Monday, January 30, 2017

The Obstacles to China's Bid for Soft Power

China’s president wants to be seen as leading the defense of globalization, but this will be easier said than done.

By John Ford

The Diplomat - January 28, 2017

The American withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement has opened the door to China to try and strike a pose as the leading defender of liberalized trade and globalization. The public face of this new push is none other than China’s president, Xi Jinping. This month, Xi became the first Chinese president to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where he set forth the case for continuing to expand global trade.
His effort was at least somewhat successful, with the Wall Street Journal running the headline “China’s Xi Seizes Role as Leader on Globalization.” China has backed its leader’s public statements with a renewed push for a regional trade deal of its own called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Program, or RCEP. China is also looking at pursuing separate deals with countries that were once set to join the TPP. The RCEP is not an anti-TPP program (several countries are part of both initiatives) but the failure of the TPP has opened the door for China to position itself as taking the lead on trade liberalization.
Xi’s effort to portray China as the leader of the pro-globalization camp is not entirely new; it is just the latest effort by China to expand its international soft power. Soft power is a notoriously vague term coined by Joseph Nye to describe the ability of a country to get what it wants without coercion or force.  China has spent many years pursuing influence by way of growing its soft power but its previous efforts have produced anemic results. There is a good chance Xi’s current public relations offensive will fall short for the same reasons previous efforts had so much difficulty.


Friday, January 27, 2017

China Can Thrive in the Trump Era


The New York Times – January 25, 2017

BEIJING — President Trump and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, are in a bind. Mr. Trump’s slogan is to “Make America Great Again,” while Mr. Xi’s motto is “Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.” The phrases have the same meaning: Each leader suggests his country has declined and claims that he will restore it to the top position in the world. But the triumph of one country is built on the failure of the other. It’s a zero-sum game.
Mr. Trump’s move on Monday to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership — an Obama administration trade proposal meant to strengthen America’s economic power at China’s expense — leaves little doubt that the president will follow through with his campaign promises to upend American trade policies, including those toward China. Taken with Mr. Trump’s postelection telephone chat with the leader of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, a major break with diplomatic protocol, we can expect a jolt to United States-China relations.


Assessing the China Challenge for Trump’s Presidency

Xie Tao     

Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy - January 18, 2017

When the next U.S. president takes office in January, he will not only have the prerogative to shape the United States’ China policy based on his own views and priorities but will also be required to react to Beijing’s diplomacy. What potential challenges does China pose to the presidency of Donald Trump?  A speech by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Symposium on International Developments and China’s Diplomacy in December 2016 provides a sense of Beijing’s foreign policy agenda in 2017. If Wang’s speech can be construed as a reasonably accurate description of that agenda, then there is little ground for U.S. policymakers and analysts to be pessimistic about bilateral relations, at least in the first year of the Trump administration.


Roland Barthes'in Çin Notları

Beijing Saati 3 - Roland Barthes'in Çin Notları (20 Ocak 2017)

Travels in China By Roland Barthes


In 1974 Roland Barthes travelled in China as part of a small delegation of distinguished French philosophers and literary figures. They arrived in China just as the last stage of the Cultural Revolution was getting underway - the campaign to criticize Lin Biao and Confucius. While they were welcomed by writers and academics, the travelers were required to follow a pre-established itinerary, visiting factories and construction sites, frequenting shows and restaurants that were the mainstay of Western visitors to China in the 70s.  Barthes planned to return from the trip with a book on China: the book never materialized, but he kept the diary notes he wrote at the time. The notes on things seen, smelled and heard alternate with reflections and remarks - meditations, critiques or notes of sympathy, an aside from the surrounding world. Published now for the first time more than thirty years after the trip, these notebooks offer a unique portrait of China at a time of turbulence and change, seen through the eyes of the world’s greatest semiotician.


