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…

Renminbi stepping in right direction toward internationalisation

View of a branch of China Construction Bank (CCB) in LinAn city, east Chinas Zhejiang province, 1 September 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Thierry de Longuemar, ADB

Over the past several decades, we have seen how China’s high economic growth and increasing economic integration with other countries have led to a dramatic increase in its clout in global output and trade.

Just look at the facts. China is now the world’s second largest economy, accounting for 12 per cent of global gross domestic product in 2013. Read more…

Where are all the women in China’s political system?

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Author: Jude Howell, LSE

In September 2014 the Inter-Parliamentary Union released its latest figures on the number of women in national parliaments. Rwanda topped the league with women accounting for 63.8 per cent of parliamentarians in the lower house (or its equivalent). China, however, ranked 62nd out of 189 countries, with women accounting for 23.4 per cent of representatives to the National People’s Congress (NPC) — China’s nearest equivalent to a parliament. Given that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long espoused the idea of equality between men and women and has a well-established, dedicated institution for protecting women’s rights and interests — the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) — it is curious that the figures are so unimpressive. Read more…

Financial stability in need of a narrative

IMF chief Christine Lagarde talks with the Governor of the People's Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan prior to the start of a working session on November 4, 2011 on the second day of the G20 Summit of Heads of State and Government in Cannes. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Colin Bradford, Brookings Institution

The global financial crisis of 2008 revealed failures and fissures in national and global financial systems. A big and as yet untold—even unfinished—story is what actions the major economies have taken, both at the national and international level, to address weaknesses in overseeing, supervising and regulating financial institutions and markets. Read more…

Sino-India border dispute best left dormant

In Ladakh, along the border between China and India, Chinese troops hold a banner that reads: You have crossed the border — please go back, 5 May 2013. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Santosh Sharma Poudel and Stefanie Kam, RSIS

The border dispute between China and India has come to the fore once again despite an exponential increase in bilateral trade between the two countries. The border dispute highlights the growing strategic competition and lack of trust between them. But it is better left dormant while both governments focus on more immediate issues. Read more…

What happens in China, doesn’t stay in China

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks before the Congress in Brasilia, on 16 July 2014. The BRICS group of emerging powers met on Wednesday with South American presidents as they justified the creation of a development bank seen as an alternative to Western-dominated global financial organisations. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Yizhe Daniel Xie, Waseda University

The experience that Chinese leaders gain in domestic politics has a big impact on how they view and handle international issues. Many China watchers and political analysts often overlook these domestic roots of Chinese foreign policy, particularly in China’s push to reform the international financial system. Read more…

Forging a common regional approach to China

Cadet members of the PLA take part in a military training at the Armoured Forces Engineering Academy Base near Beijing on 22 July, 2014. Chinese government authorised foreign media to view the military exercise. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hitoshi Tanaka, JCIE

Despite China’s rapid and unprecedented economic growth, the world has yet to come to grips with the challenges and opportunities that the country presents. The story of China’s rise is as much about how the rest of the world responds to China as it is about the nation that China is growing to become. Read more…

China’s SOEs test the waters in the South China Sea

A Chinese government ship trails a Vietnamese Coast Guard vessel with reporters aboard in the South China Sea on 15  July 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Megan Bowman, George Gilligan and Justin O’Brien, UNSW

In early May, the Chinese HYSY-981 oil rig was moved into waters near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The oil rig is owned by the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and operated by its subsidiary China Oilfield Services Limited. It was redeployed with Beijing’s approval to drill for another state-owned corporation, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The rig was deployed 120 nautical miles from Vietnam’s coastline and within Vietnam’s claimed exclusive economic zone. Conflict ensued between Vietnamese and Chinese sea-faring vessels and between citizens of both nations on Vietnamese soil. Read more…

An immovable object and an unstoppable force: the Uyghurs and Beijing

Armed police patrol an area where blasts occurred in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, on 22 May 2014. The blasts killed 31 people and injured 94 others, according to local authorities. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Mubashar Hasan, Griffith University

China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region is experiencing, yet again, deep unrest and unease. News headlines have been dominated by violent clashes between Chinese police and some sections of the Uyghur population — recently a police building in Xinjiang province was bombed and 13 Uyghur activists shot dead in the aftermath. To comprehend the persistent tensions between the Chinese administration, managed by the dominant Han ethnic group, and Uyghur Muslims, one must consider historical tensions and both the strategic and economic significance of Xinjiang. Read more…

BCIM Corridor a game changer for South Asian trade

A vender weights corn for a customer at a market in Yingjiang, near the Myanmar border, Yunnan Province, China, 26 May 2012. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Pravakar Sahoo and Abhirup Bhunia, Institute of Economic Growth

The Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor will increase socioeconomic development and trade in South Asia. The initiative seeks to improve connectivity and infrastructure, energy resources, agriculture, and trade and investment. It will connect India’s Northeast, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Chinese province of Yunnan through a network of roads, railways, waterways, and airways under a proper regulatory framework. The current focus of BCIM talks is on an inter-regional road network. This makes sense, as roads are the cheapest route of trade. Read more…

Chinese financial assistance to boost intra-regional trade in South Asia

A Chinese clerk shows RMB (renminbi) yuan banknotes at a bank in Ganyu county, Lianyungang city, 4 June 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Saman Kelegama, IPS

Since the mid-2000s, the South Asian region has witnessed an incoming wave of Chinese financial assistance. In some South Asian countries like Sri Lanka, China has overtaken traditional donors by highly engaging in post-war infrastructure development activities. So China’s engagement in South Asia creates both opportunity and uncertainty for India and its neighbours. The question remains: will intra-regional trade increase, if so, at what cost to the region? Read more…

Chinese loans will counterbalance Russia’s influence in Kazakhstan

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko shake hands following the signing ceremony for the Eurasian Union in Astana, Kazakhstan, 29 May 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Micha’el Tanchum, Shalem College

On 29 May 2014, the presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus signed a treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU). One week prior, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced investment agreements worth US$10 billion. The timing of the two events reflects Nazarbayev’s determination to use Kazakhstan’s burgeoning economic relations with China to counterbalance possible Russian domination. Read more…

Japan a ‘clear winner’ at the Shangri-La Dialogue

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Shangri-La dialogue, 31 May 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Brendan Taylor, ANU

China ran rings around everyone at last year’s Shangri-La Dialogue. Their delegation was a model of coordination, right down to the Q&A sessions where questions from Chinese delegates were evidently scripted. Many commentators expected a repeat performance in 2014, particularly given the involvement of the smooth talking and highly impressive Madam Fu Ying as a member of the Chinese delegation. Read more…

Why China doesn’t want to be number one

Author: Kai He, RSIS

According to the World Bank, Chinese GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms will surpass that of the US to become number one in the world late this year. But the Chinese government has clearly stated that it has ‘reservations’ about the World Bank’s methodology and ‘did not agree to publish the headline results for China’.

Chinese leaders understand that no matter how large the country’s GDP or GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms is, China’s 1.4 billion people — the largest national population in the world — will dilute its real power. Read more…

Japan steals the show at the Shangri-La Dialogue

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gives the keynote address on the first day of The International Institute for Strategic Studies 13th Asia Security Summit in Singapore, 30 May 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Robert Ayson, Victoria University of Wellington

The Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore is an annual opportunity to test the temperature of regional security relations in Asia. This year relations were noticeably warmer — though not in a promising way — especially once Japan began presenting itself as a regional security provider. Read more…