Topic:

China

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.

Can Europe Restrain China’s Influence?

| October 30, 2017

In recent months, Germany and France have expressed skepticism and raised security concerns about the implications of Chinese investments in Europe. The 2017 State of the Union speech by the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, reflected those voices, marking the beginning of a new period in Sino-European relations. The EU seems determined to be more careful about welcoming future Chinese business interests and is devising a screening model. However, it remains to be seen whether or not the new European strategy will be efficient, as the EU  needs foreign cash and investment.

President Xi’s Economy-Focused Leadership Model

| October 9, 2017

On September 3, the heads of the BRICS states gathered for a summit. At the event, Chinese President Xi Jinping once again presented his way of thinking about his role in the global arena, a role he believes should focus on economic and trade issues. His approach downplays the issues of North Korea’s nuclear pursuit and the persistent global problem of terrorism, raising questions about his ability – or indeed hi desire – to take on a world leadership position. 

Might China Change Its Policy of Nonintervention?

| October 3, 2017

China has had relationships with Venezuela and Congo – countries that have experienced severe internal difficulties of late – for dozens of years. In Venezuela, China has chosen not to intervene and has withdrawn its investments. Though Beijing has yet to respond in any significant way in Congo, it can be assumed that it will take a similar approach. It does not appear that the conflicts in Congo, though they are accompanied by some financial risk to China’s economy, will affect Beijing’s overall policy regarding foreign intervention.

Trump, Globalization, and China

| September 15, 2017

Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) marks a fundamental change from Barack Obama’s priorities. It could also create a policy vacuum in Asia, as the US is no longer the driving force behind regional integration. China, which sees new opportunities in the American withdrawal, is attempting to foster its own integration schemes – but it remains unclear whether it will be able to replace the US as the world’s globalization leader.

The Indian-Chinese Conflict: Is It Really Heating Up?

| September 12, 2017

On July 24, 2017, China warned India “not to push its luck” – the latest salvo in a long-running border conflict. India wants the Chinese to stop construction of a road to the “chicken’s neck”: the Doklam plateau in the Himalayan mountain ridge between China and the Kingdom of Bhutan, India’s close ally. This narrow strip of land connects China to northeastern India. The Chinese road, if completed, could ultimately threaten India and would represent a major strategic advantage for the Chinese.

Why Are Relations Tightening Between China and Turkey?

| September 1, 2017

The volume of trade between China and Turkey grew significantly in the first decade of this century. The countries’ relationship is now strengthening further, reflecting Turkey’s interest in participating in the BRI and the Chinese leadership’s struggles with its Uyghur minority. Judging from recent declarations, it appears the relationship will hold up, as neither side has viable alternatives to this alliance.

Assessing the North Korean Crisis

| August 30, 2017

When mischief transfigures into menace, and plausible deniability gets in the way of the immediate concerted action necessary to punish state criminality in a decisive and conclusive manner, strategic patience becomes inversely proportional to strategic purpose. The North Korean crisis is a testament to the lamentable current state of a dysfunctional international system in need of a monitored ethical code, of decency and candor, of sincerity, humanity, wisdom and justice, at every echelon. It is time for diplomats and state leaders to heed the urgency.

China in the Red Sea: The Djibouti Naval Base and the Return of Admiral Zheng He

| August 23, 2017

Last month, the Chinese established their first-ever military-naval base outside the Asia-Pacific region, in Djibouti. The establishment of the base is an expression of the “Maritime Silk Road” policy intended to exert Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean and into the Mediterranean. The establishment of the Djibouti base also reflects Beijing’s recent celebration of Zheng He, the 15th century admiral, whose voyages in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean have come to symbolize Chinese power and a Chinese-led global order.