Wandering China

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

Greater US-China ties can cut both ways [Straits Times]

A greater engagement between the two countries is helpful, but it is a double-edged sword. Certainly, better understanding between leaders reduces the risk of greater distrust. But it could also expect China to deliver more than it is ready to do. And, not least, as the engagement is strengthened, expectations of each other will increase. Historian Wang Gungwu for the Straits Times.

Interesting times indeed. The Xi-Obama summit sees engagement thrown into the US-China mix while both sides build up respective pivots to contain each other – strategic proxy pieces unveiling in this year alone.

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Greater US-China ties can cut both ways
By Wang Gungwu For The Straits Times
Source – Straits Times, published June 10, 2013

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There is rising alarm at the new capacity of the Chinese to buy their way to influence and potential dominance. That was the way many saw the US not long ago. China is now likely to be seen in the same light. — PHOTO: AP

LAST week’s meeting in California between the presidents of China and the United States won the world’s attention. It was convenient for Mr Xi Jinping to stop by after Mexico and it was significant that the meeting was held on American soil. The chance for the two men to get to know each other better is clearly significant for the two countries’ future relationship. The fact that the two have different interests, however, cannot be wished away.

It has been easy for the popular media in each country to portray the other by highlighting what its peoples expect to hear. For example, many Chinese see America as weakening: its liberal capitalist economy is failing, President Barack Obama and his political opponents are fatally divided, and the military planners are determined to contain China in order for America to remain forever dominant in Asia.

At its core, US national interest leads its leaders to think in Cold War terms. Hence the system of alliances from that period is being kept to ensure that ultimately the communist system in China will collapse as it did in the Soviet Union two decades earlier. Most Chinese believe that this factor explains much of what the US is doing in Asia today.

Please click here to read the full article at the Straits Times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Tourism, Trade, U.S.

China is not the world’s other superpower [Washington Post] #RisingChina #SinoUS

Fareed Zakaria poses challenge to China to stand up and be counted as a superpower in global terms.

There are many loopholes in this assumption China does the world and its partners no good.

However if that is the impression opinion leader Fareed Zakaria forms his thoughts with, then China really ought to think about working on a more impactful positive image of themselves; one based on fact and not western narrative alone.

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China is not the world’s other superpower
By Fareed Zakaria
Source – Washington Post, published June 6, 2013

In February 1972, Richard Nixon went to China and restored Sino-U.S. relations that had been broken for 23 years. During that visit, Nixon held a series of critical meetings with China’s premier, Zhou Enlai, and they discussed the broad strategic framework that would guide bilateral relations. President Obama’s meetings with President Xi Jinping this weekend have the potential to be a similarly historic summit — but with an important caveat.

China has always played a weak hand brilliantly. When Mao Zedong and Zhou met with Nixon and Henry Kissinger, China was in the midst of economic, political and cultural chaos. Its per capita gross domestic product had fallen below that of Uganda and Sierra Leone. Yet Beijing negotiated as if from commanding heights. Today, it has tremendous assets — but it is not the world’s other superpower, and we should not treat it as such.

The United States has been accused of having a confused, contradictory foreign policy, as each administration reverses its predecessor. This is often a mischaracterization, never more so than with China policy. Since Nixon and Kissinger opened the door, U.S. foreign policy toward China has been remarkably consistent over 40 years and eight presidents. Washington has sought to integrate China into the world, economically and politically. This policy has been good for the United States, good for the world and extremely good for China.

Please click here to read the full article at the Washington Post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economics, Finance, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S., Washington Post

China solar panel duties imposed by EU [BBC] #RisingChina #Solar #TradeWar

A free market on whose terms – is this really a fruitful solution or does it simply carve out more finely the edges to the us and them narrative.

This kills off a Chinese pet project in one flex of foreign and economic policy, one the Chinese state has been happy to fund and use as the spear tip in their economic incursions abroad.

They thought wrong about what the world wanted.

In their minds, value and efficiency were probably paramount, thinning margins no barrier to demands from markets in the West. Famously, only one dollar goes out if every Levi’s jeans made goes to the worker, and little more to the factory.

