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  • Author: Michael J. Green, David J. Berteau, Zack Cooper
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Three years have passed since President Barack Obama laid the groundwork for the U.S. rebalance to the Asia Pacific region. Support for the rebalance strategy is substantial, but questions remain about its implementation. As China's power grows and its assertive- ness in regional disputes increases, U.S. allies and partners continue to rely on the United States to help reinforce regional security. In this increasingly tense Asia Pacific security environment, it is critical that regional allies, partners, and competitors recognize and acknowledge that the United States is a Pacific power with the ability to carry out its rebalance strategy.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Nirupama Rao
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: When speaking of the politics of history involving the relationship between India and China in the period before the conflict of 1962, it is essential that we should have a sense of proportion about that history, distilling the meaning of the events that transpired and the key determinants in the evolving relationship between these two Asian powers in mid-century. How does that history connect to us, and how we shape our future? While there can be infinite meanings attached to what caused the war between India and China, what lessons are to be learnt about leadership, about public opinion, about logistical and military preparedness, about narrowing differences, and about negotiation?
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: Marco Sanfilippo
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper analyses foreign direct investment (FDI) activities of Chinese multinational enterprises (MNEs) in Italy. Chinese investments in Italy present features similar to those in other advanced countries, while also showing some country-specific features. Italy is considered an attractive destination for Chinese investors not only because of its large market and its strategic position as a gateway to the Mediterranean, but also because it is seen as a valuable source of strategic assets in both traditional and advanced industries. The analysis of the Italian case is supported by the presentation of a number of detailed case studies, which exemplify the strategies followed by Chinese companies in the country and help summarise the main implications of this phenomenon. Evidence presented in this paper gives rise to a number of suggestions for policy makers on how to maximise the benefits from rising flows of FDI from China and other emerging economies.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The International Conference on Asian Food Security (ICAFS) took place from 21–22 August 2014 at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Singapore. ICAFS 2014, themed 'Towards Asia 2025: Policy and Technology Imperatives' was aimed at understanding the mid-to-long term trends and challenges that affect Asian food security with in the horizon of 2025 and beyond as the region faces significant challenges posed by changes in demography and consumption patterns, performance decline in agriculture, environmental degradation, natural resource depletion and climate change. This conference sought to address questions relating to the future of food policy and technology that contribute to food security in Asia. The choice of the time-horizon of 2025 was specifically earmarked for a number of reasons. The first session is dedicated to highlighting the identified trends and challenges to food security in 2025. From a national planning standpoint, a decade usually represents a good medium-run timeframe for policies to be formulated and enacted. On a regional level ASEAN's post 2015 agenda will also be looking into a 10-year timeframe. The International Food Policy research Institute (IFPRI), the world's leading food policy research centre, has also chosen 2025 as the time period by when the world should aim to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. Hence there seems to be a good convergence on this particular timeframe; one we should all as institutions and individuals commit to make the region and world more food secure. Session 2 highlights the food security challenges and opportunities in the context of Post 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This session addresses issues such as how to increase productivity and supply chains; challenges and opportunities for policy, science and technology interventions as well as how to modernize food supply chains. Session 3 presents the topic of market integration and trade facility. The idea is to promote regional integration and food trade as means for sustaining food security by increasing economic access to food. This is relevant to the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 agenda, which includes tariff reduction, enhanced trade facilitation, reduction in barriers to trade among others, and aims to accelerate economic growth and development. Benefits and challenges are also discussed based on the context of the region's two biggest economies, China and India, anticipating 2025.Session 4 discusses options for financing and investing in agricultural development and technological innovation. With global reduction in public spending on research and development (R) in agriculture, options should be diversified where it allows private sectors and other alternative financing such as insurance and micro financing to help poor and vulnerable farmers. Session 5 suggests an integrated approach for Asia towards 2025. This session looks at the role of science and R in further boosting agricultural production and the need for systematic surveillance of food security through different monitoring systems using different types of indexing and benchmarking tools. These monitoring systems should be able to be responsive to potential calamities and mitigate shocks of natural disasters.
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In the debate over global manufacturing competitiveness, the labour cost question looms largest. The rapid growth in Chinese wages is having an impact not only on firms currently manufacturing in China, but also on emerging economies seeking to grab a share of that manufacturing activity (like Vietnam and Bangladesh) and developed countries seeking to revive their own manufacturing sectors (like the US). Rising wages in China could threaten the country's status as a manufacturing powerhouse if they are not matched by comparable gains in productivity.
