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Showing posts for "Elizabeth C. Economy"

A “Gut Check” on U.S.-China Policy

by Elizabeth C. Economy
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hold a joint news conference after their meeting at the State Department in Washington, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hold a joint news conference after their meeting at the State Department in Washington, February 23, 2016. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters).

At the end of March, I testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on the economic aspects of the “rebalance” to Asia.  I have testified before the commission several times, know a number of the commission members, and typically enjoy the experience. This time was no different. However, I was struck by the number of “gut check” questions, as one commissioner put it—questions where the answer appears clear, even obvious, but with a bit more pushing becomes less clear and less obvious. Here are some of the “gut check” questions that the commissioners asked that have made me take another look:

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Podcast: The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Who’s on Top?

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Chinese-military-parade Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army of China arrive on their armored vehicles at Tiananmen Square during the military parade marking the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

The superiority of the American military relative to that of any other country in the Asia Pacific has long been a defining feature of the region’s security landscape. Yet, as China continues to invest heavily in its military while U.S. investment contracts, America’s relative advantage is diminishing. What would happen if the United States and China came into conflict over Taiwan or the Spratly Islands? What is the relative likelihood that China would unleash a cyberattack on infrastructure targets in the United States? Read more »

Podcast: Beyond the One-Child Policy

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Beijing-baby-stroller A man pushes his homemade baby stroller carrying his grandson at a park in Beijing April 13, 2015. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

This week, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment Mei Fong talks about her investigation into China’s more than three-decade commitment to a one-child policy. She goes well beyond the familiar tropes of gender imbalance and aging population to explore the challenge of an emerging anti-feminist culture, the pain of parents who lost their only child in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and the secret two-child zones the government operated alongside its nationwide one-child policy. Read more »

Podcast: China’s Millenials: Ambitious, Bold, and Dissatisfied

by Elizabeth C. Economy
China-millenials-rock-concert A rock fan gestures as he crowd surfs during a performance at the 2012 Strawberry Music Festival at Tongzhou Canal Park in Beijing, April 29, 2012. (Barry Huang/Reuters)

This week I interview Eric Fish, content producer at the Asia Society, whose wonderful new book, China’s Millennials: The Want Generation, gives us a fascinating insider’s look at China’s youth today. Fish discovers an informed youth that is finding its voice on issues such as the environment, women’s rights, and the rule of law, and pressing for change. They are also nationalistic and strong supporters of Chinese territorial claims. Read more »

Xi Jinping’s Virtual Political Reality

by Elizabeth C. Economy
People watch a TV showing of a huge screen shows a news broadcast of China's Vice President Xi Jinping at the 18th Communist Party Congress at a crossroads in Shanghai November 8, 2012. REUTERS/Aly Song (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS) People watch as a huge screen shows a news broadcast of China's Vice President Xi Jinping at the 18th Communist Party Congress at a crossroads in Shanghai November 8, 2012. Since assuming the presidency later in 2012, Xi has introduced new restrictions on foreign and domestic media in China. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Xi Jinping is the gift that keeps on giving. Scarcely a week goes by in which he does not announce a new policy initiative or adopt some measure that reverberates around the world. I often find myself skimming the news anxiously to see “What has Xi Jinping done today?” Yet, increasingly, I find myself asking, not “what” but rather “why” he is doing what he is doing. Read more »

Podcast: How a U.S. Company Took On a Chinese SOE and Won

by Elizabeth C. Economy
China-wind-energy-turbine Employees climb up an electricity pylon next to a windmill to carry on a routine inspection at a wind power plant in Mingguang, Anhui province, July 8, 2013. (China Daily/Reuters)

In another break from my podcast series on new books, I interview Patrick Jenevein, CEO of Tang Energy. Patrick relays in fascinating detail the high points—and some of the low ones as well—of his twenty years of experience doing business in China until everything exploded in 2014–2015. The story of breached contracts and bullying behavior will not be new for many familiar with the perils of doing business in China. But how Patrick managed to take on the behemoth state-owned enterprise Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and win his case adds a fresh and uncommon twist. Patrick’s story may not be a book—but it could be. Read more »

Podcast: Understanding the Internal Debates Among China’s Top Thinkers

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Great-hall-of-the-people Attendants serve tea to delegates during the opening session of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 5, 2008. (Claro Cortes IV/Reuters)

While China’s leaders may hew to one political and economic line, there is an ongoing, vibrant debate among China’s top thinkers and scholars about the future of the country. In his new book, China’s Futures: PRC Elites Debate Economics, Politics, and Foreign Policy, University of Southern California Associate Professor Daniel Lynch delves into the internal publications of China’s elites to discover what they truly think on issues ranging from the economy to the political system to the role of the Internet. Read more »

Podcast: Michael Pettis on the ABC’s of the Chinese Economy

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Pettis-China-economy-podcast An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, July 13, 2009. (Stringer/Reuters)

Peking University Professor of Finance Michael Pettis recently sat down with me to share his thoughts on what is going on in the Chinese economy, what the Chinese leadership needs to do to get back on track, and what it all means for the United States and the rest of the world. The takeaway: Hold on to your hats, we are in for a bumpy ride… but we are not falling off the cliff… yet.

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Podcast: The China-Pakistan Axis

by Elizabeth C. Economy

Books on China’s relations with Pakistan are not usually at the top of my reading list, but I decided that it was time to delve into the topic when I encountered Andrew Small’s new book, The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics. Maybe it was the creative and colorful cover that drew me in, but whatever the reason, Andrew, a transatlantic fellow with the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, has converted me to a follower of the relationship. Read more »

Podcast: China’s Coming War with Asia

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Chinese-army-actors Actors dressed as Red Army soldiers perform at a gala show to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Jonathan Holslag, professor of international politics at the Free University of Brussels, in his terrific new book China’s Coming War with Asia puts forth the provocative thesis that war between China and Asia is inevitable. Driven by four grand aspirations—integration of frontier lands, popular support of the Party, international recognition of Chinese sovereignty, and recovery of lost territories—the Chinese leadership has embarked on a journey from which it will not deviate. Read more »