Australia’s iron(ic) curtain hurting China ties

Gregory McCarthy, PKU/ EAF/ 20 February 2018

2017 was earmarked to celebrate 45 years of Australian–Chinese diplomatic relations. Instead, Australia alleged that China interfered in its national affairs and the China Daily reported that an on-line poll had voted Australia as the ‘least friendly nation to China in 2017’. Likewise, a Global Times editorial accused Australia of McCarthyism and said that Australia had gone insane regarding the issue of China. Continue reading “Australia’s iron(ic) curtain hurting China ties”

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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”

ASEAN ‘concern’ resurfaces over contested waters with China

by TAKASHI NAKANO/ Nikkei Asian Review/ 7 February 2018

SINGAPORE — The situation in the South China Sea, where China has moved aggressively amid conflicting territorial claims, was highlighted as a source of concern in an ASEAN foreign ministers’ statement released Tuesday, with Singapore taking a more balanced approach as this year’s chair than the Philippines did in 2017. Continue reading “ASEAN ‘concern’ resurfaces over contested waters with China”

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”

N. Korean restaurants in China face closure soon

by Yonhap/ January 6, 2018/ The Korean Herald

SHENYANG, China — A large number of North Korean restaurants operating in China are expected to close soon, as the Jan. 9 deadline imposed by Beijing in accordance with the United Nations sanctions nears, sources in China said Saturday. Continue reading “N. Korean restaurants in China face closure soon”

DPRK and Terrorism: Key Regional Security Challenges

by Lucio B. Pitlo III/ January 9, 2018 / Originally Posted at China-US Focus

Concern over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and combating terrorism and extremism constitute two of the key security issues discussed in the recently concluded 31st ASEAN and Related Summits held last November in Manila. Confidence building, diplomatic engagement between key claimants and sustained negotiations for a regional Code of Conduct have soothed tensions in the South China Sea, while recent developments have brought the DPRK’s nuclear and missile tests and terrorism to the forefront. Leaders from Southeast Asia and the major powers, the U.S., China, Japan, Russia, and India, met amidst an intensifying war of words between the U.S. and the DPRK and amidst the retreat of international terrorism, with militants in Iraq (Mosul), Syria (Raqqa) and the Philippines (Marawi) being routed. Continue reading “DPRK and Terrorism: Key Regional Security Challenges”

Making China Great Again

By Evan Osnos / January 8, 2018/ The New Yorker

When the Chinese action movie “Wolf Warrior II” arrived in theatres, in July, it looked like a standard shoot-’em-up, with a lonesome hero and frequent explosions. Within two weeks, however, “Wolf Warrior II” had become the highest-grossing Chinese movie of all time. Some crowds gave it standing ovations; others sang the national anthem. In October, China selected it as its official entry in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Continue reading “Making China Great Again”

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”