The Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry
A New Leadership Year
Last updated: 4 April 2016
Earlier links are at the top of each section
Baogang He, “Giving the People a Voice? Experiments with Consultative Authoritarian Institutions in China,” Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 19, No. 66 (September 2010), pp. 675-692. Downloads are available at: thttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10670564.2010.485404. The author suggests that authoritarian rule in China is now “permeated by a wide variety of consultative and deliberative practices that stabilise and strengthen the authoritative rule” and uses case studies to present both benefits and limitations.
Yang Yao, “A Chinese Way of Democratisation?” China: An International Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2 (September 2010), pp. 330-345. Available by subscription at: http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/china/v008/8.2.yao.pdf. The author seeks answers to two questions: (1) why has open demand for democratisation not followed China’s economic progress, and (2) is China indeed creating an enduring form of authoritarianism that is superior to the more conventional social and political transformations.
Francis Fukuyama, “The Patterns of History”, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 23, No. 1 (January 2012), pp. 14-16. Available at: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_democracy/toc/jod.23.1.html or http://fukuyama.stanford.edu/files/Patterns%20of%20History.pdf. Fukuyama began the essay with the statement: “In order to understand the nature of democracy in East Asia, we must understand the nature of authoritarian government there. […] We need to fill in this gap and develop an understanding of how the specific characteristics of East Asian government arise out of the historically determined development path that the region followed.”
Cheng Li, “The End of the CPC’s Resilient Authoritarianism? A Tripartite Assessment of Shifting Power in China,” The China Quarterly, Vol. 211, September 2012, pp. 595-623. Available at: http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2012/09/shifting-power-china-lic. The author argues that the CPCs “resilient authoritarianism” is a stagnant system, both conceptually and empirically, because it “resists much-needed democratic changes in the country.”
Minxin Pei, “Is CPC Rule Fragile or Resilient?” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 23, No.1 (January 2012), pp. 27-41. Available at: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_democracy/toc/jod.23.1.html. The author presented a theoretical framework for evaluating the resilience of authoritarian rule and then applied it to the Communist Party of China. An important implication for Western observers is this: In China today “activists challenge the CPC on issues that can connect them with ordinary people—labour rights, forced evictions, land disputes, environmental protection, and public health. The CPC’s single-minded focus on GDP growth has led to a systemic degradation of the Chinese state’s capacity for providing such essential public goods as health care, education, and environmental protection.”
Jessica C. Teets, “Let Many Civil Societies Bloom: The Rise of Consultative Authoritarianism in China,” The China Quarterly, Vol. 213 (March 2013), pp. 19-38. Available for purchase at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8867851. The author suggests that the decentralisation of pubic welfare and the linkage of promotion to the delivery of public goods helped to support the principle of collaboration between local government and civil society in China. This development “challenges the conventional wisdom that an operationally autonomous civil society cannot exist inside the authoritarian regimes and that the presence of civil society is an indicator of democratisation.”
Eric X Li, “The Life of the Party: The Post-Democratic Future Begins in China,” Foreign Affairs, January-February 2013. Available at: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138476/eric-x-li/the-life-of-the-party?page=show. The author states that “in the next decade, China will continue to rise, not fade. The country's leaders will consolidate the one party model and, in the process, challenge the West's conventional wisdom about political development and the inevitable march toward electoral democracy. In the capital of the Middle Kingdom, the world might witness the birth of a post-democratic future.”
Hu Yongqi and Lan Lan, “Reforms Move with Time,” The Washington Post, 28 March 2013. Available at: http://chinawatch.washingtonpost.com/2013/03/reforms-move-with-time.php. The authors report the following: “As China's new leadership prepares to take charge, the nation has embraced the opportunity to deepen administrative reform by transferring power from the government to market forces and public opinion via a restructuring plan approved by the National People's Congress on March 14.”
Evan A Feigenbaum and Damien Ma, “The Rise of China’s Reformers?” Foreign Affairs, 17 April 2013. Available at: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139295/evan-a-feigenbaum-and-damien-ma/the-rise-of-chinas-reformers. The authors attempt to answer the question does the new team in Beijing have the vision and the political will to revive stalled yet crucial economic reforms by noting that “reform is possible when the right mix of conditions come together at the right time” and they argue that “these conditions are again present today”.
Zhang Jun, “Can China Continue to Grow Under a New Regime?” The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 April 2013. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/business/can-china-continue-to-grow-under-new-regime-20130421-2i8ey.html. The other states that “institutional flexibility has been the key to China's economic transition and rapid growth over the past three decades, and it is important the Chinese government remains neutral and avoids being captured by interest groups. Authorities must ensure the system remains open to change in the long run. Successful implementation of another round of far-reaching reform depends on it.”
