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.
Thirty years ago this month, Britain and China signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong, under which London agreed to restore Hong Kong to China in 1997 and Beijing spelled out its policy of "one country
A couple of weeks ago, IHS Jane's, a leading British publishing company specializing in military topics, reported that China was reclaiming land at Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea and transforming permanently submerged features that do not qualify as an island under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea into an artificial island big enough to accommodate an airfield and a harbor, the largest Chinese naval facility in the Spratly Islands.
The frosty handshake between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the margins of the APEC meeting in Beijing is providing an opportunity for the two countries to end the downward spiral of the last two years, but this is by no means assured. Each must be cognizant of the sensitivities of the other side in an extremely unstable relationship.
The historic meeting between the leaders of China and Japan, hours before the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting convened in Beijing, hopefully will lead to an easing of tensions between the two countries, ending a period when the relationship was in free fall.