Some Friday China links:
In the new issue of The National Interest, Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer argues that China is not headed towards a hard landing in the near term. Bremmer notes that the CCP has built up a lot of political capital with the Chinese people as a result of the stunning growth it has presided over since the reform and opening up period began. At the same time, Bremmer has doubts about the People Republic of China’s long-term viability.
The New York Times is out with a stunning new multimedia report on how the Second Thomas Shoal (Ayungin) has become one of Asia’s most dangerous flashpoints. Jeff Himmelman, the reporter, travels with a Philippine mayor to the small military unit stationed on the Sierra Madre, the ship the Philippines deliberating ran aground in the reef in 1999 in order to maintain a permanent presence there to prevent its takeover by China, which also claims the area.
The Economic Observer reports that the Chinese government is focusing on making Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province and the spot where the traditional Silk Road began, into a modern day trading hub. Xi’an is also Xi Jinping’s hometown.
The China Policy Institute Blog had a number of reports this week on China’s soft power and cultural diplomacy.
Bloomberg Businessweek notes how Walmart hopes to ride the back of urbanization to expand its presence in China.
And a Chinese court upheld Bo Xilai’s life sentence. South China Morning Post has the story.