pieces I was part of, of that too. And the Ministry of Defense is actually one of the most open to the expert world. But it’s not as systematic as what you would see in the US.

 

Jonathan Bench  14:57 

So we’re recording this episode just a few days after the Anchorage summit between Secretary of State Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, what are your thoughts on that meeting? And on the current state of us China relations?

 

Nadège Rolland  15:10 

Hmm. That’s a big, big question.

 

So starting with Anchorage, maybe then thinking about the US China relation, per se. So I think people were probably surprised by the, by the tone of the discussions that happened in Anchorage. Usually, you know, these, these dialogues are sort of scripted. They’re, you know, there’s a protocol. I’ve been through some of them theory and theory. So you, both parties, parties agree in advance and how you’re going to do things. And in this case, I think the agreement was that each delegation will have two minutes to speak in general in front of cameras. And then they would have a photo picture taken of the delegations, and then they will close the door, and we’ll stop there working session. And what’s different with what happened in Anchorage is that many of the opening remarks have actually not been for two minutes, but much longer. And that the media was called back into the room, as the US delegation wanted to respond to that very long. Opening remark from the State Councilor on the Chinese side, and, and the remarks were not really as kind of lame or flat as one would have expected in a diplomatic conversation. They were really straightforward and putting just really from the beginning, the red lines on each side, I was more interested in on the, on the Chinese side than the American one. Because for me, it was sort of saying the quiet part loud from for the first time, in such a high level, during such a high level discussion in public, so I think that really was what made it so interesting. It doesn’t mean necessarily that it’s it couldn’t have happened behind the closed doors in normal times. I think. For those of us who have been in such diplomatic meetings, things are usually said very straightforwardly, as well. That again, I think the main difference was this time it happened in front of the cameras on on public record. So what does it say about about the US China relationship? It says, what everybody else so random new, which is, this is a relationship that’s more and more contentious, on the basis of competition that goes beyond, you know, business competition or problems about trade and unlevel playing fields. This is really about a competition of systems and models. And it seems like Beijing is now more straightforward or forthright in saying that to that, yes, this is what this is all about. The US doesn’t have the monopoly of what is good for the world. China has its own solution that it is really ready to share with other countries. The US has not the monopoly over human rights and shouldn’t lecture others on that US has not the monopoly on what is good for other countries in terms of political systems. So, again, not anything that most observers didn’t know about the Chinese stance, but really set in it in a context in a public context now, so it’s like, okay, we know what we’re doing here. And, and we will not be deterred from it. So that’s all I think the tone is also was probably surprising for many of people. I I’m sure that if you follow what’s happening around the US, China world, you’ve heard of this so called wolf warrior diplomacy. You know, throughout last year, there’s been many Chinese diplomats who have used a stronger language and social media. undiplomatic language. And so ruffling feathers in Europe and in Australia, in, in the us about this aggressive tone that they’re using. And that’s contrasting with what they shouldn’t do, which is be diplomatic, and they’re not diplomatic. But I think this is, again, the sense of, it’s just reflects the, the, the self confidence that the Chinese leadership now has about its own its own path, and, and doesn’t want to be, you know, doesn’t want to be told anymore what it needs to do. So these are things that we’re going to have to deal with. More often, as China gets more powerful, doesn’t want to be lectured anymore. Now. It’s the other way around. I think it wants to lecture the other ones.

 

Fred Rocafort  21:25 

So it there’s a temptation, I think, especially here in the United States to focus on on the US China relationship, and of course, that that in and of itself is important needs to be studied. I think what we have to be careful about is assuming that that’s that’s the extent of the China issue. I think that obviously, other countries have their own relationships with with China. And there’s variations there. And obviously, with when it comes to Europe, I think it’s clear that there’s some some daylight between the way that the US approach, it’s it’s its own relationship with China and the way that Europeans do. And I think that’s, perhaps this is a good way of framing the question, do you think that there is increasing convergence in terms of how Beijing is viewed across Europe and the US? Or are those differences perhaps deepening in Europe, perhaps a more nuanced view that, as they see the way things are going in the US generally, maybe people in Europe feel like, it doesn’t really matter? Whether us wants? I mean, ultimately, we have to question their their level of involvement right? Or is it just really makes sense for us to to align so closely with the US only to then have a presidential election that shifts the way they look at things? So perhaps taking that if you want as a as the frame through which to analyze it? What can you tell us about the relationship between Europe and China? And related to that? I mean, do you think there is a conflict perhaps, or a tension between the European commitment to human rights, which I think is pretty evident? I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Europe. So I know that people in Europe do believe in human rights and democracy. I mean, these are values that are certainly dear to them. But is there perhaps a tension between that, and the way in which the relationship with with Beijing is being managed by the different countries on by the EU as a as a group?

