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Asia Unbound

CFR experts give their take on the cutting-edge issues emerging in Asia today.

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Showing posts for "China"

Anies’s Big Win, India’s Sex Ratio, USS Carl Vinson Bluff, and More

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Anti-Ahok-Jakarta Supporters of Jakarta governor candidate Anies Baswedan react as Baswedan leads the count at the Petamburan flat polling station in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 19, 2017. (Beawiharta/Reuters)

Rachel Brown, Sherry Cho, Larry Hong, Gabriella Meltzer, and Gabriel Walker look at five stories from Asia this week.

1. Anies elected Jakarta’s next governor. Anies Baswedan, Indonesia’s former education minister, beat out sitting governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok) in a closely contested election. While official results have not yet been released, Anies clearly leads in polls. Read more »

Chinese Cinema’s Absent Allure

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Feng-Xiaogang-award Director Feng Xiaogang poses backstage after winning the best director award for his movie “I Am Not Madame Bovary” at the fifty-third Golden Horse Film Awards in Taipei, Taiwan, on November 26, 2016. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Larry Hong is an intern in the Asia program at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior at Columbia University. This is the second post in his three-part series on the relationship between Hollywood and the Chinese film industry. Read part one here.

When I ask my American friends what they know about Chinese cinema, most respond with blank stares. Less than half can name a single Chinese actor besides action giants Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Donnie Yen, who are for the most part Hong Kong-based actors and have long been part and parcel of Hollywood. Even fewer can name a Chinese director, though a handful know Zhang Yimou, whose cinematic vision, signature style, and long career have made him understandably the face of mainland Chinese cinema. Read more »

A Superpower, But Not Yet a Global Leader

by Yanzhong Huang
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during a high-level event in the Assembly Hall at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 18, 2017 (Denis Balibouse/Reuters).

In hindsight, China’s international ascendance seems to fit well with the predictions of neorealist scholars like John Mearsheimer. Back in 1974, Deng Xiaoping declared at the United Nations that “China is not, and will never become a superpower.” Today’s Chinese leaders might find what he said ill-timed and ill-advised. By the end of 2015, China saw its GDP reach $11.2 trillion, accounting for 15 percent of the world economy (U.S. share: 24.5 percent). If China maintains its stated growth rate, by 2024, its economy is expected to be as large as the United States’. Already, some leading Chinese scholars are using the term “superpower” to describe China’s power status.

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Why Are Chinese Tourists So Eager to Visit Trump’s America?

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Tourists from China pose for a picture with Disney characters Mickey (R) and Minnie Mouse during a cruise for the first official Chinese tour group to the United States under a new bilateral travel agreement with the United States government, in Washington June 19, 2008. A negotiated deal under which Beijing agreed to permit group tourism to the United States and allow U.S. tourist destinations to market themselves in China is expected by 2011 to double to 600,000 the number of annual visitors from China to the United States, according to industry and government forecasts. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES) Tourists from China pose for a picture with Disney characters Mickey (R) and Minnie Mouse during a cruise. The number of Chinese tourists visiting the United States grew by 18 percent in 2015. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Rachel Brown is a research associate for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Xi Jinping certainly isn’t the only recent Chinese visitor to the United States whose travel is affecting U.S.-China relations. Rates of Chinese tourism to the United States have been marching steadily upward. Even though overall tourism numbers have declined since President Donald J. Trump’s election – incurring $185 million in lost revenue – interest from China remains high. Read more »

Podcast: Human Rights in the Shadows of Authoritarianism

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Beijing-police-camera A policeman makes a recording of a journalist during lawyer Pu Zhiqiang’s verdict outside the second intermediate people’s court of Beijing on December 22, 2015. (Adam Rose/Reuters)

Who and what define a human right? And when rights are violated, what recourse do citizens have to seek redress? On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Eva Pils, reader in transnational law at King’s College London, visiting professor at Columbia Law School, and author of the forthcoming book Human Rights in China: A Social Practice in the Shadows of Authoritarianism, offers a detailed overview of the state of human rights in China. Read more »

Myanmar–China Pipeline, Malaysian Disappearances, Japan’s Population Problem, and More

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Xi-Htin-Kyaw-meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw at the Great Hall of People in Beijing, China, on April 10, 2017. (Yohei Kanasashi/Reuters)

Rachel Brown, Sherry Cho, Larry Hong, Gabriella Meltzer, and Gabriel Walker look at five stories from Asia this week.

1. At last, Myanmar–China pipeline opens for business. This Tuesday, the first drops of crude oil began their slow northward crawl through a new pipeline connecting the Burmese coast to the southern Chinese city of Kunming. After nearly three years of remaining empty, the 480-mile-long, $1.5-billion pipeline will carry up to 260,000 barrels’ worth of crude a day to a refinery owned by the state-owned PetroChina, China’s largest oil producer. Read more »

Hollywood and China’s Unequal Affair

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Great-Wall-opening Director Zhang Yimou (second from left) poses with cast members (left to right) Pedro Pascal, Tian Jing, and Matt Damon at the premiere of The Great Wall in Los Angeles, California, February 15, 2017. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Larry Hong is an intern in the Asia program at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior at Columbia University. This is the first post in his three-part series on the relationship between Hollywood and the Chinese film industry.

With China on track to overtake the United States as the world’s largest film market this year, Hollywood studios need no further incentive to tap into the vast potential of the Chinese market. Importantly, for the first time in five years, Hollywood studios will also soon be given the chance to renegotiate the terms of agreement on film releases in China. Read more »

Podcast: Everything Under the Heavens

by Elizabeth C. Economy
A worker looks through the fence of a construction site that is decorated with pictures of the Great Wall at Badaling, north of Beijing, China, September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter A worker looks through the fence of a construction site that is decorated with pictures of the Great Wall at Badaling, north of Beijing, China on September 1, 2016. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

One of the first things any student of China learns about is the country’s illustrious five thousand years of history. While those millennia were replete with accomplishments in science and philosophy, they were also characterized by territorial expansion and the coercion of surrounding nations into shows of deference. On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Howard French, associate professor of journalism at the Columbia Journalism School and author of Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power, explores the relationship between domestic narratives of China’s history and geopolitical realities. Read more »

A Menu of Imperfect Strategic Options for South Korea

by Scott A. Snyder
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se (R) talks with Wu Dawei (L), China's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs, during their meeting in Seoul, South Korea April 10, 2017. (Reuters/Jung Yeon-Je/Pool)

This post was coauthored with Sungtae (Jacky) Park, research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. This post originally appeared on East Asia Forum, is an abridged adaptation of the authors’ CFR discussion paper, The Korean Pivot: Seoul’s Strategic Choices and Rising Rivalries in Northeast Asia, and highlights some of the main themes of Snyder’s upcoming book, South Korea At the Crossroads: Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers. Read more »

A Note to President Trump: What NOT to Do in Mar-a-Lago

by Elizabeth C. Economy
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach is seen from West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., as Trump prepared to return to Washington after a weekend at the estate, March 5, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo President Donald J. Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach is seen from West Palm Beach, Florida. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at Mar-a-Lago on April 6 and April 7, 2017. (Reuters/Joe Skipper)

There are many people who have ideas about what should happen at the Xi-Trump summit. Almost as important, however, is what should not happen. Here are my suggestions for the top five things President Donald J. Trump should NOT do at his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago. Read more »