“The failure of the government to address the concerns of Hong Kong’s youth, as well as the relative sclerosis of its economic and political systems, may very well lead to further and more radical movements. Unless major changes occur in Hong Kong’s economy, superficial and piecemeal policies such as distributing ‘sweeteners’ to the poor and middle class or increasing land supply will not be enough to alleviate their grievances.
With more than 136 countries (end-July 2019) reported to have signed up to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI hereafter) since it was announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, estimates for China's potential BRI investments vary significantly, from around US $1 trillion to as much as US $8 trillion.
The Middle East is a fundamentally unstable area of the world. Threats to regional stability have regularly emerged both from disputes between governments and from internal forces within countries. This is likely to continue for decades to come. Looking ahead, however, the region’s stability will be increasingly threatened by relatively new, largely external dynamics. The most important of these will be the interplay of three ongoing and unfinished transitions: the rise of Chinese regional influence, the prospect of US regional retrenchment, and the changing global strategic approach of
The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has its strategic location between three important seas—the Mediterranean, Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, which are of vital importance for China’s trade and oil routes. China’s long, traditional cooperation with the MENA region focuses on energy, but is politically based on foreign policies and principles similar to those pertaining to other countries.
Can China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) help resolve some of the conflicts in the Middle East? Could it provide the means for building peace in the region? Such questions may become more pressing in the coming years. Over the past decade the Middle East has become less stable, the result of relative American military and economic decline alongside weak and collapsing regional states which were more exposed to insurgent and radical groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS.
China’s future role on the global stage hinges upon a mixture of strengths and weaknesses. Beijing’s meteoric rise in economic terms has been coupled by increasing military expenditures and a more assertive foreign policy stance. But the country is also facing a potential backlash, exemplified by protests in Hong Kong, while it remains to be seen whether (and how) the governance of the coronavirus outbreak will affect China's image abroad.
It has been nearly two decades since a Chinese head of state visited its southernly neighbour. The last time a Chinese head of state set foot in Myanmar, the country was still under full military rule and the capital was still Yangon. China was yet to be admitted as a WTO member and the champion of globalisation was still hiding its strength and biding its time.
On 14th January, the 15th round of the ‘China-Japan Strategic Dialogue’ was held in Xi’an, the ‘Terracotta Army’ city of China’s Shaanxi province. The mechanism is one of the few communication channels that remain active between the two countries: in addition to this Dialogue and regular diplomatic exchanges, the ‘China-Japan High-Level Economic Dialogue’, the ‘China-Japan Security Dialogue’ and the ‘China-Japan High-Level Political Dialogue’ make up for the entire system of bilateral consultations between Beijing and Tokyo.
Not just a new president and a new parliament: Taiwan’s elections will be heavily influenced by the country’s relationship with Beijing, its increasingly meddlesome neighbour.
An amendment to an extradition law: the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, in a Hong Kong pushed to the limit since the end of the British mandate. There's much more than meets the eye to the protests.