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  • Author: Andy Yee
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article systematically compares maritime territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. It draws on the bargaining model of war and hegemonic stability theory to track the record of conflicts and shifts in the relative power balances of the claimants, leading to the conclusion that certainty and stability have improved in the South China Sea, with the converse happening in the East China Sea. To enrich the models, this article also considers social factors (constructivism) and arrives at the same conclusion. This calls for a differentiated methodological approach if we are to devise strategies to mediate and resolve these disputes.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Maria Raquel Freire, Carmen Amado Mendes
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Russia and China are two big players in the international system, both of which share interests and concerns and compete for preponderance and affirmation at the regional level. As a framework for political-military cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) frames this relationship in an institutional setting that might be understood as a tool for rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing or as a strategic manoeuvre for balancing an unbalanced international order. Thus the following question arises: is Russian-Chinese cooperation discourse mere political rhetoric or does it imply the intentional forging of a goal-orientated partnership? The relationship between Russia and China in political and security terms reveals identifiable common concerns, such as counter-terrorism or the fight against organised crime, while simultaneously masking the underpinning drivers, based on realpolitik dynamics and image construction on both sides (power projection, regional affirmation). This means that the strategic partnership dialogue between Moscow and Beijing is still far from being real. Realpolitik considerations rise above institutional goals, showing the lines of (dis)continuity in discourse and practice in this bilateral relationship.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Beijing, Moscow
  • Author: Joseph Yu-shek Cheng
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines the Chinese perception of Russian foreign policy during the Putin administration by analysing Beijing's assessment of Russia's foreign policy objectives and its policy towards the U.S., as reflected in the official media and the authoritative publications of China's major security and foreign policy think tanks. Promoting multipolarity and checks and balances against U.S. unilateralism has been a very significant consideration on the part of the Chinese leadership. Using the concept of the "strategic triangle", the article demonstrates how changes in U.S.-Russian relations have probably become the most important variable in this push for multipolarity. In the past decade and a half, Sino-Russian relations have improved when Russia has become disappointed with the support it received from the U.S. There have also been periods of time when Russia has anticipated closer relations with the U.S. and thus neglected China's vital interests. The Chinese leadership, however, has exercised restraint at such times. There has been greater optimism in Beijing concerning Sino-Russian relations in recent years because of the expanding economic ties, Russia's increasing oil wealth and Putin's authoritarian orientation.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China
  • Author: Jean-Pierre Cabestan
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Since 1979, foreign- and security-policy-making and implementation processes have gradually and substantially changed. New modes of operation that have consolidated under Hu Jintao, actually took shape under Jiang Zemin in the 1990s, and some, under Deng Xiaoping. While the military's role has diminished, that of diplomats, experts, and bureaucracies dealing with trade, international economic relations, energy, propaganda and education has increased. Decision making in this area has remained highly centralized and concentrated in the supreme leading bodies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However, China's globalization and decentralization, as well as the increasing complexity of its international interests, have intensified the need to better coordinate the activities of the various CCP and state organs involved in foreign and security policy; hence, the growing importance of the CCP leading small groups (foreign affairs, national security, Taiwan, etc.). But the rigidity of the current institutional pattern has so far foiled repeated attempts to establish a National Security Council.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Karl Hallding, Guoyi Han, Marie Olsson
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China is undergoing modernization at a scale and speed the world has never witnessed. As climate change increasingly dominates the global agenda, China faces the challenge of shaping a new growth path in a climate-constrained world. The paper argues that China's current climate and energy policy is, at best, a “repackaging” of existing energy and environmental strategies with co-benefits for the mitigation of climate change. Nevertheless, even though policies are not climate-change driven, the quick (rhetorical) endorsement of low-carbon development and the strong momentum of green technologies indicate that political ambitions are in favour of finding a more sustainable development pathway. A new growth path would, how-ever, require a fundamental shift, with development and energy strategies being set within climate security constraints. The eventual success of this new path remains uncertain.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: China