Viewpoint

10.20.17

Mao Wished He Could Upend the World Order. Does Xi?

Sergey Radchenko
In his October 18 speech opening the 19th Party Congress, Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping cautiously embraced the future. Eyeing thousands of Party delegates, Xi spoke for three-and-a-half hours about turning China into a “great modern...

Bannon’s Back and Targeting China

Joshua Green
Bloomberg
As President Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon operated mostly behind the scenes to press his hard-right brand of nationalist politics, with only intermittent success. Since leaving the White House on Aug. 18, he’s taken on a much more public...

White House Conducting Wide-Ranging Review of China Policy

Adam Behsudi, Andrew Restuccia, Nahal...
Politico
The White House is quietly conducting a comprehensive review of its approach toward China, according to administration officials and outside advisers with knowledge of the plan.

To Intervene or Not? China's Foreign Policy Experiment in South Sudan Raises Questions

Yanmei Xie and Casie Copeland
South China Morning Post
Yanmei Xie and Casie Copeland say China’s growing involvement in South Sudan’s civil war differs from its past approach to non-interference, though there is debate on the long-term implications as its role in African, and global, security affairs...

Lacking a Point Person on China, U.S. Risks Aggravating Tensions

Mark Landler
New York Times
The National Security Council is conducting a review of the White House’s China policy — taking into account Mr. Trump’s populist trade agenda and differences over how to curb the rogue government in North Korea. Aside from Mr. Trump himself, it...

Why Soft Power Could Be the Real Value of China’s Massive Belt and Road Project

Justina Crabtree, Cheang Ming
CNBC
The real benefits of OBOR to China could be the international clout it stands to gain as its attempts to spearhead international policy and improve relations with OBOR partner countries.

China Conducts Foreign Policy in Africa without Judgment

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this edition of the China in Africa podcast, we pull the focus back to look at China’s rapidly evolving foreign policy agenda in this new era of Western populism led by Donald Trump in the United States.François Godement, Director of the Asia and...

Viewpoint

04.05.17

Xi Is Ready for the Summit. Trump Can’t Possibly Be. So What Should He Do?

Robert Daly
At the summit in Mar-a-Lago, U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to alter deeply-rooted Chinese policies despite having no China strategy. China’s Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping hopes that by making deals on secondary matters important to Trump...

Rex Tillerson’s Deferential Visit to China

Hannah Beech
New Yorker
America’s top diplomat agreed that “the U.S. side is ready to develop relations with China based on the principle of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win coöperation.”

China and America Need a One-Korea Policy

Michael D. Swaine
Foreign Policy
The only way to stop North Korea is by guaranteeing the peninsula will eventually be united—and non-aligned.

Stephen FitzGerald: Managing Australian Foreign Policy in a Chinese World

Stephen FitzGerald
The Conversation
This is an edited extract of the 2017 Whitlam Oration, delivered by Stephen FitzGerald, Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (1973-76), at the Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University, on March 16, 2017.

Amb. Haley: China Must Prove to Us It Wants to Stop North Korean Aggression

Fox News
United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said this morning that the Trump administration is taking a new, tougher approach toward China in an effort to deter North Korean aggression.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Has Vowed to Lead the “New World Order”

Zheping Huang
Quartz
Chinese president Xi Jinping has vowed for the first time that China should take the lead in shaping the “new world order” and safeguarding international security, one of the latest moves putting him in stark contrast to Donald Trump and the U.S...

Africa to Pivot to China as U.S. Support Fades Under Trump

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this episode, international economist Anzetwe Were joins Eric and Cobus from Nairobi to discuss her recent column in Business Daily (Kenya) on how Africa is bracing for a Trump-inspired shift towards to China in response to the new U.S. president...

Russia, China, ISIS: Rex Tillerson Faces Daunting Global Challenges

Mark Hanrahan
NBC News
America’s new top diplomat will be tested during his maiden overseas trip to meet counterparts at a Group of 20 world powers gathering in Germany on Thursday and Friday.

China, United States cannot afford conflict: Chinese foreign minister

Colin Packham
Reuters
There would be no winner from conflict between China and the United States, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned on Tuesday, seeking to dampen tension between the two nations that flared after the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. 

