POSTED on 20 March 2015 by Xiaojing (Crystal) Ji

Identity in Sino-Japanese Conflict

In recent years, relations between China and Japan appear to have deteriorated considerably, leading some commentators to speculate about potential military conflict between the states. While some have attributed this tension to territorial disputes, rampant nationalism, disagreements over history and military developments, these reasons alone provide only glimpses into a complicated picture. A seldom-asked question must be posed: How does identity affect Sino-Japanese relations? Historical narrative and identity History is central to the construction of a collective national identity, and differing constructions of shared historycontinue to escalate tensions between China and Japan. Chinese memories of Japanese atrocities between 1931 and 1945 serve as a common thread linking a collective post-war identity among Chinese people, with negative memories of Japan as an invasive ‘Other’ then being shared by people of different ethnicities and ages within China. This in turn entrenches a sense of victimisation, and hostility towards this ‘Other’ reaffirms a common Chinese will and purpose to surviving in a post-war world largely dominated by liberal-democratic states. On the other hand, conservative nationalists that have dominated the Japanese government promulgate a differing historical narrative to shapenational identity, bringing into conflict the identities of the two states. Eager to sanitise and ‘forget’ […]

In recent years, relations between China and Japan appear to have deteriorated considerably, leading some commentators to speculate about potential military conflict between the states. While some have attributed this tension to territorial disputes, rampant nationalism, disagreements over history and military developments, these reasons alone provide only glimpses into a complicated picture. A seldom-asked question must be posed: How does identity affect Sino-Japanese relations? Historical narrative and identity History is central to the construction of a collective national identity, and differing constructions of shared historycontinue to escalate tensions between China and Japan. Chinese memories of Japanese atrocities between 1931 and 1945 serve as a common thread linking a collective post-war identity among Chinese people, with negative memories of Japan as an invasive ‘Other’ then being shared by people of different ethnicities and ages within China. This in turn entrenches a sense of victimisation, and hostility towards this ‘Other’ reaffirms a common Chinese will and purpose to surviving in a post-war world largely dominated by liberal-democratic states. On the other hand, conservative nationalists that have dominated the Japanese government promulgate a differing historical narrative to shapenational identity, bringing into conflict the identities of the two states. Eager to sanitise and ‘forget’ […]

POSTED on 17 March 2015 by Shu Cao

Maths education in China and the UK: Creative approaches drive results

The UK government program to import Shanghai maths teachers sends a strong diplomatic message of recognition for achievement in an area that touches upon the everyday lives of the Chinese population in the most intimate way. Novel and theatrical while raising and extending the public profile of UK-China educational exchanges, such a move nonetheless begs the question of what special benefits it can provide towards the transformation of the UK educational system in the long run. What is encouraging about the maths performance of Chinese school children is that it shows that one can be better at maths than one expects. But that performance must be understood within the wider context of the demands and incentives within the Chinese educational system as a whole.  In order to be assured entrance into secondary schools and thence universities of choice, students have to aim to average at least 80% across compulsory subjects that include Chinese, maths, English, and a selection of history, politics, geography and the natural sciences determined by provincial requirements. When you see a paper you know your peers will find relatively easy, or if you wish to head for a university in a different province, you know you have […]

The UK government program to import Shanghai maths teachers sends a strong diplomatic message of recognition for achievement in an area that touches upon the everyday lives of the Chinese population in the most intimate way. Novel and theatrical while raising and extending the public profile of UK-China educational exchanges, such a move nonetheless begs the question of what special benefits it can provide towards the transformation of the UK educational system in the long run. What is encouraging about the maths performance of Chinese school children is that it shows that one can be better at maths than one expects. But that performance must be understood within the wider context of the demands and incentives within the Chinese educational system as a whole.  In order to be assured entrance into secondary schools and thence universities of choice, students have to aim to average at least 80% across compulsory subjects that include Chinese, maths, English, and a selection of history, politics, geography and the natural sciences determined by provincial requirements. When you see a paper you know your peers will find relatively easy, or if you wish to head for a university in a different province, you know you have […]

POSTED on 16 March 2015 by Benedict Xu-Holland and Cassandra Shih

Australia and New Zealand to enter Extradition Treaties with China?

