Wandering China

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

What China and Russia Don’t Get About Soft Power [Foreign Policy] #RisingChina #Softpower

Joseph Nye who coined the term soft power critiques China and Russia’s yielding of it.

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What China and Russia Don’t Get About Soft Power
Beijing and Moscow are trying their hands at attraction, and failing — miserably.
By Joseph Nye
Source – Foreign Policy, published April 29, 2013

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Photo- FP

When Foreign Policy first published my essay “Soft Power” in 1990, who would have expected that someday the term would be used by the likes of Hu Jintao or Vladimir Putin? Yet Hu told the Chinese Communist Party in 2007 that China needed to increase its soft power, and Putin recently urged Russian diplomats to apply soft power more extensively. Neither leader, however, seems to have understood how to accomplish his goals.

Power is the ability to affect others to get the outcomes one wants, and that can be accomplished in three main ways — by coercion, payment, or attraction. If you can add the soft power of attraction to your toolkit, you can economize on carrots and sticks. For a rising power like China whose growing economic and military might frightens its neighbors into counter-balancing coalitions, a smart strategy includes soft power to make China look less frightening and the balancing coalitions less effective. For a declining power like Russia (or Britain before it), a residual soft power helps to cushion the fall.

The soft power of a country rests primarily on three resources: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority). But combining these resources is not always easy.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Foreign Policy Magazine, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Russia, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

China again at the crossroads [The Age] #China #NewLeadership #XiJinPing

Xi Jinping follows Hu Jintao’s footsteps in a great display the Chinese continue to prioritize ties with their northern neighbours. Treating Russia with respect helps ensure the >;;3500 km Sino-Russia border is free of concern. Though fundamental that is now only the tip of the iceberg.

It has certainly provoked a response with Xi Jinping splashed with a rather dodgy title on the cover of Time magazine.

Here is an Australian perspective on the symbolism of China’s looking to Moscow.

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China again at the crossroads
Xi Jinping will make his first presidential visit to Russia. But who will view it most favourably: conservatives or free marketeers?
By John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published March 14, 2013

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Illustration by Time Magazine, 2013

When Deng Xiaoping was rising to power Time magazine made him ”Man of the Year” for 1978 ”because of the tremendous enterprise he has launched to propel the nation into the modern world”.

But when Xi Jinping landed on the cover of Time at an equivalent point in his ascendancy, in October 2012, they drenched him in an eerie red, looking more like Satan than a hero, under a headline: The Next Leader of the Unfree World.

In January 1979 Deng defined the direction of the country by heading to the US where he donned a cowboy hat, symbolically steering his country away from the Soviet Union and towards the markets of the West.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Europe, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Russia, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Xi Jinping

New Leader of China Plans a Visit to Moscow [New York Times] #China #XiJinPing #Russia

China makes a big move to solidify its network of friendly powers. Russia is perhaps the most important of all.

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New Leader of China Plans a Visit to Moscow
By JANE PERLEZ

Source – New York Times, published: February 21, 2013

BEIJING — The Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, has selected Moscow as his first foreign capital to visit as president, to be followed immediately by a trip to South Africa for a summit meeting of the group of leading emerging-market countries.

His predecessor, Hu Jintao, also chose Moscow as his first overseas stop after assuming office, but Mr. Xi’s journey to Russia has a special significance, analysts say. It comes as China tries to answer the Obama administration’s shift toward Asia, a policy that is viewed with suspicion in Beijing as an effort to contain China.

His predecessor, Hu Jintao, also chose Moscow as his first overseas stop after assuming office, but Mr. Xi’s journey to Russia has a special significance, analysts say. It comes as China tries to answer the Obama administration’s shift toward Asia, a policy that is viewed with suspicion in Beijing as an effort to contain China.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Government & Policy, History, Influence, International Relations, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Russia, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Dangerously outside the missile defence loop [Straits Times] #China #NorthKorea

Strategic posturing: why would China muzzle the guard at its eastern gate? Will it further trigger a a loop of proxy containment?

