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Analysis and Comment (276)

As early as 2015 China’s use of thermal coal for electricity could peak. As early as 2015 China’s use of thermal coal for electricity could peak. Bret Arnett/Flickr

Ross Garnaut: China to reach ‘peak coal’ for electricity by 2015

China’s use of coal for electricity could peak as early as next year, then decline until 2020 in a turnaround of “global importance”, according to economist Ross Garnaut in a lecture presented at the Melbourne…
Fears Australia may be hammered in China’s attempts to rebalance its economy, might be overstated. Fears Australia may be hammered in China’s attempts to rebalance its economy, might be overstated. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Weighing the risks for Australia as China rebalances

China’s leaders have been vocal in their support of a new growth model, one where consumption leads the way. Economic commentators fret about what this means for Australia. One view is that economic pain…
China is playing its own game of anti-monopoly. China is playing its own game of anti-monopoly. 铁蛋骑士/Flickr

Multinationals on notice as China plays monopoly card

If multinationals operating in China were not already aware China has a competition law and is not afraid to use it, events of the past few weeks should have prompted them to call their lawyers and ask…
A Mongolian monk tends to his solar panels, deep in the Gobi desert. A Mongolian monk tends to his solar panels, deep in the Gobi desert. EPA

China and Mongolia clash over how to exploit the Gobi desert

The Gobi Desert in East Asia conjures images of a remote landscape, with nomads riding across the steppe. In fact, today it is home to herders and farmers, the world’s fastest-growing economy, vast copper…
Crowd-pleaser: Pope Francis I. Crowd-pleaser: Pope Francis I. EPA/Chung Sung-Jun

After 65 years, is China finally ready to embrace the Pope?

Pope Francis flew over China on his way to South Korea late last week, where the Catholic Church has seen rapid growth in the last decade. Papal custom is to send a telegram to the leaders of nations over…
Chinese authorities have called time on GM rice. Chinese authorities have called time on GM rice. EPA

China’s fight to feed itself is hindered by anti-GM paranoia

One of China’s major genetically modified food projects is now to all intents and purposes dead and buried. The expiry on August 17 of the biosafety certificates issued to strains of GM rice developed…
The tiger, felled: Zhou Yongkang. The tiger, felled: Zhou Yongkang. EPA/Anindito Mukherjee

Taking down a big tiger won’t end China’s ingrained corruption

Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption purge has really started to hit its stride – and by announcing an investigation into Zhou Yongkang, one of the most influential figures in the Chinese Communist…
Xi Jinping’s tour through Latin American countries signals the time is right to reassess Chinese investment in Australia. Xi Jinping’s tour through Latin American countries signals the time is right to reassess Chinese investment in Australia. AAP/EPA/Cubadebate

Xi Jinping’s Latin American tour harbours insights for Australia

Chinese President Xi Jinping has just returned from his second state visit to Latin America, having achieved what no other leader could. His dash through Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Cuba has breathed…
Watching. Watching. Diego Azubel

China’s Uighur Muslims are trapped in a cycle of violence

As the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ended, lethal violence flared up in China’s Xinjiang province – the latest grim entry in the saga of terrorism and repression that surrounds the region’s Uighur Muslim…
We hear a great deal about China’s future – but how is it treating its past? Sangzhutse Fortress in Shigatse, Tibet – after restoration work. We hear a great deal about China’s future – but how is it treating its past? Sangzhutse Fortress in Shigatse, Tibet – after restoration work. Photo: Tongji University

China’s future is bright, and that includes conserving the past

For most Australians, mention of China probably does not evoke preserved buildings and landscapes in the way the English countryside does or the Italian centro storico. But a new exhibition, Envisioning…
Europe’s slow recovery from the GFC has had implications for its trade partners, including Australia and the US. Europe’s slow recovery from the GFC has had implications for its trade partners, including Australia and the US. Australian Government/AAP

Why Australia still cares more about the G2 than the G20

As debate about the economic versus political role of the G20 takes hold, it’s worth looking back at how successfully member countries cooperated in promoting economic recovery after the global financial…
Palludarium Shigelu by Azuma Makoto and marmoreal engineered marble designed by Max Lamb for Dzek. Palludarium Shigelu by Azuma Makoto and marmoreal engineered marble designed by Max Lamb for Dzek. UCCA/ Asialink

When migration meets creation: Australian design in Beijing

What happens to design when it migrates? This is the question posed by Australian design studio Broached Commissions which opened its latest exhibition, Broached Retreat, at the Ullens Centre for Contemporary…
All aboard the pizza express to China. All aboard the pizza express to China. Ben Sutherland

Chinese capital could soon own much of high street, UK

In what might be termed “fusion finance”, a Chinese private equity company, Hony Capital, has purchased UK restaurant chain Pizza Express for £900m. This isn’t the first time a Chinese firm has bought…
Banking on success. Banking on success. Ria Novosti/EPA

World Bank watch out, the BRICS Bank is a game-changer

The top news from this year’s BRICS summit was the announcement of a New Development Bank. Headquartered in Shanghai, the bank will become operational in 2016 with an initial capital of US$50 billion…
Provocative words chucked out by Hagel. Provocative words chucked out by Hagel. EPA/Robert Ghement

Hagel speech on China’s ‘rise’ exposes hypocrisy in Washington

When US defence secretary Chuck Hagel recently accused China of destabilising the Asia region to an audience in Singapore, he knew he was preaching to the converted. China’s modern-day development is complex…
A China-Australia FTA agreement would be handy for business but it’s just the first step. A China-Australia FTA agreement would be handy for business but it’s just the first step. Parker Song/Pool/AAP

Australia-China FTA a stepping stone rather than an end point

Going from raw data the Australia-China trade relationship should be a source of celebration and congratulation. In 2013, bilateral trade came to A$140 billion, up 20% on the year before. Even better…
The Australian government hopes to finalise the Free Trade Agreement with China by the end of the year. The Australian government hopes to finalise the Free Trade Agreement with China by the end of the year. PARKER SONG / POOL/ AAP

Why China-Australia FTA may still be some way off

This week treasurer Joe Hockey, and trade minister Andrew Robb have been in China for the inaugural Australia-China Strategic Economic Dialogue. These talks are one part of the “Strategic Partnership…
China’s air pollution reached crisis levels last year - but dealing with it could also mitigate climate change. China’s air pollution reached crisis levels last year - but dealing with it could also mitigate climate change. William Veerbeek/Flickr

China’s plan to combat pollution will fight climate change too

Last month was the hottest May in terms of global surface temperature in a historical record that extends back 130 years, according to NASA, and with an El Niño forecast for the end of the year, we could…
Jian’s case suggests the Chinese government is far from “opening up”. Jian’s case suggests the Chinese government is far from “opening up”. R. Ian Lloyd/Flickr

Guo Jian’s detainment paints a familiar picture of China

Earlier this week, just three days before the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square democratic movement, Chinese-Australian artist Guo Jian was taken from his Beijing home by local police. He’s currently…
Chinese artist Chen Guang, a former soldier who served during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, has painted a series of works based on his experience. Chinese artist Chen Guang, a former soldier who served during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, has painted a series of works based on his experience. Chen Guang/Internet Exhibition

Tiananmen 25 years on: CCP now fears the masses gathering online

June 4, 2014, marks the 25th anniversary of the bloody military crackdown to end student protests in Tiananmen Square. For weeks, global media coverage had highlighted the protesters' concerns and greatly…
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and CNPC Chairman Zhou Jiping sign documents as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping look on. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and CNPC Chairman Zhou Jiping sign documents as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping look on. Alexey Druginyn/Ria Novosti/AAP

Australian LNG in the shadow of a global gas showdown

The US$400 billion gas deal signed between Russia’s giant state-owned corporation Gazprom and China last week is 16 times larger than its predessor in the supply of gas to China - a US$25 billion LNG project…
In China, there has been a shift away from traditional textile and clothing to computers and communications. In China, there has been a shift away from traditional textile and clothing to computers and communications. AAP/EPA/SHEPHERD ZHOU CHINA OUT

As India and China transform, Australian manufacturers must follow

As Australia laments the decline of its manufacturing sector, China is actively taking steps to accelerate its move up the value chain. Historically a low-cost operating environment, China was once an…
Anyone got a good VPN so I can get on Facebook? Anyone got a good VPN so I can get on Facebook? EPA

Five Chinese e-businesses on the rise, and one salutary tale

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans to float on the New York stock exchange in what could be the largest initial public offering in US history. The success of Alibaba and fellow Chinese firm JD.com…
Who’s going to wage war with China over a rock in the ocean? That is why Beijing feels confident in claiming and building on this disputed reef in the South China Sea. Who’s going to wage war with China over a rock in the ocean? That is why Beijing feels confident in claiming and building on this disputed reef in the South China Sea. EPA

Ukraine crisis offers lessons in how to handle China’s ambitions

Since the end of the Cold War it has become accepted knowledge that economic ties between the major powers prevent conflict. In a world of globalised production chains and capital flows the general argument…
Open access, as long as you’re a scientist. Open access, as long as you’re a scientist. Shepherd Zhou/EPA

Humanities left behind as China embraces open access science

Two large Chinese funding bodies for scientific research are promoting so-called “open access” to research outcomes, according to an article in Nature. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National…
The stoush between China and the US over spying is becoming toxic. The stoush between China and the US over spying is becoming toxic. Shutterstock

Cyber espionage and the new Cold War of US-China relations

The members of China’s military charged over cyber espionage by the US will never see American justice, but the case does break new ground in a fractious US-China relationship increasingly characterised…
The US Justice Department says members of the People’s Liberation Army hacked into US businesses to steal trade secrets. The US Justice Department says members of the People’s Liberation Army hacked into US businesses to steal trade secrets. Jim Lo Scalzo/AAP

US Chinese military charges a smokescreen for its own spying

In a surprising move, a US District Court has charged five members of the Chinese military with hacking six US companies to obtain commercial secrets over the last eight years. The move has been denounced…
Bear farming is increasingly regarded as unacceptable in China. Bear farming is increasingly regarded as unacceptable in China. Mu Chen/EPA

China clamps down on bear farms and shark fins as animal welfare attitudes shift

Chinese wildlife faces a serious survival crisis, but the tide seems to be turning in support for protecting endangered species there. China’s top legislative body has passed a new “interpretation” of…
Vietnamese protesters might not know what they’ve got till it’s gone. Vietnamese protesters might not know what they’ve got till it’s gone. EPA

Looting Chinese factories won’t help the Vietnamese economy

Anti-China protests in Vietnam have attracted world-wide attention over the past few days, as hundreds have been injured and at least 21 killed. The riots were sparked by China drilling for oil in a disputed…
Turkey’s mine disaster has put safety in the spotlight. Turkey’s mine disaster has put safety in the spotlight. EPA

Turkey mine disaster: China has shown that safety can be improved rapidly

The Soma coal mine tragedy in Turkey has again brought the issue of coal mining safety to the fore. With by far the largest coal industry in the world, accounting for half of global production, the Chinese…
Clive Palmer’s relationship with Chinese investors has seen better days. Clive Palmer’s relationship with Chinese investors has seen better days. David Barbeler/AAP

Digging beneath China’s interest in Australian iron ore projects

The Australian iron ore industry is no place for the faint hearted. On April 11, Padbury Mining spectacularly announced billions in funding (reportedly backed by Chinese investors) to develop the Oakajee…
All a blur. The Alibaba IPO sets a new benchmark. All a blur. The Alibaba IPO sets a new benchmark. Qilai Shen/EPA

Alibaba’s IPO signals a fresh appetite for Chinese technology

The planned stock market listing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in New York is a landmark deal for several reasons. The listing is anticipated to become the largest in the US since Facebook’s issue…
English teacher Jack Ma founded Alibaba 15 years ago. English teacher Jack Ma founded Alibaba 15 years ago. World Economic Forum/Flickr