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, United States, China, Vietnam
  • Author: Chenyang Li, James Char
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In discussions on Myanmar's political reforms since the installation of a civilianised military regime in 2011, most analysts have focused on the bedevilment of bilateral ties between Beijing and Naypyidaw. To be sure, China has since become more attuned to the concerns of non-state actors with the opening up of Myanmar's political space as well as recalibrated its strategies in the face of renewed diplomatic competition from other countries in vying for the affections of the Burmese leadership. In acknowledging the corrections China's Myanmar policy has undergone, this article argues that Beijing's factoring in of Burmese national interests and development needs can help enhance its prospects. While a return to the previous robust bilateral relationship may appear inconceivable in the near future, this article concludes that there is still hope for Beijing in overcoming the challenges posed by Naypyidaw's political transition should it be able to keep up with the latter's evolution over the longer term.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Myanmar, Naypyidaw
  • Author: Henry Lee, Scott Moore, Sabrina Howell, Alice Xia
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In recent decades there has been a gradual transformation in environmental policy away from command-and-control policies and toward the use of more flexible, market-based mechanisms. This transformation is evident in the environmental policy of the United States, and the European Union where many scholars and policymakers have accepted the argument that, in comparison with more traditional regulatory approaches, market-centered solutions offer a cheaper and more efficient way to achieve many environmental policy objectives. While market mechanisms may work in certain economies and certain countries, whether they are appropriate for addressing the problem of climate change for countries without an institutionalized domestic market economy, such as china, is still an open question. This report summarizes the discussions, conclusions, and questions posed during The Harvard- Tsinghua Workshop on Market Mechanisms to Achieve a Low-Carbon Future for China. As the report makes clear, most participants believe that market mechanisms have a powerful role to play in achieving a low-carbon future for China. However, considerable differences emerged among the participants regarding the proper design and implementation of market mechanisms, and sig-nificant questions remain concerning the proper role of market mechanisms in addressing climate change. This report, and the workshop it summarizes, does not attempt to resolve these differences, but aims to contribute to an ongoing discussion on the future of climate policy in China. The re¬mainder of this Introduction describes the context for the workshop, its three thematic sessions, and outlines three over-arching themes that emerged. These themes are explored in the summaries of the three thematic sessions, while the Conclusion raises issues for further research. The impetus for the workshop was laid out in three public keynote speeches that addressed, respec¬tively, China's desire to achieve a low-carbon future, reasons to prefer market mechanisms over other potential solutions, and the importance of sustaining innovation in achieving climate policy objectives. China has adopted pilot cap-and-trade programs in five Provinces and two cities – to¬gether accounting for seven percent of the country's total carbon dioxide emissions. These pilots support a vision of achieving a “third industrial revolution” where economic growth and value-creation is de-coupled from carbon dioxide emissions. Second, market mechanisms are generally preferred by economists to regulation and subsidies as a means to reduce emissions because they achieve reductions at a lower overall cost, tend to direct emissions to their highest-value uses, and demand less institutional capacity since emitters rather than governments decide how to reduce emissions. Third, emissions reductions need to be linked to continual technological and policy in¬novation, as well as the need for proper design and implementation of market mechanisms. This point was emphasized with reference to the European Union Emissions Trading System (EUETS), where initial carbon permit prices were too low to incentivize low-carbon research and develop¬ment. The low initial price of the EUETS made it more palatable to industry, but too low to send a significant market signal due to institutional weaknesses and the economic downturn. The keynote addresses framed the discussion for the remainder of the workshop, which consisted of three off-the-record thematic sessions. Each thematic session focused on a different set of mar¬ket mechanisms to address different facets of the climate policy challenge. The first session exam¬ined instruments designed to limit and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, either by imposition of a tax designed to internalize the external cost of climate disruption or through establishment of a cap-and-trade system whereby permits to emit carbon dioxide are issued under an overall cap set by government, and which can then be traded as some emitters make efficiency improvements. The second session examined the use of subsidies and other incentives to encourage clean technol¬ogy innovation, and the third session examined the potential for a water-rights trading system to allocate water resources under conditions of increasing scarcity triggered by disruption in precipi¬tation and increased evaporation rates. The workshop concluded with a session devoted to developing a framework for further research and debate on the use of market mechanisms to refine and advance China's climate policy. The framework centered on three over-arching issues concerning market mechanisms: policy mix, innovation systems, and governance. The first of these issues concerns the inclusion of market mechanisms in a broader mix of policy responses, including command-and-control, which may be combined to achieve specific policy objectives. The second concerns the use of market mecha¬nisms to develop, sustain, and enhance innovation systems that continually create new solutions and technologies to achieve a low-carbon future. The third concerns the importance of institutional design and governance systems to ensure the proper functioning of market mechanisms.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Wing Ho Tom Cheng, Gautam Kamath, Kevin Rowe, Eleanor Wood, Taisen Yue
