This week in Politics, Yahoo Finance will be monitoring reactions to the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and its potential to expose President Joe Biden to criticism.
We’ll also be watching US-China relations as a bipartisan group of lawmakers visit Taiwan amid ongoing economic tensions with Beijing. And finally, all eyes are on the state of Wyoming this week as U.S. Representative Liz Cheney fends off a lead challenge from Trump-backed Harriet Hageman.
Here’s more on this week’s three biggest political stories:
This week marks the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. President Biden has drawn fierce bipartisan criticism for his handling of the withdrawal of lawmakers, including Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
“There are a lot of sins, if you will,” McCaul told Margaret Brennan on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” .”
McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, should publish a report this week assessing the withdrawal and calling it a “strategic failure”.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) also critical how the withdrawal was handled, noting in an interview with CBS News that many Americans died during the months-long withdrawal and that the United States is still trying to help people flee Afghanistan.
“But I think we have demonstrated, the administration has demonstrated with the killing of Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s number two under bin Laden,” he added, “that they retain the capability, just as she had announced it a year later to prosecute those who threaten the country wherever they are, in this case the heart of Kabul.
Just a week after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s historic visit to Taiwan, a new bipartisan group of lawmakers has arrived on the island as China continues its military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. The the group is led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee that oversees international cybersecurity in the Indo-Pacific region. Also traveling: Representatives John Garamendi (D-California), Don Beyer (D-Virginia), Alan Lowenthal (D-California) and Representative Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a Republican delegate from American Samoa.
Economically, five Chinese companies will withdraw from the New York Stock Exchange: China Life Insurance, PetroChina, China Petroleum & Chemical, Aluminum Corp. of China and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical, as well as Bloomberg reported during the weekend. The question now is whether more Chinese companies will be delisted or whether the remaining companies will become more transparent with US regulators.
And too bad for Pelosi’s visit that hurt Biden’s geopolitics. On the contrary, it could have provided Biden with an opportunity to meet President Xi Jinping in person in November on Xi’s first international trip in nearly three years, according to the Wall Street Journal. reported. Biden’s ‘Asian czar’ Kurt Campbell told reporters last week that Biden and Xi had discussed the possibility of a face-to-face meeting during their recent phone call, according to The Guardian. It would undoubtedly be one of the most high-profile international trips for Biden, as the G-20 meetings take shape the week after the midterm elections.
Perhaps there will be no more closely watched primary than Rep. Liz Cheney’s fight on Tuesday night. The race between Trump-backed Harriet Hageman and incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney provided more political drama than an episode of “Yellowstone.” While polls suggest Hageman should be in a position to pull off a win, the biggest unknown is whether Cheney will be able to convince Democratic voters to switch parties and show up to vote for her – while mobilizing independent voters.
It’s long, but Cheney clearly has bigger ambitions. A defeat in the primary would only fuel speculation about her plans on the national stage in 2024. She would also become the de facto leader of the Never Trump movement. And as a Republican donor recently told me, she would become the leader of the conservatives who fled the party during Trump’s rise. While much of the media obsession in Trump coverage has been on “Trump’s base,” Cheney will seek to position his coalition as a full-fledged base – deeply concerned about America’s positioning on the world stage; disgusted by the suffocating grip of fringe politicians on America’s two-party system; and fiscally conservative.
Beyond Wyoming, the Alaska GOP primary will also be fascinating to watch on Tuesday. Senator Lisa Murkowski has become one of the most influential moderate conservatives on the national stage – and a key vote in virtually every major upper house decision. She takes on a MAGA-backed challenger, Kelly Tshibaka. But Alaska’s ranked-choice primary voting system means Murkowski or Tshibaka need only finish in the top four places to qualify for the general election, where voters will cast their picks. The main Alaska process is proving to be a case study in serving as a check and balance to the tendency towards hyper-polarization in the two-party system.
Kevin Cirilli is a Yahoo Finance contributor. He is a Senior Media Fellow at both Purdue’s Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy and the Global China Hub’s Atlantic Council. Follow him on LinkedIn.