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