China’s Alibaba cries ‘open sesame’ to US market

The upcoming IPO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is likely to be the biggest the US market has seen. At an expected US$20 to $25 billion, it would be one and a half times bigger than Facebook’s IPO…
Australia under the Abbott government has so far been treated to a succession of foreign policy gaffes, including with Indonesia. Australia under the Abbott government has so far been treated to a succession of foreign policy gaffes, including with Indonesia. EPA/Adi Weda

The state of Australia: our international standing

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
China’s military spending has doubled over the past decade. China’s military spending has doubled over the past decade. US Marine Corps

Obama’s key message in Asia – if China wants a fight, we’ve got your back

Barack Obama’s weeklong visit to Asia took in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. His trip was supposedly focused on economic issues and in particular on enhancing trade links across the…
Relatives of the missing passengers on flight MH370 march on the Malaysian embassy in Beijing. Relatives of the missing passengers on flight MH370 march on the Malaysian embassy in Beijing. EPA/Rolex dela Pena

Sino-Malaysian friendship will defy public fallout from flight MH370

“Visit Malaysia Year 2014” was expected to bolster Malaysia’s growing Chinese tourism market: Malaysia’s third-largest. Last October, commemorating four decades of close relations, Chinese president Xi…
The largest language promotion project the world has ever seen? The largest language promotion project the world has ever seen? Chinese teacher/Shutterstock

Why China wants African students to learn Mandarin

While China’s dramatic economic and trade impact on Africa has caught global attention, there has little focus on its role in education. But there are important questions raised by China’s education push…
White water rafting is popular in China, but Chinese tourists have different expectations. White water rafting is popular in China, but Chinese tourists have different expectations. Ralf Buckley

Ecotourism for the Chinese: up the creek without a paddle

For countries that promote themselves as tourist destinations, China has - for some years - been the new Japan. Two decades ago, tourist towns such as Australia’s Gold Coast put up bilingual signs and…
The Chinese TV market is hard to crack. The Chinese TV market is hard to crack. Shutterstock

Looking behind the screens of the ABC’s China deal

ABC International has reasons to be proud of its recent “landmark” deal to provide ABC content in China. The deal, which will see the establishment of an online portal, also seems to make it harder for…
High-speed trains, such as this one on the Hangzhou-Shanghai route, will soon link China’s entire urban spine from Beijing to Hong Kong. High-speed trains, such as this one on the Hangzhou-Shanghai route, will soon link China’s entire urban spine from Beijing to Hong Kong. Chris Hale

With a bullet: China’s high-speed rail dream begins to take flight

As a young university student, I first visited Guangzhou during the mid-1990s and found it a gloomy and unsettling place. The third world, undoubtedly. When I went back again in 2010, it was transformed…
Signing a Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan was the highlight of Tony Abbott’s whirlwind northeast Asia trip, which also took in China and South Korea. Signing a Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan was the highlight of Tony Abbott’s whirlwind northeast Asia trip, which also took in China and South Korea. EPA/Kimmasa Mayama

Abbott’s Asia trip comes off – for now

Prime minister Tony Abbott’s diplomatic and trade mission to northeast Asia can be hailed as a success. Overall, it met its main objectives. The trip has strengthened the already deepening relationship…
Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’ is couched in the opaque language of the Communist Party, leaving China watchers guessing at exactly what it all means. Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’ is couched in the opaque language of the Communist Party, leaving China watchers guessing at exactly what it all means. EPA/Diego Azubel

Party insider offers rare insight into what China’s reforms mean

“If you want to know the future of the world,” Yu Keping says, pouring green tea into a big red mug, “please understand China.” He pauses. “But if you want to know China, please understand the Chinese…
The government is seeking a free trade agreement with China by the end of the year, but concerns still remain about Chinese investment in Australia. The government is seeking a free trade agreement with China by the end of the year, but concerns still remain about Chinese investment in Australia. Daniel Munoz/AAP

Don’t be misled on Chinese foreign investment: read the facts

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott shifts his Asian tour focus to China, it seems likely the threshold for formal approval on Chinese investment in Australia will be raised to A$1 billion. But any move to open…
Achieving a free trade agreement with China would be a major achievement for the Abbott government given the obstacles currently in the way. Achieving a free trade agreement with China would be a major achievement for the Abbott government given the obstacles currently in the way. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Japan and free trade create twin challenges for Abbott in China

Despite the misgivings of the sceptics, prime minister Tony Abbott’s high-profile, potentially high-risk trade mission to northeast Asia could be a triumph. The free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan is…
Two dozen ships anchored outside Gladstone harbour in 2008, waiting to load coal. Two dozen ships anchored outside Gladstone harbour in 2008, waiting to load coal. milton.v1/Flickr

Australia’s biggest coal state plans for life beyond coal

We are in the coal business. If you want decent hospitals, schools and police on the beat we all need to understand that. – Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, June 2012. It was a rare moment of unscripted…
The proposed railway hasn’t got everyone in Laos excited. The proposed railway hasn’t got everyone in Laos excited. LUONG THAI LINH/EPA

High speed rail could bankrupt Laos, but it’ll keep China happy

Despite impressive economic growth rates over the last decade, a third of Laos’s population still lives below the extreme poverty line of US$1.25 per day. Most of the extreme poor Laos are ethnic minorities…
Tony Abbott has declared Japan, under prime minister Shinzo Abe, as Australia’s ‘best friend in Asia’. But this might come at a cost as Abbott seeks to close a FTA with China. Tony Abbott has declared Japan, under prime minister Shinzo Abe, as Australia’s ‘best friend in Asia’. But this might come at a cost as Abbott seeks to close a FTA with China. EPA/Mast Irham

Abbott’s pursuit of Japan risks a free trade agreement with China

Prime minister Tony Abbott will be hoping the Japanese leg of his ambitious trade trip to northeast Asia can replicate the success of securing a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea. The close relations…
Chinese anger at Malaysia’s handling of the search for flight MH370 has had a damaging impact on the bilateral relationship. Chinese anger at Malaysia’s handling of the search for flight MH370 has had a damaging impact on the bilateral relationship. EPA/Kamal Sellehuddin

The diplomatic fallout from flight MH370 reveals a region on edge

When Malaysian Airlines flight 370 failed to arrive, authorities at first concluded it had crashed in a relatively shallow part of the Gulf of Thailand. As the days passed more countries dispatched ships…
Bags of talent: Chinese migrants outside Beijing’s rail terminal. Bags of talent: Chinese migrants outside Beijing’s rail terminal. EPA/How Hwee Young

Beijing shows we must rethink what makes a ‘skilled’ migrant

Mass migration is a huge issue in China’s fast-growing cities, deepening existing anxieties about urban sprawl, the overheated real estate markets, overcrowding, land disputes, and social unrest. On a…
Planting flags. Planting flags. Olivier Hoslet/EPA

The tough road to a trade deal between the US and Europe

When the EU-US summit kicks off in Brussels this week, the prospects of a new trade deal will be jostling for attention with events in Ukraine. The long-term implications might even be more far reaching…
Let’s do the 23 times table. Let’s do the 23 times table. Michael Reynolds/EPA

Explainer: what makes Chinese maths lessons so good?

Chinese students begin learning their maths facts at a very early age: maths textbooks begin with multiplication in the first semester of second grade, when children are seven years old. In order to understand…
A growing share of Australian exports are heading to China, leading commentators to ask if we should be hedging our bets. A growing share of Australian exports are heading to China, leading commentators to ask if we should be hedging our bets. AAP/Will Russell

Too good to be true: weighing up Australia’s exposure to China

Australia exported A$94.4 billion in goods to China last year, making China by far the single most important destination for Australian merchandise. Similarly, China is also the most important destination…
Special delivery? New Chinese consumer law will place a greater onus on retailers to rectify problems. Special delivery? New Chinese consumer law will place a greater onus on retailers to rectify problems. Kaptain Koboid/Flickr

China’s consumer protection law a win for Aussie online shoppers

When China kicks off “Consumer Protection Day” this weekend, it’s online shoppers that stand to gain the most. In fact, the growth in online shopping appears to be one of the main factors driving China’s…
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang took to the stage Wednesday to present a blue-print for further market reforms. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang took to the stage Wednesday to present a blue-print for further market reforms. EPA/Wu Hong

China, promising reforms, pushes enterpreneurship

China’s Premier, Li Keqiang, presented his annual Work Report to the National People’s Congress on Wednesday, and the media dutifully reported the big ticket items: a 7.5% GDP growth target for 2014 and…
A 12% increase in China’s military spending may sound muscular: but as a proportion to GDP it has remained constant since 2000. A 12% increase in China’s military spending may sound muscular: but as a proportion to GDP it has remained constant since 2000. AAP/EPA/ADRIAN BRADSHAW

China’s military spending: is there a new arms race?

As the world’s second largest military power, China’s announcement of a 12% increase in its military budget has elicited grumbles from Taipei, Tokyo and Washington. But what does this increase signal regarding…
Police investigate the scene of the massacre at Kunming railway station, which authorities blamed on separatist terrorists. Police investigate the scene of the massacre at Kunming railway station, which authorities blamed on separatist terrorists. EPA/Sui Shui

Atrocity thrusts China’s neglected ‘bridgehead’ into the spotlight

Shortly after 9pm last Saturday night, a group of knife-wielding men stormed into Kunming railway station in the Yunnan Province in southwest China. They went on a killing rampage that brutally ended the…
Tourists wear protective masks in smoggy Tiananmen Square on February 26, 2014, when the air quality was officially ‘hazardous’. Tourists wear protective masks in smoggy Tiananmen Square on February 26, 2014, when the air quality was officially ‘hazardous’. EPA/Rolex Dela Pena

China can’t smother growing public demands to clear the air

Beijing has once again experienced extremely poor air quality, in what is becoming a regular event for the Chinese capital and other parts of the country. But has anything changed since the last “airpocalypse…
Stacking the odds? Stacking the odds? Rebecca Siegel

Here be dragons? China’s economic data may not be all bad

The world’s second-largest economy has become the second-most watched and yet investors, politicians and economists are never quite clear what it is they’re looking at. China’s premier, Li Keqiang, is…
In 2008, Chinese baby formula and milk products were tainted with melamine, killing six babies and hospitalising many more. In 2008, Chinese baby formula and milk products were tainted with melamine, killing six babies and hospitalising many more. EPA/Wu Hong

SPC Ardmona’s bailout is crucial given China’s food safety record

SPC Ardmona’s $22 million lifeline from the Victorian government seems to have saved Australia’s largest food packaging company. Yet the firm’s recent tribulations are a reminder of why I regularly choose…
Around 20,000 chickens were culled in Hong Kong last week after the virus was detected in birds imported from mainland China. Around 20,000 chickens were culled in Hong Kong last week after the virus was detected in birds imported from mainland China. Alex Hofford/AAP Image

Explainer: what is H7N9 bird flu?

