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Where would Confucius place the balance between environmental conservation and economic development today? Kevinsmithnyc

Confucian thought and China’s environmental dilemmas

Conventional wisdom holds that China - the world’s most populous country - is an inveterate polluter, that it puts economic goals above conservation in every instance. So China’s recent moves toward an…
Increasing Chinese investment in renewables is driving costs down. The Danish Wind Industry Association / Vindmølleindustrien/Flickr

Chile’s mines set hot pace on renewables — Australia take note

Mining is the fourth-largest energy consumer in Australia, using roughly 10% of Australia’s total. Some of this comes from the electricity grid — but much is supplied offgrid in the form of diesel and…
Handshakes as the Lima conference went into overtime to deliver an agreement. But there is still plenty of uncertainty about how next year’s Paris deal might look. EPA/COP20

Australia comes in from the cold as Lima deal leaves lots to do

The world is a step closer to a new climate agreement that will see all countries, not just developed ones, take action on greenhouse emissions after 2020. The two-week Lima climate summit, which ran two…
UN negotiators will struggle to balance the demands of countries that want binding emissions targets, and those that don’t. EPA/Paolo Aguilar

‘Legally binding’ demands are still the biggest climate dealbreaker

Could the preoccupation with legally binding targets sink the next climate deal in Paris in 2015? In the run-up to this week’s Lima talks, widely seen as a precursor to the Paris summit, the Abbott government…
Chinese president Xi Jinping and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. EPA/Harish Tyagi

Fair’s fair: time for China and India to step up at climate talks

At the UN Climate Negotiations underway in Lima, Peru, foreign minister Julie Bishop has called on China and India to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In her address to the conference on Wednesday…
East Asian academic success is based on culture rather than teaching methods. And Australia can’t, and shouldn’t, imitate that culture. Shutterstock

Claims of East Asia’s ‘chalk and talk’ teaching success are wrong, and short-sighted too

Since Shanghai, China, emerged at the top of international league tables of educational performance such as the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), there have been repeated calls…
Australia’s love affair with China is grounded on more than proximity and fascination. William West/AFP/AAP

China-Australia doomsayers overlook strong fundamentals

Pop quiz: in 2014 the quantity of Australian iron ore demanded by China has: a) fallen sharply, b) fallen modestly, c) remained the same, d) increased modestly, e) increased sharply? The answer in just…
Australia is now the most China-dependent economy in the world – does this pose a problem for our future? AAP/Alan Porritt

Australia’s China dependence: do we need a Plan B?

If something can’t go on for ever, it won’t. – Herb Stein, chief economic adviser to former US president Richard Nixon. China’s economic rise has been a good news story for Australia. According to most…
Amid clouds of teargas, the Hong Kong ‘Umbrella Man’ defies police attempts to end the protest. Wikimedia Commons/Pasu Au Yeung

Umbrella Man: a unique threat to China or symbol of wider change?

The haunting image of a masked protester defiantly hoisting two black umbrellas amid a cloud of tear gas flickered across global social media platforms in the seconds and minutes after the Umbrella uprising…
The recent report on foreign investment in Australian property failed to address how to solve affordability issues. Joel Carrett/AAP

Foreign investment in real estate inquiry: a lost opportunity

The federal government has missed an opportunity to give serious thought to housing affordability in Australia. The House Standing Committee on Economics recently released its report on individual foreign…
Will this relationship get better or worse? Petar Kujundzic/Reuters

US-China: a chill in the air

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
The People’s Bank of China recently cut interest rates to stimulate the economy. But it probably won’t fix the real problem. Reuters

China’s interest rate cut is mixed blessing for the world economy

China’s central bank surprised most observers last month when it announced its first interest rate cut in more than two years. The move is intended to bolster growth in the world’s second-largest economy…
Police move in on protesters who marched on the Hong Kong Chief Executive’s office in some of the worst clashes in the two-month pro-democracy demonstrations. EPA/Jerome Favre

Splits emerge in protest ranks as Hong Kong stand-off continues

The umbrellas were out in full force on Monday night in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong – but mainly because it was actually raining. A few hundred people, myself included, had shown up to listen to…
Supporters celebrate after Ko Wen-je, an independent candidate, won the Taipiei mayor’s seat in local elections in which the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party suffered heavy losses across the nation. EPA/Henry Lin

Voters assert themselves as Taiwanese in a warning to KMT

Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has won an unprecedented landslide victory in the country’s local elections. The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) won only one of Taiwan’s six largest “special…
President Xi Jinping has a PhD in Marxism and recently directed more resources to the study of the works of Marx and Mao Zedong. AAP/Jason Reed

To make sense of modern China, you simply can’t ignore Marxism

How does one come to understand China? Many wish to do so, especially in light of China’s growing global influence. For some, language is the key that opens the door. With Chinese language, one is able…
Enough is enough. EPA/Alex Hofford

How Hong Kong’s democracy protesters overplayed their hand

Time is running out for Hong Kong’s protest movement. Beijing’s last shred of patience has worn thin; police have cleared one of the protest zones in the commercial neighbourhood of Mong Kok, arresting…
China’s top smartphone maker has its sights on global dominance. World Leaks

Why Apple should watch out with Xiaomi smartphones about

Xiaomi might still sound a bit foreign to you, but the Chinese smartphone manufacturer is now the third largest in the world and the largest in China. And they are largely building their market share by…
Sales of infant formula are booming in China, attracting investment from new quarters. Shen Xiang/EPA/AAP

China’s ‘white gold’ infant formula rush comes at a public health cost

Alongside this week’s announcement of a free trade deal between China and Australia came reports of Gina Rinehart’s investment in a Queensland dairy operation to supply infant formula to China. Australia’s…

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