Andrew Jacobs, “Chinese Court Ruling Deals a Blow to the Labor-Camp System,” The New York Times, 15 July 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/16/world/asia/chinese-court-ruling-deals-a-blow-to-labor-camp-system.html?hp. The article reports a decision of a high court in Hunan Province in southern China, which was an explicit acknowledgment that the mother of a rape victim had been “wrongly sentenced to a labor camp last year after she publicly demanded that some of the men convicted of kidnapping, raping and prostituting her 11-year-old daughter be more
Joseph Kahn, “Losing Face, Leaping Forward,” The New York Times, 18 July 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/books/review/wealth-and-power-by-orville-schell-and-john-delury.html?ref=books. This is a review of a book by Orville Schell and John Delury entitled Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the 21st Century (478 pages published by Random House). The reviewer notes that “over a century and a half China has stumbled through imperial rule, warlordism, republicanism and Communism. Its leaders have reigned through feudalism, fascism, totalitarianism and capitalism. But for Schell and Delury, none of these conflicting systems or ideologies in the end defined China, or even the leaders who imposed them. Instead, the constant through China’s recent history is the persistent search for something – anything – that would bring restoration [of the humiliations China has suffered at the hands of foreigners].”
Zhan Dexiong, “Time To Break the Hegemony of Western Discourse,” People’s Daily, 5 August 2013. Available at: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90777/8352833.html. The author questions the wisdom of adopting Western values in place of traditional Chinese values. As he states: “three decades ago concepts like ‘democracy’, ‘human rights’ and ‘freedom’ carried a halo of sanctity, and the non-western world did indeed look up to them as it struggled with its economic problems; a few people even began to regard them as precepts. But more than 30 years have passed, the halo is fading, and people are increasingly driven to ask: How can the situation in the western countries be so bad if western democracy is so good?”
Christopher Buckley, “China’s New Leadership Takes Hard Line in Secret Memo,” The New York Times, 19 August 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/20/world/asia/chinas-new-leadership-takes-hard-line-in-secret-memo.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&hp. The information in the article is based upon a memo, known as Document No. 9, warning party cadres that “power could escape their grip unless the party eradicates seven subversive currents coursing through Chinese society”. This is interpreted as a definite move toward traditional ideology by the current leadership in China even as they pursue more liberal economic reforms. See also, Editorial Board, “Look Who’s Afraid of Democracy,” The New York Times, 27 August 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/28/opinion/look-whos-afraid-of-democracy.html?ref=opinion.
Arthur R Kroeber, “Xi Jinping’s Ambitious Agenda for Economic Reform in China,” Brookings Institution, 17 November 2013. Available at: http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2013/11/17-xi-jinping-economic-agenda-kroeber. The author summarises his interpretation of the newly announced agenda for economic reform in China and suggests that the core principle of economic reform is the “decisive” role of market forces in allocating resources within China, and this contrasts with the previous CPC decisions to give the market a “basic” role in resource allocation.
Cao Yin and Zhu Zhe, “Top Court Seeks Judicial Transparency,” China Daily, 9 January 2014. Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-01/09/content_17224779.htm. “The top court is to publish an annual work report in English to give the world a better understanding of China’s judicial system and to reduce misunderstandings.”
No author cited, “Chinese Civil Society: Beneath the Glacier,” The Economist, 12 April 2014. Available at: http://www.economist.com/news/china/21600747-spite-political-clampdown-flourishing-civil-society-taking-hold-beneath-glacier?fsrc=nlw|hig|4-10-2014|8283453|34237756|. “In spite of a political clampdown, a flourishing civil society is taking hold” through non-government organisations.
John Garnaut, “China’s Power Politics,” The New York Times, 11 August 2014. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/12/opinion/chinas-power-politics.html?ref=opinion. In reference to President Xi Jinping’s war against corruption, Garnaut states: “Mr. Xi and his close supporters, who were born into the Communist aristocracy as children of former leaders, have won the first round in their battle to save the revolution that their parents fought for. But there is a long journey ahead not least because, like their forebears, they have invested far more effort defining enemies than objectives.”
Minxin Pei,” Crony Communism in China,” The New York Times, 17 October 2014. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/opinion/crony-communism-in-china.html. The author considers the anti-corruption campaign, launched by Xi Jinping shortly after becoming the general secretary of the Communist Party of China in late 2012, and concludes that “corruption has penetrated so very deeply into the party-state that it has become the glue that holds it together. And so Mr. Xi’s campaign, which is meant to ensure the CPCs longevity, seems to pose an existential threat to it in the short or medium term.
Paul Gewirtz, “What China Means by ‘Rule of Law,’” The New York Times, 19 October 2014. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/opinion/what-china-means-by-rule-of-law.html. The author, who is director of the China Law Centre at Yale Law School, notes that the Fourth Plenum of the Communist Party’s 18th Committee is the “first time in party history that a meeting with the authority of a plenary session will focus on the rule of law. And there are reasons for a measure of optimism that the plenum will demonstrate more complex views about the roles law can play and also take meaningful steps to advance new legal reforms.”
Orville Schell, “China Strikes Back!” The New York Review of Books, 23 October 2014. Available at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/oct/23/china-strikes-back/?insrc=toc. The author suggests that the new attitude in Beijing is an unstated warning: “If China can’t get what it wants peacefully, we are now powerful enough to get it by other means, and we don’t much mind who is offended. […] Chinese seem to be saying without being too explicit (they have always been masters at indirection) is that they will now be reckoned with on their own terms, not ours. Like it or not, this is the world’s new reality.
Edward Wong, “China Turns Up the Rhetoric Against the West,” The New York Times, 11 November 2014. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/12/world/asia/china-turns-up-the-rhetoric-against-the-west.html. “The vilification of foreigners as enemies of China has been a staple of propaganda by the Communist Party since before its rise to power, and analysts say the leadership tends to ramp up such rhetoric when it feels under pressure at home,” though the present situation is different in that now China is on the rise globally.
