Home, values and democracy: Explaining the rise in Taiwanese identification

Written by J. Michael Cole. The trend began several years ago, and no matter how hard the current government in Taipei and the one in Beijing try to convince them otherwise, with propaganda and sweeteners, there was no stopping it: more and more Taiwanese people identify as Taiwanese rather than Chinese. Several demographic factors have …

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 …

China, Soft Power, and the Politics of Attraction

Written by Todd H. Hall. Possibly no concept to emerge from the field of international relations in the past several decades has been quite as influential within policymaking circles as that of “soft power.” And the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been no exception to this trend. No less than the General Secretary of the Communist Party …

The true nature of Xi Jinping’s power

Written by Kerry Brown. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was fond of using a simple drawing of what he called a `duck-rabbit’. From one angle, it looked like a rabbit’s head. But when an observer looked at it a little longer the ears came to resemble beaks, and the whole picture looked like a duck facing …

The Belt and Road and Suez Canal: China-Egypt Relations Under Xi Jinping

Written by Shannon Tiezzi. Sandwiched between his stops in Saudi Arabia and Iran, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Egypt was somewhat overlooked as part of his first trip to the Middle East. Yet the China-Egypt relationship will be one to watch carefully over the next decade. Like Saudi Arabia, Egypt is a traditional U.S. …

The rise of rule by fear

Written by Eva Pils. In the course of my research on Chinese human rights lawyers over the past several years, I got to hear a lot about the techniques the government allegedly uses to control them. I came to refer to them as ‘fear techniques.’ They included tracking and following; soft detention; ‘being travelled;’ being …

Capitalism with Chinese characteristics

Written by Mark Beeson. Capitalism is, as the Marxists used to say, full of contradictions. It may well be the greatest wealth-generating machine ever invented. But it is famously volatile, unpredictable and prone to cyclical booms and busts – just ask West Australian Premier Colin Barnett. But while political leaders in countries like Australia may …

Why China and the US have found common purpose on climate change

Written by Jackson Ewing. Over the past year, the United States and China forged a climate change partnership that would have been almost unthinkable not long ago. Not only have both countries committed to emissions reduction and sustainable energy goals of substantial ambition, they are pursuing those goals in concert. This bilateral climate cooperation has …

The rhetoric and realities of Chinese migration to Africa

Written by Ben Lampert and Giles Mohan. As President Xi Jinping met his African counterparts at the sixth Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg last week, the focus was on the high-level trade, aid and investment deals that will emerge. But what is often overlooked in the coverage of FOCAC and the broader intensification of …

Confucianism behind the façade of the Socialist China Dream

Written by Chi Kin Cheung. Since President Xi Jinping pronounced the notion of China Dream, the idea has attracted great attention from China watchers. However, like many other official formulations of former Chinese leaders, the new China Dream is utterly elusive. As Roderick MacFarquhar, a professor at Harvard, said during the First World Congress on Marxism …