Feb 24, 2012

China's next president does his turn on catwalk

As expected, the visit to the United States by China’s leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, did not result in any policy breakthroughs. He is, after all, only the crown prince and has not yet been anointed No. 1. The trip continued a practice begun 10 years ...

Jan 25, 2012

China's limits as a role model

Forty years ago, the arch-conservative American President Richard M. Nixon shocked his country and the world by visiting communist China, a country that the United States did not recognize and whose soldiers had fought American soldiers in the Korean war. Last week, that historic ...

Jan 16, 2012

Finer details of atmospheric science in Beijing

In July 2009, China’s Foreign Ministry made a demand of the American embassy: Stop taking measurements of air pollution in Beijing available to ordinary Chinese since they conflicted with official data and could lead to “confusion” among the public and undesirable “social consequences.” The ...

Dec 14, 2011

China should heed Deng's warning

Last week, President Hu Jintao urged the Chinese Navy to accelerate its transformation and “make extended preparations for warfare.” While perhaps unexceptional, the words caught the attention of the foreign media and that of China’s neighbors, which generally do not have much of a ...

Dec 6, 2011

Who will tell the 'have nots' to forgo a better life?

Quietly, without much notice, the world’s population crept past the 7 billion mark on Oct. 31, according to the United Nations. The majority of people live on one continent, Asia, with two countries, China and India, accounting for almost 37 percent of the total. ...

Nov 22, 2011

Beijing girds for universal suffrage elections

In 1994, the last British Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, quoted a former colonial official as saying: “The Chinese style is not to rig elections, but they do like to know the result before they’re held.” Now, as Hong Kong prepares for universal ...

Oct 20, 2011

Chinese law reform may be a double-edged sword

Reform of the Chinese legal system is desperately needed but the draft of large-scale amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law shows that the current exercise in law reform is potentially a double-edged sword. Commendably, the draft law moves much closer toward the accused having ...

Oct 5, 2011

China's selective respect for treaties

Beijing continues to declare that its rise will be peaceful, but other countries are watching its actions to judge whether it will behave like a responsible power. A key criterion is the extent to which China is willing to be bound by rules and ...

Sep 29, 2011

Beijing's awkward moment with Gadhafi group

The news that officials of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime held secret talks in Beijing to buy weapons in July — five months after the Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Libya — is deeply embarrassing for China and casts doubt on its sincerity regarding ...

Sep 8, 2011

How to drive away friends and lose influence

In the 19th century, Japan, unlike China, responded to Western pressure to open up to trade not by fighting back but by transforming itself so that, while still geographically in Asia, it became in effect a European country. Japan decided to hop on the ...