The liberal world order the US led after World War II is falling apart and taking the credibility of US leadership down with it. Xi Jinping’s warm reception in the Middle East underlines the appeal of its vison of a multilateral, fairer and more inclusive world.
As Washington tries to contain both Russia and China, it faces an increasingly war-weary Europe and a developing world reluctant to take sides. America’s own social and political rifts are causing some to question its entitlement for calling the shots in an increasingly multipolar world.
The proof of Lee’s ‘results-oriented’ leadership will lie in what he can deliver during his first crucial months in office. Putting aside long-term goals, there are plenty of smaller milestones Lee can reach, including reopening the mainland border and providing temporary relief to cage-home dwellers.
Chief executive candidate John Lee has promised ‘results-oriented’ leadership and vowed to build a more competitive and politically stable city if he is elected. To deliver, he would need to make government ministers more accountable, encourage integration with the Greater Bay Area, and take steps towards universal suffrage.
Beijing has earned the right to be treated on an equal footing even as hardening competition proves damaging to both countries when there are so many areas of potential cooperation.
Concern over income inequality has driven China’s leaders to adopt a three-pronged strategy focusing on poverty eradication, reorientation of the economy towards a ‘high quality’ model, and encouraging philanthropy.
The US must grasp the inconvenient reality that China will become the world’s largest economy sooner rather than later. With most US allies hedging their bets, the ‘existential threat’ approach looks like theatrics trying to shore up Pax Americana.
China’s rise must be acknowledged, but exaggerating its capabilities and ambition is unhelpful. Great power competition is not a strategy, and there are more subtle ways to respond, including by ‘nudging’ China through cooperation.
Support for the disgraced leader’s brand of politics cuts across a wide swathe of US society, tapping into people’s deep-seated frustrations. Joe Biden should expect an uphill battle getting his administration’s agenda passed in Congress.
The digital renminbi is a sovereign currency fully backed by the state, does not require a bank account and has full oversight by Chinese banking authorities. Developing countries will embrace the convenience of China’s digital payment systems.
China means to become moderately prosperous by 2035, despite a more hostile external environment. But to achieve its goal, it would do well to address the world’s misgivings by working with the incoming Biden administration.
Given how intricately integrated China is into the international economic order, a global anti-Beijing axis of ‘democracies’ is unrealistic. Meanwhile, Chinese people’s satisfaction with their government has only increased.
What can the world expect from China in this new decade? Besides US-China tension, slower Chinese economic growth, vertical integration and the tilt towards domestic consumption are all likely to have an effect on the rest of the world.
Hongkongers have signalled their intent for greater democracy, and pan-democrats’ electoral momentum will continue if the issue is not unaddressed. A solution will involve meeting some protest demands, but also Beijing’s national security concerns.
Beijing will never bend to mob coercion but is reluctant to send in the PLA and wants to preserve ‘one country, two systems’. A sensible proposal is to combine enactment of Article 23 with seeking a more progressive package for universal suffrage.
Without unpacking the protests’ complex dynamics, dialogue and remedial action risk missing their mark. Apart from policies targeting youth empowerment, assurances on ‘one country, two systems’, as seen before 1997, would go a long way towards easing the unrest.
The central government understands the extradition bill triggered widespread anxiety about Hong Kong’s future. While maintaining law and order is the immediate priority, in the long term, a package addressing both universal suffrage and Article 23 could be negotiated.
Beijing should treat broad anti-China sentiment as a chance to not only speed up structural reforms, but also embrace soft power changes that will make the Chinese dream easier to achieve.
The US is confronting China in multiple arenas, ranging from technology to Taiwan and the South China Sea. China can emerge stronger if it makes changes that benefit both itself and the US while retaining its development model.
Whatever US’ reasons, and whatever methods it may use, China is far too integrated into global supply chains for the US containment strategy to end its upwards trajectory.
The US’ concerns about China aren’t just shared by other countries, they also align with the mainland’s own goals for its future.
Despite the extensions to Xi Jinping’s power, there are still protocols and procedures limiting what he can do, and there are still ways of engaging China other than in destructive confrontation.
