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  • Author: Luigi Carafa
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The United States and China recently announced a joint climate agreement that creates unprecedented political momentum for the Paris COP21 to be held in December 2015. Yet, it is unclear whether such a deal is an historic breakthrough or business as usual policy. A closer look at the US-China climate agreement shows that the chances that the agreed measures have of limiting global warming to 2°C are very few. If seen in terms of concrete policy action, the US pledge comes closer to a pathway compatible with a 2°C target. By contrast, however, China's pledges are far from consistent with a 2°C pathway. As the COP21 approaches, it is becoming clear that China matters more than ever for an effective climate deal. But it is also becoming increasingly clear that, in the best case scenario, Beijing will support a start now/sprint later agreement in Paris.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Zhang Xiaotong
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Chinese policy and academic communities have mixed views about the US-led TPP, either viewing it as a strategic attempt at encircling China, or as a positive spur for domestic reform and opening-up. Although the Chinese government adopted an open and flexible attitude towards the TPP, it has moved strategically by accelerating the negotiations of the RCEP and China-Korea FTA, as well as updating its FTA with ASEAN. A more interesting development is China's new initiatives for building two grand silk roads, one to Central Asia, leading on to Europe, and the other to Southeast Asia, leading on to the Indian Ocean. Both represent China's renewed confidence in finding its role in Asia.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrea Ghiselli
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Developments at both the doctrinal and operational level suggest that the 'post-modernisation' of China's PLA Navy (PLAN) has started. Issues such as the maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas and how to create a network of bases or 'footholds' outside Asia might slow down or temporarily halt this process. However, as China's economic presence expands on a global scale, its security interests and those of the international community will overlap increasingly with one another. Consequently, once its transformation has been completed, the PLAN is likely to become a global and cooperative force.
  • Topic: Security, Development
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Claudia Astarita
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: China's naval power : an offensive realist approach / Yves-Heng Lim. - Farnham and Burlington : Ashgate, 2014. - xii, 217 p. - (Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies series). - ISBN 978-1-4094-5184-6 ; 978-1-4094-5185-3 (ebk) ; 978-1-4724-0270-7 (ePUB)
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Silvia Menegazzi
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Following the leader : ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping / David M. Lampton. - Berkeley : University of California Press, 2013. - xiii, 293 p. : ill. - ISBN 978-0-520281-21-9 ; China's foreign policy / Stuart Harris. - Cambridge ; Malden : Polity Press, 2014. - 356 p. - ISBN 978-0-7456-6246-6 ; 978-0-7456-6247-3 (pbk) ; China's foreign policy : who makes it, and how is it made? / edited by Gilbert Rozman. - New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. - 343 p. - ISBN 978-1-137-34406-9 ; 978-1-137-34409-0 (pbk)
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Sylvia Menegazzi
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Transnational Civil Society in China: Intrusion and Impact, by Chen Jie, Elgar, 2012
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Daniel Twining
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China and the United States have just experienced political transitions that allow the leaders of both countries to focus on bilateral relations free from the pressures of domestic political campaigns. But the domestic politics of the bilateral relationship inside each country are, like the structural tensions between the established power and the rising challenger, intensifying, as Washington takes new steps to assert its primacy in Asia and Beijing works to edge America out of its neighbourhood. US-China relations are likely to be less stable and more prone to conflict over President Obama's second term, unless the two nations can arrive at a modus vivendi to keep the peace in Asia. The challenge is that such an entente likely requires the kind of political change in China its leaders seem determined to block for fear of the threat it would pose to their own legitimacy. The reverberations of a relationship that is conflict-prone, but in which conflict holds such downside risks for both countries, will be felt well beyond Asia.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Arturo Marzano
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Israel's international position has declined in recent years. Even if its relationship with the EU - and even more with the US - is solid, there have been frictions that are not likely to disappear in the years to come. Its relations with other states, from Middle Eastern countries to India and China, are either highly problematic or have not improved despite the Israeli government's efforts. It is Israel's policy in the Occupied Territories that is being increasingly criticised and this is creating a sort of 'vicious circle' in Israel: the critiques reinforce Israeli's 'bunker mentality', strengthening the ethno-nationalist character of Israeli politics and society and causing de-democratisation, and this, in turn, brings on more international isolation.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Zhu Liqun
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This rejoinder to Daniel Twining's article in the last issue (June 2013) of The International Spectator argues that both China and the United States recognise how important their relationship is for the world and the Asia-Pacific in particular. But the risk of tension on the security front has increased recently due to the US policy toward maritime disputes that has actually involved meddling between the parties involved, and its 'pivot' to Asia which targets China with more military engagement in the region. The China-US relationship has never been an easy one with the US certain of its primacy and China proud of its glorious past, which almost makes a conflictual power transition a self-fulfilling prophecy. Management of the relationship is the key for both countries to bring about more cooperation and to rein in competition. Co-evolution, a new type of relationship among major countries, is the only way out, in which the logic of interaction is 'live-and-let-live' rather than mors tua, vita mea.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Thomas G. Moore
