November 23, 2005

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China and America, Europe and space

It's time again for the Jamestown Foundation's China Brief and while the previous edition was on the lame side, this time it's a cracker.

1. Willy Lam says America and China remain strategic competitors despite the recent summit rhetoric. It's essentially a pessimitic look at relations, saying under surface pretentions lie numerous disputes and tensions. The key quote: What is increasingly worrisome about Sino-U.S. ties, however, is that despite the rhetoric, not much has emerged from their efforts to nurture supposed areas of common interests...In internal meetings, Hu has warned CCP cadres to raise their guard against Washington’s alleged efforts to export democracy and other “ideological poison” to China. Hardliners in Washington, for their part, are monitoring the relentless aggrandizement of the PLA juggernaut with increasing unease.

On a related note is a talk by H.J. de Blij on China as one of three major challenges to America. Suffice it to say, he's hawkish.

2. Next is a look at Hu's visits to Europe and the mix of active diplomacy amid trade frictions. It concludes Europe will continue to be a key target for China’s active diplomacy, but the visits of Hu and Wen indicate that China is working to deepen ties without necessarily pushing for quick resolution of some of the issues it claims are important. By focusing on ties with individual member states, China may serve itself well in the future, but the frequent contradictions in European policy and national interests of member states mean that it unlikely Beijing will achieve all its aims in the near term.

3. Shenzhou and China's space odyssey looks at what China has achieved and where it is going.

A good return to form and great reading for anyone interested in China.

posted by Simon on 11.23.05 at 10:14 AM in the China brief category.


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