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Politics & Law

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How significant is Macron’s 3-day visit to China 2018?


It appears that French President Emmanuel Macron’s 3-day visit to China was a diplomatic gesture of no significance. Aside from the horse presented by Macron to China in return for the panda, the Chinese order of 184 short-haul Airbus A320s and the removal of ban on French beef (since 2001 due to Europe’s ‘mad cow’ … Continue reading

China’s Rise: “Sharp Power” or “Endgame” for global leadership?


The Economist highlights the concern for China’s “Sharp Power” in its Dec 16th 2017 Issue (p.9, 17-19) alongside “Soft Power” (culture and values) and “Hard Power” (military force and economic muscle). It argues that the “Chinese government is using stealth to shape public opinion and mute criticism in other countries …. China’s sharp power has … Continue reading

China is number one on Eurasia Group’s 2018 list of geopolitical risks


Eurasia Group, which was founded by Ian Bremmer in 1998 with a new and subsequently influential concept of “Global Political Risk Index” (GPRI) for the financial market, puts “China loves a vacuum” as the top risk for 2018. It says that when “China is setting international standards with less resistance than ever before … in … Continue reading

Israelis, Palestinians to attend forum in Beijing after Trump’s Jerusalem recognition


It is undeniably painful to the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular for facing the cruel reality that the Trump administration officially recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. However, despite the high profile protests raised by President Erdogan of Turkey at the summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Dec 13, and … Continue reading

A Red Flag for China on Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands after Trump’s move on Jerusalem


On Dec 6, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States formally recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A quick look at history tells us that after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Israel took control over West Jerusalem (Britain’s Partition Plan failed completely) whereas the eastern part remained inside Jordan according to the 1949 … Continue reading

China is ‘unsettled’ by Australia’s justified criticism and showing ‘outright hostility’


International relations between China and Australia have “soured” and the Asian powerhouse’s mistrust of us is growing — an expert in the field has claimed. Nick Bisley, a Professor of International Relations at La Trobe University, says the country was once reserved in its criticism of Australia but a series of perceived provocations means the … Continue reading

An US-China fight for … (surprise?) … Muslims’ interest in Myanmar


On Nov 20 Bloomberg reported: “China offers solution for Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar. “China Foreign Minister Wang Yi outlined a three-point solution that would allow Myanmar and Bangladesh to resolve the situation…… Wang told reporters that China was ‘willing to play a constructive role’ in resolving the situation.” On Nov 23 Associated Press reported: … Continue reading

The U.S. to contain China by an ‘Indo-Pacific’ proposition


This BBC video tells you that when the “US President Donald Trump continues his five-nation tour of Asia, one term crops up over and over again. ‘Indo-Pacific region’ is being used to define America’s new geopolitical view of Asia.” In 2013, Rory Medcalf, Head of National Security College at Australian National University published an essay … Continue reading

CCP Congress 2017 – 3: Culture is still the Weakest Link


The report delivered by Xi Jinping to the party congress sounds, as a whole, sensible, except the ‘highlight’ under the subtitle of New Era with New Thought. This highlight says that Socialism with Chinese characteristics enters new era “… of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society” and of “moving closer to … Continue reading

CCP Congress 2017 — 2: Rotational Power Succession keeps on rolling


The institutionalization of the rotational elitist power succession in China which began in the 1990s [Note 1] is demonstrated in the new composition of the 7-member Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) after the end of the 19th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress. Xi Jinping (born in 1953, aged 64) and Li Keqiang (b.1955, 62) will serve … Continue reading

CCP Congress 2017 – 1: ‘Two Centenary Goals’


This is the first article of my ‘CCP Congress 2017’ series which will explains the rotational power succession and offers a systematic, precise and concise understanding of the governance in China. Five new members enter into the Politburo Standing Committee. They are Li Zhanshu 栗戰書 (aged 67), Wang Yang 汪洋 (62), Wang Huning 王滬寧 (62), … Continue reading

China’s role in the West-vs-Rest antithesis


The New York Times reported on Oct 16 that “Austria’s rightward lurch is Europe’s New Normal” as the far-right Freedom Party would probably be invited to form a coalition government with the Eurosceptic Sebastian Kurz whose conservative OVP (Austrian People’s Party) had secured a 31% leading position in the latest parliamentary election. Identity politics has … Continue reading

