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China Analysis Digest #13

Issue: 2021/13

Neican Digest aggregates new China-related publications.

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Issue: 2021/13

  • Date range: May 18-25, 2021
  • Sources scanned: 86
  • Content: 227 publications from 54 sources
  • Download raw data (.csv)
  1. What the West Gets Wrong About China (Rana Mitter and Elsbeth Johnson)

    Many people have wrongly assumed that political freedom would follow new economic freedoms in China and that its economic growth would have to be built on the same foundations as in the West…those assumptions are rooted in three essentially false beliefs about modern China: (1) Economics and democracy are two sides of the same coin; (2) authoritarian political systems can’t be legitimate; and (3) the Chinese live, work, and invest like Westerners. But at every point since 1949 the Chinese Communist Party—central to the institutions, society, and daily experiences that shape all Chinese people—has stressed the importance of Chinese history and of Marxist-Leninist doctrine. Until Western companies and politicians understand this and revise their views, they will continue to get China wrong.

  2. We’re Not Ready for the Next Pandemic (Yangyang Cheng):

    While the party under Xi Jinping has tightened central control, power within the bureaucracy remains fragmented. A lack of transparency, rather than serving a uniform agenda, is often the result of conflicting interests. Recognizing this intricacy is the first step in addressing underlying issues, so the same mistakes are not repeated in the next pandemic.

  3. What should Australia do about its foreign interference and espionage laws? (Melissa Conley Tyler and Julian Dusting):

    the challenge for countries like Australia is how to protect democratic institutions in ways consistent with national interests and values, distinguishing between foreign interference and mere influence by designing suitable instruments of policy in response. Some parts of the legislation achieve this: for example, the new offence of engaging in violence, intimidation or threats that interferes with political rights and duties in Australia. The problem is that the legislation is not sufficiently focused and fails to distinguish between foreign interference and mere influence.

    Australia has other options to strengthen its democracy, including against foreign powers. These range from real-time reporting of political donations and strengthened anti-corruption bodies to cultivating a more diverse media landscape. Overall, as Linda Jaivin puts it, the best way to deal with PRC autocracy cannot be to move in a similar direction.

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Pearls and Irritations:

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Sixth Tone:

China Digital Times:


Inside Story:

Politico China Watcher:

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Protocol | China:

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Congressional Research Service:

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U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission:

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Beijing Channel:

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Eye on China:

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