The Story of Chinese New Year and Chinese- Story of Nian

The Story of Chinese New Year 

Chinese- Story of Nian

Speech by Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Speech by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Opening of the Symposium On International Developments and China's Diplomacy in 2016
3 December 2016

Distinguished experts,
Dear friends,
Good morning!
Before we even notice it, we are now approaching the end of 2016. I still remember that I said at last year's symposium that 2016 would see accelerated adjustment and transformation of the international architecture from a new starting point. Looking back today, that assessment has been proven correct on the whole, with some changes even more dramatic than expected. The world economy remains sluggish. Brexit has caught everyone by surprise. The Middle East is mired in aggravating tension. And there is growing backlash against globalization. All these taken into account, I would encapsulate the world situation in 2016 with two words, "volatility" and "turbulence". We are seeing a more volatile and turbulent world, one with greater uncertainty and instability that the international community finds deeply unsettling. On the other hand, we must also recognize that this is the unavoidable result of the realignment and transformation of the international architecture. It brings about not just new challenges, but also new opportunities. For countries around the world, what matters most is how to seize the opportunities, overcome challenges and make the international architecture more peaceful, stable and equitable, and better serve development and prosperity of our world.
For China's diplomacy, 2016 can be summed up as an important year in which China has blazed new paths and made new progress. Facing the complex and fast-changing international situation, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core and guided by the foreign policy it sets out, we have forged ahead and overcome various difficulties. We have secured a sound external environment conducive to China's development amidst the grim world situation, and elevated China's standing, influence, and institutional rights in the changing international system. In 2016, China is more proactive, more enterprising, more confident and more mature in the diplomatic arena. It has made steady progress in developing a distinctive diplomatic approach befitting China's role as a major country with a series of important achievements that have made the Chinese people proud and also won international admiration.

China and Israel Celebrate 25 Years of Diplomatic Relations

The link between the Israeli and Chinese peoples is an ancient one, dating from the Jewish community in Kaifeng a thousand years ago. 

Jewish Press - January 24th, 2017

This week, Israel and the People’s Republic of China mark 25 years of diplomatic relations. On 24 January 1992, in Beijing, the respective foreign ministers, David Levy and Qian Qichen, signed the agreement establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.  The establishment of diplomatic relations with China and, a week later, with India, opened up the gates of Asia to Israel, which continues to reap the benefits of these relations up to today.  The strong link between the Israeli and Chinese peoples is an ancient one, dating from the Jewish community in Kaifeng a thousand years ago. Jewish communities prospered also in Harbin, Tianjin and Shanghai, where thousands of Jews found refuge from the Nazis during World War II.  The relations between the two peoples, then and now, were and still are based on mutual appreciation and respect. Both peoples come from ancient cultures that succeeded in preserving their unique character and their moral heritage throughout thousands of years of history.


Can the Israel-China Love Affair Survive Donald Trump?

Beijing has been clamping down on money leaving the country. Trump’s America First policy suggests this is just the start of the bad news for Israel.

David Rosenberg

Hareetz - Jan 27, 2017  

How is this for a love story? She was beautiful, of course, but most importantly, very brainy. He was a self-made trillionaire many times over,  determined, strong and powerful. But to really make his name in the world he needed her. They were a match made in heaven. Together they did beautiful things.  That is more or less how we’ve been sold the budding romance between Israel (the brainy one) and China (the moneybags).  China is a rising global economic power that now makes the world’s iPhones and eggbeaters, but it has aspirations to move up the value chain and start making its own products with its own technology instead of being America’s and Europe’s subcontractor. Along comes Israel, an acknowledged technology power but far too small to compete with China in large-scale manufacturing.

read more:

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Who Will Rule Trump Foreign Policy?

Jim Lobe 

January 25th, 2017.

