Xi Jinping, the U.S., and New Model of Major Country Relations
Research Fellow, Institute of European and American Studies,
Xi Jinping’s proposed new model of major country relations with the U.S. can be understood as a rational response to President Obama’s rebalancing to Asia strategy. In addition, Xi Jinping, the President of the PRC, has adopted a grand strategy of “March Westwards” for Chinese strategic planners to shrug off American influence in East Asia, to establish more balanced U.S.-China relations, and to strengthen U.S.-China strategic mutual trust. Through his “One Belt, One Road” proposal, Xi Jinping aims to coordinate policy communication, improve road connectivity from the Pacific to the Baltic Sea, promote trade facilitation, enhance monetary circulation, and strengthen people-to-people exchanges.
Tensions in the East and South China Seas have constrained the development of the new model of Sino-American relations. Beijing has repeatedly warned the U.S. not to side with Japan, Vietnam, or the Philippines in opposition to mainland China’s stand in these troubled waters. Even with continuous calls from Beijing to build the new model of major power relations, the Obama administration has not shied away from strengthening its security arrangements with its treaty allies in the Asia-Pacific region. Energy cooperation and cultural exchanges are only parts of a new model of major power relations. Even as trade between the two countries has reached unprecedented levels, strategic mistrust continues to grow as China continues its rise and the U.S. remains committed to being a resident power in the Asia-Pacific region. Another issue threatening to derail the Sino-American new model of major power relations is the disappearance of the current détente across the Taiwan Strait.
Keywords: Xi Jinping, Barack Obama, New Mode of Major Country Relations, March Westwards, East and South China Seas
Mainland China’s Strategic Diplomacy, Sino-Japan Leadership Competition, and Implications for Asia-Pacific Regional Economic Integration
Mignonne Man-jung Chan
Founder & CEO of the Out-of-the-Box Consultancy
Mainland China has shifted its reactive foreign policy strategy to a proactive approach of forging “partnership,” with the key initiative of “One Belt, One Road,” the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and a call for a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), among others. As expected, mainland China is ready to be a responsible stakeholder but is pursuing a new approach to maximizing common interests among equal partners with respect to diverse development paths. With the China-centric new initiatives and institutions, mainland China will be actively engaging in rulemaking for global governance.
The intriguing and ongoing evolution of the China-Japan-Korea (CJK) FTA illustrates the undercurrent of Sino-Japan leadership competition not only in economic but also in political/military posturing. An earlier and successful conclusion of CJK FTA would in turn serve as a catalyst to ASEAN-central Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Nevertheless, Japan, with uncertain geopolitical and military security considerations, seems more ambivalent towards speeding up the pace of RCEP than engaging more in the U.S.-led TPP without mainland China. The competing paradigms of the TPP and RCEP are up for conclusion in 2015 and will determine the future of FTAAP. With more consultation and confidence-building, Asian leaders should be more pragmatic and venture into giving the emerging China-centric regional order a chance for collaboration.
Keywords: CJK, RCEP, AIIB, FTAAP, One Belt & One Road
The Political Economy of Development between China and ASEAN States: An Emerging New Form of Economic Integration and Political Discrepancy
Distinguished Professor, Department of Political Science,
National Cheng Kung University
There are two major purposes of this paper. One is to analyze how mainland China maps out her development scheme of the “Major power relation strategy” via a new form of regional economic integration by the implementation of the strategic framework of the OBOR. The other is to deal with the economic and political relations between mainland China and ASEAN under the framework and network of the OBOR development. Two theoretical concepts will be raised here as well. One is that mainland China is rebuilding its own economic integration regime in the region, by starting with the ASEAN region as a fundamental economic base. The other is that the OBOR development strategy will be implemented as a comprehensive mechanism to transform mainland China’s core status and its interests in the region, which will enlarge the political discrepancy between mainland China and ASEAN.
Keywords: Mainland China, OBOR Initiative, Economic Integration, ASEAN
Mainland China’s Diplomatic Maneuver in Central America: The Impact of the Nicaragua Grand Canal
Department of Diplomacy National Cheng-chi University
The leftist Sandinista government signed an agreement with Hong Kong-based HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND) to initiate the construction of the Nicaragua Grand Canal within five years. It has been described as a milestone in the history of Central America. This great project will transform not only the landscape of this region but also the geopolitical and geoeconomic power configuration.
It has been discussed widely that Beijing is behind the scenes of the canal project, because Wang Jing, the owner of HKND, has no civil engineering background or experience, not to mention the ability to obtain the necessary capital.
In this study, the main objective is to gain a comprehensive understanding about the mainland China and Latin American relationship, along with mainland China’s grand strategy and diplomacy in this region. Then, the analysis of the Nicaragua Great Canal project will be done to know the pros and cons of the canal as well as the position of mainland China. In view of Central America traditionally being seen as America’s backyard, the U.S. policy toward Latin America and Central America is examined and observed to see its impact.
Although mainland China has not mentioned Latin America and Central America in its “One Belt, One Road” strategy, the geopolitical and geoeconomic importance of Latin America and Central America cannot be ignored. With the creation of three international financial institutions (i.e., New Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Silk Road Fund Company), mainland China is able to promote critical infrastructure construction projects around the world, the Nicaragua Grand Canal must be one of them.
In conclusion, it is predictable that, with the strong support of the Nicaraguan government and mainland China’s grand strategy, the Nicaragua Grand Canal will be finished sooner or later. Mainland China will benefit from the completion of the canal and hold a better geo-strategic position in the region and in the world.
Keywords: Mainlan China, U.S., Central America, Nicaragua Grand Canal, Diplomatic Maneuver
Xi Jinping’s Policies toward Taiwan after the Nine-in-One Elections
Distinguished Chair Professor and Director,
Graduate Institute for Sun Yat-sen Thoughts and Mainland China Studies,
Chinese Culture University
Having experienced smooth sailing, culminating in the signing of 21 agreements, since President Ma Ying-jeou’s election as Taiwan’s president in 2008, cross-Strait relations have recently encountered headwinds. The failure of the Cross-Strait Agreement on Service in Trade to sail through the Legislative Yuan and the appearance of the “Sunflower Movement,” when hundreds of students stormed the Legislative Yuan to protest to the government for rushing into agreements with mainland China, have sapped the momentum. As more bad news followed in 2014, the once robust bilateral relationship is hitting a snag. Facing these uneven developments, Xi Jinping has been rather crafty. His policies are flexible yet assertive. What is to be expected in the run-up to the next presidential elections slated in January 2016?
Keywords: Xi Jinping, Taiwan Policy, One China Framework, Cross- Strait Talks, Sunflower Movement