Australia’s federal Department of Health has advised general practitioners to be on the lookout for potential cases of the H7N9 strain of influenza A, or bird flu, following a spate of deaths in China…
A shift towards fresh food and improved consumer protections in China provides opportunities and threats for Australian food producers. A shift towards fresh food and improved consumer protections in China provides opportunities and threats for Australian food producers. dcmaster/Flickr

SPC Ardmona and the cheap Chinese food challenge

The political lobbying accompanying the government decision to withhold financial support from SPC Ardmona has overshadowed the big structural issues facing Australia’s preserved food industry. The two…
Did Australia actually begin the Year of the Horse on August 6, 2013? Did Australia actually begin the Year of the Horse on August 6, 2013? Diego Azubel/EPA

Rejoice, it’s Chinese New Year – no, wait, not here

Today is the Chinese Lunar New Year – the Year of the Horse – according to the Western Gregorian Calendar. All good? Light the firecrackers! But wait … According to last year’s Southern Hemisphere Australian…
Special Economic Zones such as Shenzhen provided the policy basis for Chinese growth. Special Economic Zones such as Shenzhen provided the policy basis for Chinese growth. AAP

Looking past doomsday rhetoric: China’s free trade zones

As markets commence the new year in a sense of panic on the back of an uncertain outlook for China’s economy, I am brought back to a bookshop discovery I made in 2001 and the pending doom and gloom which…
Xu Zhiyong, jailed for four years. for inciting public disorder. Xu Zhiyong, jailed for four years. for inciting public disorder. Wikimedia Commons

China’s war on thought is being waged in Western universities

In the past decade, US and UK universities have embarked on a program of developing formal relationships, exchanges, and partnerships with their counterparts in China. No scholar interested in promoting…
After China, which way will Hong Kong turn? After China, which way will Hong Kong turn? Vincent Yu

Stockpiling seized ivory lends it undeserved legitimacy

Hong Kong’s Endangered Species Advisory Committee meets today to decide whether to follow China’s lead and destroy its own (33-tonne) stockpile of contraband ivory. This is welcome news, but the destruction…
Console games have been banned in China for 14 years, but a relaxation of the restrictions could be a boon for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Console games have been banned in China for 14 years, but a relaxation of the restrictions could be a boon for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. EPA/Ym Yik

China lifts console ban, but ‘protected’ gamers hard to woo

The relaxation of a ban on the sale of video game consoles in China has opened up an enormous market for the three big console manufacturers. The sudden opening has already precipitated a surge in Nintendo’s…
Rupert Murdoch has long been attracted to China, but was it a case of unrequited love? Rupert Murdoch has long been attracted to China, but was it a case of unrequited love? AAP/Dan Himbrechts

China proves immune to Murdoch-style regime change

Having created an empire on which the sun never sets, it must have been a heavy blow to Rupert Murdoch when his company, 21st Century Fox, announced last week it had sold its 47% stake in Star China TV…
‘Let your mouth rejoice’ (bite the wax tadpole): Coca Cola in China. ‘Let your mouth rejoice’ (bite the wax tadpole): Coca Cola in China. Ming Xia

China’s youth want a movie, a Coke and a Big Mac

It’s clear that the financial influence of China is now global: it has invested $75 billion in Africa over the last 10 years in large infrastructure projects while China’s state news agency, Xinhua, has…
Debt; dollar; deficit - the mantra for this year, amid a turbulent political period. Debt; dollar; deficit - the mantra for this year, amid a turbulent political period. AAP

2013, the year that was: Business and Economy

Debt. Dollar. Deficits. Three little words so close to the hearts of our contributors in a year dominated by a critical federal election, a waning mining boom and continuing international turbulence. The…
Huawei’s technology HQ in Shenzen. Huawei’s technology HQ in Shenzen. Brücke-Osteuropa

Keeping tabs on Huawei raises awkward questions for everyone

In its often fractious dealings with western governments, Chinese tech giant Huawei has been repeatedly accused of being a proxy for government espionage and other practices unbecoming of a global corporation…
China: “No, thanks. We don’t want a Nobel peace prize.” China: “No, thanks. We don’t want a Nobel peace prize.” andreasl

China isn’t creative enough to win a science Nobel

“China is at the forefront of medicine and hi-tech and computing.” So said UK Chancellor George Osborne, who recently visited the country. Global tests for 15-year-olds show the youth of Shanghai are comfortably…
Despite being the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, China is increasing its renewable sources of energy. Despite being the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, China is increasing its renewable sources of energy. AAP/HOW HWEE YOUNG

China roars ahead with renewables

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has just released some remarkable data on the addition of new electric generating capacity in 2013. China’s electric power system has been growing at a tremendous…
This Russian-built nuclear power plant in India may be one of many soon appearing in developing countries. This Russian-built nuclear power plant in India may be one of many soon appearing in developing countries. Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Nations' nuclear ambitions not discouraged by few suppliers

UN inspectors descend on Iran this week to visit the Arak heavy water plant, and engineers at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plants in Japan attempt one of the most challenging nuclear salvage operations…
Thick haze has shrouded Shanghai for the past week, in the latest instance of extreme air pollution. Thick haze has shrouded Shanghai for the past week, in the latest instance of extreme air pollution. Wikimediacommons/Galaxyharrylion

Shanghai’s ‘airpocalypse’: can China fix its deadly pollution?

The current “airpocolypse” emergency in Shanghai - which has seen schoolchildren ordered indoors to protect them from the polluted air, flights grounded and companies ordered to cut production - comes…
At ease: Indian soldiers deployed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. At ease: Indian soldiers deployed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. John Giles/PA

West fears the rise of some countries more than others

When a highly populous, rapidly developing, nuclear armed, space-voyaging and increasingly assertive Asian nation announces the purchase of its third aircraft carrier, a few months after launching its…
Affordable housing in China is usually clustered into fenced housing estates of 1000 to 4000 dwelling units. Affordable housing in China is usually clustered into fenced housing estates of 1000 to 4000 dwelling units. Rebecca L.H. Chiu

China plans 36 million affordable homes: lessons for Australia

The sudden dismissal of Australia’s National Housing Supply Council last month suggests we may be entering a new housing policy vacuum. This is bad news for aspiring first home buyers, whose numbers have…
China has aspirations to become a green/low-carbon country, but significant reform is required. China has aspirations to become a green/low-carbon country, but significant reform is required.

All change: China’s reform agenda shuns growth at any cost

Last month Chinese leader Xi Jinping set out his top reform agendas for China’s next decade, setting out important policies, ranging from political reforms, social policy and market reform, to a commitment…
One more in the sky, this time on a grey rock. One more in the sky, this time on a grey rock. Xinhua

Prestige and one-upmanship fuel China’s lunar rover

Earlier this week China launched one of its venerable Long March rockets. That event in itself is no longer news as China has become one of the world’s busiest and most reliable providers of satellite…
Burberry if facing a trademark fight in China after failing to use its traditional Haymarket tartan in handbags for more than three years. Burberry if facing a trademark fight in China after failing to use its traditional Haymarket tartan in handbags for more than three years. vampirex/Flickr

Burberry’s China trademark threat a handbag war worth fighting

Burberry’s iconic Haymarket check tartan pattern is under threat following a trademark dispute in China. Local fashion manufacturer Polo Santa Roberta successfully applied to have the Burberry trademark…
What has the international response been to China establishing an Air Defence Identification Zone over the East China Sea? What has the international response been to China establishing an Air Defence Identification Zone over the East China Sea? EPA/Hiroya Shimoji

China’s ADIZ and Australia’s commitment to America’s Asian order

Last week, China announced the creation of a new Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea, encompassing the disputed Senkaku Islands. The move has significantly escalated tensions…
All parties are posturing for influence. All parties are posturing for influence. Fotopedia

More than a neighbourly dispute awaits Joe Biden in Asia

US Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia next week could not come at a more timely moment. It is the first high level visit since President Obama cancelled his trip during the government shutdown in…
Making an emissions market work in China will be entirely different to making one work in the west. Making an emissions market work in China will be entirely different to making one work in the west. Dai Luo

How will China’s carbon markets work in a non-market economy?

This week, China will launch the pilots of its Beijing and Shanghai emmissions trading schemes. But the operating environment for these schemes will be vastly different to that in Australia or the European…
A freer flow of money in and out of China presents opportunities for Australia. A freer flow of money in and out of China presents opportunities for Australia. SimonQ/Flickr

China is liberalising its banks, and that’s good news for Australia

China has signalled its intention, reiterated in the recent Third Plenum, to open up its financial markets. This would be an important reform which carries significant risks and opportunities both for…
China’s one-child policy, however controversial, should be given some of the credit for positive outcomes such as rising levels of education. China’s one-child policy, however controversial, should be given some of the credit for positive outcomes such as rising levels of education. EPA/Diego Azubel

The costs and benefits of China’s one-child policy

The recent announcement that China’s one-child policy will be partially relaxed will be celebrated worldwide by libertarians, human rights activists and, most importantly, Chinese couples who have longed…
Former NBA player Yao Ming is pictured on a billboard in China, endorsing an anti-shark fin campaign. Former NBA player Yao Ming is pictured on a billboard in China, endorsing an anti-shark fin campaign. Mike Fabinyi

Shark fin drops off the menu, conservationists claim victory

In recent times, China has witnessed a series of campaigns aimed at persuading people to stop eating shark fin soup. So it is encouraging that, over the past year, shark fin consumption appears to have…
Trouble brewing for China? Trouble brewing for China? Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Timid reforms won’t save China from major growth crunch

China’s rapid economic growth, and the development of Shanghai, Chongqing, and Shenzen into modern metropolises, might easily give observers the sense of a successful country, full of confidence. Clearly…
Out and about: Xi Jinping deploying soft power on a trip to Ireland. Out and about: Xi Jinping deploying soft power on a trip to Ireland. PA

Third Plenum sets out tentative program for change in China

The Chinese leadership transition last year, with Hu Jintao handing over to Xi Jinping, finally laid to rest Deng Xiaoping’s long-running maxim that China should “keep a low profile and hide its brightness…
No need to order a new bike. No need to order a new bike. Elizabeth Thomsen

China one-child policy: don’t bank on a baby boom just yet

Despite the announcements made at the end of last week, the one-child policy is not being abolished in China any time soon, and it will take some dismantling when it is eventually abandoned. The reform…
From China to the world: Chinese companies have relied on business-to-business sales, and haven’t developed well-known brands. From China to the world: Chinese companies have relied on business-to-business sales, and haven’t developed well-known brands. EPA/Adrian Bradshaw

Manufacturing powerhouse China lagging on brand awareness

China manufactures an enormous amount of consumer goods. Its value to the global economy is estimated to be around US$7 trillion. But stigmatised as low cost, low quality products, Chinese brands have…
Five Uyghur suspects have been detained in relation to a Tiananmen Square incident earlier this month. What do we know about the ethnic minority? Five Uyghur suspects have been detained in relation to a Tiananmen Square incident earlier this month. What do we know about the ethnic minority? Weibo/@jing_oppa

Ethnic violence and the rise of Uyghur tensions in China

Flash occurrences of ethnic violence are on the rise in China. Last month, five Uyghur suspects were detained in connection with a car explosion in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, which claimed the lives of…
What is the best trade option for Australia’s future? What is the best trade option for Australia’s future? AAP/Alex Ibanez

Multilateral, regional, bilateral: which agreement is best?

One of the first acts of Tony Abbott’s government was to declare it intended to “embrace free trade” in its first term in office. Calling the trade minister Australia’s “ambassador for jobs”, the Coalition…
The Three Gorges Dam has changed the lives of millions - not always for the better. The Three Gorges Dam has changed the lives of millions - not always for the better. Greg Baker/AP

Chinese hydropower electrifies southeast Asia, but at a cost

China is the world’s largest energy consumer, its ferocious industrial expansion and urbanisation driving a demand for electricity that has risen 10% in a single year between September 2012-13. This has…
Western media often falsely assume Chinese locals are desperate for news from foreign outlets. Western media often falsely assume Chinese locals are desperate for news from foreign outlets. shutterstock.com

To block or not to block: do Chinese audiences actually want access to foreign media?

