Bureau Chief, Vietnam
John's Feed
Dec 9, 2012

As China’s clout grows, sea policy proves unfathomable

SHANGHAI, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Imagine if the U.S. state of
Hawaii passed a law allowing harbour police to board and seize
foreign boats operating up to 1,000 km (600 miles) from
Honolulu.

That, in effect, is what happened in China about a week ago.
The tropical province of Hainan, home to beachfront resorts and
one of China’s largest naval bases, authorized a unit of the
police to interdict foreign vessels operating “illegally” in the
island’s waters, which, according to China, include much of the
heavily disputed South China Sea.

Dec 6, 2012

China’s new boss Xi hits nationalist note with talk of “revival”

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – In his first three weeks as China’s Communist Party boss, Xi Jinping has shown himself to be more confident, direct and relaxed than his predecessor – but also quick to invoke nationalistic themes to win public support and legitimacy.

He has at least twice spoken publicly, and in heroic terms, about national “rejuvenation” and the “revival of the Chinese nation”. The phrase has been uttered by all of Xi’s predecessors as party boss, but his frequent usage so early in his tenure is intended to “create cohesion” through nationalism, said Li Weidong, a political commentator and former magazine editor.

Dec 5, 2012

“Board and search” sea rules likely had Beijing’s sign-off: official

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – New Chinese regulations allowing police to board vessels deemed to be trespassing off the southern island of Hainan were a provincial-level initiative, but Beijing likely signed off on them, an official said on Wednesday.

China is in an increasingly angry dispute with several of its neighbors over claims to parts of the oil and gas-rich South China Sea, including the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

Dec 5, 2012

China’s “board and search” sea rules likely had Beijing’s sign-off: official

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – New Chinese regulations allowing police to board vessels deemed to be trespassing off the southern island of Hainan were a provincial-level initiative, but Beijing likely signed off on them, an official said on Wednesday.

China is in an increasingly angry dispute with several of its neighbors over claims to parts of the oil and gas-rich South China Sea, including the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

Nov 15, 2012

China’s new leaders could have reform thrust upon them

BEIJING (Reuters) – However ploddingly China’s new leaders might like to reform the world’s second-largest economy and the way they govern, pressures set to build over the next decade will likely force great change upon them.

President-in-waiting Xi Jinping and the next premier, Li Keqiang, were anointed on Thursday as the top leaders of the Communist Party, only the second time the party has managed a peaceful transition since it took power in 1949.

Nov 15, 2012

China’s new party chief Xi gets strong mandate for action

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s president-in-waiting Xi Jinping won a strong mandate on Thursday to lead the world’s second-biggest economy and deal with problems ranging from corruption to economic uncertainty.

Xi was appointed head of both the ruling Communist Party and its top military body as the ruling Communist Party unveiled a new leadership line-up consisting of conservatives and respected financial reformers.

Nov 14, 2012

Respected China vice-premier tipped to head anti-graft effort

BEIJING (Reuters) – One of China’s most senior financial officials is likely to lead the fight against corruption, a top priority in the world’s second-biggest economy, following his appointment to a key council at the end of the Communist Party’s 18th congress on Wednesday.

Known as “the chief firefighter”, Wang Qishan, 64, is currently the vice-premier in charge of economic affairs, under Premier Wen Jiabao.

Nov 14, 2012

Respected China banker tipped to head anti-graft effort

BEIJING, Nov 14 (Reuters) – A respected trade negotiator and
former banker is likely to head China’s fight against
corruption, a top priority for the world’s second-biggest
economy, following his appointment to a key council at the end
of the 18th congress of the Communist Party.

Known as “the chief firefighter”, Wang Qishan, 64, sorted
out a debt crisis in southern Guangdong province where he was
vice governor in the late 1990s. Later, he replaced the sacked
Beijing mayor after a cover-up of the deadly SARS virus in 2003.

Nov 14, 2012

China party enshrines tighter oversight after Bo Xilai scandal

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party amended its guiding charter on Wednesday to tighten oversight of officials, a move reflecting the depth of concern about abuse of power in the wake of a scandal involving former political heavyweight Bo Xilai.

The closing session of the five-yearly party congress also changed the party constitution to explicitly endorse reform and opening as “the path to a stronger China” and made a nod towards growing environmental problems by promoting “ecological progress” as part of the party’s development strategy.

Nov 12, 2012

Buried in a bleak text, hope for a Chinese political experiment

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao’s opening speech at the ongoing 18th Party Congress was a disappointment to many listeners, offering no major signals that the leadership is willing to advance political reform.

The 64-page keynote speech he delivered was couched in the usual conservative and Marxist terminology, but one paragraph buried deep in the text was just what proponents of a long-running experiment in public policy consultations have been waiting for.