Saturday, August 28, 2010

Celebrating 40 Years of Canada-China Relations: Reflections on Sino-Canadian political, economic and social relationships (AGM) - Canadian International Council

Celebrating 40 Years of Canada-China Relations: Reflections on Sino-Canadian political, economic and social relationships (AGM) - Canadian International Council

I am speaking along with Kenny Zhang of the APF and Sarah Kutulakos of the CCBC at the Campbell Conference Facility at the Munk Centre at the University of Toronto on September 16, 2010 starting at 7:00pm.  The event is free but registration is required (which can be done on-line from the link above)

Poster can be downloaded here:

Diplomatic Memo - U.S. Weighs Possibility of North Korea Engagement -

Diplomatic Memo - U.S. Weighs Possibility of North Korea Engagement -

To my mind positive change will only come to the DPRK when the more forward looking and less conservative element in the Chinese leadership prevails over the cautious "do nothing" thinking that dominates the current Chinese Korea policy. It seems that the U.S. finally realizes that the unproductive and ineffective 6-Party Talks are a charade by the PRC to ensure U.S. compliance in maintenance of the dismal and deteriorating status quo. But it is possible that once the Chinese have met Kim Jong-un and assess that he is incapable of effective and stable rule, they will realize that with Kim Jong-il so ill with pancreatic cancer, that it would be strongly in China's interest to engage progressive elements in the DPRK military to encourage regime change.  Reconstruction of North Korea can only come by opening up the DPRK to massive Chinese investment through a new "friendship agreement."  Reunification with the ROK is still a long way off.

A Chinese stake in Potash Corp. would be a game changer - The Globe and Mail

A Chinese stake in Potash Corp. would be a game changer - The Globe and Mail

This article makes an intriguing argument that Chinese State Corporations are primarily interested in keeping potash prices as low as possible to the detriment of Canadian interest in keeping those prices as high as the market will bear.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 5 Reason's Why China's Rise Will Slow

The China Syndrome
Joel Kotkin, 08.24.10, 10:00 AM ET

China's ascension to the world's second-largest economy, surpassing Japan, has led to predictions that it will inevitably snatch the No. 1 spot from the United States. Nomura Securities envisions China surpassing the U.S.' total GDP in little more than a decade. And economist Robert Fogel predicts that by 2050 China's economy will account for 40% of the world's GDP, with the U.S.' share shrinking to a measly 14%. Americans indeed should worry about the prospect of slipping status, but the idee fixe about China's inevitable hegemony--like Japan's two decades ago--could prove greatly exaggerated. Countries generally do not experience hyper-growth--the starting point for many predictions--for long. Eventually costs rise, internal pressures grow and natural limitations brake and can even throw the economy into reverse. - Magazine Article

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yu Jie on Chinese Premier: "Inside and Outside not Same, Words and Actions Not the Same"

Further to my pprevious posting ( I have been reading some interesting Chinese commentary on Yu Jie's new book about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (see  What struck me in particular was the characterization of the Chinese leadership as 表里不一,言行不一 which means roughly "outside and inside not the same (i.e. accusing them of duplicity) and words and actions not the same".  This does strike me as a very subversive characterization.  It goes beyond the accusations of hypocrisy that Premier Wen promised to give justice to those families whose children died in schools built shoddily due to local officials' corruption and then the regime harassing and arresting the parents who pressed the point when nothing happened after the TV cameras were shut off and Wen had returned to Beijing and moved onto other things.  If the characterization of the Premier and the other senior members of the Chinese Politiburo as " Inside and Outside not Same, Words and Actions Not the Same" gained currency among the Chinese population at large, it could really pose a threat to the integrity of the current regime.  Certainly recent reports of Wen Jiabao's artfully expressed sympathy with the necessity for reform of China's political system: "People's democratic rights and legitimate rights must be guaranteed. People should be mobilized and organized to deal with, in accordance with the law, state, economic, social and cultural affairs"  ( are not likely to lead to anything very much.  Chinese leaders have periodically made similar statements for almost 30 years now.  It tends to defuse political tension, as most Chinese people's memories of such commitments are evidently shorter than mine.  But for how much longer?  Wen will retire in 2013 but his successor may not be able get away from empty statements so readily.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Book Exposes Chinese Leadership Hypocrisy

The Chinese Christian political commentator Yu Jie has released a new biography of the Chinese Premier in Hong Kong last week with the provocative title: 中国影帝:温家宝 (China's Best Actor: Wen Jiabao).  An English language translation will be forthcoming.

Yu draws on the example of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. "Premier Wen was the first high-ranking official to show up and appeared very emotional," Yu, 37, told ABC News. "He offered his condolences to the local school parents and promised to investigate why and how the schools collapsed. "Two years later, however, he has still yet to issue any comforting reports to the Chinese public. No corrupt officials or developers associated with those officials were punished in any way."


U.S. Dept of Defense: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2010

"The U.S. for the first time is publicly warning about the Chinese military's use of civilian computer experts in clandestine cyber attacks aimed at American companies and government agencies."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chinese Foreign Minister on China's "core interests" and "public diplomacy" (video in Chinese)

Very interesting press conference by Chinese foreign minister of last March: "China's core interests" "China's public diplomacy. " It is in Mandarin with Chinese subtitles.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Democracy 'Reset' -

"In a world in which authoritarianism is rising in many places to endanger democracy, which side Washington is on has become an open question. To date, the Obama Administration's stance may be charitably described as confused."

A Democracy 'Reset' -