Comparing India’s Generation Y and China’s Post-80s


If, as what I said last week, most established Indian scholars are still heavily influenced by the Western economic-political theories, thus sustaining a divide between India and China, today we should take a look at the next generation for foreseeing the future. In Nov 2010, an interesting research paper which quoted some data and findings … Continue reading

One of the reasons for the India-China discomfort


The Economic Times, the leading Indian daily newspaper in English with a readership of over 800,000, published an article stipulating “three key reasons why India and China must not go to war at a time like this” on Sep 12. “Moving away from ‘assaulting with stones’ to ‘building with BRICS’ could be the new mantra … Continue reading

China remains calm while South Koreans worry mass evacuation by Japan and U.S.


The Associated Press reported on Sept 4 that there is “a growing worry that has many in South Korea and Japan asking a startling question … namely a separation or ‘decoupling’ of the decades-old security alliance between the United States and its top Asian allies, South Korea and Japan?” A Korean student is quoted worrying … Continue reading

India-China Doklam standoff ends when Mexican president joins BRICS meeting


Among various tactical considerations, the two decisive factors that finally helped dissolve the India-China standoff (since June 18) over Doklam on August 28 were Bhutan’s non-belligerent position and, surprisingly, Mexico’s growing interest in the BRICS platform. On Aug 11, at the “first meeting between the two (Indian and Bhutanese) ministers since the Doklam crisis broke … Continue reading

Do not forget Bhutan in the India-China border dispute


The Doklam standoff since 18 June 2017 is getting people worried that a small-scale but very damaging combat might take place as these observers focused on the clash between India and China without looking into the details about Bhutan. The standoff began when around 270 Indian soldiers entered Doklam, a territory in dispute between China … Continue reading

China appreciates Tillerson’s “Four Nos” on North Korea


“We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th Parallel,” U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson said on August 1. He got a feedback from … Continue reading

China supports two-state solution to settle the Palestinian issue


Standing next to the visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Beijing, Xi Jinping states clearly that China supports the two-state solution which is in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. It is the loudest rebuttal to certain analysts’ ill-motivated question on China’s stand on and on for many years. Having said that, … Continue reading

China, Germany step up as U.S. retires from world leadership


The U.S. traditionally takes point in the search for common approaches to the big global issues of the day at G-20 summits. Not this time. When world leaders meet in Hamburg on Friday, China and Germany will move in to usurp the U.S.’s role. The U.S. traditionally takes point in the search for common approaches … Continue reading

Trump acting as a spokesman for China’s non-interference policy


U.S. President Donald Trump seems acting as a spokesman for China’s long-term non-interference foreign policy that even in the case of North Korea, Beijing refrains from exercising its power and influence to alter another sovereign state’s foreign policy forcefully. Who else can help China better to make all other Third World countries believe that Beijing … Continue reading

China says Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong no longer has meaning


China said on Friday the joint declaration with Britain over Hong Kong, which laid the blueprint over how the city would be ruled after its return to China in 1997, was a historical document that no longer had any practical significance. In response, Britain said the declaration remained in force and was a legally valid … Continue reading

Germany warns that liberal world order would end if US cedes leadership to China and Russia


Germany’s veteran finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, urged the U.S. to limit Russian and Chinese influence or risk bringing about “the end of our liberal world order.” The comments by Schaeuble, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet since she took office in 2005, are one of the strongest expressions of concern among European policy makers … Continue reading

China leaves the U.S. no other choice but ‘talk’ for Korea


Had Pyongyang really possessed nuclear warheads, no president of the United States, anyone, whoever, would dare to put the lives of his soldiers in South Korea (28,500) and Japan (54,000) at risk. The THADD missile defense system is not a 100% guarantee. By that time, the serving American president has only one option, namely, break … Continue reading

A better UK-China relationship is coming


A ‘Hung Parliament’ or coalition government in the UK is nothing new. Were we still in the times of Pax Britannica or Pax Americana, the world politics should have been around the same. However, nowadays, the world is more competitive. Germany, France, Russia, Japan, and even India, are vying to play certain leadership roles in … Continue reading

