Topic:

China

India and China Are Converging on Afghanistan

| June 7, 2018

The “informal summit” between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in China in late April generated worldwide interest. Aimed at sidestepping contentious issues and enhancing greater strategic communication at the leadership level, the summit witnessed the two leaders recognizing the “common threat” of terrorism and expressing commitment to cooperate on counter-terrorist measures. However, an issue that largely escaped attention is an agreement between them to work jointly on economic projects in Afghanistan. This has been interpreted as Beijing’s message to Islamabad that China “approves” India’s positive role in stabilizing Afghanistan, a fact already recognized by the Trump administration in its new Afghan policy.

China Is Treading a Fine Line in Iran

| May 18, 2018

Now that Donald Trump has exited the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran, there is more at stake for the other signatories than either their belief in the deal’s virtues or their eagerness to salvage economic opportunities. Maintaining the deal without the US would deliver a severe blow to American credibility and perceptions of US power. China has long experience circumventing sanctions regimes, but the environment surrounding the reimposed sanctions is likely to be unusually confrontational.

China’s Role in a Nuclear Middle East

| May 7, 2018

The US president’s threats that the Iranian nuclear agreement has to be reevaluated, and Saudi Arabia’s intention to continue the quest for nuclear capabilities if Iran persists in its efforts, are of great concern to the international powers. Here we examine possible responses of China to these issues.

Who Will Reconstruct Syria?

| February 25, 2018

The fighting in Syria, which began in 2011, between President Bashar Assad and the opposition forces, seems to have reached its final stages. It is almost certain that Assad will remain in power. He will be the one to lead Syria in the coming years, and he will have to deal with the reconstruction of the ravaged country. In the interests of the Syrian people as well as the West, including Israel, it is wise to support China in its efforts to lead the reconstruction.

Why Didn’t Chinese Investment Ease Ethnic Tensions in Xinjiang?

| February 23, 2018

The assumption that economic investment aimed at increasing modernization and raising standards of living will weaken ethnic identity and strengthen a minority’s sense of belonging has been disproven in the case of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR) in western China. Uyghur nationalism is increasing despite significant economic investment by the Chinese government, raising questions about the effectiveness of economic development programs designed to close gaps and diminish polarization between different groups.

Chinese-Palestinian Relations: What’s Really Going On?

| February 6, 2018

On December 23, 2017, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi observed that “it’s been seventy years since the UN adopted the decision to create a Palestinian state, but seventy years later, a Palestinian state is yet to be created.” Other Chinese voices in recent years have made similar statements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Why the Chinese preoccupation with this issue? Perhaps because words and gestures allow Beijing to show involvement while avoiding intervention.

Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem: The View from Beijing

| December 27, 2017

While he was on the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and start plans to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. On December 6, 2017, he made good on that promise. Like media elsewhere around the world, Chinese newspapers – which express the positions of the central government in Beijing – had much to say on the matter. The Chinese responses cast light on two areas: Israeli-Chinese relations and Chinese foreign policy towards the greater Middle East.

Moving Westward: The Chinese Rebuilding of Syria

| December 5, 2017

As the Syrian civil war enters its final stages, China appears determined to take on a central role in Syria’s reconstruction. One factor motivating China’s involvement is the presence of a large number of Uighur jihadists among the anti-government forces. Another is the “One Belt-One Road” initiative – a planned attempt to establish and control a modern day Silk Road connecting China, the Middle East, and Europe. The increasingly active role China is playing in Syria might mark a shift in the geostrategic reality of the region. 

The Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Conference

| November 1, 2017

On October 18, 2017, representatives of the Communist Party of China (CPC) met for their party conference, which takes place every five years. At the event, President Xi Jinping significantly consolidated his position in the party and the state. The Chinese leadership is facing complex challenges, but also has much to be proud of. The party is showing strength and stability, and is taking steps to demonstrate that China has leaders who can take the country forward to face the challenges of the future – even if its approach does not always comport with a Western worldview.

Greece, Israel, and China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative

| October 31, 2017

China’s “Belt and Road” initiative signals the continuation and expansion of a pre-existing incremental policy that aims to strengthen China’s economic and geopolitical roles, though Beijing’s long-term approach remains unclear. The initiative does not immediately bring Greece and Israel closer. But it gives the two countries an opportunity to discuss China’s new role in the Mediterranean and to maximize bilateral relationships with Beijing without challenging their pro-West orientation.