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Volume 4, Issue 1, 2019

Issues 1
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David Armstrong

For much of the forty years since Deng Xiaoping’s assumption of leadership in 1978 and the huge increase in economic growth that followed, the response of most other countries was one of admiration and support. Here, it was increasingly argued, was a new China that had shifted decisively from the turbulent internal policies that had cost the lives of millions and the ideologically driven foreign policies that had brought it into conflict with both superpowers as well as supporting revolutionary movements in many developing states.


The Struggle Between the US and China: Values, not Tariffs

Kerry Brown

Since mid-2018, the US and China have been engaged in a war of attrition. Thankfully, this has involved diplomacy and trade, rather than any real physical battle. From time to time, they have tip toed close to resolving their issues. But just at the last moment each time, particularly in May when they looked closest to an agreement, one side (this time the US) draws back, and the other quickly retreats too, leading to stalemate.


Civilizational Clash in China-US Relations? Globalization and Culture Lines

David Scott

At the start of 2019, the Hong Kongbased South China Morning Post ran an article on 20 January titled “From trade war to a clash of civilisations” written by Regina Ip. In it, she argued that “the West should recognise that China is not an ordinary national state. It is a civilizational state” and that “if Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations prognosis is anything to go by, Sinic civilisation is not one which lends itself easily to Westernstyle democratisation”.


Why Does China Care About the South China Sea?

Bill Hayton

All wars are tragedies but a war resulting from a translation mistake would be more tragic than most. And, if there ever were a conflict in the South China Sea, a mid-1930s mistranslation would be, at least partially, to blame. So, before the situation gets anywhere near the point of conflagration, it is vital that regional leaders understand that they could be fighting over a misunderstanding.


China’s Trillion-Dollar Straw Man

Jeff Fu

By the tranquil shores of Keenjhar Lake lies a vast stretch of saline land, dotted by rumpled bushes and 66 sets of wind turbine generators. Together, these turbines feed 99 MW of power into Pakistan’s national grid.1 The project is expected to help reduce the regular power outages that are a vexing source of inconvenience in Pakistan.2 Financed with $250 million from China Development Bank and constructed by China Gezhouba Group, the UEP Wind Farm is operated by United Energy Pakistan, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based United Energy Group.3


Europe and the Belt and Road Initiative: State of Play and Contemporary Perceptions

Karine Lisbonne de Vergeron

The focus of this article is to explore ongoing developments in European perceptions of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and how BRI has been gradually influencing Europe in thinking more strategically about its own continental scale and common interests across Eurasia. The New Silk Roads are neither a formal policy nor a clearly defined geographical or geopolitical strategy, but rather an evolving narrative, a feature which has significantly influenced European attitudes towards it. Moreover, European perceptions have been partly shaped by the importance of the EU–China bilateral relation as well as European plans towards Asian connectivity, its developing strategic approach towards Eurasia and, more recently Central Asia, as well as individual national prerogatives across the EU. This is notwithstanding the increasingly important dimension of BRI, promoted by China not just as a source of infrastructure development, but also possibly as a label for future international relations’ exchanges.



“There are Nine Million Bicycles in Beijing” Boom And Bust For The Sharing Economy

Chris Rowley

China’s economy continues its slowdown from its dizzying heights while at the same time moving away from maturing manufacturing towards a post-industrial future. Can fresh sources of growth, such as services or the so-called ‘sharing economy’, be a potential saviour? One example might be what was a hot, new sector – dockless bicycle sharing. This app based business gave customers total flexibility to ‘hire at will’ - to locate, unlock, ride and leave bikes anytime and anyplace and pay by smartphone. This business meshed with not only the craze for ‘vehicle’ hiring in some of the wold’s biggest cities, but also many people’s enthusiasm for ecommerce and all things digital and arriving via smartphones.


Italy Joins China’s Belt and Road Initiative: A Grand Awakening for the EU

Maria Adele Carrai

On March 23rd, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s four-day visit to Italy sealed the contentious Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) between Italy and the People’s Republic of China. Together with the Memorandum, Italy and China signed a total of 29 agreements - 19 commercial and 10 institutional - for a formal value of 2.5 billion Euro and a potential of 20 billion Euro.] The Memorandum, which has secured Italy’s official support to the 1-trillion-dollar Chinese initiative aimed at increasing connectivity through investments in infrastructures, raised much concern in the EU and in the US, with the media often portraying Italian support as a risky gamble.


