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…

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…

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…

The Olympics and Asia’s Rise

The Olympics and Asia’s RiseThe withdrawal of Oslo’s bid to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games has provoked consternation in the West. Only Almaty and Beijing-Zhangjiakou remain in the competition to host the global mega event.  As if to underscore a shift in the world order, all seven Olympic Games and FIFA Soccer World Cups after the London 2012…

IN PHOTOS: Hong Kong protests

IN PHOTOS: Hong Kong protestsOn August 31, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee in Beijing ratified a plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 chief executive election that failed to meet expectations of universal suffrage as promised under the Basic Law. It was a bitter disappointment that a great many Hong Kong people opposed. The decision led Hong Kong activists to…

China Lays Down the Law

China Lays Down the LawOn 29 July, Chinese authorities announced the long-expected news that former security tsar and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang was under investigation for Communist Party disciplinary violations. Simultaneously, it was revealed that the party plenum in October would — for the first time — focus on “ruling China according to law.” Of course, Chinese…