East Asia

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Snapshot,
Matthew Goodman and Ely Ratner

Nearly two centuries after it lost its traditional place at the center of Asian affairs, Beijing has begun giving shape and substance to its renewed leadership on the regional stage.

Snapshot,
Jonathan Woetzel and Jeongmin Seong

With 632 million Internet users, China has already become the world’s largest e-tailing market, with almost $300 billion in sales posted in 2013. Although digital marketplaces have changed the face of Chinese retail, however, other major sectors such as manufacturing and healthcare have been much slower to embrace the Internet. China’s digital transformation is just beginning, which means that over the next few years, the world’s second-largest economy will radically transform the way it does business.

Snapshot,
Catie Bailard

Everyone now knows that the Internet can facilitate mass protest movements. What tends to be overlooked, however, is the Internet's other role in political movements of this sort—that is, its effects before protestors ever take to the streets.

Snapshot,
J. Berkshire Miller

After months of back-channel diplomacy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese leader Xi Jinping finally met this week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The Abe-Xi meeting is long overdue and represents the first time the leaders from the world’s second and third biggest economies have talked since Abe took office in December 2012.

Snapshot,
Gilbert Rozman

Moscow and Beijing have disagreements about the future order they envision for their regions. But they agree that the geopolitical order of the East should be in opposition to that of the West—and that has led to significantly closer bilateral relations.

Snapshot,
Paul Gillis

In September, Alibaba Group launched the largest IPO in history, raising $25 billion from investors keen to own a slice of China’s most successful e-commerce company. For the moment, the potential for vast wealth overrode concerns about the unusual corporate structure and governance practices of Alibaba and firms like it. Maybe it shouldn’t have.

Snapshot,
Rebecca Liao

The Fourth Plenum took a bureaucratic view of the judiciary, treating it as an ally to the regime in improving governance rather than as the people’s advocate against that regime.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Elizabeth C. Economy

Xi Jinping’s reforms are designed to produce a corruption-free, politically cohesive, and economically powerful one-party state with global reach: a Singapore on steroids. But there is no guarantee the reforms will be as transformative as the Chinese leader hopes.

Snapshot,
Andrew S. Erickson and Adam P. Liff

In uncritically signing on to Chinese President Xi Jinping's “new type of great-power relations” concept, the Obama administration fell into a trap. It has what is most likely its last major chance to dig itself out when Obama visits Beijing next month for a follow-up summit.

Snapshot,
John Delury

There is nothing inevitable about democratization China. But neither, as one former Obama administration official argued, is the students’ call for genuine democracy a mere “pipe dream.” For what history does record are long and hard-fought struggles between competing visions of political life and social order, and the students in Hong Kong have made themselves heard and their vision known.

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