Posts Tagged

china

After fresh re-election, Barack Obama skipped Europe. And no one is surprised. Instead, he made his first foreign trip to Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia and Thailand, thus clearly indicating the priorities of US foreign policy in the next four years.

Before joining the first cohort of students at the Blavatnik School of Government, I worked as a journalist for state-owned China Central Television, the biggest media outlet in China. Before that I spent four years working as a reporter and anchor for the Beijing Television Station, the local outlet for China’s capital city, also owned and operated by the government. Based on this, if I’m asked, about a single measure would strengthen democracy in my home country, I would firstly respond that you have to have more than one measure to reach that goal. However, if I can only choose one, I would definitely vote for free speech and an independent media.

The recent visit to Beijing by the U.S. secretary of defense, Leon Panetta — which coincided with State Department statements that the U.S.-Japan security treaty would apply to the disputed Senkaku Islands — highlights the growing tension with China over America’s military presence in Asia, Chinese efforts to counteract it, and the dangerous misperceptions that can arise if defense strategy gets in the way of diplomacy.

This weekend, Hong Kong, the newly declared “best city in the world”, celebrated the 15th anniversary of its return to China, and swore in its new leader, Beijing-backed Leung Chun-ying, the third Hong Kong Premier since its re-joining of the mainland. However, events that took place on Saturday and Sunday have indicated that the public mood within Hong Kong is far from universally jubilant. While the official media has been full to the brim of Chinese nationalism-oriented elation, on the Saturday evening many residents of Hong Kong displayed their increasing anger with the actions and dictates of the parent state by protesting outside of the Convention centre where Hu Jintao was due to inaugurate Leung. Protests continued throughout the Saturday …

Bestselling author, financial economist (and Oxford alumnus) Dambisa Moyo argues in her new book that the rise of China is generating unanticipated consequences for the international system and that no one — bar the Chinese Communist Party — is actively thinking about how to handle the long term fallout of these seismic shifts. I debated some of these ideas with her on Radio 4’s Today Programme a couple of days ago. One of Moyo’s controversial arguments is that China’s ascendency doesn’t just put tremendous pressure on commodity markets, but is likely to represent such a big demand shock that supply of key resources simply can’t keep up. The consequence, for Moyo, is then that as countries — and the planet …

As the most high profile ouster in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1989, the departure of Bo Xilai, a high-level Party official, illustrates two matters. First, it demonstrates that the consensus of collective leadership and demand for Party unity remains very strong. But second, it reflects the increasing strain on the Chinese political system and casts doubt on its capacity for change. A bit of background. After 1978, the CCP embarked on a political strategy to consolidate its hold on power that was based on collective leadership. This choice was informed foremost by the necessity to prevent the rise of another Mao-like autocrat; but a second key principle insisted on keeping leadership divisions out of public view. This policy …

In the New Hampshire debate, Mitt Romney trumpeted his willingness to engage China in a trade war. Romney’s longstanding efforts to paint himself as someone willing to stand up to China exemplify an alarming trend of China-bashing in U.S. politics. Rick Santorum, among others, has echoed Romney, declaring, “I want to beat China.” Such statements are primarily targeted at shoring up political support and secondarily at painting President Obama as being soft on China. We should not take them as an accurate indication of future policy. And despite this overriding political calculus, these remarks are on to something – Beijing’s currency manipulation gives China a competitive advantage in global trade, and its abuse of intellectual property rights ought to be …

 Rosemary Foot is a Professor of International Relations and John Swire Senior Research Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford. She has been a celebrated China scholar since completing her doctorate at the London School of Economics on Sino-Soviet relations and West Asia. Here, Professor Foot takes a moment to speak with Politics in Spires regarding her most recent book. Congratulations, your latest book, China, the United States, and Global Order has been praised by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the 23 Essential Readings of 2011. Could we begin with you telling us a bit about the efforts behind this work? The book was a collaborative effort.* My co-author [Andrew Walter] is a specialist in international political economy, and I …