Trump Xi: Property man meets career communist

  • 7 November 2017
  • From the section China
US President Donald Trump welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago state in Palm Beach, Florida, US, 6 April 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Xi has a decidedly different personality to that of Mr Trump

Donald Trump is the kind of person who occasionally gets locked up in Xi Jinping's China. A boastful billionaire, someone who thinks he is bigger than the Party, bigger than the national project.

Such a colossus can disappear to no known location for a period of quiet reflection with the help of the Communist Party's discipline enforcers, later to reappear muttering grateful homilies on what the Party has done for his business.

As President Trump and President Xi prepare to meet in Beijing, the contrast between the leaders of the world's economic superpowers is stunning.

Where senior members of Mr Trump's own Republican Party have dismissed his White House as an "adult daycare centre" , Mr Xi's Party lieutenants describe the Chinese president as a great and wise leader, "the saviour of socialism".

Mr Trump cannot even depend on fellow US capitalists. The titans of the American tech world are not travelling to Asia with Team Trump. Instead Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Apple's Tim Cook and Microsoft's Satya Nadella stood shoulder to shoulder in Beijing with President Xi last week for a group photograph of the advisory board for a top Chinese university.

Image copyright China News
Image caption Mr Xi (far left) can be seen here in this photo with Mark Zuckerberg (third from right) and Satya Nadella (far right)

Read full article Trump Xi: Property man meets career communist

China's Xi Jinping opens ‘New Era’ for country and the world

  • 25 October 2017
  • From the section China
Xi Jinping Image copyright Getty Images

China's new leadership line-up was the last scene to play in the carefully scripted drama of the Communist Party Congress. Yet again Xi Jinping defied convention.

Halfway through one Party chief's decade in power, a leader-in-waiting would normally appear in a red carpet ceremony at the Great Hall of the People.

Read full article China's Xi Jinping opens ‘New Era’ for country and the world

Beijing's metro gives a thumbs-up to Xi Jinping's speech

  • 21 October 2017
  • From the section China
President Xi Jinping speaks at the opening session of the 19th Communist Party Congress held at The Great Hall Of The People on 18 October 2017 in Beijing, China. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption President Xi Jinping addressed the Communist Party congress in Beijing on Wednesday

It took Xi Jinping just under three and a half hours to deliver his all-important speech to Congress, and that is about the length of time it takes to get from one side of Beijing to the other on the subway.

It's never easy to get on at rush hour and even harder this week. Some commuters have queued for over an hour and though Beijingers are usually stoical about living in a city on lockdown for political gatherings and military parades, this week the subway actually suspended its online comment section to avoid facing users' rage.

Read full article Beijing's metro gives a thumbs-up to Xi Jinping's speech

Beijing’s balancing act over North Korea

  • 12 September 2017
  • From the section China
Xi Jinping Image copyright Getty Images

Another week, another round of UN sanctions against North Korea.

With it comes another demonstration of how adept Beijing is becoming at inching back and forth along the policy tightrope it has installed between Washington and Pyongyang.

Read full article Beijing’s balancing act over North Korea

Liu Xiaobo: The man China couldn't erase

  • 13 July 2017
  • From the section China
Activist Liu Xiaobo seen in a video from 2008 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Activist Liu Xiaobo has died after spending eight years in prison

"There is nothing criminal in anything I have done but I have no complaints."

So stated Liu Xiaobo in court in 2009, and in the eight long prison years between then and now, he refused to recant his commitment to democracy. No wonder China's leaders are as afraid of him in death as they were in life.

Read full article Liu Xiaobo: The man China couldn't erase

Beijing's struggle to win Hong Kong's young hearts

  • 29 June 2017
  • From the section China
Lai Chun-yin
Image caption Like many of his generation, Lai Chun-yin feels little love for China

This week, Hong Kong marks 20 years since its return from the UK to China but Lai Chun-yin is not celebrating.

He is lying on his back on the pavement, spinning a football in the air. Between his stunt and the iconic Hong Kong harbour skyline stand a handful of mesmerised tourists.

Read full article Beijing's struggle to win Hong Kong's young hearts

Hong Kong's Carrie Lam: 'I am no puppet of Beijing'

  • 21 June 2017
  • From the section China
Hong Kong leader-elect Carrie Lam attends a news conference in Beijing, China, 11 April 2017 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Carrie Lam says the "one country two systems" formula is "as robust as ever"

Carrie Lam thinks there is a place for her in heaven. "Because I do good things," she says.

She tells me this with a straight face.

Read full article Hong Kong's Carrie Lam: 'I am no puppet of Beijing'

The new Red Guards: China's angry student patriots

  • 26 May 2017
  • From the section Asia
Yang Shuping Image copyright University of Maryland
Image caption Ms Yang said the air in the US was "sweet and fresh"

Half a century ago millions of Chairman Mao's Red Guards gathered in rallies in Tiananmen Square to chant slogans and wave their red books of his quotations in a show of loyalty to the ideas of the "Great Helmsman".

The 21st Century successors to the Red Guards are not a physical presence. After the chaos of the Cultural Revolution and the tragedy of the Beijing massacre in 1989, young people are not allowed to demonstrate in China.

Read full article The new Red Guards: China's angry student patriots

China's big push for its global trade narrative

  • 12 May 2017
  • From the section China
Screengrab from China Daily video Image copyright Youtube/Chinadaily

China's President Xi Jinping intends to tell you a story.

But first he's going to try it out on the world's political leaders. Not those of the United States, Japan, India or much of the European Union. They've declined the invitation.

Read full article China's big push for its global trade narrative

Why Beijing should lead on the North Korean crisis

  • 21 April 2017
  • From the section China
This 15 April 2017 picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 16 April 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) attending a military parade in Pyongyang marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Mr Kim needs reining in - but will China take the lead internationally on the issue?

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results."

The quotation is attributed to Albert Einstein but after a torrid few days on the Korean peninsula, it's one for Chinese leaders to ponder.

Read full article Why Beijing should lead on the North Korean crisis