Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Wikileaks cables reveal China ‘ready to abandon North Korea’ [Guardian]

Wikileaks manages to shed some light on the contingency plans in case the two Koreas situation gets out of hand. An unstable Korea will surely disrupt East Asian stability, and that in turn will affect the intertwining global production networks. What can be deduced from this report is that China does not necessarily side with North Korea, their commitment is not to a faction, but to regional stability.

China’s objectives were “to ensure they [North Korean leaders] honour their commitments on non-proliferation, maintain stability, and ‘don’t drive [Kim Jong-il] mad’.”

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Wikileaks cables reveal China ‘ready to abandon North Korea’
Leaked dispatches show Beijing is frustrated with military actions of ‘spoiled child’ and increasingly favours reunified Korea
by Simon Tisdall
Source – Guardian, published November 29, 2010

South Korean war veterans protest after North Korea attacked Yeonpyeong Island. The WikiLeaks cables reveal Beijing believes such actions are those of a ‘spoiled child’. Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

China has signalled its readiness to accept Korean reunification and is privately distancing itself from the North Korean regime, according to leaked US embassy cables that reveal senior Beijing figures regard their official ally as a “spoiled child”.

News of the Chinese shift comes at a crucial juncture after the North’s artillery bombardment of a South Korean island last week that killed four people and led both sides to threaten war. China has refused to condemn the North Korean action. But today Beijing appeared to bow to US pressure to help bring about a diplomatic solution, calling for “emergency consultations” and inviting a senior North Korean official to Beijing.

China is sharply critical of US pressure tactics towards North Korea and wants a resumption of the six-party nuclear disarmament talks. But the Guardian can reveal Beijing’s frustration with Pyongyang has grown since its missile and nuclear tests last year, worries about the economic impact of regional instability, and fears that the death of the dictator, Kim Jong-il, could spark a succession struggle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Guardian, Influence, International Relations, North Korea, Politics, Public Diplomacy, South Korea, Wikileaks

China resumes rare earth exports to Japan [BBC]

21st century China showing it is ready to flex its muscle from time to time.

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China resumes rare earth exports to Japan
Source – BBC, published November 24, 2010

Japan’s trade minister says he expects China’s rare earth exports to return to normal. Photo – BBC

China has begun exporting rare earths to Japan after a two-month suspension due to a territorial row.

Japan’s trade minister confirmed that shipments of the minerals, vital for making a number of hi-tech products, started this week.

The halt in rare earth exports came after Japan’s navy arrested a Chinese fishing boat captain near disputed East China Sea islands. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Diaoyu Fishing Boat Incident 2010, Economics, Influence, International Relations, japan, Politics, Soft Power

War games start, China proposes meeting [Straits Times]

War games start, China proposes meeting
ASSOCIATED PRESS, REUTERS, XINHUA
Source – Straits Times, published November 29, 2010

YEONPYEONG ISLAND (SOUTH KOREA): China tried yesterday to defuse tension over a recent North Korean attack on South Korea by proposing an emergency meeting in Beijing, just hours after the United States and South Korea launched naval war games in a united show of force.

Beijing’s top nuclear envoy called for the meeting among the six nations involved in the stalled North Korean nuclear disarmament talks to calm tempers over the North’s artillery barrage last Tuesday that killed four people on the South’s Yeonpyeong Island.

Nuclear envoy Wu Dawei said in a statement issued in Beijing that the international community, particularly members of the six-party talks – the two Koreas, Japan, the US, China and Russia – were deeply concerned about recent developments. He called for an emergency meeting of chief nuclear negotiators in China early next month. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, International Relations, military, North Korea, Politics, South Korea, Straits Times

China builds 15-story hotel in Changsha, China in 6 days建楼神速,中国6天造15层宾馆 [Youtube]

Filed under: Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Video

The real winners in Guangzhou: Brand China [Straits Times]

China’s charm offensive reaches new heights – a display of internal power with the Asian Games functioning as a global ‘name card of China’ for Asia.

Brand China had a virtual monopoly of the event’s sponsorship, giving the world a clear view of its growing economic prowess… Domestic companies made up 88 per cent of the Games’ sponsors and suppliers, even higher than the 59 per cent they achieved at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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The real winners in Guangzhou: Brand China
By Peh Shing Huei, China Bureau Chief
Source – Straits Times, published November 28, 2010

Beijing – China’s dominance at the Guangzhou Asian Games has been overwhelming, and not just in its haul of gold medals. While its athletes have been breaking records in the field, the country’s commercial brands have been wiping the floor with their advertisements and endorsements.

Brand China had a virtual monopoly of the event’s sponsorship, giving the world a clear view of its growing economic prowess.

Domestic companies made up 88 per cent of the Games’ sponsors and suppliers, even higher than the 59 per cent they achieved at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Asian Games 2010 - Guangzhou, Asian Games Guangzhou 2010, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Media, Nationalism, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Sport, Straits Times

China: Richer but not much healthier [New York Times/Straits Times]

The moral? Economic growth makes almost any societal problem easier to solve, but growth doesn’t guarantee better lives – or better health – for everyone. That’s been true for centuries. Both the rate of growth and the kind of growth matter.

