Tag Archives: China

From the Caucasus to the Balkans, China’s Silk Roads are Rising

The 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress made it clear that the New Silk Roads – aka, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – launched by President Xi Jinping just four years ago, provides the concept around which all Chinese foreign policy is to revolve for the foreseeable future. Up until the symbolic 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, in 2049, in fact.

Virtually every nook and cranny of the Chinese administration is invested in making the BRI Grand Strategy a success: economic actors, financial players, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the private sector, the diplomatic machine, think tanks, and – of course – the media, are all on board.

It’s under this long-term framework that sundry BRI projects should be examined. And their reach, let’s be clear, involves most of Eurasia – including everything from the Central Asian steppes to the Caucasus and the Western Balkans.

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Posted by on December 1, 2017 in Asia, Economy, Europe


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China’s Soccer Push Puts a Storied Team Under Murky Ownership

When the Chinese businessman Li Yonghong bought A.C. Milan, the world-famous Italian soccer club, virtually nobody in Italy had heard of him.

Virtually nobody in China had, either.

Mr. Li had never been named to one of China’s lists of the country’s richest people. The mining empire he described to Italian soccer officials was hardly known even in mining circles.

Nevertheless, Mr. Li seemed to have what mattered most: money. He bought the club in April for $860 million from Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, to clinch China’s biggest-ever soccer deal.

Today, Mr. Li’s acquisition of A.C. Milan appears to be emblematic of a string of troubled Chinese deals.

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Posted by on November 30, 2017 in Asia


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North Korean Businesses in China Start Countdown as Deadline for Closure Looms

When the Alaska pollock, the “national fish of the Korean peninsula,” started disappearing from menus at Beijing’s North Korean restaurants in late August, it was a sign China’s trade sanctions on Pyongyang had taken effect.

Now, some of the restaurants themselves are on the brink of closure after China ordered all North Korean businesses in the country to wind down by mid-January. This has been Beijing’s sixth and toughest sanction since April 2016 in response to Pyongyang’s repeated ballistic missile and nuclear tests.

“All of our staff will be sent back to North Korea when the restaurant closes in three months,” said a waitress at Unban, a popular restaurant near the sprawling North Korean embassy in downtown Beijing.

The waitress, whose nametag read Jin Runzheng, was mixing a bowl of naengmyeon — North Korean cold noodles served in a tangy iced broth with cucumber, slices of Korean pear, strips of lightly pickled radish and shredded freshwater eel.

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Posted by on November 15, 2017 in Asia


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How the DPRK Riddle is Freaking out the US Establishment

The 19th Party Congress has made it very clear that “socialism with Chinese characteristics” – as codified by President Xi Jinping – is China’s roadmap ahead. Not only the strategy graphically eschews those much-lauded “Western values”; it will, in Xi’s own words, offer “a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence.”

Xinhua even dared to venture, “the 21st century is likely to see capitalism lose its appeal while the socialist movement, led by China, rapidly catches up”.

To say this won’t go down very well in the West, especially in the US, may be the understatement of the century – even considering that the Chinese system is more like “neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics.”

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Posted by on November 7, 2017 in Asia, North America


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Congress concludes with President Xi Jinping as undisputed ‘core’ leader

Shi JiangtaoShi Jiangtaojiangtao.shi@scmp.com0Share6PrintEmailRelated topicsChina’s leadership reshuffle 2017China’s leadership reshuffle 2017: All articlesChina’s leadership reshuffle 2017: Big pictureRelated ArticlesChina will loosen grip on the yuan at a time of its own choosing. Photo: ReutersGlobal EconomyOpinion: Don’t hold your breath for the yuan’s convertibility27 Oct 2017The new Central Committee holds its first plenary session at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 25, 2017. Photo: XinhuaPolicies & PoliticsThe big question: Who will take over in Shanghai, Guangdong?27 Oct 2017Xi Jinping, China’s president, and other leaders and delegates attend the closing session of the 19th National Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: BloombergInsight & OpinionGraft fight must be open and accountable26 Oct 2017President Xi Jinping was elevated to the status of late paramount leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, securing an almost unchallengeable dominance over the Communist Party, which ended its week-long gathering on Tuesday with a newly elected Central Committee, the party’s elite decision-making body.

