Since the liberalizing economic reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, the Chinese economy has grown at an average annual rate of nearly 10 percent. However, as the returns of rapid industrialization and urbanization begin to diminish, this growth has begun to slow. At the same time, massive state-driven investment ...

President-elect Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping have more in common than they currently realize. Both want to make their countries “great again,” and both need to demonstrate that they can create jobs for the large segments of their population that have felt left behind by globalization. President Xi’s challenge ...

The idyllic American university campus conjures the image of a safe and open academic environment where students spend four or more years learning new ideas and preparing for future careers.  Professors challenge eager students to open their minds to old and new perspectives in science, mathematics, business, and of course, ...

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak’s visit to China this week comes as the embattled leader’s relationship with the United States has been tested by the Department of Justice’s investigation into the scandal swirling around the 1MDB state investment fund he founded. But despite the tension and Najib’s move to align ...

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte rattled decades of foreign policy on October 20 with his announcement of a military and economic “separation” from the United States. The declaration came in Beijing amid a Philippine pivot away from the long-standing relationship with the United States and toward China, with whom Duterte said ...

With a familiar turn of phrase that still finds the world collectively raising its eyebrow, Rodrigo Duterte has added to his list of people and organizations that he feels should “go to hell.” The latest to earn this distinction is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is ...

In the span of six months, the U.S.-Philippines relationship has gone from a 25-year highpoint to a period of worrisome uncertainty. At the center of this shift is President Rodrigo Duterte, whose frequent anti-U.S. rhetoric and desire to shift his country’s foreign policy course signal that the U.S.-Philippines relationship will ...

I just returned from my first visit to China—13 days of a typical tourist itinerary: Shanghai, Wuhan, Yangtze River, Chongqing, Xian, and Beijing. But even as a tourist, I was expecting to learn much about China—by reflecting both on what I saw and what I didn't see. Whenever I visit ...

Over the next few years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to demonstrate two air-launched hypersonic weapons (HSW) concepts; the Turbo Boost Glide and the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapons Concept. These systems, though not weapons themselves, should generate a great deal of information on the operating conditions for weapon-sized air vehicles in hypersonic flight (Mach ...

Latin America is challenging the status quo.  Rather than be seen as one more area for competition between the United States and China – two of its largest trading partners – key dynamics are making the future of great power politics in Latin America harder to predict. The previous, commonly-held ...

In recent months, the People’s Republic of China has successfully faced and largely overcome a significant crisis in its relationships with Latin America, even while the United States, as it approaches the upcoming presidential election, plunges into a new phase of uncertainty in its own relationship with the continent. Although ...

From Syria, to climate change, North Korea, and the largest global refugee flows in history, the next President will face a uniquely challenging set of national security threats when she or he takes office. The Cipher Brief spoke with former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department and current ...

Chinese rivalry with the U.S. for regional dominance will be central to U.S. East Asia policy for the incoming administration.  China’s aggressive use of economic leverage, its mercantilism and revanchism will continue to complicate U.S. relations with its main rival - and potential partner - in East Asia.  This is ...

A hypersonic missile launched from mainland China could strike a U.S. carrier group located anywhere in the South China Sea in under 20 minutes. That’s a hypothetical right now, but hypersonics are poised to be the next big thing in defense technology. A hypersonic weapon is any projectile that is ...

In recent years, defense analysts have increasingly turned their attention to the development of hypersonic weapons, a class of systems intended to strike fast, at range, and evade most existing defenses. Generally speaking, a hypersonic weapon is a system in which the kill vehicle (carrying the warhead) travels in excess ...

On 27 December 2015, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) passed the country’s first counterterrorism legislation. The law carried sweeping provisions, enabling not only China’s various counter-terrorism organs, such as the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and People’s Armed Police (PAP), to identify and suppress individuals or groups deemed to be ...

On September 10th in the restive Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China, as many as 10 people were killed or injured when police investigated the house of suspected terrorists. While details are scant, it appears a police officer accidentally set off explosives stored at the house. Chinese authorities ...

