Thursday, December 31, 2015

China, Circa 2016

By Andrew J. Nathan, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Taisu Zhang, Jerome A. Cohen    

FOREIGN POLICY - December 29, 2015

From political and ideological infighting, to labor rights, to the South China Sea, here's what's brewing in the new year.     

What should China watchers be monitoring most closely in 2016? What developments would be the most meaningful — and what predictions can be made sensibly? —The Editors
Andrew J. Nathan, professor of political science at Columbia University:
I worry that president Xi Jinping is destabilizing China by concentrating so much power in his own hands. Why has he done it? Does it reflect a lack of trust in the competence of the other leaders, such as premier Li Keqiang? Perhaps. An urgency to accomplish certain programmatic reforms? Probably: He does have a reform program, although it turns out not to be the liberal kind of reform recommended by the West. Instead, he seems to want to give still more power to the big state owned enterprises, to use the courts more energetically to carry out political repression, to bring academics and creative artists to heel, to squeeze corruption out of the system and change the work style of the bureaucracy, and to fundamentally upgrade the way the military operates. These are reforms, even if we don’t like them. But they upset many vested interests and require a lot of political clout. What’s more, I think part of the motivation for what Xi is doing comes from his personality, which is self-confident, controlling, and impatient. He seems to perceive a society and a bureaucracy that are out of control, and he cannot bear to devolve responsibilities on others and wait for them to deliver.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New law allows PLA to undertake counterterror missions overseas

ICROSS CHINA - 2015-12-27

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- A new Counterterrorism Law makes it legal for China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) to get involved in antiterror operations abroad. According to the law approved by China's top legislature on Sunday afternoon, the PLA and China's armed police forces could carry out counterterror missions overseas with the approval of the Central Military Commission. Public security and national security authorities could also send personnel overseas for counter-terrorist missions, but these must be approved by the State Council and agreements signed with the countries concerned. 


Commentary: China's anti-terrorism legislation no excuse for U.S. agitation | 2015-12-27

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The enactment of an anti-terrorism law by China represents a development in the right direction for a country that has been a victim of violent terror attacks, especially at a time when the international community is facing an unprecedented wave of terror threats.
The legislation, adopted by China's top legislature Sunday afternoon and aimed at creating a legal framework for China in its dealing with terrorism both at home and abroad, is by no means an excuse for a foreign country to make unwarranted distasteful criticism against China.
Prior to the adoption of the law, the United States expressed "serious concerns" about the law, saying it would "do more harm than good" to the threat of terrorism.
It is a known fact that throwing dirt on China at every opportunity is a favored game for someone in the United States. However, it is probably unknown to many how the United States -- the presumed global leader against terrorism -- came up with such a sensational and irresponsible conclusion regarding the Chinese legislation.
The proclaimed U.S. concern revolves around two points, with the first being Chinese government's requirement for technology firms to provide encryption keys and other sensitive data in case of terror probes, and the second being tighter regulation on media when reporting terrorism-related news events.


China Adopts First Anti-Terror Law in History

SPUTNIK - 27.12.2015

National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee unanimously voted for the first counter-terrorism law in China's history.  MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Chinese lawmakers adopted the first counter-terrorism law in country's history, local media reported Sunday.  On Monday, the Chinese parliament started to review the anti-terrorism bill in the third reading, recommending to adopt it.  According to Xinhua news agency, National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee unanimously voted for the bill.


Obama’s “Worst Nightmare” Realized As Chinese Troops Flood Into Syria

 by EU Times on Dec 28th, 2015

In what a new Ministry of Defense (MoD) report circulating in the Kremlin today is describing as President Barack Obama’s “worst nightmare”, the Ministry of National Defense (MoND) of the People’s Republic of China has secured the permission of the Syria Arab Republic to begin “flooding” into the Levant War Zone up to 5,000 of its most elite military forces, and which will first include the feared Shenyang Military Region “Siberian Tiger” Special Forces and Lanzhou Military Region “Night Tiger” Special Forces Units.
According to this MoD report, this extraordinary move by China to enter into this war was authorized by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) yesterday by their passing that country’s first anti-terrorism law making it legal for the People’s Liberation Army to take part in counter-terrorism missions abroad—and which fulfils the 30 November vow made to President Putin by Chinese President Xi Jinping that his nation would work to take on a broader role in the international war against terrorism and that China would be at Russia’s disposal to aid in global anti-terror efforts.
Most critical to China in entering this war, this report continues, is the “grave” national security threat it faces from both the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) and Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT)—and as, perhaps, best described by the noted award winning American military-intelligence journalist Seymour M. Hersh who in his latest article warned of this threat by stating:


Dealing with Delhi: How culture shapes India’s Middle East policy

By: Kadira Pethiyagoda

BROOKINGS - December 22, 2015

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the United Arab Emirates revealed New Delhi’s intention to bolster bilateral relations with the Gulf states. It was the first visit by an Indian prime minister in over 30 years, demonstrating the country’s renewed focus on expanding ties with the region it has always called “West Asia.” Although India and the Middle East share a long history of trade, immigration and cultural exchange, relations have yet to reach their full potential.
In this policy briefing, Kadira Pethiyagoda highlights the importance of an under-reported aspect of the relationship – culture. The author explains the role it plays in India’s policies toward the region, particularly under the current government, and argues that Gulf states need to understand the impact of Indian values and identity. Pethiyagoda provides recommendations on how the Gulf states can, through better understanding the cultural drivers of Indian foreign policy, build stronger ties with India, thereby advancing both economic and strategic interests.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

ISIS Extends Recruitment Efforts to China With New Chant


The New York Times - DEC. 8, 2015

BEIJING — The Islamic State has been recruiting far and wide for members to join its ranks on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria or elsewhere. Now those efforts are extending to China.
The group recently posted a digital recording of a new chant in Mandarin Chinese that calls for Muslims to “wake up” and “take up weapons to fight.” The chant is typical of many others released by the group, also called ISIS or ISIL.
The chant was posted online by Al Hayat Media Center, the foreign-language media division of the Islamic State, according to an assessment on Monday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks the propaganda of jihadist groups.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

