Chinese Debates on North Korea

Hemant Adlakha, PhD, Honorary Fellow, ICS & Associate Professor of Chinese at the Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, School of Language, Literature, & Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University , New Delhi

Earlier this month, China voiced its unhappiness with North Korea for firing four extended range Scud missiles into the Sea of Japan. Beijing had suspended all coal imports from its neighbor earlier in February. Pyongyang responded by accusing Beijing of “dancing to the tune of the U.S.” This was not the first time North Korea had thumbed its nose at China. However, Beijing was in for a surprise when several Chinese strategic affairs experts went up in arms and demanded the Peoples’ Republic “abandon” North Korea. Continue reading “Chinese Debates on North Korea”

The Dilemma of China’s New Engagement with West Asia

Kishorchand Nongmaithem, Research Associate, ICS       

Traditionally, China has played little role in West Asia. However, in recent years it has become more active in its diplomatic engagement with the countries in the region. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s four-day visit to China commencing on 20 March 2017, just few days after China hosted Saudi Arabia’s king Salman bin Abdulaziz and signed an agreement worth US$65 billion, shows China’s increasing interest in the region’s politics. China’s diplomacy appears intended to increase its profile and facilitate its interests in the region. Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping also toured to three of the most important countries in West Asia—Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Continue reading “The Dilemma of China’s New Engagement with West Asia”

2017 NPC: Centralizing While Attempting to Reform

Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, Honorary Fellow, ICS & Vice-President, Council for Social Development, New Delhi

The ten-day session of China’s parliament – the National People’s Congress (NPC) – that concluded on 15 March was not an ordinary annual event that puts its stamp of approval on the already worked out policies by the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). This was the last session of the nearly 3,000-member 12th NPC that was formed along with the assumption of the office of the president by party general secretary Xi Jinping. In many ways it gave a preview of the things to come at the 19th Congress of the CPC later this year in October-November.

Two areas threw up some conspicuous trends. First, Xi’s political leadership and his perspective on domestic and international issues were affirmed. Second, the need for strict measures to maintain stability in the country as a whole – and in Xinjiang and other ethnic minority areas, in particular – was reasserted. Whether these measures will prove adequate in coping with emerging challenges is an open question. Continue reading “2017 NPC: Centralizing While Attempting to Reform”

Structural Transformation in the Chinese Economy: From Manufacturing to Services

Zhang Bin, PhD, Senior Fellow, China Finance 40 Forum & Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing

A version of this article was originally published in the Business Standard as ‘The way forward for the Chinese economy’, 18 March 2017. This is part of a series by Chinese economists facilitated by the ICS.

As part of the cycle of economic development, all advanced economies have undergone industrialization and post-industrialization. Industrialization involved the manufacturing sector’s focus on increasing GDP, employment rate and consumption of manufactured products. For China, the post-industrialization phase implies economic activities will be concentrate in the service industry.

Based on measures of income level, the rate of growth of the manufacturing sector, employment rate and the consumption of manufactured products, China has passed the peak of industrialization. If global experience is a guide, the peak of industrialization happens when per capita GDP ranges between US$8,000 and US$10,000 (PPP based on 1990 value). After reaching the peak of US$10,000, the proportion of the industrial sector indicators continues to decline. By this yardstick, China has passed the peak of industrialization. Continue reading “Structural Transformation in the Chinese Economy: From Manufacturing to Services”

US-Africa Relations Under Trump and What It Means for China

Veda Vaidyanathan, PhD Candidate, University of Mumbai and ICS-HYI Doctoral Fellow

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of chatter in virtual corridors that Africanists inhabit, trying to assess what the new presidency in the US means for the continent. Donald Trump’s repeated references to the region during the campaign had not struck the right chords with African scholars and leadership alike.

US President Donald Trump’s tweets on South Africa before his election

Much hyperbole criticizing aid to Africa, using labels of corruption and crime and even mispronouncing ‘Tanzania’ during a foreign policy speech in April[1] failed to project Africa as a reasonable foreign policy priority. Some analysts attributed the Trump’s lack of seriousness in addressing Africa – a region that houses some of the world’s fastest-growing economies – to his lack of substantial investments in the continent. Continue reading “US-Africa Relations Under Trump and What It Means for China”

China’s SAARC Bid and Implications for India

Gauri Agarwal, Research Intern, Institute of Chinese Studies 

Pakistan’s support to China for full membership to SAARC and India’s refusal to entertain the bid is a case of the use of geopolitics to pursue selfish aims. Whether China will be accepted or not remains to be seen, but what China brings to the table needs a careful cost-benefit analysis.

SAARC’s Shortcomings

The importance of SAARC as a regional organization is recognised by all leaders. But there is a frank acknowledgement that the organization has failed to live up to the hope and aspiration of one-fifth of humanity. Continue reading “China’s SAARC Bid and Implications for India”

Chinese Steel Industry’s Improving Performance and Implications for India

Aravind Yelery, PhD, Assistant Director, Institute of Chinese Studies

China recorded the highest global production of steel in 2016 despite its slowed growth rate. This suggests that steelmakers were focused on boosting output because they were eager to capture higher profit margins.

Steel production in China increased to 68,510 thousand tonnes in October 2016 from 68,170 thousand tonnes in September. Monthly production in China averaged 29,010.98 thousand tonnes from 1990 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 70,650 thousand tonnes in March 2016 with a record low of 4,918 thousand tonnes in February 1990. The rising trend in capacity continued from 2015 when China’s national steel output was 1.1235 billion tons, up by 0.6 percent over the previous year. Continue reading “Chinese Steel Industry’s Improving Performance and Implications for India”