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Archive for the ‘Foreign Relations’ Category

Chinese Music Video

November 27th, 2012 2 comments

This music video has been circulating amongst PLA enthusiasts back home; pretty cute.

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDgwMjgyMjky.html

Elizabeth Economy’s Wish List for the upcoming Romney-Obama Debate on China and Foreign Policy

October 20th, 2012 5 comments

Elizabeth Economy (of Council on Foreign Relations) made a list of topics for the upcoming Romney-Obama debate in hopes for a better American public discourse on China. With both of their campaigns almost competing to see who can be more harsh in criticizing China, Americans are polarized more than ever on this critical relationship, and Economy is right that there needs to be a more thoughtful conversation. While I applaud her efforts, I think her list still leaves a lot to be desired. For conflicts between the two countries to truly dissipate, the issues must be couched in terms both sides recognize. In this post, I offer alternative framing of the issues and explain why. Read more…

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step…

September 25th, 2012 9 comments

I know the blog admin doesn’t want too much content on any single day, but today is special, today marks a new beginning.

By the way, to find out more, go to CDF (free registration required):

http://www.china-defense.com/smf/index.php#1

The Myth of Chinese Non-Intervention

August 19th, 2012 21 comments

Unlike most other myths about China that are created and perpetuated by the West, this myth – the notion that China does not ever interfere in the internal affairs of other sovereign nation states – was created by China itself. It is perpetuated primarily by China’s historical record of non-intervention. Consequently, over time this principle of non-intervention has unnecessarily taken on an absolutist and unilateral character, while casting aside one small but vital element of Premier Zhou’s original doctrine: 互.

Read more…

The Myth of Chinese Mass Migration into Russia

August 14th, 2012 18 comments

I stumbled upon a rather entertaining Reuters article a few days ago, reporting Russia’s latest move to supposedly defend against a so-called “soft invasion” from China – in which massive yellow hordes from China’s over-populated Northeast will systematically migrate into and outnumber the dwindling Russian population in the Russian Far East (RFE), and eventually assume de facto control. This article includes some very comical anecdotes, including the not-so-subtle hint that Russia recently deployed two additional submarines to counter Chinese influence in the Russian Far East, while making no mention whatsoever of recent Russo-Japanese maritime territorial disputes over resource-rich islands in the Sea of Japan. If I were a five year old, I might be led to believe that submarines are far more useful in guarding sparsely-populated land against illegal migrants, than showing resolve in a maritime dispute… which would inevitably make me wonder why the US Navy does not deploy SSNs in the Rio Grande against illegal Mexican migrants. Read more…

The Tragicomedy of Errors: China, British Imperialism, and the Opium Wars

July 30th, 2012 21 comments

  Julia Lovell, in her new book The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China, finds something funny in the tragedy

Great Britain has many reasons to feel great about itself. Its empire was the largest in history and covered over a fifth of the world’s population. It had more Asian and African colonies than any other European power. It came, it saw, it divided, and it conquered. It raped and it reaped, gleefully slaughtered millions of people, joyfully massacred entire populations, regularly caused civil wars, flattened countless cities and towns, and destroyed whole civilizations and dynasties with pleasure. It sucked the life out of its colonies and reduced them to what we now call third-world nations. It drew and redrew boundaries and created whole new countries randomly on a whim. Most of the conflicts in the world today can be traced back to British Imperialism – the Kashmir issue and India-Pakistan rivalry, the Sino-Indian border dispute and India-China rivalry, the Tibet issue, the Israel-Palestine conflict, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Sudan – the list goes on.

Yes – Great Britain had reason to feel greatly proud about itself. It had the largest empire in the world. It had managed to keep it’s European competitors in check. There was no known threat to its global dominion. It seemed that Great Britain was destined to rule the world.

And then it all came tumbling down. Sometime in the past century, the great Island Story crumbled to pieces, and the empire followed. Slowly but surely, the empire on which “the sun never sets” went out like a cigar puff. Today it finds itself with as much geopolitical influence as an American missile base. Once great, Great Britain is now America’s top bitch – a tart of a nation that can be ordered to suck America’s coattails whenever required. The relationship between the two countries is much like that between a dog and its master, or as they call it in public, a “special relationship“. Read more…

A conversation with Aminta Arrington on China

June 28th, 2012 7 comments

Aminta Arrington, author of “HOME IS A ROOF OVER A PIG: AN AMERICAN FAMILY’S JOURNEY IN CHINA”

Following is a conversation with Aminta Arrington, author of the upcoming book, “HOME is a ROOF OVER a PIG, an American Family’s Journey in China.” (See my book review in a prior post.) Since the writing, her family has moved from Tai’an to Beijing where she now teaches at Renmin University. We talked about learning Chinese, freedom and individuality, Chen Guangcheng, hope for U.S.-China energy collaboration, and more. Click on the play button or right-click on the link to save the podcast for local listening: link.

