Feb 7, 2011

Hedging the glad hand to China

HONG KONG — The joint statement released during the state visit to the United States by Chinese President Hu Jintao is in some ways strikingly different from a similar joint statement issued in November 2009 during American President Barack Obama’s state visit to China. ...

Jan 21, 2011

China 'reasonably' pre-empting N.Z. justice

HONG KONG — Last October, when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace prize to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, official Chinese spokesmen waxed indignant. A spokesperson for the Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court, which had sentenced Liu to 11 years in ...

Jan 7, 2011

China shows signs of recognizing its limits

HONG KONG — After behaving in an assertive, sometimes arrogant, fashion through most of 2010, when it at various times took on the United States, Europe and Japan, both Beijing and the people of China appear to recognize the need for greater caution and ...

Dec 23, 2010

A peek at the dark side of Chinese diplomacy

HONG KONG — For some people, the very name Guantanamo has come to stand for something repulsive about America — in particular the difference between what it preaches about human rights and what it practices. In the detention camp, people suspected of being members ...

Dec 12, 2010

The dead weight on Taiwanese aspirations

HONG KONG — The ruling party of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou — in an election carefully watched in Beijing — has managed to win three of five mayoral races in Taiwan, reversing a losing streak in legislative by-elections since Ma’s presidential election triumph in ...

Nov 30, 2010

Beijing flubs art of ambiguity in Nobel affair

HONG KONG — The value of ambiguity in international diplomacy has long been recognized and widely practiced by such proponents as Henry Kissinger and by Chinese leaders. In 1979, for example, the United States said it “recognizes the government of the People’s Republic of ...

Oct 29, 2010

Joint projects would build Japan-China trust

HONG KONG — While the immediate crisis over Japan’s seizure last month of a Chinese fishing vessel that rammed two Japanese coast guard patrol boats has ended with the release of the captain, the repercussions will long be felt. For one thing, distrust of ...

Oct 16, 2010

Beijing's reaction justifies Nobel Committee's choice

In China’s upside-down world where black is white, the great honor of the Nobel Peace Prize being given to Liu Xiaobo, a writer, intellectual and human rights activist, has been denounced by the government as a “desecration” of the award because it was given ...

Sep 30, 2010

Ebb and flow of hedging in Southeast Asia

HONG KONG — Last week, when the China-Japan dispute over the detention of the captain of a Chinese fishing trawler was hanging fire, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said American efforts to improve relations with China must “go through Tokyo” because Japan was vital ...

Sep 5, 2010

The yin and yang of human rights in China

HONG KONG — The only lady vice minister in China’s Foreign Ministry is Fu Ying, a well-coiffed, mild-mannered 57-year-old, an ethnic Mongol who speaks flawless English, who has served as ambassador to the Philippines, Australia and Britain, and who is known for her media ...