China Report

China Report; 59 (4)


  • The Onus on Coal Consumption and the ‘Beautiful China Initiative’: Economic and Policy Implications
    Daniel Rajmil, Lucía Morales, and Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan
  • Trends in the Development of US–China Relations After the 2020 Presidential Election in the Context of the Information and Political Discourse of American Elites
    Vadim Kozlov and Alexandra Bocharova
  • Status Competition: The BRICS’ Quest for Influence in Global Governance
    Haans J. Freddy and C. Joshua Thomas
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: A Framework for Understanding China’s SOEs, SMEs and Decentralisation
    Brice Tseen Fu Lee and Juan Pablo Sims
  • The China Belt and Road Initiative: The Struggles and Opportunities for the SMEs Development of an Emerging Economy
    Abdelhak Senadjki, Iddrisu Mohammed Awal, Samuel Ogbeibu, Tameur Nachef and Mourad Senadjki
  • War and Control: A Study of Chinese Migrants in Assam in the Late Colonial Period
    Papari Saikia
  • The Main Factors Underpinning Turkey–China Relations: The ‘Turkic World’ Narrative and Its Implications for Future Relations
    Levon Hovsepyan

An Introductory Note for the Articles

  • China’s need for rapid economic growth and its hunger for natural resources significantly challenge its economic and policy vision of sustainability, social stability and economic development. The ‘Beautiful China Initiative’ plans to put China on the path of sustainable development in line with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. The Chinese authorities are expected to reconsider traditional economic policy models to integrate environmental protection while ensuring that their economy proliferates. The shift from a traditional and heavy coal-dependent economy towards greener energy and a sustainable economic model brings additional challenges to China due to its historical dependence on coal as its energy engine. Daniel Rajmil, Lucía Morales, and Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan’s research paper examines causality patterns between economic growth and fossil fuels energy consumption by analysing coal consumption and carbon dioxide emissions policies using Pesaran’s autoregressive distributed lag model. The research findings offer insights into China’s challenges to transition towards a more sustainable economic model, making the country’s ‘Beautiful China Initiative’ quite complex as it needs to navigate through high levels of environment-friendly economic growth whilst trying to avoid the middle-income trap.
  • In a short period, from 2016 to 2020, China has transformed from the main trade and economic partner of the United States, during the years of Barack Obama’s presidency, to one of the leading opponents of the US administration. Vadim Kozlov and Alexandra Bocharova’s article analyses the reasons for the growing tension in US–China relations and the trade war as the apogee of this confrontation considers the discourse of American political elites in the media regarding China’s participation and role in the demarcation between states and assesses the prospects of relations between the two countries under the Democratic administration of Joe Biden, with a focus on the information agenda in the United States. The quantitative results of the topic modelling analysis show that the ongoing ideological shift of discourse from the Democrats and lack of any discussion of trade negotiations resulted in 2022 demonstrate that the shift from the economic sphere to ideology has been completed. The tensions between China and the United States have transferred to the political-diplomatic stage with a new danger for the United States and NATO interests coming to the surface—Russia and its policy in Eastern Europe.
  • The 14th Brazil Russia India China South Africa (BRICS) Summit hosted by China on the 23rd and 24th of June 2022 has significance for world politics and global governance. Emerging powers or rising powers have in recent times had significance in terms of global governance. The emergence of rising powers and the subsequent shift in power from the Global North to the Global South can be seen as the new transformations that are occurring in the international order. New groupings such as the G7, G20, BRICS, Malaysia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkiye, Australia (MIKTA) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organizations have now become significant players in the realm of global governance. They can also be seen as catalysers for the shifting of influence in terms of global governance. In Haans J. Freddy and C. Joshua Thomas’s article, the shifting influence of power from the North to the South will be analysed in the context of status competition. The article would subsequently assess the BRICS grouping in terms of its quest for influence in global governance. Additionally, the article would also assess if this choice to achieve influence in global governance could result in the emergence of conflict between established powers and rising powers.