China-North Korea Trade Will Only Make Denuclearisation an Impossible Task

Debalina Ghoshal

That China carries out trade relations with North Korea and is North Korea’s biggest trading partner is a known fact. For years, despite sanctions imposed on North Korea for carrying out its nuclear and missile programme, China has continued trade relations with North Korea, thereby helping North Korea to earn cash that they could probably invest in their nuclear and missile development programme. The Trump administration, however, presses for a nuclear weapons free North Korea that also includes dismantling of delivery systems like missiles. It is in this context that the article aims to analyse how China’s continued trade relations is affecting the denuclearisation process to progress.


Japan and China Look at Infrastructure Cooperation but Challenges Remain

Jonathan Berkshire Miller

Change seems to be afoot in the relationship between Asia’s two largest economies. In June, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping for a bilateral summit in Osaka, on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Some may view the visit as purely ceremonial and symbolic – as world leaders frequently hold such meetings alongside large international events. But this would be a misread of the recent developments in relations between Japan and China. In fact, Xi’s visit to Osaka was significant and represents his first trip to Japan since he assumed the position as Chinese leader in 2013 (his only other previous visit to Japan was in 2009 when he was vice president). During the meeting, both sides praised the positive trajectory of the relationship, with Abe noting his desire for a “new era of Japan-China relations” and Xi responding positively to an invitation to visit Tokyo next spring for an official standalone statelevel visit.




David Armstrong

China’s dramatic growth over the last 40 years was at first welcomed and encouraged in the West, in part because it brought some economic benefits for the rest of the world, in part because it seemed to be leading China towards being a more open, liberal and law-bound country. However, as the prospect of this century producing a China that is the richest and most powerful state in the world has seemed ever more likely, this has inevitably led to much greater apprehensions in other states. At the same time China itself has been going through a process of reconsidering many of the cautious maxims of Deng Xiaoping and replacing them with what the leadership regards as a policy framework that is more appropriate for a superpower. In other words, with power have come problems, both for China and the rest of the world.


US-China strategic rivalry and its implications

Tim Summers

This paper discusses the latest developments and prospects for US-China relations and their implications for China and global governance. It argues that an era of “peace and development” featuring growing interdependence between the US and China in the context of intensified globalisation has given way to an era of strategic rivalry between the US and China.


China’s National Security Strategy and Military Strategy for a New Era Major General

Chen Zhou

China’s time-honored security concepts and abundant security strategies are parts of the important reasons why the Chinese nation still stands firmly in the East through five thousand years of vicissitudes. China’s traditional security strategic concept takes on the following five important features: First, guarding against adversity in times of peace and taking precautions for potential vulnerabilities. There is a great saying in Zhouyi that states “One should be mindful of possible danger in times of peace, downfall in times of prosperity, and chaos in times of stability.” Second, dealing with wars prudently. As the first statement in Sun Tzu’s Art of War goes, “War is a matter of vital importance to the state, a matter of life and death, a road either to survival or to ruin. Hence, it is imperative that it be thoroughly studied.” Third, stressing defense rather than offense. All the Chinese dynasties emphasized the internal order and stability with a strategic focus on resisting aggression of the nomadic people from the north. Fourth, combining military measures with non-military ones, tempering force with mercy.


China’s Belt-Road Initiative: Objectives, Attractions and Challenges

Suisheng Zhao and Guo Dan

This article argues that the BRI vision for global connectivity focuses rightfully on infrastructure construction to meet the desperate needs in many developing countries. Applied wisely, the BRI could help transform China’s relations with participating countries and provide a stage to demonstrate China’s international leadership especially after the U.S. has retreated from global leadership. But realizing the BRI objectives requires not only vision but also scrupulous economic planning and formidable diplomatic actions. The challenges for China are to make BRI commercially sustainable, balance China’s own interests with the interests of partners, and create the shared values, inspiring other countries to work with China for a better future.


Living in each other’s worlds: China and Japan

Duncan Bartlett

China and Japan have been inextricably linked for centuries but until recently, the legacy of 20th Century war has soured their diplomatic relationship. Now the mood is changing, with China offering a hand of friendship to Japan, as it tries to persuade its neighbour to sign up to the Belt and Road Initiative. However, suspicions of Chinese ideology run deep in Tokyo and often emerge in the media.When I asked a right-wing journalist in Tokyo to tell me why he writes scathing articles about China, he put it this way: “We don’t want to live like them.” He is deputy editor of a newspaper which regularly complains about the Chinese government, its business policies and the many failings it sees in Chinese society. However its strongest condemnation is directed towards the “panda huggers” - Japanese people who align with China and who - in the view of the columnist - become deluded by Chinese propaganda, without realising the political danger. As a proud Japanese nationalist, this dismays him.


Going beyond the world. China reaches for outer space.