The most frightening commentary I’ve read in the run-up to the inauguration—and there have been many—appeared in a column identifying the four people whose foreign policy ideas were likely to be most influential with the then-president-elect. It was written by The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin and entitled “Inside Trump’s Shadow National Security Council.”
Those four people, according to Rogin, are chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who “has been working on the long-term strategic vision that will shape the Trump administration’s overall foreign policy approach;” chief of staff Reince Priebus; Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and his national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.).
What is particularly striking about these four men is their collective lack of foreign-policy-making experience. I can’t see any in Bannon’s resume. Priebus, until he took over the Republican National Committee six years ago, was essentially a local Wisconsin political operative. Aside from occasional visits to Israel and his family foundation’s philanthropy for Israeli and settler institutions, Kushner has never, to my knowledge, expressed any particular interest in foreign policy although, according to Rogin, he has recently been meeting with “leading representatives from countries including Israel, Germany and Britain.” Although Flynn undoubtedly gained a lot of experience overseas, his entire career was devoted to military intelligence, not policy making. And, despite her lengthy resume compiled in the national security bureaucracies under various Republican presidents, Flynn’s hand-picked deputy, K.T. McFarland, worked virtually exclusively in communications and speechwriting — never in a policy-making role.
Is there any modern precedent for this total lack of experience in the top echelons of the White House, including the National Security Council?


Trump’s adversarial view of China is out of line with the American public

Richard C. Bush

Brookings - Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Trump administration enters office with an undisguised antipathy towards China. It starts with Donald Trump himself and extends to many of the individuals he has already named for key positions. Their focus is on the U.S.-China bilateral economic relationship and the belief that China is the reason for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States over a long period of time. Trump himself has threatened to slap a 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods. But he is curiously out of step with the American public when it comes to China. On January 12, the Pew Research Center released results of a survey that show U.S. public attitudes are not so harsh. Only half of respondents (52 percent) believe that China’s power and influence is a “global threat,” ranking it only sixth in a list of the possibilities offered. ISIS, cyberattacks, North Korea’s nuclear program, Russia, and climate change all outrank China. (Sixty-four percent of the public regards North Korea’s nuclear program as a major threat, 12 points ahead of China.)


Trump and China

David Dollar

Brookings - Thursday, June 30, 2016

Trade with China has led to the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States and put downward pressure on wages for blue-collar jobs here. This is a real problem and campaigns in both political parties are grappling with how to address it. In a speech this week, Donald Trump proposed high tariffs on imports of Chinese goods, labeling the country a “currency manipulator,” and ripping up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). These measures are not likely to reverse the damage that trade has done to blue-collar workers in the United States.  First, on high tariffs: There is a long-term trend for manufacturing employment in the United States to decline as a share of employment. This reflects the fact that automation and productivity growth are easier in manufacturing than in services. The United States is still a manufacturing powerhouse from the point of view of production, but it simply does not take that many workers to produce the output. Trade with China accelerated that trend, and that was bad for the United States because slow adjustment is easier than the rapid adjustment that occurred. But imposing tariffs on Chinese imports now is truly closing the barn door after the horse has left. Jobs in apparel and footwear or the low end of electronics are not coming back to the United States. Tariffs aimed at China will divert that production to other developing countries. If we try to keep out imports from all of the low-wage countries then we are contemplating an end to the open trading system that has been a source of political and economic stability in the world. Economic results for the United States are not likely to be good even if there is no retaliation. But there is almost certain to be retaliation, especially from China which is a powerful and nationalistic country.


Turkey-US relations in Trump era: Facts and expectations

Cemil Ertem

Daily Sabah - January 16, 2017

One of the first things that U.S. President Donald Trump approved after he took office on Friday was the U.S.'s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that covers 12 countries in Asia Pacific. He said the annulment of the agreement is important for employment in the U.S.  The agreement had been negotiated by former President Barack Obama for two years, but it was not endorsed by the U.S. Congress.  Experts suggest that the U.S.'s withdrawal from the TPP will not have a direct impact on the national economy, emphasizing that Trump will follow quite different economy and trade policies from Obama. In addition to the TTP, Trump also opposes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which proposes a new foreign trade regime between the U.S. and the EU. One of Trump's most striking assertions is to make history as a U.S. president that will bring the greatest boost in employment in the country's history.