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Dangerously outside the missile defence loop
By Jonathan Eyal, Europe Correspondent
Source – Straits Times, published Dec 17, 2012

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CHINA has rejected the international clamour to slap fresh sanctions on North Korea in response to that country’s launch of a long-range rocket last week. Beijing’s main argument is that the launch was “regrettable” but doing anything about it won’t be “prudent”.

China’s prevarication will triumph, if only because neither the United States nor Washington’s Asian allies have any interest in clashing with Beijing over the matter. But that does not mean that the US is paralysed. For every additional North Korean defiance of international law and non-proliferation agreements provides another impetus to a gigantic US-led effort in building missile defence systems. And the main losers from this unfolding technological arms race will be both North Korea and China.

The dream of creating a shield capable of making a country impregnable to enemy missile attacks is almost as old as the rocket industry itself. In common with all military developments, the moment a new capability emerges everyone gets to work on an antidote. During the 1960s, the Soviet Union probably held a lead in missile defence efforts. But by the 1970s, the advantage swung decisively to the US and has remained so ever since.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Government & Policy, Greater China, History, Influence, International Relations, Media, military, New Leadership, North Korea, Peaceful Development, Politics, Russia, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.,

China’s growing military strength means more chances for peace #China [Global Times]

In the global headspace of ideologies already saturated with 24-7 reports on the significant leadership transitions of the world’s most important bilateral relationship, China publishes this editorial.

First it attempts to shape its 1.7m print readership and beyond in the online world into a cohesive unit – one based on real strength, a greater public awareness of what soft power means to them collectively, thus regulating their behaviour. It might significant that the Global Times has a strong overseas Chinese readership too.

The overarching point perhaps is that they had no reason to be intimidated anymore, and perhaps more importantly –  it also calls for cohesiveness, restraint, and mindfulness as they now have the means to shape their vision of peace and stability.

Nevertheless, we should not be afraid to resolutely fight back against others’ provocations. We should also be capable of distinguishing pure provocations from conflicts over core interests that can’t be resolved, and be able to calculate how much of a winning chance we have.

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China’s growing military strength means more chances for peace
Global Times Editorial
Source – Global Times, published November 4, 2012

Illustration by Liu Rui. Source – Global Times, 2012

Recently, there have been a lot of discussions in overseas media about the successful first test flight of China’s second kind of fifth generation stealth fighter, the J-31. If the reports are correct, it means that China is developing two kinds of fifth generation stealth fighters at the same time. Only the US has ever owned two kinds of fifth generation stealth fighters.

In recent years, China has continued to develop its aerospace industry, so as to catch up with the most advanced in the world. It is possible that China will make some new breakthroughs. With new high technology being developed, the gap between the Chinese air force and world-class level air forces will continue to narrow.

However, China should remain clear-headed about this. Currently, we have made some concrete progress. But much remains to be done to bring the whole defense equipment system to the same advanced level. China still has a long, tough road to undergo in this regard. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, global times, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Russia, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, U.S., , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chinese, US and Russian rating firms set up a JV to rival the Big Three [Russia Today]

Russia Today and fresh off the agenices such as AAP and Reuters: Why play by the rules when new ones need to be made? Chinese ratings agency Dagong Global founded 1994, is the first agency to downgrade U.S. credit rating. In this announcement it joins forces in an international triumvirate to make an institutional challenge on the current credit rating megaphone.

“The current international credit rating system has proven inadequate to the task of producing responsible and reliable ratings,” Dagong said in a statement, adding that a new agency is needed to “mitigate economic risk in the development of human civilization”.

Further reading – see
Dagong Releases the Sovereign Credit Risk Report on Central Eastern Europe (October 17, 2012)

Dagong, the new bad Chinese or just a realistic and fair player? (Paris-headquartered Society for the Advancement of Credit Rating)

Dagong to unveil new ratings agency (AAP, in The Australian, October 23, 2012)

Ratings agency aims to rival ‘big three’ (China Daily, October 25, 2012)

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Chinese, US and Russian rating firms set up a JV to rival the Big Three
Source – Russia Today, published October 23, 2012

Photo source – Reuters / Kacper Pempel, in Russia Today, 2012

China’s Dagong Global Credit Rating agency is to set up the joint venture with US-based Egan-Jones Ratings Co (EJR) and Russia’s RusRating JSC to challenge the three major US ratings agencies.

