Category Archives: White Paper

Position Paper of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines

On December 7, 2014, the Chinese government released a position paper on why the UNCLOS Arbitration initiated by Philippines should be dismissed as groundless.  Below is a copy.  For me personally, it’s interesting reading it after I have conducted my own extensive research in the area in writing my own paper on the topic last June.  The Chinese position paper has cited the relevant laws correctly, but I feel my paper dove into the legal issues deeper and more comprehensively.  The Chinese position paper however does include a lot of events that are relevant to understanding the situation but that I had not cited.

Here it goes: Continue reading Position Paper of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines

Creating Central Eurasia – a vision for collaboration between the Silk Road & Eurasian Union projects

I want to share a GREAT analysis from the Valdai Club (see links below), outlining the opportunities for the PRC & Russia to jointly promote development and stability in Central Asia, by integrating the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) & Eurasian Union initiatives. I find it an insightful counter-narrative to the mainstream (mostly western) rhetoric of China & Russia “at each others’ throats” in a zero-sum competition for hegemony in Central Asia – such as this one. It illustrates the magnitude of the opportunity for collaboration, and recommends a framework for execution. To date, I think there is no better scholarship than this one, in terms of clearly articulating the Russian perspective on, and response to, the Chinese SREB project.
Enjoy the read.
NOTE: For those who are not familiar with the Valdai Club, I would roughly describe it as Russia’s version of the US Council on Foreign Relations.

On China’s 9-Dashed Line and Why the Arbitrational Tribunal in Hague Should Dismiss Philippine’s Case Against China

December 15 was the deadline the Arbitration Tribunal for Philippine’s “arbitration” of its S. China Sea disputes with China had set for China to respond to Philippine’s claims under the UNCLOS.  According to this VOA report:

Monday is the deadline for China to submit a counter-argument in the Philippines arbitration case that questions China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea. But China shuns arbitration and will not respond, while challenges to its position continue to mount.

Just days before the December 15 deadline, Vietnam Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Bin said his government told the Permanent Court of Arbitration that Vietnam fully rejected “China’s claim over the Hoang Sa [Paracel] and Truong Sa [Spratly] archipelagoes and the adjacent waters.”

In a statement, the Philippines called Vietnam’s position “helpful in terms of promoting the rule of law and in finding peaceful and nonviolent solutions to the South China Sea claims.”

But China’s Foreign Ministry urged Vietnam “to earnestly respect China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.” The ministry reiterated China’s position that the tribunal does not have jurisdiction over the case.

In a paper Beijing released a week ago, China argued the Philippines was essentially taking a territorial dispute to the tribunal and that the question of territorial sovereignty was not something addressed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Spokesman Charles Jose said his government has “taken note” of the position paper.

I had done some research and written an article on the subject earlier this year.  The plan was to publish it somewhere with Eric’s help, and through Guancha’s affiliates. However, by the time I finished, in mid-late August, the S. China Sea issue had drifted from the main media attention and Eric thought it was best to wait.

As it turned out, the “news” would not focus on S. China Sea again this year (fortunately), as the West attention seems to be focused now on ISIS, Ukraine, Russia, and Japan and Europe’s continuing economic problems…

If the news flare up again, I will see about writing something pertinent to that occasion.  But for now, I think it’s too much of a waste to just let my research this year lie dormant.  So below is my paper.   It might seem long and dense because it’s meant to address all the major legal arguments I hear Philippines officials and Western anti-China “legalists” publicly making.  I hope it’s educational for all here. If people have any feedback, I welcome them.  They will only make our position – and my future articles (if they are needed) – that much stronger.

2008 “Olympic Debate” over Tibet on American Bar Association China Law Committee

My 2008 public debate with a US trained Tibetan Lawyer (with some other folks interjecting), archived on ABA China Law Committee Listserver:

This began over the ABA China Law Committee’s email listserver in 2008 around the time of the Tibet riots.  Several US attorneys started asking questions about Tibet and the riot.  The Tibetan-American lawyer began with his definition of “sovereignty” as applied to Tibet, and I responded.  And it sparked off a rather heated debate (I personally remained very civil, some of the middle parts were not my statements, but rather from a few other Chinese and American commentators/lawyers).

Click here for a pdf summary from the ABA Archive. 
Continue reading 2008 “Olympic Debate” over Tibet on American Bar Association China Law Committee

Peaceful rise, the biggest international relations issue of our life time

In 1996, Samuel P. Huntington published his famous book, “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” where he posited after the Cold War, the world is more likely going to have major wars due to civilizational fault lines than anything else. He recognized that the Cold War was a competition between the Capitalist West and the Communist East. Huntington provoked great debates among international relations theorists. Of course, Hungtington followed the heels of Francis Fukuyama who famously wrote “End of History” at the end of the Cold War, proclaiming that Democracy has won; that that system would be an eventuality for every nation on earth and there will no longer be any major conflicts after that.

Fukuyama has since recanted what he wrote, especially as China has risen in the last couple of decades with a system of its own (albeit changing). Regardless of whether Huntington or Fukuyama is ultimately right, the biggest international relations question for our life time and for the next few generations will be how a new power rises peacefully so the declining power does not clash with it. For now it appears to be between China and America, but for our collective future, it can be between any two nation states (or civilizations if you prefer). History tells us that those clashes are often brutal, and given the awesome technologies we have today, there is probably no place to hide and nobody spared.

If we don’t solve this problem as humans, we are guaranteed to self-destruct sooner or later. If Fukuyama is reading this post, he’d agree this is a worthwhile problem to solve. If Huntington is still alive today, he’d agree too.
Continue reading Peaceful rise, the biggest international relations issue of our life time

Beijing University Professor Fan Gang: Rising labor cost in China not a worry

It’s Labor Day in the U.S.! There has been a lot of sensationalism in the West regarding rising labor costs in China (i.e. Foxconn, Honda, etc.). Just to keep things in perspective, we are talking about instances of factory workers making something like $100 a month to making $150 a month in the richer coastal cities. While it is a whopping 50% jump, that $50/month is easily absorbed by other factors as explained by an economist and Beijing University Professor Fan Gang. He is also Director of China’s National Economic Research Institute, Secretary-General of the China Reform Foundation, and a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China.

I have read too many “dumbed down” and sensationalized articles in the West about the labor cost issue in China. Here is an intelligent (and I also dare say “boring”, as in Daniel Schorr’s “boring”) view from China (appeared in China Daily as, “Is low-wage China disappearing?“):
Continue reading Beijing University Professor Fan Gang: Rising labor cost in China not a worry

China publishes white paper: “The Internet in China” 《中国互联网状况》白皮书

On June 8, 2010, a white paper, “The Internet in China,” (full text in English) was released by the Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese full text version is also available: “中国互联网状况.”

This is a very important document, because it articulates the Chinese vision for the Internet. For putting this vision in writing, it enables those around the world to hear directly what China has to say rather than relying on others interpretation (with prejudice or otherwise). Those countries sharing China’s priorities could rally behind it. Those oppose can pinpoint areas of contention. (For completeness, the China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC) (中国互联网络信息中心) is an invaluable site to see the ground-level developments of the Internet within China, if you are interested.)
Continue reading China publishes white paper: “The Internet in China” 《中国互联网状况》白皮书