  • Brice Tseen Fu Lee and Juan Pablo Sims’ study delves into the intricate interplay between state-owned enterprises (SOEs), disposable income and economic decentralisation within China’s economic landscape, all underpinned by the principles of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It highlights the unique roles of SOEs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while assessing disposable income’s effect in bolstering support for decentralisation. Emphasis is placed on whether a higher disposable income often a product of SOEs’ control over vital industries and utility prices can catalyse public enthusiasm for decentralisation. Utilising a spectrum of analytical techniques on secondary data, the study uncovers vital patterns that suggest a symbiotic relationship between SOEs and SMEs in advancing economic growth and decentralisation. The findings offer valuable insights for policy development and further understanding of the nexus between SOEs, disposable income and decentralisation, as contextualised within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
  • Following the economic crisis in 2008, several Algerian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in key economic sectors were negatively affected. More than 30,000 companies closed in a single year and more than 70,000 jobs were lost as a result of the financial crisis. These negative effects led to several bankruptcies and a deterioration in business management. The government’s efforts to address the crisis include an important measure to promote SME development under the China–Algeria Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, there are divided concerns with regard to the impact of the BRI, which seems to reflect on both prospects and challenges for SME development. Therefore, Abdelhak Senadjki, Iddrisu Mohammed Awal, Samuel Ogbeibu, Tameur Nachef and Mourad Senadjki’s study aims to explore the struggles and opportunities of BRI projects in the development of local SMEs in Algeria. In this study, a combination of face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions are conducted with 20 participants. The target group includes general managers, CEOs, entrepreneurs and managers of SMEs. All interviews were recorded face-to-face, later transcribed, translated and thematically analysed. The results show that the BRI has positive impacts on SME development, which reflect on economic opportunities, namely, trade partnerships, market efficiency and productivity, and improve employment opportunities. However, the dominance of Chinese enterprises and the lack of appropriate enterprise policies are among the challenges that hinder the rapid development of SMEs. Therefore, policy reform is needed to ensure the enforcement of foreign enterprise policies that limit the dominance of foreign enterprises and instead encourage the expansion of local enterprises to promote socio-economic growth.
  • World War II (WWII) directly impacted the lives of Chinese migrants living in Assam, the Northeastern frontier of British India. The major wars that impacted the lives of Chinese migrants in Assam were the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and WWII. Most of the literature focuses on the Sino-Indian War of 1962, its impact, internment and sociopolitical and cultural aspect of the community afterwards. Papari Saikia’s study shifts its attention to WWII and its effect on the community. This article investigates the relationship between the colonial state and the migrants. While the state tried to control the population, the community found many ways to negotiate with these control mechanisms, though they were vulnerable. It argues that the community’s experience during WWII is central to understanding their experience during the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The control mechanism, like registration, provided them with legal status in Assam but did not ensure legal activities. Sometimes, these activities can be seen as reacting to the control mechanisms.
  • Levon Hovsepyan’s article analyses how shifts in the international system and Turkish domestic factors determine the current relations between Turkey and China. They are combined with changes in the international system and Turkish domestic economic, political and ideological factors. The Uyghur issue, Turkey’s new activism in Central Asia, and the ‘Turkic narrative’ are analysed in the context of bilateral relations. The 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War brought the ‘Turkic narrative’ to a new level and gave new impetus and confidence to Ankara in forging a new assertive foreign policy in Central Asia, which could be a challenge for Beijing in the future.


Book Reviews

  • Amrita Jash, The Concept of Active Defence in China’s Military Strategy, India: Pentagon Press, 2022.
    Suyash Desai
  • Tansen Sen and Brian Tsui (eds.), Beyond Pan-Asianism: Connecting China and India, 1840s–1960s, India: Oxford University Press, 2021.
    Chandu Doddi
  • Tarun Khanna and Michael Szonyi (eds.), Making Meritocracy: Lessons from China and India, from Antiquity to the Present, New York: Oxford University Press, 2022.
    Rana Mitter
  • Rajan Kumar, Meeta Keswani Mehra, G. Venkat Raman and Meenakshi Sundriyal (eds.), Locating BRICS in the Global Order: Perspectives from the Global South, London and New York: Routledge, 2023.
    Bhim B. Subba
  • Lachlan Fleetwood, Science on the Roof of the World: Empire and the Remaking of the Himalaya, India: Cambridge University Press, 2022.
    Swargajyoti Gohain

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