David Scott

China’s self-proclaimed dream is clear cut; it “aspires to become a major space power”.i China’s drive to become a major “space power” (taikong liliang) is the latest development in China’s rise as a terrestrial “great power” (da guo). This both reflects and pushes the trend towards “globalization of space”, breaking the old US/Soviet duopoly of the Cold War era and its Space Race between those two rivals. Currently, just as there is competition and perhaps power transition going on between the US and China down below in the international system and global economy, so there is competition and perhaps power transition going on up above? China’s nightmare is that it will be closed out of space by the United States (US). China’s space dream is of course the US nightmare. American fears about China’s cumulative space advances are that they indicate China’s “interest in space dominance”; in which “Beijing is making it clear that it intends to increasingly compete with the United States for pre-eminence in space, both strategically and commercially”. ii Such mutual perceptions create classic security dilemmas between these two great terrestrial powers, a new Cold War and Space Race emerging between the US and China.


The Greater Middle East: China’s Reality Check

James M. Dorsey

If any one part of the world has forced China to throw its long-standing foreign and defense policy principles out the window and increasingly adopt attitudes associated with a global power, it is the greater Middle East, a region that stretches from the Atlantic coast of Africa to north-western China.The Middle East’s ability to influence Chinese policy stems from its decades-long, uncanny capability to foist itself high up on the agenda of the international community and its most powerful constituents. The Middle East’s relevance was facilitated by China’s need to protect its growing economic and geopolitical interests bundled into the Belt and Road initiative, a US$1 trillion infrastructure-driven effort to tie Eurasia to the People’s Republic, and China’s desire to take advantage of President Donald J. Trump’s damaging of US credibility by projecting itself as the defender of the world order. Developments in the greater Middle East left China no choice but to reinterpret or dump on the dustbin of history principles of noninterference in the domestic affairs of others, an economically-driven win-win approach as a sort of magic wand for problem solution, and no foreign military interventions or bases. Nonetheless, hampered by its reticence to articulate a Middle East policy that goes beyond economic, technical, military and anti-terrorism cooperation, China’s progressive embrace of foreign and defense policies typical for a global power means that increasingly the People’s Republic is likely to be sucked into the Middle East’s multiple conflicts and disputes.


The China model as a discourse

Maria Adele Carrai

Despite the fact that several scholars have dismissed it as a myth, the “China model” continues to pervade academic debates about Chinese foreign policy. Recently, it has been used to channel anxiety about China’s global rise as well as a path for developing countries seeking to achieve a similar economic success. This paper treats the China model as a discursive construction. Although it is constantly reshaped and manipulated, it constitutes a way of knowing and experiencing the world that has implications for policies toward China. Looking at the various discourses of the China model, this paper presents the argument that the Chinese government, including Xi Jinping with his “China plan” (fang-an), cannot be said to be plotting to spread an “illiberal” model. For many scholars and citizens around the world, globalization no longer seems to be an end in itself, and US leadership, with its commitment to liberal values, has lost some of its attraction (Rodrik 2011; Weber et al 2007). China, as a rising global power, now appears to be the main advocate of globalization, even though it does not share all the liberal values usually associated with the phenomenon (Kynge 2007; Agamennone 2017). Despite its integration with the global world, its attitude toward the established international institutions and practices is ambivalent (Webster 2014; Chan 2006; Kent 2007). China seems to have defied liberal expectations that its governance would ultimately converge with liberal values, such as human rights, democracy, and rule of law. Given the systemic nature of the challenge China poses to the existing economic and legal order and its potential ability to reshape international norms and institutions, mass media outlets and academic journals have increasingly discussed a “China model.” For some, this model reflects a shift away from a more status-quo behaviour in Chinese diplomacy—a shift that could threaten the Western liberal model (Chen 2017).



OBOR and trade wars

Chris Dixon and Chris Luenen

The escalating USA trade war must be seen as part of a much wider US push-back against a rising China, and indeed much of the global system that is considered not to be acting in the American interest. For China, this raises concerns over the impact on its economy and highly integrated domestic and international efforts, not least its flagship One Belt, One Road (OBOR), related Asian and Eurasian regionalisation and institution building, and the critical - and markedly improving relations with key players in these developments (Dixon and Slavic 2018). Although a sudden about-face by Trump culminating in a comprehensive deal between the US and China should not be ruled out, as things currently stand, more likely is a significant intensification of American actions during 2019.


South Korea’s THAAD decision: How South Korea’s economy suffered?