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The global economic crisis revealed China to be an interdependent giant, one whose 'rise' was undeniable but also one whose deepening participation in transnational production sharing and network trade made it highly susceptible to an external shock. China weathered the storm relatively well - avoiding a recession, in particular - not because it had 'decoupled' from the G7 economies but because its stimulus measures were unusually swift and powerful. One cost, however, has been a worsening domestic imbalance between investment and consumption that carries a heightened risk of asset price inflation, non-performing loans and destabilising levels of local government debt. Meanwhile, China's ties to the world economy have not fundamentally changed since the crisis began. Despite stirring leader rhetoric and summit declarations, the BRICS have made only modest progress in meeting their goals. East Asia, North America and Europe remain China's principal trade partners, and cross-border production chains connecting these regions remain the dominant mode of China's incorporation into the world economy.
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, East Asia, North America
  • Author: David Camroux
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Revolving around the concept of 'Community' or 'community', debate on an Asian region has ostensibly pitted those who proposed an entity limited to East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea and the ten countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN) against those who proposed a much wider region embracing India, North (and, perhaps, South) America, as well as Australasia. Previously these two conceptualisations possessed their eponymous translation in the East Asian Economic Caucus (reincarnated as ASEANþ3) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. However, with the creation in 2005 of the East Asian Summit to include India, Australia and New Zealand and, above all, its 2011 enlargement to include the United States and Russia, the contrast between the two conceptualisations of an Asian region has become confused. In order to explain this development, this article suggests that the language of 'region' or 'community' is a discursive smokescreen disguising changes in approaches to multilateralism. An examination of the East Asia Summit, contrasting it with another recent regional project, the Trans Pacific Partnership, suggests that the actors involved are seeking to ensure the primacy of individual nation states in intergovernmental multilateral relations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, America, India, East Asia, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Nicola Casarini
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China is set to become the world's largest economy. As the country becomes richer, it is likely to become more influential in foreign and military affairs. This raises the question as to the impact that an increasingly ascendant China would have on the rest of the world, including whether the West will continue to maintain the supremacy that it has enjoyed over the last centuries. This is a subject that has received a fair amount of attention in the last years. Suffice it to recall here books like Martin Jacques's When China Rules the World and James Kynge's China Shakes the World to get a sense of the awe and anxiety that pervades the Western world as China establishes its global footprint. Henry Kissinger, in his latest On China observes that President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao ''presided over a country that no longer felt constrained by the sense of apprenticeship to Western technology and institutions'', and that the economic meltdown that began in America in 2008 ''seriously undermined the mystique of Western economic prowess'' among the Chinese. According to Kissinger, these developments have prompted a ''new tide of opinion in China to the effect that a fundamental shift in the structure of the international system was taking place''.The sentiment, both in China and in the West, is that the Chinese economy will soon reach a position of pre-eminence. According to the IMF, this could happen as early as 2016. But will China be able to sustain its current pace of economic growth for the next decades? Or will domestic and/or external factors derail China's rise?
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Cui Liru
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China intends to realise its national resurgence and modernisation through a peaceful path by integrating into or accepting and participating in the existing international system. With reform and opening-up as its hallmark, China's growth model is in a sense a marriage between Oriental and Occidental civilisations in the age of globalisation. Openness and inclusiveness are the intrinsic attributes of this model. China's diplomacy since 1978 is essentially an extension of the national modernisation drive, its chief task, basic policies and behavioural patterns being the creation of an international environment conducive to this endeavour.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: David Shambaugh
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China's modernisation mission is enduring but there continues to be a large mismatch in China's view of the world and how the world views China. This rejoinder questions China's commitment to political reform, discusses the economic challenges facing China and wonders whether there is a distinct and unique China growth model. Assessing China's impact as a rising power on the international system, it critiques China's global diplomacy and the future of US–China relations. The rejoinder is more circumspect on these issues than Cui's original article.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: François Godement
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The term "peaceful development" has created ambiguity. It fails to capture the extent to which China has become a global influence whose economic policy decisions are essential to the world multilateral system. China's international strategy can no longer be guided only by the quest for "stability" and by the principle of non-interference, because change and interdependence are a hallmark of this century. Neither can a relation with the United States alone define China's international strategy. Hopefully, China will understand the usefulness for rising powers to make long-lasting compromises, and it will strengthen instead of weaken a set of international institutions that have allowed for the most prosperous and peaceful era in human history.