“The current international credit rating system has proven inadequate to the task of producing responsible and reliable ratings,” Dagong said in a statement, adding that a new agency is needed to “mitigate economic risk in the development of human civilization”.

The new institution, called Universal Credit Rating Group, will handle global ratings “as an entirely independent rating service provider”, which “do not represent the interest of any particular country or group”. Earlier this year the head of Dagong, Guan Jianzhong called for the creation of a global credit rating system with uniform standards. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Europe, European Union, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Media, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Russia, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S., , , , , , , , ,

China anger as Japan buys island & signs US missile defence deal [Russia Today]

Perspective of Sino-Japanese tension from China’s northern neighbours with a view from Japan-based James Corbett, editor of the Corbett Report website as US missile defence deal is signed – in name to watch over North Korea…

Latest update
China’s ‘unleashing’ of its fishing boats toward the area by lifting a moratorium. Diaoyu Islands fish are Chinese (Global Times, September 27, 2012)

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China anger as Japan buys island & signs US missile defence deal
Source – Russia Times on Youtube, published September 17, 2012

Anti-Japanese protests have swept China, as the volatile dispute over who owns a series of islands escalates. The fallout over the archipelago dispute has been widening between Tokyo and Beijing since Japan decided to bypass China and buy the territories from private investors. This comes as Washington and Tokyo agreed to put a second anti-missile defence radar in Japan, claiming it’ll be focused on deterring North Korean aggression. But James Corbett, editor of the Corbett Report website who lives in Japan thinks the system will be deployed for all the wrong reasons.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Diaoyu Fishing Boat Incident 2010, East China Sea, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, japan, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Nationalism, North Korea, Peaceful Development, Politics, Russia, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , , , ,

An Aircraft Carrier of One’s Own [Foreign Policy]

With her sister ship now a floating integrated resort, the Varyag is reborn as Liaoning, almost eight years after she arrived in Chinese docks and 16 years after being bought for USD$20m.

September 25, 2012 marks her re-emergence as the symbolic flagship of Chinese maritime power at a time when China needs to assert its legitimacy to defend what it sees as national sovereignty.

Though in no position to match American naval projection due to its limited range and lack of combat readiness, it nevertheless marks a giant leap forward. Not quite a flexing of abrasive hard power yet, but certainly a symbolic referent for those on the Chinese side in Sino-Japanese tension, or potential focal point for Chinese nationalism.

Incidentally, the Chinese news reports are describing their carrier as 航母 (hang mu), a shortened version of 航空母舰 – literally translated – mother of the fleet.

Here is a CCTV report that paid particular attention on the mother ship’s combat readiness. It was most interesting hearing about the intense selection process for the crew. Unfortunately the 30min video is in Mandarin with no subtitles.

Further reading:

Light reading – Q&A about aircraft carrier “Liaoning ship” (PLA Daily in the People’s Daily, September 27, 2012)

Photo Gallery –  China’s first aircraft carrier “Liaoning” (China Military Online in the People’s daily, September 26, 2012)

Xinhua (September 26, 2012) News Analysis: Aircraft carrier-equipped China can better maintain world peace

China’s Ministry of Defense said the newly named Liaoning aircraft carrier would “raise the overall operational strength of the Chinese navy” and help Beijing to “effectively protect national sovereignty, security and development interests”. In fact, the aircraft carrier, refitted from a ship bought from Ukraine, will have a limited role, mostly for training and testing ahead of the possible launch of China’s first domestically built carriers after 2015, analysts say. ANALYSIS | China aircraft carrier a show of force vs Japan (Interacksyon, September 26, 2012)

Just as Liaoning the province was created when existing northeastern provinces and municipalities were merged and integrated into a more powerful whole in 1954-55, so too “Liaoning” the carrier integrates a mix of building blocks into a warship that has the potential to bolster China’s regional influence—and also to force China’s leaders to confront perhaps the most complicated naval diplomacy questions in the PRC’s history. Introducing the ‘Liaoning’: China’s New Aircraft Carrier and What it Means (China Real-time Report by the Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2012)

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An Aircraft Carrier of One’s Own
After much struggle, China finally has the massive naval vessel it always wanted.