Debalina Ghoshal

In 2017, South Korea decided to field the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in its territory owing to the growing missile threat from North Korea. The decision to field the THAAD system was pending for a while as South Korea did not wish to initially annoy the Chinese. South Korea -that shared a strong bilateral trade relation with China- suffered adversely as following the fielding of the THAAD, China boycotted South Korean goods and services. China’s economic retaliation has completely jolted the South Korean economy and many South Korean companies have either sold off or restructured their business ventures.


China in the Arctic: In the grey zone of economics and security

M. Taylor Fravel, Kathryn Lavelle and Liselotte Odgaard

On September 10, 2018, Greenland and Denmark reached an agreement in which Denmark would finance the development of international airports in the capital of Nuuk as well as Ilulissat and Qaqortoq. These airports are considered crucial for Greenland’s connections with Europe and America and hence for the island’s economic development. Denmark will pay 700 million Danish crowns (US$ 109) for a 33 per cent stake in Kalaallit Airports, a state-owned company set up to build, own and operate the three airports. The agreement also commits Denmark to provide credit worth 450 million crowns for the projects and provide a state guarantee for another 450 million crowns loan from the Nordic Investment Bank.




David Armstrong

In many respects this issue of China’s World may be seen as a continuation of the discussion we began in the previous issue, where we considered the underlying motives of China’s foreign policy: hegemony or global partnership. One –fairly easy- conclusion there was that its ultimate objectives will only become clear in the course of time. Here we shift the debate towards factors that are more immediate in their development and consequences –although no less complex. The first concerns the overall context of China’s –and all other countries’- foreign relations: the increasing uncertainty about developments, dynamics and probable outcomes in many parts of the world. The second considers China’s use of ‘soft power’, a term coined by Joseph Nye to contrast with the coercive methods of ‘hard power’.


China, ASEAN, and the Re-centering of Asia

Brantly Womack

China’s centrality in Asia is founded on three realities: its location, its population, and its productivity. While its productivity has varied over time, especially in relative terms, the three factors together justify its name, 中国, the central state. Despite China’s continuing centrality, however, its internal cohesion and its connectivity to the rest of Asia has varied tremendously. And because China is central to Asia, Asia’s overall connectivity has also varied.


China and the Internet: a world wide web “with Chinese characteristics”

David Scott

48 hours in Beijing. On December 25 (Christmas Day) 2017, the official Chinese state press agency Xinhua ran an article titled “China aims to become world-leading cyber power”. The following day the Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development (CCIMCD) announced the setting up China’s first Cybersecurity Innovation Center, the “security” involving domestic supervision and external military applications. This “strong cyber power strategy” (qiangda de wangluo zhanlue) is at the centre of China’s drive for ‘informatization’ (xinxihua), which is seen as underpinning China’s economic (and military) modernization, its push for an e-economy, and indeed its embrace of globalization.


China’s Aid to Africa - Influence on the Global Development Cooperation Landscape

Tongyu Meng

Development cooperation or the previously called development assistance has long been considered a product of colonial power relations from Britain’s Colonial Development and Welfare Act in 1940 until the domination by the donor’s club Development Assistance Committee (DAC) established within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). For over half a century, developed countries have dominated development cooperation, while emerging economies led by China, which has substantially scaled up its foreign aid to Africa and other poorer countries, have put pressure on the transformation of the established development cooperation regime. Under the recent One Belt One Road Initiative, China is reinforcing its aid to Africa ambitiously with stronger political backing. This paper examines the changes in post World War II development cooperation, focusing on the role of China’s aid to Africa and the growing relevance of its influence on recipient countries and established donors over the last three decades. It offers the nuanced perspective that China’s development cooperation in Africa today is an externalization of China’s own modernization experiences and the leadership’s foreign policy.


Taiwan is not isolated! Cross Strait Multiple Interactions in an Era of No High-level Contacts

Jean-Pierre Cabestan

Since Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen came to office in May 2016, the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) has decided to suspend all high-level contacts with Taiwan. The reason is well-known: Madame Tsai and her Party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have kept refusing and are unlikely to endorse the so-called “92 Consensus”, according to which both sides of the Taiwan Strait accepted in Hong Kong in November 1992 that there is “one China”, but its content remains undefined (in the eyes of Beijing) or “each side keeps its own interpretation” (for the Kuomintang, KMT). In addition, to isolate Tsai, the PRC has intensified its military intimidations of the island-state.


Killing Two Birds with One Stone? Reconsidering China- Singapore Relations in the Strategic Triangles

Christina Lai

In September 2017, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made a three-day visit to China. His meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signaled a “warm-up” of their bilateral relations after a stand-off of detained troop carriers. Previously, in China’s Belt and Road summit, Beijing’s “non-invitation” to Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong signaled that the two countries were still under previous diplomatic spats.1 Although Singapore’s foreign minister indicated support for China’s ideas and areas of cooperation, whether it will truly be more active and involved in those China- led initiatives remains to be seen.



