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...

Media

07.08.14

Changing the Chinese Embassy’s Address to Liu Xiaobo Plaza Is a Silly Idea

I rarely agree with the Chinese Embassy in Washington, but an amendment making its way through Congress has made me unlikely bedfellows with Beijing’s Washington diplomats.Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) has sponsored an amendment to rename the...

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern Introduces New Bill on Tibet

Office of Congressman Jim McGovern
Mr. McGovern (MA-02) announced today that he has introduced HR 4851, The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, in the House of Representatives.

Obama Says the U.S. Will Lead the World for the Next 100 Years. China Disagrees.

Gu Jinglu
Washington Post
The Global Times, China’s state-run nationalist-leaning newspaper, later challenged that view, asking, “America wants to lead the world for another 100 years, but with what?”

China is Stealing a Strategic March on the US

David Pilling
Financial Times
Bit by bit Beijing is creating new facts, and with each incident, it throws down the gauntlet.

Senate Approves Max Baucus as China Ambassador

Alan Fram
Associated Press
Longtime Sen. Max Baucus, a lawmaker well-versed in U.S. trade policy but with little expertise about military and other issues that have raised tensions with Beijing, has been confirmed the new U.S. ambassador to China.

China's New Foreign Policy: Not Conflict But Convergence Of Interests

Yan Xuetong
Guancha.cn
China will begin to underwrite domestic benefits in exchange for political support in Central and Southeast Asia.  

Senior Diplomat William Burns in China Amid Tension Over Beijing’s Military Development, Island Disputes

CBS News
The meeting was seen as helpful in clearing up misunderstanding, but nothing in the way of significant progress. 

Why Does China Coddle North Korea?

Jonathan D. Pollack
New York Times
A larger crisis on the Korean peninsula would require Chinese involvement.

Media

12.04.13

Chinese Chortle at U.S. Request to Scrap Controversial Air Defense Zone

The United States wants China to pull back from its gambit to try to rewrite the East China Sea’s status quo, but the Chinese are having none of it. On December 2, the U.S. State Department said China’s newly-declared air defense identification zone...

Reports

09.04.13

How to Make China More Honest

Derek Scissors
The Heritage Foundation
Official Chinese economic statistics, from unemployment to arable land, are controlled by the Communist Party and therefore cannot be trusted. The prevailing American and global view of China as a rising, if presently troubled, economic superpower...

Books

09.03.13

China Across the Divide

Rosemary Foot (Editor)
Understanding China’s world role has become one of the crucial intellectual challenges of the 21st century. This book explores this topic through the adoption of three conceptual approaches that help to uncover some of the key complex and simultaneous interactions between the global and domestic forces that determine China’s external behavior. A central assumption of this study is that it is unhelpful to treat the global and domestic levels as separate categories of analysis and that the study of China can be enriched by a recognition of the interpenetrated nature of the domestic and international spheres.The first section of the book concentrates on the role of ideas. It examines Chinese conceptions, at both the elite and mass levels, of the country’s status and role in global politics, and how these conceptions can influence and frame policies. The second section provides evidence of Chinese societal involvement in transnational processes that are simultaneously transforming China as well as other parts of the world, often in unintended ways. The third section assesses the impact of globalization on China in issue areas that are central to global order, and outlines the domestic responses—from resistance to embrace—that it generates. This study adopts a multidisciplinary approach involving scholars in international relations, history, social anthropology, and area studies. It offers a sophisticated understanding of Chinese thought and behavior and illustrates the impact that China’s re-emergence is having on 21st century global order.  —Oxford University Press {chop}

China’s Strength Could Become Its Weakness

John W. Schoen
NBC News
The heavy reliance on state investment produced unintended consequences. Overbuilding of housing created a real estate bubble. The investment a capacity to produce that overshot demand in a variety of areas. 

Xi Jinping Appears More Maoist Than Reformer So Far

Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
During his first months in power, Xi has proven himself more hard-line than his recent predecessors. He has tightened censorship in academia and the media, and spearheaded China’s territorial assertions in the South China and East China...

At the U.S.-China Summit, Friendship Isn’t What Matters

Gordon G. Chang
Daily Beast
As the interactions between American and Chinese officials have increased dramatically, ties between the two nations have only become more strained. That’s one indication that Chinese leaders are not influenced by personal relations. &...

How China Views Obama-Xi Meeting in California

Charlie Campbell
Time
Comments about Xi’s arrival in the Golden State barely made waves on China’s Twitter-like social-media service Sina Weibo. The bulk of Friday’s traffic focused on the annual university-entrance exams that are currently under way. 

Both Sides Worried on Maintaining Relations (Video)

Bloomberg
Chinese leaders, during private meetings with U.S. officials, have moved past their previous denial of cyber-espionage, and are acknowledging a problem, CBS says, citing unnamed officials. 

Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet (Video)

Council on Foreign Relations
The C.F.R.-sponsored Independent Task Force report finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

Reports

06.03.13

Obama’s Meeting with China’s Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping

Dean Cheng, Derek Scissors
The Heritage Foundation
President Obama and the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, will meet June 7–8 in California. The meeting has been characterized as a way for the two to establish a personal relationship and build trust. This would all be...