(The conversation was carried out in two sessions, which I later joined into one. I should apologize for the echo, an artefact of Skype some times, which I can’t remove after the recording has been made.)

Syria, Resolution 2042, a true win for humanitarian intervention

April 15th, 2012 24 comments

Joshua Goldstein wrote a whole book to explain that our world today, despite the seemingly endless number of crisis, is in fact the least brutal it has ever been. He concluded with empirical evidence that U.N. peacekeepers, as neutral third parties on the ground, have been stopping tribal factions from fighting and escalating violence. That form of humanitarian intervention works, because it stops blood feuds. An example of intervention where I think does not work is the recent NATO bombing of the Quadhafi ruling faction in Libya in support of the rebels taking power. In fact, such transition incurs further violence and bloodshed. I fear the possibility of the two factions killing each other has in fact been heightened, perhaps in an even more inhumane way at a future time. Such is the fine line between interventions, the humane ones versus the inhumane ones. Read more…

Categories: Foreign Relations, politics Tags:

Brzezinski: Dangerously Wrong

April 12th, 2012 13 comments

Zbigniew Brzezinski is a well known political scientist and the media often gives him opportunities to voice opinions on foreign policy. How deserving is this accorded credibility? Well, though I have not read much from him, from the looks of this article he wrote in foreignpolicy it would appear that his competence as a expert on international affairs is grossly inadequate and, moreover, because that incompetence is combined with influence, it makes him very dangerous too.

Read more…

Kenneth Lieberthal and Wang Jisi, “Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust”

April 3rd, 2012 10 comments

In the Western discourse, it is extremely rare to see the ‘Chinese’ perspective. Whatever coverage about China that exists, they are generally something anti-government related. For example, at the moment the Western press seems to be drunk and indulgent on tabloidism with respect to the news of Bo Xilai recently relieved of his post as party chief in Chongqing municipality. On occasion, big outlets like the New York Times may carry an Op-Ed from some prominent Chinese citizen (see Eric X Li). A number of years ago CNN’s Fareed Zakaria interviewed Premier Wen, under the condition to not edit out his speech or spin what he had to say. Whatever the reach those instances of unadulterated Chinese views had, they are crucial for the average American to judge on their own and to understand China first hand. The every day reporting of ‘China’ by the Western press is already colored and filtered through an agenda, and hence making understanding of the country and people virtually impossible. Read more…

In Japan’s Shoes

March 29th, 2012 7 comments

In 2006, a high level meeting took place between Zhu Zhixin, vice chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Jun Hamano, vice minister for economic and fiscal policy (Cabinet Office) to discuss the consequence of the 1985 Plaza Accord where Japan was forced by the United States to rapidly increase the value of the Yen versus the USD. 1 Many economists have argued the rapid rise of the Yen, by 200%, from 1985 through 1987 created an asset bubble, and after bursting, resulted in a serious recession; hence the 1990s have been labeled as Japan’s Lost Decade. Read more…

Notes:

  1. The Japan Times, “China seeks to learn from mistakes of 1985 Plaza Accord,” September 9, 2006, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nb20060909a3.html

Li Daguang: “Non-aligned” policy does not mean China cannot make friends

March 8th, 2012 3 comments

[This is a translation courtesy of Charles Liu of a recent Op-Ed by LI Daguang]

李大光:中国 “不结盟” 并不意味着不结交朋友
LI Daguang: China’s “Non-aligned” Policy Does Not Mean She Cannot Make Friends

2012-02-27 08:34

摘要:结交朋友,特别是牢固的国家友好关系,有利于打破某些大国针对中国建立的包围圈。否则就会出现国家越来越强大了,朋友却越来越少了;国家越来越富裕了,但影响力却越来越小了。这是软实力不强的真实反映。

Abstract: Making friends, especially dependable international relations, have the benefit of breaking down certain containment against China by larger countries. Otherwise as China becomes stronger, friends become fewer, and as she becomes wealthier, influence declines. This is a true reflection of weak soft power. Read more…

Stan Abrams of China Hearsay – A Case of Pathological Bias?