A Match Made in Hell: The Budding Bromance of Trump and Erdogan

Anna Lekas Miller

The Nation - January 24, 2017 

Istanbul— “Your organization is terrible,” Donald Trump shouted at a CNN reporter at his January 11 news conference. “You are fake news.”  Pundits across the United States and around the world were quick to comment on the president-elect’s shocking behavior, some observing that it smacked of authoritarianism.      Not Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish president congratulated Trump for standing his ground.      “During the Gezi protests and the PKK terror campaigns, the unity and solidarity of the Turkish nation were attacked,” Erdogan said, referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, during a meeting in Ankara the day after Trump’s press conference. Erdogan places at least some of the blame for his country’s recent instability on the media, and particularly on CNN, whose coverage he sees as particularly skewed against him. In Ankara, Erdogan said he was glad that “Mr. Trump put the reporter…in his place.”


What Will U.S.-China Relations Look Like under Trump?

Andranik Migranyan

National Interest - January 25, 2017

During the 2016 presidential campaign, China became perhaps the most important topic of Donald Trump’s foreign-policy and economic speeches. He has often accused Beijing of “taking advantage” of the U.S. economy and manipulating its currency, which has provided favorable conditions for Chinese exporters to dominate the American consumer-goods market. Thus he explained the vast deficit in the U.S. trade relations with China. Within the first ten months of 2016 alone, the trade deficit with China amounted to $289 billion.
To improve this state of affairs, Trump has threatened to introduce tariffs to raise the price of Chinese goods in the U.S. market by up to 45 percent. To revisit U.S. trade relations with its partners, primarily with China, Trump established a new division within the administration—the National Trade Council—and appointed the academic Peter Navarro to lead it. Navarro is well-known for his stark views against Chinese policies on a wide range of issues, from trade and China-Taiwan relations to Chinese policy towards the East China and South China seas.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Already underway, Beijing’s drive to integrate the Middle East in an economically rational Eurasian order will have profound effects on Israel’s relations with its neighbors. 

Micha'el Tanchum

The Jerusalem Post - 24 January 2017 

Although most eyes in the Middle East are now fixed on Washington and how incoming US President Donald Trump will affect the region, the future map of the Middle East is currently being shaped 11,000 km. away from the American capital – in Beijing. Chinese Premier Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road initiative to create a massive new trade corridor by both land and sea between China and Europe means China will be playing an outsized role in remaking relations in Middle East.  Already underway, Beijing’s drive to integrate the Middle East in an economically rational Eurasian order will have profound effects on Israel’s relations with its neighbors. 


Fifth Global International Studies Conference 1-3 April, 2017
Taipei, Taiwan

Fifth Global International Studies Conference
1-3 April, 2017

Taipei, Taiwan

Sociology of Islam and Shanghai University Co-sponsored panels:

S01-P01: China in the Middle East and Central Asia
Time: Saturday, 01/Apr/2017: 1:30pm - 3:15pm Session Chair: Tugrul Keskin, Shanghai University Discussant: Leonid Gusev, Moscow State Institute of International Relations
China’s One Belt One Road and the GCC - Jonathan David Fulton (Zayed University, United Arab Emirate)
Expanding China-Middle East relations and their ramifications -
Manochehr Dorraj(Texas Christian University, United States of America)
The Chinese Model in Iran’s Look East Policy - Mohiaddin Messbahi1, Mohammad Homayounvash (Florida International University, United States of America)
Indian and Chinese Approaches to the Middle East - Neha Kohli (JDS, IDSA, New Delhi, India)

S54-P01: Regional/Area Studies and Neo-Orientalism in Middle East and Chinese Studies
Time: Saturday, 01/Apr/2017: 3:45pm - 5:30pm
Session Chair: Tugrul Keskin, Shanghai University Discussant: Benjamin Herborth, University of Groningen
Oriental Pragmatism for Chinese Literary Studies - Gabriel F. Y. Tsang (King’s College London, UK, United Kingdom)
Redefining the Foreign Language Policy from the perspective of Turkish and Chinese
Hakan Dilman, Nejat Ongur (Maltepe University, Turkey)
How Middle Eastern Leaders Conceived of and Related to China
Roie Yellinek
(Bar Ilan University, Israel)
Humanitarian Imperialism and Social Sciences in Middle East Studies
Baris Doster (Marmara University, Turkey)