 

Nadège Rolland  23:26 

Yeah, this is this is really interesting. And it’s also I mean, it’s so complex, because, as you know, Europe is not unified or united. Many different countries and member states have different views. And so that will reflect on the kinds of policies that are accepted and agreed at the EU level. and Europe is not just about EU members, there are also countries in Europe that are not that do not belong to the EU or do not belong to the EU anymore, like the UK, so it means that each of them will have perhaps different perspectives on on the on the China related issues. I think there are two sides to your question. The first about the China us competition, and I would I really don’t like to see it this way. Because it’s not about you know, only the US China. I know that it will break the hearts of many Americans who are listening to this but this is not what really is at the at the heart of what we’re seeing here. And it’s not because you know, the US is jealous of a rising competitor that is doing things better. And that is about to overtake them and so they’re so jealous then they’re happy. Have a temper tantrum tantrum saying oh no, I still want to be number one. And I hate to see China rising. And so what what can I do to make that not happening? I think this is, this is not what’s happening here. If you if you try, as I’m trying to do with my work every day to see the world through Beijing’s eyes, instead of looking at it from the receiving end, you will see that the the themes for competition are much broader than that. And it’s not. Again, it’s not just about this rivalry with us, which is a very important component of it, obviously, because of the US position in the international system. But what China wants or what the Chinese leadership wants is to achieve its rejuvenation in under Xi Jinping, there’s this idea that the party state needs to be more in charge more powerful, and the nation needs to go through a self strengthening period, that’s almost achieved. And then now, it is strong enough so that it can reclaim its status as a great power, and almost a global power. So okay, so if you start it from their angle, the only ones that are in no way are the US and their allies in the region, but also in Europe. So for Europe for a long time, they felt like they were not part of this game precisely for the same reason, they thought that this is a US China competition, and basically Europeans can get out of the way. And yeah, you know, we, because the the nature of the EU, is based on being a normative power, based on values and based on certain norms, including democracy and human rights, that inform everything that the EU is doing, not just in its own geographic environment, but also on the global stage as much as they can, that they’re good seem to be a friction between this inherent characteristics of characteristic of the EU, which is, again, normative power, and having good relations with China, and illiberal and authoritarian country, it creates a lot of friction internally. How is it? How can we continue to do business as usual, when China is becoming more and more aggressive, when human rights abuses are more and more obvious and blatant at a big scale? And so, is it possible to continue to do business as usual, have trade commercial relations with China as if it was just another country? This is where we are now. I don’t think that the US completely answered that question yet. The pandemic has played an accelerating role in the increased awareness of China being a competitor, there’s an EU white paper that was published last year, that called China as a systemic competitor. So really placing it in this competition of political and governance systems. So we’re in we’re, I think, in Europe, in the in the process of, of processing, I’m sorry, it’s a repetition of words, but processing all this new of all these shifts that have happened, and how to address it, in order to defend, protect themselves better defend themselves better, being more proactive, and so on some areas, which may or may not converge with the American interests. The other discussion that is happening right now is really focusing in Europe in the quote unquote, strategical autonomy. So it’s also the it’s the same idea of self strengthening, which is also the same idea as the Biden administration, self strengthening for the for the US, how, how do we become better, more competitive, more innovative, so that we can you know, keep our leading edge and leading position Before we do anything else, and I think this is where the Europeans are also, right now, and it, it means that it’s a fundamental recognition of, I mean, in a sense, it’s the China challenge pushes them to have this conversation that they should have had a while ago already. So it’s not a bad thing, but it’s a complex issue.

 

Jonathan Bench  30:27 

Let’s turn to the topic of the Belt and road initiative. You’ve written extensively about it, it’s certainly an area where geopolitics meets economics. And of course, in the first few years after its launch, the term is thrown around. So broadly, it was easy to dismiss it as kind of China’s marketing gimmick. I’m curious what your thoughts are on that. Is it a marketing gimmick? Is it successful? Should we be concerned about China’s exerting its influence in this way? Or do we still need to wait and see?

