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China Economics

China’s Plan for the Post-Pandemic World Order: The Dual Circulation Strategy

On the 5th of February, 2021, China’s National People’s Congress passed the fourteenth five-year economic plan (14FYP) from 2021 to 2025. A core component of the 14FYP is the Dual Circulation Strategy (DCS). First set forth by President Xi Jinping during the Politburo Standing Committee Meeting of May 14th, 2020, the DCS is set to determine legislative, diplomatic and economic developments in China for the coming decade. Yet, the DCS is not well-defined. By looking into its origins, context, and objectives, this article will forecast the systemic changes to the Chinese economy introduced by the DCS. This article will argue that the DCS is nothing but a plan to advance China’s economic and political interests by strengthening its domestic market, achieving technological self-sufficiency, and promoting the adoption of its standards.

International South and Central Asia

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: How Delhi is losing the Indian-Chinese soft power game in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has increasingly become a focus of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the last decade. The Hambantota port development project is a notable example, an ambitious but costly endeavour by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, which was in the end handed over by the government to a Chinese enterprise on a 99-year lease in 2017 to reduce its spiralling debt burden.

Europe Politics

Can the EU work with Biden in the Balkans?

The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) signed in December provides access to the Chinese market for European investors while protecting China’s existing rights in EU trade. However, US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, voiced concern over the deal, stating Washington would welcome early consultations with Brussels when addressing Beijing’s economic relations. The lack of coordinated EU-US strategic thinking on China poses a risk to Euro-Atlantic integration in the Western Balkans. 

Economics International

US-China Phase One Trade Deal: Challenges for Trade Expansion

After a year since the United States and China signed the phase one trade deal agreement, it is evident there are several systemic challenges to its full implementation. China’s decentralized governance, limitations in the deal’s dispute resolution mechanism, and failure to address structural issues in the bilateral economic relationship limit the prospects of reaching phase one goals of trade expansion. The consequent market distortions may negatively impact international trading partners, whereas China’s search for alternatives to US imports will hinder progress in subsequent negotiations.

Asia Pacific Economics

A Big Deal: Signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

On November 15th 2020, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership was signed. An ASEAN-led initiative, the agreement was signed during a virtual ceremony in Vietnam. The bloc takes sole position as the world’s largest trading bloc, representing roughly 30% of global GDP.
The signing of this imminent and long-awaited free trade agreement is between 15 nations: the 10 ASEAN members in addition to China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
The timing of this pan-Asian trading agreeement’s signing is symbolic – amid a global pandemic that has shaken the global economy and caused free trade and globalisation to be questioned; however, it’s significance goes far beyond symbolism.
While this agreement appears to support ASEAN’s incrementalist approach, the pact will do little to halt China’s creeping dominance over the surrounding region, nor influence America’s position of distancing itself from China, or indeed influence any agreement in which China plays a part.

China Politics

The West Watches for a Sino-Russian Military Alliance

As a way to counterbalance a newly unified West under the Biden administration, China and Russia are steadily closing ranks. What was once a relatively cold relationship between Beijing and Moscow is now gradually evolving into a tacit, yet firm, geo-political and military cooperation.

China Technology and infrastructure

China and the Semiconductor Industry: What to Expect Under the Biden Administration

In recent years, China has tried to gain more independence. It can safely be said that, In the last decade, China has developed new technology in every sector, and is

International Politics

Who will win the race to Greenland?

Greenland is the golden ticket for any state that wants to advance into the Arctic. Previously at the margins of global attention, the sparsely populated state is resource-rich and strategically located. In order to achieve full independence, Greenland must cut economic ties with its former colonial power, Denmark. Renewed global interest could be a window of opportunity to secure foreign investment. With many suitors, which path will Greenland choose and why?

International Natural resources and energy

COVID-19 and the green revolution: A new energy order in the making?

The pandemic has accelerated an ongoing switch towards greener energy, to the point that some foresee a “new energy order” in the making. But these calls are likely exaggerated, with traditional energy sources predicted to stay dominant.

Africa Politics

The Curse of the White Elephant: The Pitfalls of Zambia’s Dependence on China

Zambia appears to be the first African state that has defaulted on its international debt payments as a consequence of Coronavirus. The Zambian government potentially owes the Chinese government in excess of $23 billion in loans, project money and infrastructure. This article explores some of the problems concerning the Sino-Zambian relationship.