Global Political Calendar: China, Europe and Brexit
Updated 19:54, 07-Apr-2019
By John Goodrich
China's premier heads to Europe, the EU mulls Britain's request for another Brexit delay, Israel votes for a new parliament, and India begins a five-week, seven-stage election.

Li in Europe

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will travel to Europe this week, shortly after President Xi Jinping's three-nation European tour, for two big meetings: First with the European Union and then with leaders of Central and Eastern European countries.
Trade and investment are likely to be front and center of Li's trip to Brussels for the 21st China-EU Leaders' Meeting. China's Foreign Ministry has said the signing of cooperation documents on energy and competition policies will be witnessed, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi outlined a 10-point China-EU consensus in March. 
Further cooperation agreements on infrastructure construction, trade, finance and education are expected at the 8th China-CEEC Summit in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Brexit chaos rumbles on

Theresa May will also be in Brussels this week. The UK prime minister aims to persuade EU leaders to agree to another delay to Britain's exit from the bloc, which is currently scheduled to take place on Friday.
It will help May's cause if she can show that parliament is moving towards a majority on a Brexit solution, and the switch towards a cross-party answer to the conundrum has given her some breathing space. It remains to be seen whether the Conservative-Labour talks will amount to anything, but there could be more indicative votes and another ballot on the prime minister's withdrawal deal in the coming days.
In EU capitals there is frustration, and a unanimous decision from the EU27 is needed to grant another delay. French President Emmanuel Macron is particularly unhappy, but to block an extension and risk being blamed for the consequences of a no-deal Brexit would be a bold move.
Macron may favor a short extension, May has requested until June 30, and European Council President Donald Tusk is pushing a "flextension" plan – a delay of up to one year. It'll be a long day – and probably night – of negotiations in Brussels on Wednesday.

Netanyahu's fifth term bid

Israelis vote in a general election on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud Party aiming to hold off a challenge from the center-right Blue and White alliance.
Polling indicates the Knesset race will be tight, and the support of smaller parties will likely be needed to put together a post-poll coalition.
This may explain Netanyahu's controversial pronouncement on Saturday, perhaps boosted by the Trump administration's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, that if re-elected he would seek to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. The move is likely to go down well with nationalist parties whose backing Netanyahu may need if he is to win a fifth term.
The Blue and White alliance is led by former military chief Benny Gantz and supported by Yair Lapid's centrist Yesh Atid party. If the alliance wins, Lapid would replace Gantz as prime minister part-way through the term. Whatever happens on Tuesday, putting together a majority in parliament may take some time.   

World's biggest election

Elections in India aren't quick affairs. On Thursday voting will begin in some provinces at the start of a seven-stage, five-week process as Narendra Modi targets a second term as prime minister.
The election will see over 2,000 registered parties compete for the backing of around 900 million eligible voters to win seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament. The winning party or coalition will nominate the prime minister.
Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won a majority in 2014, faces a resurgent Congress led by Rahul Gandhi. But don't expect a conclusion soon: The final round of voting won't take place until May 19, with results expected on May 23.


Monday: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang begins a five-day trip to Europe, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress Arken Imirbaki attends the fifth International Arctic Forum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Russia, Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong visits Malaysia, and Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini meets European nationalists in Milan.
Tuesday: The 21st EU-China summit takes place in Brussels, Israelis vote in a Knesset election, U.S. President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hold talks at the White House, and the International Monetary Fund releases its latest World Economic Outlook.
Wednesday: EU leaders discuss another Brexit delay, U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in meet in Washington, and the UN Security Council discusses Venezuela.
Thursday: A seven-stage parliamentary election begins in India, and the UN Security Council discusses women in peacekeeping.
Friday: Britain leaves the European Union unless another delay is agreed, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank hold spring meetings, and the Spanish election campaign begins ahead of poll on April 28.
Saturday: Presidential candidates debate economic issues ahead of elections in Indonesia on April 17.
Sunday: A parliamentary election takes place in Finland.