 

Nadège Rolland  30:55 

Yeah, the interesting thing about Bri is that, again, positioning yourself from external observers, when it was launched, the first reactions internationally were skepticism, they would say, Oh, it’s too big. How is China going to be able to finance all that? Oh, they’re, they’re too ambitious. There’s risks of over overreaching, there are risks of encountering pushback in those countries, etc, etc. So not taking it seriously. And and also this idea of dispersion of this, oh, no, it’s just an accumulation. It’s just a label that has been stuck on to a bunch of things that China was doing anyway. So this, this lack of this lack of ability to take what China is doing seriously, I think it’s really problematic, because then it prevents you from looking at what is going on in reality. And with Belt and road, it has been repeated over and over again. So skeptical, dismissive. And then, and then after that, just focusing on one particular facet of BRI, which is the infrastructure project, because there was, of course, a lot of public diplomacy from China’s side, emphasizing on this one, and because of the trillion dollar figure that was attached to it, so everybody, he seized on that one. And then of course transformed into, oh, all of that is about debt trap diplomacy. And so and then discussions about whether China is strategic and whether this is an instrument that was sort of very nefariously created to push countries into, into force that so that China could then seize their assets and stuff like that. But these are all strawman. Really, it’s it? Because it doesn’t really understand what the BRI is, from the beginning. What are its objectives? And how is China trying to achieve these objectives? So I think it’s really important to start by understanding, understanding it from Beijing’s perspective. And then if you start with that, you realize that Belt and road is not just about infrastructure, it has many different facets. It starts with policy coordination. Okay, infrastructure building is one of them. Financial integration, trade policies, People to People exchanges. Now, you see that it’s slightly bigger than just building bridges and ports around the world. The objective as that of that is to create a community of destiny, or a community of shared future, as now it’s translated. That also tells you that has the objective is not just to build new infrastructure in the developing world. What is this community for? Exactly? I mean, there are many things that are going on that tell you that what what the Chinese leadership wants is basically to to redesign globalization in a way that’s more favorable to Beijing, reaching those connectivities with Belt and road countries that are incidently mostly in the developing world, so that they fall more into that sphere of influence that Beijing wants to create. Where it is the dominant power, so that will not be immediately done. But that coincides with this idea of rejuvenating the Chinese nation of becoming a preponderant power in the world. And if you see it this way, you see that, okay, these are little bits and pieces of a puzzle. And if you put them together, you can see the bigger pattern in it.

 

And then observing this in this way, then you can decide whether it is problematic, and how is it problematic, really, it’s not start from the starting point of China is doing something, therefore we should counter it. This is not an intelligent way of doing strategy, you need to understand what is being done how exactly it is trying to achieve these objectives. See whether there are elements that have convergence or elements of competition, or things that are counter to your own national interests, and then decide what you want to do. The problem with BRI is really that it is a very comprehensive project. And so tackling it or countering it forces us to think in in those very comprehensive way, you know, whole of government, it immediately pushes you to, to think about it in a more systematic way, not just through a little tit for tat angle, like, Oh, you want to build a port in Kenya? Well, I’m going to come and say, How about you, you build a port with the US money instead of the Chinese money? This will not be enough to deal with BRI.

 

Fred Rocafort  36:49 

So taking into account all of what we’ve discussed about pri. Europe, the US, what can we look for in the next, let’s say five to 10 years, right? Not too far into the into the future. But in the shorter and medium term? What do we have to look out for? When it comes to China? There’s a lot that people worry about for sure. But what within that are issues that we really have to look out for? TC at the moment, right? Like after anchor a trade, it’s easy to think well things, the relationship between the US and China is clearly heading downhill, and so on and so forth. Person recognizing that nobody has a crystal ball. And if we did, we’d all be doing different things, but trying to make an educated guess about where we’re headed. What do you see as sort of the big headline type events that we should be on the lookout for regarding China?

 

Nadège Rolland  37:41 

That’s another softball. Let me, again, thinking of it through Beijing’s eyes, perhaps to try to answer that question. I think what Beijing is trying to do is to, again, to create a sort of a subsystem in which China is dominant. And so I think the things to look for things that we might expect to see more often in the coming years are signals of this subsystem being created. And so that means, perhaps, an intensified partial decoupling of economies or partial decoupling of supply chains, partial decoupling of international communications strategies and networks. You know, if you push the Belton road idea to its highest development, probably as it is imagined, in Beijing, what you see is, is, again, China at the center of this network of countries that are more and more interlinked with China, not just through transportation and energy infrastructure, but also digital infrastructure, which also means FinTech which also means e commerce, which also means propagation of information, diffusion of information, media, and things like that. through June Belton road is attached to a variety of connectivities that are also what I put in the soft infrastructure category, you know, investing in higher education in in Belton road countries, pushing for China’s wellview or AI ideas within the intellectual communities of these emerging countries as well. So sowing the seeds for generation have leaders in the developing world that will be much more amenable to Chinese views and much more in competition with the certainties that we have had so far about our own own liberal model. I think it will be also intensified in international institutions where you will see more and more divide happening between the US and its allies, and like minded countries. And, and, and, and China and a coalition of countries that have become more and more of its partners and supporters in the international system. I think in short, it’s the reconstruction of a different form of globalization, and perhaps of the, of a bipolar world that we’re starting to starting to see now. And I know that this is probably for the long term future. But you will start to see signals and elements of this being built in in this short, short term.