China’s energy companies go global to secure long term power supplies

Bob Savic

China’s energy companies have been enthusiastic backers of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative “BRI”, since its inception in 2013. This was particularly evident in 2017, when up to 34 Chinese energy sector enterprises were invested in overseas oil and gas projects by that date. The majority of those companies investing abroad, up to 23 of them, are privately-owned operators. Even so, the value of overseas equity ownership is dominated by China’s principal state-owned energy companies, namely; Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corporation and PetroChina. The three energy giants account for 94% of overall Chinese equity held in offshore energy investments.


US-China Trade Tensions Are Bad For Business

Sara Hsu

The US and China continue to experience trade tensions, as a recent trip by top Trump administration officials to China ended without a trade agreement. In the ongoing drama, Vice Premier Liu He is expected to travel to the US to continue the negotiations, following the visit by Wang Shouwen, a senior Chinese commerce ministry official. There is a considerable gap between what the US demands are, and what China is willing and able to concede, and this is likely to be the unmaking of these trade talks. In the meantime, the trade standoff is dampening business sentiments in the US and abroad.


The Educational Implications of the UK’s Brexit For China Professor

Chris Rowley

We could argue that for those with an interest in China and Asia-UK relations, one of the most important events in recent history occurred on 23 June 2016. This was the totally unexpected result of the referendum on the UK’s EU membership with what has come to be called’ Brexit’, the desire to end 40 years in the bloc. This tumultuous event has wide scale implications for globalisation and especially Asia and in particular China.


China Is Not the Answer to North Korean

Crisis J. Berkshire Miller

Last year, there were several provocations from North Korea, highlighted by numerous long-range ballistic missile tests and a thermo- nuclear test last September. The international community, led by the US, Japan and South Korea, has responded with increased deterrence moves, additional missile defense deployments and the imposition of heavier sanctions against the Kim regime – all with the consistent policy objective of de-nuclearization on the Korean peninsula. This policy of “maximum pressure” – as described by the US administration of President Donald Trump – has looked to bring Pyongyang to its knees through blistering sanctions and vociferous claims of the potential use of military force if diplomacy fails.




David Armstrong

2017 has so far been an intriguing but perplexing year for students of Chinese foreign relations. While North Korea’s conduct is unquestionably dangerous and China’s response crucial, in many ways some of China’s foreign policy initiatives in other areas are both more interesting and, potentially, of much greater long term significance for the region and for China’s relations with the US. The “perplexing” element here concerns China’s underlying intentions, 'given the sometimes significant degree of contrast between words and deeds. The message China has been trying to send is one of its embrace of globalisation and its willingness to assume an increasingly important leadership role in pursuit of globalisation –especially in an era when Donald Trump’s rhetoric seems to promise the opposite for the US. In China’s rhetoric a ‘win-win’ outcome for all is offered but others see much darker long term goals.


China’s Dream of Great Rejuvenation: Deconstructing its historical myth

Maria Adele Carrai

Xi Jinping’s current rhetoric of China’s Dream of Great Rejuvenation uses history as an asset for the future, linking its natural progress as a global power with a selective rereading of its millennial civilization. The aim of this article is to contextualize the rhetoric of China’s rejuvenation in connection to its history. There is an attempt to forecast the future of China and its international relations on the ground of Chinese and Asian pre-modern and early modern history. But, to what extent is this possible? The official use of history in the discourse of China’s great rejuvenation tends to objectify it and reduce it into one monolith; the causal connection between the past and the future has strong limitations and Chinese national identity can be considered as a constructed myth. After having discussed Xi Jinping’s rhetoric of Great Rejuvenation in the light of Chinese cyclical vision of history and having analysed it through the tripartite lenses of chosen trauma, the chosen glory, and the chosen amnesia, this paper attempts to deconstruct the historical myth that supports Xi’s dream.


Confucianism and Politics

Quansheng Zhao

The paper seeks to understand the role Confucianism has in affecting China’s domestic and foreign policy which is accomplished by looking at historical trends and contemporary developments and arguments posed by leading scholars. This paper finds that Confucianism has had a significant impact on current Chinese politics, however, it has been a selective application. In particular, the Chinese government has focused on the traditional Confucian moral framework and the mandate to rule, which has allowed the Chinese government to work towards further securing their right to rule and enhance a more assertive foreign policy abroad.