February 29th, 2012 22 comments

I usually prefer to keep my posts on general, important issues – and not nit-pick on other bloggers.  However, just as once in a while one is permitted to get drunk, I will indulge in a very short post here on Stan Abrams of China Hearsay.

A few weeks ago, when China lost the WTO Appellate Body dealt China a blow in ruling that its practices on restricting exports of certain minerals / raw materials violated WTO rules, I had written a post on how unfair the decision was.  An agreement that categorically prohibits a nation of 1.3 billion from making any sort of export restrictions to protect its citizens and their environment is unfair. An agree that does so by discrimination – taking away such basic rights from China while preserving such them for other WTO members cannot be conscionable and cannot stand the test of time. I openly sided with an op-ed in the Global Times calling out the injustice and calling for China to renegotiate the grossly unfair terms under which it acceded to the WTO.

At the time, Stan wrote a post that mocked the Global Times op-ed, in effect pontificating that China must follow strictly the letters of its accession, fairness be damned. Read more…

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping with Biden and Clinton at State Department

February 15th, 2012 20 comments

Secretary Hillary Clinton hosted a luncheon at the State Department for the visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.  U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also chimed in as they all affirmed to continue dialog and deal with issues of contention. Overall, I liked the tone they are setting for the on-going conversation between the two nations’ leaders. I’d like to point out a stylistic difference between Biden and Xi. Biden enumerates issues of contention with the American view with sharpness like the knife that cuts through butter. Xi’s speech was more about guidelines on how to approach the issues. For me, on that difference alone, one feels like a vice president and the other a president. I was a bit annoyed at the translator. Xi stated that “human rights can only be improved and no such thing as ‘best’,” and unfortunately this was not translated. Anyways, I am reminded again we ought to get our news more directly from the source whenever possible and not let others interpret for us. Video of their speeches below: Read more…

WTO’s Recent Ruling Against China over Export Controls of Certain Raw Materials: A Critical Juncture for the WTO and a Chance for Chinese Leadership?

February 6th, 2012 8 comments

Last week, the WTO handed China a setback in its ruling over its appeal over export controls  (herein the Ruling) covering “[c]rtain forms of bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon carbide, silicon metal, yellow phosphorous, and zinc.”

The Global Times has a strong response:

Time to reassess unfair WTO entry terms

Global Times | February 01, 2012 00:48

A WTO appeals panel has upheld a ruling against China restricting exports of nine types of raw materials. The ruling, completely unreasonable to Chinese, will threaten China’s resource preservation and environmental protection efforts.

China has generally been following WTO regulations and rulings. But it should find the best balance between applying WTO rules and protecting its national interests. Getting approval from the West is not our top concern.

Admittedly, joining the WTO has boosted China’s rise. However, entry was granted at the cost of China accepting some unfair terms, from which the aftereffects have gradually emerged, including this ruling. They may become a hidden problem for China’s economy. Read more…

perspectivehere on the 90th anniversary of “The Shandong Problem”

February 3rd, 2012 34 comments

If not for the United States, Shandong Province (山东省), map to the left, may still be a Japanese territory today. Reader perspectivehere brought to our attention tomorrow (Feb. 4th) will be the 90th anniversary of the Washington Naval Conference of 1929 which gave back sovereignty of Shandong Province to China. It was The Treaty of Versailles marking the end of WW1 in 1919 that transferred this German “sphere of influence” territory to Japan without China’s approval.

History has many twists and turns. If not for the United States defeating Japan in WW2, the China today might not be intact. John Woo is now making a new epic film about the Flying Tigers to commemorate this important period when the two countries aided each other.

The United States also has China to thank for – for resisting and bogging down the Japanese army in China’s large land mass. Read more…

Five reasons why China will not invade Taiwan, and an analysis of Cross-strait Relations

January 24th, 2012 47 comments

‘So solidly built into our consciousness is the concept that China is conducting a rapacious and belligerent foreign policy, that whenever a dispute arises in which China is involved, she is instantly assumed to have provoked it.’

— Felix Greene, 1965.

When a superpower is engaging in full hegemonic and supercilious display, another country with slowly increasing economic clout and rising international status can raise apprehension. When countries are used to a bigger country that is settled for some years in a bullying position, someone starting to come close to that bully’s level of power, however remotely, has the potential to raise various concerns.

