As a new year begins, China has released plans for its military development, including a second aircraft carrier. At the same time, a military overhaul of its land forces has led to the creation of a General Command of the Army, a Rocket Force and a Strategic Support Force.
China has in recent years sought to depict itself as not a violator but a champion of human rights. Thus, in September, President Xi Jinping co-hosted a United Nations meeting on women's empowerment and said, "All Chinese women have the opportunity to excel in life and make their dreams come true," apparently oblivious of China's imprisonment of five feminists months previously.
China responded with a knee-jerk reaction to the Obama administration's announcement of a US$1.83 billion arms sales package for Taiwan, summoning the charge d'affaires at the American embassy for a dressing down and calling the arms sale a "severe violation of international law" that "severely damages China's sovereignty and security interests."
The successful conclusion of the United Nations conference on climate change, which brought representatives of almost 200 countries to Paris, is an epochal event in mankind's attempt to overcome the global warming threat besetting the world.
The two-day China-Africa summit meeting in Johannesburg last week marks another step in the decades-long process of tightening relations between the world's soon-to-be-biggest economic power and the second fastest-rising region in the world after Asia.
After decades of priding itself on not having a single Chinese soldier on foreign soil (except for those serving in U.N. peacekeeping forces) and having no overseas military bases, China is somewhat awkwardly acknowledging that it is making a 180-degree turn by acquiring military facilities in far-off Djibouti, in northern Africa, near the Gulf of Aden.
Barack Obama, who has dubbed himself "America's first Pacific President," made his sixth trip to the region last week to attend meetings in Manila and Kuala Lumpur.
A single swallow, we are told, doesn't make a summer. That certainly applies to the trilateral meeting in Seoul on Nov. 1 at which Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe met his counterparts, President Park Geun-hye of South Korea and Premier Li Keqiang of China.
A strong, vigorous handshake that lasted more than a minute marked the historic first meeting between the leader of the People's Republic of China and the leader of Taiwan, which has been the home of the government of the Republic of China since its defeat by the Communists in the Chinese civil war in 1949.7 Comments
China suffered a double whammy in the South China Sea last week as the United States Navy carried out a freedom-of-navigation operation, sending a destroyer to within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands in the Spratly Island group,