China-Iraq to elevate ties to strategic partnership  12-22-2015

China and Iraq have decided to elevate their ties to a strategic partnership. The news comes after a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in downtown Beijing on Tuesday.
Xi said China supports Iraq's efforts in protecting its national independence and sovereignty. He said China is willing to deepen cooperation at different levels in all fields, including security.
President Xi said China will strengthen strategic coordination with Iraq under the framework of the "One Belt, One Road" initiative, and help with Iraq's reconstruction in key areas such as energy, power, telecommunication and infrastructure.
He also said China encourages its enterprises to join in and invest in large projects in Iraq. The Chinese President said China will closely work with Iraq in regional peace and stability. Abadi welcomed the commitments by Xi Jinping, and said his visit aims to enhance ties with China. He added that Iraq welcomes Chinese investment.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Türkiye Şanghay’da masaya yatırıldı

AYDINLIK - 2015-12-17

Şanghay Üniversitesi Türkiye Araştırmaları Merkezi’nin düzenlediği “Ortadoğu’da Son Durum ve Türkiye-Çin İlişkileri” konulu sempozyumda AKP hükümetinin politikaları eleştirilerek, AKP’nin Türkiye’ye güç kaybettirdiği vurgulandı. Rus uçağının düşürülmesinin önemli bir dış politika yanlışı olduğunun ve Çin’in kazandığı füze savunma sistemi ihalesinin iptal edilmesinin ilişkilere darbe olduğunun altı çizildi. Sempozyumda, Türkiye’nin Çin ile ilişkisini “Uygur Türkleri” ile sınırlamasının yanlışlığına da dikkat çekildi.
 Sempozyuma Türkiye’den, Vatan Partisi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bürosu üyesi Adnan Akfırat ile Maltepe Üniversitesi öğretim üyesi Dr. Tuğrul Keskin davet edildi. Sempozyum, Çin’in önde gelen Türkiye uzmanları ile canlı fikir tartışmalarına sahne oldu. Şanghay Üniversitesi yerleşkesinde düzenlenen sempozyumu ağırlıklı olarak Türkiye ve Ortadoğu konusunda çalışan akademisyenler izledi.
Çin Dışişleri Bakanlığı Danışma Kurulu Üyesi ve Şanghay Uluslarararası Çalışmalar Enstitüsü eski Başkanı Prof. Dr. Yang Jiemian, Türkiye’nin dış politikasının güven vermediğini belirterek, ülkenin Çin ile ilişkisini “Uygur Türkleri” ile sınırlamasının yanlışlığına dikkat çekti.
Çin Cumhurbaşkanı Xi Jinping’in Afrika Zirvesi’ndeki Çin heyetinde yer alan Prof. Yang Guang, Türkiye’nin bölgedeki en güçlü ülkelerden biri olmasına karşın, bölgesel güç olma iddiasını sürdüremediğini, izlediği politikalar nedeniyle güç yitirdiğini belirtti.
Prof. Dr. Wang Jian da ABD’nin Pasifik’te konuşlanmak için Ortadoğu’dan çekilirken bölgenin dengelerini bozduğunu, Suriye’deki iç savaşla birlikte Sincian Uygur Bölgesi’ndaki terör olayları arasında parallelik olduğuna vurguladı. Prof. Wang, Çin’in önceki döneme göre uluslararası alanda daha etkin olmayı hedeflediğini de belirtti.
Şanghay Sosyal Bilimler Akademisi Batı Asya Kuzey Afrika Enstitüsü Başkanı Prof. Wang Jian ise ABD’nin Türkiye’yi Ortadoğu’da rol modeli yapma projesinin, Mısır ve Tunus’ta Müslüman Kardeşler iktidarlarının devrilmesinden sonra geçerliliğini yitirdiğinin altını çizdi. Wang, İslam uygarlığı ile Çin uygarlığı arasındaki kültürel işbirliğini artırmanın, bölgeyle ilişkileri geliştirmede yararlı olacağını kaydetti
Şanghay Uluslararası Araştırmalar Enstitüsü Batı Asya ve Kuzey Afrika Araştırmaları Merkezi’nden Dr. Ye Qing, Türkiye’nin Ortadoğu’da İsrail ile birlikte oyun kurucu ülkelerden olduğu değerlendirmesini yaptı ve Çin’in Ortadoğu’da risk almayı ciddiyetle tartması gerektiğini belirtti.
Şanghay Uluslararası Araştırmalar Üniversitesi Ortadoğu Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Başkan Yardımcısı Prof. Sun da Erdoğan yönetiminin, Çin’in kazandığı füze savunma sistemi ihalesini iptal etmesini ikili ilişiklere vurulan derin bir darbe olarak niteledi. Prof. Sun, Türkiye ile Çin’in mutlaka yan yana gelmesi gerektiğini ve iki ülke arasında bu ilişkinin yakın zamanda kurulmasının zorunlu olduğunu belirtti.
Prof. Sun, Türkiye’nin NATO üyeliğinin, Çin’in NATO ile daha uyumlu bir ilişki kurmasına aracılık edebileceğini kaydetti.
Çinli konuşmacılar, Ortadoğu’da IŞİD’in terör eylemleriyle birlikte daha güvensiz bir ortama girilmişken Erdoğan yönetiminin terörle mücadelede görevli Rus uçağını vurmasını, önemli bir dış politika yanlışı olduğunu kaydettiler.
Vatan Partisi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bürosu üyesi Adnan Akfırat, Türkiye’nin 21. Yüzyılda, yükselen Asya Uygarlığının ayrılmaz bir parçası olacağını, bunun tarihsel bir dinamik olduğunu gerekçeleriyle açıklayan bir sunuş yaptı. Şanghay’da Çin İktisadi Eşleştirme Merkezi’nin Başkanlığını yürüten Akfırat, ABD’nin Büyük Ortadoğu Projesi’nin Çin’i kuşatmayı hedeflediğini belirtti ve Washington yönetiminin oluşturmaya çalıştığı “Kukla Kurdistan’ın Çin’in önerdiği 21. Yüzyıl İpekyolu’nu kesmeyi hedeflediğini harita üzerinde gösterdi. Akfırat, Vatan Partisi’nin Batı Asya Birliği projesinin bölgeye barış, refah ve güvenlik getireceğini anlattı ve BAB’ın kurulmasının İpek Yolu inisiyatifini geliştireceğinin altını çizdi. Önümüzdeki öğretim yılında Şanghay Üniversitesi Türkiye Araştırmaları Merkezi’nde görev alacak olan Dr. Tuğrul Keskin de Çin’in Ortadoğu’daki etkinliğinin dünya barışına hizmet edeceğini ve bölgeye huzur ve güvenlik getireceğini belirtti. Dr. Keskin, Türkiye’nin ancak Asya’da hayat bulacağını, Çin’in Uygur sorununu çözmek için Türkiye ile iyi ilişkiler kurması gerektiğini vurguladı.
Sempozyumun en Türkiye karşıtı konuşmasını Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Konfüçyüs Ensititüsü Müdürü Dr. Liu Yi yaptı. Dr. Li, iki buçuk yıldır yaşadığı Türkiye’de, Türklerin söze “birbirimize yakınız” diye başlamalarına karşın Çin’e dostça yaklaşmadıklarından şikayet etti. Boğaziçi Üniversitesi’ndaki liberal akademisyenlerinden etkilendiği anlaşılan Dr. Yi, Türk Silahlı Kuvetleri’nin PKK’ye karşı yürüttüğü mücadeleyi de “ “etnik temizlik hareketi” diye niteledi. Dr. Yi’ye göre, Türkiye’nin dış politikası “aşırı milliyetçi” ve Türkler kesinlikle güvenilemez bir millet!