Andrew Jacobs and Chris Buckley, “Move Over Mao: Beloved ‘Papa Xi’ Awes China,” The New York Times, 7 March 2015. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/world/move-over-mao-beloved-papa-xi-awes-china.html. “Not since Mao dominated the nation with his masterly blend of populism, fervor and fear has a Chinese leader commanded as much public awe as President Xi Jinping.”
Peter Hartcher, “Is the Chinese Dragon Losing Its Puff?” The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 2015. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/is-the-chinese-dragon-losing-its-puff-20150316-1m0bx9.html. The article draws on recent comments by Professor David Shambaugh, a China specialist at George Washington University in the US, and Geremie Barne, Professor of Chinese History at the Australian National University. Additional comment at: http://www.accci.com.au/CommentonChineseDragonLosingPuff.pdf.
Arthur Waldron, “In China: ‘A Peaceful Democratic Transition?’” Eurasia Review, 22 March 2015. Available at: http://www.eurasiareview.com/22032015-in-china-a-peaceful-democratic-transition-analysis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eurasiareview%2FVsnE+%28Eurasia+Review%29. The author comments on a recent article in the Wall Street Journal by David Shambaugh, and the reaction of Chinese to that article. See additional comment on Shambaugh’s article in the link immediately above.
D S Rajan, “China: Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Drive to Net More ‘Tigers’?” Eurasia Review, 25 March 2015. Available at: http://www.eurasiareview.com/25032015-china-xi-jinpings-anti-corruption-drive-to-net-more-tigers-analysis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eurasiareview%2FVsnE+%28Eurasia+Review%29. “The purges that have taken place under Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, at the best, look selective; it is clear that the ‘tigers’ being targeted are mostly the loyalists of the then party supremo Jiang Zemin.” Comment by Michael C H Jones at: http://www.accci.com.au/JonesCommentonAntiCorruptionDrive.pdf.
Youwei, “The End of Reform in China: Authoritarian Adaptation Hits a Wall,” Foreign Affairs, May/June Issue, 2015. Available at: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/143337/youwei/the-end-of-reform-in-china. The need for further reforms still exists, but many in the bureaucracy and the elite more generally would be happy with the perpetuation of the status quo, because partial reform is the best friend of crony capitalism. […] For a country with China’s size and history, democratisation will have to emerge from within. But the fact that the world’s most powerful countries tend to be liberal democracies creates a strong ideological pull—and so the best way for the West to help China’s eventual political evolution is to remain strong, liberal, democratic, and successful itself.
Wouter Baan and Christopher Thomas, “How China Country Heads Are Coping,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2015. Available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Organization/How_China_country_heads_are_coping?cid=other-eml-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1510. “As multinational companies face stronger headwinds, how are local leaders dealing with the situation, and what would help them move faster?”
Bhaskar Roy, “A Tale of China’s Corruption and Its Political Use,” Eurasia Review, 19 February 2016. Available at: http://www.eurasiareview.com/19022016-a-tale-of-chinas-corruption-and-its-political-use-analysis/.
Abhishek Pratap Singh, “China’s First Anti-Terrorism Law,” Eurasia Review, 30 March 2016. Available at: http://www.eurasiareview.com/30032016-chinas-first-anti-terrorism-law-analysis/.
Thomas Christensen, “The Advantages of an Assertive China: Responding to Beijing’s Abrasive Diplomacy,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 90. No. 2 (March/April 2011), pp. 54-67. Available at: http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2011/03/china-christensen. The author suggests that “China's [recent] counterproductive policies toward its neighbours and the US are better understood as reactive and conservative rather than assertive and innovative. Beijing's new [and] more truculent posture is rooted in an exaggerated sense of China's rise in global power and serious domestic political insecurity.”
Kathrin Hille , “Confident China Risks Becoming Arrogant,” Financial Times, 24 May 2012. Available at: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/b1593538-a59f-11e1-a77b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2MhifFdV6. The author suggests that there is a growing “xenophobic chorus which highlights how the Chinese are struggling to find their place in the world”. Many Chinese are quick to tell foreigners that they “envy their countries’ wealth, rule of law and clean environment, [but] foreign criticism of China’s shortcomings in those areas often provokes denial or anger.”
Gungwu Wang, “China’s Historical Place Reclaimed,” Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 66, No. 4 (August 2012), pp. 486-492. Available for purchase at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10357718.2012.692533. This is a review of a book by Henry Kissinger (On China) and a book by Martin Jacques (When China Rules the World). The reviewer compares the separate approaches taken by Kissinger and Jacques and comments briefly on how Western readers, as well Chinese readers, might react to each book. Wang notes that throughout China’s history, its rulers always had the will to retain power at all costs and that determined what the rulers did a critical moments. In his last paragraph, he restates Kissinger’s belief that the West should make allowances for the changes that are almost certain to continue as China develops, and “should seek to manage the China that is and may become, but not what some people think it should be.”
Andrew J Nathan and Andew Scobell, “How China Sees America: The Sum of Beijing’s Fears,” Foreign Affairs, September – October 2012. Available for purchase at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/alliance/EDF-2012-documents/Reading_Nathan_2.pdf. The lead-in to the article states: “The United States worries about China's rise, but Washington rarely considers how the world looks through Beijing's eyes. […] America should not shrink from setting out its expectations of Asia's rising superpower-but it should do so calmly, coolly, and professionally.”
