Russia and China are signing groundbreaking deals to deliver Russian oil and gas to feed surging Chinese demand. The economic cooperation is also reflected on the political side, where the two nations are joining to counter U.S. influence in Central Asia and around the world.
A congressional panel is highlighting what one member called "abhorrent actions" in China on the part of U.S. software makers, whose Internet search engines in that market are used by Beijing to censor speech and track dissent. Should software companies be expected to enforce democratic notions of free expression or to forego the world's fastest-growing market?
Chinese diplomats have played a significant role in nonproliferation talks with both North Korea and Iran. But fears of a North Korean collapse and dependency on Iranian oil has kept Beijing from taking a hard line.
China is increasingly turning to Africa to supply the oil it needs to feed its booming economy. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing is on a six-nation tour in Africa this week to raise China's profile in the region.
Escalating tensions on the peninsula due to North Korea's recent provocations motivate Presidents Xi Jinping and Park Geun-hye to closely coordinate policies toward the North. However, Beijing's shifty stance on sanctions, an increase in Sino-DPRK economic exchanges, and the obstacles to China-South Korea-Japan trilateral cooperation impede North Korea policy alignment between Beijing and Seoul. Still, the willingness of both leaders to improve bilateral relations offers a silver lining, explain CFR's Scott Snyder and See-won Byun of George Washington University.
Adam Segal says the recent Chinese cyberattacks on Bloomberg and the New York Timeshighlights both the willingness of Beijing to shape the narrative about China, as well as the vulnerability the top leadership feels about how they are portrayed.
Jerome A. Cohen says, "Beijing's pending prosecution of deposed Politburo member Bo Xilai and the recent murder conviction of his wife, Gu Kailai , have again brought China's criminal justice system to world attention."
With the passing of International Human Rights Day, Jerome A. Cohen says China still has no effective means of enforcing the rights enshrined in its constitution. Yet, once again, new Communist Party leaders reignite hopes for bringing government and the party under the rule of law.
Elizabeth C. Economy says, "If the United States and China can begin the process by taking a step back to establish a new narrative for the relationship that minimizes competition, sets aside intractable issues, and keeps global and regional issues where they belong—in a multilateral framework—there will be the potential for the two countries, like the frog in the well, to take two steps forward for every one step back."
Jerome A. Cohen says that while Bo Xilai and Chen Kegui "hail from opposite ends of China's political, economic and social hierarchies, they now have much in common, including the determination of the authorities to punish them for political reasons."
Sheila A. Smith examines the way in which the 2010 crisis emerged between Japan and China, arguing that a crisis management initiative between Beijing and Tokyo rather than an overall reconciliation agenda may be what is now needed.
Scott A. Snyder and See-won Byun observe that while the twenty-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea may provide a pretext for more active diplomacy to meet a growing list of potential disputes in the relationship, high-level contacts between China and North Korea have stalled, dampening China's hopes for regional engagement.
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.