Realising economic reform in China

A man looks for plastic bottles in a public garbage bin, with a luxury perfume promotion in the background, in Shanghai, China. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide and Chunlai Chen, ANU

The slowdown in growth in China is a familiar story. Annual GDP growth has fallen from an average of 10 per cent to less than 7 per cent. While Chinese growth is still significant in absolute terms, slower growth combined with rising income inequality is becoming a big concern for the Chinese public. Read more…

Currency cooperation, not finger-pointing, is the way forward

A Chinese clerk counts yuan and US dollar banknotes at a bank in Nantong city on 1 March 2016. The US Treasury has placed China on a ‘Monitoring List’ for its suspected engagement in what the US terms ‘unfair currency practices’. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sourabh Gupta, ICAS

For over a quarter-century now, the US Treasury Department has released a formulaic report on the currency policy and practices of key economies on a semi-annual basis. On occasion, it has hauled up a trading partner as a ‘currency manipulator’ and proceeded to jawbone that partner to appreciate its currency and shrink its bilateral trade surplus. This was the case with South Korea and Taiwan in 1988. And again in 1992 with China and Taiwan. Read more…

What motivates private Chinese investment in North Korea?

A billboard which reads, ‘Let’s work towards opening a new phase for constructing a powerful economy with the mentality and spirit to conquer the universe’, stands along the train tracks inside the Rason Special Economic Zone, North Korea. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: YaoHui Wang, University of Kansas and XiaoTong Zhao, University of Sydney

China is North Korea’s largest trading partner and has consistently encouraged cross-border trade and non-official investments in North Korea since 2006. Yet, despite its low-cost raw materials, cheap labour and large market potential, North Korea remains as a high-risk investment destination for Chinese businesses. Read more…

Brinkmanship in the South China Sea helps nobody

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, joins his hands with Japan's Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, and South Korea's Defense Minister Han Min Koo during their trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 15th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore. (Photo AAP).

Author: Sam Bateman, RSIS

Recent months have seen a continuing increase in military activities in the South China Sea, particularly by the United States and China, but also by ‘bit players’ like India and Japan. These activities only serve to heighten tensions in the region at a time when the priority should be to demilitarise the area. Read more…

Can overseas Chinese build China’s One Belt, One Road?

Chinese and Malaysian government and business officials attend the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong, China, 18 May 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Trissia Wijaya, Ritsumeikan University

A multitude of views have coloured the understanding of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) strategy. Some view OBOR through the lens of geopolitical competition and are wary of China’s rise. Yet, the OBOR vision has intrinsic value beyond fears of Chinese geopolitical ambitions. Read more…

The Cultural Revolution will not be revived

Men read essays pinned on a clothesline, condemning the past 30 years of liberalisation or reappraising the Cultural Revolution at Zhouwangcheng Plaza in Luoyang in central China’s Henan province, 1 May 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Neil Thomas, ANU

This month marks 50 years since the official beginning of China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. On 16 May 1966, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party issued an internal circular denouncing ‘revisionists’ in the Party leadership. Read more…

Reading between the lines of Tsai Ing-wen’s inaugural address

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen smiles at supporters as she arrives to vote for party officials in Taipei, Taiwan, 22 May 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Mark Harrison, University of Tasmania

On 20 May the Democratic Progressive Party’s Tsai Ing-wen was inaugurated as the 14th president of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The ceremony, held in front of the Japanese colonial-era presidential building, included theatrical re-enactments of key themes and events in the history of Taiwan. Read more…