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Halal Food and Islam in China

BEST Halal Food and Islam Food in China

 Muslims in northwest China Celebrate Eid Al-Fitr Festival 

Legacy of Islam in China

"Vur Amerika Vur Demokrasi Kur" - Uyghur American Association - US Congress 2006

Monday, January 23, 2017

China’s Stance on East Jerusalem

by Mohammed al-Sudairi

MERIP | January 28, 2016

For those accustomed to the themes of Sino-Arab diplomacy, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on January 21 was predictable enough. It might not have attracted much attention at all if not for Xi’s statement that “China firmly supports the Middle East peace process and supports the establishment of a State of Palestine enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
This unequivocal position on East Jerusalem—at odds with the Israeli government’s insistence that Jerusalem is the “eternal and undivided” capital of Israel and with the US willingness to put Jerusalem’s status up for negotiation—was accorded considerable coverage in the Israeli press. In Arab social media, meanwhile, President Xi’s words met with some surprise as they appeared to indicate a shift in China’s position toward avid support for Palestine. Few noted, however, that the Chinese stance on this issue had already been spelled out in the “Arab white paper” issued on January 13, a week before Xi left on the tour of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran during which he gave his speech.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

How Asians view America (and China)

Richard C. Bush and Maeve Whelan-Wuest

Brookings – January 18, 2017

Editor's Note:
The new administration faces the challenge of actually formulating and conducting foreign and national security policy towards Asia. In particular, it will behoove the Trump administration to understand and take Asian opinions, like those presented in the Asian Barometer Survey, into account when formulating its policies. The Brookings Institution convened an event last September at which scholars associated with the Asian Barometer Survey presented their findings.

Friday, January 20, 2017

How East Asians view the influence of the United States versus China

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chinese solar industry targets booming Middle East market

Chinese solar panel manufacturers are targeting the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia markets, with large-scale investment in renewable energy expected to drive a rapid increase in demand for imported technology. Local demand has underpinned the rise of China’s solar energy industry, but faced by a slowdown in domestic solar energy projects and reduced subsidies, manufacturers are looking to increase their already large export trade as the key to future growth. Emerging markets offer some of the strongest opportunities, particularly in regions with high levels of solar intensity. According to Analysis by Frost and Sullivan for the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and Solar Expo, to be held in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 16-19, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will increase their installed solar capacity 50-fold between 2015 and 2025. Saudi Arabia alone has announced plans for an additional 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2030. Outside the GCC, India is targeting 175 GW by 2022, including 100 GW of solar.

Note to Abbas: Wake up, China is reshaping the Middle East

By Francesco Sisci

ASIA TIMES - January 15, 2017

The president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) was in Rome in the week-end to try to get the Pope, almost the ultimate super soft power, to support his cause. This diplomatic effort came after a new terrorist attack in Israel, when a truck rammed innocent bystanders, followed by a rally in Gaza to support it. These are all signs of the extreme weakness of some Palestinians and of madness in applauding terrorism.  There is madness in a very technical sense, as in losing touch with reality, because the whole regional situation has shifted, and not only because of the war in Syria or Iraq.  The Chinese plan for a new Silk Road in fact is creating completely new dynamics in the Middle East that are already changing the balance of power in the region.


Is China the new custodian of the Middle East?

By Shazar Shafqat

Asia Times - January 16, 2017

Russia is calling all the shots in the Middle East. No, it’s the United States. Oh hang on; it’s the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries that pull the strings. Israel is the dominant player. You just can’t rule out Egypt. ISIL, perhaps? The list goes on. There’s lot more you’re going to hear about the Middle East in the days to come.  Israel, infuriated after the UNSC verdict, might be contemplating upping the ante. After all, the MidEast Peace Conference in Paris due January 15, 2017 is, in all its likelihood, going to uphold the two-state solution.  Media will provide you with all the varied opinions, thoughts and predictions for 2017. Barring aside few of the stories, majority of these are going to be all but hogwash. Don’t buy into every news story you’re pitched with.


