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China Policy Institute: Analysis

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Chinese responses to the Trump administration.

Written by Baogang He.

In this short article, I will discuss China’s response to the Trump administration. There exists a diverse range of Chinese opinions, however, I will only discuss the official, not popular, responses. I will focus on three issues – war and peace, China’s new world leadership role, and China’s efforts to deepen Asian regionalism. Continue reading “Chinese responses to the Trump administration.”

Thinking outside the Urn: China and the reincarnation of Mongolia’s highest lama

Written by Jichang Lulu.

The Chinese government’s prerogative to manage the rebirths of incarnate lamas is being tested in Mongolia. One of the highest lineages covered by the Qing’s ‘Golden Urn’ system at the basis of PRC reincarnation law is passing to its next holder, with the Dalai Lama’s involvement. Despite clear signs that China cares, no public position has emerged so far. To determine what China’s approach to the reincarnation issue might be, we have to go through some Mongolian history and a bit of leaf-reading. The very relevance of state management of rebirths to China’s foreign relations indicates to what extent Qing imperial thought permeates PRC policy. Reincarnation diplomacy is real and has an impact on Chinese policies towards its closest neighbours. Continue reading “Thinking outside the Urn: China and the reincarnation of Mongolia’s highest lama”

Funding Urban Infrastructure: China-style Value Capture

Written by Jerry Zhao.

In a number of developing countries, local governments enjoy more flexibility in managing their land assets than they do in adjusting tax rates, introducing new taxes, increasing user fees, or issuing long-term debt. For these localities, land sales or land leases have become feasible options for financing urban infrastructure. One of the most noteworthy examples is China’s land finance, which, since the 1990s has raised massive amounts of revenue for China’s local governments, and has become the critical force behind rapid urban infrastructure development. Continue reading “Funding Urban Infrastructure: China-style Value Capture”

Duterte’s Populism and Philippine Foreign Policy: Implications for China-Philippine Relations

 

Written by Aries A. Arugay  and Michael I. Magcamit.

With barely one year in office, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared bold changes in the country’s formerly conservative and predictable foreign policy. Explosive and controversial statements peppered with profanity have become the new normal on how the small power conducts its external relations in the midst of a turbulent Asia-Pacific. The contempt for the West, admiration toward unlikely allies such as Russia and China, and indifference toward international law and norms were all essential departures from the nation’s previous positions. While the intentions are notably laudable, namely the pursuit of independence and equidistance from all major powers, there is current confusion stemming from policy incoherence, inconsistency, and seemingly uncoordinated implementation among government agencies. The global wave of populism that includes the Philippines has far-reaching repercussions on the conduct of foreign policy that has previously been guided by strategic caution and careful planning rather than spontaneous outbursts. Continue reading “Duterte’s Populism and Philippine Foreign Policy: Implications for China-Philippine Relations”

Act East: The India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

Written by Srini Sitaraman.

Growing Chinese assertiveness and rapid construction has virtually transformed the South China Sea into ‘a Chinese lake.’ Satellite images reveal that Chinese crews are shoring up reefs, constructing fortified buildings and runways, and placing radars and anti-aircraft defense mechanisms on the occupied islets. By forcibly occupying these island chains and reefs and fortifying with military infrastructure, China has ensured that the only way it could be dislodged from the South China Sea is through military action. During his Senate confirmation hearings in January 2017, Mr. Rex Tillerson, the new American Secretary of State, struck a strident note when he suggested that the United States must send a clear signal to stop the island construction and block China’s access to the disputed islands. The official news agencies of the Chinese government reacted by warning of devastating consequences and ‘large-scale war in the South-China Sea,’ if the United States attempted to block Chinese territorial aspirations.  Continue reading “Act East: The India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”

One award and two elections: ASEAN and the South China Sea

Written by Peter Kreuzer.

The ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the elections of Rodrigo Duterte and Donald Trump to President of the Philippines and the United States respectively have triggered a host of changes to the dynamics of contestation over sovereignty, sovereign and maritime rights in the South China Sea. To recap, in July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration dealt a serious blow to Chinese claims on the region, arguing that China’s nine-dash-line is not in accordance with the modern law of the sea as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The court argued that none of the South China Sea elevations qualify as islands in a legal sense and therefore none of them can generate their own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The court also ruled that a number of elevations, most prominently the Chinese-occupied Mischief Reef, were low tide elevations. This means, in short, that they must be considered a part of the Philippine EEZ. Continue reading “One award and two elections: ASEAN and the South China Sea”

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