China Policy Institute Blog

Running Dry: Water, Agriculture and Climate Change in China

Written by Christine E. Boyle. Conflicting reports on the state of China’s agricultural water use situation range from statements that China’s water shortages threaten the future food security of the nation, to optimistic reports that China’s potential gains for water use efficiency spell out great opportunity for reaching more sustainable water-use rates, and stabilizing grain …

Confucius doesn’t live here anymore

Written by Sam Crane. In today’s China, the philosopher Confucius is back. To mark his 2,565th birthday this September, the nation’s President, Xi Jinping, paid homage to the sage at an international conference convened for the occasion. “Confucianism,” Xi said, is key to “understanding the national characteristics of the Chinese as well as the historical roots …

China and the spectre of water wars in Southeast Asia

Written by Pichamon Yeophantong. In late 2013, controversy over China’s dams on the upper stretches of the Mekong River—otherwise known as the Lancang Jiang—flared up once again. Disbelief quickly spread among the communities of the Lower Mekong Basin when an acute peak in water levels during December resulted in massive flooding in parts of northern …

Beyond the Water Transfer: Five Key Challenges

Written by Sam Geall. At the end of this month, the “middle route” of China’s massive South-to-North Water Transfer project will become operational, supplying Yangtze River water from the Dangjiakou Reservoir in central Hubei province to arid Beijing for the first time. Famously proposed by Mao Zedong in 1952 to address chronic water scarcity in …

China’s Antarctic Rights and Interests

Written by Anne-Marie Brady. China’s Antarctic program captured international attention in January 2014 amid the dramatic rescue of the trapped Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy. Only a week after the rescue, China quietly released the environmental assessment report for its planned fifth Antarctic research station—the third new station in five years. China’s newest base is …

What has India Learned from China’s Labour Reforms?

Written by Pravakar Sahoo. China’s relatively flexible and business-friendly labour laws have ensured continued investment in the manufacturing sector. By contrast, investors find labour laws in India restrictive. India, a democracy, has also found it harder than China to undertake labour and wage reforms. Rapid globalization challenged China’s leaders to design market-friendly labour laws and …

Transnational Water Security in Asia: A Leadership Role for Rising Powers?

Written by Katherine Morton. Water security is one of the most intractable challenges confronting Asia’s future. It is widely recognised that climate change combined with other stress factors relating to population growth, urbanisation, and unsustainable development are leading to negative impacts on the availability and quality of the region’s water resources. Equally worrying are the lack …

China’s Space Program and Comprehensive National Power

Written by Dean Cheng. As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) assumes an increasingly significant role in the world, its influence grows across a wide array of sectors. This comports with the Chinese method of assessing its security and standing, which is typically couched in terms of “comprehensive national power” or zonghe guojia liliang (综合国家力量). Comprehensive …

China and water security in Asia

In 2011 Anatol Lieven wrote that the ‘greatest source of long-term danger to Pakistan’ was dependence on the river Indus and climate change in general. Lieven was in no doubt that water security was a far greater than that of Islamic extremism. The politics of water, one of the major aspects of water security, are …

International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities: Major Asian Perspectives

Written by Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan. Efforts to establish international norms for outer space activities have been increased in the recent years. Some of the major initiatives include the EU-initiated International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities (ICoC), the Russia-China proposed draft Treaty on Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and of the Threat …