Minxin Pei, “A More Confident Chinese People Tests Communist Party Rule,” South China Morning Post, 3 November 2012. Available at: http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1074691/more-confident-chinese-people-tests-communist-party-rule. Minxin Pei reported that the once iron-clad rule by the Communist Party is “being tested by a more confident Chinese people, and the leaders who are preparing to take power have reason to worry.”
Jacqueline Newmyer Deal, “China’s Nationalistic Heritage,” The National Interest, 2 January 2013. Available at: http://nationalinterest.org/article/chinas-nationalist-heritage-7885. The article focuses on the notion of “national rejuvenation”, which is being taken as a codification of the end state of what China wants, as seen by the incoming general secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping.
Jane Perlez, “A Confident China” (Video), The New York Times, 5 March 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/03/05/world/asia/100000002101117/a-confident-china.html. This interview of Jane Perlez on video contains a number of observations, the value of which stems from her long experience as the chief diplomatic correspondent in China for the New York Times.
Geoff Dyer, “China’s Glass Ceiling,” Foreign Policy, 28 March 2013. Available at: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/03/28/china_glass_ceiling_number_two. The author suggests that “even if it overtakes the United States to have the biggest economy in the world, which many economists believe could happen over the next decade, China will not dislodge Washington from its central position in global affairs for decades to come”. He justifies this view by suggesting that China’s recent tactical successes have been sowing the seeds of a strategic defeat. For example, “China [views] soft power as a problem that can be solved by bureaucrats -- by throwing money at it, in the way that it has with high-speed rail or wind power. But modernity is not something that can be acquired off-the-shelf. Soft power is generated by society rather than the Ministry of Culture.”
Ian Johnson, “Will the Chinese Be Supreme?” New York Review of Books, 4 April 2013. Available at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/apr/04/will-chinese-be-supreme/?page=1. The article is a review of three books on China: Arvind Subraminian, Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China’s Economic Dominance, Edward N Luttwak, The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy; and Odd Arne Westad, Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750. Despite a variety in the contents of the three books, Johnson does well in extracting salient features from each, especially in reference to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
G.E., “Chinese Learning: Young China Hands,” The Economist, 22 April 2013. Available at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/04/chinese-learning?fsrc=nlw|newe|4-22-2013|5582513|34237756|. The article begins with the comment that “when Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman of Blackstone Group, a private-equity firm, announced in Beijing on Sunday the $300m Schwarzman Scholars programme to send students to China to study, it was a testament to China’s place in the world as a new centre of gravity.”
Shucao Mo, “Creating an Age of Critical Minds,” The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 April 2013. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/creating-an-age-of-critical-minds-20130422-2iabq.html. Shucao Mo states that in “recognising the weaknesses in China's education system, idealistic young teachers, parents, and writers are attempting to provide different learning options for Chinese students. They are seeking to introduce more diverse themes, and give students the skills of moral reasoning they need in order to become responsible citizens in a global age.”
Robert Lawrence Kuhn, “Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream”, The New York Times, 4 June 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/opinion/global/xi-jinpings-chinese-dream.html?pagewanted=1&ref=global-home. The article includes a coherent interpretation of the “Chinese Dream” as well as an attempt to reconcile Xi’s grand goals with his apparent nationalism. Kuhn asks the questions, “so is Xi a reformer? A nationalist? The answer is that he is both, because only by being a nationalist can he be a reformer. American policy makers must understand Xi’s nationalism so that when the reigning superpower meets the rising superpower, both can benefit.”
Dominic Barton, Yougang Chen and Amy Jin, “Mapping China’s Middle Class”, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2013. Available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Consumer_And_Retail/Mapping_Chinas_middle_class?cid=china-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1306. The report adds detail to the generally known fact of China’s rising middle class. For example, “in 2002, 40 percent of China’s relatively small urban middle class lived in the four Tier-one cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. By 2022, the share of those megacities will probably fall to about 16 percent. They won’t be shrinking, of course; rather, middle-class growth rates will be far greater in the smaller cities of the north and west. Many are classified as Tier-three cities, whose share of China’s upper-middle-class households should reach more than 30 percent by 2022, up from 15 percent in 2002.”
Yiping Huang, “China the Key in Shaping the Asian Century,” East Asia Forum, 12 July 2013. Available at: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/06/12/china-the-key-in-shaping-the-asian-century/. The author’s main point is that “[China] should force new international divisions of labour, by rapidly losing labour-intensive industries and moving up the value chain. Its demand for commodities should slow as GDP growth decelerates and investment share of GDP edges down. But consumption should expand more dramatically, as a result of continued growth and rebalancing, making China the most dynamic consumer market. Slower but better-quality Chinese growth would support more sustainable expansion of the global economy in the Asian century.”
No author cited, “China’s Reform to Face Global Challenges”, People’s Daily Online, 8 January 2014. Available at: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/8506302.html. The article mentions the prediction made by The Economist that the overall contribution of the leading Western economies will be greater in 2014 than that of China India, Russia, and Brazil. However, this article stresses the longer-term nature of the power shift and suggests that “reform of political and economic governance is the key to the future competition for national power and one of the decisive factors in the reconstitution of global power.”
