By putting Taiwan’s status regarding the United States and China at the top of President-elect Joe Biden’s foreign policy agenda, he has introduced a serious roadblock to improved relations between the incoming administration and Beijing.
Those who want to work on the mainland will go, but the government should not expect a one-off policy to resolve anti-mainland sentiment among Hong Kong youths. Young people need to know the benefits and risks of working on the mainland.
China can end the secrecy over the plan’s contracts, payments and participants, setting US minds at ease and allowing scientific collaborations to continue. The US must also work to limit the spread of anxiety among Chinese scientists in the US or the scaring away of Chinese students.
The suffering of the two Canadians, in detention since December 2018, makes a powerful case for Ottawa to prize pragmatism and sympathy over politics.
China’s leaders are facing challenges on multiple fronts and cannot tolerate another summer of protests in Hong Kong and what they perceive as hostile US activities in the city.
Beijing has recognised that, under the current conditions, it can’t keep Hong Kong’s opposition forces under control. Something has to give, and that something is China’s promise to grant Hong Kong civil liberties and universal suffrage.
While acknowledging Lam’s work amid the crisis, Chinese leaders exhorted her to restore order. The attention paid to Hong Kong during the fourth plenum and news that central government officials will come to the city to explain the meeting’s communique should arouse concern.
The violence in Hong Kong benefits Beijing and its narrative that one-party rule is the basis of prosperity. Beijing’s curtailing of Hong Kong’s most important institutions has helped foment the current crisis, but violence is not the solution.
In the past, violence was unnecessary – peaceful protests led to the shelving of the Article 23 and national education bills. But times have changed in China – and therefore Hong Kong.
After June 4, the purge of liberals who wanted political reform may have given Deng Xiaoping the space he needed to keep economic reforms going when the communist bloc collapsed.
The Xi government pledged market reform in 2013, the same year a think tank began research on a competing plan that would become ‘Made in China 2025’. The latter has outpaced reforms, arguably to the nation’s loss.
Italy is buying into China’s belt and road plan and making a deal that neither the US nor the EU welcomes. As the case of Greece shows, pledging billions to a European Union country with financial needs seems to buy China protection from EU criticism.
In 2007, Xi Jinping was anointed as China’s future leader and a path to universal suffrage in Hong Kong had opened up. Today, Xi has consolidated power but China is embroiled in a trade war while Hong Kong’s democracy dreams have been dashed.
The Huawei CFO was arrested for an offence committed by her, not her company, and was allowed to hire a lawyer. Canada has treated her more fairly than China is treating two Canadians in detention.
China may have misjudged the timing of announcing its arrival on the global stage, as it seems to have invited a counter-attack from the US that is looking increasingly like an effort to not just limit China’s growth, but also undercut the party’s legitimacy.
Chinese students are returning home in droves after studying overseas, but whether they earn more and are satisfied with their lives depends on choice of major, work experience abroad and their reasons for returning.
Kim’s desire to push ahead with economic reform might have motivated his aggressive nuclear programme – and his willingness to talk peace.
Xi Jinping has consolidated his power, but the expected market-oriented reform programme has not materialised and is not likely to in the near future.
North Korea’s leadership played a smart move before the Olympics, exposing rifts among and within the US, South Korean and Chinese governments. As a result, chances of dialogue with the US have increased.
The Communist Party’s goal to build national power follows logically from its earlier focuses on national unity and wealth creation. But a political system that is ideologically driven and led by an almost all-powerful leader carries its own dangers.
Some observers explain that the very restrictive nomination process for universal suffrage in 2017 directed by the National People's Congress Standing Committee was driven by the Communist Party's fear of losing power in Hong Kong and the demonstration effect on Chinese society.
The strongest criticism of the Communist Party's third plenum in the West, and even from within China, has been over the lack of political reform.