International reporting on China is dominated by stories of the Chinese government’s propensity to block access to a number of foreign online media outlets, search engines and social media forums. There…
Cold weather and coal-burning fires have plunged China into another air pollution disaster. Cold weather and coal-burning fires have plunged China into another air pollution disaster. EPA/Hao Bin

China is groping its way through another ‘airpocalypse’

The cold weather has come, the coal-powered heating has been switched on, and China’s north is once more swathed in thick smog. Air pollution has been a worsening problem in China in recent years, and…
Japanese prime minister has reiterated his desire to maintain control of the disputed Senkaku Islands in his latest show of assertiveness. Japanese prime minister has reiterated his desire to maintain control of the disputed Senkaku Islands in his latest show of assertiveness. EPA

Senkaku Islands the latest battleground as Japan gets tough under Abe

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has received praise from financial markets and economists for “Abenomics”, his set of economic stimulus policies which have so far returned positive growth to the long-stagnant…
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is in the spotlight again. Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is in the spotlight again. jontintinjordan/Flickr

Australia’s biggest ‘China threat’ is not Huawei, but itself

In a move that has drawn criticism from Chinese authorities, the Abbott government is upholding a ban on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from tendering for the National Broadband Network, after…
Going, going: the Abbott government appears to have ditched the centrepiece of the Gillard government’s foreign policy, the Australia in the Asian Century white paper. Going, going: the Abbott government appears to have ditched the centrepiece of the Gillard government’s foreign policy, the Australia in the Asian Century white paper. AAP/Paul Miller

Is this the end of the ‘Asian century’?

In case you missed the news, the “Asian century” is over. Or it is as far as the Abbott government is concerned. In its continuing revamp of the apparatus and output of government, the Coalition has officially…
China has far more to lose from too few US dollars than it does from a dollar surplus. China has far more to lose from too few US dollars than it does from a dollar surplus. Urbanartcore.eu/Flickr

US economic policy: the right settings, disastrous process

The US debt crisis is over for now, but legislators have just kicked the can down the road. In this series on the US debt ceiling, academics from Australia, the UK and the US assess the lingering global…
There are a record 168 billionaires in China, according to the most recent Forbes list. There are a record 168 billionaires in China, according to the most recent Forbes list. Adam Nelson

Communist fat cats: Forbes counts 168 billionaires in China

“To get rich is glorious” – Deng Xiaoping’s famous aphorism has clearly been taken to heart by at least 168 people in China. That’s the number of billionaires identified in Forbes’ annual China Rich List…
The economic argument for an FTA with China isn’t as strong as some may assume. The economic argument for an FTA with China isn’t as strong as some may assume. derekGavey/Flickr

Why an Australian FTA with China has never stacked up

Despite trade in goods and services between Australia and China exceeding A$125 billion in 2012, negotiations between the two countries for an FTA that began in 2005 have been so unproductive that both…
Spreading its net wide: Chinese research centre in Antarctica. Spreading its net wide: Chinese research centre in Antarctica. petehottelet

China’s research is taking a leap, UK can take advantage

Two weeks after he was confirmed as the head of the Politburo Standing Committee last year, Xi Jinping led his new committee colleagues on a tightly-choreographed day trip to the National Museum in Tiananmen…
Chinese language learning is happening but we need more. Chinese language learning is happening but we need more. cawdvt

Boris is right, it’s time for us to learn Chinese

I found myself in wholehearted agreement with Boris Johnson, as he took the opportunity of his trip to China to express his opinion that British children should learn Mandarin. China has come a long way…
Eyeing up the China strategy. Eyeing up the China strategy. Fiona Hanson/PA

Kate Moss won’t crack China for Topshop without local help

Topshop continues its march towards global dominance. Sir Philip Green, the firm’s owner, is now in “advanced discussions” on opening their first stores in China, with Kate Moss set to lead the brand’s…
East Asia could see lower demand for goods as China refocuses on domestic consumption. East Asia could see lower demand for goods as China refocuses on domestic consumption. EPA/Rolex Dela Pena

China’s inward focus saps growth from region, says World Bank

East Asia’s growth is slowing as China focuses on domestic demand growth from weaker exports, according to a World Bank report released last week. But East Asia will still grow faster than other regions…
Tony Abbott described Shinzo Abe’s Japan as Australia’s ‘closest friend in Asia’. But how might Abbott’s bold declaration affect our relationship in the region? Tony Abbott described Shinzo Abe’s Japan as Australia’s ‘closest friend in Asia’. But how might Abbott’s bold declaration affect our relationship in the region? AAP/Karlis Salna

Politics of the ‘closest friend’: Abbott, Japan and the Asia-Pacific

At the joint Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-East Asia summit just held in Brunei, prime minister Tony Abbott hailed Japan as Australia’s “closest friend in Asia”. Abbott invited Japanese…
Tony Abbott has vowed to strengthen Australia’s ties with China, including a potential free trade agreement with the growing superpower. Tony Abbott has vowed to strengthen Australia’s ties with China, including a potential free trade agreement with the growing superpower. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Middle power meets Middle Kingdom: Abbott looks to China

Tony Abbott’s initial forays into foreign relations are exceeding expectations. True, the bar was set pretty low for many critics, but the new team is clearly intent on sending positive signals about the…
Life is all moon cakes and whisky for China’s elites. Life is all moon cakes and whisky for China’s elites. misbehave

China’s princelings aren’t charming the new middle class

Social and political change always brings with it winners and losers. For all its uniqueness, the Middle Kingdom is no different. China may have a 5,000 year history to look back on, but never has it changed…
“It is surprising that the RBA is hosing down talk of a housing bubble when experience of the early 2000s suggests that the RBA can be wise to jawbone down the housing market.” “It is surprising that the RBA is hosing down talk of a housing bubble when experience of the early 2000s suggests that the RBA can be wise to jawbone down the housing market.” AAP/Lukas Koch

Interest rates: all eyes on the housing market

With uncertainty surrounding the recent federal election subsiding and positive economic news from abroad, several Shadow Board members worry that the Reserve Bank of Australia’s loose monetary stance…
Finding Entelognathus is a revelation comparable to the discovery of Archaeopteryx. Finding Entelognathus is a revelation comparable to the discovery of Archaeopteryx. Brian Choo

Extraordinary ‘missing link’ fossil fish found in China

A spectacular new “missing link” fossil has been unearthed in China. The 419 million year old armoured fish, called Entelognathus, meaning “complete jaw” solves an age-old debate in science. For palaeontologists…
The scandal started with allegations that GlaxoSmithKline had made illegal payments to doctors and government officials. The scandal started with allegations that GlaxoSmithKline had made illegal payments to doctors and government officials. Ian Wilson

China’s pharma scandal and the ethics of the global drug market

China is in the midst of conducting a series of corruption investigations of pharmaceutical companies that have been operating in the country. It all started with the investigation of officials from pharmaceutical…
China’s industrialisation has followed the same path, but the rules of the game have changed. China’s industrialisation has followed the same path, but the rules of the game have changed. Jonathan Kos-Read

China’s industrial revolution is happening on a new planet

What can two periods of industrialisation nearly two centuries apart tell us about how economies change and the demands their change place on the planet? Today, China leads the wave of emerging economies…
The re-imagining of the Silk Road appeals to local ideologies and advances China’s quest for global influence. The re-imagining of the Silk Road appeals to local ideologies and advances China’s quest for global influence. Sourced from AAP images

Xi Jinping’s New Silk Road: Chinese foreign policy, energy security and ideology

As intense negotiations between Moscow and Washington draw to a close, the Chinese Government will be heaving a sigh of relief that diplomacy seems to have triumphed over the use of force in Syria. China’s…
Both the Labor and Liberals see infrastructure as a crucial economic driver; but Chinese investment in this area has been politicised. Both the Labor and Liberals see infrastructure as a crucial economic driver; but Chinese investment in this area has been politicised. AAP

Infrastructure prime minister must face Chinese elephant in room

Tony Abbott wants to be known as the infrastructure prime minister. He could be remembered for building roads and scrapping high-speed rail. But the role of Chinese finance and technical expertise in infrastructure…
No matter who wins the federal election on Saturday, they will need to look beyond just the challenges at home in their term in office. No matter who wins the federal election on Saturday, they will need to look beyond just the challenges at home in their term in office. AAP/Auspic

Election 2013 Essays: Australia and the world

Election 2013 Essays: As the federal election campaign draws to a close, The Conversation asked eminent thinkers to reflect on the state of the nation and the challenges Australia - and whichever party…
For the first time in Chinese legal history, the court published transcripts of Bo Xilai trial via social media. For the first time in Chinese legal history, the court published transcripts of Bo Xilai trial via social media. EPA/Jinan Intermediate People’s Court

Fall of a princeling: Bo Xilai’s trial by Chinese social media

The trial of former official Bo Xilai is a significant benchmark for social media’s role in increasing transparency in the Chinese justice system, at least when it comes the trials of party officials…
It’s hard to figure out exactly what Chinese shoppers want. It’s hard to figure out exactly what Chinese shoppers want. _chrisUK

Tesco’s ‘secret weapon’ no use in China

Compared to westerners, Asian consumers are variety seekers. Their frequent store-hopping has presented western supermarkets with a difficult conundrum. Follow the same strategy that worked well with loyal…
Ni hao! China’s robots have arrived. Ni hao! China’s robots have arrived. Einharch

How China plans to become a leader in robotics

With rapid economic development in the past 20 years, China urgently feels the need to move from a manufacturing-driven to an innovation-driven economy. As a result, the state is supporting many bold research…
Got to keep that porn out somehow. Got to keep that porn out somehow. Ben Davis

UK and China not such strange bedfellows in war on porn

Not long after David Cameron announced the UK’s remarkable proposals to block and ban online pornography, commentators were quick to point out similarities with what has been common practice in China…
‘Guanxi" or influence is a way of life in China. ‘Guanxi" or influence is a way of life in China. Corruption Compliance

Bo Xilai: victim of his own ambition in a land of graft

It was not so long ago that the name of Bo Xilai was largely unknown outside of China. Although his father is one of the “eight elders of the Chinese Communist Party” and he had grown to be one of the…
Chinese youngsters are keen to associate themselves with global football brands. Chinese youngsters are keen to associate themselves with global football brands. ivanwalsh

Global brands follow football’s silk road to China

The football clubs of Western Europe are off to Asia this summer in the hope of engaging fans and building relationships with some of their target customers. For example, China plays host to the Barclays…
If China has already peaked, what will be the economic and political consequences of its decline? If China has already peaked, what will be the economic and political consequences of its decline? EPA/Diego Azubel

What if China stops rising? The consequences of China’s decline

The economic rise of China has produced a general feeling that the United States' best days are behind them. Some experts argue the US is now facing “its fifth wave of Declinism”. Noting that many Chinese…
All heat and light: we need action on climate not rhetoric and finger-pointing. All heat and light: we need action on climate not rhetoric and finger-pointing. Owen Humphreys/PA

China can teach the West about tackling climate change

China has become a popular target of environmental ire, drawing criticism for its soaring carbon emissions and perceived intransigence during climate negotiations. Nonetheless, an easy target isn’t always…
The world might be a brighter place if we all shared our research. The world might be a brighter place if we all shared our research. Joe Burke

China a research superpower but we could be left in dark

Over the past 25 years we have seen an explosion in top-level clinical trials in China. But only a tiny proportion of that research is available on the main databases used by doctors and researchers in…
Australia enjoys a privileged relationship with most economies in the Asian region because of the integrated global value chain. Australia enjoys a privileged relationship with most economies in the Asian region because of the integrated global value chain. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Increasing Australia’s edge through Asian value chains

Australia is facing increasingly stiff competition from developed economies all vying for a share of the growth pie in the East and South Asian region, where Australia has integrated its value chain activities…
Government energy efficiency regulation has made China a leader in clean technology. Do they really need an ETS? Government energy efficiency regulation has made China a leader in clean technology. Do they really need an ETS? Yuek Hahn

Emissions trading in China: risky, difficult, but necessary

China’s pilot emissions trading scheme was launched on June 18 in Shenzhen. Five other pilots - Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hubei and Guangdong - are also expected to be launched this year. Only Chongqing…
The tug-of-war between the US, China and Russia over fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has increased diplomatic tensions between the three countries. The tug-of-war between the US, China and Russia over fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has increased diplomatic tensions between the three countries. EPA/Guardian/Glenn Greenwald

