Over the last 35 years, China has gone through great changes. This period of change presented major challenges to the Communist Party's ideology. Many challenges were dealt with through redefinition and ambiguity. For example, Deng Xiaoping adroitly redefined "workers" to include intellectuals, arguing that while they worked with their minds and not their muscles, they were still workers.
When Barack Obama was in Beijing in November for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) annual meeting, the U.S. president met with the leaders of 11 other countries -- Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile and Brunei -- and called for the early conclusion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a trade grouping that is intended to set high standards for the 21st century.
Last September, when new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the United States, China declared itself unworried. "India will not be a major player in America's game of rebalancing the Asia-Pacific," the official People's Daily newspaper declared.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and many countries are gearing up to commemorate major historical events.
Sixteen months ago, Hugo Swire, minister of state for Asia in her Britannic Majesty's Government, wrote an article calling for the people of Hong Kong to be given a genuine choice in the 2017 chief executive election and offering British support. He was immediately criticized by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Last Thursday, student leader Joshua Wong was at Hong Kong Commercial Radio to record a program when he ran into Chief Secretary Carrie Lam. The 18-year-old immediately reached into his schoolbag and pulled out a criticism of the government's public sentiment report released two days earlier.
As a new year begins, China is painting a world in which it plays an enhanced role while the United States and the West in general, though still important, are relegated to a less dominant position. This shows China's confidence in itself and its realization that American power will be around for a long time to come.1 Comment
Early in 2013, the Philippine government initiated international arbitral proceedings against China over their maritime dispute in the South China Sea. Beijing announced that it would not take part, as is its right under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Nonetheless, the arbitral tribunal gave China a Dec. 15 deadline by which to respond.1 Comment
More than two years after Xi Jinping gained power as China's leader, his anti-corruption campaign shows little sign of slowing down. Instead, it is now spreading its wings to other countries.
The rout of the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT), in Taiwan by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in local elections on Nov. 29 changed Taiwan's political landscape overnight, making the DPP candidate for president in 2016 the odds-on favorite and possibly marking a change in cross-strait relations.