The authors of the free market are not prepared to truly shake its center and make it competitive globally. it seems demarcation by regionalism is the new cool in the semantic range of what free means. Of course it pleases business as it restores margins designed to feed an expected and established standard of living.

The Chinese now know there is divergence in consensus across the notion of global village, despite economic interdependence as a big player in global production networks – – – what free market means to them is little more than subtext to hypocrisy now. Despite bailing out Europe more than once and financing growth by sheer Chinese demand in so many areas, this is their reply.

In one act of posturing, the West gains an upper hand as it nips away at the supply carts of the Chinese green technology vanguard.

One thing is for sure as to what the Chinese will not do. Especially in this day and age.

They will react.

But, it is easy to hide intent behind words. Some taunting outside the walls of the foe’s gates will probably suffice now.

For more, see…

The US and the EU are clearly redefining their economic strategy, trying to defend their energy companies from Chinese competition. But some European partners seem uncertain what to do.

Germany won’t accept losing significant trade with China, and even Washington’s closest European ally, Britain, is worried about the consequences of these possible measures against China.

The EU Commission doesn’t seem to be really interested in the first two aims of renewable sources, environmental protection and energy diversification, but just willing to boycott Chinese production through an alliance with US. All these point to an old question: Is the “free market” really free?

Sino-EU solar trade war is lose-lose choice By Andrea Fais
Global Times OP-ED , June 4, 2013

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China solar panel duties imposed by EU
Andrew Walker
Source – BBC, published 4 June 2013

Analysis

BBC World Service Economics correspondent
How likely is a trade war? China is certainly angry about the tariffs and there is a lot of trade at stake – 21bn euros worth in 2011, according to the European Commission. But anti-dumping actions are an everyday feature of the global trade landscape. There has been an average of more than 200 a year. They are perfectly legal under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, provided they follow the WTO’s procedures. Indeed China is a fairly big user of anti-dumping actions itself. The European Commission’s plan to start the anti-dumping duty tariff relatively low, and then increase it later, looks like a negotiating tactic. If the Chinese firms were prepared to undertake to charge a sufficiently higher price, the Commission could accept that. The duties are provisional at this stage and they could be removed if the EU countries decide to do so in December. That is a possibility. So the heat is on now, but there are still opportunities to extinguish the trade fires.

Andrew Walker

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The anti-dumping case is the biggest undertaken by the European Commission

The European Commission has announced it is imposing temporary anti-dumping levies on Chinese solar panel imports.

It comes despite opposition from Germany and other European Union members, and amid fears it could spark a trade war.

Please click here to read the full article at the BBC website.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Europe, European Union, Finance, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, Green China, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Law, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Solar, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Is Kim Jong Un in control? [CNN GPS] #ChinaNorthKoreaUS

Combined the US and China could put a quick end to this latest run of gun blazing in the Korean Peninsula. The longer these world leaders dally divided, the more room for North Korea to miscalculate.

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Is Kim Jong Un in control?
By Jason Miks
Source – CNN GPS, 5 April, 2013

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South Korean media has reported today that two medium-range missiles have been loaded onto mobile launchers along North Korea’s east coast, and that they are ready to be launched. The report comes at the end of another tense weak on the Korean Peninsula that has seen an announcement by the U.S. that it is sending missile defenses to Guam and a North Korean statement that its army has final approval for nuclear strikes against the United States.

In a Situation Room special, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer spoke with Fareed Zakaria to get his take on North Korea’s rhetoric, how serious the latest threats are, and China’s potential role in easing tensions.

Is it time to send some sort of diplomatic envoy to Pyongyang on behalf of the president of the United States?

Well, the Bush administration actually did try diplomacy. They signed two agreements with the North Koreans. Plenty of people did. The problem is that they cheat on them. They’ve cheated on every one of these.

