2015 is the year of Chinese cyber power

US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, May 17, 2015. Tensions are growing between the U.S. and China over suspicions that Beijing was behind the biggest cyber breach of federal personnel records. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Greg Austin, EastWest Institute

In February 2014 Chinese President Xi Jingping declared his intent to do everything necessary for China to become a cyber power. Since then Xi and his government have been hyperactive on all relevant fronts: political, legal, economic, organisational and diplomatic. The Chinese leadership’s attention became even more focused on cyber issues in May 2014 when the United States indicted five Chinese military personnel for cyber espionage involving commercial secrets of US-based corporations. Read more…

Time for a new look at China’s SOEs

State Grid

Authors: Mei (Lisa) Wang, NERI; Zhen Qi, ANU; and Jijing Zhang, CITIC

The rapid rise of China’s outbound direct investment (ODI) in the past decade is a significant economic phenomenon — one met with a lot of resistance in some destination countries, particularly due to the abundance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Read more…

Chinese currency manipulation not a problem

A Chinese clerk counts renminbi banknotes at a bank in Huaibei city, Anhui province, China on 22 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Jeffrey Frankel, Harvard University

America’s two political parties rarely agree, but one thing that unites them is their anger about ‘currency manipulation’, especially by China. Perhaps spurred by the recent appreciation of the dollar and the first signs that it is eroding net exports, congressional Democrats and Republicans are once again considering legislation to counter what they view as unfair currency undervaluation. Read more…

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…