This rise is often wrongly construed as a zero-sum game – the newcomer challenging the bully’s position. In such a case, the existing bully, in its efforts to manipulate popular conceptions about the comparatively-unknown newcomer, will (hypocritically) spread the myth that the newcomer is, and always has been, overtly aggressive. If this myth-making and spreading is successful, even to a small extent, it can negate the effect that the newcomer might have in compensating for or balancing the bully’s hegemony and its hubris. The newcomer’s assurances about its peaceful rise will then be dismissed as deception. The focal point of the bully’s containment policy will be to encourage and manipulate various types of pawns against the newcomer. If such pawns already exist, then they will be fostered and strengthened, and in case they don’t, new ones will be created (Or as Stephen Walt terms it, “a competition for allies”).

Read more…

What Does SOPA (and PIPA) Tell us About “Freedom”?

January 21st, 2012 8 comments

As you may know, there is a heated high-profile war being waged in the U.S. now over a new bill called SOPA (“Stop Online Piracy Act” in the House) and PIPA (“Protect Intellectual Property Act” in the Senate). The bills have been temporarily put on hold, but the issues highlighted by the controversies will not go away.

The purpose of the bills is to enable IP owners to target foreign-based websites from selling pirated movies, music and other products in the U.S. The bills have pitted entities with high stakes in IP such as Hollywood studios and drug companies against tech companies that will be target of any new law such as Google and Wikipedia. Earlier this week, the latter staged various forms of high-profile blackouts, with Chris Dodd of the Motion Picture Association of America responding accusing the tactics as Read more…

Debunking Myth of China exploiting Africa Again!

January 18th, 2012 58 comments

Debunking Myth of China exploiting Africa Again!

I have watched this debate much earlier but caught up in too many things to bring it to your attention. In order to go further it is advisable to watch an earlier talk given by professor Deborah Brautigam earlier on the same subject. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BZfDYnOLw5w

Read more…

MIT Professor, “Open Sources and Information Laundering”

January 13th, 2012 13 comments

On November 29, 2011, the Washington Post cited on a page 1 story a study done at the Georgetown University that China’s nuclear arsenal was 10x as large U.S. government official (and experts) estimates. The study and the article drew a great deal of attention. The information was false. MIT Associate Professor of Political Science, M. Taylor Fravel, has done an excellent write up of this controversy, and his analysis also revealed exaggeration of Chinese troops bordering India. Read more…

A conversation with Shaun Rein on China

January 7th, 2012 72 comments

(On January 5, 2012, I sat down with Shaun Rein, founder and Managing Director of the China Market Research Group, to talk about China. He gave us his insights into major events of 2011. In this hour-long interview, we touched on many topics: pollution, CNN and Christian Bale’s recent run-in with Chinese police, food safety, Weibo, and so on.)

YinYang:2011 was another eventful year for China. Just when her bullet train seems unstoppable, a fatal collision left the whole country in doubt. China achieved space docking, something only the U.S. and Russia have managed. Then there was Tiger Mom.

I have invited a real China expert to weigh in on these events and other events that mattered to China. What were the Chinese narratives? How did the Chinese feel about them? I couldn’t have found a better person to do this with. Read more…

Yan Xuetong, “the country that displays more humane authority will win”

November 21st, 2011 45 comments

Professor of political science and dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University, Yan Xuetong, recently had one of his Chinese essays translated by Zhaowen Wu and David Liu and published as an Op-Ed in the New York Times. Professor Yan is also the editor of The Chinese Journal of International Politics. He is a political realist and a ‘Chinese’ voice on matters of China’s rise, especially in relations to the United States. His essay below states that “the country that displays more humane authority will win” the world leadership race. Read more…

Categories: Foreign Relations Tags:

China’s role in the international community

October 21st, 2011 54 comments

I’d like to extend DeWang’s last post on the possible role of China in the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict with a more generalized discussion of what China’s role should be in international affairs in the future.

China seems to be taking a more active approach in engaging with the world’s conflicts and affairs and other pressing issues and I think this is the right way to go. It has increased its role in the UN and provided peacekeeping troops. It has also taken up an active role in establishing law in jurisprudential debates, making its side’s perspective more known and defending the interests of other developing nations. By being more active here, it makes its own viewpoint and interests known to the world instead of being passive recipients of the rules that continue to govern the world. China has been more actively involved with disputes, economic, social, cultural, environmental, etc. Read more…

Categories: Foreign Relations, General, Opinion, politics Tags:

Janet Carmosky: “China Bashing Season Officially Kicks Off”

