China’s ‘sea parade’: Honing military skills and striking fear

by Frank Ching/ April 17, 2018 / Manila Times

IN his epic speech at the Communist Party congress last October, XiJinping, party leader and state president, announced the initiation of “a new stage in strengthening and revitalizing the armed forces.” By 2035, he promised, “the modernization of our national defense and our forces is basically completed” and “by the mid-21st century our people’s armed forces have been fully transformed into world-class forces.” Continue reading “China’s ‘sea parade’: Honing military skills and striking fear”

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Xi Jinping’s defence of globalisation and open markets: key takeaways from Chinese leader’s speech to Boao Forum

by Sarah Zheng / April 10, 2018 / SCMP

Chinese President Xi Jinping committed to further opening up China’s markets as he sought to portray the country as a leading defender of globalisation. Continue reading “Xi Jinping’s defence of globalisation and open markets: key takeaways from Chinese leader’s speech to Boao Forum”

Joint Development in the West Philippine Sea: an Idea Whose Time Has Come

By Lucio Blanco Pitlo III/ March 19, 2018 / Originally posted at PACNET

A proposed joint development (JD) in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) between the Philippines and China has revived debates on how best to move forward in the longstanding regional flashpoint. There should be no debate – the Philippines should enter into the JD, even if the partner is a state-owned entity, as long as it can deliver. Most importantly, JD does not necessarily impact adversely the 2016 arbitral ruling and the Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights position on the WPS. The Philippine service contract (SC) system may offer a solution for both countries and can accommodate a JD. This approach to JD can enhance the country’s energy security, create jobs, promote technology and knowledge transfer, and contribute in dispute management. Continue reading “Joint Development in the West Philippine Sea: an Idea Whose Time Has Come”

As U.S. Culls Diplomats, China Is Empowering Its Ambassadors

Bloomberg News / 

While U.S. diplomats endure staff cuts and low morale, China’s own foreign service is undergoing a revival.

The ruling Communist Party has ordered a sweeping overhaul of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at making China a more effective global player, according to four people familiar with the matter. The plan calls for most agencies to stop replacing staff in Chinese embassies by next year, giving ambassadors direct control over their portfolios, said two of the people, who requested anonymity because they’re not authorized to speak to media. Continue reading “As U.S. Culls Diplomats, China Is Empowering Its Ambassadors”

China and a New Type of Global Leadership

by Lucio Blanco Pitlo III /  Originally Posted at China-US Focus / February 8, 2018

“Never forget why you started, and you can accomplish your mission,” President Xi Jinping said during his report to the 19th Communist Party (CPC) Congress last October. This resonates well at a time when China and its external environment are faced with tremendous transition challenges and uncertainties. The success of China’s reform and opening up lends affirmation to its unique syncretic politico-economic model of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Xi confidently repeated that sticking to this line, with a few fundamental tweaks, is in China’s best interest. Strong political will, continuity and efficiency brought about by one-party rule ensure speedy and sustained implementation of long term plans and reforms, although not without detrimental effects to the growth of genuine pluralism and democracy. Continue reading “China and a New Type of Global Leadership”

People’s Daily: China should “grasp historic opportunity”

(Xinhua)  / January 16, 2018

BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) — The People’s Daily, the Communist Party of China (CPC) flagship newspaper, published an article Monday calling for efforts to grasp the historic opportunity facing China. Continue reading “People’s Daily: China should “grasp historic opportunity””

What can we expect in China in 2018?

by Gordon Orr/ December 2017/ McKinsey

The nation could be shaped by geopolitics, momentum from robust economic growth, and a host of new leaders eager to implement new policy.

With so many new leaders put in position over the last six months by President Xi, an overall leader secure in his position and clear on his objectives, 2018 is likely to see much more activity to implement policies, economic and social, that move China in the direction that Xi wants. We may need to worry more about overenthusiastic implementation of policy than the inaction we have often seen in 2017. Continue reading “What can we expect in China in 2018?”

Will the real China please stand up? A Southeast Asian perspective on China’s growing power and influence

by Aileen S.P. Baviera / (This article originally appeared in Japanese translation in Gaiko (Diplomacy), Vol 46, Nov./Dec. 2017, pp. 43-49) / English version from APPFI

The first five years of Xi Jinping’s rule saw major changes in Chinese policy that have affected its relations with Southeast Asia. With a slowing economy in need of difficult restructuring, a global financial crisis threatening China’s markets and sources of investments, the Communist Party facing issues of legitimacy amidst rampant corruption, and serious environmental problems threatening growth and people’s welfare, Xi set out on a direction that was rather unexpected. He began to assert strong central authority domestically; waged a sustained anti-corruption campaign (that also masked a purge of political rivals); took steps to raise China’s economic, political and military profile abroad; and began to contest some rules of the international order which China had been dissatisfied with. Xi abandoned Deng Xiaoping’s exhortation – obeyed by his predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao – that China keep to strategic patience, remain low-key, and “bide its time and hide its capacities” (taoguang yanghui韬光养晦 ). Continue reading “Will the real China please stand up? A Southeast Asian perspective on China’s growing power and influence”