Asia’s rivalry heats up as Japan and China play host at separate global summits

Written by Hugo Dobson. Despite occasional reasons to be optimistic, relations between China and Japan have been consistently poor over recent years. This is in part fuelled by China’s rise to the position of second largest economy in the world – overtaking Japan in the process – as well as Japan’s lurch to the right …

Makerspaces for the People: China’s Approach to Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Written by Silvia Lindtner. In January 2015, the Chinese government released a new national policy called 众创空间 zhongchuang kongjian (“mass makerspace” or “makerspaces for the people”). The new policy was announced only weeks after the Chinese pr

Ecological conservation in China

Written by Cheng Gong and Kārlis Rokpelnis. Tu Youyou’s deserved Nobel Prize award comes as a welcome recognition of the fact that lore accrued outside of the scientific method directly contributes to creation of scientific knowledge and industrial innovation. It also fits well into the nationalist narrative that a rising China embraces modernity supplemented by …

Troubled waters: conflict in the South China Sea explained

Written by John Rennie Short. A United Nations arbitration court will soon rule over the sovereignty of islands in the South China Sea, a territorial dispute between China and the Philippines with global implications. In recent years, China has been asserting claims in the region and has built up atolls and islands to be large …

China in Qatar

Written by Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat. The use of soft power has become an important element of China’s foreign policy. In its pivot to the Gulf ,China has used soft-power resources to strengthen its foothold in the region. Qatar is a good case in point. Educational partnership is perhaps the most apparent element of Chinese soft-power initiatives around …

Why China still can’t make sense of the Cultural Revolution

Written by Kerry Brown. If there is one certainty in contemporary Chinese politics, it’s that any mention of the Cultural Revolution, which began half a century ago in May 1966, must always be negative. The “turbulent decade” of the Cultural Revolution, as it is called by many within China, is regarded as an unmitigated disaster, …

Online Translation Communities in Chinese Cyberspace

Written by Chuan Yu. There is a “tradition” in China of translating almost everything from other languages into Chinese. Since the arrival of the Internet about 30 years ago, the practice of translation has also moved online. A number of online translation communities have been established for various purposes. In general, there are two types: audio-visual and …

Always on the Brink: Free and Open Source Software in China

Written by Matteo Tarantino. Free and Open Source Software 开放源码软件 (FOSS) is by now long past the stage of “novelty” in China. Yet its integration into the Chinese software industry is still problematic. FOSS stalwart operating system, Linux, has

Taiwan in Transition

Written by Gwenyth Wang. On May 20th Taiwan will inaugurate its first female President, Dr Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Some Western observers like Richard Bush and media such as The Economist have expressed worries about the potential hurdles in cross-Strait relations. While the possibility of increasing tensions between China and Taiwan should not …

Ethnicity and the Chinese Internet: Escape from Reality?

Written by James Leibold. Has the Internet changed what it means to be Chinese in the twenty-first century? It has certainly opened up new possibilities for performing ‘Chinese-ness’ and other forms of social/cultural identities inside the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and across the globe. Yet are the spatial flows and transnational reach of the …