Wandering China

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

Does China have a stealth drone? [Foreign Policy] #RisingChina #Stealth #Hardpower

Rising China, achieving symmetrical hard power and information fidelity.

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Does China have a stealth drone?
Posted By John Reed
Source – Foreign Policy, published Friday, May 10, 2013

20130512-085203.jpg

While Iran’s got a somewhat less than “Epic” new propeller-powered UAV, China might be jumping on the stealth drone bandwagon sooner than you thought.

Extremely blurry photos posted on Internet forums over the past few months may show a Chinese stealth UAV, supposedly called the Lijan or Sharp Sword, along the lines of the U.S. Navy’s X-47B.

Until now, we’ve seen photos of Chinese-made versions of propeller-driven drones that strongly resemble their American counterparts like the MQ-9 Reaper.

Please click here to read the full article at Foreign Policy.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Foreign Policy Blogs, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, military, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, U.S.

The Startling Plight of China’s Leftover Ladies [Foreign Policy]

Foreign Policy ‘The Sex Issue Special Report’: the emerging Sheng Nu (剩女) problem in focus as China’s new socio-economic dynamic and high GDP growth translates to what is translated as ‘Leftover Ladies‘. In some ways, it has some equivalence with the West’s ‘Bridget Jones’ meme.

A survey by the All-China Women’s Federation found in 2010 that ‘more than 90 percent of male respondents agreed that women should marry before age 27 or risk being forever undesired.’

That said, China is a country where ‘118 boys were born for every 100 girls in 2010, and by 2020 the number of men unable to find partners is expected to reach 24 million.’

Does it make sense that there should be any women left over? This report attempts to shed some light.

Further reading for local insights: My Chinese teacher discusses leftover men (Shanghaishiok, November 25, 2010) provides an interesting Venn diagram to explain the phenomenon.

Teacher Li's take on leftover women... and leftover men. Source - Shanghai Shiok, 2012

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The Startling Plight of China’s Leftover Ladies
China’s men far outnumber women. So why is it so hard to find a good husband?
by Christina Larson
Source – Foreign Policy Magazine, MAY/JUNE 2012 edition

Source - Foreign Policy, 2012

The Spicy Love Doctor was running late. A well-heeled crowd one recent Sunday afternoon had packed into the second-floor lounge of Beijing’s Trends Building — home to the publishing offices of several glossy magazines, including the Chinese editions of Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and Harper’s Bazaar — to hear Wu Di, a contributor to China’s Cosmopolitan and author of an alluring new book, I Know Why You’re Left. The poised, professional crowd, outfitted in black blazers, leather boots, and trendy thick-framed glasses, was composed mostly of women in their mid-20s to mid-30s — prime Cosmo readers and all there waiting patiently to hear Wu, who typically charges $160 an hour for “private romance counseling,” explain their surprising plight: being single women in a country with a startling excess of men. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Foreign Policy Blogs, Foreign Policy Magazine, People, Population, Sheng Nu, Social, The Chinese Identity

Is Mike Wallace the reason Chinese leaders don’t give interviews? [Foreign Policy]

Is Lifetime Achievement Emmy awardee Mike Wallace the reason why Chinese leaders do not give interviews? Indeed 4th-generation leader Hu, since taking over as President in 2003 again and again provides only written interview answers to the foreign press and has never granted a free ranging interview. Is this the cause?

Check out the Youtube video below for the interview in question.

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Is Mike Wallace the reason Chinese leaders don’t give interviews?
by Isaac Stone Fish
Source – Foreign Policy Blogs, published April 9, 2012

Hu Jintao, China’s president for the last decade, is the first leader of China since the Empress Dowager Cixi (who died in 1908) to refuse to speak with foreign press. Chiang Kai-Shek gave interviews, Mao Zedong pontificated to Edgar Snow; Deng Xiaoping joked with foreign reporters while expounding on his pragmatic philosophy.  Even Hua Guofeng, Mao’s short-lived successor, chatted with a British journalist. China’s current premier Wen Jiabao has sat down with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria twice for a relatively gentle round of questioning but the top leader, and the other members of China’s ruling council the Politburo Standing Committee, have stayed silent.

More than any other reporter, Mike Wallace, the charmingly aggressive 60 Minutes correspondent who passed away this Saturday at the age of 93, may be the reason for Hu’s reticence. A sit-down with Wallace was rarely a pleasant experience for world leaders — particularly autocrats: he lectured Yassir Arafat on violence, challenged Vladmir Putin on democracy, and suggested to Ayatollah Khomeini that he might be a lunatic and a ‘disgrace to Islam.’ But his 2000 interview with former Chinese President Jiang Zemin may have played a role in convincing Jiang’s successor of the value of keeping his mouth shut.

In contrast to Hu, Jiang was a flashy (for a Chinese leader) former Shanghai Party secretary, who sang karaoke on state visits and recited the Gettysburg address to foreigners. He told Barbara Walters in 1990 that the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre was “much ado about nothing,” and Lally Weymouth in 1998 that “I really don’t know what kind of threat China poses” to India. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Foreign Policy Blogs, Foreign Policy Magazine, Hu Jintao, Mapping Feelings, Media, Politics, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

The myth of Chinese exceptionalism [Foreign Policy]

Foreign Policy magazine: An engaging counter to the ‘peaceful rise’ (now officially communicated as ‘peaceful development’ to counter the semantic implication of the word ‘rise’) and ‘harmonious ascendancy’ message to the world.

Associate Professor Wang Yuan-Kang talks about the 3 myths of Chinese exceptionalism.

His key thrust? A look back at Chinese history indicates a foreign policy sensitivity relative to its power and ability for power projection. Brace for impact? Tao-guang-yang-hui – 韬光养晦 comes to mind. My two cents remain: It’s all in the timing for the Chinese.