China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” – resetting the system

David Scott

A four-fold structure is followed in this article. Firstly, the Belt and Road Forum held in May 2017 is considered, particularly with scrutiny over patterns of participation by other countries. Secondly, the broader Belt and Road Initiative that China has pushed so noticeably since 2013 is outlined and linked to various geoeconomic and geopolitical nuances. Thirdly the Belt and Road Initiative is put into a comparative/wider regional context through considering China’s prominence in other related initiatives like the BOAO Forum for Asia (BFA), the Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank (AIIB), and the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP). Fourthly, such initiatives are put into a still wider political context. The conclusion considers whether the Belt and Road initiative reflects an embrace of open globalisation or is actually a positioning by China in a geoeconomic-geopolitical framework of extended regional opportunity taking?


The Belt Road Initiative, Britain and Brexit – an Example of Global China

Kerry Brown

The Belt and Road Initiative is the first real example of a China in an era in which it is increasingly prominent as a global power outlining the kind of relationship it is seeking with the world around it. Despite discussion, summits, and much speculation, the BRI remains a work in progress, but it has at least posed the question to countries even as far away from the region as the UK about what kind of trading and investment relationship they might want to seek with China. For the UK, this question has an added intensity because of the unknown impact of withdrawal from the European Union on its economy. The BRI is the most high profile example of China telling a story about itself for the outside world to engage with. That is why it merits deeper attention and focus.


Is China Really an Unfair Trader?

Steven Suranovic

The purpose of this article is to assess the charges of unfair trade against China to see if they are well-founded. To do that we must look beyond the superficial arguments that are often made to see the underlying motivations for certain policies and to understand their fuller implications and effects. It is also important to compare China’s trade actions with those of other countries to see if what they do is different from what other countries do. We will show that although China is surely an unfair trader with respect to some definitions, the countries who are offended by China’s trade actions often engage in similar practices themselves. In addition, the rhetorical attack against China is being promoted by a small segment of special interests who stand to gain from trade protections, while most consumers within these countries would actually lose if these protections and expected retaliations ever took place.


Reforming the Global Order: China and the US under President Trump

Suisheng Zhao

Taking advantage of President Trump’s isolationism, China has stepped in to play an increasingly important role in global governance, raising the question if China is to assert itself in its region and further afield to undermine or even replace the US-led world order. This article argues that although China is not a status quo power content to preserve and maintain the existing order, it is not a revolutionary power discontented with and ready to replace the US-led order. While President Trump’s isolationism presented an opportunity for China to pick up some of the slack in the global system left by a retreating US, taking a leadership role is a challenge to China not only because it is always easier to be a follower than a leader but also because leadership builds on both hard and soft power. Not only is China far from the position to overtake the US hard power, it cannot effectively deploy soft power to underwrite the world order.



China’s Banks Invest In One Belt One Road

Sara Hsu

China’s Big Four state-owned banks are raising funds for investment in One Belt One Road (OBOR), China’s flagship infrastructure program for building up railways, ports, highways, and manufacturing zones across Asia, Europe, and Africa. The announcement comes with the State Council’s promotion of investment in OBOR and in the throes of a crackdown by China’s government on overseas investment. Will bank investment in OBOR benefit China’s economy in the long run?


China-Japan Relations Adapt to Geopolitical Change

J. Berkshire Miller

There has been some reason for optimism recently in the strained relationship between Tokyo and Beijing, notably some speeches by Japanese premier, Shinzo Abe. There has also been a flurry of diplomacy behind the scenes with key advisors to Abe paying visits to Beijing with suggestions of resuming bilateral summitry with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.Unfortunately however, despite these moves, strong geopolitical headwinds and structural impediments continue to cast doubt on the idea of a meaningful détente between Beijing and Tokyo in the coming months.


EU-China Economic Relations: trade and investment tensions persist despite climate cooperation

Paul Irwin Crookes

The EU-China economic partnership continues to under-perform with no easy solutions in sight. The failure of the 19th EU-China Summit in June 2017 to issue an agreed final communique points to deep-seated areas of ongoing tension linked to economic disagreements that remain unresolved. There had been hopes that the notification by the US government of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement could give China’s relationship with the European Union (EU) much-needed impetus to build on their strategic partnership by acting as a stimulus for both sides to come together. However, such optimism appears to have been misplaced.


Apple and Foxconn in the Trump Era

Jenny Chan and Mark Selden

“Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in the USA” — is a recent company slogan. But few Apple products have been assembled, still less built, in the US in recent decades. In 2013 Apple began building small numbers of its Mac Pro computers through partnering with Flextronics in Austin, Texas. However, the operation is small and is likely at best to remain so. In common with many other American firms whose products are produced by low-wage workers overseas, Apple has faced heavy criticism from the President Donald Trump administration and demands that it create jobs in the US. This article looks at Apple’s response to such criticism.