Source: Congress concludes with President Xi Jinping as undisputed ‘core’ leader | South China Morning Post

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Posted by on October 27, 2017 in Asia



Xi’s Road Map to the Chinese Dream

Now that President Xi Jinping has been duly elevated to the Chinese Communist Party pantheon in the rarified company of Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, the world will have plenty of time to digest the meaning of “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.”Xi himself, in his 3½-hour speech at the start of the 19th Party Congress, pointed to a rather simplified “socialist democracy” – extolling its virtues as the only counter-model to Western liberal democracy. Economically, the debate remains open on whether this walks and talks more like “neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics”.All the milestones for China in the immediate future have been set. “Moderately prosperous society” by 2020. Basically modernized nation by 2035. Rich and powerful socialist nation by 2050.

Source: Xi’s Road Map to the Chinese Dream

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Posted by on October 26, 2017 in Asia



Should Publications Compromise to Remain in China?

The C.U.P.’s decision to stand up to censorship made me feel pumped for a second, but then worried me. Without any leverage on the authoritarian state, foreign publications can only score moral victories by defying requests for partial self-censorship, while risking total censorship from the authorities.In the past four years, whenever I went home to Beijing, I was blessed with a V.P.N. from an Ivy League university, which not only gave me access to the indispensable Facebook and Gmail but also provided me with many key online library resources that made some of my research work possible. However, I also know that my friends at Chinese universities do not usually enjoy abundant academic resources in English because most of their coursework does not involve looking up foreign publications. Therefore, in China, foreign publications have a niche readership—the students and scholars who engage with English materials in their fields and whose institutions are willing to foot the relatively expensive bill for articles in foreign academic publications.Practically speaking, censoring 315 China Quarterly articles on certain “sensitive topics” does far less damage than lying about them in schoolbooks and sanitizing history on Chinese media. After all, the purpose of making these 315 articles available in China is not to teach 1.3 billion people the truths that they deserve to know; these articles would be lucky to have as many as 130 readers in China. And even the Chinese academics who do read the China Quarterly are not very likely to base their research on any of the English articles that cover “sensitive topics.” Just imagine a Chinese scholar applying for Chinese state funding from a Chinese university to buy access to academic papers that present the latest findings by unfriendly foreigners that hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.

Source: Should Publications Compromise to Remain in China? | ChinaFile

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Asia



There is no place in academia for craven submission to Chinese censorship demands

Imagine if the British government could eradicate the miners’ strike from history. Not just by deleting all news coverage but by preventing the academic study of it. Imagine if, at university courses on the history of modern conservatism, all mention of it was banned. Imagine if, on top of that, a major global academic publisher voluntarily deleted all discussion of the miners’ strike from a prestigious journal.You now have a sense of the scale of what Cambridge University Press had done by deleting more than 300 articles from China Quarterly, following a request from the Chinese government. The decision, which has been reversed and the articles reinstated in the face of a threatened academic boycott, could lead to China blocking this and other related content. To which conflict I say: bring it on.Coming after the decision by Apple to stop selling, and Amazon’s Chinese partner to forbid hosting of virtual private networks – the tool needed to evade internet censorship in China – the move is part of a widespread and craven acquiescence by western corporations and governments with Xi Jinping’s project.

Source: There is no place in academia for craven submission to Chinese censorship demands | Opinion | The Guardian

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Asia



Devastating Himalayan floods are made worse by an international blame game

Devastating floods in Nepal have sparked regional tension, with Nepali politicians and media outlets claiming that Indian infrastructure along their shared border has left Nepal vulnerable.

In a visit last week to India, Nepal’s prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba released a joint statement with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi pledging to work together to combat future flood disasters. But relations between the two countries remain strained, and many in Nepal still resent India for a three-month blockade of supplies in the wake of the 2015 earthquakes.

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Posted by on September 12, 2017 in Asia


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A ‘China First’ Strategy for North Korea

LONDON – Most pundits agree that the least bad way to deal with North Korea’s nuclear saber rattling is a continued combination of tight containment and aggressive diplomacy. Fewer, however, have recognized that the least bad military option – the one implied by US President Donald Trump’s insistence that China take responsibility for its dangerous neighbor – is a Chinese invasion, or regime change forced through China’s threat to launch one.

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Posted by on September 11, 2017 in Asia


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