How Trump Could Put U.S.-China Relations on the Right Track

Washington Post
Called “U.S. Policy Toward China: Recommendations for a New Administration,” the bipartisan report, produced by an 18-member panel.

Look out China, Mexico, Japan and Germany: How Trade Shapes Trump’s Worldview

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
In a nutshell, John Robb argues that trade—rather than national security—dominates Trump’s foreign policy thinking, inverting decades of U.S. practice.

Is Trump Ready for War in the South China Sea, or Is His Team Just Not Being Clear?

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Was this a prelude to a major escalation in the South China Sea, or is the Trump administration having trouble articulating its foreign policy?

Cambodia Wants China as Its Neighborhood Bully

Tanner Greer
Foreign Policy
In the closing months of 2016, all of Southeast Asia seemed to be pivoting toward China. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was hailed as a “visionary leader” by fellow Malaysian politicians for “tilting to China.”

Taiwan Tries to Keep Central American Allies Away from China

Ben Bland and James Fredrick
Financial Times
Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen heads to four Central American countries this weekend in an effort to stop more of the self-governing island’s remaining diplomatic allies defecting to China. 

As Trump and North Korea’s Kim Spar, China Poses as the Responsible Actor

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
President-elect Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been trading threats this week, while China poses as the mature, reasonable kid on the block.

Conversation

12.21.16

Did Oslo Kowtow to Beijing?

Isaac Stone Fish, Stein Ringen & more
In 2010, the Oslo-appointed Nobel Peace Prize committee bestowed the honor on imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Furious with the selection of Liu, a human rights advocate, who is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence on spurious...

Books

12.20.16

The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom

John Pomfret
From the clipper ships that ventured to Canton hauling cargos of American ginseng to swap for Chinese tea, to the U.S. warships facing off against China’s growing navy in the South China Sea, from the Yankee missionaries who brought Christianity and education to China, to the Chinese who built the American West, the United States and China have always been dramatically intertwined. For more than two centuries, American and Chinese statesmen, merchants, missionaries, and adventurers, men and women, have profoundly influenced the fate of these nations. While we tend to think of America’s ties with China as starting in 1972 with the visit of President Richard Nixon to China, the patterns—rapturous enchantment followed by angry disillusionment—were set in motion hundreds of years earlier.Drawing on personal letters, diaries, memoirs, government documents, and contemporary news reports, John Pomfret reconstructs the surprising, tragic, and marvelous ways Americans and Chinese have engaged with one another through the centuries. A fascinating and thrilling account, The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom is also an indispensable book for understanding the most important—and often the most perplexing—relationship between any two countries in the world. —Henry Holt{chop}

New Chinese Law Puts Foreign Non-Profits in Limbo

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
Many NGOs could be made illegal on Jan. 1 amid campaign against unwanted foreign influences

China Expands UN Peacekeeping Role as U.S. Influence Wanes

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
‘Blue helmet’ deployments offer opportunity to burnish international image

Electing Donald Trump: The View from China

Paul Haenle & Zhao Hai from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Donald Trump’s election in the 2016 U.S. presidential race ushers in a period of considerable uncertainty in regard to the future of U.S. policies in the Asia-Pacific and vis-à-vis its relationship with China. In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with...

The Honeymoon between China and Africa Is Over and That’s a Good Thing

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
It wasn’t that long ago when it was all smiles between the Chinese and Africans. The headlines were all about “win-win” development, China’s role in helping Africa to rise above its colonial past, and investment—lots and lots of Chinese investment...

Why the Stakes Are So High for China in South Sudan

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Nowhere else in Africa do China’s financial, diplomatic, and geopolitical interests confront as much risk as they do in South Sudan. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in the country’s oil sector, deployed over a thousand troops to serve as U...

China Ambassador Wu Jianmin's Death Sparks Foreign Policy Debate

Vincent Ni
BBC
Mr. Wu’s past comments resonate with many at a time of high tension the East and South China seas.

US, Not China, Militarising the South China Sea: FM

Ahmed Mansour
Al Jazeera
In an exclusive interview, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi discusses a wide-range of global issues...

