Chinese leaders learn that GDP isn’t everything

Containers are lifted off trucks and loaded onto a container ship on a quay at the Port of Qingdao in Qingdao city, east China's Shandong province, 13 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Cai, Business Spectator

For years, Chinese officials and foreign analysts have been obsessed with China’s GDP growth figures. There has been a widespread belief that if GDP growth dips below 8 per cent, there would be massive upheaval. This widely held perception turned out to be nonsense. Read more…

KMT stumbling may mean the spectre of Beijing is losing its potency in Taipei

Ko Wen-je, the independent candidate who was elected mayor of Taipei in Taiwan’s local nine-in-one elections, delivers his victory speech after edging Sean Lien, a candidate of the ruling Kuomitang party, 29 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sheryn Lee, ANU

Politically and economically, 2014 proved to be an extremely bad year for President Ma Ying-jeou and his ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party. Economic stagnation and public discontent over worsening social disparities continue to plague Taiwan. Mass demonstrations indicate that Taiwan’s citizens have much more pressing concerns than Taiwan–China relations. Read more…

The reign or reining in of Chinese monopolies

A steel worker at a mill owned by Dongbei Special Steel Group Co Ltd, 30 January 2014. DSSG was integrated by three former major state-owned enterprises in Northeast China in 2004. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Patrick Williams, ANU and PKU

Surprise raids by Chinese government officials on the offices of major multinationals in China to catch out monopolistic business activity have created perceptions of bias against foreign firms in the enforcement of the anti-monopoly law. Read more…

China’s digital dilemma

A picture made available 20 November 2014 shows Wang Xiaochu, Chairman and CEO of China Telecom, attending the first World Internet Conference in Wuzhen town in Tongxiang, Zhejiang province, China, 19 November 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Greg Austin, EastWest Institute

In February 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping was appointed Chair of the Central Cybersecurity and Informatization Leading Group, an agency which coordinates China’s cybersecurity and ‘informatisation’ policies. The move reflected deep dissatisfaction within the leadership of the pace of innovation in the country. Xi’s appointment reflects China’s willingness to change this — but only to an extent. Read more…

Australia and China after their FTA

Chinese president Xi Jinping and Australian prime minister Tony Abbott speak at a press conference following the signing of several memorandums of understanding to strengthen trade in Canberra, 17 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The past week has seen big breakthroughs in Asia Pacific economic diplomacy. At the APEC summit, Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe broke the diplomatic ice in the China–Japan relationship. The United States and China paved the way towards extending the successful International Technology Agreement through the WTO. They also did a game-changing deal that will entrench deep cuts to carbon emissions through to 2025–30. Read more…

China’s dim sum bonds need to develop a new flavour

A customer walks towards a branch of ICBC in Rizhao city, east China's Shandong province, 10 October 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Thiam Hee Ng, ADB

The offshore renminbi bond market has boomed since the Chinese authorities first allowed domestic banks to issue them in Hong Kong in June 2007. But appetite for the paper — popularly known as ‘dim sum bonds’ — is starting to wane as access to onshore markets becomes easier. To stay relevant, the dim sum market must develop further. Read more…

New rules for China’s war on terror?

Armed Chinese People's Liberation Army take part in a training session at the foot of Tianshan Mountains in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Kendrick Kuo, Johns Hopkins

After a very violent year, officials in China’s western province of Xinjiang announced in March 2014 that they were considering an anti-terror law for the region. The law would ostensibly fill the gaps in the national criminal law by addressing the unique challenges of terrorism. But do laws really matter in an authoritarian state and in a region as militarised as Xinjiang? Read more…