There’s only one country with whom diplomacy would work with North Korea, and that’s China. The Chinese make up by some estimates 50 percent of North Korea’s food, and about 80 percent of its fuel. There are people in China who literally opened the taps and allowed North Korea to survive.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, CNN, Communications, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Influence, International Relations, Media, military, New Leadership, North Korea, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

[Australia FM] Carr takes aim at N Korea [The Age] #China #NorthKorea

It looks like Australia is going to leverage on North Korea’s latest incarnation of war rhetoric to flex some middle power muscle during its visit to suss out the new Chinese leadership.

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Carr takes aim at N Korea
David Wroe, Defence correspondent for The Age
Source – The Age, published April 2, 2013

Australia will urge China to clamp down on the flow of technology and equipment crossing its borders into North Korea, which could be used by the rogue nation in its nuclear weapons program.

This week Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr will try to persuade his Chinese counterpart, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, to tighten the enforcement of sanctions backed by the United Nations aimed at forcing the hermit state to abandon its goal of becoming a fully fledged nuclear power.

Amid growing fears that the nation’s increasingly aggressive stance towards its southern neighbour could spiral out of control, Senator Carr will raise the issue during a visit of an Australian delegation to China this week led by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Communications, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, military, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, New Leadership, North Korea, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Xi maps out Africa blueprint [Global Times] #ChinaAfrica

This second step of President Xi Jinping’s journey is also crucial. A display on how China treats its friends. Will the Beijing Consensus click smoothly into gear? China cares deeply for a prolonged stable environment for growth. Soothing the still volatile region will demonstrate a model capable of rejuvenating other nations.

The Julius Nyerere International Convention Center is a recipient of China Aid. Completed in September 2012, it is the latest of a growing network of African countries that carried the symbol of Chinese government loans.

China’s desire to be friendly with Africa are manifold. Africa extends China’s reach greatly. From the strategic to economic, the list is long.

Can China do what the West could not do? Harmonize the continent.

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Xi maps out Africa blueprint
By Yang Jingjie
Source – Global Times, published March 26, 2013

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) delivers a speech at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 25, 2013. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping Monday vowed to strengthen Sino-African ties and continue providing no-strings-attached aid to the African continent, during a state visit to Tanzania, the second leg of the leader’s first overseas trip.

The thoughts on Sino-African relations laid out in Xi’s speech have been interpreted as a blueprint for China’s Africa policies in the coming decade, as the country has just completed its leadership transition.

Addressing audiences at a new conference hall in Dar es Salaam built by China, the president reviewed the friendly foundations of Sino-African ties over the past six decades, and called the two sides “a community of shared destiny.”

Please click here to read article at its source.

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Filed under: Africa, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Finance, Foreign aid, global times, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, Trade

China’s ‘String of Pearls’ – Real or Fake? #Forbes #China #India #Pakistan

China’s ‘String of Pearls’ not a figment of journalists’ imaginations: Maha Atal on seeing the economic forest for the trees.

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China’s ‘String of Pearls’ – Real or Fake?
by Maha Atal
Source – Forbes, published February 2, 2013

Dan Drezner has a blog post up arguing that China‘s ‘string of pearls’ is a figment of journalists’ imaginations. The ‘string of pearls’ is the name given to China’s strategic investments in South and Southeast Asia, which, when plotted on a map, look awfully like a string of pearls encircling IndiaPakistan is critical to this strategy, both because of its size and its location. Drezner is right to suggest that without the Sino-Pakistani link, the string of pearls theory doesn’t hold.

I’ve written about the string of pearls, and specifically about its Pakistani component, several times, for Forbes and other outlets, and I confess I’m not fully persuaded by Drezner’s critique.

1. Drezner depicts the Sino-Pakistani relationship as something that has arisen in response to the U.S. presence in the region and China’s growth:

Please click here to read the rest of article at its source. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Forbes, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, India, Influence, International Relations, military, Pakistan, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity

China backs Egypt mediation #China [Global Times]

Global Times: The Chinese are concerned about the Gaza Strip. With new helmsmen, how will China see its independent foreign policy of peace and non-intervention unfold?

