Who's up, down and out at China's congress?

  • 15 March 2017
  • From the section China
Chinese President Xi Jinping, centre and in focus, surrounded by delegates, out of focus, at a plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sunday, March 12, 2017. Image copyright AP
Image caption Party power is increasingly concentrated in President Xi Jinping

China's National People's Congress (NPC) is largely a rubber stamp for policy but it is still closely watched for indications of who is on the rise or on the way out in Beijing.

Up: The core, of course.

After attaining the title "core" last October, you might think President Xi had already reached the top. But no Chinese leader can sit easy on the throne, and having worked hard for a title, making everyone use it is a useful way to exact loyalty.

So for the first time this year, NPC work reports and meetings were replete with references to President Xi as the "leadership core of the Communist Party". In fact, President Xi got more name checks than any Chinese leader since Chairman Mao. President Xi is up.

Down: Hong Kong compatriots.

As the former British colony awaits the much less-than-democratic election of a new leader at the end of the month, it got a very pointed thumbs down from Beijing.

NPC Standing Committee Chairman Zhang Dejiang warned that Hong Kong's economy could be overtaken within two years by neighbouring Shenzhen, which as many Shenzhen residents themselves will proudly tell you, was little more than a fishing village only 30 years ago.

Up: The PR team.

Read full article Who's up, down and out at China's congress?

'All-out offensive' in Xinjiang risks worsening grievances

  • 2 March 2017
  • From the section China
This photo taken on 27 February 2017 shows ranks of Chinese military police attending an anti-terrorist oath-taking rally in Hetian, northwest China's Xinjiang region. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Large rallies by security forces have been held in Xinjiang recently

China is in the midst of what it calls a "people's war on terror" in its far west. What sparked this latest campaign was a knife attack.

After five people were killed on 14 February in Xinjiang, home to China's Muslim Uighur minority, Beijing began an "all out offensive". It flew in thousands of armed troops to hold mass police rallies and deploy columns of armoured vehicles on city streets.

Read full article 'All-out offensive' in Xinjiang risks worsening grievances

Could China's Trump tactics actually be working?

  • 24 February 2017
  • From the section China
Ivanka Trump (left) attends the Chinese Embassy's New Year reception with her daughter (front left). Washington DC, USA, 1 February 2017. Image copyright Xinhua/Alamy Live News
Image caption Beijing realised the importance of cultivating relations with Mr Trump's family

It's been a month and adjusting to Donald Trump as US president has been an enormous challenge for China, as for many around the world.

He arrived in office full of provocative and unpredictable messaging on China, but Beijing needs American goodwill, markets and technology to build what it calls its "comprehensive strength".

Read full article Could China's Trump tactics actually be working?

China's gamble for global supremacy in era of Trump

  • 27 January 2017
  • From the section China
In this handout image provided by Ria Novosti, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping arrives in Russia ahead of the G20 summit on 4 September 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Is Xi Jinping's China destined to be the world's reigning superpower?

At his inauguration last week President Trump reframed the American mission from leadership of a global rules-based system in the interests of all, to 'America first'. Meanwhile the leader of Communist China rebranded his prickly protectionist power as the defender of globalisation and shared values. So after week one in this upside down new world, how stands China's bid for global leadership?

'Trump confirms socialism is the way'

A week is just a week, but when it comes to strategic focus, China is on course. It's easier to look laser sharp when the competition is in disarray. Here the internal difficulties of the US and the European Union are helpful to China.

Read full article China's gamble for global supremacy in era of Trump

One man's surprising defiance on Chinese legal rights

  • 1 January 2017
  • From the section China
The celebration ceremony of the 95th anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (01 July 2016) Image copyright AFP
Image caption In a one-party state, principles for citizens often seem like a dangerous and expensive luxury

The year 2016 has been another grim year for those campaigning for human rights in China.

On freedom of speech, religious expression, trades unions and a host of other issues, China's one-party state continues to punish those who try to insist on their constitutional rights.

Read full article One man's surprising defiance on Chinese legal rights

Trump's Taiwan phone call will stun Beijing

  • 3 December 2016
  • From the section China
Photo released by Taiwan Presidential Office Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, center, flanked by National Security Council Secretary-General Joseph Wu, left, and Foreign Minister David Lee, speaks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump through a speaker phone in Taipei, Taiwan. Image copyright AP
Image caption President Tsai talking to Mr Trump on a speaker phone in a call that had been "agreed to by both sides"

The US president-elect's decision to turn his back on four decades of US protocol on Taiwan and speak directly to a president of Taiwan will stun policymakers in Beijing.

Since his election last month, they have struggled to understand who is advising Donald Trump on Asia and what his China policy will look like. This move will turn concern into alarm and anger.

Read full article Trump's Taiwan phone call will stun Beijing

China and the Church: The 'outlaw' do-it-yourself bishop

  • 2 December 2016
  • From the section China
Dong Guanhua.
Image caption Dong Guanhua is one of many religious leaders unrecognised by Church or state

Dong Guanhua is a thorn in the side of both the Vatican and the Chinese state. Without the Pope's permission, or Beijing's, this 58-year-old labourer from a village in northern China calls himself a bishop.

China and the Vatican are believed to be close to a historic agreement governing the selection of bishops for 10 million Chinese Roman Catholics.

Read full article China and the Church: The 'outlaw' do-it-yourself bishop

US leaving TPP: A great news day for China

  • 22 November 2016
  • From the section China
A woman wears a cap with a China message that is reminiscent of the campaign slogan of US President-elect Donald Trump "Make America Great Again," at a bar in Beijing, China, 09 November 2016. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Trump's move is likely to work out well for Beijing

The Chinese government will rejoice to hear Donald Trump promise that the US will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on his first day in the White House.

For years, Beijing has listened to the Obama administration say the 12-nation regional trade deal was a way of bolstering American leadership in Asia.

Read full article US leaving TPP: A great news day for China

US election 2016: China eyes chance to weaken US power

  • 10 November 2016
  • From the section China
Media captionSome Chinese views of Donald Trump

He may have won at home, but on the level where great nations contend, President-elect Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" now goes head to head with China's favourite catchphrases, the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the China dream.

At precisely the moment Mr Trump was giving his victory speech, Chinese TV channels were running extensive coverage of a space mission and President Xi even chose US results day to talk to China's astronauts by satellite link.

Read full article US election 2016: China eyes chance to weaken US power

China blocks Hong Kong lawmakers in a reminder of who is in charge

  • 7 November 2016
  • From the section China
A Chinese national flag and a Hong Kong flag fly outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Beijing has told Hong Kong it cannot use the legislature to campaign for ideas offensive to China

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" is an 18th Century trumpet call for free speech, one often repeated by parliamentarians around the world… but never in China.

The message from Beijing to its unruly territory 2,000km (1,350 miles) south is, by contrast, "we disapprove of what you say and we hereby decree that you have no right to say it".

Read full article China blocks Hong Kong lawmakers in a reminder of who is in charge