A Sino-Japanese Clash In The East China Sea

Sheila A. Smith
Council on Foreign Relations
The United States, as a treaty ally of Japan but with vital strategic interests in fostering peaceful relations with China, has a major stake in averting a clash between the two forces and resolving the dispute, if possible. 

Steps To Improve U.S.-China Relations

Kurt Campbell
Financial Times
More crosscutting dialogues are in order, more effort needs to be directed at concrete steps, not just talk, and both sides must be more creative about how to get senior leaders more time together to engage on 21st-century challenges.&...

Kerry: China Must Do More To Resolve N. Korean Missile Crisis

Andrea Mitchell and Ian Johnson
NBC News
Kerry believes that the instability created by Pyongyang’s belligerence is enough to push China to intervene more thoroughly; if China does not, Kerry says the U.S. will open direct talks with North Korea.

What Kerry Should Tell China

Shen Dingli
Foreign Policy
On April 13, 2013, when John Kerry pays his first visit to China as the U.S. secretary of state, North Korea will be at the top of his agenda, with Iran’s nuclear program and cyberattacks also extremely important. 

Missiles And Memorial Stones: Figuring Out North Korea And China

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
Some are speculating that China is trying to ensure that U.S.-North Korean relations remain terrible, as they are, therefore increasing its influence over the region, politically, economically and strategically. 

San Francisco Strengthens Ties With China Despite Washington Suspicion

Rory Carroll
Guardian
San Francisco’s courting of Chinese partnerships contrasts with Washington suspicion towards China. Last year the House Intelligence Committee urged U.S. firms to avoid partnering with Chinese telecom firms, to safeguard customer data. 

China ‘Shifts Position’ On North Korea

Malcolm Moore
Telegraph
Beijing appears to prefer the devil it knows, in the shape of the unpredictable Kim family regime, to the uncertainties, and perhaps American influence, that a reunification on the Korean peninsula could bring, but that seems to be changing.&...

As China’s Xi Jinping Visits, Africa Asks: What Are We Getting Out Of This?

Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
Chinese trade with African countries was nearly $200 billion in 2012. But after years of embracing China, some Africans say that China is taking more than it gives back and replicating colonial patterns. 

The Dragon Eating The Eagle’s Lunch in Africa?

Alemayehu G Mariam
Ethiomedia
For the past decade, the U.S. has been nonchalant and complacent about China’s “invasion” and lightning-fast penetration of Africa, but the U.S. is finally reading the memo. 

Books

03.28.13

China Goes Global

David Shambaugh
Most global citizens are well aware of the explosive growth of the Chinese economy. Indeed, China has famously become the “workshop of the world.” Yet, while China watchers have shed much light on the country’s internal dynamics—China’s politics, its vast social changes, and its economic development—few have focused on how this increasingly powerful nation has become more active and assertive throughout the world.In China Goes Global, eminent China scholar David Shambaugh delivers the book that many have been waiting for—a sweeping account of China’s growing prominence on the international stage. Thirty years ago, China’s role in global affairs beyond its immediate East Asian periphery was decidedly minor and it had little geostrategic power. As Shambaugh charts, though, China’s expanding economic power has allowed it to extend its reach virtually everywhere—from mineral mines in Africa, to currency markets in the West, to oil fields in the Middle East, to agribusiness in Latin America, to the factories of East Asia. Shambaugh offers an enlightening look into the manifestations of China’s global presence: its extensive commercial footprint, its growing military power, its increasing cultural influence or “soft power,” its diplomatic activity, and its new prominence in global governance institutions.But Shambaugh is no alarmist. In this balanced and well-researched volume, he argues that China’s global presence is more broad than deep and that China still lacks the influence befitting a major world power—what he terms a “partial power.” He draws on his decades of China-watching and his deep knowledge of the subject, and exploits a wide variety of previously untapped sources, to shed valuable light on China’s current and future roles in world affairs.  —Oxford University Press

‘Oh Boy! So Many Questions!’ About China in Africa

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
Although not universal, there is some concern among Africans that China may be a “new colonial power,” extracting resources and selling manufactured goods. 

A Highly Public Trip For China’s President, And Its First Lady

Bill Bishop
New York Times
President Xi Jinping, accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan, is on his March2013 inaugural overseas trip. The trip started in Russia last week, and is now passing through Africa with stops in Tanzania, the Republic of Congo and South Africa...

Deborah Brautigam Discusses Doing Research on China-Africa Relations

Tendai Musakwa
Professor Deborah Brautigam talks about how she became interested in China-Africa relations, the recent influx of scholarship on China-Africa relations, media reporting on China-Africa issues and how to do quality research. 

Xi In Africa As China's Role Comes Under Scrutiny

Katie Hunt
CNN
“There's a sense from Africans that it’s not an equal relationship. That China is extracting oil and then in return building infrastructure projects with its own companies and own workers and not necessarily transferring the skills to African...

