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.
For someone whose public life is an open book, many people are still puzzled by China's leader Xi Jinping, who became General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and Chairman of the Central Military Commission two years ago.
An increasingly self-confident China is now seeking to reshape the world through playing leadership roles in international organizations, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum next week in Beijing. This is a rare opportunity, since APEC members take turns hosting the annual meetings, with China last playing host in 2001.
China's relationship with Russia has strengthened in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, despite Moscow's clear violation of the Chinese principle of noninterference in other countries' internal affairs.