China’s Gamble of the Century: Five Years into the Belt and Road Initiative

QI HANG CHEN analyzes the Belt and Road Initiative five years after its announcement to gauge the early economic, environmental, and strategic returns. Introduction The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR), is China’s most ambitious infrastructure development project. It is also the largest overseas investment plan by any single country, dwarfing the Marshall Plan in comparison. It will have … Continue reading China’s Gamble of the Century: Five Years into the Belt and Road Initiative

Destroyers and Islands: The South China Sea and China’s New Strategy Abroad

JEFFREY FU revisits the South China Sea dispute to explore how the interplay of international law, economic power, and territorial ambition may be transforming China’s strategy. On September 30, 2018, a Chinese Luyang-class destroyer cut across the bow of an American destroyer, the USS Decatur, coming within 45 yards of collision before the Decatur maneuvered to avoid catastrophe. Such brazen disregard for maritime safety and American … Continue reading Destroyers and Islands: The South China Sea and China’s New Strategy Abroad

Enlightened Despot? Hybrid Legacy of Mao and Deng

ZHEYAN NI delves into Xi Jinping’s past to explain the present. In 1994, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s closest political aide and political strategist Wang Huning wrote in his diary, “Deng Xiaoping is practical and flexible while Mao Zedong is ambitious and idealistic.” Xi Jinping is trying to become both: a practical idealist leader of China. The highest figure of power in China always has a dual … Continue reading Enlightened Despot? Hybrid Legacy of Mao and Deng

The Chinese Investment Paradox

ALEX HERKERT contrasts the Chinese government’s control of overseas investment in the entertainment sector and the technology sector. Over the past decades, the inception and direction of Chinese outbound investment has become a topic of great significance with global ramifications. Total Chinese investment in the U.S. has grown from less than $2.5 billion between 1978 and 1999 to more than $178 billion from 2005 to the … Continue reading The Chinese Investment Paradox

All the World’s Stage

JASMINE GAN introduces the November 2018 International Theme, “Through the Looking Glass: China’s International Image.”  The English name “China” is thought to come from the Sanskrit word चीन cina, deriving from the transliteration of the Chinese 秦 Qin (pronounced “Chin”): the first dynasty of imperial China dating around 200 BC. Significantly, the Qin dynasty was the first to conquer the seven warring states to form … Continue reading All the World’s Stage

A Technological China

ISABELLA CHENG introduces the November 2018 Domestic Theme. In 2007, Apple released its first iPhone. If we compare it to our iPhones today, it’s astonishing that this little gadget was so revolutionary—the original iPhone had no third-party apps, no GPS, and no video recording capabilities. Fast forward just ten years later, the success of a product as primitive as the original iPhone is unimaginable. Technological advancement … Continue reading A Technological China

Sounding the Environmental Alarm on the Belt and Road Initiative

QI HANG CHEN tackles the sprawling environmental implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has the prerequisite elements for a massive environmental and climatic disaster. China’s pivot to green domestic policies has obscured the exportation of its environmentally damaging excesses abroad, in what is known as “shadow ecology”. While we must acknowledge China’s efforts to “green” the BRI through legal … Continue reading Sounding the Environmental Alarm on the Belt and Road Initiative

A War of Visibility: Contradictions in China’s Environmental Policy

JASMINE GAN contextualizes China’s environmental progress. On October 10, 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urged governments to recognize the drastic trajectory of the climate in a special report, “Global Warming of 1.5°C”. To contain global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels, the world needs to cut down carbon emissions at unprecedented levels: essentially halving emissions by 2030 and eliminating them entirely by 2050. … Continue reading A War of Visibility: Contradictions in China’s Environmental Policy

Dry China: The Ticking Time Bomb of Water Scarcity

JACK MORGANJONES analyzes a ticking time bomb in China: water scarcity. The consensus among foreign policy experts is that the threat of water wars should not be overstated.  Historically, there have been remarkably few examples of violent conflicts over water. In the 20th century, those which did occur were mostly between Israel and its immediate neighbors, suggesting that the root causes cannot simply be attributed to water. Moreover, a study from … Continue reading Dry China: The Ticking Time Bomb of Water Scarcity

Resuscitating China’s Environment

ISABELLA CHENG introduces the October 2018 Domestic Theme. China’s environmental challenges have consistently been at the forefront of both domestic and international discussion since the country’s spectacular economic takeoff in the early 21st century. Combining its status as the “world’s factory”, engaged in profitable yet high-emissions, heavy-industry manufacturing, and lax, ineffective environmental policies and regulations in the past, it is not hard to see what drove … Continue reading Resuscitating China’s Environment