Edward Snowden’s flight shows the limits of US power

The flight of fugitive former NSA contractor and CIA employee Edward Snowden has captivated the international media, and starkly exposed the increasingly strained diplomatic relations between the United…
When the sporting gods smile at Australia, we go to Rio, but Brazil has long been on the international business map. When the sporting gods smile at Australia, we go to Rio, but Brazil has long been on the international business map. AAP

All business roads lead to Rio

We have recently witnessed Brazil being hit by mass protests not seen since the days of the military dictatorship, but apart from the Socceroos going to the 2014 World Cup and the Rio Olympics in 2016…
Fertiliser: essential for feeding the country, but you can have too much of a good thing. Fertiliser: essential for feeding the country, but you can have too much of a good thing. ILO in Asia and the Pacific

Easing China’s fertiliser habit will have global significance

A joint project between scientists in the UK and China has shown how improved methods of manufacturing nitrogen fertiliser and better use of it by farmers could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by hundreds…
There is hope that Xi Jinping could help usher in a new era of cyber-collaboration. There is hope that Xi Jinping could help usher in a new era of cyber-collaboration. PA

Cyber-security a key issue for US-China presidential summit

US President Barack Obama hopes to lay the foundations for a long-term relationship when he meets Xi Jinping, China’s new president, for a two-day summit in Southern California on Friday. Obama has a difficult…
Neither laws nor guns are stopping the poachers. Neither laws nor guns are stopping the poachers. Grø Åmert/Flickr

Misguided ‘war on poaching’ will not save the wild beasts

Rhinos, elephants and the big cats like lions and tigers are all at risk of extinction as a result of a resurgence in the illegal trade of their body parts. Newspapers in recent days have been filled with…
The army massacre of June 4, 1989, in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square should be remembered everywhere. The army massacre of June 4, 1989, in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square should be remembered everywhere. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Remembering Tiananmen: Chin Jin, June 4th and the future of Chinese democracy

An earthy citizen of a country led by politicians and journalists bugged by “boat people”, Chin Jin fits no standard categories. Now the foremost democrat in Sydney’s thriving Chinese community, he first…
Chinese intelligence operatives have allegedly hacked into ASIO servers: is this the new world of cyber espionage in action? Chinese intelligence operatives have allegedly hacked into ASIO servers: is this the new world of cyber espionage in action? EPA/Diego Azubel

Welcome to the strange new world of cyber espionage

Chinese intelligence operatives are said to have obtained the floor plans of ASIO’s new Canberra headquarters. And at the same time, having been badly burned when Australian “tradesmen” installed bugs…
Plotting an escape from the naughty step. Plotting an escape from the naughty step. Carl Court/PA Archive/Press Association Images

No reason to panic over China’s cold shoulder

Recent news that David Cameron has been placed on the naughty step by China after his meeting with the Dalai Lama caused much concern in UK business circles. Reports suggested the Chinese sovereign wealth…
Defence minister Stephen Smith, prime minister Julia Gillard and Commander of Defence Forces David Hurley at the launch of the Defence White Paper. Defence minister Stephen Smith, prime minister Julia Gillard and Commander of Defence Forces David Hurley at the launch of the Defence White Paper. AAP/Lukas Coch

Defence White Paper: super-sizing Australia’s strategic geography for the Asian Century

Australia’s new Defence White Paper reflects a revolution in the way in which Australia thinks about its strategic geography. The “Indo-Pacific” has now decisively displaced the “Asia-Pacific” as defence…
In the last few years, both China and the US have ramped up efforts to address climate change. In the last few years, both China and the US have ramped up efforts to address climate change. Stefano Paltera/US Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon

China and the US step up on climate

Ambition has awakened the global energy giants, China and the United States. Both nations have recently strengthened commitments to address climate change and announced plans to strengthen collaboration…
Mining for rare earth elements is taking China down the track to environmental degradation. Mining for rare earth elements is taking China down the track to environmental degradation. Göran Höglund (Kartläsarn)/Flickr

Has the western world exported cancer to China?

Environmental pollution is currently a white-hot topic in China, but what if western consumers are driving the issue? A storm of activity recently occurred on Sina Weibo, triggered by reports that industries…
Australian policymakers need to acquaint themselves with the changing nature of regional governance in Asia. Australian policymakers need to acquaint themselves with the changing nature of regional governance in Asia. www.shutterstock.com

The changing face of Asian regional governance

The growing competition between Japan and China over regional primacy is changing the face of Asian regional governance — but not necessarily in predictable ways. While observers have focused on Asia’s…
By agreeing to work with China on climate change, the Australian Government has further entrenched the carbon price. By agreeing to work with China on climate change, the Australian Government has further entrenched the carbon price. AAP Image/Office of the Prime Minister

Thanks to China, our carbon price is here to stay

A recent agreement between Australia and China to cooperate on climate change could be a tipping point that makes the Coalition’s pledge to repeal the carbon price unachievable. Under the agreement, Australia…
Will China’s copycat culture spawn a host of smartglasses? Will China’s copycat culture spawn a host of smartglasses? SewPixie

Baidu Eye: ‘micro-innovation’ or copying Google Glass?

The tech press reported recently that Chinese search giant Baidu.com was working on a new “smartglasses” device, dubbed Baidu Eye – a computerised headset with a small LCD screen, voice commands, image…
Julia Gillard has achieved a significant foreign policy coup in China, although progress has stalled on a bilateral free-trade agreement. Julia Gillard has achieved a significant foreign policy coup in China, although progress has stalled on a bilateral free-trade agreement. AAP

Gillard’s China visit: a silver platter for Abbott?

If you believe the opinion polls, Julia Gillard has had a very busy week in China setting the China policy direction and institutional framework for a future Coalition government. Tony Abbott must be delighted…
China’s people and politicians are keenly interested in reducing emissions: what can we learn from each other? China’s people and politicians are keenly interested in reducing emissions: what can we learn from each other? EPA/Wu Hong

China can learn from Australia when it puts a price on carbon

China’s political commitment and ambition on climate change allow it to take global leadership. Australia is well placed to provide guidance on suitable policy approaches, sharing its experiences with…
Is photographing dogs dressed in suspenders and stockings just another internet fad or a strange reflection on human sexuality? Is photographing dogs dressed in suspenders and stockings just another internet fad or a strange reflection on human sexuality? Sharp Daily

Dogs in suspenders. Yep, it’s a thing. And here’s why.

When I was little, maybe five or six, I got the idea to slip my spaniel’s feet into freezer bags and watch her slide around on the kitchen floor. Sure, this episode could have sparked in me a yen for further…
The scale of China’s off-balance sheet lending may seem extensive, but it’s not the scary beast that many commentators have made it out to be. The scale of China’s off-balance sheet lending may seem extensive, but it’s not the scary beast that many commentators have made it out to be. Philip Jagenstedt/Flickr

Light among the shadows: the upsides to a financial crisis in China

In recent months, talk of an emerging crisis in China’s financial sector has been getting louder. A few weeks ago such chatter reached a crescendo, at least in terms of a narrative, when two Nomura economists…
China’s fast-track urbanisation doesn’t have to be unsustainable. China’s fast-track urbanisation doesn’t have to be unsustainable. Flickr/dcmaster

China’s cities get eco-smart, what can Australia learn?

China is urbanising faster than any other country in history. It now has 120 cities with over one million people and 36 cities with over two million. By 2030 there will be one billion people living in…
A currency conversion deal between Australia and China, which would allow the renminbi to be traded directly against the Australian dollar, would slash costs for thousands of businesses. A currency conversion deal between Australia and China, which would allow the renminbi to be traded directly against the Australian dollar, would slash costs for thousands of businesses. AAP

What would a Chinese currency conversion deal mean for Australia?

Julia Gillard leaves Australia for China tomorrow, her second trip to the Middle Kingdom as Prime Minister. As befits China’s status as Australia’s most important trading partner, the trip has attracted…
Kim Jong-un’s threats against South Korea and the US have become more dramatic. Kim Jong-un’s threats against South Korea and the US have become more dramatic. EPA/Yonhap News Agency

North Korea’s month of bluster: is there method in its ‘madness’?

Western commentators seem generally mesmerised by North Korea’s quixotic behaviour. The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is described as “delusional”, “fruitcake”, “reckless”, and the actions of North Korea’s…
The conviction of Rio Tinto executive and Australian citizen Stern Hu for industrial espionage in 2010 highlighted the importance of managing issues of ethnic identity in China. The conviction of Rio Tinto executive and Australian citizen Stern Hu for industrial espionage in 2010 highlighted the importance of managing issues of ethnic identity in China. AAP

Understanding identity is the key to succeeding in China

The 21st century is predicted to be Asia’s century. As the leading economic power in Asia, China has become a popular business partner for many countries notably Australia. With increasing business interactions…
Campaigners say the Australian government should take a stronger stance against Chinese occupation and human rights abuse in Tibet. Campaigners say the Australian government should take a stronger stance against Chinese occupation and human rights abuse in Tibet. EPA/Narendra Shrestha

Self-immolation and human rights: why we need to talk about Tibet

In the past week, the number of Tibetan self-immolations in protest against the Chinese occupation has risen to 111 since 2009. Despite the increasing numbers of Tibetans self-immolating and general unrest…
China’s solar photovoltaic industry has exploded in the last decade. China’s solar photovoltaic industry has exploded in the last decade. AAP/Chinese Solar Energy.

What’s going on with Chinese solar?

The bankruptcy of Chinese solar energy company Suntech Wuxi is being depicted in the media as a sign of chaos in the solar industry. The industry is said to be suffering from disastrous price falls created…
Thousands of dead pigs pulled from a Chinese river are pushing China’s parliament to take the environment more seriously. Thousands of dead pigs pulled from a Chinese river are pushing China’s parliament to take the environment more seriously. Philippe Semanaz

Pigs and pollution: China can’t keep ignoring the environment

In a joke currently circulating on China’s most popular social media, Sina Weibo, a Beijing resident boasts about his happy life in the badly air-polluted capital, saying that every morning when he opens…
China’s “little emperors” may have been unfairly characterised. China’s “little emperors” may have been unfairly characterised. Saf'

Is China’s one-child policy really to blame for personality changes?

People born in China under the one-child policy (OCP) – a policy applied since 1979, restricting urban couples to having only one child – are less trusting, trustworthy, competitive, conscientious, risk-seeking…
Foxconn will hold its first-ever democratic labour union election but freedom of association in China remains limited. Foxconn will hold its first-ever democratic labour union election but freedom of association in China remains limited. AAP Pictures

Foxconn’s labour union elections put Chinese workers' rights under the spotlight

Apple’s China-based contractor, Foxconn, is following a trend of increasing unionisation at transnational corporations in China by holding its first-ever democratic labour union elections. As reported…
Social stability is the main driver behind the release of China’s reform guidelines on income equality, which contained frank admissions of the drivers of inequality. Social stability is the main driver behind the release of China’s reform guidelines on income equality, which contained frank admissions of the drivers of inequality. flickr/svigier

China tackles income inequality, but is silent on state corruption

For all the economic success that China has enjoyed in recent decades, such as record levels of poverty reduction and growth in real per capita consumption, a consistent conclusion of academic research…
Trade in emissions entitlements has struck some large practical problems. Trade in emissions entitlements has struck some large practical problems. EPA/MARK

Falling EU carbon price should inspire greater mitigation efforts

Emissions growth in the 21st century was overwhelmingly concentrated in developing countries. My own calculations on “business as usual” emissions for the Climate Change Review Update suggested that in…
Chinese police in Tibet are equipped with guns and a fire extinguisher to deal with any person protesting through self immolation. Chinese police in Tibet are equipped with guns and a fire extinguisher to deal with any person protesting through self immolation. AAP/STR

Self-immolators in Tibet near 100 as pressure grows from China

On January 12, a young Tibetan man, Tsering Tashi, set himself on fire in a nomadic area in China’s Gansu province, while calling for the long life of the Dalai Lama and a free Tibet. Less than a week…
Four major hydroelectric projects are planned for the upper Yangtze River valley. Four major hydroelectric projects are planned for the upper Yangtze River valley. Steb Fisher

