China Pushes the World Aside to get Winter Games

China Pushes the World Aside to get Winter GamesThe decision of the International Olympic Committee to award the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing appears to have been made on the basis of politics rather than reality, with the IOC turning down what demonstrably was a superior bid.  The last country standing, besides China, was Kazakhstan, whose manifestly better submission for the games to…

Is China’s Education System Good or Bad?

Is China’s Education System Good or Bad?Yong Zhao is an internationally recognized expert on education who has delivered over 400 presentations in close to 20 countries. He was born in Sichuan and taught English at the Sichuan Institute of Foreign Languages. He is the author of "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the Word” (Jossey-Bass, 2014). He…

The World’s Drinking Problem

The World’s Drinking ProblemA succession of Chinese dynasties attempted to ban alcohol consumption at least 40 times in the 2500 years between 1100 BC and 1400 AD before finally giving up, an indication of how difficult it is to stop drinkers from drinking, according to an exhaustive 240-page report by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. China…

The Race for Dams in the Great Himalaya

The Race for Dams in the Great HimalayaLast November, the biggest hydroelectric dam in Tibet started to produce electricity. Standing 3,300 meters above sea level, the RMB9.6 billion (US$1.54 billion) dam sent ripples of concern across the neighboring state of India.  That is because the Zangmu Dam is on the Yarlung Zangbo River which in India becomes the Brahmaputra, whose lower reaches…

Gauging Xinjiang’s ISIS Threat

Gauging Xinjiang’s ISIS ThreatXinjiang, in China’s northwest, is vulnerable to ISIS, according to Zhang Chunxian, the populist party chief of the far-flung province, who stated publicly for the first time that Uighurs, a Turkic, mostly Sunni minority group there, have been joining the self-declared Islamic State group. "Some Xinjiang residents have crossed the border illegally to join IS,"…

China and the Great Aid Debate

China and the Great Aid DebateHow much attention is being paid to China's growing role in the global humanitarian space? Not enough perhaps, but the wariness cuts both ways.  There appears to be an elephant in the room, or rather a dragon. Amid the countless meetings, summits and conferences being held around the world to determine the post-2015 development agenda and…

Domestic Unrest in Store for China, Russia 

Domestic Unrest in Store for China, Russia China may welcome the west’s discomfort over the de facto war in Ukraine, but it should also be a reminder that China’s vulnerability is, as it almost always has been, mainly on its own northern and western frontiers. Nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers and missiles provide a balance against other powers, but as the Russians have…

China’s Stranglehold Tightens on Macau

China’s Stranglehold Tightens on MacauThe apparent crackdown in Macau on activities connected to the high-stakes gambling business has ominous implications for Hong Kong.  Events over the past two months have shown that President Xi Jinping’s war on official corruption has led Beijing to intervene very directly in the affairs of the Macau Special Administrative Region, which in theory has…

In Foreign Bribery, Check the Big Boss

In Foreign Bribery, Check the Big BossThe world’s multinationals are continuing to pay the preponderance of foreign bribes, usually with the full knowledge of senior management, according to a new 51-page analysis of the cost of bribery and corruption, published earlier this week, thus making a myth of the so-called rogue employee, Most of the cases studied were settled, usually with…

Think Tanks with Chinese Characteristics

Think Tanks with Chinese CharacteristicsIn June, Communist Party officials accused the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, famously devoted to the study of Marxism-Leninism, of hosting "foreign forces" and lacking loyalty to the party.  In early September, three of China’s most famous universities vowed to strengthen ideological control over students and teachers, while rumors of a new wave of repression…
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