With barely eight months to go before Taiwan holds its next general election, at which both a new president and the entire parliament will be chosen, much hung in the balance as the chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), Eric Chu, met in Beijing last week with his Communist party counterpart, Xi Jinping, who is both party general secretary and state president.
Last week, on the eve of the annual ASEAN summit meeting, Beijing warned the 10-nation grouping to "refrain from entangling itself" in rows with China, which risked "win-win cooperation" with the emerging superpower.
The Hong Kong Government's political reform package, unveiled last week, contained few surprises. But there are some positive features.
For many years, as China grew stronger and more influential, the United States has been pressuring it to assume more global responsibilities. Ten years ago, a senior American official, Robert Zoellick, urged China to become a "responsible stakeholder," a term that perplexed the Chinese.
Beijing must be feeling the pressure from the United States to stop its campaign of turning tiny reefs that it controls in the South China Sea into artificial islands capable of accommodating military aircraft and vessels. The Monday edition of the People's Daily online carried not one but two commentaries criticizing the United States for its accusations against China.
In November 2012, two weeks after becoming leader of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping visited the National Museum in Tiananmen Square. There, after viewing a grand exhibition called "The Road to Revival," which recalls China's century of humiliation beginning with the Opium War of 1840, Xi issued a call for achieving the "Chinese Dream," or "the great revival of the Chinese nation."
its triumph over the United States in the launching of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China is pushing ahead on another initiative which President Xi Jinping also introduced in 2013: The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, twin projects which are breathtaking in scope and which could potentially affect more than half the world's population.
The United States was opposed to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) ostensibly out of concern that it would adopt poor governance standards.
The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) hasn't opened its doors for business yet, but already it has strained relations between the United States and its closest ally, the United Kingdom, who shocked Washington by announcing that it had applied to become a founding member, the first Western country to do so.
Much attention has been focused on what Premier Li Keqiang had to say about the slowing Chinese economy in his annual report to the National People's Congress, China's parliament, and about a lower "new normal" in economic growth.