 

Jonathan Bench  41:05 

Now there’s, it’s been wonderful having you on the podcast with us today. And before we close up, we’d love to hear from you any recommendations you have for our listeners, something you’ve read something you’ve listened to, or watched something on point with international relations or something completely off the wall, whatever you’d like to share.

 

Nadège Rolland  41:25 

So I have started to read the Barbara demyx. Eat the Buddha book, and it’s about what’s going on in Tibet, or what has been going on in Tibet. I’m not to the to the end yet. So I cannot tell how good it is. I can tell you that the first chapters are quite interesting. It’s very well written, it’s engaging. And it sheds a little light on on, on this worldview that we will discuss today from from Beijing’s perspective.

 

Jonathan Bench  42:02 

Excellent, thank you, Fred, what do you have for us today?

 

Fred Rocafort  42:05 

So I have one episode to go. So I will also withhold final judgment on my recommendation. But I’ve been watching a series on Netflix on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, I believe that’s the title as well, the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, for anyone who’s not familiar with this case, this was a toddler from England. That was well, nobody knows for sure. But it is speculated that she was kidnapped while she was vacationing with her family in Portugal. And I read a bit about this case, I remember when this first became news, I remember hearing about it. But I mean, there’s a lot of angles and make this a good watch. I mean, it’s just it’s just a fascinating tragic story. I mean, heartbreaking story. But looking at it from from our perspective as internationalists trying to give it a bit of a focus? Well, one thing that I find interesting, well, let’s put it this way, when you take a vacation, most of the time, right, things aren’t gonna go well, you’re going to be staying at your hotels, and you’re going to be often in a very protected bubble, just just because of the nature of tourism. And just because of statistics, right? I mean, that the probability that something is going to happen to you is low really, but then when when things go wrong, right, I mean, you can find yourself dealing with with a strange legal system. And and a lot of what happened with this case, a lot of the interesting subplots have to had to do with that, right? The fact that the Portuguese have have a system that’s different in many ways from the English system that created a lot of tension between the authorities and the family. And just serve as a reminder, right that whenever we live or travel overseas, right, where we’re going into into new and strange worlds sometimes, but But in any case, it was just interesting to see that aspect of it right like that very fundamental tension right between tourists from one country going to another and having to find themselves dealing with such a tragic, emotionally draining event. So the disappearance of Madeleine McCann on Netflix, and Jonathan, what do I do?

 

Jonathan Bench  44:11 

I’m recommending something in the geopolitical category today. It’s a newsletter called India log by Armin Thakur. This was something Fred put me onto. So Fred, thanks for letting me steal this from you. And this is a weekly newsletter that comes every Monday to my inbox and I’m on analyzes the biggest policy developments in India. So his aim is to give you quality analysis, which I find a great alternative to trying to comb through newspapers right I mean, I tend to get stuck figuring out which which newspapers I want to read online Of course these days and figuring out you know, what’s the slant I have to get my my media chart bias out so I can figure out Am I being fed align, you know, I like to read things from both sides of the spectrum. And this is this is a pretty balanced rundown as far as I can tell what’s going on in India, right big policy developments, big political developments, and to some extent business developments, and it’s probably a 20 minute read. So it’s, it’s not a two minute read. And so you really need to have some time to dig into it. Because the the analysis he gives is quite good over, let’s say eight to 10 topics every week. So I recommend that I’m going to give the URL here. And we’ll give it a course in our post. For those who get this online. It’s India log dot substack, calm, that’s how you can subscribe. There’s another India log institution in India, that’s not the same thing. And they also have a newsletter. I haven’t looked at it, but it’s probably not as good. So I want to make sure you get to the right place. Because this is very thorough, very well done. And I hope that you enjoy it as I’ve been enjoying it. With that, in addition, we want to thank you again, for being with us. We’ve absolutely loved it. We hope we can check in with you. We love talking China, we could talk China all the time. And we appreciate others who I find it refreshing because I get bogged down in having to get my contracts written and out the door. And I don’t get to think from a real high strategic perspective all the time about what’s going on in China. So appreciate your insight today, and certainly look forward to following your work.

 

Nadège Rolland  46:17 

Thank you so much. It was great, I hope I hope it wasn’t too strategic and too abstract I I’m aware that these things can lead us to almost philosophical or political philosophy, venturing out but I think it’s really important to have this conversations even for people who are not doing this on a on a daily basis. And thank you for the opportunity.

 

Jonathan Bench  46:47 

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode, we look forward to connecting with you on social media to continue discussing developments in global law and business. This podcast was produced by Harris Bricken with executive producer Madeline Williams music composed by Stephen Schmid. Tune in next week for another episode. We’ll see you then.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai