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  • Chinese Military Displays Unexpected Aircraft Capabilities

    This past week, Beijing announced that it had successfully launched and landed a J-15 fighter aircraft from its new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. The announcement, accompanied by videos, makes clear that China has put substantial resources—both financial and human—toward its goal of operating aircraft carriers. There were several notable aspects … More

    China's New Leadership: Not Encouraging, but Not Finished

    After a nearly weeklong session, the new Chinese leadership has been unveiled. It isn’t a surprise, but it is a disappointment for anyone harboring hopes for a new, more positive trajectory in U.S.–China relations. There is no one in the emerging top Chinese leadership who could be counted on as … More

    Requiem for Hu, Wu, and Wen

    Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, and Wen Jiabao will step down from the top of the Chinese Communist Party this week. In four months, or thereabouts, they will surrender their (less important) places at the top of the Chinese government. And not a moment too soon. Their decade leading the PRC … More

    The U.S. and the Growing Tensions Between China and Japan

    Over the past year, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has managed to antagonize virtually all of its maritime neighbors as ongoing disputes over territorial claims, oceanic borders, and maritime rights have boiled over. None are as potentially dangerous, however, as that between China and Japan, which are becoming ever … More

    Super-Rich Chinese Leaders: A Dangerous Development

    The New York Times has laid out a portrait of a Chinese billionaire family, and it’s a fairly worrisome one. Premier Wen Jiabao’s extended family, including his brother-in-law, are said to be worth $2.7 billion. Average income in China last year was less than $6,000. The Wens aren’t alone. Bloomberg … More

    China's Next Military Leadership Takes Shape

    This morning’s news reports indicate that a large portion of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the entity that actually manages and oversees China’s multimillion-man military, is now in place. When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) 18th Party Congress convenes two days after the U.S. election, the top Chinese leadership will … More

    Debate Prep: The Right Answers on China

    The final presidential debate, on foreign policy, is scheduled for Monday, October 22. Moderator Bob Schieffer announced that the topics will be: “America’s Role in the World,” “Our Longest War—Afghanistan and Pakistan,” “Red Lines—Israel and Iran,” “The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism,” and “The Rise of … More

    50 Years Later: Lessons on Escalation from the Cuban Missile Crisis

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a major event in the Cold War. With the U.S. and the Soviet Union on the brink of what many feared was nuclear conflict, both President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev fumbled for a way to end … More

    China’s Next Leader Is Missing—and That’s Not Even the Big Story

    Where is China’s incoming Communist Party chief, Xi Jinping? When he canceled a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it was attributed to a back injury or perhaps unhappiness with the U.S. But as he has canceled meetings with other visitors, including the Singaporean prime minister, rumors have arisen … More

    China's Leadership Succession: From Bad to Worse

    In the wake of the Beidaihe leadership conference, Chinese leaders almost certainly expected to return to their posts, pending the 18th Party Congress this fall, having resolved the shape of the new leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Only it doesn’t seem to be quite working out that way. … More