Monday, December 14, 2015

China has established 500 Confucius Institutes globally

People's Daily Online - December 07, 2015

According to the 10th Confucius Institute Conference held in Shanghai on Dec. 6, China has so far established 500 Confucius institutes and 1,000 Confucius Classrooms in 134 countries and regions, with a total of 1.9 million students. In the future, the construction of Confucius Institutes will be further localized and institutes will put more emphasis on quality improvement and developing the overall essence of the program.
Since 2004 China has been setting up Confucius Institutes globally. The Confucius Institute is a non-profit educational institution that aims to teach Chinese and spread Chinese culture.
For years, through teaching Chinese, Confucius Institutes set up a "bridge of understanding" between China and other countries. Currently, with a total of 44,000 full-time and part-time teachers, Confucius Institutes have compiled 1,200 localized textbooks and helped 6 million people to take Chinese examinations.
In the next ten years, Confucius Institutes will be further localized and actively adapt to the diversified and individualized needs of Chinese learners all over the world. The institution will further improve its academic research capability and implement the "Confucius New Sinology Plan" to bring up a new generation of sinologists and establish a discourse system that can be understood by both Chinese and foreigners.


China, UAE pledge to boost Belt and Road cooperation  12-15-2015

Hailing the ever-growing ties between China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Xi said China regards the UAE as a good friend and partner in the Gulf region and will enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Xi said the two sides should boost practical cooperation within the framework in pursuit of reciprocity and common development.
"China is ready to speed up policy and project alignment with the UAE," Xi said, stressing industrial cooperation in energy, infrastructure, trade and investment, and astronautics.
Xi said the joint investment fund is a highlight of cooperation between the two countries. Xi and Sheikh Mohamed witnessed the signing of a memorandum on the fund after their meeting at the Great Hall of the People.
Xi said China is willing to work with the UAE to make the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) a financing platform that generates win-win results, and promotes regional connectivity and economic development.
The president was also upbeat over trilateral cooperation with the UAE in Africa and closer security cooperation with the country.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

SYMPOSIUM: Current Situation in the Middle East and Sino-Turkey Relations - Shanghai University

Current Situation in the Middle East and Sino-Turkey Relations
December 11, 2015
People’s Republic of China

8:30-9:00 Registration:
9:00-9:05 Opening Remarks
Professor Guo Chnanggang (Shanghai University)

Panel -1:
The Current International Situation and China’s Foreign Policy

10:05-10:30 Q&A

Chair: Liu Yu (Shanghai University)
The Current Situation in the Middle East
Professor Yang Guang (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

10:30 – 10:40
Coffee Break

11:40-12:10 Q&A

12:10-13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 14:45
Panel-3: Sino-Turkey Relations
Chair: Wang Sanyi (Shanghai University)
The New Characteristics of Current Situation in Middle East and New Development of China Middle East Relations
Features and Trends of Security Situation in the Middle East
Sino-Turkey Relations from the Perspective of Multilateral Relations

14:45-15:15 Q&A

15:15 – 15:30
Coffee Break

15:30 – 16:30
China in the Middle East

16:30 – 17:20
Panel-5: Turkish Studies
Chair: Professor Guo Chnanggang (Shanghai University)

The Historical Dynamism of Turkey in Asian Century
Adnan Akfirat (TUCEM: Turkish Chinese Business Matching Center)
Frontier Polity and Transition Society: Nationalism and Minority Issue in Turkey

17:20 – 17:50 Q&A

17:50 – 18:00 Conclusion

18:00 – 20:00 Dinner  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cfp: CHINA IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Neoliberalism with Chinese Characteristics and Political Transformations in the Middle East QATAR UNIVERSITY MARCH 23-24, 2016


Call for Papers:  2ND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE:  CHINA IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Neoliberalism with Chinese Characteristics and Political Transformations in the Middle East  



The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Qatar University, Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies and Department of Central Eurasian Studies Indiana University and Sociology of Islam Journal invite interested scholars and advanced graduate students to submit proposals for the conference below. The event will take place at the Qatar University on MARCH 23 AND 24, 2016. Please submit a 200-word paper proposal along with your CV to by Monday JANUARY 4, 2016.

