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Hagel Feels the Heat in Beijing

Hagel Feels the Heat in Beijing

Japanese fighter jet pilots are getting no rest these days. In a statement released Wednesday, the Japanese Defense Ministry revealed that Japanese fighter jets were scrambled against Chinese planes a record high 415 times during the year ending in March. That number is up 36 percent from a year earlier …

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MILF Signs Peace Agreement in the Philippines

MILF Signs Peace Agreement in the Philippines

Following forty years of fighting and tens of thousands dead, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a peace deal with President Benigno Aquino’s government at a high-profile ceremony in Manila on Thursday. The conflict over control of this resource-rich area stems from the claims of its Muslim population to …

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Can Beijing Remain Neutral in the Ukrainian Conflict?

Can Beijing Remain Neutral in the Ukrainian Conflict?

As the Ukrainian crisis escalates, President Barack Obama has been busy making the diplomatic rounds trying to build support against the unilateral attempts by Crimea to break away from the new government in Ukraine. President Obama said the United States is examining a series of economic and diplomatic steps to …

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Ethnic Tension Spreads in China

Ethnic Tension Spreads in China

In what local authorities are calling “an organized, premeditated violent terrorist attack,” 10 assailants dressed in black and wielding long knives stormed the train station in the southern city of Kunming, indiscriminately slaughtering thirty-three people and wounding 130. Police fatally shot four of the assailants , arrested one and are …

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A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire

A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire

In the latest spark added to the ongoing fire over territorial waters in the South China Sea, a diplomatic protest was handed to Beijing’s charge d’affairs in Manila on Tuesday. The move follows the alleged firing of a water cannon by a Chinese government vessel on January 27 to drive …

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Bahrain: Three Years On

Bahrain: Three Years On

For many of us, February 14 is celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day, an occasion marked by lovers expressing their love for each other by presenting flowers, candy or greeting cards. For Bahrainis, the day is marked quite differently, as it represents the third anniversary of the uprising on their tiny Gulf …

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Tunisia Takes Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Tunisia Takes Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

This past week, radical Islam reared its ugly head again, this time in a seaside suburb of Tunis.  On Monday afternoon, the National Guard was called in to investigate a reported terrorist hideout in the Raoued suburb of Tunis.  The 24-hour standoff that ensued resulted in the death of seven …

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China Deports New York Times Journalist

China Deports New York Times Journalist


Ever since the restoration of U.S.-China diplomatic ties in 1979, Beijing has allowed American media organizations, newspapers, and magazines to establish bureaus on the mainland.  Although these operations were initially quite small throughout the 1980s and 1990s, China-based newsrooms kept growing during the late 2000s to …

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Xi Dumps Deng for Mao

Xi Dumps Deng for Mao

Police detained this supporter of Xu Zhiyong who had gathered with other activists outside the court
Human Rights Watch accused China on Tuesday of failing to meet its people’s demands for political reform and for its pursuit of anti-corruption activists — despite its declared crackdown on graft.  The New York based …

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Mao Revisited

Mao Revisited

Xi Jinping at the Steamed Bun Shop by Tutou Jueren (“Stubborn Baldy”)
The Chinese Communist Party has a long tradition of using its state media as a tool to maintain its legitimacy and control its masses through party propaganda.  While ancient China also used propaganda, Chairman Mao Zedong was the first …

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Is Beijing Prepared to go to War over a Fishing Incident?

Is Beijing Prepared to go to War over a Fishing Incident?

 

After Beijing unilaterally declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea last month, to include the disputed Tokyo-controlled islands called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, the reaction by regional neighbors and the U.S. was swift. But with each action, a subsequent and escalating reaction …

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Beijing Regains Some Soft Power

Beijing Regains Some Soft Power

Andrew Peacock/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Following its spectacular success as host of the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing’s successive attempts at increasing its “soft power” have often fallen short. Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than …

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The Pentagon Flies in the Face of Beijing’s New Air Defense Zone

The Pentagon Flies in the Face of Beijing’s New Air Defense Zone

In a rare slap in the face to Beijing, last week the U.S. flew two of its unarmed B-52 bombers into China’s newly-established East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone.  The air defense zone had been recently created in order to assert Beijing’s claim to disputed territorial waters of the …

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Beijing Balks, Tokyo Talks

Beijing Balks, Tokyo Talks

AP Photo: David Guttenfelder
With the official death toll from Typhoon Haiyan topping 4,000 on Wednesday, nations from around the world are ramping up their efforts to help the Philippines deal with over 1,600 missing persons, 700,000 damaged houses and the nearly 10 million people affected.  Australia, Britain and the U.S. …

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Beijing loses face in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan

Beijing loses face in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan

photo: Associated Press
Chinese president Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang’s diplomatic offensive in Southeast Asia reaped benefits last month, as Beijing reached agreement with Vietnam to form a working group to jointly explore the waters of the disputed South China Sea.  Beijing seems to have copied Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” …

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About the Author

Gary Sands
Gary Sands

Gary Sands ran his own private equity financial advisory in Shanghai from 2006-2012, and contributed a number of op-eds for the South China Morning Post, U.S. News and World Report, Washington Times, International Policy Digest, Eurasia Review, Indo-Pacific Review, Global Times, Caijing and Shanghai Star Business Journal. He was previously employed in lending and advisory roles at Shell Capital, ABB Structured Finance, and the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He earned his Masters of Business Administration in International Business from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Science in Finance at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. He has also lived in Zurich, London, Adelaide and Rio de Janeiro and visited more than 90 countries, and now resides in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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