The US stands to gain from China’s rise if it eschews confrontation in favour of collaboration.
Andrew Leung says the US can better balance a rising China by bridging differences in ideas and values
Andrew Leung says despite the dire prognosis from some China experts, the Chinese state and economy remain fundamentally sound - and a prediction of collapse is not supported by facts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was not prominent at the Beijing Apec summit. Instead, what was probably on his mind was a second energy deal with China in the face of a looming "second cold war" with the West.
Amid crises over Ukraine and the Middle East, the world can be forgiven for failing to appreciate the full significance of China's plan to create a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
In a city notable for law and order, a month's open disruption and challenge to authority, broadcast the world over, has been an intoxicating experience. Hong Kong's young protesters and their backers have surprised themselves.
At this make-or-break moment in our political history, it is time for both sides to calm down a little. The Scottish referendum, while different from our situation, may offer some useful perspectives.
Amid the political reform controversy, Beijing is often portrayed as reneging on its promise of universal suffrage, trampling on Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, turning a deaf ear to people's demands for democracy, and quietly eroding Hong Kong's freedom of expression.
As expected, the State Council's white paper on "one country, two systems" turned out to have the opposite effect to its intention. It offered a timely helping hand to Occupy Central organisers, and looks set to galvanise a bigger turnout for the annual July 1 march.
President Barack Obama's speech to West Point graduates last month reaffirmed that the US would seek to lead, reminding everyone of America's exceptional status as the "one indispensable nation".
The Southeast Asian community used to live in relative peace. China signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2003, and the Asean-China Free Trade Area was launched in 2010.
A Chinese saying has it that when a boat reaches a narrow bridge, it will somehow manage to traverse it. As the five-month public consultation period for Hong Kong's electoral reform draws to a close, oars of all shape and complexion are working overtime.
Over the years, Vladimir Putin has been building a Russian empire of energy pipelines throughout Europe. In aggregate, Russia provides about a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union, of which over half is carried through pipelines across Ukraine.
Last year, China suffered the worst air pollution in 52 years, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Outdoor air pollution, a leading cause of cancer, contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010. Industry and transport account for nearly 80 per cent of such pollution. There are now increasing calls for action.
On December 26, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine that houses Japan's war dead, including some convicted war criminals. It was the first such visit by a sitting prime minister in seven years.
In a recent article, US diplomat Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, elucidates how a so-called "Asian Century" could face two very different futures. One is of robust levels of growth while managing to avoid military conflicts. The other is ominous, with increased tensions translating into rising military budgets and confrontations affecting trade, tourism, investment and economic growth.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin stole a march on the US over Syria and as President Barack Obama saw his much- vaunted participation at the Apec summit in Bali derailed by domestic squabbles, the unspoken question is whether this may signal a global tilt away from sole American leadership.
With China's economy losing steam, many questions are being asked about whether this masks serious structural problems that may herald the end of the so-called "China Dream". A recent cover of The Economist showed a front-running China caught in the mud.
China's sudden credit crunch last month was anything but sudden. This was a desperate attempt to rein in an imploding financial crisis fuelled by indiscriminate bank lending linked to off-balance-sheet local government financing vehicles, a ballooning property bubble and massive Ponzi-like wealth management products. It was a tug of war between government regulators and the antics of "shadow banking".
Regardless of whether the 21st century will remain an American century, authors Heriberto Araújo and Juan Pablo Cardenal have outlined in The New York Times how China is already building an "economic empire" across the globe, including the acquisition of Western iconic assets.
As North Korea maintains its belligerence, the world is caught in a dilemma. Ignoring it as just another round of empty threats would run the risk of North Korea test-firing missiles with longer range and greater precision. It would also strengthen the regime's rhetoric for testing more deadly nuclear devices. Having another round of six-party talks without a game-changing solution is unlikely to end this farcical merry-go-round.
Last November, Communist Party secretary Xi Jinping evoked the "China Dream" during a visit to the National Museum of China's "Road Towards Renewal" exhibition in Beijing. The phrase went viral on China's weibo and drew a spate of emotional patriotic outpourings from overseas Chinese.