Birds, dams and people: biodiversity in China

The 2012 China Ecological Footprint Report has highlighted the cost to biodiversity of China’s rapid economic development. Biodiversity in China is under pressure because of loss of habitat. In our study…
Heavy smog is descending on Beijing again, a week after record air pollution choked China’s capital and much of northern China. Heavy smog is descending on Beijing again, a week after record air pollution choked China’s capital and much of northern China. AAP/EPA/Adrian Bradshaw

Deadly air: the smog shrouding China’s future

Beijing has been smothered by a dense and dangerous smog this month, which has set new air pollution records over several days. The World Health Organization advises that the acceptable level of fine particles…
On the international stage, China is reluctant to cut emissions. Back home, its new emissions trading scheme will be the world’s second largest. On the international stage, China is reluctant to cut emissions. Back home, its new emissions trading scheme will be the world’s second largest. Flickr/peregrinari

Carbon trading in the Asian Century: China’s ETS on track

In the United Nation’s annual climate change conference held in Doha last December, delegates from 194 countries came together at the last minute to extend the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol is a legally…
China’s new government has to decide if its economic and social agenda can progress without political liberalisation. China’s new government has to decide if its economic and social agenda can progress without political liberalisation. EPA/Fan Siding

The Southern Weekly and censorship in China: a nation fights back

Chinese newspaper the Southern Weekly has gone back to print after a public standoff about censorship, leading to wider scrutiny of the Chinese government’s hold over press freedom. Optimism about more…
China’s economic growth has been underpinned by a favourable demographic dividend - but China’s demographic story is not always so clear. China’s economic growth has been underpinned by a favourable demographic dividend - but China’s demographic story is not always so clear. Flickr

Growing old in the Chinese economy

China’s exceptional economic growth performance in the last three decades has coincided with equally remarkable demographic change. There is now plenty of evidence to suggest the potential demographic…
This week marks the 40th anniversary of Australia’s bilateral relationship with China. This week marks the 40th anniversary of Australia’s bilateral relationship with China. AAP

Reflecting on Australia and China, 40 years young

The optics of this week’s official celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China could not be more pertinent. Culminating in tonight’s banquet hosted by Julia Gillard at the…
With a growing economy and closer links to China, Taiwan offers great potential for Australian trade and investment. With a growing economy and closer links to China, Taiwan offers great potential for Australian trade and investment. AAP

Opportunities abound for Australia in Taiwan

As noted by the Prime Minister’s White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century, managing the opportunities presented by the profound changes underway in the Asia‑Pacific is a major challenge for all regional…
China’s growing investment in research and development could leave Australia by the wayside. China’s growing investment in research and development could leave Australia by the wayside. AAP

China’s rise through the R&D ranks provides lessons for Australia

When it comes to innovation, China is not renowned for being cutting-edge; it is better known for adapting existing technology rather than creating its own. Yet, as Xi Jinping stated in his first speech…
A little awkward: Australia has been caught between two trade talks. A little awkward: Australia has been caught between two trade talks. AAP

Trade war in the Pacific: ASEAN and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Australian politicians are keen to project our participation in two major international trade talks - the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - as…
China’s economic miracle will see it become the world’s greatest financial power; but it critical for the country’s new leaders to ensure its workers aren’t left behind. China’s economic miracle will see it become the world’s greatest financial power; but it critical for the country’s new leaders to ensure its workers aren’t left behind. AAP

China’s economic miracle is close to fruition, but what now for workers?

China’s Communist Party has overseen an economic miracle over the past 20 years, but they are now facing the consequences of becoming the fastest growing economy on the planet. With China’s GDP now standing…
Energy planning is complicated, but China is way ahead of us on creating a future energy system. Energy planning is complicated, but China is way ahead of us on creating a future energy system. Triin Noorkoiv

A tale of two energy visions: China and Australia

Over the past few weeks China and Australia have both released white papers on energy. The two documents could not be more different. Australia’s white paper is largely about our continued obsession with…
The Chinese province of Xinjiang, bordering Kazakhstan, is planning fibre optic security dubbed the “Great Fence of China”; the technology was pioneered by an Australian firm, but China’s rapid technological adaption signifies another chapter in its evolution as a world power. The Chinese province of Xinjiang, bordering Kazakhstan, is planning fibre optic security dubbed the “Great Fence of China”; the technology was pioneered by an Australian firm, but China’s rapid technological adaption signifies another chapter in its evolution as a world power. AAP

Fencing Australia in the Asian Century

As Borat tends to his pigs on his comely estate situated on the border of Kazakhstan and China, one of them flies across in a desperate attempt to look for better opportunities in the Fabled Land of Exploding…
Australia needs to engage with Indonesia, but in the region there is the perception it makes mistakes. Australia needs to engage with Indonesia, but in the region there is the perception it makes mistakes. AAP

Without business on side, the Asian Century White Paper just gets whiter

The dust has settled on the Asian Century White Paper. It is time to reflect on the challenges the Australian government might have in getting the rest of the country to engage with Asia, in particular…
Bo Xilai may be the most “lurid” example of corruption in China, but he is not alone. Bo Xilai may be the most “lurid” example of corruption in China, but he is not alone. AAP/Dennis M. Sabangan

Loud thunder, little rain: China’s new leaders target corruption

China’s new leaders are aware of the danger that corruption poses to the nation’s social stability and economic development. But entrenched corruption at the local and national levels, including among…
New president Xi Jinping (centre) flanked by He Guoqiang (left) and Jia Qinglin (right) at the closing ceremony of the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing. New president Xi Jinping (centre) flanked by He Guoqiang (left) and Jia Qinglin (right) at the closing ceremony of the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing. AAP/How Hwee Young

The more things change: Xi Jinping’s rise won’t alter much for Australia and the region

CHINA IN TRANSITION: As China goes through its secretive but widely anticipated leadership transition, the rest of the world is watching. This week, The Conversation takes an in depth look at the National…
China’s new leaders must decide whether to reform the country’s state-owned enterprises, or remain dependent on export markets. China’s new leaders must decide whether to reform the country’s state-owned enterprises, or remain dependent on export markets. AAP

Long march to reform: China’s state-owned enterprises and the leadership transition

With the dust settling on Barack Obama’s second term in the White House and as Washington nervously approaches the precarious precipice of its looming fiscal cliff, all eyes are on the grey matter of the…
US President Barack Obama meets with his soon to be Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping earlier this year. US President Barack Obama meets with his soon to be Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping earlier this year. EPA/Martin H. Simon

Heeding the echoes of history as global leadership shifts

CHINA IN TRANSITION: As China goes through its secretive but widely anticipated leadership transition, the rest of the world is watching. This week, The Conversation takes an in depth look at the National…
Delegates at the 18th China Communist Party Congress listen to outgoing president Hu Jintao’s address. Delegates at the 18th China Communist Party Congress listen to outgoing president Hu Jintao’s address. EPA/How Hwee Young

The secret to the Chinese Communist Party’s success

CHINA IN TRANSITION: As China goes through its secretive but widely anticipated leadership transition, the rest of the world is watching. This week, The Conversation takes an in depth look at the National…
President Barack Obama, pictured here with Chinese President Hu Jintao, will continue to ‘pivot’ to Asia. President Barack Obama, pictured here with Chinese President Hu Jintao, will continue to ‘pivot’ to Asia. EPA/Alex Wong

Foreign affairs: what can we expect from Obama’s second term?

Sitting in New York, in the aftermath of an American election dominated by a domestic agenda, it is easy to lose sight of both the pressing external problems that the US continues to face, and the impact…
Communist Party officials meeting in the Great Hall of the People, Where the new leadership will be anointed in a once in a decade ceremony. Communist Party officials meeting in the Great Hall of the People, Where the new leadership will be anointed in a once in a decade ceremony. Xinhua/Gao Jie

Chinese whispers: the delicate art of allocating power in Beijing

China is Australia’s largest trading partner and alongside the United States, the nation of greatest importance to our future prosperity and security. But unlike the US, where the presidential election…
Hopes and anxieties: the US' approach to China’s economy is often tempered by its foreign policy outlook. Hopes and anxieties: the US' approach to China’s economy is often tempered by its foreign policy outlook. AAP

The US must walk the tightrope of ambiguity on China policy

When I taught foreign policy in the United States, my students would often answer one question incorrectly, albeit in a way that speaks to a larger truth about US foreign policy. In lecturing on President…
The Asian Century White Paper offers a lot of grand rhetoric, but little in the way of serious policy ideas. The Asian Century White Paper offers a lot of grand rhetoric, but little in the way of serious policy ideas. AAP

Asian Century White Paper is big on rhetoric, small on ideas

The Australia in the Asian Century White Paper has vaulting ambitions equally matched by a limited set of policy ideas for institutional reform. Unlike Ross Garnaut’s 1989 report, Australia and the Northeast…
Republican candidate Mitt Romney has promised a tougher stance on China, but his policy responses have left a lot to be desired. Republican candidate Mitt Romney has promised a tougher stance on China, but his policy responses have left a lot to be desired. EPA/Bryan Bedder

Mitt Romney’s China policy could be yet another flip-flop

With less than a month to go in the presidential campaign, the next two debates provide President Barack Obama with a chance to be more assertive against Republican candidate Mitt Romney following his…
It’s usually in the shadow of regional power China, but Australians would do well to remember the benefits of a strong relationship with Taiwan. It’s usually in the shadow of regional power China, but Australians would do well to remember the benefits of a strong relationship with Taiwan. Bonnetmaker

Small but mighty: why Taiwan matters to Australia

It is clear that Taiwan shares much in common with Australia. It is an island in the Pacific with a population of 23 million people, a population of indigenous people with a long history, and is a country…
Traditional burials take up space that could be used for forest or farmland. Traditional burials take up space that could be used for forest or farmland. Stuck in Customs/Flick

Dying green: environmentally friendly burials in China

How we die, as well as how we live, has profound and lasting effects on the environment. Nowhere is this more true than in China, the most populous nation on Earth. According to the National Bureau of…
Obama met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009 in what was seen as a further sign of a strong emerging relationship between the two countries. Obama met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009 in what was seen as a further sign of a strong emerging relationship between the two countries. EPA/Shawn Thew

India, the ‘New Asia’ and the American presidential elections

Any American presidential election reverberates around global policy corners but, for India, the 2012 contest carries unusual significance. With its economy slowing, national government under severe pressure…
Looking to Asian schools is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Looking to Asian schools is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Chalkboard image www.shutterstock.com

Our Asian schooling infatuation: the problem of PISA envy

It was fun while it lasted Finland, but we’re going cold on you. We thought your schools had the secret but our new infatuation is with Asian school systems. The Prime Minister seems to agree. The government…
By 2030, China is projected to be at the centre of the world’s economic activity. Just how Australia positions itself will be crucial. By 2030, China is projected to be at the centre of the world’s economic activity. Just how Australia positions itself will be crucial. Syzmon Kochanski/Flikr

Megatrends: the Silk Highway and the ‘Switzerland’ of Asia

Welcome to The Conversation’s series on megatrends. What are the compelling economic, social, environmental, political and technological changes Australia must grapple with over the coming decades? In…
Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals announced this week it was delaying $1.6 billion in investments as iron ore spot prices continued to fall: but is it really time to panic about China’s manufacturing sector? Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals announced this week it was delaying $1.6 billion in investments as iron ore spot prices continued to fall: but is it really time to panic about China’s manufacturing sector? AAP

Iron ore prices continue to fall, but is it really time to panic about China?

