Is Hong Kong China’s future?

Written by Sam Crane. The media spotlight has shifted away from Hong Kong toward President Obama’s visit to Beijing, but students and activists remain in Admiralty and Mong Kok, and their demands for political change have not softened. It seems highly unlikely that they will gain the specific goal they have set for themselves – …

Green private banks in communist China?

Written by Pieter Jansen. The new Chinese leaders have launched a plan this year for a pilot program to allow new banks to be established by private-sector companies. If the government is considering a privatization and accompanying deregulation of the banking sector, civil society organizations might have to play a bigger part in monitoring and assessing …

A Very Remarkable Democracy

Written by Ben Goren. Taiwan’s democracy has been called many things.  First it was a ‘budding’ phenomena erupting at the end of the Cold War, then it grew unsteadily into an ‘immature’ and unpredictable entity, and now, according to much international commentary, it has grown to reach the milestone (or millstone?) of being ’young’, ‘dynamic’ …

Releasing the full potential of EU-China civil society collaboration

Written by Dr Nora Sausmikat. The European Union and China are currently discussing a bilateral investment treaty as a result of an ongoing enforcement of mutual economic interest in each other. On his recent Europe trip in March, Xi Jinping and Angela Merkel declared to lift German-Chinese relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This new partnership …

Citizen diplomacy as the bedrock of EU-China relations

Written by Andreas Fulda and Horst Fabian. Though the EU and China have signed a Strategic Partnership agreement foreign policy analysts qualify its results as “rather disappointing” and point “to the rising disputes within a context of a shifting balance of power”[1]. Some of the reasons for the disappointing performance of the rather young Strategic Partnership …

The uninspiring state of politics in Vietnam

Written by Adam Fforde. Vietnamese domestic politics have long been highly theatrical. This, naturally enough, has had both positive and negative consequences. Take the idea that Vietnam is one of those countries run by a Communist Party with a Politburo that decides stuff, issues orders and then everybody clicks their heels and toes the line. …

Chinese democracy in Hong Kong: Occupy Central and the fight for universal suffrage

Written by Malte P. Kaeding. 2014 is a year of remembrance. In Hong Kong on the evening of June 4 tens of thousands will gather on the football pitches of Victoria Park to remember the Tiananmen massacre 25 years ago with a candle light vigil. The annual vigil has slowly changed its meaning going beyond …

Integration and Adaptation: Contrasting Hong Kong with Macao

Written by Shiu Hing LO. Since the return of Hong Kong’s sovereignty from Britain to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on July 1, 1997 and that of Macao’s administrative right from Portugal to China on December 20, 1999, the two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) have demonstrated tremendous differences in their adaptation of political and …