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 …

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 …

How China is rolling out the red carpet for couples who have more than one child

Written by Stuart Gietel-Basten. A rather remarkable turnaround has occurred in China. For a country famous for having the most comprehensive sets of policies designed to limit births, it is now introducing new policies to support parents who have a second child. In November 2015, China announced it would abandon its one-child policy and switch …

Chinese fishing vessel sunk in incident with Argentine Coastguard

Written by Alex Calvo. The last few weeks have seen a number of incidents involving fishing vessels, most notably in the South China Sea, but also in the South Atlantic. On 15 March Argentina’s Coastguard sank a Chinese jigger which was illegally fishing in the country’s territorial waters, in what may constitute a test for …

Great firewall of China reinforced as foreign media banned from publishing online

Written by Dianjing Li. A new Chinese rule banning all foreign media from publishing online will come into effect on March 10, affecting everything from the press, radio and television to music and computer games. The edict provides legislative backing for the government’s existing control of the internet and will empower the Chinese cyber-police to …

Why doesn’t China want any more ‘weird’ buildings?

Written by Yue Zhuang and Feng Qing. The Chinese State Council is seeking to curtail the construction of “oversized, xenocentric, weird” architecture. This kind of “weird” architecture first appeared in China after further economic liberalisationin the 1990s. Today, examples include the National Theatre, the Olympic Centre and the China Central Television Tower, among many others. As …

G20 finance chiefs meet as China seeks to make a show of its presidency

Written by Peter Williamson. The last time G20 finance ministers met in China back in 2005, the country was the world’s fifth-largest economy. As the next two-day meeting begins, with China as president, it lies in second spot, having overtaken several other G20 members: first the UK, then Germany, and most recently Japan. With US …

What Xi’s Visit to Tehran Says About Beijing’s Middle East Agenda—and China’s Grand Strategy

Written By Flynt Leverett. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia last month largely succeeded at realizing its designers’ most immediate goal: highlighting China’s rise as an important strategic as well as economic reference point for states across the Middle East. Chinese commentators note that Xi is the only major power …

Company transparency could help overcome resistance to environmental action in China

Written by Alice de Jonge. China’s existing level of environmental damage is imposing a huge economic burden on its chances for growth. It’s the need for transparency and accountability in tackling these environmental problems, not the technical aspects of new green technology, or new financial instruments, that will determine its economic future. If the Australian …