Dr. Mohammedmoin Sadeq, Qatar University, Qatar
Dr. Guo Changgang, Center for Turkish Studies, Shanghai University
Dr. Jamsheed Choksy, Indiana University, USA
Dr. Kemal Silay, Indiana University, USA
Dr. Zan Tao, Peking University, People’s Republic of China
Dr. Tuğrul Keskin, Portland State University, USA
Conference communication assistant: Michael McCall, Leiden University - china.middleeast (at) or Tugrul Keskin tugrulk (at)
Description and Objectives:
The increasingly neoliberal economy that has developed since the early 1980s has led to an emergence of a vibrant middle class in China. This new demographic, roughly 350-400 million people, began to consume more. This has continued to shape Chinese Foreign Policy towards oil producing countries, particularly in the Middle East after Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. One of the first signs of these changes can be seen in the proposal of a new Silk Road initiative, introduced by Xi Jinping. Over the last two years, we have seen the increase of Chinese political and social activities in the region, fueled by the economic needs for PRC. As a result of this new political strategy, the PRC started to play a more active role within the Middle Eastern political arena. Hence, Xi Jinping visited Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi and Arabia in March 2015. Additionally, Chinese social and cultural activities began to appear more visibly within the universities and educational institutions in the Middle East.  Hanban Institutes started to open and finance Confucius Institutes in the region that facilitate Chinese cultural and language classes and promote mutual understanding between China and the Middle East. For example these institutes have arisen in Turkey, Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, UAE, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Morocco. China has also become one of the largest economic and trade partners with Middle Eastern states such as Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel. Therefore, we would like to make this academic initiative a permanent conference meeting, and each year, we will organize a China and the Middle East Conference in different countries in collaboration with other universities.  
We organized a very successful first academic conference on this topic in collaboration with Beijing University, on March 17-18, 2015. The conference took place in Beijing University and 24 papers were presented within six different panels. On the second day, the newly opened Indiana University Beijing office hosted two panels. The selected conference proceedings (approximately 6-8) will be published by a peer-reviewed academic journal, the Sociology of Islam, in the Fall of 2015. You will find the first conference program at the following homepage:
As a result of this conference and academic initiative on China and the Middle East, we established a new academic mailing list on China and the Middle East, hosted by Virginia Tech University. In our second upcoming conference, we will examine social, political and economic relations between China and Middle Eastern states and societies in the context of the neoliberal economy. The conference proceedings will also be published in the Sociology of Islam Journal (Brill -     
The second conference (MARCH 23 AND 24, 2016) will have six different panels and 24 participants.
Participants are responsible for their travel expenses, accommodation and any other expenses.
This is a purely academic conference.
Tentative Program and Panels’ Titles
Keynote Speech - TBA
Conference Program
MARCH 23, 2016
9:00 - 9:30 AM Opening Ceremony
9:00 - 9:15 AM Welcome Speech by Representative of Qatar University
9:15 - 9:30 AM Opening Remarks by Representative of Qatar University
9:45 - 12:00 Panels
12:00-13:30 PM Lunch
14:00-16:30 PM Panels
4. Panel:
MARCH 24, 2016
Closing Remarks by Dr. Jamsheed Choksy, Indiana University, USA

Sunday, November 22, 2015

China, Turkey renew 12 bln yuan bilateral currency swap deal


Hurriyet Daily -  Saturday,November 21 2015

China and Turkey will renew a currency swap deal and expand its scale, according to a statement released by the Chinese central bank on Nov. 16, as reported by Reuters.
The scale of the three-year agreement will expand to 12 billion yuan ($1.88 billion), based on the mutual consent, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement.
The move is aimed at enhancing financial cooperation and promoting bilateral trade and investment, as well as enhancing financial stability, said the statement.
The two countries signed a 10-billion-yuan currency swap agreement in 2012.
In a bid to promote the yuan, also known as the renminbi, as an international currency, China has signed currency swap agreements with 32 countries and regions, according to China’s news agency Xinhua.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sharp increase in demand for Egyptian citrus in China

FRESH PLAZA - 11/13/2015

The Egyptian company Fruttella, devoted to the cultivation and export of fresh agricultural products, will soon start the citrus campaign, and according to its CEO, Ahmed Sarhan, even though the fruit’s coloration has been delayed because of the very hot weather in Egypt, Fruttella is expecting a larger Navel harvest than last year and a similar one for the Valencia. The yield will be lower for the Valencia, but new lands coming into production will bring balance. In addition to Navel and Valencia oranges, Fruttella also produces lemon and grapefruit, for which Egypt is the world’s largest citrus suppliers, with 15% of the total. “Egypt’s citrus production will reach around 3.5 million tonnes, which is a little bit higher than last year,” says Sarhan. One of the big opportunities for growth lies in China, although this applies only to a handful of Egyptian companies, given the strict import protocols. “Temperature in the container, for example, cannot exceed 1.1 degrees Celsius for 12 consecutive days, and if it does, the Chinese authorities will refuse the container,” explains Mr Sarhan. Shipping to China can consequently be done only by companies with very strong quality controls.