Over the last several years, China has learned that its borders and people are not immune to the threat of terrorism. This is particularly true as the low-level separatist insurgency led by Uighurs linked to the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP, formerly known as East Turkestan Independence Movement) against Beijing has ...

On August 14, Director of International Cooperation at China’s Central Military Commission, Rear Admiral Guan Youfei, reached a deal to provide humanitarian aid, military training, and intelligence sharing with the Syrian government. Two weeks later on August 30, there was a suicide bomb attack on the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan.  ...

With a decline in U.S. global influence since the 2008 financial crisis, China’s emergence as an economic and increasingly political world power, and Russia striving to reassert its might, it's no longer possible to see issues in the black and white tones of the Cold War – grey is a better shade ...

The latest North Korean nuclear test was the largest to date, yet the international consensus on a response is as fractured and indecisive as ever. In the days following the test, China announced that it opposed the unilateral sanctions pursued by Japan. The United States is in support of sanctions, ...

The United States and its allies in East Asia have had sound reasons for the current approach to dealing with North Korea.  However, it carries with it a danger exemplified by the latest and largest North Korean nuclear test.  North Korea has been rightly dubbed by many experienced diplomats, the ...

U.S. – China relations have deteriorated appreciably over the past few years.  The prospect for improved relations are bleak, with a strong likelihood that bilateral relations will continue to worsen.  Although there’s no simple answer, it’s apparent that more must be done to restore trust in this important bilateral relationship. ...

As the G20 summit in China came to a close, something far more worrisome than Air Force One’s stairway gaff overshadowed the summit. The Philippines announced that eleven Chinese dredging vessels and barges had been observed in the waters off of Scarborough Shoal. This, Manila suggested, is an indication China ...

In Asia, there is now a “whiff of 1914,” a reference by Australian University Professor Hugh White to the lead up to World War One. The South China Sea, as the International Crisis Group has noted, is “the cockpit of geopolitics in East Asia.” Scholar Robert Kaplan even called it ...

Shortly after arriving at the G20 economic summit in Hangzhou China last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would join a long list of U.S. allies who have joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), despite behind-the-scenes warnings from the Obama administration. Today, Japan is the sole ...

When a multilateral bank, based in China, finances an upgrade of slums in 154 cities in Indonesia, do Americans need to be concerned about a new security threat? What if the project is co-financed by the World Bank? And what if China doesn’t even hold veto power in the institution ...

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is China's answer to the multi-trillion dollar infrastructure spending gap in Asia. However, many see the bank as an extension of Chinese geopolitical influence. As leaders from Group of 20 (G20), representing 85 percent of global GDP, met in Hangzhou China last weekend, The ...

Nationalist fervor, a more aggressive military posture, and curbs on free speech in China today are the hallmarks of one man: President Xi Jinping.  He came to power in 2012 with the mandate to pursue a prosperous society and national renewal, and he has made this “Chinese Dream” the end ...

As 2016 draws to a close, The Cipher Brief revisits its feature on the architect of China’s most recent and expansive policies, Xi Jinping. One of the few remaining legacies of Hua Guofeng, the Chinese leader who briefly held power following the death of Mao Zedong and the demise of ...

In the wake of a series of hacks against government and private networks, it is clear that Russia and China are among the most active and proficient nations in regards to cyber operations. One needs to only review the most high-profile breaches to see that many of them are believed ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Justin Harvey, CSO of Fidelis Cybersecurity, about the cyber threats posed by both China and Russia. According to Harvey, although last year’s agreement between U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping has resulted in a decrease in China’s cyber espionage, “The fight is ...

In an announcement on August 9th, Japan’s Foreign Minister stated that China-Japan relations were “deteriorating” in reaction to the recent incursions by Chinese vessels into waters claimed by Japan. This is but the latest in a string of events - leading some observers to comment that relations between the two ...

