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Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in Agriculture, Climate Change & The Environment, China, Featured |

5 Years After the Airpocalypse: Reviewing Chinese Environmental Policy Since 2013

5 Years After the Airpocalypse: Reviewing Chinese Environmental Policy Since 2013

The beginning of 2013 marked the apex of China’s environmental problem. The government began publishing official AQI readings, making pollution a measurable, and thus effectively irrefutable phenomenon. In mid-January, smog choked the major cities of Beijing and Tianjin, as AQI readings soared literally off the charts. Beijing’s “Airpocalypse” reached extremes that scales were unable to measure, resulting in school closures and flight cancellations. It was reported that the air in the city was worse than that of an airport smoking lounge.

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Posted by on Jan 6, 2018 in China, Economy & Trade, Featured |

Trouble in Manufacturing Paradise: Labour Rights Protests in China

Trouble in Manufacturing Paradise: Labour Rights Protests in China

The group that disproportionately faces the burden of an economic slowdown is the Chinese labor force. Declining economic growth results in rising costs and decreasing global demand, which causes a rise in unemployment, as factories close or restructure to be economically profitable. Due to the intensity of China’s manufacturing sector as a large proportion of its GDP, any acute shift in global or domestic supply and demand for products would cause ripple effects for manufacturing regions in terms of employment and wage stability. Finally, the high intensity concentration of these manufacturing regions means workers are often negatively impacted en masse, which contributes to the dissemination of public dissatisfaction – which, in turn, can spark protests.

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Asia Pacific, China, Featured |

Seeking Immortality: The Era of Xi Jinping

Seeking Immortality: The Era of Xi Jinping

This year’s Party Congress began with a monumental three and a half hour speech by Chinese President and CCP General Secretary Mr. Xi Jinping. Indeed, Xi was the primary focus of this year’s Party Congress, as the gathering provided both an opportunity for him to cement his influence through political appointments as well as review his presidential legacy from 2012 to 2017. His comprehensive speech outlined both domestic and foreign policies that will shape his administration for the next five years – focusing on topics as wide ranging as global engagement, domestic political economy, the environment and the overarching vision of China’s place as a definitive global power in the international system. Below is a selection of some of the most important elements in his report:

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Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Asia Pacific, China, Featured | 1 comment

Factionalism in China on the Eve of the 19th Party Congress

Factionalism in China on the Eve of the 19th Party Congress

The 19th Party Congress will reveal the extent of Xi’s political control throughout the state, as his loyal followers are predicted to be elevated into key positions – including within the PSC. It is important to note that while the Chinese state is officially a one-party state, its party members are not monolithic. Divergence in ideologies, policy preferences and socioeconomic backgrounds has led to the development of informal political networks, termed factions. Understanding the reasons for factionalism within China improves comprehension of internal Chinese politics, and rationalizes the reasons for individual ascent to power.

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