2016 Elections in a Changing Asia-Pacific

Paul Haenle & Douglas H. Paal from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
With Tsai Ing-wen taking office in Taipei next week and the U.S. presidential election approaching, new players will be taking the reins in the Asia-Pacific. In this podcast with Paul Haenle, Douglas Paal discusses the future of U.S.-China relations...

China’s Relations with a Strategic Europe

Paul Haenle & Jan Techau from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
For many years, China-E.U. relations have been driven singularly by mercantilism, but diplomatic engagement between Beijing and Brussels increasingly features a geopolitical component. In this podcast with Paul Haenle, Carnegie Europe Director Jan...

A Despot's Guide to Foreign Aid

Economist
Want more cash? Vote with China at the United Nations.

Reports

02.01.16

Xi Jinping on the Global Stage

Robert D. Blackwill and Kurt M. Campbell
Council on Foreign Relations
Xi Jinping is the most powerful Chinese leader since Deng Xiaoping, and with his sweeping actions and ambitious directives he has fundamentally altered the process by which China’s domestic and foreign policy is formulated and implemented. Xi’s...

China Plans a New Silk Road, but Trading Partners Are Wary

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Kazakhstan has limited Chinese investment and immigration for fear of being overwhelmed.

Would India Dare Risk Antagonizing China?

Daniel Markey
Council on Foreign Relations
I found a striking consensus about the relative stability between the two giant Asian neighbors.

Features

09.14.15

Sino-Russian Trade After a Year of Sanctions

Alexander Gabuev from Carnegie Moscow Center
After a year of intense flirtation, the Sino-Russian relationship is beginning to look like a one-sided love affair. Indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China last week—his first since the United States and European Union enacted...

Media

09.10.15

Chinese Web Users Grieve for Syrian Toddler—and Blame America

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A photo of Syrian three-year-old Aylan Kurdi lying dead on a Turkish beach, who drowned as his family attempted to flee their war-torn homeland by crossing the Mediterranean Sea to find refuge in Greece, has stunned viewers across Europe and the...

Two Way Street

08.10.15

A Response to ‘China’s Foreign Policy Isn’t Transparent? You’ve Got to Be Kidding’

Susan Shirk from Two Way Street
I’m pleased that my article on the lack of transparency in China’s political system has stimulated this intellectually interesting commentary from Chu Yin. Chu elaborates my argument that China’s leaders keep the policy process secret because they...

U.S. Not Concerned About Chinese Competition in Africa ... But It Probably Should Be

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The difference between U.S. and Chinese foreign policies in Africa was on stark display in July when president Barack Obama made his landmark visits to Kenya and Ethiopia. The president brought along with him a vast agenda that transcended trade,...

Two Way Street

07.20.15

How China and the U.S. Will Manage Competition for Influence

Ian Bremmer from Two Way Street
Washington refuses to accept that though the United States is not in decline, its international influence is not what it was. It is unlikely to regain the leverage it once wielded, because China and so many others now have more than enough economic...

Two Way Street

07.09.15

The ‘Two Orders’ and the Future of China-U.S. Relations

Wang Jisi from Two Way Street
The China-U.S. relationship may be the most complex relationship that has ever existed between two major powers. Ties between China and the United States are deepening, and at every level the interaction between the two countries is marked by both...

China’s Expanding Military Presence in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People’s Liberation Army and Navy now have an...

China Starts to Play Nice with Foreign Aid Partners

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
New research from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in China indicates Beijing is starting to be more open about its international aid programs. If so, this would mark a significant change from the past where the Chinese government was...

Conversation

06.06.15

Should the U.S. Change its China Policy and How?

Hugh White , Mary Kay Magistad & more
The past several months have seen a growing chorus of calls for the U.S. to take stock of its policy toward China. Some prominent voices have called for greater efforts by the U.S. and China to forge “a substantive sense of common purpose,” while...

China, Africa, and the PRC’s Massive New Development Bank

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Fifty-seven countries, including two from Africa, are among the founding members of China’s new development bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). While the new bank’s primary objective will be to develop infrastructure projects in...

Reports

03.31.15

Navigating Choppy Waters

Matthew P. Goodman, David A. Parker
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
China faces increasing economic headwinds that call into question not only its near-term growth outlook but the longer-term sustainability of its economic success. At a time of leadership transition in Beijing, global markets and policymakers alike...

