Last week, the Chinese Government announced its decision to establish China’s international development cooperation agency. As described by Beijing, the main purpose of the new agency is to give full attention to foreign aid, as a key means of major-country diplomacy. The goal is to
Chinese media has reported that the Chinese Ministry of Culture is set to be merged with the National Tourism Association. So what? Well, as Xinhua points out, this is no mere bureaucratic reshuffle. Rather, this is about trying to further build China’s soft power:
[T]he move is aimed at
The great debate on the meaning of China’s rise is coming to a close. Where academics once argued over whether the Asian power would be a status quo or systemic challenger, there is growing consensus that China intends to reshape the global system in its image.
From its criticism of the US
China has opened new doors for overseas Chinese through changes to its visa program. Beijing’s latest policy announcement allows foreign citizens with Chinese heritage to apply for a special multiple-entry visa granting a residency period of up to five years. This extends the existing policy
Xi Jinping’s leadership of China has been notable on numerous levels of foreign policy, domestic affairs, and economic management. Since taking over from Hu Jintao in late 2012, Xi has centralised decision-making in his personal office; purged a legion of once-powerful comrades
It’s no fun being in debt. Creditors want to chase you, the debts increase as you procrastinate about paying them, and you literally feel “indebted” and guilty, especially if those creditors are friends or family.
There are studies about the effects of debt on personal well-being. Micro
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that the Pentagon is “considering plans to send heavily armed, versatile Marine Corps Expeditionary Units to East Asia … as it repositions forces in response to growing Chinese influence”. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Imagine this. China builds a military base on the Australian continental shelf off, say, Cairns. Then, according to the Australian prime minister, China threatens a military response should Australia attempt to exercise its maritime rights in accordance with a unanimous international
Has Xi Jinping just made himself president for life?
The announcement on Sunday that China will amend its state constitution to remove the two-term limit for the presidency has seemingly cleared the way for just that.
Under the old constitutional provisions, Xi would have been required to step
This article is based on Episode 18 of the Little Red Podcast, featuring Walkley Award–winning journalist Jo Chandler and Louisa Lim of Melbourne University.
At the tail end of this month’s episode, Jo Chandler shares a story from her visit to Manus in 2014, when she caught up with Powes
The Doklam border stand-off between India, China, and India’s ally Bhutan managed to break into the news cycle last year. It was a significant dispute, with troops clashing at one point and military forces mobilised, between two of the world’s nuclear powers that have previously fought
No other great powers will be allowed in Latin America, and liberal democracy is the only political system allowed in the region (or, in practice, no socialist or Marxist rule will be tolerated in the region). These are the two tenets of the Monroe Doctrine established by the US in 1823, a
The era of easily exploitable internet loopholes in China appears to be ending. Starting on 31 March, Beijing will ban non-licensed Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) via which Chinese residents privately access blocked websites, such as Google, Facebook, and The New York Times. Chief Engineer of
Markedly slower growth and imminent financial crisis have been the common dual predictions for China over the past decade. China’s growth has indeed slowed from its unsustainable breakneck pace in the two decades before the 2007–08 global crisis, but since then has settled down to a steady 6–7
A crackdown on hip-hop culture has swept across China. It is an act of censorship for domestic ends, and an effort to define Chinese culture and project a controlled version of soft power on an international stage.
Hip-hop’s explosion into mainstream Chinese culture came in the summer
According to recent reports, China may be about to construct a naval and air base near Gwadar, in west Pakistan. This would be China’s second base in the Indian Ocean and indicates that it may be moving fast to establish a network of military bases across the region.
If the Cold War was one long arms race, the modern era could be accurately described as an arms jog. Countries are defined less by how many nuclear warheads they have, and more by what they can do with them. This is particularly the case in Australia’s immediate region, where a
Represented by Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Frances Adamson, Australia was one of 20 countries that participated in a conference last week on coordinating international approaches to North Korea. Co-hosted by Canada and the US, and held in Vancouver, the conference had
Sometime soon, US President Donald Trump will announce his plan to respond to what the administration calls China’s “economic aggression”. When he does, it is not only China that needs to be prepared to respond. Together accounting for well over a third of global output, the collateral damage
India will host ASEAN leaders as its chief guests during the commemoration of the country's 69th Republic Day on 26 January, reflecting the importance New Delhi places on relations with South East Asia.
India's much-vaunted Look East policy, launched in the early 1990s as part of a concerted
This article is based on Episode 17 of The Little Red Podcast, featuring Børge Bakken and Louisa Lim.
Last week’s letter of the week in the Jamaica Gleaner was ‘Taking a leaf out of China’s book’. The letter cites Meng Jianzhu, head of the CCP's Legal Affairs Commission, who says ‘the
With the North Korean nuclear threat seemingly sidelined until after the Winter Olympics at least, this geopolitical year is starting in a curiously similar way to last.
