"It is hard to overstate how fast China is ageing. Life expectancy has more than doubled from 35 in 1949 to 75 today, a miraculous achievement. Meanwhile, the fertility rate has plummeted to 1.5 or lower, far below the 2.1 needed to keep a population stable. Cai Fang, a demographer at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says the country will have moved from labour surplus to labour shortage at the fastest pace in history."
"What happened in Tiananmen, it seems assumed, is just another example of the repeated violence we have witnessed in recent years, ultimately rooted in Beijing's disastrous policies in Xinjiang. But is this really the case? Isn't Tiananmen a turning point?"
"Beijing has invested heavily to build up a nationwide surveillance network that lets police watch every major street and corner in main cities...But with smoggy days becoming more frequent, the effectiveness of the system has been greatly compromised. Some fear terrorists may choose a smoggy day to launch attacks."
"'Google believes very strongly in a free internet. The mainland just passed the law about the 500-reposts thing. Then you will definitely think about it before you write. It's a problem, (it) means your voice is not fully heard,' said Schmidt."
"Heavy-handed policies are responsible for the upsurge in tensions, not jihadism or terrorism, and this is creating a vicious cycle. Without a fundamental change in policies toward Xinjiang and other minority areas such as Tibet and Inner Mongolia, Beijing's quest for "stability" is self-defeating."
Indian and Chinese soft power is manifested in a variety of mediums, including traditional and pop culture, academic exchanges, and cuisine. Since soft power emanates from a country's history, culture, domestic political arrangements and civil society, it is difficult to measure its impact in a quantitative way as can be done with some forms of economic or military power, including aid and investment, infrastructure projects, and militarization. Thus, the effects of soft power are largely in the eye of the beholder.
"There is a debate in India—inside and outside government—about China, which scenario might prevail, the future of the relationship and what approach to take with China. [Almost] equal numbers of those surveyed believe that India 'should join with other countries to limit China's influence' and 'should cooperate with China to play a leading role in the world together.'"
"The share of the working-age population (ages 15-64) will decline in China between 2010 and 2030 nearly as fast as it will in Japan, the U.S. and other wealthy nations. Switching to a two-child policy could even make things worse over the next 20 year, because more births would mean that working parents would have more dependents to care for, the economists note."
"Poor relations with China might push Southeast Asian nations into joining the US-dominated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that does not include Beijing, and also make them less enthusiastic towards the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that Beijing is supporting."
"[R]ecently a new political openness within China itself has allowed a different picture of the war years to emerge. Chiang and Mao are long dead, and the Chinese government has been trying to claim a greater international role by reminding the world of the benefits of its past cooperation with the West."
Asked by Shreedhar K. Powar, from Shivaji University Author: Daniel Markey
Relations between China and Pakistan are indeed growing, but must be considered in a wider context to understand their potential implications for the United States and India.
Close Sino-Pakistani relations are nothing new. Especially with respect to military and nuclear ties, Beijing and Islamabad have have been friendly since the 1960s. In recent years, bilateral trade and investment have increased. Looking to the future, China's expanding influence in Central Asia and its interest in overland access to the Arabian Sea could motivate even stronger links with Pakistan.
In the Energy Report, Rosemary Kelanic analyzes a specific conflict scenario—an air war between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China or ROC)—to enhance broader knowledge about fuel requirements in wartime.
"For the last fiftyyears, Washington has assumed the scientific dominance of the US. This assumption is now in question as scientific capabilities become more widely distributed," especially to China, writes Adam Segal.
"Southeast Asia needs America. Call it an insurance policy or balancing or hedging, or what you will, ASEAN does not want to be left alone with China. And no combination of other outside players is as reassuring as the United States' presence."
"China's approval process for inbound foreign direct investment drives many of the headline economic issues currently being discussed between China and its trading partners, as well as internally within China."
"These days the revolutionary party of the proletariat is probably best described as the world's largest chamber of commerce and membership is the best way for businesspeople to network and clinch lucrative contracts."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
2011 Corporate Conference: Recaps and Highlights
To encourage the free flow of conversation, the 2011 Corporate Conference was entirely not-for-attribution; however, several conference speakers joined us for sideline interviews further exploring their areas of expertise.
Former Treasury secretary Robert E. Rubin and Nobel Laureate economist Michael Spence on the global economic outlook.
Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose and Edward Morse on energy geopolitics.