China’s high-spending tourists bring political clout

EARLIER THIS month the great pyramids of Giza and the nearby Sphinx were lit up in “Chinese red”. Spectators, many of them from China, were then given another unprecedented treat. The sound-and-light show, a staple of pyramid entertainment since 1961, was narrated in Chinese. The event was sponsored by the Chinese government, which takes pride in its travellers’ growing influence. Since 2012 China has been the world’s biggest source of tourists. Chinese travellers racked up nearly 150m trips abroad last year. Their spending—over $250bn in 2017—far outstrips that of their…

China’s Growing Role in Southeast Asia Reopens Old Wounds

I’ve traveled quite a bit through Southeast Asia this winter. It is evident views of China are changing — and not always for the better. At a temple in Luang Phabang, the cultural heart of Laos and a former imperial capital, I eavesdropped as a local guide herded two American tourists through the courtyard and into the large hall. “There used to be a large, gold Buddha here,” the guide solemnly intoned. “But now it’s gone. The Chinese came, sacked our city, and stole all of our treasures.” “When was…

A Philippine alternative to China’s takeover of Subic shipyard

The possible Chinese purchase of a strategic shipyard in the Philippines has provoked an angry backlash in the country, reflecting simmering anxieties regarding President Rodrigo Duterte’s Beijing-friendly stance. But there is an alternative solution which would save jobs, build a key national industry and maintain security. Unable to service $1.3 billion in debt, the Philippine subsidiary of South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin filed for bankruptcy protection in January. It sought help from the Philippine government to rescue its Subic Bay facility, once the world’s fifth largest shipbuilding yard, and save the…

Elizabeth C. Economy book excerpt: China’s new terms of engagement

The Huawei case has dramatically altered Canada’s relationship with China. But as Elizabeth C. Economy writes in The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, it’s just one example of a leadership flexing its muscle on the world stage. This is part of a series of excerpts from books shortlisted for this year’s Lionel Gelber Prize, an award for exceptional writing on foreign affairs. The winner will be announced on Feb. 26. In a 2000 interview in the Chinese journal Zhonghua Ernu, Xi Jinping, then governor of Fujian…

The West’s response to China’s rise is too little, too late

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is reshaping the global monetary order – and the West is floundering in the face of it Chinese tourists walking past a construction site for a hotel and casino in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. China’s largesse is none more apparent than in Sihanoukville, the nexus of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” infrastructure plan, which includes a planned highway to Phnom Penh Photo: Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP In less than a generation, the global economic lineup will be starkly different than the one we know today. China,…

China’s Far Seas Naval Operations, from the Year of the Snake to the Year of the Pig

By Ryan D. Martinson Every year, about this time, the leaders of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) send their regards to Chinese sailors deployed overseas during the Lunar New Year. Every year these messages are covered by the Chinese press. Few in China pay attention to these reports. Fewer foreign observers even know of them, but they should. This annual ritual tells the story of China’s emergence as a global naval power. A Tradition is Born PLAN leaders made their first Lunar New Year’s call in the second year…

China’s Logistics Modernization is Changing the Pacific Military Balance

The well-worn formulation that “amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics” has significant explanatory power when considering the rapidly changing balance of power in the western Pacific. This derives from the single, unalterable fact that Beijing will operate on interior lines in almost any scenario in that theater, while Washington will operate on exterior lines in such a conflict. Thus, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will not only bring more initial firepower to any fight, but perhaps more importantly, can sustain that immense volume of firepower. “Blue” forces, by contrast,…

China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi hopes US implements consensus reached by both countries’ leaders, East Asia News & Top Stories

MUNICH (XINHUA) – Mr Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, expressed the hope on Saturday (Feb 16) that the United States would implement, along with China, the consensus reached by the two heads of state, advancing bilateral ties based on coordination, cooperation and stability. When answering questions about the China-US relationship after addressing the ongoing 55th Munich Security Conference, Mr Yang said that the world is faced with both opportunities and challenges, and all countries need to cooperate with…

Xi Signs Order to Boost China’s 2 Mln Army Training Efficiency – Report

The Chinese leader signed regulations to clarify military training methods and the prosecution of wrongdoings in the army amid continuing tensions over the South China Sea dispute. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has signed an order to ramp up training for the two million members of the People’s Liberation Army, according to an Army Technology report. Chinese military authorities have reportedly deployed inspectors and a new oversight system designed to boost combat readiness. READ MORE: ‘Strike Enemies by Surprise’: Chinese Army to Go Beyond Self-Defence – Report Xi, who is chairman of the Central Military Commission, has signed a decree for a…