US President Donald Trump will share more than a dubious hairdo with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week when he
During French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to China, which concluded last week, his choice to gift China's Xi Jinping with a horse was apparently prompted by Xi's words of admiration during a 2014 trip to Paris. On that visit, Xi was greeted by a guard of honour from the Garde Ré
The first two weeks of 2018 have seen a significant thaw in inter-Korean tensions. In the highest-level talks between North and South Korea since December 2015, Pyongyang agreed to send a delegation to the 2018 South Korean Winter Olympics. China welcomed the developments, which it considers, in its
International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells' remarks about China's aid to the Pacific are part of a long tradition of concern in Australia. Yet while some Chinese aid projects are less than perfect, as my colleague Jonathan Pryke notes, Fierravanti-Wells' sweeping
The world seems to never run out of reasons to fear China, be they racial or ideological differences ('Yellow Peril' and 'Red Menace'), Chinese nationalism or Beijing's growing sharp power.
The latest reason is the apparent arrival of a China-led world order, symbolised by everything ranging
There is periodic hyperbole surrounding the future use of the Southern Ocean krill fishery, often sensationally blaming a future threat from China. Yet krill are in no danger of being overfished. China’s krill take is currently a miniscule portion of catch limit under the present international
The US appears to have reached a turning point in its economic relationship with China.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump accused Chinese policy makers of perpetrating the ‘greatest theft in the history of the world’ and blamed their foolish and incompetent American
Bill Gertz, senior editor of The Washington Free Beacon, specialises in scoops. But even by his high standards, his 2 January story that states a ‘(s)ecret Chinese Communist Party document reveals covert support to North Korea, including missiles, increased aid’ was a major coup.
Former senator Sam Dastyari cetainly found that history repeats itself as farce. Or as Stephen Conroy, the former Labor defence spokesman that Dastyari infamously contradicted over the South China Sea, would later observe, it took a 'unique set of abilities to
The Trump administration’s determination to meet China’s ‘economic aggression’, announced in this week’s National Security Strategy (NSS), is already being portrayed as a striking departure from previous administration’s generally tolerant acceptance of China’s rise to economic might.
Australia’s complicated relationship with China is in the throes of a long overdue reset. A stream of reports about Chinese Communist Party influence in Australian politics and civil society have led Australians to take a second look at the country's largest trading partner.
The issue of influence by the government of the People’s Republic of China in Australian public and political life reached a turning point with the resignation of senator Sam Dastyari. It concluded a year of forceful reporting and vitriolic debate about China in Australia, fuelling a steady flow
This article is part of a series for the Australia-UK Asia Dialogue, co-hosted by the Lowy Institute and Ditchley Foundation, and supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Xi Jinping had a good year in 2017. It began on the international
Nick Bisley recently wrote in The Interpreter that mistrust between China and Australia is increasing. Could strategic trust between China and Australia improve if the two countries were to work together to solve a serious security problem?
A key finding from our research into Thailand’s
During his tour of East Asia last month, US President Donald Trump visited five countries, but Americans could be forgiven for thinking that he only went to China, given the US media's coverage of the trip. Whereas journalists dissected Trump’s every move during his visit with Chinese President Xi
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang's visit to Hungary for the sixth China-Central and Eastern Europe Countries (CEEC) Summit last week demonstrates that China has become an increasingly important player in the post-Soviet space. Its presence in Central Asia is now an undeniable fact, but less well-
Over the past year or so the mood in Canberra has soured toward China. Indeed, of the countries unsettled by China’s rise and its increasingly confident and assertive foreign policy, Australia is now among the most outspoken in its criticism of Beijing’s behaviour.
This change has been visible
The 19th Party Congress was a watershed for the Xi administration. Feverish speculation about candidates for promotion the Politburo Standing Committee is over, but their policy significance much as before: enigmatic.
There is a natural interest in factional or interest group allegiance. It is now
Review: Simon Cartledge A System Apart- Hong Kong’s Political Economy from 1997 Until Now (Penguin, 2017)
Simon Cartledge traces the economic, social, and political changes - or rather, the lack of changes - that have made a seemingly apolitical free trade port into the city that
Senator Sam Dastyari has found himself back in the spotlight after Australia media outlets reported allegations that Dastyari gave Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo 'counter-surveillance' advice and unearthed the audio from Dastyari's now-infamous media conference last
The Foreign Policy White Paper paints a picture of an uncertain world and troubling times. With this understanding as its foundation, the White Paper outlines what approaches Australia should take to protect its national interests. While some elements are new, these approaches are still a
I recently co-convened a small international academic workshop with a Chinese university. Since we wanted to involve quite a few China-based scholars and the topic concerned China, I thought it made perfect sense to hold the workshop in China.
A number of scholars from outside China were to attend
Donald Trump’s no-show at the East Asia Summit last week sparked fresh anxiety from Asia-watchers worried about Washington’s commitment to the region. These concerns are hardly new and Trump is not the first US president to bypass this summit. But his truancy comes at an especially delicate time
US President Donald Trump’s first visit to Beijing was an exhibition of mutual flattery. China rolled out the red carpet for what it termed a 'state visit plus', replete with unprecedented pomp and circumstance for an American leader.
Trump returned the favour with incessant fawning over
This article is based on Episode 15 of the Little Red Podcast, featuring Sampson Wong, Badiucao and Louisa Lim
Many of my best friends in China are hated by all but their families – they are mid-ranking cadres in a rural county, assumed by their fellow citizens to be stupid, on the take, or both