China Policy Institute Blog

Shanghai ditches GDP targets: Does it matter?

Written by Michael Reilly. For all but the most zealous economists and statisticians, the announcement by Shanghai’s Municipal Government this week that it is to abolish GDP growth targets was hardly the stuff of headlines. Pretty well everyone knows after all that the Chinese economy is motoring along nicely at around 7% annual growth. Even …

U.S. Rebalancing Towards the Asia-Pacific: The Defence-Security Dimension

Written by Carlyle A. Thayer. The United States’ policy of rebalancing towards the Asia-Pacific is a multidimensional strategy. This article focuses on the defence-security dimension. It provides the background and rationale for this strategy before turning to major highlights. The article concludes with an assessment of U.S. rebalancing and the strategic uncertainties it has generated. …

US in the Asia-Pacific: Rebalance Revisited

Ever since then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement of a “Pivot to Asia” in an October 2011 op-ed in Foreign Policy magazine, expectations and questions have risen around what shape the Pivot will take. The announcement was made amid rising tensions along China’s maritime borders, the East and South China Seas, both significant trade waterways. …

President Xi’s Chinese dream means a more multi-polar world

Written by Anthony Saich. China begins 2015 as the world’s largest economy, in terms of purchasing power parity, a key milestone in the country’s rise. And one that likely will herald a change in how China engages with the rest of the world. For now, President Xi Jinping’s focus is domestic. He says he wants …

Netanyahu’s ‘Look East’ Pitch Is Incomplete

Written by Niv Horesh. Last week saw a rare visit by a Japanese Prime Minster to Israel. In view of Jerusalem’s increasingly troubled relations with many of its traditional Western allies, Abe’s visit was something to celebrate. In the Prime Minister’s entourage were no fewer than one hundred government officials and business people, as if …

Why reforms to China’s college entrance exam are so revolutionary

Written by John Morgan and Bin Wu. China’s Ministry of Education has announced a major reform of the National College Entrance Examination, known as Gaokao. Under the proposed changes, the entry of new students to higher education will no longer be based purely on performance in three major subjects: mathematics, Chinese and English. It will …

Hong Kong Political Protests: Action and Reaction

Written by Jennifer Eagleton. According to Isaac Newton’s Third Law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For example, when you sit in a chair, your body exerts a downward force on the chair and the chair exerts an upward force on your body. Two forces result from this interaction – a …

No Place for China in Russia’s New Military Doctrine?

Written by Alex Calvo. The last days of the year have been intense in the geopolitical arena, with the release of Moscow’s new military doctrine among several developments meriting close attention. Yet, while some other events and documents explicitly refer to China, in this case it is Beijing’s seeming absence that catches the eye. As noted by …

South China Sea Arbitration: Vietnam Makes Submission to Court

Written by Alex Calvo. The South China Sea is once again in the news, following Hanoi’s decision to join forces with Manila and make a submission to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PAC), asking that it assert its jurisdiction, give “due regard” to Vietnam’s rights and interests in the Spratlys and Paracels, and in her …

The troubled transition to an all-volunteer force in Taiwan

Written by Michal Thim. Plans are underway to transform Taiwan’s military from a force relying on a regular intake of conscripts aged 18-35 and serving 11-12 months, into a fully professional all-volunteer force (AVF). Thus far, the road has been rocky. One aspect of the reform is to downsize the current force in 2015 from …