How war memory continues to divide China and Japan

This huge calligraphy work, displayed at Changchun railway station in September 2015, shows confessions made by Japanese war criminals after World War II. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Michael Yahuda, LSE

One might think that the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II would lead to further deterioration in relations between China and Japan. But, to the contrary, the Chinese and Japanese leaders, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, are exploring the prospects for yet another meeting (they have already met four times in the last three years). It seems that the pragmatic calculations of regime survival, which include economic cooperation and the perils of military conflict, outweigh historical memories, however contrived this history may be. Read more…

China hits the road

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, speaks to Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann as he meets with delegates attending the signing ceremony for the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, 29 June 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Zhiqun Zhu, Bucknell University

The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), whose Articles of Agreement have been signed by 51 prospective founding members as of October, is expected to be operational by the end of 2015. China has generally been cooperative with and supportive of Bretton Woods multilateral institutions. At the same time, it is frustrated that the existing multilateral institutions set the limits for its global ambitions. The slow pace of reforms at the Western-dominated IMF and World Bank prevents China and other emerging economies from playing a bigger role in international political economy. The AIIB will help rectify this situation and boost China’s status as a global power. Read more…

The Sino–American co-dependency trap

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchange toasts during a state dinner at the White House, 25 September 2015, during Xi's weeklong official visit. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Stephen S. Roach, Yale University

Increasingly reliant on each other for sustainable economic growth, the United States and China have fallen into a classic co-dependency trap, bristling at changes in the rules of engagement. The symptoms of this insidious pathology were on clear display during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to America. Little was accomplished, and the path ahead remains treacherous. Read more…

Why ASEAN should embrace Chinese initiatives

Activists hold a protest in front of the Chinese Consular Office in Manila on June 12, 2015 (Photo: AAP)

Author: Kung Phoak, Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies

Ongoing disputes in the South China Sea between China and four ASEAN member nations — Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam — have dealt a major blow to the centrality and unity of ASEAN. Internal differences were on public display during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Summit in 2012, leading to the non-issuance of the joint communiqué for the first time in ASEAN’s 45 years of existence.

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No easy solutions in US–China cyber security

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) in Arlington, Virginia, USA, 13 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Greg Austin, University of New South Wales

In late September 2015, the Presidents of China and the United States reached a number of agreements on cyber security, cyber espionage and cyber crime. They provide for a new high-level contact group as well as assurances to investigate and resolve complaints from each other. The agreements are important diplomatic breakthroughs, but they are relatively piecemeal when seen against the bigger picture. Read more…

Warming Sino–Russian ties leave Japan in the cold


Authors: Andrei I. Kozinets, Far Eastern Federal University, and James D.J. Brown, Temple University

Russia has recently raised the priority given to East Asia in its foreign policy. This trend has further accelerated following the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014. But how is the policy progressing and what is its impact on Russia’s relations with China and Japan? Read more…

Population resettlement in China a lose-lose scenario

Chinese farmers rake and dry crops at a sunning ground in Chahantonggu village, Barunhaermodun town, Hejing county, Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 20 September 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: François N. Dubé, University of Ningxia

According to the central Chinese government, more than 10 million citizens will have to be resettled by 2050 to solve rural poverty and environmental degradation problems in China. This number does not include the 7 million people that have already been resettled over the last 30 years or so. The massive scale of these population resettlement programs was confirmed by President Xi Jinping during his recent visits to some of the provinces most concerned, where he called upon regional Party and state authorities to ‘implement with full force’ the environmental resettlement projects in order to ‘uphold both ecological and development standards’.

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China under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership

Visitors look at the bronze statue of Deng Xiaoping which was installed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2004, in Guangan. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Ezra F Vogel, Harvard University

When Deng Xiaoping became pre-eminent leader of China in December 1978, China was still in the chaos from the Cultural Revolution. Per capita annual income was less than US$100.

By the time he stepped down in 1992, several hundred million Chinese citizens had been lifted out of poverty, and China was rapidly becoming stronger, richer and more modern.

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The politics of China’s anti-corruption campaign

Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to review People's Liberation Army on 3 September 2015. Xi’s anti-corruption campaign is attacking powerful interest groups, including top military leaders. (Photo: AAP).

Author: William H. Overholt, Harvard

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has highlighted the seriousness of China’s official malfeasance. The outcome will shape a new era of China’s politics, economy and foreign policy.

‘Corruption’ covers quite disparate phenomena. It may mean graft, taking a tip for doing your job, or it may mean corruption in the stricter sense, taking money in return for undermining the national interest — which is much more costly. Read more…

China isn’t about to abandon North Korea

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of China's victory against Japan in World War II on 3 September 2015. The prominent position given to South Korean President Park Geun-hye is the latest sign of deteriorating relations between China and North Korea. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Kevin Gray, University of Sussex

Much has been made of the recent cooling of diplomatic relations between China and North Korea and Beijing’s increased emphasis on Seoul. Deteriorating relations since 2012 were confirmed most recently by South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s prominent position at China’s 70th anniversary celebrations of the end of World War II. For those looking forward to North Korea’s rapid demise and to the reunification of the peninsula on Seoul’s terms, this growing distance between Beijing and Pyongyang has been greeted with cautious optimism. Read more…