John Garnaut, “Young People of Taiwan and Hong Kong Refusing to Accept the Unification of ‘Greater China,’” The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 October 2014. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/young-people-of-taiwan-and-hong-kong-refusing-to-accept-the-unification-of-greater-china-20141010-1147tq.html. “The young protesters of Hong Kong and Taiwan are ostensibly fighting to defend the institutions that have made their societies among the most prosperous, pluralistic and civilised on earth. […] And the popularity and demographics of their cause suggest that the defeat of their ideals is not as inevitable as it might once have seemed.”
Rhys Jenkins, “China and Brazil: Economic Impacts of a Growing Relationship,” Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, Vol. 41, No. 1 (2012), pp. 21-47. Available at: http://www.uea.ac.uk/international-development/People/staffresearch/jcca+article+2012. The article analyses the economic impacts of China’s re-emergence on Brazil, looking at both the direct effects of China on Brazil in terms of bilateral trade and investment flows and the indirect effects through increased competition in export markets for manufactured goods and higher world prices for primary commodities.
Christopher Alessi and Stephanie Hanson, “Expanding China-Africa Oil Ties”, Council on Foreign Relations Backgrounder, 8 February 2012. Available at: http://www.cfr.org/china/expanding-china-africa-oil-ties/p9557. The authors note that China’s need to lock in supplies of natural resources is a major motivation for expanding activities in Africa, but they also raise the questions as to whether China will “become the latest in a series of colonial and neocolonial powers in Africa, destined like others to leave its own legacy of bitterness and disappointment.”
Randal C Archibold, “China Buys Inroads in the Caribbean, Catching US Notice,” The New York Times, 7 April 2012. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/world/americas/us-alert-as-chinas-cash-buys-inroads-in-caribbean.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120408. The article provides details of a Chinese-sourced “flurry of loans from state banks, investments by companies and outright gifts from the government in the form of new stadiums, roads, official buildings, ports and resorts in a region where the United States has long been a prime benefactor”.
Xianbo Su, “Rescaling the Chinese State and Regionalisation in the Great Mekong Subregion,” Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 19, No. 3(June 2012), pp. 501-527. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2011.561129. The “going-out” strategy is defined as the expansion of Chinese capital and labour to other nation-states. The author’s analysis finds that the Chinese government “deploys two spatial strategies – upward coordination with international organisations and the national governments in the Greater Mekong Subregions, and downward implementation throughout Yunnan Province – to establish an interscalar regulatory regime.”
Yong Wang, “Seeking a Balanced Approach on the Global Economic Rebalancing: China’s Answers to International Policy Cooperation,” Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 569-586. Available for purchase at: http://oxrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/28/3/569.full.pdf+html. The author presents different views of “mainstream Chinese experts and scholars who have influence in shaping the country’s foreign economic policy.” His purpose is to acquaint Western counterparts of Chinese views so that dialogue can be improved. Greatest attention is given to the interpretation of the causes of the global financial crisis. For example, many Chinese scholars consider the International Monetary Fund to have been institutionally biased in reference to macroeconomic policies of the developed countries and thereby “squandered its chance to prevent the financial crisis.”
Xinhua, “China to Seek Closer Cooperation at Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM),” China Daily 1 November 2012. Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-11/01/content_15862589.htm. The ninth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in 2012 was given the theme, “Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity”. China is committed to working with ASEM as an “important platform for countries in Asia and Europe to enhance understanding, expand consensus and deepen cooperation.”
Dr B R Deepak, “From China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’ to ‘Peaceful Development’: The Rhetoric and More – Analysis,” Eurasia Review, 25 December 2012. Available at: http://www.eurasiareview.com/25122012-from-chinas-peaceful-rise-to-peaceful-development-the-rhetoric-and-more-analysis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eurasiareview%2FVsnE+%28Eurasia+Review%29. The author explains the evolution of catchwords for China’s foreign policy from Deng Xaoping’s “hide your strength, bide your time”, to the “peaceful rise of China (zhongguo de heping jueqi)” and subsequently to “China’s peaceful development.”
Christoph Seidler, “The Resource Race: China Dips Toes in Arctic Waters,” Spiegel Online, 25 January 2013. Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/growing-chinese-interest-in-the-arctic-worries-international-community-a-879654.html. The article states that “China is hungry for natural resources, and the Arctic is home to a wealth of them. Growing alarm about its ambitions has led Beijing to take a softer approach, stressing exploration and research over exploitation.”
Daniel Wanger and Giorgio Cafiero, “The Future of Afghan-Sino Relations,” Huffington Post, 14 February 2013. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-wagner/future-of-afghan-sino_b_2689635.html. The author suggests that “China is actively seeking to redefine its relations with Afghanistan, coinciding with its desire to fill the power vacuum that will emerge as a result of the NATO troop withdrawal next year.”
Xinhua, “China More Active in International Affairs,” People’s Daily, 10 March 2013. Available at: http://english.people.com.cn/90883/8161335.html. The article reports on a statement made by a “top diplomat” at the 12th National People’s Congress that China’s participation in international affairs and the nation’s contribution to building an international system will be a priority of the new leadership. A brief summary is also given of China’s activity in international affairs in the recent past.