Turkey arrests two Chinese Uighurs over Istanbul nightclub attack

France TV 24 - 2017-01-14

Two Chinese nationals of Uighur origin were arrested on Friday for suspected links to the mass shooting in an Istanbul night club on New Year's Eve, state-run Anadolu agency said.  Two suspects, Omar Asim and Abuliezi Abuduhamiti, who are Chinese citizens, were remanded in custody on charges of being members of an armed terrorist organization, and aiding in 39 counts of murder.  Turkish authorities last week said the man who killed 39 people in an attack on an Istanbul nightclub was probably an ethnic Uighur.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Bank of China brings $300M capital to Turkey to open deposit bank


Turkey's banking watchdog BDDK said on Friday the Bank of China had received permission to open a deposit bank with Turkish lira funding in exchange for $300 million.  In a statement, the BDDK said the Bank of China had brought the "necessary capital" that is worth of $300 million and would apply to start functioning shortly.  Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said that the presence of Bank of China in Turkey would be a clear sign of foreign investors' interest in the domestic market.  The Bank of China is expected to have 99.99 percent of shares while four other companies-Best Stream, Maxon, Well Ocean, Union Favour-owned by Bank of China Group Investment Limited, a subsidiary of BOC, would have shares of 0.01 percent in total, according to reports.

China offers $1.3bn financing for Iran refinery


China has opened a line of credit worth $1.3 billion to finance to renovate Abadan Oil Refinery in Iran, a top official said. "China's Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) has opened a $1.3-billion credit line to develop and improve Abadan Oil Refinery,” Abbas Kazemi, chief executive of National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) was quoted in the Iran Daily report, which cited Mehr News Agency. The funding is part of a $3-billion deal with China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, known as Sinopec, which has reportedly begun operations to renovate Abadan refinery, the report said. The deal includes improving the quality of oil by-products by upgrading the refinery's production process. "The project is aimed at cutting mazut production and raising the output of petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel that yield higher added-value," Kazemi said. The venture is expected to be completed in four years, with mazut output to be reduced to less than 20 percent from the current level of over 40 per cent. The NIORDC chief added that China will bankroll 85 per cent of the Abadan refinery project and the remainder will be provided by domestic financers.

Israel-China deal paves way for thousands of Chinese construction workers in Israel

By Herb Keinon

THE JERUSALEM POST - 04 January 2017 

Israel and China agreed on the wording of an agreement in Beijing on Wednesday that will pave the way for some 6,000 Chinese construction workers to come and work in Israel within six months. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said the accord, which will be formally signed at the end of February in Jerusalem, was negotiated for the last 18 months and will provide a “boost” to solve the housing crisis.  Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant said that the housing market in Israel has suffered over the last few years because of a lack of manpower.  This agreement will bring new technology and a skilled workforce, he said.  “The Chinese workers will reduce the construction time, and bring down prices for the benefit of the public,” Galant said.  The Israeli delegation to China was headed by the Finance Ministry’s housing chief, Avigdor Yitzhaki, and the Construction and Housing Ministry’s director-general, Asher Armoni. They held talks with representatives of China’s Ministry of Commerce.  Until the final agreement is signed by the end of February, both sides will prepare the ground for the immediate implementation of the accord.


Will Trump Have An Impact On China And Israel Investments?

Shlomo Freund

FORBES - Dec 22, 2016 

Following the election of Donald Trump, many are now asking if the new president will have an impact on the growing investments in technology in the U.S., China and Israel.
I previously mentioned Israel’s leverages that can be towards its advantage when trying to win over China. In addition to what I mentioned, Israel can also be a bridge for China-US relations, connecting the two countries. 
As this Forbes article says, “It is not just for market expansion but also for research and development, technology breakthroughs and funding. This trend spans many sectors from biotech to security to digital media. It's not widely known but several Israeli venture funds have attracted capital from China. It's also not well known that Chinese companies are acquiring and partnering with Israeli tech startups. Israeli company Ironsource is a good example, with its close ties with Tencent.”


China's Middle East Dilemma: Israel or Palestine? Israel or Palestine?

China’s balancing act between the two is increasingly difficult to maintain.

By Wang Jin

THE DIPLOMAT - January 10, 2017

As a key state along China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, Israel’s unique geographic location, stable political and social order, as well as advanced technology are vital for China’s successful economic involvement in the Middle East. At the same time, however, given the importance of establishing China’s image in international society, especially among Arab states, China has to support Palestine’s efforts for independence and statehood. Whenever Israel-Palestine tensions flare, China has to walk on eggshells to avoid offending either side.
In a recent incident that shocked the Chinese public, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu declared his intent to limit diplomatic relations with China and other states that supported UN Security Council Resolution No. 2334, which denounced Israeli settlements in “Palestinian territory… including East Jerusalem.” As a permanent member state of the UN Security Council, China approved the resolution. Resolution 2334 was heavily criticized by both the Israeli government and many Israel political analysts. Their major concern was that the resolution was unbalanced and did not distinguish between the Western Wall and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Many Israelis believed the resolution rewards Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ efforts to apply international pressure to Israel and thus makes Abbas less willing to participate in direct talks with the state.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Article: Uyghur Diaspora in Turkey: Current Conditions and Future Projections by Tugrul Keskin

Uyghur Diaspora in Turkey: Current Conditions and Future Projections

Tugrul Keskin
Associate Professor
Shanghai University

Although the Uyghurs migrated to Turkey earlier than the year 1949; the creation of an Uyghur diaspora began only after the Maoist revolution in 1949. Two vital political struggles played important roles in the formation of the Uyghur diaspora in Turkey. First, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Republic (Şarki Türkistan İslam Cumhuriyeti) was established in November of 1933, and existed only a short period of time until January, 1934. This first attempt failed due to Soviet expansion in the region, because Soviets understood that an independent Eastern Turkistan would have critical political and social ramifications in Western Turkistan (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan). The Soviet State under Stalin dominated the entire region between the years 1934 and 1943. However, the Uyghur struggle for establishing an independent state continued in the 1940s, and as a result of this political battle combined with Islamic tendencies and nationalism, the second Eastern Turkistan Republic (Şarki Türkistan Cumhuriyeti) was established under the leadership of Ali Han Töre on November 12th 1944. The political and ideological conflict between the Soviets and China led to an unintended consequence for Uyghur Nationalism; the Uyghurs became a political tool for the Soviets to use against China. Subsequently, the leadership of the second Eastern Turkistan Republic (under Ahmetcan Kasımi, Abdurreşit Eminov, Gani Kerimov, Osmancan Nasıri, İshakbey Mononov and Abdülkerim Abbasov) were killed in a plane crash during their visit to Beijing in August, 1949 for planned political negotiations with Chinese political groups. Interestingly, this plane crash was first announced by state officials in Moscow.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Conference: Asia to the Middle East: Asianization of the Middle East with Economic Characteristics? Shanghai University, China June 7-8, 2017

Call for papers:
3rd China and The Middle East Conference:
Asia to the Middle East: Asianization of the Middle East with Economic Characteristics?
Shanghai University, China
June 7-8, 2017

Organized by
Center for Turkish Studies and Center for Global Studies
Shanghai University

Description and Objectives:
Over the last two years, with the One Belt One Road initiative, we have seen the increase of Chinese political and social activities in the Middle East region. 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, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, Chinese social and cultural activities began to appear more visibly within 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, and 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 two very successful academic conferences on this topic in collaboration with Beijing University, on March 17-18, 2015, and Qatar University, on March 23-24, 2016.
This year we have expanded the conference topic to the broader context of Asia and Central Asia. All submissions should be related to contemporary themes of sociology, political science, international relations, history and anthropology during and post-Cold War Era. We therefore invite submissions on the following and related topics:

China, Islam and the Middle East
Central Asia, Islam and the Middle East
Japan, Islam and the Middle East
The Center for Turkish Studies and Center for Global Studies at Shanghai University invites interested scholars and advanced graduate students to submit proposals for the conference below. The event will take place at Shanghai University, June 7 - 8, 2017. Please submit a 300-word paper proposal to Dr. Tugrul Keskin (tugrulkeskin (at) by APRIL 3, 2017. We acknowledge receipt of all emails and will reply to all. If you do not receive a reply, please resend your abstract. Please include the following in your email:

-Author name;
-Email address;
-Abstract in Word format;
-Title of your paper
-A short CV.