This week we learnt that Australia’s GDP growth fell significantly in the second quarter compared with the first. The fact that GDP growth is a lagging indicator raises serious questions about the current…
Chinese investment in smaller iron-ore suppliers in Western Australia not only presents challenges for the market power of the Big 3 mining companies, but also for the viability of iron ore projects in Australia. Chinese investment in smaller iron-ore suppliers in Western Australia not only presents challenges for the market power of the Big 3 mining companies, but also for the viability of iron ore projects in Australia. AAP

How China drives the Australian iron ore boom (and bust)

With several major mining projects being put on ice this week, talk has quickly turned to whether the Australian mining boom is about to go bust. Jumping on comments by the Resources Minister that “the…
Tony Abbott finds himself caught between competing interests on his foreign investment policy. Tony Abbott finds himself caught between competing interests on his foreign investment policy. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Foreign investment debate re-opens old divides within the Coalition

Foreign investment, like any other policy, is a complex juggling act. A balance between welcoming foreign investment – without which Australia cannot survive – and protecting Australian interests in not…
If China opens up its capital account, there will be significant ramifications for Australia. If China opens up its capital account, there will be significant ramifications for Australia. epSos.de

The liberalisation of China’s capital account will be a game-changer for Australia

In previous articles on The Conversation, I have noted that our economic relationship with China stands on only one leg. In contrast to two-way trade – merchandise trade topped $120 billlion in the year…
President Nixon’s meeting with China’s Communist Party Leader Mao Tse Tung in 1972 began closer ties between the two countries. President Nixon’s meeting with China’s Communist Party Leader Mao Tse Tung in 1972 began closer ties between the two countries. Wikimedia/Office of Presidential Libraries

Stabilising the Middle East: lessons from the US rapprochement with China

Now, as at the time of the Vietnam war, the global primacy of the United States is increasingly being questioned. Among the reasons are its role in the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the continued and…
Tony Abbott has taken aim at Chinese investment that comes with government connections, arguing that such investment is not in Australia’s national interest. Tony Abbott has taken aim at Chinese investment that comes with government connections, arguing that such investment is not in Australia’s national interest. AAP

Dear Tony Abbott: block Chinese investment at your own risk

Opposition leader Tony Abbott made headlines recently when during a visit to China, he declared that “it would rarely be in Australia’s national interest to allow a foreign government or its agencies to…
Tony Abbott is seeking credibility on foreign policy issues, but his recent rhetoric on China has done him few favours. Tony Abbott is seeking credibility on foreign policy issues, but his recent rhetoric on China has done him few favours. AAP

Abbott’s stance on China needs to evolve with the times

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s recent overseas trip to help burnish his international credentials has revealed more of the potential direction of the Coalition’s foreign policy. Following his visit to…
Does Western media jump on Chinese “censorship” stories with a little too much zeal? Does Western media jump on Chinese “censorship” stories with a little too much zeal? Thomas Hawk

Chinese internet censorship? Seeking the ‘truth’ on Weibo

Last week, Chinese internet users noticed the two Mandarin characters for “truth” could not be searched on Sina Weibo, the most popular microblogging platform in China. On July 12,Tom Philips, Shanghai…
Is there a lack of literacy about Chinese culture among Australia’s commentators? Is there a lack of literacy about Chinese culture among Australia’s commentators?

Four vital things Australian commentators don’t understand about China’s economy

Last week I attended the 24th Annual Conference of the Chinese Economics Society of Australia (CESA), a network of mostly Australian academics with research expertise in the Chinese economy. At this conference…
Within hours of launching, the New York Times Sina Weibo account was suspended. Within hours of launching, the New York Times Sina Weibo account was suspended. cn.nytimes.com

No-no on Weibo: China challenges the New York Times

The New York Times' (NYT) entry into the Chinese media market is off to a seemingly rocky start. Two days ago, the company launched its Chinese website – cn.nytimes.com – and a corresponding Sina Weibo…
The media tends to portray Chinese achievements as lacking credibility. The media tends to portray Chinese achievements as lacking credibility. Trey Ratcliffe

Does the Chinese emissions ‘error’ matter?

Recent analyses that China’s carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions might be 1.2 gigatonnes or 20% higher than previously estimated have generated something of a feeding frenzy in the media; and not just the daily…
What’s the true picture of Chinese economic stimulus? China’s decision to cut interest rates actually has modest implications for Australia. What’s the true picture of Chinese economic stimulus? China’s decision to cut interest rates actually has modest implications for Australia. AAP

China’s economy: thinking beyond the short run

Last week’s decision by China to cut interest rates by 0.25% seemed to attract almost as much attention in Australia as the same decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) several days earlier. The…
China’s citizens are catching up to the government-monitored web. China’s citizens are catching up to the government-monitored web. Mike Licht

Challenge 4: Authoritarian rule and the internet

In part four of our multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, John Keane takes a look at the Chinese regime’s troubled relationship with the cyber world. Global challenge 4: How can genuine democracy…
Chinese paramilitary police prepare for a storm in the South China Sea. Chinese paramilitary police prepare for a storm in the South China Sea. EPA/str

Toeing the U-shaped line in the South China Sea

The lines traversing the surface of the globe are legal fictions that determine the fates of nations. Nowhere is this truer than in the South China Sea. China’s infamous U-shaped line claims most of this…
The bodies of people, including children, that anti-government activists claimed were killed by the Syrian Army in Houla. The bodies of people, including children, that anti-government activists claimed were killed by the Syrian Army in Houla.

Syria: is an international solution possible?

The appalling massacre of civilians, including children, in the town of Houla, near the Syrian city of Homs, was a senseless act beyond the unacceptable and ultimately self-defeating goal of crushing all…
China’s 690 million urban dwellers now account for 51.3 percent of China’s total population of 1.35 billion. China’s 690 million urban dwellers now account for 51.3 percent of China’s total population of 1.35 billion. AAP

Can China’s urbanisation save the world?

Last year marked a milestone in China’s several-thousand-year history: for the first time, more people lived in cities and towns than in the countryside. The country’s 690 million urban dwellers now account…
Slow boat to China? Foreign Minister Bob Carr encountered pressure over Australia’s relationship with the US on his recent trip to Beijing. Slow boat to China? Foreign Minister Bob Carr encountered pressure over Australia’s relationship with the US on his recent trip to Beijing. Foreignminister.gov.au/Photographer - Yu Chuzhong.

Australian appeasement: the slow boat to China

Australian foreign minister Bob Carr was interrogated about Australia’s alliance with the US in three separate meetings with Beijing’s leaders last week. “Make no mistake, the re-emergence of China, and…
Barrow Island off Western Australia may hold the key to our energy future. Barrow Island off Western Australia may hold the key to our energy future. AAP/Bill Hatto

China, India and Australian gas – who controls energy in the Asian Century?

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. Here, Dr Tina Hunter looks at the…
Growing income inequality in China will continue to hamper its transition from a middle-income to high-income country. Growing income inequality in China will continue to hamper its transition from a middle-income to high-income country. oliverlaumann

For China, politics will be crucial to avoid the pitfalls of the middle-income trap

Can the economic rise of new middle-income countries such as China, Brazil, India and even Indonesia continue until they become high-income countries like Australia? Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan…
Chinese airlines are on the rise. Chinese airlines are on the rise. AAP/James Morgan

Taming the tigers: tourism in Asia to become a two-way street

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. Here, Professor Brian King crunches…
Australia can learn from US companies such as Mattell about keeping brands Australian, while manufacturing products in China. Australia can learn from US companies such as Mattell about keeping brands Australian, while manufacturing products in China. EPA/Wilson Wen

More than a farm on top of a mine: Australia’s soft power potential in Asia

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. In this instalment, Dr Richard Pomfret…
It’s time for policymakers to address Australia’s poor record in attracting Chinese investment. It’s time for policymakers to address Australia’s poor record in attracting Chinese investment. AAP

Australia’s great, untapped resource … Chinese investment

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. Today, Dr James Laurenceson asks…
Raul Castro has been looking to China’s economic model to relieve Cuba of its stagnant output and mounting foreign debt. Raul Castro has been looking to China’s economic model to relieve Cuba of its stagnant output and mounting foreign debt. AAP

With its eyes on China’s growth model, Cuba begins its slow march towards capitalism

Dashing the opposition’s hopes, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba last month ended up resembling that of his predecessor John Paul II fourteen years prior. The island’s leaders emerged from both visits…
Falun Gong protestors outside the Chinese consulate in Sydney in 2008. Falun Gong protestors outside the Chinese consulate in Sydney in 2008. AAP/Dean Lewins

Chinese refugees risking lives for asylum in New Zealand

UPDATE: The Chinese nationals have now elected to stay in Australia, where they will seek asylum. A group of ten Chinese people fleeing persecution in their home country has presented Australian authorities…
We might expect dramatic sex ratio fluctuations when a whole population experiences extreme food shortages. We might expect dramatic sex ratio fluctuations when a whole population experiences extreme food shortages. Teeejayy

Little China girls: how history’s worst famine shifted the sex ratio

People often ask me whether natural selection continues to operate on modern humans in industrialised societies, even though technology has liberated so many from hunger and early death. My answer is always…
Censorship has now caught up with new social media and technology in China. Censorship has now caught up with new social media and technology in China. Flickr/bfishadow

Weibo and Tencent suspensions show government still in control of social media in China

This week’s temporary suspension of comments on China’s two largest micro-blogging services Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo highlight the ruling party’s discomfort with social media’s growing popularity…
China will dominate global steel production, but Australia can have a future in high value steel making - if we don’t lose our nerve. China will dominate global steel production, but Australia can have a future in high value steel making - if we don’t lose our nerve. AAP

Why Australia must forge a future in China’s Age of Steel

Recently, I met a friend at a conference in Japan. My friend is a specialist in steelmaking technology and, after a long successful career in Japan, had taken up a position in a Chinese Steel company called…
The level of business crime is lower in China than other emerging economies - but bribery and forgery are more frequent than in Australia. The level of business crime is lower in China than other emerging economies - but bribery and forgery are more frequent than in Australia. AAP

A snapshot of business crime in China

Few crime victim surveys have been conducted with Chinese populations, but a recently released study, Business and the Risk of Crime in China, analyses the results of the first large scale victimisation…
Talk of a Chinese property bubble has been greatly exaggerated. Talk of a Chinese property bubble has been greatly exaggerated. Spiffy0777

Busting the myth of China’s property bubble

Five years on, the US economy remains sluggish after the bursting of a house price bubble. More recently, the focus has been on China, the world’s second largest economy, and whether it too might be overwhelmed…
Over the space of 25 years, Huawei has shaken off its humble beginnings and transformed into a global telecommunications juggernaut. Over the space of 25 years, Huawei has shaken off its humble beginnings and transformed into a global telecommunications juggernaut. Konrad Andrews

History is the key to understanding Huawei

Up until last week, many Australians were probably unaware of Chinese telcommunications company Huawei. But the decision by the federal government to ban Huawei from any involvement in the National Broadband…
Huawei has trumpeted its private-sector credentials, but it is a critical supplier of technology to the People’s Liberation Army and has strong links to the CCP. Huawei has trumpeted its private-sector credentials, but it is a critical supplier of technology to the People’s Liberation Army and has strong links to the CCP. AAP

Huawei and the NBN: beware the long arm of the CCP

In response to the Australian government’s decision to prevent Huawei from tendering for National Broadband Network projects, Huawei Australia went on the offensive. Former foreign minister and current…
The Australian government faces a difficult task in balancing relationships with China and the US. The Australian government faces a difficult task in balancing relationships with China and the US. EPA/Minoru Iwasaki/Pool

What the Huawei case tells us about the Australia, US, China nexus

The recommendation by intelligence agency ASIO that Chinese telecommunications company Huawei be banned from tendering in the National Broadband Network because of cyber security concerns, raises serious…
Chinese telco giant Huawei’s preclusion from tendering for the NBN will have far-reaching implications for investment by Chinese-controlled companies in Australia. Chinese telco giant Huawei’s preclusion from tendering for the NBN will have far-reaching implications for investment by Chinese-controlled companies in Australia. AAP

