Some Monday China links:
E.J. Thomas, editor of U.S.-China Report, argues on the U.S.-China Report Blog that, despite his short tenure, it is already apparent that Xi Jinping is the most powerful leader China has witnessed since the days of Deng Xiaoping or Mao Zedong.
The Washington Post reports that Chinese authorities, finding they cannot control ever comment made over the internet, are taking an innovative new approach: trying to actually listen to what people are saying and responding. “Every comment made by the 591 million Chinese ‘netizens’ is analyzed at the People’s Daily Online Public Opinion Monitoring Center, with summaries sent in real time to party leaders. More than ever before, China’s rulers are actually listening to their people, reacting quickly to contain potential crises that could threaten one-party control.”
The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars has a new edited volume entitled: Clash of National Identities: China, Japan, and the China Sea Territorial Dispute. The contributors are Japanese and Chinese scholars analyzing the Diaoyu/Sekaku Islands disputes from a number of different angles.
Mitch Moxley, a Canadian journalist, describes his experience working in Beijing at China Daily, his new memoir: Apologies to my Censor. An excerpt of the book is up at The Atlantic.
The Wall Street Journal’s Chinese-language paper is being blocked on the mainland, although the English language version is still available. At least it won’t get lonely as Bloomberg and The New York Times were blocked last year after both outlets published reports about how Chinese leaders use their power to amass vast fortunes for themselves and their families. Japan’s Asahi Shimbun also found its social media accounts in China blocked last month.
Over at Foreign Policy, David Gompert and Terrence Kelly, both of the RAND Corporation, air their concerns over AirSea Battle. Gompert and Kelly write: “Civilian and military leaders alike need to understand that Air-Sea Battle suggests the United States would strike China before China strikes U.S. forces.” The article also highlights the classic security dilemma between two adversaries; namely, that action taken by one state purely for defensive security concerns can be perceived and often is seen as threatening by the other side.
Reuters reports that foreign companies operating in China are complaining that they are being forced to choose sides in a turf war between two of China’s financial regulators: the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).