David Armstrong

Several developments in the last twelve months illustrate the many complexities in the on-going interaction between China and globalisation. Just as the rapid growth of China’s manufacturing sector had numerous positive consequences for the global economy, such as lower prices, high demand for minerals and other raw materials, and substantial Chinese investment in Africa and elsewhere, so the slowing down and restructuring of the Chinese economy has had some negative consequences as Chinese demand for some goods fell, while its own over-production of steel and other goods led to a global glut, with serious impacts on steel producers in the UK and other countries. More generally, mining companies around the world had hugely increased their capacities to meet the booming demand from China, in some cases by going massively into debt, and are now left facing the ramifications.

In China itself there have been a number of developments that, to some, raise serious questions about what was once seen as China’s inexorable march towards an ever greater entrenchment within the global economy, while at the same time maintaining its distinct economic model of “state capitalism” through which it would gradually alter the nature of globalisation as a form of westernisation into something more closely resembling sinicisation.


White Cat, Black Cat or Good Cat? The Beijing Consensus as an Alternative Philosophy for Deliberation

Reza Hasmath

The Beijing Consensus represents a philosophical movement towards an ultra-pragmatic view of conducting policy deliberation. Contrary to models of development which provide a subset of policy prescriptions for the policymakers’ disposal or a fundamentalist adherence to a particular economic tradition, the Beijing Consensus inherently recognises that each development scenario has a potential set of challenges that may require unique and/or experimental solutions factoring the current political, economic and social environments. This ultra-pragmatism will require the policymaker to engage in greater policy experimentation, and to have a larger risk-elasticity. Further, this philosophy is most aptly demonstrated by looking at the aggregation of practices and lessons learned using the recent policy experiences of China. Ironically, this leads to a potential confusion regarding the analytical distinction between the Beijing Consensus and the Chinese model of development. This article outlines this distinction, and further theorises the potential consequences of employing an ultra-pragmatic view of policy deliberation espoused by the intentionality of the Beijing Consensus.


Globalisation, Modernisation, the Languages of China and English

Andy Kirkpatrick

China’s drive for globalisation and modernisation has resulted in a language policy that rigorously promotes Putonghua Mandarin as the national language and English as the first foreign language. This policy threatens the health both of Chinese languages other than Putonghua Mandarin such as Cantonese and Shanghainese and the minority languages of China such as Zhuang. At the same time, the focus on English coupled with a severing of the Chinese rhetorical tradition means that Chinese rhetoric and argument is becoming more direct and confrontational (or yang) and less indirect (or yin), and this has serious consequences for Chinese public discourse.


Fighting global inequality with Chinese characteristics: the role of the sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)

Gordon C. K. Cheung

Global inequality is growing and the issue of tax havens for the super-rich has come to the fore, not least in China. This can be seen as a failure of globalisation. China could play a major role in reducing inequality and at the same time improving its global image through using its sovereign wealth funds to invest in infrastructure projects around the world.


China’s Strategic Liaison with Cambodia: a beyond resource diplomacy

Heidi Dahles & Heng Pheakdey

China’s growing outward investment, no-strings-attached economic assistance and political support to resource-rich developing nations are strategies to sustain its expanding economy. While mainstream literature emphasizes the resource-oriented nature of most of China’s diplomacy, there are exceptions. Focusing on Cambodia as a case study, this paper argues that China charms Cambodia not for short term economic benefits but for long term strategic and political gains. China is indifferent to Cambodia’s limited resources but finds Cambodia’s strategic geographical location vitally significant to increase its influence in the region.



Renminbi Internationalization: The Pause that Refreshes

Barry Eichengreen

On November 30, 2015, the International Monetary Fund confirmed that it was adding China’s currency to its Special Drawing Rights, the basket of currencies in which the Fund conducts its international financial business. The announcement was cause for celebration in Beijing, which had been lobbying for this decision as part of the effort to promote wider international use of its currency. Adding the renminbi as a fifth constituent of the SDR, along with the dollar, the euro, the pound sterling and the yen, was evidence of the success of that project. It showed that the renminbi was well on the way to becoming a first-class international and reserve currency.

Unfortunately, subsequent events have not developed as positively.


China’s Real Estate Market Lives, Sort of

Sara Hsu

Back in 2014, China’s real estate market downturn triggered a sharp decline in the financial sector and then in the real economy. The shadow banking system, the financial system outside of the formal banking sector, took a plunge, leading real economic indicators into a downward spiral. Months later, real estate prices rebounded in first and second-tier cities, and it appears that the real estate market lives, sort of.


