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  • Author: Steven J. Balla, Zhou Liao
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Chinese government has increasingly utilised online consultation as a means of providing citizens with opportunities to offer feedback on draft laws and regulations. As little is known about the operation of online consultation, this article analyses the content of citizen feedback submitted on a revision to China's health system proposed by the National Development and Reform Commission. Citizen engagement with the political and substantive issues under consideration is crucial if online consultation is to impact government decision-making and enhance the performance of laws and regulations. This paper's main findings are that it was common for comments to address substantive issues in great depth, as well as express negative assessments of government decisions. This suggests that online consultation holds promise as an instrument of governance reform, which the Chinese Communist Party has embraced as a means of cultivating popular support.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Law, Reform
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Yihong Jiang
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This study looks at Chinese homeowners' participation in policymaking. Drawing on evidence from Guangzhou and Beijing, it shows that various organised homeowner activists have moved upstream in the policy process and have begun to push beyond policy implementation into the domain of agenda setting and “rule-making”. These advocates display rights-conscious patterns of behaviour that are closer to that of interest or lobby groups than to the typical repertoire of Chinese contentious citizens. The study suggests that this kind of political participation is on the rise amongst Chinese homeowner activists. This result complements and extends other recent findings that suggest the Chinese policy process is gradually opening up. Such a trend could have significant implications and calls for more research in different domains of state-society relations.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing
  • Author: Tobias Brandner
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article surveys the complex ecumenical, missionary and international church relations of Chinese Protestant Christians. It argues that the inter-church relations to other parts of Asia are overshadowed by relations to Christians in the West, thus reflecting a political preoccupation with relationships to the West. This is evidenced by an analysis of worldwide and Asian ecumenism as well as bilateral church and missionary relationships. The dominance of contacts with the West not only contradicts the idea of a multipolar world and increased South-South contacts, it also stands in contrast to the reality of growing and increasingly important Christianity in Asia. Methodologically, this paper analyses different kinds of international relations (multilateral and bilateral, inter-church and missionary) and develops a typology of different interchurch and inter-state relations to assess international church relations in Asia today. The typology shows how China's international church relations support its political relationships with its neighbours and beyond.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: David S. G. Goodman, Jörn Dosch
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The rise of China is not a new phenomenon. The PRC's growing economic (and in a number of cases also political) involvement in Southeast Asia and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa has caught the attention of academics and policymakers alike. However, China's emergence as an important actor in Latin America has only recently appeared on the radar screen of the scholarly community and is still an under-researched area. Eight years have passed since Chinese President Hu Jintao's first tour of Latin America in November 2004, marking the beginning of a new phase in Beijing's trans-Pacific relations. The significant boost in Chinese–Latin American trade provides strong evidence for the importance of this emerging pattern of interaction. China's trade with the region reached 180 billion USD in 2010, evincing not only an increase of 50 per cent from 2009 but also a pattern of sharp growth since 2000, when the China–Latin America trade volume stood at just 13 billion USD. By 2007 bilateral trade had already exceeded Hu's original target of 100 billion USD, set for 2010 ( China Daily 2011; Xinhua 2008). The articles in this issue of the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs bear strong witness to the fact that this budding relationship has been driven mainly by a mutual desire to accelerate economic exchange.
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Rhys Jenkins
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The paper analyses the economic impacts of China's re-emergence on Brazil, looking at both the direct effects of China on Brazil in terms of bilateral trade and investment flows and the indirect effects through increased competition in export markets for manufactured goods and higher world prices for primary commodities. Despite a surge in Chinese FDI in Brazil in 2010, the main driver of bilateral relations is trade. While bilateral trade has grown rapidly, the pattern that has emerged has given rise to concern because Brazil's exports are concentrated in a small number of primary products while imports from China are almost entirely of manufactured goods that are becoming more technologically sophisticated over time. Brazil has benefitted in the short term from the high prices of primary commodities (partly caused by growing Chinese demand), but has lost export markets to China in manufactures, contributing to the "primarization" of the country's export basket.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Brazil
  • Author: Roberto Hernández Hernández
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the commercial relationship between Mexico and China in the context of the liberalization policies enacted by both countries. The policies were developed in the framework of economic globalization and worldwide strategic military power, starting from the end of the Cold War. Against this backdrop, the paper analyses the current trade relations between China and Mexico. The text emphasizes the public policy of both countries, presenting similarities and asymmetries along with the results of their commercial policies and specific business practices.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: China, Mexico
  • Author: Ruben Gonzalez-Vicente
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article reviews dependency postulates and examines whether they are applicable to explain the political economy of China's contemporary relations with Peru. It argues that the dichotomy between Peru as a commodity-providing periphery and China as a core manufacturing centre is insufficient to explain the ways in which power is embedded in the international economic system, and particularly inadequate to identify winners and losers in the international division of labour. Thereby, in line with some recent international political economy discussions of power, the article proposes that China should not be understood as a self-contained economic entity, but as a hub where natural resources are mobilized for transnational production. Furthermore, contending that a focus on nation-states fails to capture the complexity of (under)-development dynamics, it suggests that notions of internal colonialism, flexible sovereignties and postcolonial analyses of representation provide fresher perspectives from which to understand the distribution of power along the political economy of Sino-Peruvian relations.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Juan Carlos Gachúz
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's foreign policy has been characterized in the last decade by a heightened interest in reaching out to Latin America, particularly to countries rich in natural resources and with potential markets for Chinese exports, and Chile is one of these countries. The paper shows that even though the Chilean economy has benefitted from the signing of the FTA, it also faces potential risks. To continue to benefit, Chile needs to boost exports in other potential export sectors (value-added products or services) and should attempt to attract more Chinese FDI to Chile's export industry. The export of raw materials (particularly non-renewable ones) is not always sustainable in the long term. The roles of the Chilean state and the private sector in attracting Chinese investment and enhancing diversification of exports of value-added products are crucial for the future of the economy of Chile and its relationship with China.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Adrian H. Hearn
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's deepening engagement with Latin America has been accompanied by concerns about the Chinese government's regard for international conventions of economic governance. Critics claim that across Latin America and the Caribbean, Chinese aid and trade are characterised by excessive state intervention. This article argues that, for two reasons, the rationale for these misgivings is dissipating. First, since the onset of the global financial crisis, China has gained influence in multilateral institutions, prompting them toward greater acceptance of public spending in developing countries. Second, recent developments in Cuba show that China is actively encouraging the Western hemisphere's only communist country to liberalise its economy. China sits at the crossroads of these local and global developments, prompting Cuba toward rapprochement with international norms even as it works to reform them.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Karsten Giese
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In this issue of the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, we invite our readers to join us on a journey focusing on global flows with Chinese characteristics. These flows are literally spanning the globe and consist of capital, goods, people and ideas. Concentrating on people and ideas in this issue, these global flows have become ever more diverse and are affecting not only China but also countries all over the world. Though China had been mainly on the receiving end of both capital and ideas for almost two decades starting with the beginning of the reform period and has – once again – become a leading sending region of people sojourning to destinations all over the world, Chinese capital and ideas, now reaching ever more of the world's regions, are late additions to this process. In this topical issue of the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, four authors discuss some of the repercussions of these flows, which are not restricted to implications for the regions receiving Chinese investments and/ or people but are also affecting China and its society more and more. The proverbial “other” has become increasingly present, diverse and influential in China, be it in the form of representations of destination regions for Chinese sojourners and migrants or in the form of personal experiences, given the growing numbers and higher concentrations of foreigners from around the world who have chosen to settle and/ or conduct business in Chinese cities.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: China