Is Chairman Xi taking China back to the Cultural Revolution?

Written by Jackie Sheehan. Before considering today’s parallels with the Cultural Revolution, first let’s deal with the characterization of China’s current leader as Xi Zedong, or if you prefer, Mao Jinping. Accusations of a Xi personality cult are accumulating, and incidents like last month’s poetic outpouring by Xinhua News deputy director Pu Liye provide compelling evidence. …

Waiting for the small print on the two-child policy

Written by Jackie Sheehan. China’s ageing population and worsening dependency ratio are the driving force behind the decision at last week’s Fifth Plenum of the 18th CCPCC to allow all married couples to have a second child. The November 2013 decision to extend the possibility of having two children to couples where one spouse was …

China Intensifies Media Campaign against Taiwan’s DPP in the US

Written by J. Michael Cole. Amid signs of a consolidating identity among Taiwan’s youth and the increasingly likely prospect of a victory by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the January 2016 elections, China’s Communist Party propaganda department is ramping up its efforts to cultivate a pro-unification sentiment within the island-nation’s population. And this time, …

From Cairo to Chongqing: Global vs. Local Histories of the Second Sino-Japanese War in the PRC

Written by Adam Cathcart and Wankun Li. Urged on by Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its arts, scholarship, and regional bureaucracies have gone into overdrive to shape a new version of China’s history during World War II. As the 3 September “Victory Day” march in Beijing approaches, the film The Cairo Declaration has …

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 …

Defending the rule of law against … lawyers

Written by Jackie Sheehan. After 2014 was declared the “worst year ever” for lawyers in China, Xi Jinping hasn’t rested on his laurels: since 10 July, an unprecedented round-up of up to 169 lawyers, law-firm staff and legal activists has shaken rights defenders across the country and at least temporarily silenced some of the last outspoken voices …

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 …

One Year of Modi Government

Written by Pravakar Sahoo. High inflation, dwindling growth, low investor confidence, and policy paralysis in the years before the 2014 general election resulted in high expectations from Indian industry, investors and the people at large: everyone looked to the new government, led by Prime Minister Modi, to ease their pain and bring the economy back on …

New normality and the National People’s Congresses

Written by Kerry Brown. National People’s Congresses in China tend to overwhelm participants with policy detail. Li Keqiang’s government report came to forty densely printed pages, and took him more than two hours to read out. There were plenty of other documents issued over the period from March 5, from entities like the Ministry of Finance …

The Kremlin seeks a greater role on Korean Peninsula

Written by Alex Calvo. When discussing North Korea, many observers tend to focus on relations with South Korea, the United States, China, and Japan. But we should not forget Pyongyang’s “other neighbour”, Russia. The confirmation that Kim Jong-Un will be attending WWII victory celebrations in Moscow, his first foreign trip since 2011 and one directly …