China Policy Institute Blog

Misreading Chinese History

Written by David E. Mungello. An image from the past sometimes becomes embedded in our minds and becomes an emblem, a picture expressing an allegory that shapes our view of an entire age. One such image was a widely reproduced picture of a Catholic priest carrying his suitcase up a gangway into a ship in …

Taiwan and the Diaoyutai Spat: Is All that Noise Really Necessary?

Written by J. Michael Cole. If a few years ago you had asked people outside the region whether they had ever heard about the Diaoyutai islets, or the Senkakus as they are known in Japan, the likely answer would be that they had not. That this is no longer the case is in large part due …

Chinese Characteristics: The Next Big (Export) Thing?

Written by John Hartley. In my research field of Cultural Science, the role of ‘we’ and ‘they’ groups in organising knowledge is seen as crucial. Knowledge is rarely neutral. ‘Ours’ is trusted, thick with meanings that bind ‘us’ together, and applicable to all situations, while ‘theirs’ is untrusted, possibly threatening, and not in the least applicable …

Innovation Policy in China: Building a Thucydides’s Tech Trap?

Written by Regina Abrami. In 2012, Graham T. Allison, Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, warned in a Financial Times opinion piece of potential conflict between the United States and China. A year later, by way of a New York Times article, Allison again issued a clarion call against …

Shanghai Tang: China’s Aspiring Global Fashion Brand

Written by Jonathan Schroeder, Janet Borgerson, and Zhiyan Wu. How do Chinese brands draw upon what we call ‘Chinese brand culture’ in order to create distinctively Chinese fashion? Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Museum in New York hosted its annual Costume Institute exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass, which examined 500 years of Chinese influence on European luxury …

War-Monger or Judicious Realist ? Liu Mingfu as Historically-Minded America Watcher

Written by Niv Horesh. The publication of Liu Mingfu’s China Dream in English this month makes for an opportune occasion to take stock of his ideas critically.[1] In 2010, the Chinese language version of the book by the retired colonel (b. 1951) caused quite a sensation with his sub-title reading: ‘soldiers must speak out’. Though it is …

China, Japan and the Media: The Politics and Business of Selective Remembering

Written by Wanning Sun. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of China’s ‘War against the Japanese Invasion’. It may therefore be an opportune moment to reflect on how the politics of remembering plays out in the Chinese media. Twenty years ago, while doing research for my doctoral dissertation (which was concerned with how …

Is China the Persian Gulf’s Future Outside Power?

By Philip Gater-Smith. Security and oil have typically been the two dominant themes of international coverage of the Middle East. The news in recent months has hardly been an exception. Current Middle Eastern insecurity has many contributing elements, from Iraq and Syria to Yemen. The story with oil, meanwhile, is the low price, hovering at around $60 per barrel, …

Why Fresh Thinking on the South China Sea is a Problem

Written by Kerry Brown. Almost certainly one of the headaches that a new American president will have to start engaging with when they finally come into office in a year and a half’s time will be the complex claims and counter-claims over sovereignty and maritime borders in the South and East China Sea. Issues that once …

Zhou goes down – but China’s corruption purge is on thin ice

Written by Jackie Sheehan. The credibility of Xi Jinping’s “tigers and flies” anti-corruption campaign has required the destruction of a bigger player than any previous targets. Zhou Yongkang, who’s now beginning a life sentence for bribery and abuse of power, certainly fits the bill. Zhou’s life sentence is for bribery, with lesser terms of seven years …