The spotlight has been on China this week, with the U.S. visit from China’s soon-to-be President raising familiar, perennial questions between the two countries, ranging from currency manipulation to human rights (including China’s veto of a recent UN Security Council resolution supporting an Arab League plan to remove Syria’s President from power). There has also been significant scholarly and journalistic attention paid to China’s impact on environmental, energy and climate security, in Asia and beyond. Of particular interest is the geographic expansion of China’s foreign policy interests, and the implications of that expansion. Below is a brief summary of some of the more interesting articles that emerged over the past few days.
China looks to the Arctic: AsiaEye, “China’s Arctic Century?” Observations on Beijing’s ongoing (and expanding) “comprehensive engagement” in the Arctic. A geopolitical trend to watch, to say the least.
China looks to Africa: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, “China’s Evolving Africa Policy: The Limits of Socialization.” An interesting collection of articles on China’s expanding economic and security interests in Africa, touching on trade relations, interactions with regional security institutions like the African Union, and counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
China and BASIC on climate change: Economic Times, The environment ministers of the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) sit down for the first time since last December’s UNFCCC climate conference in Durban.
China and the Sea: The National Bureau of Asian Research: “Maritime Energy Resources in Asia: Legal Regime and Cooperation.” Summary: “A team of international scholars, led by principal investigator Clive Schofield (University of Wollongong), examines key challenges and developments in the international legal sphere affecting maritime jurisdictional disputes in East and Southeast Asia and considers options for managing disputes in the East China Sea, South China Sea, and Gulf of Thailand.”
China and Oil: Forbes, “BP Goes Fossil Fuel Hunting Off China Coast.” Having left Vietnam, British Petroleum has gotten the green light from China’s Ministry of Commerce to invest heavily in fossil fuel exploration in the South China Sea.