The tailored gents marching in perfect step toward the podium have reason enough to smile. Led by Premier Wen Jiabo and Supremo Hu Jintao, China’s gang of nine are entitled to feel pretty satisfied with their nation’s recent economic performance.

Wen’s remarks to the annual National People’s Congress were chosen with care to balance the good news with a warning against national complacency. His talk of destabilizing problems on the horizon, though, could not disguise the self-congratulatory stuff. China is doing very nicely, thank you.

China’s extraordinary statistics tell a decidedly different story from the doom and gloom in Japan and the West. While the G-8 nations fear a double dip recession and voice concerns over happens next once all the massive state funding is removed, China sails regally on.

Read more >

The ascent of China will most likely be the biggest geopolitical drama of the 21st century. Wang Jisi, dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, discusses China’s military expansion, the longevity of the country’s ‘peaceful rise,’ and the effects on global governance and international rules.

Question: I remember a couple of years ago the CCTV aired a program called “The Rise of Great Nations” that featured the histories of Rome, Great Britain, Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union. What implications do these lessons have for China?

Answer: I think the consensus here is that economic growth is the key to becoming a rising power. The Chinese have also concluded that to sustain economic growth it is also necessary to maintain political stability. In the rise and fall of great powers, one lesson the Chinese always learn is that aggression will not pay.

Read more >

Attention last-minute holiday shoppers! We have an easy-to-purchase gift to recommend. And we guarantee that it will fit all sizes, shapes and tastes.

This is assuming your intended recipients are intelligent, literate and eager to learn about the world. For as your intellectually slothful friends (if any), we recommend you just keep off your list entirely. Why waste your (presumably) hard-earned money on them? Let them spend their holiday watching football or something.

The answer to your gift-list problem is to buy your friends a book on China—in fact, any book on China, or any two or even three books. You absolutely cannot go wrong. In the last year not one book on China has been published in the US that’s not worth buying and reading. This is a serious statement.

Read more >