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 ...

Aug 31, 2011

China's economy not a model for emulation

At a time when the United States and Europe are beset by economic crises, it is natural that the Western model of economic development, including a democratic political system, should be viewed with some skepticism while China’s growth model is greatly enhanced. However, the ...

Aug 23, 2011

Joint development in the South China Sea

Unlike last year, when sparks flew at the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Washington had an interest in the resolution of territorial disputes in the South China Sea, this year’s 27-nation forum was relatively calm as ...

Aug 1, 2011

A less blinkered view of the Dalai Lama

As expected, China reacted strongly to the meeting between Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, saying this had “grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged Sino-U.S. relations.” This was similar to the reaction to President Obama’s meeting ...

Jul 22, 2011

China takes credit for human rights progress

Two years ago, China issued a human rights action plan for 2009 and 2010. Last week, it announced that all targets have been met. China claims to have paid particular attention to the needs of underprivileged women, ethnic minorities, migrant workers, the disabled and ...

Jul 18, 2011

False report hardly relieves Beijing's paranoia

For a change, the media itself is in the spotlight these days. The scandal over the illegal hacking of mobile phone messages by journalists in Britain has resulted in the closure of a venerable newspaper, the News of the World, and threatens to implicate ...

May 27, 2011

Dalai Lama's words open door for Beijing

The election of Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard Law School scholar, as prime minister of Tibet’s government-in-exile was followed immediately by China’s rejection of any talks with him on the future of Tibet. This should not be taken as a rebuff from Beijing. Ironically, the ...