The adversarial relationship between China and Japan reaches back centuries, and the memories of Japan’s imperial past continue to plague a productive and peaceful relationship. Recent events between the two countries continue to stymie what is one of the world’s most valuable economic relationships. The Cipher Brief interviewed former U.S. ...

In the past decade, Sino-Japanese ties have progressively deteriorated over opposing claims to islands in the East China Sea to the point where some analysts have begun to worry about the possibility that China might initiate a conflict with Japan. Other experts have suggested that economic links between the two ...

In her first press briefing as Japan’s new Defense Minister, Tomomi Inada sidestepped questions over Japan’s actions in the Nanjing massacre during WWII, confirming for some the worst fears of Japan’s neighbors that she will bring a hawkish, conservative view to her new post. This comes at a time when ...

As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump enter the final stage of the presidential campaign, China watches their foreign policy statements closely for indications of their future positions on China. Such a keen interest is well-justified, since a new administration will always bring changes to U.S.-China relations. And, as both countries ...

Two summers ago, I made a $5 wager with my son that the United States would be exchanging shots in anger with China within five years.  Regrettably, in light of Chinese moves in the East and South China Seas and Beijing’s announcement that it considers a recent international ruling rejecting ...

In antiquity, the overland route known as the Silk Road spanned impossible distances, connecting China and the rest of Asia with far flung markets in Africa and Western Europe through the trading hubs of the Middle East. Yet, as Western power rose and Chinese influence waned, this great trade route ...

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposed “Silk Road” initiative – also called “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) – has promised to resurrect the ancient Eurasian trading route by investing in connectivity and infrastructure projects on a massive scale across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Offering some $1 trillion in total ...

Most Americans agree that the 2016 presidential election is one of the strangest in their history – and it looks like that feeling extends beyond U.S. borders. Governments worldwide want to know who will be at the helm of the world’s largest economy and military, and they are learning all ...

“Who is Trump?” asks a Chinese official close to the country’s military. “We don’t really know.” China’s leaders are perplexed by the Republican candidate for president, and they look, depending on the moment, angered, fascinated, or terrified. Yet even though Donald Trump incessantly vilifies China, state media comments suggest the ...

Over the last eight years, China perceived weakness and indetermination in Washington. Whether right or wrong, it used this time to aggressively promote China’s regional and global interests, going so far as to brazenly manufacture and then militarize islands in the disputed South China Sea. Ahead of the 2016 U.S. ...

Demonstrations in China against the U.S. in the wake of The Hague Court’s ruling against China in the South China Sea are reminiscent of the demonstrations in China when the U.S. accidentally bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade on May 8, 1999.  The only difference now is that China, aware ...

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack raised the threat of Chinese cyber-espionage in a way that the American people had never seen before. American businesses, on the other hand, should have been extremely familiar with it. The Chinese government has a history of engaging in economic espionage – the ...

After years of the U.S. suffering losses valued in the billions of dollars due to economically-motivated cyber espionage from China, there are some signs that China has begun to reduce its intrusions into U.S. private sector firms’ computer networks. What led to this unexpected change in Chinese behavior? Is it ...

Many metaphors have been applied to the Internet—information superhighway, World Wide Web, cyberspace, etc.—each evoking its different aspects. A more comprehensive view is that the Internet – overlapping global networks of people, technology, and ideas – shares key features with a rainforest or a coral reef; a community of living ...

Although the United States participated in the negotiations that culminated in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which came into force in 1994, it has not yet ratified the treaty. While it is true that the U.S. recognizes UNCLOS as a codification of customary international ...

Now that the Permanent Court of Arbitration has ruled in favor of the Philippines in its case against China over sovereignty in the South China Sea, Manila should immediately set the tone of what is to follow. In the days ahead, the country should continue to advocate that all states, ...

As the deadline for the landmark international court ruling on the South China Sea territorial dispute draws near, a recent editorial in a Chinese state run newspaper proclaimed that China should prepare for “military confrontation” in the South China Sea. While the foreign ministry was quick to reiterate China’s commitment ...