Leninism and cross-strait relations

Written by Michael Reilly. In a speech in Taipei on 21 May, Richard Bush a former Director of the American Institute of Taiwan, reminded his audience that Leninism had been the dominant ideology in Taiwan until the mid 1980s, arguably as it remains in China still. Looking at Taiwan today it is easy to forget that it …

Tsai’s Timidity Risks Squandering Mandate

Written by Ben Goren. In Taiwan there are ominous signs that newly elected President Tsai Ing-wen, her Premier Lin Chuan, and his cabinet, may be so scared of governing with fortitude and in defence of progressive principles that they are developing a political flinch in anticipation of an inevitable hostile reaction to their policies. This …

Undoing An Undemocratic Anachronism: It’s Time To Elect Taiwan’s Premier

Written by Ben Goren. January 16th 2016 turned out to be a very good day for Asia’s most robust, and well-functioning, democracy.  Taiwan went peacefully and orderly to the polls (albeit with a significantly lower turnout) and brought about a number of political firsts in the sixth direct Presidential and ninth Legislative Yuan elections. Tsai …

One More Challenge for China: The Growing Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs).

Written by Tsung-Mei Cheng. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a major component of China’s disease burden in recent years. As of 2012 NCDs accounted for 70% of the total disease burden and 70% of total national health expenditure in China. The problem poses a major challenge not only to China’s health care system, but also …

Repairing the safety net: The challenges for health care reform in China.

Written by Alex Jingwei He. Everybody talks about China’s rise as a global power but few appreciate the fragility of its social welfare system, especially in the area of health care. An average Chinese household reputedly saves as much as 30 per cent of its total income, an incredulous amount by Western standards. What’s often …

How the Internet is shaping PRC development: Three schools of thought in China

Written by Daniel Lynch. Over the past few years I have followed Chinese writings on the impact of the Internet on PRC society.  I’m not so much interested in discovering a definitive answer, but I am trying to understand the range of debate on this critical but impossibly complex question. Understanding the range of debate …

The paradox at the heart of China’s quest to rid universities of Western values

Written by Wu Bin. Chinese universities are gripped in a debate about whether students should be exposed to “Western values”. A campaign was ignited in late January by Yuan Guiren, China’s minister of education, who sought to ban the use of textbooks promoting what he termed “Western values” in university campuses and classrooms. Despite the …

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 …

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 …

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 …