America warns China about South China Sea claims


U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has delivered a warning to China over their ridiculous claims in the South China Sea. In his speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mattis launched into sharp criticism of what he called Beijing’s disregard for international law by its “indisputable militarisation” of artificial … Continue reading

All women are welcome to China’s beaches with a face mask of any kind


The hot summer, after the Dragon Boat Festival on May 30, will ‘formally’ begin in China. One of the places for fun is the beach. It has been increasingly popular in the beaches here since the early 2010s that women wear masks to protect themselves from UV so as to keep their face skin smooth … Continue reading

China is trying to reshape the world In China’s image


China is one of the few countries in the world today with money to spend, and Xi Jinping is ready to write some cheques. China’s president will host almost 30 world leaders in Beijing on Sunday at the first Belt and Road Forum, the centerpiece of a soft-power push backed by hundreds of billions of … Continue reading

Chinese Kung Fu and Confucianism are not ‘Killer Apps’


A Chinese ‘tai chi’ master was defeated by a free-combat fighter in just 10 seconds in a race held in Chengdu last week. In my Dec 2016 article “No Chinese ‘Kung Fu’ in Hong Kong riot”, I was one of the very few people who straightforwardly pointed that ‘kung fu’ is by its nature slow … Continue reading

Drafting peace in the Pacific


We no longer live in a world without alliances. Yes, individual nations retain sovereignty within their borders. However, the days are over when a single nation will boss and police an entire region alone. One nation can no longer take out an “enemy” in another nation as the “lone ranger”. Any nation that tries will … Continue reading

What it means to China after Trump says America respects all nations’ own path


By saying that “… America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America…” in his first Joint Address to the Congress [Note 1], President Donald Trump not just elaborates his ‘America First’ doctrine but … Continue reading

Australia is the leader in the Asia-Pacific region, not China or Japan


Forbes recently wrote that the leading power in East Asia will be Japan, not China. While this is probably true, Australia should not be forgotten as already being the de facto leader in the greater Asia-Pacific region, and could be a greater power than Japan or future economic giant India, who are both contenders as … Continue reading

Australia has not changed their position on the South China Sea, despite what media says


A recent article in the Australian Financial Review claims that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has changed her position on the South China Sea, and that Australia is now more in step with China’s stance. This is not necessarily true, and seems to reflect the desires of some elements of Australian business to portray Australia … Continue reading

China, America and insecurities that threaten the world


Donald Trump needs to stop playing on Twitter and act like a leader of the free world, for everyone’s sake Since being elected just three months ago, Donald Trump has made 46 child-like Twitter attacks on American allies and well-respected Americans, including Australia, Germany, the U.S. court system, Meryl Streep and Arnold Schwarzenegger. These attacks seem … Continue reading

The leading power in East Asia will be Japan, not China


By 2040, Japan will rise as East Asia’s leading power. This is one of our most controversial forecasts at Geopolitical Futures. Our readers know that GPF is bearish on China. And while some may disagree on that point, they usually see that the reasoning is sound. China will face serious problems in coming years… problems that will … Continue reading

America will block China’s access to artificial islands in South China Sea


President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state said China must be denied access to artificial islands built in the South China Sea, a move that would raise the risk of conflict between the world’s biggest economies. Hours into a confirmation hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was grilled extensively about his views … Continue reading

China upset at name change of de facto Japan embassy to include name “Taiwan”


China expressed dissatisfaction on Wednesday after Japan‘s de facto embassy in self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province, said it would change its name to include the word Taiwan. Japan, like most countries in the world, maintains only informal relations with Taiwan while it has diplomatic ties with Beijing. From Jan. 1, the Interchange … Continue reading

After Trump’s win, China and Mexico move to deepen ties


China and Mexico pledged on Monday to deepen ties at a meeting between their top diplomats following last month’s U.S. presidential election victory of Donald Trump, who has tested Washington’s relationship with both countries. Before arriving in Mexico on Sunday, Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi met with members of Trump’s team in New York, including … Continue reading

