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  • Hagel’s Visit to China Showcases Hardening Chinese Line

    As Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel returns from his visit to China, reporting on the visit has been mixed. Optimists have tended to focus on the visit to China’s new aircraft carrier as an example of a new openness on the part of Beijing. And it is important to recognize … More

    Arrest of Senior Chinese Officer More Proof That the Party Is in Control of the Military

    This past week, retired Chinese general Xu Caihou was detained in the course of an investigation into corruption within the senior ranks of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). What is striking is that Xu was previously one of the vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the body that … More

    Don’t Count on China to Help Ukraine

    As the situation deteriorates in Ukraine, the United States and its European allies are looking for means to pressure Moscow, while recognizing that options—military or otherwise—are limited. The question has been raised: Could China be counted upon to press Vladimir Putin to limit his incursion? After all, China has long … More

    President Obama Right to Meet Dalai Lama

    President Obama met with the Dalai Lama on Friday, in a move that aroused Chinese protests. The meeting of the two Nobel Peace Prize winners was condemned by the Chinese foreign ministry, whose spokesperson, Hua Chunying, declared, “The U.S. leader’s planned meeting with Dalai is a gross interference in China’s … More

    Chinese Military Plays Greater Role in South China Sea Disputes

    China appears increasingly willing to escalate tensions along its periphery as it asserts its claims over various disputed islands and shoals. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently compared Sino–Japanese relations to 1914, suggesting not only that tensions are on the rise but that there is a real potential for conflict. … More

    Space Forum Holds Promise for More Engaged Public Diplomacy

    This week, the United States is hosting the first International Space Exploration Forum, a ministerial-level meeting of space agency directors from various space-faring nations. Hopefully, this represents the first move by the U.S. government to employ more of its resources in support of “public diplomacy.” During much of the Cold … More

    China’s Increasingly Aggressive Stance Toward Its Territorial Claims

    A Chinese naval vessel nearly collided with the U.S. cruiser USS Cowpens last week after another Chinese vessel had ordered the U.S. ship to stop, according to reports. Beijing appears intent upon establishing its dominance over the entire Asian littoral, from Japan in the north to Indonesia in the south, … More

    China Goes to the Moon with Chang’e-3 Mission

    China launched its first lunar lander today. The Chang’e-3 spacecraft will carry a lunar rover to the moon, marking the first time a Chinese spacecraft has landed on another celestial body. The Chang’e-3 is part of a three-step robotic lunar exploration effort. Chang’e-1 and Chang’e-2 (launched in 2007 and 2010, … More

    Growing Tensions in the Air, Literally, over East Asia

    On November 23, the People’s Republic of China announced a new air defense identification zone (ADIZ) covering a large swath of the East China Sea. Most importantly, it covered the airspace over the disputed Senkaku islands. This move, effectively escalating tensions in Asia, led the United States to order two B-52s … More

    In China, the Party Still Controls the Gun

    General Peng Yong, commander of the Xinjiang Military District in China’s Lanzhou Military Region (MR), has reportedly been fired from the Xinjiang Chinese Communist Party (CCP) standing committee—the top leadership organization for the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This was apparently in response to this past week’s incident, where a Uyghur-driven … More