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China Analysis Digest #30

Publications from September 16-23, 2021

China Analysis Digest is a weekly published list of new China-related analyses.

Issue: 2021/30

  • Date range: September 16-23, 2021
  • Sources scanned: 86
  • Content: 250 publications from 49 sources
  • Download raw data (.csv)

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Could the AUKUS Deal Strengthen Deterrence Against China—And Yet Come at a Real Cost to Australia?

James Curran | Council on Foreign Relations | September 20, 2021

“AUKUS represents the death knell for strategic ambiguity in Australian foreign policy…Contrary to some of the excited claims to novelty in this announcement, AUKUS might more accurately be described as the latest example of that nervous, reflexive twitch in Australian strategic psychology. Namely that when an Asian threat or menace appears on the horizon, Canberra’s impulse is to look to its Anglosphere cousins for protection. The history of Australian defense and foreign policy is replete with such moments. In that sense AUKUS is clearly freighted with powerful cultural assumptions and expectations…Australia has opted to cleave to older outlooks rather than forge a new path to a more secure Asia.” (1262 words)

What Does Evergrande Meltdown Mean for China?

Michael Pettis | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | September 20, 2021

“The impact of Evergrande has caused financial distress to spread faster and more forcefully than Beijing’s financial regulators expected, putting pressure on them to move quickly to stop the contagion. But they cannot rescue Evergrande’s creditors without also undermining their fight against bad debt…My best guess is that in the next few days or weeks…they will take concrete steps and make announcements aimed at toning down the spread of financial distress costs…[including] rolling over debt, haircuts on assets and emergency payments to the most vulnerable.”” (3090 words)

Prelude to a Restoration: Xi Jinping, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun & the Spectre of Mao Zedong

Geremie R. Barmé | China Heritage | September 20, 2021

Barmé sees distinctive parallels between China’s illiberal shift under Xi since 2012 and the Counter Reform of 1989-1992, a time economic retrenchment, ideological adjustments and repression following the Tiananmen protests of 1989. But “[t]his time around, however, in 2021 Xi Jinping does think that he is confronted with the same knot of pressures that led Deng Xiaoping to embark on his momentous Tour of the South in 1992” [that helped usher in the ebullience of the Jiang Zemin era]. For Barmé, what we are witnessing currently under Xi is a restoration, an embrace of the spectre of Mao. Indeed, as the Liu Xiaobo wrote in 1994: “After Deng, it will be the banner of Mao Zedong that may be unfurled once more to stabilize China. Maoist socialist egalitarianism may well be used to pursue policies of social equality and clean government. For in these policies the authorities may find a way of dealing equitably with mass disaffection. But that will mean that China will fall back into the vicious cycle of history”. (9891 words)

Full List

China Story:

Reading the China Dream:

China Heritage:

Made in China Journal:

China Media Project:


Foreign Affairs:

Project Syndicate:

The Atlantic:

Lowy Interpreter:

East Asia Forum:

The Strategist:

Sixth Tone:

China Digital Times:


Inside Story:

Politico China Watcher:

Politico China Direct:

The Wire China:


Congressional Research Service:

Asia Society:

European Council on Foreign Relations:

Center for Strategic and International Studies:

Center for Advanced China Research:


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

Brookings Institution:

Chatham House:

Australia-China Relations Institute:

Observer Research Foundation:

The Conversation:

The Diplomat:

Foreign Policy:


What's on Weibo:


Tracking People's Daily:

Eye on China:

Beijing to Britain:

China Dialogue:

Hong Kong Free Press:

Taiwan Insight:







Thanks to Katharina Ni for the magic (codes) that makes this series possible.