Acceptance notices will be sent by April 10, 2017.

In case your abstract is accepted, a draft paper of around 5000 words is due two weeks prior to the beginning of the conference. We intend to compile an edited volume with the best papers for publication in an international reference publisher.

Please note that this is an academic conference only, no non-academic presenters will be accepted.

Any additional queries should be sent to tugrulkeskin (at)
Organizing Committee:
·      Dr. Guo Changgang, Professor - Shanghai University, China.
·      Dr. Mohammedmoin Sadeq, Professor - Qatar University, Qatar.
·      Dr. Chen Hao, Assistant Professor – Shanghai University, China.
·      Dr. Tugrul Keskin, Associate Professor - Shanghai University, China.
·      Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer, Professor - University of California at Santa Barbara, USA.
·      Dr. Tarik Yousef, Senior Fellow and Director, Brookings Doha Center, Qatar.
·      Dr. Sean Foley, Associate Professor - Middle Tennessee State University, USA.
·      Dr. Baris Doster, Associate Professor – Marmara University, Turkey.
·      Dr. Mojtaba Mahdavi, Associate Professor - University of Alberta, Canada.
·      Dr. Can Ulusoy, Assistant Professor – Maltepe University, Turkey.
·      Dr.  Saban Kardas, Associate Professor – TOBB University, Turkey.
·      Dr. Nissim Otmazgin, Professor – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.  
·      Dr. Sari Hanafi, Professor - American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
·      Dr. Juan Cole, Professor - University of Michigan, USA.
·      Dr. Yunus Emre, Associate Professor – Kultur University, Turkey.
·      Dr. Geoffrey Gresh, National Defense University, USA.
·      Dr. Merve Kavakci, Associate Professor - Uskudar University, Turkey.  
·      Dr. Yang Chen, Post-Doctoral Fellow - Shanghai University, China.

Conference Program

June 7, 2017

9:15 - 9:30 Welcome Speech and Introduction by Dr. Guo Changgang, Professor - Shanghai University, People’s Republic of China.
9:30 - 9:50 Keynote Speech by Dr. Pan Guang, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, People’s Republic of China.

1.     Panel 1: 10:00 – 11:45

12:00-13:00 PM Lunch

2.     Panel 2: 13:15-15:00

3.     Panel 3: 15:15-17:00

DINNER 18:00 - 20:00

June 8, 2017

4.     Panel 4: 10:00 – 12:00

12:15-13:15 PM Lunch

5.     Panel 5: 13:30 – 15:30
6.     Discussion for future projects and Closing Remarks by TBA 16:00 – 17:00

DINNER 18:00 - 20:00

Sunday, January 1, 2017

NAB, China sign deal to oversee transparency in CPEC projects

Daily Times - 02-Jan-17

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China to enhance cooperation in eradication of corruption.
Under the MoU, Pakistan and China will oversee transparency in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Pakistan. According to a NAB's report, the bureau's anti-corruption strategy has started yielding positive results, which have been acknowledged by the PILDAT, Transparency International and the World Economic Forum. The report says that the NAB has established 42,000 character building societies (CBSs) to aware youth about ill effects of corruption, besides rationalising the workload.
The establishment of the first Forensic Science Lab (FSL) has also helped eradicate corruption, the report said. In this connection, the NAB also organised a seminar of South Asian Countries for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations on anti-corruption in September last year in which NAB was nominated first SAARC Anti-Corruption Forum chairman. The NAB has expressed hope that joint efforts of all stakeholders can collaborate to check corruption and corrupt practices before happening with the help civil society, media and people at large.