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China: Richer but not much healthier
By David Leonhardt
Source – Straits Times, published November 26, 2010

A QUICK quiz: Which of the following countries has had the smallest increase in life expectancy since 1990: Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, South Korea or Sudan?

The answer is not war-torn Sudan or tumultuous Pakistan. It isn’t South Korea, which started from a higher level than any of the others. And it isn’t abjectly poor Bangladesh.

It’s China, the great economic success story of the last two decades and the country that inspires fear and envy around the world. Yet when measured on one of most important yardsticks of all, China does not look so impressive. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Environment, Green China, Health, International Relations, Lifestyle, People, Politics, Social, Straits Times

China walking an image tightrope [Straits Times]

China walking an image tightrope
By William Choong, Senior Writer
Source – Straits Times, published November 26, 2010

Source - Straits Times

ONE gets the sense that times are a-changing when analysts at Chinese think-tanks are pressed into service as quasi-diplomats to explain Beijing’s behaviour.

At a recent Asian security seminar, some Chinese academics aired a complaint. Their counterparts from other countries had repeatedly called on them to explain the rationale behind China’s assertive behaviour. One of them, a professor from a top Chinese university, even added that China had been singularly ‘targeted’ by foreign observers.

In response, an Australian academic spoke for the grouping of American, British, Singaporean and Japanese participants: ‘I am not trying to pick on China. But I am still concerned about these matters and I want explanations that I don’t find forthcoming,’ he said. (Under Chatham House rules, they cannot be named). Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Influence, International Relations, Media, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Straits Times

Chinese Premier meets with Russian president, vowing to strengthen ties [Xinhua]

Medvedev said Russia backs an early reopening of the talks and is ready to maintain communications and coordinate positions with China within bilateral and multilateral frameworks to keep peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

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Chinese Premier meets with Russian president, vowing to strengthen ties
Source – Xinhua, published November 24, 2010

 

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) shakes hands with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during their meeting in Moscow, capital of Russia, Nov. 24, 2010. Photo - Xinhua/Ju Peng

MOSCOW, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev here Wednesday, exchanging views on major international and regional issues of common concern and agreeing to further strengthen bilateral ties.

The China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination has a solid foundation, featuring rich contents, extensive influence and huge potential, Wen said, adding it has become a strategic support for the two countries’ respective development and served as an important guarantee for world peace and stability.

Developing ties with Russia is a priority of China’s foreign policies, he said, adding China is ready to constantly increase mutual political trust and support, deepen pragmatic cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges with Russia, and promote the long-term, sound and steady development of its strategic partnership of coordination with Russia. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, International Relations, Politics, Russia, Strategy, xinhua

Korea tensions soar as deadly attack launched [The Age]

‘Zhang Liangui, a North Korea expert at Beijing’s Central Party School, told The Age that Kim Jong-un, 26-year-old son of dictator Kim Jong-il and his anointed successor, was deliberately destabilising his environment to mobilise the military and consolidate his power. There have been previous skirmishes along the border but the stakes are getting higher.’ The US have stated they will stand firmly by South Korea, whilst China, North Korea’s only ally, is urging peace. Could it be that North Korea’s new regime pays little heed to China’s desire for a stable region?

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Korea tensions soar as deadly attack launched
John Garnaut, Beijing
Source – The Age, published November 24, 2010

Smoke billows from Yeonpyeong island near the border with North Korea. Photo: AP

NORTH Korea’s young dictator-in-waiting has burnished his leadership credentials by launching a deadly artillery raid on South Korean territory, causing Seoul to scramble F16 jet fighters and return fire.

Two South Korean marines were killed and at least 15 people were wounded as shells rained down on Yeonpyeong island, off the north-west coast of South Korea.

Hundreds of terrified residents huddled in bunkers or fled by boat as buildings and trees went up in flames and smoke billowed above the island. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Influence, International Relations, military, North Korea, Politics, Sinking of South Korean Warship Cheonan 2010, South Korea, The Age

Why China and US don’t see eye to eye [Straits Times]

Why China and US don’t see eye to eye
By Loh Su Hsing , FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Source – Straits Times, published November 22, 2010

To China, trust among countries needs to be earned. During the Asian financial crisis, it decided not to devalue its yuan to undercut its Asian neighbours. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

IN RECENT weeks, the issues of currency revaluation, trade, territorial disputes in Asia and rare earth metals have resulted in a spate of reports on the tension between China and the United States.

The more fundamental question of why they don’t get along bears closer examination. Some attribute the tension between the giants to the impending power transition, but there are also deep-seated ideological differences.

This is not as simplistic as Capitalism versus Marxism and Democracy versus Communism. It is apparent to any observer that China is Marxist in name but capitalist in form; and the two countries are closer on this front than is widely believed. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Influence, International Relations, Politics, Soft Power, Straits Times, U.S.

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