How the push to unite South-East Asia against Chinese expansionism could backfire

Written by Scott Edwards. After years of rising anxiety, China’s push for dominance in the South China Sea is still rattling nerves among its neighbours, and in the world beyond. Beijing’s territorial claims and its military assertiveness have inflamed tensions with Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, all of whom lay claim to territory on …

Tibetan Death Rituals

Written by Margaret Gouin. The Western understanding of Tibetan Buddhist death rituals is hampered by a popular perception that it consists of two elements only: reading the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead, and giving the body to vultures to be consumed. In fact, Tibetan Buddhist funeral rites include a rich variety of practices with …

China buys into corporate mergers, and proves better at it than the West

Written by Wilfred Dolfsma. Alongside China’s booming economy and the country’s appetite for steel, concrete, copper and other construction materials, the last decade has demonstrated that not only can China consume materials, but its corporations are also capable of gobbling up companies around the world. Like other large national and multinational firms worldwide, Chinese firms …

How and why China became Africa’s biggest aid donor

Written by Kafayat Amusa,  Nara Monkam and Nicola Viegi. The foreign aid arena in Africa has traditionally been dominated by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. However, over the past three decades non-traditional donors such as China, have emerged. The increasing importance of non-traditional donors has meant that the economic and political stronghold of …

Did Western Sanctions Affect Sino-Russian Economic Ties?

Written by Alexander Gabuev. In the wake of Ukraine crisis, Russia hoped that closer ties to China would offset the negative impact of Western sanctions. To their surprise, Kremlin leaders have discovered that Western sanctions work in China too – despite Beijing’s official assurances that they don’t. As interviews with officials and bankers on both …

The Russian Far East and Heilongjiang in China’s Silk Road Economic Belt

Written by Gaye Christoffersen. China’s new Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) is Beijing’s latest vision on how to reorder China’s relations on its periphery. This vision includes Central Asia and Russia, and requires Moscow to actively support it and to integrate Putin’s vision for a Eurasian Union with the Silk Road project. Heilongjiang Province has its …

Crossing the river by feeling the stones: democracy’s advance in China

Written by Yu Keping. To say “democracy is a good thing” means that democracy can benefit the people. Yet if democracy is to benefit the people, a precondition is that social order must be maintained and hardship shouldn’t burden them. If democracy causes unrest, the people will lose hope, corruption will go unchecked. Under these …

Why China could never sign on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Written by Bala Ramasamy. Recent estimates show that most members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will make substantial gains, unlike those who opt not to participate. US annual real income is expected to increase by 0.5% of GDP while annual exports will increase by 9.1%. Exports of Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia are expected to increase by …

Overseas Chinese Have Mixed Feelings About Returning Home

Written by Lotus Yang Ruan. PRC citizen Jiajie Li (subject names are pseudonymous) decided to move to Hong Kong after completing his Master’s program in Canada. Currently a doctoral student in law at Hong Kong University, Mr. Li was born and raised in Shenzhen, southern China, and is one of the promising Chinese students determined …

A Sino-Russian Alliance? Rationales and Realities

Written by Jingdong Yuan. Since the early 1990s when Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his Chinese counterpart Jiang Zemin first laid the foundation of a partnership between the former allies (1950s) and foes (1960s-1970s), Beijing and Moscow have gradually elevated the bilateral relationship to its current comprehensive strategic partnership. In 2001, the two countries also signed …