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China Analysis Digest #11

Issue: 2021/11

Neican Digest lists new China-related publications.

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Issue: 2021/11

  • Date range: May 5-11, 2021
  • Sources scanned: 84
  • Content: 183 publications from 44 sources
  • Download raw data (.csv)
  1. Can the West extend its clear-eyed thinking beyond China? (Yun Jiang):

    We can look at China with clear eyes, but we are yet unable to look at the West and ourselves with clear eyes. Nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than the uncritical and unreflective use of the term “liberal international order” or “rules-based global order” in the public discourse. Australian policymakers often lament the decline of the “liberal international order”. But the postwar international order was only liberal from the perspective of the dominant powers – the West that we’re part of. It was never liberal for many countries in South America and the Middle East.

  2. Taiwan and the Ghosts of History (Ian Buruma):

    It may be that in today’s world, when a superpower conflict could destroy much of mankind, China and the US will avoid a war over Taiwan. But the two sides are engaged in a game of chicken, which can escalate quickly and unpredictably, with fear of humiliation making it difficult to back down.

  3. Industrial policy is back in fashion as geopolitical tensions increase (Gideon Rachman):

    The new cold war is driving the fashion for state intervention. But claims industrial policy will also produce better-paying jobs and a more productive economy deserve deep scepticism.

  4. Do Belt and Road projects provide local benefits? (Dirk van der Kley):

    available evidence suggests that Chinese overseas economic engagement has become much more localised. Chinese firms are providing jobs, exports, budgetary revenue (through taxes) and technical expertise. Gone are the days when large infrastructure projects, built by Chinese labour, formed the backbone of China’s economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific or elsewhere. In short, these projects are giving emerging economies what they want.   

  5. More transparency needed around Uni’s audit into ‘foreign interference’ (David Brophy):

    The University’s approach to ‘foreign interference’ puts its Chinese staff at risk. There’s a tension in the idea of the modern university, between the essentially borderless nature of knowledge production, and the rival claim that universities should serve the “national interest”…As much as McCarthyism is associated with the paranoia of one politician, most of the damage to lives and reputations in that period was done by universities pre-emptively capitulating and policing themselves to show loyalty to the policy imperatives of the day. We’re not there yet, but there are trends in the current climate pointing in this direction, and they need to be resisted.

  6. Australian racism a vulnerability to the PRC’s influence operations (Joyce Nip):

    It is easy to dismiss the PRC’s rhetoric on racism in Australia as mere propaganda given there are any number of success stories of ethnic Asians in Australia to counter the point. However, classing the issue as a ‘Beijing talking point’ does a disservice to Australia’s ethnically Asian community. While the ubiquity of experiences of racism by Australia’s ethnically Asian community is only beginning to be charted, it is likely safe to say that every person of Asian appearance would have encountered racism in Australia at some point of their lives.

    As such, the power of anti-racism rhetoric on mainland Chinese people should not be underestimated. Its power was first demonstrated in the ignition of Chinese nationalism after the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, which soon saw the formation of the CCP.

    So long as racism remains a blind spot in Australia and the vestiges of the White Australia policy are still evident, it will be a vulnerability exploitable by PRC influence operations.

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