China: Largest exporter of non-petroleum products to Egypt - report

 China has led the list of the largest exporters of non-petroleum products to the Egyptian market within the first half of 2015.  According to the report issued by the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) Thursday, China has seized 15 percent of Egypt's imports within January-June 2015 with exports estimated at 35 billion Egyptian pounds (US$ 4.3 billion).  The report showed that Chinese exports to Egypt have been boosted 82 percent during the first six months of 2015 compared to 19.3 billion pounds during the same period of 2014.  According to the report, the volume of Egypt's non-petroleum imports from January-June 2015 hit 231.1 billion pounds versus 217.5 billion pounds a year earlier, marking 6 percent increase.  Following China, Germany was the second larger exporter of non-petroleum products to Egypt with exports estimated at around 20.4 billion during the first half of 2015 compared to 18 billion pounds a year earlier, registering 12.8 percent hike. 

China eyes greater cooperation with Iran's air force

REUTERS - Mon Nov 2, 2015

China wants to step up cooperation with Iran's air force, the head of the Chinese air force told his Iranian counterpart on Monday, the latest in a series of high-level military contacts.  Ma Xiaotian told Hassan Shah Safi that relations between the two air forces had developed smoothly.  "(We) hope that cooperation can go up another level," Ma said, according to a statement issued by China's Defence Ministry, which did not elaborate.  A senior Chinese admiral visited Tehran last month and last year, for the first time ever, two Chinese warships docked at Iran's Bandar Abbas port to take part in a joint naval exercise in the Gulf and an Iranian admiral was given tours of a Chinese submarine and warships.  China and Iran have close diplomatic, economic, trade and energy ties, and China has been active in pushing both the United States and Iran to reach agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear program.  Under a multilateral deal, agreed in July, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing to long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.


Iran likely to pump gas to China

Tehran Times November 15, 2015

 TEHRAN – Iran is likely to pump gas to China via Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline once the pipeline is accomplished, according to National Iranian Gas Company’s Managing Director Hamidreza Araqi.  Iran is also ready to start gas exports to Pakistan, but the portion of the gas pipeline located within Pakistan is yet to be constructed, the IRNA news agency reported on Saturday quoting Araqi as saying.    The official said that also India is keen to import gas from Iran, but there is still some reluctance on the Indian part given that they do not want the pipeline to pass through Pakistan.    Inquired about Iran’s gas export schedules, Araqi replied that with Iran’s gas production capacity swelling to one billion cubic meters per day, there is hope for optimal gas exports.    Iran, which sits on the world’s largest gas reserves, intends to enhance gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investment, especially in its South Pars gas field.    


China's new Silk Road: boom or dust for Pakistan?

THE PENINSULA QATAR - November 15, 2015 

Sost, Pakistan: A glossy highway and hundreds of lorries transporting Chinese workers by the thousands: the new Silk Road is under construction in northern Pakistan, but locals living on the border are yet to be convinced they will receive more from it than dust.  The town of Sost is gateway to millions in customs duties, with its rickety stalls of corrugated iron engraved in Mandarin and Urdu, its cross-border secret agents and its dusty petrol station's abrupt service.  It is the first stop along a new $46 billion "economic corridor" designed by China in Pakistan.  Drivers from China arrive through the Khunjerab Pass, the world's highest paved border crossing at 4,600 metres (15,000 feet) above sea level, and unload their goods encircled by the magnificent Karakoram mountains, swirled with snow.  From there, Pakistani colleagues pick up the goods and transport them the length of the country -- currently to Karachi, some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) away on the Arabian Sea, but in the future to Gwadar, where Beijing has been given management of the port in a grand project allowing China greater access to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.


Former Investment Banker Says He'll Run China-Israel University

Li Jiange, ex-head of China International Capital, says he's been picked as chancellor of new higher education institute in Guangdong

By staff reporters Sheng Menglu and Ren Bo

CAIXIN ONLINE -  10.27.2015

(Beijing) – Li Jiange, the former chairman of China International Capital Corp. Ltd., an investment bank, says he will become the chancellor of a university co-founded by institutes in China and Israel.  The Guangdong-Technion Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT) is a joint venture between the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, a science and technology research university in Israel, and Shantou University in the southern province of Guangdong.  "I hope that through this collaboration, we can introduce Israel's advanced teaching models and creative thinking into China," Li said. "We hope to build a Chinese Silicon Valley backed by the university to promote economic transformation in Guangdong and across the country."  The school reached out to Li when the new university was initially being planned, he said.  Li has held top posts in the government's economic policymaking departments, including deputy director of the former Economics Restructuring Office and deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council.


Pakistan, China and Turkey ink 150 business deals


Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that it is a great opportunity to build economic ties with Turkey and China which will lead to a tremendous economic cooperation between Pakistan, China and Turkey.

Addressing on the last day of the “International Seminar on Business Opportunities in Punjab” at a local hotel on Saturday, the chief minister said that during this two-day seminar over 150 agreements had been signed between investment companies of China and Turkey and Punjab government. The agreements were signed in the fields of transport, infrastructure, industrial estate development, energy, housing and mines and minerals.

He said that China and Turkey had been extending wholehearted cooperation to various development sectors in Pakistan during the last many decades while this economic cooperation was increasing with the passage of time. He said that with the implementation of these agreements, close economic ties between Pakistani businessmen and Chinese and Turkish investors would be further strengthen.


Turkey Abandons Planned $3.4 Billion Defense Contract With China

Onur Ant Ankara Wonk

BLOOMBERG - NOV. 15, 2015

Turkey canceled a long-delayed plan to buy a missile defense system and will develop its own instead.   The country, which has the largest army in NATO after the U.S., picked China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp.’s $3.4 billion bid as the best offer in 2013. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu signed the decree to cancel the project, a government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information isn’t public.   Plans to purchase and co-produce the system were conceived about a decade ago and deadlines for companies to offer revised bids have been repeatedly extended. Turkey remained in talks with U.S. firms Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co. and French-Italian partnership Eurosam GIE for the project, Ismail Demir, head of defense industry under-secretariat said in October.  In response to criticism that the Chinese system wouldn’t be compatible with NATO, Turkey said it wouldn’t integrate the missile defense mechanism.


