November 26th Highlights

China and the World, Intelligent garlic, Ghanaian cartoonists, and photos of fake girlfriends.


Fishermen Sort Fish in Shandong
Photo Credit: China File

China and the World

An oldie (still published this year) but a goodie on Chinese foreign policy. In the New Era and following a Trump tour that will be understood as a historic milestone in the us-china power story, this article is worth revisiting.

It isn’t revolutionary , but it is a comfortable, summative read that introduces several neat ways of thinking about China’s interaction with the ‘established order’:

– [Beijing’s] strategy is best described as portfolio diversification, whereby Beijing expands its institutional options in order to serve multiple goals.

– The more Western-dominated an institution, the more likely it is to have a liberal bias, but the less representative—and perhaps less functional—it will be.

– What this means for Washington is that it need not view initiatives such as the AIIB or the Belt and Road as undermining U.S. efforts. But it does mean that Asian economies are increasingly looking to one another, rather than the West, for investment and economic cooperation.

– To reject every Chinese initiative outright, then, would require Washington to fight both geography and economics. And doing so would cause it to miss opportunities to work with China

Fake Girlfriends and Chengdu Rappers

It would be difficult to do this link justice in just a few short paragraphs. It’s basically a bunch of great photo albums about a bunch of fascinating topics. Check it out.

Chinese Football: An Industry Built Through Present Futures, Clouds, and Garlic?

The link to football here is brief. The article is basically about Alibaba, and China’s, management of imagined futures. It’s a really interesting, brief read and it introduces a fascinating April Fool’s joke/marketing strategy of Alibaba’s that I hadn’t heard of before. I won’t ruin the punchline here, but do have a look at the video link in the article.

How a Lone Ghanaian Cartoonist Stood up to China

This cartoonist is great at capturing Xi’s likeness. Their mockery and the Chinese embassy’s outrage is also a good reminder of the local resistance Chinese endeavours face abroad.

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