Coldplay: No paradise in Australia for Huawei

It will no doubt be surprising to the former Liberal Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, and former Victorian Labor Premier, John Brumby, that they sit on the board of a corporate entity apparently judged…
The viability of Indian villages such as Purushwadi will determine India’s prosperity in the future. The viability of Indian villages such as Purushwadi will determine India’s prosperity in the future. Harry Dillon

Thriving villages are key to India’s success

In October 2011, the birth of an unidentified baby marked the seven billionth human. With more than 1.2 billion people and a world-leading national birth rate of about 50 per minute, India is more likely…
The looming joint exit of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will significantly affect all aspects of policy. The looming joint exit of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will significantly affect all aspects of policy. AAP

China’s leadership transition: a fight behind closed doors

As the once-in-a-decade transfer of political power in China looms, the consequences for the country’s foreign policy, economic development, political reform, and military affairs is hard to overstate…
State guidance of the economy is not just a tool for emerging markets, but also for developing economies that wish to maintain their technological advantage. State guidance of the economy is not just a tool for emerging markets, but also for developing economies that wish to maintain their technological advantage. mckaysavage

It’s not just emerging markets that benefit from the state’s visible hand

As governments rushed in to prop up collapsing economies in response to the 2008 financial meltdown, the myth of free-market capitalism was suddenly put to the test and found wanting. But it has been the…
US-China competition could lead to a brighter clean energy future, or a trade war. US-China competition could lead to a brighter clean energy future, or a trade war. whitehouse.gov

Who owns the sun? Patent law and clean energy

There is a trade war brewing between the United States and China over intellectual property relating to clean technologies – particularly solar power. Steven Chu, a scientist, Nobel Laureate in Physics…
A slowdown in China’s economy is not yet cause for concern in Australia. A slowdown in China’s economy is not yet cause for concern in Australia. AAP

Will Australia’s economy roar in the Year of the Dragon?

These days, most economic commentators in Australia sing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to discussing our economic prospects: while the ongoing gloom in the US and the outright deterioration in…
Senator Arthur Sinodinos makes his maiden speech earlier this year. Senator Arthur Sinodinos makes his maiden speech earlier this year. AAP/Alan Porritt

In Conversation: Senator Arthur Sinodinos

Welcome to this In Conversation between Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos and Macquarie University politics expert Craig Mark. Sinodinos is a political paradox: he’s the newest member of the Australian…
Despite President Barack Obama’s charms, Australia must focus on China. Despite President Barack Obama’s charms, Australia must focus on China. AAP Image/ Scott Barbour

The US or China? Australia can’t afford to make mistakes

Australia’s recent fleeting love affair with President Barack Obama notwithstanding, Australia’s future lies with China and the North, not the Pacific and the East. This is not simply a matter of economics…
Gillard made ground with Pacific leaders at the APEC summit, but Australia has much work left to do. Gillard made ground with Pacific leaders at the APEC summit, but Australia has much work left to do. AAP

Is Australia truly ready for the Asian century?

Australia’s future is clearly linked to the dynamism of North Asia and Indonesia, Vietnam and other economies in the region. Yet many significant challenges confront Australia in realising the promised…
Strategic friendships: will Australia’s decision to sign up to Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement impact on our relationship with China? Strategic friendships: will Australia’s decision to sign up to Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement impact on our relationship with China? AAP

A ‘zhengyou’ to China? Signing with Obama on trade puts this friendship to the test

The task of simultaneously negotiating our traditional security and cultural ties with the US, and our burgeoning economic relationship with China, can justifiably be described as the “great foreign policy…
Has Australia managed to make the most of our opportunities to tap into the Chinese market? Has Australia managed to make the most of our opportunities to tap into the Chinese market? Flickr/peregrinari

The real story behind the “boom” in Chinese tourism to Australia

I recall attending a World Tourism Organisation [WTO] Conference in Tasmania ten years ago, where it was predicted that China would become the both the largest outbound travel market as well as the largest…
China’s government has made a massive investment in research, and student funding. Australia can learn a lot. China’s government has made a massive investment in research, and student funding. Australia can learn a lot. AFP/Information Services Department

Keeping up with the Joneses: Why Australia is falling behind the neighbours on higher education

In recent weeks two commentary strands have intertwined and are extremely important to Australia’s future, and with special resonance for the higher education sector. Beginning with the announcement of…
Chinese students may have a different take on the media, but universities in Australia can learn from them. Chinese students may have a different take on the media, but universities in Australia can learn from them. Flickr/badbrother

Different media: Why universities should learn from international students

There is a vast difference between how China is reported inside and outside the country. And that extends to how media and communication is taught in China and Australia. One of my new PhD students, who…
Developing smaller urban areas may mean better employment and living conditions for migrant workers. Developing smaller urban areas may mean better employment and living conditions for migrant workers. AFP

Why China’s mega-cities leave their citizens struggling

SEVEN BILLION PEOPLE: The world’s seven billionth person is likely to be born today. Beatriz Carrillo Garcia, lecturer in China Studies at the University of Sydney looks at effect a growing population…
It’s wrong to assume that China makes no effort to reform its political system because its culture does not support such change. It’s wrong to assume that China makes no effort to reform its political system because its culture does not support such change. Flickr/Katherina

The seeds of democratic culture in China

The skepticism of contemporary China’s multilayered and painful efforts to achieve legal and political reform makes many wonder if democracy can really grow in the Chinese soil. This is such a haunting…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has signalled a shift towards Japan in our foreign and trade policy - but is this the right direction?. Opposition leader Tony Abbott has signalled a shift towards Japan in our foreign and trade policy - but is this the right direction?. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Politics, not economics may be at the heart of Abbott’s Japan focus

Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s comments in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian newspapers point to a shift in Coalition trade policy that would give Japan higher priority over China. So why would…
Chinese women have always worked, but now they’re making waves in business. Chinese women have always worked, but now they’re making waves in business. Flickr/IISG

The ‘Tiger Girls’ doing business in China

There’s a new generation of women quietly getting things done in China. They are insiders: well connected in the Communist Party, and flourishing in the business world. In Chinese, capable and shrewd women…
By 2050, China’s economy is projected to be as large as the US and India combined. By 2050, China’s economy is projected to be as large as the US and India combined. AAP

Doing business with China is a necessity, not a choice

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has sparked some controversy with his suggestion that Australia’s trade emphasis should be on Japan, rather than China. Abbott’s suggestion that it would be easier to negotiate…
The East Asia Summit could be a useful start on the road towards a ‘concert of powers’. The East Asia Summit could be a useful start on the road towards a ‘concert of powers’. EPA/Christophe Archambault/Pool

Finding the balance between India and China in the Asian ‘concert of powers’

AUSTRALIA IN ASIA: In the eighth part of our series, Sandy Gordon of the Australian National University looks at the possibility of an agreement which would draw the key Asian states together. The CIA…
Despite strong export data, Australia’s trade relationship with China isn’t as developed as we think. Despite strong export data, Australia’s trade relationship with China isn’t as developed as we think. AAP

Why Australia’s trade relationship with China remains at ground level

AUSTRALIA IN ASIA: In the seventh part of our series, James Laurenceson looks at the challenges in doing business with China. The headline numbers surrounding Australia’s exports to China make for impressive…
Julia Gillard has to strike a balance between forging meaningful links with Asian countries, and managing relationships with older allies. Julia Gillard has to strike a balance between forging meaningful links with Asian countries, and managing relationships with older allies. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

The ‘lucky, lazy country’ shows how not to win friends in Asia

AUSTRALIA IN ASIA: In the third part of our series, former diplomat Alison Broinowski of the Australian National University examines our rocky relationship with our Asian neighbours. “Australia hasn’t…
Julia Gillard could play a pivotal role in ensuring Asia’s security, and improve Australia’s economy in the process. Julia Gillard could play a pivotal role in ensuring Asia’s security, and improve Australia’s economy in the process. AFP/Minoru Iwasaki

Australia in Asia: How to keep the peace and ensure regional security

AUSTRALIA IN ASIA: In the second of our series Nick Bisley of La Trobe University examines the responsibilities Australia must take on to ensure security in Asia. Asia’s economic powerhouses are booming…
Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi wants closer ties with China - but Europe shouldn’t believe this will save the EU. Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi wants closer ties with China - but Europe shouldn’t believe this will save the EU. AAP

Why China won’t – and can’t – save the Eurozone

Earlier this week, reports emerged that Italian finance officials had held talks with their Chinese counterparts regarding the possibility of China making significant purchases of Italy’s public debt…
AAP

Should the renminbi be re-valued?

In a speech in Sydney earlier this week, World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, lent his support to an appreciation of the renminbi (RMB). As has become the norm, this support was couched in terms of an…
China may appear strong now compared to the troubled US, but still lags behind in technology and per-capita wealth. China may appear strong now compared to the troubled US, but still lags behind in technology and per-capita wealth. Flickr/futureatlas.com

Global economic shakeout: China may win this round, but don’t write the US off yet

Europe is on the decline. The US has its own problems. Meanwhile, China and India appear strong. But is it too soon pick the next global superpower? In this Q+A, Professor Geoffrey Garrett, CEO of the…
As a new global financial crisis looms, Australia shouldn’t overestimate its dependence on China. As a new global financial crisis looms, Australia shouldn’t overestimate its dependence on China. AAP

Is Australia’s economic stability really made in China?

Amidst the widening global financial turmoil, a strong Chinese economy is certainly one positive for the Australian economy. But should we believe it is only factor that will save the day? The answer is…
Car ownership is tightly regulated in Chinese cities such as Shanghai. Car ownership is tightly regulated in Chinese cities such as Shanghai. Dr Matthew Burke

Don’t be Shanghaied! China has started down the carbon cutting highway

How often do we hear the argument that Australia’s moves to limit carbon emissions will achieve nothing unless China finally takes some action? This fails to recognise that China’s city mayors, the government…
Pacific nations participated enthusiastically in the Shanghai Expo last year. Pacific nations participated enthusiastically in the Shanghai Expo last year. Flickr/thoth188

China’s power in the Pacific

China’s relations with its Pacific neighbours are nothing if not complex. Its trade in the region quadrupled between 1999 and 2006. And if it delivers all of the promised resources, it will become second…
Designer shopping in China can lead to an experience like no other. Designer shopping in China can lead to an experience like no other. Flickr/Gadgetdan

Middle classes and the Party: changing faces of power in China

China’s phenomenal economic growth during the last three decades has significantly altered its pattern of social stratification. One of the most equal countries in the world has become one of the most…
China can easily rouse its banks, but awakening its consumers will be tougher. China can easily rouse its banks, but awakening its consumers will be tougher. AAP

Questioning Rudd’s version of ‘China 2.0’

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett’s bold claim on Friday that his state was looking “over the horizon” past Canberra to forge stronger links with China capped off a few weeks of strong rhetoric from…
Ambassador Geoff Raby and Kevin Rudd need to build a resilient relationship with China. Ambassador Geoff Raby and Kevin Rudd need to build a resilient relationship with China. AAP/Dan Peled

Has Kevin Rudd failed us on China?

“To speak Chinese is not to know China,” our man in Beijing announced this week. “Many examples can be found of people who speak Mandarin to a high level but who do not understand how China works. They…
Our relationship with China has been marked by misunderstandings and spats. Our relationship with China has been marked by misunderstandings and spats. AAP

When it comes to China, we don’t get it

Prime Minister Julia Gillard returned from her visit to China last month having locked down a series of cooperation agreements between countries - including a $600 million iron ore deal - which many hope…
Australia has little to fear from China’s latest five-year plan. Australia has little to fear from China’s latest five-year plan. AAP

Don’t be scared, China’s plan is good for Australia

There are two main fears about the possible implications for Australia in China’s latest five-year economic plan, but in reality, we have little to worry about. In fact, Australia has much to gain from…

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China’s air quality kills

China’s high level of polluted air is costing lives, according to researchers at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…