Turkey abandons decision to purchase Chinese missile defense system

HURRIYET DAILY - Sunday,November 15 2015

Turkey has entirely dropped a tentative agreement to purchase a $3.4 billion long-range missile defense system from a Chinese company, ending a two-year saga over the deal, which had worried NATO allies.  The decision was taken in the run-up to the G-20 Summit in Antalya when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama, CNN Türk reported Nov. 15.  The decision has yet to be finalized by the top Turkish government body for procurement, the Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSİK), but the move is expected to be announced this week with formal approval from the members of the committee chaired by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The committee’s other members are the defense minister, the chief of the General Staff and the head of the defense procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM).  The talks with China’s CPMIEC on the missile deal hit a stalemate over technology transfer, CNN Türk said, citing anonymous sources.  After the cancellation, questions remain as to how Turkey will meet its long-range air defense needs. Local defense companies such as military electronics specialist Aselsan and missile manufacturer Roketsan may be commissioned to fulfill such a mission, CNN Türk said, underlining that Turkey aimed to produce the system domestically with “national resources” in combination with technological support from a globally tested system.


China seeks trade, investment facilitation with Turkey: Xi | 2015-11-15 

ANTALYA, Turkey, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Saturday that China is ready to explore ways with Turkey to facilitate bilateral trade and investment.  During a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Xi called for strengthened strategic communication with Turkey to dock each other's development strategy.  Both sides should make full use of the platforms such as the Silk Road Fund and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank to innovate cooperation channel and mode so as to achieve common development and prosperity, Xi said.  The Chinese president suggested expanding the use of each other's own currency for bilateral trade and investment facilitation.  Security cooperation between the two countries should be deepened, Xi said.  On the upcoming summit of G20, or the Group of Twenty, Xi said China is ready to maintain close coordination with Turkey to increase G20's role in global economic governance.  For his part, Erdogan said his country is ready to join hands with China to lift bilateral trade to a higher level.  Turkey is willing to actively participate in the cooperation within the framework of Belt and Road initiative and is glad to see Chinese enterprises to invest more in Turkey in fields such as infrastructure, Erdogan said.  The Belt and Road initiative was proposed by China in 2013 as a trade and infrastructure network. It will connect Asia to Europe and Africa through the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.


Science academies of Israel and China move even closer together



The Israel Academy of Science promoted scientific ties with China even before diplomatic relations were established in 1990. An Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities delegation to Beijing has signed an agreement to continue and expand scientific cooperation in China. The original accord was signed in 1991, soon after diplomatic relations between the two countries were established.  Prof. Ruth Arnon, the outgoing president of the academy in Jerusalem and a distinguished Weizmann Institute of Science researcher, headed the group and reported that they received an exceptionally warm reception. Their Chinese counterparts praised Israel and its scientists for their achievements.  The academy acted early - already in 1990 - to promote scientific ties with China involving water and agriculture, even before diplomatic relations were established.  Arnon said at the ceremony that the academy was thrilled to be a “pioneer” in advancing the countries’ scientific ties.


Israeli culture starts college... in China

Some 100 Chinese students participate in first of its kind Israeli film festival in Beijing, exposing them to the country and people they didnt know. 

Anav Silverman, Tazpit   

YNET - 10.21.15

The first student-organized Israeli film festival was recently held in a Beijing university and drew over 100 Chinese students. For three evenings (September 22nd-25th), students participated in the Chinese University Israel and Jewish Film Festival held at the China Agricultural University. Students learned about Israel’s culture and history, as well as Jewish traditions and foods, and even had the chance to eat bagels. The film festival organizer, Qi Li, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that there had never been an official Israeli-Jewish film festival to her knowledge in China. "I’m proud to say that this is the first Chinese University Israeli Film Festival," Qi Li said to TPS.


Silicon Dragon to hold Israel-China business conference

 12/11/2015 - Globes correspondent

Silicon Dragon Group and Tadmor & Co. Yuval Levy & Co. law firm are holding the conference in Tel Aviv on December 2.  Israel has long been a desirable target for Chinese investors. Cooperation between the countries in startups and technology companies has often led to technological breakthroughs and the development of the next generation of leading entrepreneurs. In light of this, Tadmor & Co. Yuval Levy & Co. law firm, in cooperation with the Silicon Dragon Group, will be holding a conference dealing with the implications of the developing ties between the countries. The program will examine cooperation between Israel and important centers in China - Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.  The Silicon Dragon group is involved with investment trends in technology centers throughout the world, and is well-known for the conferences it organizes on the subjects of technology and investments in Asia, the US and Europe. The group was established in 2010 by Rebecca A. Fannin, a media entrepreneur and an expert on innovation. She has published two critically-acclaimed books on the subject of start-up companies, which have been translated into Chinese, Vietnamese and Hebrew, and which received favorable reviews in leading newspapers.


Chinese vice premier urges closer agriculture cooperation with Israel | 2015-11-13  

JERUSALEM, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- China and Israel should further strengthen bilateral cooperation in agriculture, including innovation, water management and seed research and development, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said here Thursday.
Wang, who is currently on an official visit to Israel, voiced the hope while meeting with Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and experts of the country's agriculture research institute.
Israel is strong in agricultural technology innovation and boasts one of the highest levels of agricultural productivity in the world, while China is a large agriculture country, he said, adding that Israel and China are thus mutually complementary in the field of agriculture.
Wang said that innovation is listed as one of the five main development concepts in China's 13th five-year development plan and China is willing to work with Israel to make agriculture innovation a priority for bilateral cooperation.
Both countries should improve the mechanism for their agriculture cooperation and promote cooperation in agriculture science and technology, particularly water management and seed research and development, he said.
China welcomes increased Israeli investment in China's agriculture sector and also encourages China's enterprises to invest in Israel, Wang said.
The two countries should also forge cooperation in personnel training in order to prepare for major coopertion project of mutual interest in terms of necessary human resources and technology, he said.
The Israeli side agreed with Wang and looks forward to cooperating with China in specific projects and programs.
The two sides also signed an action plan for enhancing bilateral agriculture cooperation in the presence of Wang.