China’s First Lady Strikes Glamorous Note

Jane Perlez and Bree Feng
New York Times
At a time when China’s Foreign Ministry is struggling to improve China’s international image, Peng Liyuan, 50, who has dazzled audiences at home and abroad with her bravura soprano voice, comes as a welcome gift. 

Changing Faces

Economist
Xi Jinping’s first foreign visits since his inauguration and new appointments in foreign policy-related positions hint at the direction of the new administration’s foreign policy plans and goals.

Xi Visits Russia As China Seeks Bigger Global Role

Christopher Bodeen
Huffington Post
Speculation surrounds Xi’s upcoming trip to Russia this Friday March 22, 2013, with many expecting Xi to start exerting China's economic power in diplomacy and taking a more offensive diplomatic stance in general. ...

Does China Have A Foreign Policy?

Zheng Wang
New York Times
A country’s foreign policy should be judged on the basis of its actions as well as its rhetoric. When we conduct a careful examination of Chinese policies and actions, we see that Chinese foreign policy is actually ambivalent, even weak. 

Meet China’s New Foreign Policy Team

Willy Lam
Foreign Policy
Personnel changes for State Councilor, Foreign Minister-designate, and ambassador to the U.S. suggest that China wants to improve the optics of its relationship with the United States, if not the substance. 

Books

02.25.13

Star Spangled Security

Harold Brown with Joyce Winslow
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Harold Brown served during the hottest part of the Cold War when the Soviet Union presented an existential threat to America. In Star Spangled Security, Dr. Brown, one of the most respected wise men of American foreign policy, gives an insider’s view of U.S. national security strategy during the Carter administration, relates lessons learned, and bridges them to current challenges facing America.Brown describes his part in the SALT negotiations, the normalization of relations with China, the Camp David Accords, the development of a new generation of ballistic missiles, and more. Drawing on his earlier years as the director of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, as director of defense research and engineering, as Air Force secretary, and as president of Caltech, Brown uses his hard-won wisdom, especially during the painful Iran hostage crisis, to offer specific recommendations and key questions to ponder as America copes with challenges in a turbulent world.Highly readable, Star Spangled Security is for anyone wishing to better understand the debates about defense and its budget, its effect on the entire economy, and America’s relationship with allies during conflict and peace. Brown’s access to the leading forces in national security over sixty years spans ten presidents, giving the reader entrée into the inner circle of decision makers.Since leaving public office, Brown has served on the boards of directors of a dozen corporations. His unique economic, military, research, university, and government experience—at the top of all institutions he served—makes his a voice well worth heeding. —Brookings Institution Press

Rally Cry for the U.S. to Catch Up to the Chinese in Africa

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
In this episode of the China in Africa Podcast, hosts Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden focus on Delaware Senator Chris Coons' warning that unless the United States places a greater emphasis on Africa, it will be too late to catch up to the...

Sinica Podcast

11.16.12

The State of the Navy

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
After two weeks focusing on developments at the Eighteenth Party Congress, and with the next generation of China’s leadership now public news for the world to digest, this week on Sinica we take a break from China’s leadership transition and turn...

The Problem with the Pivot

Robert Ross
Foreign Affairs
Ever since the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping opened up his country’s economy in the late 1970s, China has managed to grow in power, wealth, and military might while still maintaining cooperative and friendly relations with most of the world...

What the U.S. Presidential Debate Looked Like From China

Lily Kuo
Atlantic
 Chinese netizens shared mixed views of the U.S. election, some cynical, some optimistic.

2011 Foreign Policy Speech by Paul Ryan

Michael Warren
Weekly Standard
Ryan also called for China to liberalize and become “integrated into the global order.” But, he said, Chinese leaders should not count on the decline of the United States as a great power. “We must demonstrate that planning for the post-American era...

Reports

09.01.11

Managing Instability on China’s Periphery

Paul B. Stares, Scott A. Snyder, Joshua Kurlantzick, Daniel Markey, Evan A. Feigenbaum
He Jianan
Council on Foreign Relations
China’s growing global engagement and presence has increased the number of conceivable places and issues over which it could find itself at odds with the United States, but potential developments in the territories immediately adjacent to China...

Reports

07.14.11

Strangers at Home: North Koreans in the South

International Crisis Group
As the number of defectors from North Korea arriving in the South has surged in the past decade, there is a growing understanding of how difficult it would be to absorb a massive flow of refugees. South Korea is prosperous and generous, with a...

Reports

11.02.09

Shades of Red: China’s Debate Over North Korea

International Crisis Group
North Korea has created a number of foreign policy dilemmas for China. The latest round of provocations makes Beijing’s balancing act between supporting a traditional ally and responding to its dangerous brinkmanship more difficult, especially when...

Reports

03.01.00

The United States, Japan, and China: Setting the Course

Neil E. Silver
He Jianan
Council on Foreign Relations
During the twentieth century, as the United States grew into a world power, Americans confronted two major powers in Asia: China and Japan. Asia expert Neil Silver argues that the United States never had good relations simultaneously with China and...