lørdag 21. mai 2016

What does Duterte mean for the Philippines economy?

Unofficial results in the Philippines show that Rodrigo "the Punisher" Duterte will be the country's next president. Why have Filipinos chosen him and what does it mean for the economy? From an economic standpoint, it's hard to understand what Filipinos have seen in Mr Duterte's plans for the country. For one thing, he doesn't appear to have any - and if he does, he certainly didn't talk about them in his election rallies. But to be fair to him, neither did any of the other candidates, or not very much at least. Read more

China Finds Its Global Ambitions Humbled in Its Own Backyard

The heart of this global financial hub resembled an armed camp on Wednesday as thousands of police officers deployed around a hotel and convention center where a senior Chinese official was visiting. For many in Hong Kong, the show of force only increased their fears that the city’s civil liberties and autonomy are under assault by the government in Beijing. Read more

Taiwan President Takes Cautious Line on China at Inauguration

Taiwan’s new president called on China to look beyond the divisions of history for the benefit of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, as she pledged in her inauguration speech on Friday to promote local industry and push the island’s global trade links to help revive a stagnant economy. But President Tsai Ing-wen’s call got a cool reception from the island’s powerful neighbor. Even before she took office, Beijing had begun putting pressure on Taiwan’s new leader, who is more skeptical of ties with China than her predecessor was. Read more

Obama in Vietnam Will Focus on Future, Rather Than the Past

The pictures will be unavoidable, and the flood of painful memories unstoppable. When President Obama lands in Hanoi, his visit will be chronicled by photographers, cameramen and journalists who will track every public move of only the third presidential visit to Vietnam since the end of the American war there. Mr. Obama’s former defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, said he is already bracing for the onslaught of recollections those pictures and articles are likely to inspire. Read more

Obama’s Vietnam Trip Follows Controlled Parliamentary Elections

By the time President Obama arrives here Sunday night, all-day voting in tightly controlled elections for members of the rubber-stamp Parliament will have just finished. In this Communist-ruled nation, the names that were not allowed to appear on the ballots tell more of a story than the 870 scrupulously vetted candidates permitted to compete for 500 seats. Read more

Playing Chicken in the South China Sea

China has been behaving in a bellicose fashion in the South China Sea for some time as part of a sustained and increasingly dangerous effort to assert sovereignty over a vital waterway in which other nations also have claims. In a few weeks, an international arbitration court is expected to rule in a case brought against China by the Philippines. The outcome could have a profound effect on the struggle for control of the sea, which is rich in resources and carries $5 trillion in annual trade. Read more

fredag 13. mai 2016

Refusing to Honor Labor Rights Backfires on China

Just before the Chinese New Year in February, the Stella Xing Ang shoe factory in Dongguan, China, became a casualty of the country’s economic slowdown. Declining orders and higher production costs meant that after 13 years of producing shoes for major international brands, the business would close, and 2,000 employees would lose their jobs. Read more

What the new photos of North Korea's leaders say

North Korea has released a new set of photos of Kim Jong-un and party and military leaders. The BBC spoke to US-based North Korea expert Michael Madden about what the pictures tell us, after the recent and rare party congress. Read more

Toxic talk: Trying to lip read in China

There are many challenges to overcome when moving to another country. Laura Gillhespy reveals the sometimes unexpected hurdles she faced as a law intern with a hearing impairment when she moved to China's capital, Beijing. It is common amongst expats to say "bad China day" when everything seems to be going wrong - like high pollution, crowded public transport and admitting defeat when you are unable to communicate - but everyday challenges are often amplified when you have a disability. Read more

How the Cultural Revolution changed China forever

On May 16, 1966, Mao Zedong issued the first ideological salvo of the Cultural Revolution, a tumultuous political campaign that would go on to consume China in bloodshed, torture and chaos for almost a decade, and change the country forever. Mao's declaration condemned the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the army and the government for having been infiltrated by "representatives of the bourgeoisie" and "counter-revolutionary revisionists." Read more

'What mistake did we make?' Victims of Cultural Revolution seek answers, 50 years on

China has seen a series of controversial Red Guard apologies in recent years, including one from Song Binbin, a former Red Guard who shot to fame in the summer of 1966 when she was pictured pinning a red armband to Chairman Mao’s uniform during a mass rally in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. “I hope that all those who did wrong during the Cultural Revolution and hurt teachers and classmates will face up to themselves and do soul searching in order to seek forgiveness and achieve reconciliation,” Song told a Chinese newspaper in 2014, prompting a mix of praise and condemnation from those who claimed she had tried to downplay her role in the violence. Read more

The Sinocism China Newsletter 05.12.16

Get smarter about China. Read more

torsdag 12. mai 2016

Opinion: Separate ways? Donald Trump's approach to China 'stuck in the 1990s'

China and how it is "killing us on trade" has been a campaign trail target for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. But in his much-anticipated foreign policy address at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. Thursday, he focused far more on terrorism and extremism than on the Asia-Pacific. When the conversation did turn to China, Trump seemed stuck in the 1990s -- when Beijing was a bit player on most global and regional issues, and his suggested approach revealed a fundamental misunderstanding of the entangled nature of U.S.-China trade. Read more

China's Xi Jinping: Reformer in disguise?

A Chinese leader gracing the covers of major western publications used to draw wild cheers from the country's state media. 
When President Xi Jinping appeared on recent covers of The Economist and Time, however, Beijing authorities summarily blocked the two magazines' websites in ChinaRead more

Cultural Revolution concert fuels China power struggle rumours

With just days to go until the 50th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s devastating Cultural Revolution, a Maoist revival show staged at the nerve centre of Chinese politics has sparked a ferocious political row, fuelling persistent rumours about a struggle for power at the top of the Communist party. The Mao-themed extravaganza was held in early May at the Great Hall of the People, a colossal granite edifice in Tiananmen Square that hosts China’s most important political events. Read more

UK's 'golden era' with China in balance after Queen comments

China has refused to say whether a “golden era” of relations with Britain still exists, after the Queen was caught on camera accusing Beijing officials of being rude. In a discussion with a senior Metropolitan police officer, the Queen was heard accusing unnamed Chinese representatives of being “very rude” to the British ambassador in connection with President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to Britainlast year. Read more

Queen caught on camera saying Chinese officials were 'very rude'

The “golden era” of UK-China relations appears to have lost some of its glitter after the Queen accused Chinese officials of being “very rude” to the British ambassador during President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to Britain last year. During a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, a pool cameraman working on behalf of British broadcasters filmed her discussing Xi’s trip with Metropolitan police commander Lucy D’Orsi. Read more

søndag 24. april 2016

Xi Jinping: A Cult of Personality?

By some accounts, Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping is the most powerful leader the country has had since Mao Zedong. One arrow in his quiver that echoes Mao’s armory is Xi’s embrace of popular song, listened to these days not on the radio or over a loudspeaker so much as via the Internet, where some 700 million citizens are connected to China’s heavily censored version of the world wide web. Dozens of these songs about Xi have gone viral. What is behind Xi's efforts to cultivate a cult of personality? How significant is it to the shape of Chinese politics going forward? Read more