US can no longer compel China to do its bidding

by David M Lampton/  10 December 2017/ Financial Review

On entering office, US President Donald Trump put several contentious issues with China on the backburner in the hope of achieving his primary goal — North Korea’s denuclearisation. When that failed, the  frontburner of US–China relations became crowded with previously repressed issues.

Several of these — US freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, talk of steel and aluminium tariffs, weapons sales to Taiwan, threats to tighten technology and investment flows as well as secondary sanctions on Chinese entities — threaten to become serious problems if not managed in a more careful manner than the Trump administration is currently demonstrating.

Continue reading “US can no longer compel China to do its bidding”

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How is China bolstering its military diplomatic relations?

by ChinaPower/CSIS

Military diplomacy can be broadly defined as a set of non-combat activities carried out by a country’s armed forces to advance its national diplomatic interests. Military diplomatic activities often take the form of joint military exercises, high-level military dialogues, and naval port calls. In the case of China, its ongoing military modernization has enhanced the frequency and complexity of these activities. In general, military diplomatic activities provide China with opportunities to improve its global image and support its broader diplomatic agenda, while simultaneously enhancing its military operational capabilities. Continue reading “How is China bolstering its military diplomatic relations?”

China shuts down tens of thousands of factories in crackdown on pollution

Staff writers, AFP / OCTOBER 25, 2017

CHINA has shut down tens of thousands of its factories in an unprecedented crackdown on pollution.

Across the country, whole industrial regions are being temporarily closed as environmental inspectors do their work and blues skies return. Continue reading “China shuts down tens of thousands of factories in crackdown on pollution”

China threatens U.S. Congress for crossing its ‘red line’ on Taiwan

 / October 12, 2017/ The Washington Post

In a rare pressure campaign, the Chinese government is demanding that the U.S. Congress back off passing new laws that would strengthen the U.S. relationship with Taiwan. Beijing’s efforts are the latest sign that it is stepping up its campaign to exert political influence inside countries around the world, including the United States. Continue reading “China threatens U.S. Congress for crossing its ‘red line’ on Taiwan”

Why are so Many Hongkongers Moving to Taiwan?

By Nick Westra / 1 October 2017 / SCMP

The cha chaan teng (tea cafes) started by Michael Lee in 1999 could be carbon copies of those that punctuate street corners in North Point and Mong Kok. Staple foods like century egg and pork congee, pan-fried radish cakes and French toast with thick slabs of butter are dished out around the clock to customers in Art Deco seating areas adorned with posters dripping with nostalgia for Hong Kong, the city after which the chain is named. But one thing is out of place: the cafes are 800km away, in Taipei. Continue reading “Why are so Many Hongkongers Moving to Taiwan?”

Indonesia & China: The Sea Between

by Philip Bowring / Sept 13, 2017 / NYR Daily

Indonesia has long been cautious in confronting China’s claims in the South China Sea, so its announcement on July 14 that it was renaming a part of the area the “North Natuna Sea” may have come to many as surprise. The new name encompasses a region north of the Natuna islands that partly falls within the infamous “nine dash line,” by which China claims the sea stretching fifteen hundred miles from its mainland coast almost to the shores of Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia. China immediately demanded a retraction—which it will not get. Continue reading “Indonesia & China: The Sea Between”

As World Watches Kim, China Quietly Builds South China Sea Clout

By Jason Koutsoukis and Dan Murtaugh / September 6, 2017 / Bloomberg

As Kim Jong Un’s antics in North Korea capture global attention, China is quietly moving to bolster its grip on disputed territory in the South China Sea. Continue reading “As World Watches Kim, China Quietly Builds South China Sea Clout”

Explainer: what will China’s national anthem law mean for Hong Kong?

by Jeffie Lam / August 30, 2017/ SCMP

Hong Kong made headlines after hundreds of its soccer fans booed during the Chinese national anthem ahead of a World Cup qualifier between the city’s representative team and China in 2015.

Back then, the local soccer governing body was fined by international football authorities over the jeering. But such acts could soon become punishable by law in Hong Kong under proposed national anthem legislation currently making its way through the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature. Continue reading “Explainer: what will China’s national anthem law mean for Hong Kong?”