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China Policy Institute: Analysis

High-tech China-US arms race threatens to destabilise East Asia

Written by James Samuel Johnson.

After decades of peace, East Asia is racked with tension – and its two dominant military powers are jostling for supremacy in an extremely alarming way.

The US and China are accumulating increasingly advanced military systems to enable and enhance the assets they already have. With the Trump administration’s foreign policy still unclear and China’s aspirations to regional supremacy as ambitious as ever, they are racing to deny each other the upper hand by rolling out new military assets. Continue reading “High-tech China-US arms race threatens to destabilise East Asia”

China’s new anti-corruption body raises worrying questions about the rule of law

Written by Zhiqiong June Wang.

Corruption is thought to cost China US$86 billion each year. Widespread corruption at all levels of Chinese society also worsens economic inequality, which could potentially lead to social unrest.

Although no one doubts the importance of efforts to curb graft, anti-corruption campaigns under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping have been controversial. Continue reading “China’s new anti-corruption body raises worrying questions about the rule of law”

The Belt and Road Initiative: China’s vision for globalisation, Beijing-style

Written by Benjamin Habib and Viktor Faulknor.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multifaceted economic, diplomatic and geopolitical undertaking that has morphed through various iterations, from the “New Silk Road” to “One Belt One Road”.

The BRI imagines a US$1.3 trillion Chinese-led investment program creating a web of infrastructure, including roads, railways, telecommunications, energy pipelines, and ports. This would serve to enhance economic interconnectivity and facilitate development across Eurasia, East Africa and more than 60 partner countries. Continue reading “The Belt and Road Initiative: China’s vision for globalisation, Beijing-style”

As tensions in the region rise, Japan again debates its pacifist constitution

Written by Craig Mark.

Japan could finally be gearing up for the first-ever change to its constitution. In a recent video address to a pro-constitutional revision lobby group on the Constitution Day public holiday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared “the time is ripe” to begin a debate on possible change.

This is the clearest statement yet of Abe’s ambition to alter the pacifist Article 9 of the Constitution. He set a target date of 2020, when he hopes Japan will “be born anew”. Continue reading “As tensions in the region rise, Japan again debates its pacifist constitution”

Power, Money, and Fake News in China

Written by Graham Bond.

In Anglophone circles, 2016 was the year that ‘fake news’ became real, at least in terms of raw political impact. Questionable figures painted on the side of the Brexit Battle Bus were blamed for leading the UK out of the European Union. Donald Trump’s triumph in November’s US Presidential election was likewise put down to distortions dreamed up by both Russian propagandists and campaign strategistsFor observers of Chinese news, the idea of politically-motivated fabrications masquerading as serious journalism was not entirely novel. As Freedom House’s 2017 report points out, China’s political leaders retain control over the news ‘via direct ownership, accreditation of journalists, harsh penalties for online criticism, and daily directives to media outlets and websites that guide coverage of breaking news stories’. Independent political reporting is suppressed, and real political news has little space in which to grow. Continue reading “Power, Money, and Fake News in China”

Growing Pains: Why Beijing isn’t yet a truly global startup eco-system

Written by Shlomo Freund.

Despite being considered one of the best startup locations in Asia, Beijing suffers from a potentially significant structural problem. Like a small number of other international startup cities, there appears to be a notable disconnect between the local startup scene and the expat startup scene. This article will consider this problem in further detail.

I’m a Beijingren (北京人). Having spent considerable time in the city previously, I still have a strong affinity despite now only regularly visiting the city whilst actually being based in the startup nation, Israel. My startup company remains in Beijing and through our administration of the lean startup meetup in the city, I still have the privilege of assisting many entrepreneurs who form the city’s vivid startup eco-system. Continue reading “Growing Pains: Why Beijing isn’t yet a truly global startup eco-system”

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