That said whilst history provides useful reminders China’s increased responsibility as an international leader of interconnected global production networks suggests that the Chinese need deft soft power strategies to manoeuvre and complement hard power.

Also from Foreign Policy, the article Riding the Dragon: From the Norwegian Coast Guard to Israeli drone technicians, 8 surprising winners of China’s massive military buildup by Trefor Moss is useful to provide a wider framework to understand the effects of China’s perceived hard power.

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The myth of Chinese exceptionalism
Posted By Stephen M. Walt
Source – Foreign Policy, published March 6, 2012

Note: I’ve posted several times on the question of Sino-American relations. Today I feature a guest post by Yuan-kang Wang of Western Michigan University, who offers an interesting analysis of what China’s past behavior might tell us about its future course.

By Yuan-kang Wang:

As a regular visitor who enjoys reading this blog, I thank Steve Walt for the invitation to contribute this guest post on the relationship between Chinese power, culture, and foreign policy behavior.

Steve (and others) have written about American exceptionalism. It won’t surprise you to learn that China has its own brand. Most Chinese people — be they the common man or the political, economic, and academic elite — think of historical China as a shining civilization in the center of All-under-Heaven, radiating a splendid and peace-loving culture. Because Confucianism cherishes harmony and abhors war, this version portrays a China that has not behaved aggressively nor been an expansionist power throughout its 5,000 years of glorious history. Instead, a benevolent, humane Chinese world order is juxtaposed against the malevolent, ruthless power politics in the West.

The current government in Beijing has recruited Chinese exceptionalism into its notion of a “peaceful rise.” One can find numerous examples of this line of thought in official white papers and statements by President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and other officials. The message is clear: China’s unique history, peaceful culture, and defensive mindset ensure a power that will rise peacefully. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Foreign Policy Blogs, Foreign Policy Magazine, Government & Policy, History, Influence, International Relations, military, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

[Opinion] Obama in China: Who’s the Superpower?

Nice opinion piece by the Foreign Policy Association about Obama’s trip to Asia last week. I especially liked the allusion to an 800-pound gorilla!

Qutoable Quotes – “The NYTimes reported this week that the Chinese grilled the president’s budget director, Peter Orszag, on health care reform — not on the public option, not on universal coverage, but on its impact on the budget deficit.  These are the kinds of questions the IMF asks countries with serious fiscal problems.

Obama in China: Who’s the Superpower?
By Roger Scher
Source – Rising Powers – Foreign Policy Blogs by the Foreign Policy Association , 17 November 2009

President Obama did a good job this week in China.  Goodwill is a valuable intangible in politics, and he engendered some on his Asian trip.  Still, the gloss is off the family car — the superpower with hat in hand is an oxymoron.  The spectacle of the United States having to go to Beijing to explain health care reform, the biggest expansion of American entitlement spending in years undertaken in a year when government debt is skyrocketing, reminds one of Jimmy Carter’s infamous “Carter bonds.”  This embarrassing episode in U.S. economic history occurred in 1979, when U.S. government bonds were to be issued in deutchemarks in order to shore up the sagging U.S. dollar.

C’mon, America, you can do better than that!

Instead of having to explain America’s faltering public finances to our Chinese bankers, the administration should be planning a medium-term deficit and debt reduction strategy.  The financial relationship with China echoes too much of the relationship in years past between the IMF and the likes of Argentina and Turkey, Mexico and the Ukraine, periodically having to explain their messy public books.

The NYTimes reported this week that the Chinese grilled the president’s budget director, Peter Orszag, on health care reform — not on the public option, not on universal coverage, but on its impact on the budget deficit.  These are the kinds of questions the IMF asks countries with serious fiscal problems.

President Obama is impressive on the world stage.  He did well in China this week, as he has done giving speeches across the globe.  On Iran, the impressive stance his administration has taken – tough, though measured, and thus far, persistent (see NYTimes article) — is to be praised.  He emphasized this issue with the Chinese this week as well.  But, let us not forget the view of international relations “realists,” that relative power remains the foundation of a country’s security, and in the case of a superpower such as the U.S., the pillars upon which important global institutions rest (the U.N., the IMF, the WTO, the World Bank, NATO, the G-20, etc.).  America should stick to its knitting, by enhancing internal sources of power — a strong economy, sound public finances, a sound currency,  a healthy banking system — as a counterpart to external sources of power — good relations with other great powers, alliances.

It is understandable that the Democrats would undertake an expensive health care reform this year.  They want this legislation.  It has its merits in terms of fairness in our society.  They have the majorities in Congress and control over two branches of government.  If they don’t do it now, they may miss the opportunity, when the Republicans have their inevitable electoral surge.  Witness the losses of two governers’ mansions this month in New Jersey and Virginia, despite the president’s active campaigning.  So, health care reform now is understandable from a political perspective.  It just remains fiscally irresponsible, as government debt moves toward 90% of GDP.

Granted, a fiscal tightening right now would be premature, would take away the only stimulus active in the U.S. economy.  But, a plan, a program, to restore fiscal health — in a word, credibility – would reassure not only America’s foreign investors, but Americans themselves, uneasy over the management of the economy.

This was the 800-pound gorilla in the Forbidden City this week.  Sure, staunching a trade war between the U.S. and China is arguably as important as improving America’s finances.  Sure, working diligently on climate change is probably the issue most critical to our planet in the long run.  And, cooperating on policy toward Iran and North Korea is a very high priority, as is human rights, a cornerstone of America’s mission in the world.  Nevertheless, all of these issues can be advanced more effectively by a United States more in control of its destiny.

Filed under: Foreign Policy Blogs, International Relations, U.S.

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