Chinese President Xi meets with Turkish counterpart  11-15-2015

During a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Xi expressed he wishes for a successful G20 summit. He said China is ready to maintain close coordination with Turkey, to increase the G20's role in global economic governance.
On bilateral ties, President Xi said China is ready to explore ways with Turkey to facilitate bilateral trade and investment. Xi called for strengthened strategic communication with Turkey, and for each country to align with the other's development strategy. Both sides should make full use of platforms such as the Silk Road Fund and the AIIB, he said.
Xi added that security cooperation between the two sides should be deepened. The Turkish president agreed with Xi's suggestions. Erdogan also said Turkey will never allow any group to conduct activities on its soil that undermine the Sino-Turkish relationship.
Both leaders voiced severe condemnation of the terror attacks in Paris. After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several bilateral agreements.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

China and the Challenges in Greater Middle East - Nov. 10, 2015 Danish Institute for International Studies

China and the Challenges in Greater Middle East 

Tuesday November 10, 2015 

Danish Institute for International Studies   

Tuesday, 10 November 2015, 09.00-16.00

DIIS, Danish Institute for International Studies


Gl. Kalkbrænderi Vej 51A

2100 Copenhagen


Is the balance of power between the USA and China changing in the Persian Gulf? Will China’s increasing economic interest in the Gulf lead to a more activist Chinese foreign and security policy there? What are the expectations from the Arab Gulf States to China and will China cope with them?

Even though the US has provided the security umbrella in the region, its handling of ethnic conflicts and civil wars has irritated members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Political developments, including 9/11 and the Arab Spring, have forced the member states of the GCC to take action to avoid the spread of democratic movements and  reforms, while seeking to handle their own affairs without interference from the US, EU and UN. Problems in GCC–US relations also make GCC states look eastwards for new partners, providing a power vacuum and opportunity for China to edge in.

China has expanding economic involvement in the Gulf, not least in oil: the majority of its oil comes from the Gulf. Although China is trying to diversify its energy supplies from the Middle East, it will remain dependent on the Gulf for years to come. With expanding trade, investment and contract work in the Gulf, China seeks to protect its assets and citizens there. It can no longer follow the old diplomatic strategy of keeping a low profile and keeping business and politics separate. China has learned from crises in Libya and Sudan and changed its policy from non-intervention to active mediation, supporting UN sanctions, contributing to UN peacekeeping missions and securing peacekeeping to protect its oil interests.

Doubts remain both within the GCC and in Chinese policymaking circles as to what extent China should be strategically involved in the Gulf, and China does not seek to challenge or replace the US as the security provider of the Middle East. However, there is no doubt that active pragmatism has become China’s guiding diplomatic strategy and that we will see more political and strategic activities from China in the region. China will take a more active role in fighting extremism at home as well as in the Greater Middle East including Afghanistan and Iraq. How will that play out?


N. Janardhan, UAE

Jiadong Zhang, Fudan University

Imad Mansour, Qatar University

Camilla Sørensen, Copenhagen University, Denmark

Miwa Hirono, Ritsumeikan University, Japan

Jonas Parello-Plesner, author of book 'China's Strong Arm'

Marc Lanteigne, Senior Research Fellow,  Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

Ding Long, University of International Business and Economics, China

Luke Patey, Senior Researcher, DIIS, Denmark

Lars Erslev Andersen, Research coordinator, DIIS, Denmark



Welcome and introduction

Lars Erslev Andersen, Research coordinator, DIIS, Denmark


Keynote speeches

Jiadong Zhang, Fudan University. China-the Middle East Relations: New Challenges and New Approach

Imad Mansour, Qatar University. Can China Be a Pillar of GCC Security?

Q & A


Coffee break


China’s activism abroad

Camilla Sørensen, Copenhagen University. China in search of ‘legitimate’ great power intervention

Miwa Hirono, Ritsumeikan University, Japan. China’s proactive diplomacy in Afghanistan: contradiction between the principle of non-interference and the diplomatic practice

Jonas Parello-Plesner, Author of the book 'China's Strong Arm'. China caught in Libyas internal conflict in 2011 - the dilemmas of protecting Chinese nationals and assets




China’s security and business interests in the greater Middle East and international ramifications

Marc Lanteigne, NUPI. China's Diplomacy in the Gulf Region: Energy and (In)Security

Luke Patey, DIIS. Many Chinas, few solutions: Crisis diplomacy in the Sudans

14.30 -14.45

Coffee break


How does China counter extremism at home and in the greater Middle East

Ding Long, University of International Business and Economics, China. China’s encounter with Islamic extremism at home and abroad

N. Janardhan, UAE. Chinas conundrum – piggyback or pay and ride?

Practical information

The seminar will be in English.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use our online registration form no later than Monday, 9 November 2015 at 12.00 noon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Israel - Sino Relations through the Prism of Advocacy Groups

Mohammed Turki al - Sudairi

HH Sheikh Nasser al - Mohammad al - Sabah Publication Series
Number 8: November 2013

