In a section of this week's "Saturday Essay" in the Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Economy says that China has been critical of the United States' Syria policy, hoping to highlight U.S. weakness and signal the onset of a power transition in the international system. However, she argues, China's observations about U.S. indecisiveness and Russian leadership only serve to emphasize China's inability to find its own diplomatic legs.
Asked by Josh Wartel, from Lake Braddock Secondary School
There is almost never a time when people do not worry about war between major powers. The history here is not a happy one. But there are good reasons to expect a better outcome in the 21st century—as long as both sides are alert and careful.
"Criminal justice has been the weakest link of China's legal system, which, despite constitutional and legislative protections of the right to defence, has in practice rarely allowed defendants adequate opportunity to question prosecution witnesses and rebut their claims," writes Jerome A. Cohen, with respect to Bo Xilai's trial.
With another U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue come and gone, there is still no real accord between the United States and China on how to understand and address many of the relationships most pressing problems, says Elizabeth Economy.
Spanning from the Singapore and Malacca straits to the Strait of Taiwan, the South China Sea is one of the world's most hotly disputed bodies of water. China lays claim to nearly the entire sea, overlapping with the maritime claims of Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines. With sovereign territory, natural resources, and national pride at stake, this dispute threatens to destabilize the region and even draw the United States into a conflict.
Michael Spence writes that slowing growth puts Chinese authorities in the tricky position of shifting their economy from a growth model based heavily on public investment-led growth to a growth model that mixes more domestic consumption with higher-yielding forms of investment.
"Many analysts believe that the financial system represents a major vulnerability for China's economic development, whereas others, equally respected, think that the financial system is adapting effectively to China's more developed status and will continue to provide the necessary fuel for the rest of the economy."
China's new ambassador to the United States (and a rising star in Beijing) sets out his vision for U.S.-Chinese relations, discusses whether China is a revisionist power, and how it plans to deal with cyber security -- and Japan.
Tensions between China and Japan are rising, but an economic version of mutual deterrence is preserving the uneasy status quo. Put simply, China needs to buy Japanese products as much as Japan needs to sell them.
Given that Chinese counterfeiting has benefits as well as costs, and considering China's historical resistance to Western pressure, trying to push China to change its approach to intellectual property law is not worth the political and diplomatic capital the United States is spending on it.
"[The] country's defense experts and policy makers are now addressing systemic reform and modernization issues, and are talking about breaking down barriers to cooperation with civilian industry and market-driven management."
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Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »