A Matter of Perspective: Parsing Insider Accounts of Xi Jinping Ahead of the 20th Party Congress

This autumn sees the return of every China watcher’s favorite ‘parlor game’. The Communist Party of China (CPC) will convene its 20th Party Congress, a quinquennial gathering of around 3000 Party representatives in Beijing for a week of meetings that will approve a report by General Secretary Xi Jinping 习近平, amend the Party’s constitution, and … more

Contentious Friendship

It is over fourteen years since I suggested to Kevin Rudd that he use the expression zhengyou 諍友 in a speech he was to give at Peking University (PKU) in April 2008. Zhengyou means a friend or an adviser who dares give voice to unpleasant truths, one who offers discomforting opinions and counsels caution. The … more

China’s ‘Green Steel’ and its Implications for Australia

In June 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment and sixteen other government departments jointly released their ‘National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy’. The document outlined plans for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to become a ‘climate-resilient society’ by 2035. It emphasised the need for adaptation and mitigation, namely, reducing emissions through new technologies … more

Water Security in Rural China: The View from a Zhejiang Village

In September 2021, the Minister for Water Resources announced in a press release that under the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), centralised water supply and tap water coverage in rural areas had risen from 82 percent and 76 percent respectively, to 88 percent and 83 percent in 2020. The long-standing predicament faced by rural residents in … more