• China’s leader President Xi Jinping may have a winning hand in confronting President Trump’s escalating trade war with China. Xi made a recent well publicized visit to a facility that processes rare earth minerals, with an implicit threat that he could cut off the supply of these materials to the U.S. that are vital to the global digital economy.
(“China raises threat of rare-earth cutoff to U.S.,” Foreign Policy, May 21, 2019; “U.S.-China trade skirmishes obscure start of tech cold war,” The Guardian, May 21, 2019)
• Land reform is a key unkept promise of the African National Congress, the party which has governed South Africa for the past 25 years. Now pressure is building for property expropriation without compensation from white owners, who control 72 percent of the land, which raises fears among right-wing whites of Zimbabwe-style land seizures.
(“Who owns South Africa?” New Yorker, May 6, 2019)
• Across the U.S., Democratic Socialists of America’s membership has grown nearly ten-fold since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016. Chapters are beginning to explore more formalized structures, and working more closely in coalition with other progressive groups.
( “The Socialists’ Dilemma,” In These Times, May 22, 2019)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Ruth Anne Baumgartner.