Implementing WTO Rulings: Fifteen Years of China in the WTO

Weihuan Zhou

While it is a matter of ongoing debate whether it is China that will shake the world or the world that will shake China, there is little doubt that China has been skilfully riding the wave of, and taking benefits from, globalisation. (Armstrong 2015; Summers 2015) It is equally true that China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 15 years ago provided a golden opportunity for it to accelerate integration into the world economy. China is now set to celebrate its 15-year membership in the WTO on 11 December 2016.


Labour Market Challenges in China

Chris Rowley

Although China’s economy is now reported on in terms of emerging problems and slowdown, it had powered ahead to become the second largest economy in the world. This did not happen by ‘accident’. Rather, the earlier ‘Open Door’ policy was followed by a massive financial stimulus policy to counteract the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. This saw the biggest monetary and financial easing in history. However, as we are now seeing, this blistering performance hid some real dangers which are coming more to light. Here we will focus on some worrying long term labour market trends - labour shortages, of both factory and skilled workers.


The Apple Way to Make Products: Response to Apple’s 10th Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, 2016

Jenny Chan

In March 2016 Apple released its 10th Supplier Responsibility Progress Report. “There’s a right way to make products,” proclaims Apple. “It starts with the rights of the people who make them.”[1] Currently Apple has 346suppliers in China alone, more than those in Japan (126 suppliers), the United States (69 suppliers), Taiwan (41 suppliers), Korea (28 suppliers), Malaysia (23 suppliers), Thailand (19 suppliers), the Philippines (19 suppliers), and Vietnam (18 suppliers) combined.[1] Are Chinese workers enjoying their rights in Apple’s supply chain? What is the responsibility of Apple to the workers who make its products 24 hours a day around the world?



Editorial: Is conflict Inevitable?

David Armstrong

Since our first issue in July 2015 there have been a number of subtle but significant changes in the discourse surrounding China’s role in the world. These may, broadly, be assessed under three general headings: a possible hardening of the US position regarding China, increasing concern inside and outside China about a Chinese economic downturn and a more assertive, if not aggressive, Chinese posture towards its neighbours under Xi Jinping. Four of the articles in this issue discuss different aspects of these three problem areas while the remaining two consider China’s urbanization drive and the future prospects for NGOs in China.


China’s Rise is Designed in America, Assembled in China

Sean Starrs


The Strategic Rivalry between China and the US: Neither Containment nor Regional Dominance Viable

Suisheng Zhao


China’s Foreign Policy Adjustment Under Xi Jinping

Kevin G. Cai


Aspects of China’s Foreign and Security Policy

Angela Stanzel


China’s Urbanization Drive in Global Perspective

Fu Jun


Future Prospects for NGOs in China

Jennifer Hsu



Editorial: Will China Shake the World or the World Shake China?


The perspective that will underpin the China’s World will be the interaction between ChinaDand the many forces and dynamics that go under the broad heading of “globalisation”. This much used term has many aspects: economic, financial, cultural, social, political, environmental. It relates to how we communicate, how we govern ourselves, what are our norms, values and institutions, how we identify ourselves and differentiate ourselves from others and what the future holds for us all. To some “globalisation” and “westernisation” are virtually indistinguishable –a viewpoint that leads some to resist globalisation, others to embrace it wholeheartedly. But China,with its own rich traditions, culture and history, together with its increasingly important place in the world economic, financial and geopolitical orders is unlikely simply to become “western”, as the imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo once demanded: “Modernization means whole-sale westernization, choosing a human life is choosing Western way of life. The difference between Western and Chinese governing system is humane vs in-humane, there’s no middle ground...

Westernization is not a choice of a nation, but a choice for the human race”. The improbability of China adopting this perspective is not simply because of the self-interest of its authoritarian government but derives from more fundamental factors.


Managing the Controversies over Chinese Foreign Investment: Lessons from Australia

Jeffrey D. Wilson


China’s Economy: Changed by and Changing Globalisation

Michael Dauderstadt


China and Globalisation

Tim Summers


China, Australia and Globalisation: the Limits to Interdependence

Mark Beeson and Wang Yong


China’s Misperception of a US anti=China Conspiracy

John W. Garver

Current and Previous Issues

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Volume 4, Issue 1, 2019

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Volume 3, Issue 2, 2018

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Volume 3, Issue 1, 2018

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Volume 2, Issue 2, 2017

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Volume 2, Issue 1, 2017

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Volume 1, Issue 2, 2015

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Volume 1, Issue 1, 2015