Source – Li Tang, Xinhua, in Foreign Policy Magazine, 2012

China finally has its very own — ostensibly functional– aircraft carrier, named Liaoning. As Andrew Erickson and Gabriel Collins explain in a recent article for FP, the Chinese had to overcome multiple obstacles, and “All [those watching the Liaoning] must have felt the weight of history on their shoulders as they witnessed the unfulfilled ambitions of their civilian and military predecessors. This milestone was a long time coming.” The Liaoning was originally the Varyag, a Soviet vessel that was purchased by China from Ukraine. After years of retrofitting, as of Sept. 25 the Liaoning is finally entering service in the People’s Liberation Army Navy, but its capabilities are largely unproven and sea tests of the ship have stayed close to its home port in Dalian. Above, the Liaoning appears at the Dalian shipyard before being commissioned. (Foreign Policy, September 26, 2012)

Please click here to access the rest of the gallery.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Diaoyu Fishing Boat Incident 2010, Domestic Growth, East China Sea, Foreign Policy Magazine, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, japan, Liaoning, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Russia, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Varyag, , , , , , , , ,

BRICS seek unity, influence at New Delhi summit [Global Times]

BRICS Meet: China and its collective of rising powers on consensus building toward the “Delhi Declaration”.

And…from the India Express (March 30, 2012) Delhi declaration: Talks only solution to resolve India, Syria issues “Concerned about the situation in West Asia due to Iran’s nuclear programme and Syria’s internal affairs, India, China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa on Thursday agreed that the issues in these countries should be resolved only through dialogue.”

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BRICS seek unity, influence at New Delhi summit
Xinhua, AFP
Source – Global Times, published March 28, 2012

The leaders of BRICS countries gather in New Delhi Thursday for their fourth summit, and they will also hold private talks, with the emerging market bloc struggling to convert its growing economic strength into collective diplomatic clout.

These will conclude with a “Delhi Declaration,” which will summarize the consensus of their views and could include a statement on the bloodshed in Syria, the Iranian nuclear crisis or Europe’s debt problems.

Zhang Yan, Chinese Ambassador to India, said the leaders of China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa would have in-depth discussions on global economic management, sustainable development and cooperation among the five BRICS countries with the theme “Partnership for Stability, Security and Prosperity.”

China regards this summit as a new opportunity for BRICS countries to reach consensus and deepen cooperation among BRICS countries to deliver a message of confidence to the world economy, provide dynamics to strengthen global economic management, and contribute more to the global economic recovery, Zhang said.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Brazil, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, global times, Government & Policy, India, Influence, International Relations, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Russia, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Stealth Race: China test flies Chengdu J-20 ‘Black Eagle’ [Russia Today/Youtube]

A Russia Today news report on Youtube explores how China’s fifth-generation fighter J-20, though built in China is also reliant on parts from the U.S. and Russia. This is unlike the U.S. and Russia where the F-22 and Sukhoi T-50 are largely indigenous fighters.

The interview also reveals because of this, China may not necessarily have the critical production capability to go beyond prototypes and build an entire fleet. From China’s track record of deconstructing technology (legal or otherwise, see China: Intellectual Property Infringement, Indigenous Innovation Policies, and Frameworks for Measuring the Effects on the U.S. Economy by the United States International Trade Commission), I would disagree. It seems only a matter of time before they figure out how to do it on their own.

China’s confirmed it’s conducted a successful test flight of its new stealth fighter. Following on the heels of the U.S. and Russia, it is now the third country to put a stealth prototype into the air. (Russia Today, in Youtube, Jan 11, 2011)

Filed under: Aviation, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Influence, International Relations, J-20, military, Russia, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., Youtube

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