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China backs Egypt mediation
by Hao Zhou
Source – Global Times, published November 22, 2012

Israeli police gather after a blast ripped through a bus near the defense ministry in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. At least 21 people were injured, in what an official said was “a terrorist attack.” Text – Global Times, Photo: AFP, 2012

China supports mediation efforts made by Egypt and other Arab nations as well as the League of Arab States (LAS) to ease the current tensions in Gaza, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday.

“China is paying great attention to the situation in the Gaza Strip,” Hua told reporters.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr over the phone about the situation there, expressing China’s support for Egypt and other Arab states as well as the LAS, she said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Africa, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Disaster, Egypt, Foreign aid, global times, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, Peacekeeping, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , , ,

Stephen Chan: China appreciates African aspirations in a way the West does not [IQ2 debates]

Intelligence Squared, London: Debating China’s interests, behaviour and role in Africa.

Certainly worth an hour of time to hear two sides slug out in an exchange of rhetoric, numbers, case studies, some revealing of the deep impact mainstream media has in shaping ideologies, not grounded in cross-referenced information nor primary research.

Here is a clip of Stephen Chan, OBE is a member of the Chinese diaspora and Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, questioning the trapdoor of colonial thinking.

On a side note – I disagree with the motion’s description, though possibly provocative by design – We all know that the Chinese are the neo-colonialists of Africa. (see rest of it below), as this is one of the most clumsy, self-assertive statements possible one can make in critical thinking.

For more – check out this review of the debate by Hidden Harmonies.

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Stephen Chan: China appreciates African aspirations in a way the West does not – IQ2 debates

If you look on the world map, Europe and America are far more important to the Chinese future, than Africa is. Africa is important as it will help fuel the Chinese coming of age. But it is not the absolute key end result of Chinese global foreign policy. But what is going on, is a global contest of who is going to be in control of global capitalism ten, twenty years in the future…. Stephen Chan

Stephen Chan was speaking against the motion “Beware of the dragon: Africa should not look to China” at this IQ2 debate at Cadogan Hall in London on 28th November 2011.

Event info:

We all know that the Chinese are the neo-colonialists of Africa. They’ve plundered the continent of its natural resources, tossing aside any concern for human rights and doing deals with some of the world’s most unsavoury regimes. The relentless pursuit of growth is China’s only spur.

But is this picture really fair? In Angola, for example, China’s low-interest loans have been tied to a scheme that has ensured that roads, schools and other infrastructure has been built. China has an impressive track record of lifting its own millions out of poverty and can do the same for Africa. And is the West’s record in Africa as glowing as we like to think? After decades of pouring aid into Africa, how much have we actually achieved in terms of reducing poverty, corruption and war? So which way should Africa look for salvation — to the West, to China, or perhaps to its own people? Come to the debate and decide for yourself. Source – IQ2/Youtube, 2012

Filed under: Africa, Ai Weiwei, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , , ,

[North-Korea] Dealing with comrades [Global Times]

The China-North Korea Friendship Bridge, first constructed by the Japanese between 1937 and 1943 has seen trade traffic increase from 50 to 500 trucks in a decade.

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Dealing with comrades
by Feng Shu
Source – Global Times, published August 29, 2012

The China-North Korea Friendship Bridge crosses the Yalu River, linking Dandong, Northeast China’s Liaoning Province, and North Korea’s second largest city, Sinuiju. Nearly 80 percent of all bilateral trade goes through Dandong. Photo: CFP

As the only entry point into the North Korean Rason free-trade zone, the 560-meter-long bridge linking Quanhe port, Hunchun in Jilin Province, to the port of Won Jing Ri in North Korea is packed every day.

From North Korea, many trucks fully loaded with seafood, clothes and minerals drive into China while traders take food, oil and other daily necessities the other way to meet Korean needs.

“This country is more open to China today. Ten years ago, only around 50 trucks were allowed to go across the border a day. Ten times more cross daily now,” said Ji Huiqin, chairman of Yunda Knitwear Clothing Co., who started to do business in Rason in 2004. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Communications, Domestic Growth, Economics, Foreign aid, global times, Influence, International Relations, North Korea, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Trade, , , , ,

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