SCSC - So again, General Secretary of the Central Communist Party of Viet Nam Nguyen Phu Trong was invited for an official visit to Beijing from April 7th to 10th, 2015. Trong’s most recent visit to China dated back three years ago (from October 11th to 15th, 2011).

People may still recall Trong’s visit in 2011 followed the incident when Chinese fishing and fishery surveillance vessels had blatantly cut the cables of Ship Binh Minh 02 and Ship Viking II doing scientific research in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Viet Nam between late May and early June 2011, making the situation in the South China Sea become intense.

2015 Boao Forum for Asia, Beijing talked much to conceal its profound intention

SCSC - On an annual basis, China organises the so - called Boao Forum for Asia. This year, the forum lasted from March 26th to March 29th and was considered to be of the largest scale ever with the participation of nearly 1800 delegates from 49 countries, including State Presidents and Prime Ministers.

The forum’s plenary meeting discussed a number of issues such as Asia’s economic prospect, China’s initiatives on the Economic Corridor and Silk Route (oftentimes referred to as the “One Belt, One Road” strategy), the 21st Century Maritime Silk Route and the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

How China Seeks to Shape Its Neighborhood

SCSC - China has moved from a focus on “great power” diplomacy – emphasizing its relationship with global powers, especially the U.S. – to prioritizing “neighborhood diplomacy” – China’s relationships with its neighbors and near neighbors. That shift, which has been slowly transforming China’s foreign policy since Xi Jinping came to power, has major ramifications for the Asia - Pacific, as well as U.S. - China relations.

Historically, scholars have seen China as placing a premium on the U.S. - China relationship. Getting that relationship right was the “key of keys” (重中之重) for Chinese foreign policy as a whole. It’s no coincidence that Xi took a trip to the U.S. in February 2012 to prove his bona fides before assuming China’s top leadership position. [READ MORE]

A New Way to Resolve South China Sea Disputes?

SCSC - As disturbing trends in the South China Sea continueinto 2015, some interesting proposals have been floated in various circles about how to resolve – or at least manage – the contentious territorial and maritime disputes there. We have explored some of these direct and indirect approaches at The Diplomat, which range from imposing greater costs on Chinese coercion in the South China Sea to leaving the issue to the next generation altogether.

At a recent conference at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington, D.C. - based think tank, former director of national intelligence and commander - in - chief of the U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Dennis Blair suggested one such idea. [READ MORE]

Chinese Foreign Policy Signals for 2015

SCSC - The annual Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) held in March 2015 provides a glimpse to what the Chinese foreign policy might look in 2015. While there is a prospect for mutual cooperation with Russia and a competitive cooperation with the United States, there is prospects for acrimony with Japan and a process of engagement with India.

The completion of the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), known as the “Two Sessions”, between 3rd to 15th March, provides a clear picture regarding the nuances of Chinese foreign policy in 2015. [READ MORE]

How Powerful Is China’s Military Really?

SCSC - Recent publications such as the RAND Corporation’s report “China’s Incomplete Military Transformation: Assessing the Weaknesses of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) [4] ” and Dennis Blasko’s article “Ten Reasons Why China Will Have Trouble Fighting a Modern War [5] ” mark a significant shift [6] away from the usual narrative that China’s economic rise has led to an increasingly militarized and powerful PLA.

While the PLA’s military budget continues to grow at double - digit rates, these reports suggest that the “China threat” has been overhyped. The PLA suffers from institutional weaknesses and vulnerabilities, including a lack of professional human capital with adequate combat experience, rampant corruption, and underdevelopment of non - commissioned officers. [READ MORE]

Revealed: China's Reasons for Island - Building in the South China Sea

SCSC - For the first time, China’s Foreign Ministry has explained in detail the purpose and rationale for large - scale land reclamation activities taking place in disputed areas of the South China Sea. China’s dredging and construction activities have caused fellow disputants, as well as the U.S., to criticize China for raising tensions by seeking to change the status quo.

China’s typical response when asked about the South China Sea is terse and tends to shut off, rather than invite, further discussion. [READ MORE]

China - US: Avoiding the ‘Improbable War’

SCSC - If the United States is the colossus that bestrides the world, its command to history is simple: Stop. The problem with America’s imperative is, as distinguished Yale historian Paul Kennedy remarked in 2010, “history, unfortunately, has a habit of wandering off all on its own”.

A recent diplomatic episode shows that this is a lesson the U.S. remains uninterested in learning. As readers ofThe Diplomat will know, in 2010, the IMF, with the support of the Obama Administration, passed a series of reforms that would shift member quota shares (and voting rights) to reflect the dynamics of a changing world economy, especially the economic growth of the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). [READ MORE]

Revealed: China’s Cyberwar ‘Cannon’

SCSC - It could be the most powerful item in China’s electronic arsenal: a system for injecting spyware onto any foreign computer that communicates with a website in China.

Computer security researchers have discovered a new “offensive device” being used by China’s powerful Internet censors that gives them the power to launch attacks on websites and inject malicious viruses on computers around the world. [READ MORE]

An insolent China needs India’s increasing engagement in the East Sea

SCSC - India is a South Asian nation and the seventh - largest country by area. The Indus Valley Civilization has blossomed in terms of its development space since 5,000 years ago and substantially influenced culture of various countries in the region including the Southeast Asia.

As the second - most populous country with approximately 1.277 billion people (2013) and an integrating and growing economy after the all - round economic reforms in 1990s, India is in the process of enhancing its influence in Asia and the world in the next decades. In 1990, the “Look East Policy” was initiated by Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.

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