Chinese paper calls Trump ‘as ignorant as a child’ after Taiwan comment


President-elect Trump is talking about Taiwan again — and China is not pleased. In an interview broadcast Sunday on Fox News, Trump said the United States was not bound by the “One China” policy, the decades-old diplomatic understanding that underpins ties between Washington and Beijing. “I don’t know why we have to be bound by … Continue reading

China says Trump must toe line on Taiwan


U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will face “serious” consequences should he attempt to revise U.S. policy toward Taiwan, a state newspaper China Daily said. The editorial welcomed Trump’s plan to nominate Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as ambassador to Beijing, who’s known Chinese President Xi Jinping for almost three decades and was described by the country’s foreign … Continue reading

China state media warns Trump against isolationism, calls for status quo


Chinese state media has warned the U.S. president-elect against isolationism and interventionism, calling instead for the United States to actively work with China to maintain the international status quo. President-elect Donald Trump threatened to tear up trade deals and pursue a more unilateral foreign policy under his “America First” principle during a tempestuous election campaign. … Continue reading

China slams EU Commissioner’s ‘slitty eyes’ comment


China expressed disdain Wednesday over European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger’s use of the term “slitty eyes” to describe Chinese people in a leaked recording of a speech to business leaders. In the comments, secretly filmed at a Hamburg event earlier this month, Oettinger — the commissioner for digital economy who was last week named to the … Continue reading

The Philippines and China will have a deal rather than a fight – 2016 update


In my 2013 Nov 27 China Daily Mail article, I wrote that: “… Aquino’s personal style of high profile leadership will be ended by the completion of his tenure. Both ordinary Filipinos and the powerful oligarchic groups such as Cojuangco, Ayala and Roxas will sensibly choose the path to talk for preserving and fostering their … Continue reading

Hong Kong MPs defy China during swearing-in ceremony


A swearing-in ceremony to kick off Hong Kong’s legislative session descended into a farce, as newly elected pro-democracy politicians intentionally mangled their oaths in a show of defiance against Beijing. The MPs also displayed flags declaring that Hong Kong is not a part of China, and called out for “democratic self-determination” for the semi-autonomous Chinese … Continue reading

Philippines wants to ‘open alliances’ with Russia and China


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would visit Russia and China this year to chart an independent foreign policy and “open alliances” with two powers with historic rivalries with the United States. Duterte said the Philippines was at the “point of no return” in relations with former colonial ruler the United States, so … Continue reading

Putin to institutionalise a China-like rotational power succession system in Russia


After Vladimir Putin hinted at his September 5 Bloomberg interview that he might not run for presidency in 2018 and suggested that the next leader should be “fairly young” but “mature” [Note 1], pundits are now guessing his successor would be either Alexey Dyumin (1972-), the present Deputy Defense Minister, or Anton Vaino (1972-), the … Continue reading

China criticises US, Japan, Australia for ‘fanning’ tensions in South China Sea


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticised the United States, Japan and Australia for a joint statement on the South China Sea that he said was only “fanning the flames” of regional tensions just as countries have agreed to cool them down. Wang said in a statement Wednesday that the move by the three countries came … Continue reading

Philippines rules out talks with China over international tribunal ruling


Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte assured US lawmakers Wednesday that he has no plans to negotiate with China over their territorial dispute in the South China Sea even as former President Fidel Ramos said he will meet with the President over the weekend to discuss his role as presidential troubleshooter for talks with Beijing. Connecticut Senator … Continue reading

International tribunal rejects China’s claims in South China Sea


An international tribunal in The Hague, The Permanent Court of Arbitration, has delivered a sweeping rebuke on Tuesday of China’s behaviour in the South China Sea, from the construction of artificial islands to interference with fishing, and ruled that its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis. The tribunal also said … Continue reading

Seoul may appeal to Beijing for help amid US pullout of soldiers


All U.S. troops — 54,000 in Japan and 28,500 in South Korea — will be withdrawn by the time the Pentagon has been certain North Korea is in possession of nuclear warheads. It is the message implicitly conveyed by Donald Trump when saying repeatedly since late March that Japan and South Korea should have nuclear … Continue reading

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