Claus Hecking, “Capital Study: Chinese Investment in Europe Hits Record High,” Spiegel Online, 16 April 2013. Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/study-finds-massive-investment-in-europe-by-chinese-state-companies-a-894570.html. “Europe has become the world's largest recipient of foreign investment by Chinese firms. While North America largely views them with suspicion, China's state-owned corporations have been largely welcomed in a continent plagued by recession and in desperate need of cash.”
Edward Wong and Chris Buckley, “China, Beckoned, Dips a Toe into Mideast Peacemaking,” The New York Times, 8 May 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/world/asia/china-dips-a-toe-into-mideast-diplomacy.html?hpw. The article reported that although Mr Xi, China’s leader, presented a four-point peace proposal to Mr Abbas “it did not contain any breakthrough ideas, thus hinting that China had given some thought to playing a more energetic, if very limited role as mediator in one of the world’s most protracted conflicts.”
Zhang Shengjun, “How Deep Is Ukrainian Crisis’ Impact on China’s Economy,” People’s Daily, 14 March 2014. Available at: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/98649/8566781.html. The author quotes US Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker, who believes the risks that are likely to emerge from Ukraine “are controllable and their influence is limited.” He then outlines how these risks could affect China.
William Darlymple, “Afghanistan: As China Forges New Alliances, a New Great Game Has Begun,” The Guardian, 19 March 2014. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/18/afghanistan-china-new-great-game-united-states. The author suggests that a “common interest in Central Asia over Uyghur and Taliban militancy is bringing together Beijing and the United States.” Collaboration between China and the US on this issue began in September 2012 and resulted in joint training for diplomats, health workers and agricultural engineers, “the first time China has ever co-operated with a third party in another country.”
China’s Political Setting:
China’s Going-Out-to-the-World Strategy
But Is the Strategy Working?
Chris Alden and Christopher R. Hughes, “Harmony and Discord in China’s Africa Strategy: Some Implications for Foreign Policy,” The China Quarterly, Vol. 199 (September 2009) pp 563 584. Available for purchase at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=6166248&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0305741009990105. The authors examine various policy solutions that are being considered by Chinese authorities a in managing the its engagement with African civil societies and political opposition. It concludes the lack of a strong civil society inside China inhibits the ability of its policy makers to draw on the expertise of the kind of independent pressure groups and NGOs that are available to traditional donor or investor states.
Rachel Will, “China’s Stadium Diplomacy,” World Policy Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Summer 2012). Available at: http://www.worldpolicy.org/journal/summer2012/chinas-stadium-diplomacy. The author notes that “China’s stadium diplomacy has been evolving since it began giving aid to African countries in 1956.” The term is used to convey foreign aid and subsidised loans for iconic projects such as sport stadiums. Rachel investigates the extent to which this diplomacy represents a Trojan horse with concealed agendas.
David Shambaugh, “Falling Out of Love with China,” The New York Times, 18 March 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/19/opinion/falling-out-of-love-with-china.html. The author notes that “while pockets of positive views regarding China can be found around the world, public opinion surveys from the Pet Research Centre’s Global Attitudes Project and the BBC Reveal that China’s image ranges between mixed and poor.” Possible reasons for this relatively weak response are given and some possible remedies are considered.
AFP, “‘Uncivilised’ Chinese Tourists Harming Country’s Reputation: Official,” The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 May 2013. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/uncivilised-chinese-tourists-harming-countrys-reputation-official-20130520-2jvls.html. The article reports on news items appearing in People’s Daily that were made by Wang Yang, one of China's four vice premiers, who complained publically about undesirable and “uncivilised behaviour” of some Chinese tourists.
Fareed Zakaria, “China Is Not the World’s Other Superpower”, The Washington Post, 6 June 2013. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-china-is-not-a-superpower-yet/2013/06/05/cbeb88e0-cdfa-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html?hpid=z2. Zakaria quotes and apparently agrees with David Shambaugh with the following: “China is, in essence, a very narrow-minded, self-interested, realist state, seeking only to maximize its own national interests and power. It cares little for global governance and enforcing global standards of behaviour (except its much-vaunted doctrine of non-interference in the internal affairs of countries)” from page 310 of China Goes Global: The Partial Power (Oxford University Press, 2013).
Alexis Okeowo, “China in Africa: The New Imperialists?” The New Yorker, 12 June 2013. Available at: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/06/china-zambia-resources-imperialism.html. According to the author, “it happened in Zambia like it could happen elsewhere in Africa. Chinese investors made deals with the government to mine its natural resources, filling federal coffers with billions of dollars. Chinese immigrants moved into cities and rural towns. They started construction companies; opened copper, coal, and gem mines; and built hotels and restaurants, all providing new jobs. They set up schools and hospitals. But then instances of corruption, labour abuse, and criminal cover-ups began to set the relationship between the Chinese and the Africans aflame.”
Associated Press, “Typhoon Haiyan: China Gives Less Aid to Philippines than IKEA,” The Guardian, 15 November 2013. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/14/typhoon-haiyan-china-aid-philippines-ikea. The article notes that “the decline of American influence in Asia, with China filling the vacuum, has been predicted for years. […] Yet China lags far behind the US in soft power, the winning of hearts and minds through culture, education and other non-traditional forms of diplomacy, of which emergency assistance is a major component.”