September 12th, 2011 16 comments

Below is a recent article written by Janet Carmosky appearing at the Forbes. I simply liked the way she articulates what’s wrong with the American narrative about China – both in their elections as well as in their media. Read more…

Categories: Foreign Relations Tags:

Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Fu Ying on China

August 24th, 2011 141 comments

Following is an interview of Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fu Ying, conducted by SPIEGEL. Many of you might know she was the former China ambassador to the U.K.. Her English is really good and articulates the Chinese perspective really well for the Western audience. For those of you who frequent this blog, you will immediately recognize many of her views are shared here as well. Read more…

Categories: Foreign Relations Tags:

龙信明 BLOG: “Strauss-Kahn – Politics, Espionage & Journalistic Fraud”

July 6th, 2011 5 comments

(DeWang: Following is a well researched analysis of the high profile arrest in the U.S. of former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and the subsequent falling apart of the prosecutions, sourced in its entirety from the 龙信明 BLOG.)

Strauss-Kahn – Politics, Espionage & Journalistic Fraud

Another Day in the Life of the US & Israel
Editorial
Editor’s Note: Some of the expressions in this article have been adapted from comments by readers, to whom I offer my thanks.

Read more…

Cui Tiankai and Kurt Campbell on Asia-Pacific

June 27th, 2011 1 comment

Vice-Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai meets United States Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell in Honolulu on Asia-Pacific

Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai met with United States Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell in Honolulu few days ago in what is the first official U.S.-China dialog on the Asia Pacific. This meeting came about as a result of the last Strategic & Economics Dialog where both countries decided it was critical they find ways to advance peace for the region.

As raventhorn2000 has pointed out here, the U.S. media as usual are advancing a very bleak and confrontational narrative over recent developments in the South China Sea. In the spirit of the S&ED, that is very misguided. I think it is important we keep things in proper perspective and to hear the two government’s official positions directly; Chinese government through Xinhua here and U.S. Department of State through its blog, DipNote, here. In fact, it is worthwhile to think from the perspective of other players in East Asia as well. Read more…

‘On China,’ Henry Kissinger on NPR by Neal Conan and Ted Koppel

June 8th, 2011 13 comments

Full transcript here. Also check out Allen‘s book review. Audio recording accessible through here. Kissinger’s warnings to us all must be repeated, in his answer to Conan’s following question: Read more…

Book Review: On China, By Henry Kissinger

May 30th, 2011 21 comments

Two weeks ago, Henry Kissinger’s new book “On China” went on the shelf. I have the honor of being asked recently to review the book. Henry Kissinger – preeminent American political scientist, diplomat, National Security Advisor and later concurrently Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford – requires no introduction. So I’ll go straight to the book.

In my opinion, “On China” is destined to become a best seller and an important resource on China – on the level of Jonathan Spence’s “In Search of Modern China” – for English readers. The book provides fascinating angles to so many chapters of Sino-American diplomatic history and has the character of an elder statesman telling not only a good story, but of imparting wisdom on a next generation of political leaders.

While focusing on 20th century Chinese history, the book also gave sufficient background on Chinese history to give context to current events – as well as a vision of what can be possible. Kissinger masterfully (but coolly) tells the story of China’s struggles through its centuries of humiliation, starting with the Opium War and its attempts to resist colonialism and foreign invasions. The book traces the story of the Communist rise to power, and the immediate turmoils – both domestic and international – that put the nascent state and the Chinese people immediately to the test.

One of my favorite aspects about the book is the way it tells – with wit, insight and cogency – the hair-triggering geopolitical games the Soviet Union, U.S., and China played. Read more…

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan on Charlie Rose

May 13th, 2011 1 comment

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan were on Charlie Rose May 9, 2011, and I highly recommend a viewing of their conversation (about 40 minutes). Vice Premier Wang (via interpreter) categorically said that the trade imbalance is not related to the currency issue. Geithner basically agreed, though noting currency valuation is “important.” Wang also said that the U.S. is politicizing economic issues with Geithner agreeing. Geithner said both leaders need to fight the urge to do that in their respective countries.

Americans typically think of the Chinese government as a monolithic entity, but they really should see Wang Qishan and listen to how he describes China’s challenge in building consensus in transforming the pattern of growth (towards more consumption based). The Chinese leadership is a collection of personalities with their views and convictions too.

I was encouraged by Geithner’s comment that in the future in order for the U.S. to continue to exert influence, Americans must have a stronger understanding of the rest of the world. Wang Qishan says that it is not “misperceptions” but “lack of understanding” of China that is the problem in the relationship.