We’re Not Building an Empire

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
There is a custom in Chinese diplomacy that the Foreign Minister’s first overseas trip of the year always begins in Africa. This year was no exception, as Wang Yi led a high-profile tour of five African states including Kenya, Sudan, the DR Congo,...

South Africa: China’s BFF in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
South Africa is emerging as one of China’s most important international partners as the relationship deepens across all levels. Economically, South Africa is the source of more Chinese investment than any other country on the continent. However,...

The Pacific Power Index

Tea Leaf Nation Staff
Foreign Policy
The world's most important relationship isn't the superpower showdown most analysts would have you believe. It’s a constantly shifting, symbiotic relationship shaped by millions of people, not just officials in Washington and Beijing...

China in Africa: 2014 Year in Review

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Two thousand fourteen marked another landmark year in Sino-African relations as bilateral trade set new records while political, diplomatic, and military ties strengthened across the board. Yet despite the tangible progress made this year, this...

U.S. Taiwan Policy Threatens a Face-Off With China

Paul Wolfowitz
Wall Street Journal
Taiwan celebrates its National Day on Friday commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising, which eventually brought down the Qing Dynasty and led in 1912 to the creation of the Republic of China—today more commonly known as Taiwan.

China’s Soft-Power Fail

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
This was not the reception that the Chinese government had in mind in 2004 when it inaugurated the Confucius Institute program as a means of improving its image abroad and projecting “soft power.”

China Media Criticize North Korea’s Nuclear Program

BBC
Suspicious of North Korea’s “flip flop attitude” and its motives, an article in the Beijing News reminds that one should observe North Korea’s actions instead of its words as Pyongyang's foreign policy is “usually inconsistent”...

Books

09.11.14

Powerful Patriots

Jessica Chen Weiss
Why has the Chinese government sometimes allowed and sometimes repressed nationalist, anti-foreign protests? What have been the international consequences of these choices? Anti-American demonstrations were permitted in 1999 but repressed in 2001 during two crises in U.S.-China relations. Anti-Japanese protests were tolerated in 1985, 2005, and 2012 but banned in 1990 and 1996. Protests over Taiwan, the issue of greatest concern to Chinese nationalists, have never been allowed. To explain this variation in China's response to nationalist mobilization, Powerful Patriots argues that Chinese and other authoritarian leaders weigh both diplomatic and domestic incentives to allow and repress nationalist protests. Autocrats may not face electoral constraints, but anti-foreign protests provide an alternative mechanism by which authoritarian leaders can reveal their vulnerability to public pressure. Because nationalist protests are costly to repress and may turn against the government, allowing protests demonstrates resolve and increases the domestic cost of diplomatic concessions. Repressing protests, by contrast, sends a credible signal of reassurance, facilitating diplomatic flexibility and signaling a willingness to spend domestic political capital for the sake of international cooperation. To illustrate the logic, the book traces the effect of domestic and diplomatic factors in China's management of nationalist protest in the post-Mao era (1978-2012) and the consequences for China's foreign relations.—Oxford University Press {chop}

China Says Can Build What It Wants On South China Sea Isles

BEN BLANCHARD
Reuters
China can build whatever it wants on its islands in the South China Sea, a senior Chinese official said on Monday, rejecting proposals ahead of a key regional meeting to freeze any activity that may raise tensions in disputed waters there.

China Says Can Build What it Wants on South China Sea Isles

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China can build whatever it wants on its islands in the South China Sea, a senior Chinese official said, rejecting proposals ahead of a key regional meeting to freeze any activity that may raise tensions in disputed waters there.

The Chinese-African Honeymoon is Over

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
There is a growing sense among Africans and Chinese alike that their once heady romance is now entering a new, more pragmatic phase. Across Africa, people and politicians are becoming visibly more concerned about the surging trade deficits, massive...

Caixin Media

07.22.14

Stability the Watchword for Progress in China

Chinese diplomacy has had a busy few months, with numerous visits abroad by leaders and a constant stream of foreign leaders coming to the country.Amid the flurry of activity, two meetings were particularly noteworthy: the sixth U.S.-China Strategic...