Mark Wu, “A Free Pass for China,” The New York Times, 2 April 2014. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/03/opinion/a-free-pass-for-china.html?ref=opinion. The author states an opinion that enforcement of World Trade Organisation rules effectively gives a “free pass” to China since enforcement carries no penalty for creating harm. This is of course temporary for each judgment of illegal activity, since future compliance to that specific judgment is expected, but in the absence of penalties it does nothing to dissuade countries from applying the same strategy to other exported item.
Andrew Small, “Chinese Foreign Policy Comes of Age,” The New York Times, 26 March 2015. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/27/opinion/chinese-foreign-policy-comes-of-age.html?ref=opinion. “Beijing, long content to sit on the sidelines of security issues beyond its borders, has finally come to see inaction as an even greater risk. Its growing willingness to use its political relationships, military assets and economic power to strategic ends is evidence that it is behaving more and more like a normal great power.”
Hugh White, “Asian Century Must Begin with Great Power Accommodation,” East Asia Forum, 29 June 2015. Available at: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2015/06/29/asian-century-must-begin-with-great-power-accommodation/. “China’s leaders need to acknowledge that it cannot expect to be Asia’s uncontested leader in the future. US leaders need to acknowledge that they can’t either. Only then can the two largest powers, and the rest of us, start to think about what model of leadership will work best in the Asian Century.”
Bernhard Zand, “Stronger Chinese Navy Worries Neighbours and US,” Spiegel Online, 14 September 2012. Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/strengthening-of-chinese-navy-sparks-worries-in-region-and-beyond-a-855622.html. The author notes specifically that “China and the US seem to be on a collision course in the Pacific. Beijing is significantly bolstering its navy, and Washington is shifting its military focus to the Asia-Pacific Region. Many fear it could alter the balance of power in a region rich in oil and crucial for global trade,”
Kamlesh Kumar Agnihotri, “Chinese Aircraft Carrier: Capacity Building and National Pride – Analysis,” Eurasia Review, 25 September 2012. Available at: http://www.eurasiareview.com/25092012-chinese-aircraft-carrier-capacity-building-and-national-pride-analysis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eurasiareview%2FVsnE+%28Eurasia+Review%29. See also Jane Perlez, “China Launches Carrier, but Experts Doubt Its Worth,” The New York Times, 25 September 2012. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/world/asia/china-shows-off-an-aircraft-carrier-but-experts-are-skeptical.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120926. The two articles reflect at least to some extent, the difficulties most Westerners have in reconciling China’s professed strategy of a “peaceful rise” (see the article by Dr B R Deepak in the previous section) and its recent additions to military capability.
Michael O’Hanlon and James Steinberg, “Going Beyond ‘Air-Sea Battle’”, The Washington Post, 24 August 2012. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/beyond-air-sea-battle-a-military-concept-that-challenges-policymakers/2012/08/23/8fd4f8fa-ed31-11e1-9ddc-340d5efb1e9c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions. For a background commentary see: http://www.accci.com.au/CommentonASB.pdf. It is possible, and perhaps even likely, that in two or three years the relatively large number of commentaries on China’s military build-up and the US pivot to Asia will be classified as an example of Henny Penny and the “sky is falling” syndrome. But whether it does or does not, it represents an example of a clash of perspectives.
Keith B Richburg, “China’s Other Transition: Military to Be Led by New Generation,” The Washington Post, 24 October 2012. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/chinas-other-transition-military-to-be-led-by-new-generation/2012/10/23/a8fd9504-19e5-11e2-ad4a-e5a958b60a1e_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines. This article should be read in conjunction with James Mulvenon’s comments (below) on the new Central Military Commission, which were formulated after the new appointments were formally announced.
Erich Follath and Wieland Wagner, “China Seeks Role as Second Superpowe,” Spiegel Online, 2 November 2012. Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/global-ambitions-china-seeks-role-in-world-as-second-superpower-a-864358.html. This article, in three parts, discusses current issues in China including the question as to whether (and, if so, how) the role of a military that has gained considerable influence. Also included are comments on Xi’s desire to make China the World’s second superpower and how China is using Confucius to “polish its image overseas,”
James Mulvenon, “The New Central Military Commission,” China Leadership Monitor, 14 January 2013 (No. 40). Available at: http://www.hoover.org/publications/china-leadership-monitor/article/137921. The article examines the reasons for Xi Jinping’s earlier-than-expected promotion as chairman of the Central Military Commission and profiles the new members, exploring their backgrounds and possible clues to their preferences and outlooks. As a conclusion, Mulvenon notes that “five of the offices chosen for the CMC, like the majority on the new Politburo Standing Committee can only serve one five-year term before reaching mandatory retirement age, suggesting that some of the choices were short-term compromises”.
Xinhua, “China’s Development of Blue-Water Navy a Must: Expert,” People’s Daily, 16 April 2013. Available at: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90786/8210140.html. According to the white paper on China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army Navy needs to accelerate the modernisation of its forces for comprehensive offshore operations in order to protect China’s trade and maritime-based people.
Michael D Swaine, “The 18th Party Congress and Foreign Policy: The Dog that Did Not Bark?” China Leadership Monitor, 14 January 2013 (No. 4). Available at: http://www.hoover.org/publications/china-leadership-monitor/article/137901. Swaine’s essay examines the “foreign policy aspects of both the congress work report and the official membership roster of the new CPC Central Committee, Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee.”
