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Showing posts for "Elizabeth C. Economy"

Podcast: Myanmar’s “Democratic” Reform

by Elizabeth C. Economy
nld-rally Supporters of Myanmar’s pro-democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi gather outside National League for Democracy headquarters in Yangon, Myanmar, November 9, 2015. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)

Earlier this week, as the latest stop on an historic visit to the United States, Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi made her first official appearance before the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Last week she met with U.S. President Barack Obama, who announced plans to lift sanctions on Myanmar to ensure that “the people of Burma see rewards from a new way of doing business and a new government.” But are Myanmar’s citizens really experiencing a “new government,” and is Aung San Suu Kyi’s political performance measuring up to her renown as a symbol for democratic change?

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Podcast: The Perfect Dictatorship

by Elizabeth C. Economy
wukan-protests Villagers, including schoolchildren, take part in a protest against the arrest of village chief Lin Zuluan in Wukan, in China's Guangdong province, June 22, 2016. (James Pomfret/Reuters)

On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Stein Ringen, emeritus professor at the University of Oxford and author of The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century, gives us his take on the Chinese party-state. He dubs China today a “controlocracy,” a sophisticated dictatorship that values its grip on power above all else. Ringen believes that Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign aims not just to flush out political rivals or protect state coffers, but to root out competing power centers that subvert Beijing’s control. His book is as exacting and stark as a Jo Nesbø novel—and his conclusions are just as grim. Read more »

China’s Summer of Discontent

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Student leader Nathan Law (C) celebrates on the podium after his win in the Legislative Council election in Hong Kong, China September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip Student leader Nathan Law (C) celebrates on the podium after his win in the Legislative Council election in Hong Kong, China on September 5, 2016. (Bobby Yip/Reuters)

I was struck by a recent headline in the South China Morning Post heralding Xi Jinping’s political gains at home from his diplomacy abroad. If the assessment is correct, it would suggest that a series of foreign policy travails has only served to heighten Xi’s popularity; by almost any objective calculation, it has been a challenging summer for Xi and his foreign policy team. Read more »

Podcast: The Dictator’s Dilemma: The Chinese Communist Party’s Strategy for Survival

by Elizabeth C. Economy
CCP-90th-celebration Participants wave flags of the Chinese Communist Party as they sing revolutionary songs during a celebration for the Party's upcoming ninetieth anniversary, on a square in Chongqing municipality, March 28, 2011. (Stringer/Reuters)

Are Chinese citizens unhappy with their government? Media coverage of corruption, pollution, and censorship might lead outsiders to believe that they are. But on this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Bruce Dickson, professor of political science and international affairs and director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University, offers evidence to the contrary. Read more »

Podcast: China’s Offensive in Europe

by Elizabeth C. Economy
ChemChina-Syngenta-deal Ren Jianxin, Chairman of China National Chemical Corp shakes hands with Swiss agrochemicals maker Syngenta's President Michel Demare (R) after the company's annual news conference in Basel, Switzerland, February 3, 2016. That day, China made its boldest overseas takeover move yet when state-owned ChemChina agreed a $43 billion bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)

In this week’s Asia Unbound podcast I speak with Philippe Le Corre, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, about his new book with Alain Sepulchre, China’s Offensive in Europe. Le Corre is a keen observer of the inroads that Chinese companies are making into the European continent through widespread merger and acquisitions of European firms. He describes Beijing’s push for Chinese companies not only to diversify their international holdings—as in the case of the state-owned enterprise ChemChina purchasing Pirelli, a well-known Italian tire-maker—but also to establish global brands of their own. In some cases, like that of the German manufacturer Putzmeister, flagging European companies acquired by Chinese ones can enjoy a new life by gaining greater access to the Chinese market. Read more »

Podcast: The Life and Death of John Birch

by Elizabeth C. Economy

When most Americans hear the name John Birch, they immediately think of the John Birch Society: an anticommunist, right-wing advocacy group that flourished in the 1950s and 60s. But who was John Birch, and what did the society have to do with him? On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast I speak with Terry Lautz, visiting professor at Syracuse University, about his new book, John Birch: A Life. Read more »

Forty-Five Minutes With Joshua Wong

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Joshua Wong, leader of the student movement, delivers a speech as protesters block the main street to the financial Central district, outside the government headquarters building in Hong Kong October 1, 2014. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters thronged the streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday, some of them jeering National Day celebrations, and students threatened to ramp up demonstrations if the city's pro-Beijing leader did not step down. REUTERS/Carlos Barria Joshua Wong, leader of the student movement, delivers a speech as protesters block the main street to the financial Central district, outside the government headquarters building in Hong Kong on October 1, 2014. Since the Umbrella Revolution, Wong has gone on to found the new political party Demosisto. (Carlos Barria/Reuters).

Four years ago, when he was just fifteen years old, Joshua Wong launched a campaign to prevent Beijing from enforcing its own version of history in Hong Kong schools. Along with other student activists involved in his “Scholarism” group, he managed to rally one hundred and twenty thousand people in protest and eventually beat back the government’s initiative. During that effort, Scholarism raised one million Hong Kong dollars in just one day—with 25-40 year olds as the most supportive demographic. For Wong, it was a signal that young people really could achieve change. (Less well known, perhaps, is that Wong cut his activist teeth protesting against a high-speed rail link between Hong Kong and the mainland when he was only thirteen years old.) Since then, of course, Wong has become world-renowned for his effort in helping lead the Occupy Central movement, which called for universal suffrage in Hong Kong. For his actions, he has been vilified by the Chinese government, assaulted, and arrested—all by the age of eighteen. Read more »

Podcast: How State Capitalism is Transforming the World

by Elizabeth C. Economy

In this week’s Asia Unbound podcast I speak with Joshua Kurlantzick, CFR’s senior fellow for Southeast Asia, about his new book, State Capitalism: How the Return of Statism is Transforming the World. Kurlantzick explains that although state capitalism has been around for more than two decades, it has entered a new era of popularity. Read more »

Podcast: The Hacked World Order

by Elizabeth C. Economy

In this week’s Asia Unbound podcast I speak with my longtime colleague Adam Segal, Maurice R. Greenberg senior fellow for China studies and director of the digital and cyberspace policy program here at CFR, about his new book, The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age. In our discussion, Segal clearly and concisely deconstructs the framework of U.S.-China cyber relations and describes the global implications of the geopolitics of cyberspace. Read more »

Podcast: What Everyone Needs to Know About China’s Economy

by Elizabeth C. Economy

On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, I speak with Arthur Kroeber, founding partner and head of research at Gavekal Dragonomics and author of the just-released China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know, about why China’s much ballyhooed economic reforms have fallen flat. Kroeber argues that the Chinese leadership’s contradictory belief in both a “decisive” role for markets and a “dominant” state sector has not yet been resolved and is the fundamental barrier to economic progress. Read more »