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Shanghai will lock in a future of high energy costs and worsening air pollution if it does not change current policies for the planning, construction, and operation of new urban developments, particularly transportation systems, and buildings. This report assesses the policy frameworks for these systems and their implications for Shanghai's prospects as a low carbon city. The major obstacles to efficient, low carbon development are the fragmented planning system for land use and transportation, the insufficiently stringent building energy efficiency codes and the lack of investment in opportunities to encourage efficient consumer behavior. Carbon lock-in occurs when infrastructure projects, or other developments with long lifetimes, are designed with high-carbon characteristics that are difficult to reverse later. This issue is par¬ticularly acute for rapidly-urbanizing Shanghai, where there is an emphasis on keeping project costs low and completion times short. This report was prepared as a case study for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), a prominent government-affiliated think tank in China. The recommendations are addressed to the Shanghai Municipal Government. Many recommendations hold relevance for the governments of other fast-growing Chinese cities facing similar carbon lock-in challenges to Shanghai.
  • Political Geography: China, Shanghai
  • Author: Hongying Wang
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As part of a shift toward a more activist foreign policy, China has accelerated its engagement in minilateralism, which is the gathering of a sub-group of countries within or outside a multilateral institution to solve a problem when the multilateral institution is unable to reach agreements among its members. This paper examines China's minilateral diplomacy in the financial area. Although China has been involved in regional financial cooperation for the last 15 years, its recent minilateral initiatives, such as the New Development Bank (NDB), the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), are far more China-centred. What are China's motivations? Will these minilateral schemes undermine the traditional multilateral institutions? This paper argues that the Chinese government seeks to use financial minilateralism to stimulate reform of global financial institutions, provide financial public goods for its regional neighbours and fellow developing countries, as well as directly promote China's economic and political interests. China's financial minilateralism is not meant to overthrow the existing multilateral institutions, but this could change depending on the interaction between how the world responds to China's new activism and the domestic political dynamics in China. Western countries should understand and accommodate China's aspirations and encourage China to keep its minilateralism open.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Roy Kamphausen (ed.), David Lai, Travis Tanner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The 2012 PLA (People’s Liberation Army) conference took place at a time when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was making its leadership transition from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping. The conference discussion focused on the developments in China’s national security and in the PLA during the Hu Jintao Administration from 2002 to 2012. Key observations are presented in this volume. The most significant ones are Hu Jintao’s promulgation of the new Historic Missions for the PLA, and Hu’s complete handover of power to his successor. The former has turned on the green light for the PLA to go global. The latter is a milestone is the CCP’s institution building.
  • Topic: Security, Communism, Politics, History, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Sabrina Zajak
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper presents a novel analytical framework to study transnational activism in the context of today’s international governance architecture. While there is a considerable amount of literature on the emergence, development, and effects of transnational activism in specific transnational governance arrangements or within a specific local context, an integrated framework that analyzes the dynamic interplay between activism, transnational institutions, and domestic contexts is still lacking. The framework of transnational pathways of influence intends to help close this gap. It integrates insights from social movement research on transnational collective action and insights from institutional theorists on institutional interactions. The framework consists of three major concepts: the concept of intra-pathway dynamics captures the relationship of mobilization and institutional chance within one path; the concept of inter-pathway dynamics encompasses institutional interactions and interdependencies between activism across paths; and the concept of the global–local link characterizes the relationship of activism within each path to local actors, the domestic context, and the political regime. The paper outlines this framework and exemplifies it by taking the case of transnational labor-rights activism targeting labor-rights violations in a strong and nondemocratic state: the People’s Republic of China. It shows that the study of activism across different transnational pathways over time is necessary to understand the combined effects of activist interventions, institutional co-evolution and interaction as an explanation of the process of selective convergence between global norms and local practices.
  • Topic: Development, Politics, Labor Issues, Governance, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: China