Barry Naughton, “Signalling Change: New Leaders Begin the Search for Economic Reform,” China Leadership Monitor, 14 January 2013 (No. 40). Available at: http://www.hoover.org/publications/china-leadership-monitor/article/137931. “Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang are now the two top leaders in China. Both have moved quickly to break with the Hu-Wen administration and signal their support for dramatic new economic reforms. The structure of the new Politburo Standing Committee appears to support their aspirations. Both Xi and Li have committed to a process that will lead to the creation of a reform program by late 2013.”
William Wan, “China’s Xi Jinping Charts a New PR Course,” The Washington Post, 13 March 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chinas-xi-jinping-charts-a-new-pr-course/2013/03/12/84ca53c2-8743-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394_story.html?hpid=z5. The [public relations] approach reflects a new reality confronting China’s leaders in an age of social media and mobile phones in which they “no longer retain total control over the message. To adapt, experts say, they are trying to shape the news, in addition to often censoring it.”
Banyan, “The Old Regime and the Revolution,” The Economist, 16 March 2013. Available at: http://www.economist.com/news/china/21573546-why-some-think-china-approaching-political-tipping-point-old-regime-and-revolution . The article notes the current trend in Chinese intellectual circles for reading Alexis de Tocqueville’s 1856 book on the French Revolution, The Old Regime and the Revolution. “The argument that most resonates in China is that old regimes fall to revolutions not when they resist change, but when they attempt reform yet dash the raised expectations they have evoked. If de Tocqueville was right, Mr Xi faces an impossible dilemma: to survive, the party needs to reform; but reform itself may be the biggest danger.”
Andrew Jacobs, “China’s Premier Offers Plan Focused on Helping the People,” The New York Times, 17 March 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/world/asia/li-keqiang-chinas-premier-offers-plan-of-economic-and-social-reforms.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. Andrew Jacobs reports that “Li Keqiang, in his first comments as China’s prime minister, laid out a vision on Sunday for a more equitable society in which environmental protection trumps unbridled growth and government officials put the people’s welfare before their own financial interests.”
Associated Press, “China Wraps Up Session to Install New Leadership,” The Washington Post, 17 March 2013. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/china-wraps-up-session-to-install-new-leadership/2013/03/16/aa72cdcc-8ead-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines. The article reports that “China’s new leader Xi Jinping “pledged a cleaner, more efficient government as the country’s ceremonial legislature wrapped up a pivotal session that installed the latest generation of communist leaders in a once-a-decade transfer of power.”
Ian Johnson, “China Releases Plan to Incorporate Farmers Into Cities,” The New York Times, 17 March 2014. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/world/asia/china-releases-plan-to-integrate-farmers-in-cities.html? action=click&contentCollection=Opinion®ion=Footer&module=Recommendation&src=recg&pgtype=Blogs. Chinese authorities announced a sweeping plan to manage the flow of rural residents into cities, promising to promote urbanization but also to solve some of the drastic side effects of this great uprooting.
Stephen Harner, “Japanese Scholar Says Scrap US-Japan Alliance; Recognise US-China Co-Dependency,” Forbes, 6 May 2012. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stephenharner/2012/06/05/japanese-scholar-says-scrap-u-s-japan-alliance-recognize-u-s-china-co-dependency/. The author strongly supports Professor Susumu Yabuki of Yokohama City University, whose main point in book entitled Chimerica – the US-China Collusion and the Way Forward for Japan is that the US cannot afford to and will not under any conceivable circumstances confront China militarily, baring a direct attack on American ‘core interests’”.
Wang Yusheng, “Can China and the US Build a New Relationship,” China-US Focus, 23 January 2013. Available at: http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/can-china-and-the-u-s-build-a-new-relationship/. The author points out that “over the past several decades, China and the U.S. have travelled a path from confrontation to cooperation. “If the US leadership can adapt to the trend of the times, the current ‘uncomfortable interdependence‘ between the two countries will gradually become more comfortable, and march toward a new type of relations between major countries.”
Yomiuri Shimbun, “China to Join US-Led Maritime Drill in 2014,” Asia News Network, 23 March 2013. Available at: http://www.asianewsnet.net/China-to-join-US-led-maritime-drill-in-2014-44418.html. The news service reported that the first-ever invitation seeks to build trust. The Chinese Navy will participate in the US-organised RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) multinational maritime exercise off Hawaii for the first time in 2014.” Membership of the group is included in the article.
Chen Weihua, “Embed Idealism in Constructive Realism of Ties,” China Daily, 24 April 2015. Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2015-04/24/content_20525919.htm. The author comments on Kevin Rudd’s report for the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs: “US-China 21: The Future of US-China Relations Under Xi Jinping,” April 2015. The report is available online at: http://asiasociety.org/uschina21.
Chris Buckley and Jane Perlez, “Xi Jinping of China Arriving in US at Moment of Vulnerability,” The New York Times, 21 September 2015. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/world/asia/chinas-xi-jinping-arriving-in-us-at-a-moment-of-vulnerability.html. “In a speech [in China] last week intended to preview Mr. Xi’s positions on major issues between China and the United States, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, sounded a defiant tone. ‘I wish to reiterate that the Nansha Islands are China’s territory,’ he said, using the Chinese name for the archipelago. ‘These are China’s positions that will not change.’”