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Michael Yahuda
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Chinese maritime assertiveness since 2008 is a product of China's growing economic and military power combined with a centrally fostered nationalism. Although incidents with several maritime neighbours may not have all been initiated by China, the Chinese over-reacted. Matters were made worse by the opacity of Chinese decision-making processes and by problems of governance as shown by the multiplicity of Chinese authorities in charge of separate naval forces. The American 'pivot' to Asia provides neighbours with a hedge against an overbearing China. But they still need to cultivate relations with China on whom they were economically dependent.
  • Political Geography: China, America, Asia
  • Author: Rana Siu Inboden, Titus C. Chen
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the past three decades, the People's Republic of China's response to international human rights pressure has been guided by its strong state identity, an identity that prioritised the pursuit of economic productivity, material power and international prestige. The goal of a strong socialist state led Beijing to participate in the UN human rights regime for strategic and diplomatic gains, and later to endorse human rights norms that were perceived as consistent with them. Accordingly, the PRC saw colonialism, imperialism, hegemonism, and racism as key human rights violations, while opposing the universality of human rights and rejecting intrusive human rights monitoring, deemed as detrimental to its strong state goal. After the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, China faced unprecedented international pressure and responded by challenging aspects of the human rights system. During negotiations to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights with the Human Rights Council, China again sought to shield itself from human rights pressure, primarily by challenging country specific approaches. Thus, instead of the normative influence leading to norm-compliant behaviour, China has sought to diminish human rights pressure and shape international human rights institutions in ways that are advantageous to its state interests.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Jean François Di Meglio
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After two waves of important changes in the Chinese system of foreign exchange, one in July 2005, when the Chinese currency was allowed to fluctuate more widely against the US dollar, the other in June 2010, when it was then quoted against an undisclosed basket of currencies, but moreover, was allowed to be partially traded in Hong Kong with the invention of a 'twin', the 'offshore yuan' (CNH), a deep reform could have taken place. The creation of the CNH, allowing debt to be issued internationally in yuan, initially led to the belief that a real set of deep reforms was under way. Yet, like some reforms of the past, which were hesitant or even annulled, the path towards monetary and financial reform is encountering difficulty. The steps taken towards the 'regionalisation' or possibly the 'internationalisation' of the Chinese currency may well be taking the same route. Before the reforms have had time to come to fruition and deliver deep changes, there seems to be some indecisiveness, a sense of relative failure, or at least discovery of the limitations in a process which many, at least at the beginning, believed would be quick and decisive. This article attempts to demonstrate that, like some other Chinese reform processes of the past, the path is not yet very clear and claims of deep changes and unwavering success would be largely premature.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Kerry Brown
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Chinese overseas investment is a new, and growing phenomenon. In the last decade, there have been exponential increases in how much direct investment is flowing from China, particularly into the resource sector. As the eurozone crisis has deepened since 2008, there has been continuing talk by political and business leaders of investment in Europe being a key target for Chinese companies. And yet, the amounts invested so far come to less than 5 percent of China's global overseas foreign direct investment (FDI) total. In the crucial determinants of Chinese FDI, the EU ranks low. There is therefore a good structural reason why, despite the ambitious talk of the Chinese coming to invest more in vital sectors in the EU, this is not happening at the moment and is not likely to happen until China develops into a middle income, more developed economy.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Giovanni Andornino
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Sino-Italian bilateral relations are eminently economic in their focus, with trade and investments working as the main drivers of engagement. Two distinctive features have marked the economic interaction in recent years: a pattern of asymmetrical competition, and an asynchrony of opportunities in bilateral trade and investment flows. Between 2009 and 2011, however, Sino-Italian relations underwent important changes. Against the background of the global financial crisis, China might become a key source of foreign investments for Italy. In addition, China's efforts to promote domestic demand under the Twelfth Five-Year Plan might create unprecedented opportunities for Italian exports.
  • Topic: Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Italy