Advocacy for the state of Israel  – in the sense of attempting to favourably shape public and elite  perceptions  and  discou rses  about  the  Jewish  state  and  the  nature  of  its  conflict  with  the  Palestinians  and  the  surrounding  Arab  states  – has  been,  and  continues  to  be,  of  pivotal  concern  to  both  the  Israeli  government  and  pro - Israeli  organisations  operating  in  the  United  States and  elsewhere.  What  underlines  this  advocacy  – understood  here  to  unfold  through  multiple  media,  academic,  and  political  spaces  – is  a  desire  to  [1]  reinforce  political  (and  cultural)  identification  and  support  for  Israel  and  its  narrative,  and  [2]  more  p ressingly,  to  contain  alternative  critical  discourses  about  the  state  and  its  role  in  various  Middle  Eastern  conflicts.  Although  the  US  has  been  the  main  focus  of  these  advocacy  efforts  – which  is  a  natural byproduct of its position as a global hegemonic e mpire, the susceptibility of its political  system  to  special  interests,  and  more  significantly,  due  to  the  presence  of  a  sizable  and  influential Jewish American community sympathetic to Israeli and Zionist interests  – there are  signs  of  a  nascent  and  incre asingly  sustained  Israeli/Zionist  advocacy  effort  directed  at  China  (amongst  other  theatres)  that,  while  conditioned  by  a  unique  Chinese  cultural  and  political  topography,  seeks  to  influence  prevailing  attitudes  and  perceptions  amongst  Chinese  scholars  and political  elite  in  ways  conducive  to  the  preservation  and  maximisation  of  Israeli  interests  over the long - term.


Monday, October 5, 2015

China Construction to build, finance, new Egypt capital

DAILY STAR -  Sep. 08, 2015

CAIRO: Egypt signed an agreement with a Chinese company on building and financing part of a planned new administrative capital east of Cairo, the investment minister told Reuters Monday.
The memorandum of understanding calls for China State Construction Engineering Corporation, also known as China Construction, to “study building and financing” the administrative part of the new capital, which will include ministries, government agencies and the president’s office. Egypt had so far only highlighted the involvement of the UAE’s Capital City Partners, which signed an initial agreement for the mega-project at a March economic summit.
Egypt’s housing minister in June acknowledged “complications” in contract negotiations with UAE businessman Mohamed Alabbar, the founding partner of CCP.


China, Egypt friends with long civilizations, key strategic ties: Cairo governor | 2015-09-30

CAIRO, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- China and Egypt are two friend states with long civilization and very important strategic ties, Cairo Governor Galal al-Saeed told Xinhua on Tuesday.
The governor's remarks came during a ceremony held by the Chinese embassy in Cairo to mark the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
"The Chinese and Egyptian peoples share mutual love and respect. I hope for the Egyptian-Chinese ties to further grow in the future, whether strong political or economic relations in favor of both peoples," Saeed said during the ceremony.
For his part, Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo described the friendship between Egypt and China as "time-honored" and the bilateral relations between the two countries as "strong and close."
He noted that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has recently visited China and that Egypt was the only African and Arab country that participated in the military parade recently held in Chinese capital Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII) and the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
"Egypt is a major Arab, African and developing country. China has always been viewing and developing the China-Egypt relations from a strategic and long-term prospective," Song said.


The first China-built high-speed rail in Turkey - 2015-10-05 

BEIJING, Oct. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- China boasts the fastest and longest high-speed railways in the world. And the world is taking notice. Turkey's Istanbul-Ankara high-speed railway was built by China.  It was a first for the China Railway Construction Corporation, but also a first for Liu Lin. He has been the on-the-ground man for China's largest railway contractor for 6 years. And it was a rough beginning.  Liu Lin, General Manager of Chinese Railway Contractor said, "A Chinese state-owned company and a private Turkish company. It was like a marriage from afar." To make the marriage work, Liu tried every way to bridge the differences.  "The ways we both do business are different. Execution and efficiency, applying these here was a big problem. We learned the hard way - which maybe is not the best way to do it," said Liu.  $1.2 billion and 4 years of intensive construction later, China's first highspeed rail built outside the country has become a reality. Chinese contractors have finished one third of the 500 kilometer project. So far it's turned out to be a success. But to see how successful it is, we took the train from Ankara to Istanbul. And we were allowed access to the driver's cabin.


Iran welcomes China’s role in reconstructing Arak reactor

Tehran Times Political Desk  TEHRAN – Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Iran welcomes China’s role in implementing a plan to reconstruct the Arak heavy-water reactor.  China played a “constructive” role in the nuclear talks and the country should continue to play a positive role in implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, he said during a joint press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Tuesday.    He also said that the governments are duty-bound to implement their commitments in the international areas and the U.S. government is committed to removing the sanctions.    The U.S. commitments will not be changed after changing the U.S. president, he added.    Zarif also expressed hope that Iran-China relations would be expanded.    China has been a friend in hard times for Iran, he said, adding Iran expects China to continue it positive role into the implementation of the JCPOA.    Elsewhere, he said that crises in the Middle East region will be settled through “political” solution.    The Chinese foreign minister urged the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) to abide by their commitments in the nuclear deal.    Wang said that the nuclear agreement will contribute to establishing peace and stability in the region.    He also called for expansion of relations between Iran and China.    On July 14, Iran and the six major powers finalized the JCPOA in Vienna.

Plans from China and Iran to Strengthen Bilateral Relations

China Briefing - September 30, 2015  

By Dezan Shira & Associates

On September 22, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Prime Minister Li Keqiang met with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif in Beijing. The meeting aimed to further bilateral ties between Iran and China. During the visit, both Iran and China predicted a successful future for Iran-China relations, especially with the current nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – underway.  Through the years, China and Iran have continued to foster an extensive diplomatic relationship. Today, China is the biggest customer of Iranian oil and the first in line for Iranian overseas business. Thus, with the progression of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, strengthening bilateral ties between Iran and China looks inevitable.  Details of the Nuclear Deal (JCPOA)   Under the JCPOA, Iran is called to enact restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions against the country. This will include both multilateral and national sanctions related to trade, technology, finance and energy. The implementation of the deal will ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, and is endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.  Iran and China have emphasized the importance of sticking to the deal, as its completion is expected to be conducive for stronger bilateral ties between the two. Wang Yi stated that both countries agreed that “it is urgent for all sides to deliver their promises and kick off the first step of the implementation process”. Once the deal is in full effect, China and Iran have plans to deepen their already strong economic ties.