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”

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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”

Belt and Road to Where?

by ALEXANDER GABUEV / Op-Ed/ December 08, 2017 / Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific / Posted at Carnegie

On October 24, 2017, the Communist Party of China (CPC) adopted a new version of the Party Constitution. Along with the name of Secretary General Xi Jinping, the constitution now includes the One Belt One Road (OBOR) concept — Xi’s trademark geo-economic concept that is now used to explain almost every move that China makes outside its borders. The “Belt and Road” concept has become so inflated, that it’s no longer helpful in understanding anything about China’s relationship with the outside world, but only further obscures an already complicated picture. Continue reading “Belt and Road to Where?”

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?”

Other nations view China more favorably than the US, survey shows

Jeff Cox