China academic Zhang Jie notes that the fates and fortunes of China and the US are intertwined. Being in the same boat, the two should pull in the same direction and row well together. Anything else may catapult China and the US on the road to decoupling and further conflict, creating risks not only for themselves, but the world. In that regard, China managing relations with a constellation of key players such as Japan, South Korea and the EU will prove pivotal in guarding against accidental slippages into hot war.
Ray Dalio, founder, co-chief investment officer and co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates, spoke with Lu Mai, vice chairman of the China Development Research Foundation and secretary general of the China Development Forum (CDF), on 8 June 2020. Drawing from patterns and cycles that he observed from history, his talk focused on global economic trends and how the pandemic would shape the world. He also gave his opinions on China-US cooperation and competition, and gave suggestions as to how the two great powers can work together for the greater good of the world.
Zhang Yun reminds those bent on reforming UN specialised agencies such as the WHO of the genesis of such institutions. They were never meant to be supranational bodies overriding the authorities of sovereign states, but vehicles, hence “agencies”, that facilitate international cooperation. As politics is part and parcel of the running of any organisation, it can never be fully taken out of the equation. Rather, the question is how politics can be a positive means of achieving fruitful outcomes.
Vietnam is fast becoming the factory of the world and is well-placed to capitalise on changes to global supply chains. Chinese academic Qiao Xinsheng feels that contrary to popular opinion, though Vietnam is striving to be the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia, it is not going to be an economic threat to China any time soon. What China should look out for, is how the Vietnam government negotiates domestic political and social reforms, and whether the Communist Party of Vietnam is able to avoid the kind of tragedy that befell the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
China has faced reversals of fortune numerous times in history, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. After enjoying decades of upward ascent since its economic reform and opening up, some says China’s fate is about to be reversed again with the coronavirus pandemic, a mammoth disruption that kicked off the 2020s. Lance Gore argues that such massive shock to its political and economic system exposes chinks in its armour but does not necessarily unravel a big country with the world’s most comprehensive industrial structure.
From bilateral and multilateral diplomatic situations, to international economic organisations and non-economic organisations, the competition between China and the US has intensified in a different way during the pandemic, as new battlegrounds for influence are created. Chinese researcher Peng Nian presents the possible areas that the US and China might continue to clash, even after the pandemic eases.
Postponed at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, China’s annual legislative assembly is set to take place in the imminent future. The meeting of almost 3000 delegates will signal a return to normalcy and be a chance for the Chinese leadership to reinforce its message of victory over Covid-19. However, rhetoric aside, it will have to confront serious social and economic challenges after the pandemic.
[Video and text] Ezra Vogel, East Asian expert and thinker extraordinaire, shares his views on China, the US, Japan, as well as global trends, in an exclusive interview with Chow Yian Ping, editor of ThinkChina.
Political analyst Zheng Yongnian says adopting a scientific approach in their daily lives would help the Chinese better cope with tests such as the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Refusing to take ownership, the people blame the system, as if it was omnipotent and infallible. He warns that if individuals do not adopt the clear-eyed rationality of science, take a good hard look at themselves and chip in their own capacities, China will continue to lack the stoicism and initiative it needs from all quarters to cope with crises.