During high level visits late last year Chinese leaders urged Australia and New Zealand to consider entering bilateral extradition treaties with China. These requests come as China strengthens its efforts to repatriate corrupt officials who have fled overseas with state money. Dubbed ‘Operation Fox Hunt’, the operation is the latest offshoot of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign instigated by Chinese President Xi Jinping after taking office in 2012. Both domestically popular and a convenient way to neutralise political opponents, the anti-corruption campaign is estimated to have netted several thousand officials and a number of President Xi’s high-level political opponents. In order to target wealthy fugitives living in the West, China has provided priority lists to several countries, including Australia, with the intention that they be used to target suspected fugitives with asset seizure and possible extradition. According to Chinese state media Xinhua, at least 680 officials living overseas have been arrested for graft as part of Operation Fox Hunt, with most of the captures and surrenders comprising of low-level officials residing in countries along China’s borders. No arrests have yet been made in Australia, Canada, or the United States; the three most popular destinations for wealthy Chinese fugitives. While Australia and […]

During high level visits late last year Chinese leaders urged Australia and New Zealand to consider entering bilateral extradition treaties with China. These requests come as China strengthens its efforts to repatriate corrupt officials who have fled overseas with state money. Dubbed ‘Operation Fox Hunt’, the operation is the latest offshoot of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign instigated by Chinese President Xi Jinping after taking office in 2012. Both domestically popular and a convenient way to neutralise political opponents, the anti-corruption campaign is estimated to have netted several thousand officials and a number of President Xi’s high-level political opponents. In order to target wealthy fugitives living in the West, China has provided priority lists to several countries, including Australia, with the intention that they be used to target suspected fugitives with asset seizure and possible extradition. According to Chinese state media Xinhua, at least 680 officials living overseas have been arrested for graft as part of Operation Fox Hunt, with most of the captures and surrenders comprising of low-level officials residing in countries along China’s borders. No arrests have yet been made in Australia, Canada, or the United States; the three most popular destinations for wealthy Chinese fugitives. While Australia and […]

POSTED on 08 March 2015 by Minna Zhang

China in the world of soccer

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. Yet China has been largely perceived as merely a spectator despite founding one of the earliest forms of modern day soccer, cuju (蹴鞠), around 225BC. China has not qualified for a World Cup since 2002, where it failed to score a single goal, and was eliminated from two recent Asian Cups at the group stages. In 2013, China’s 5-1 loss to Thailand (then-ranked 142nd in the world) led to fan riots, the sacking of the national team’s coach, and a public apology from the Chinese Football Association (CFA). Despite China’s lacklustre performance, soccer is still the best source of marketing revenue in China, commanding the highest number of television viewers. In 2013, soccer accounted for half of all broadcasted sporting programs on China’s main television channel, CCTV.[1] As such, China’s indisputable interest in soccer, even as a spectator, subscribes to the view that soccer can be utilised by both China and the international community for economic investment and cultural engagement opportunities. In recent years, soccer has received greater attention from China’s government and business sectors with the aim of enhancing China’s domestic soccer leagues and bolstering its international image. […]

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. Yet China has been largely perceived as merely a spectator despite founding one of the earliest forms of modern day soccer, cuju (蹴鞠), around 225BC. China has not qualified for a World Cup since 2002, where it failed to score a single goal, and was eliminated from two recent Asian Cups at the group stages. In 2013, China’s 5-1 loss to Thailand (then-ranked 142nd in the world) led to fan riots, the sacking of the national team’s coach, and a public apology from the Chinese Football Association (CFA). Despite China’s lacklustre performance, soccer is still the best source of marketing revenue in China, commanding the highest number of television viewers. In 2013, soccer accounted for half of all broadcasted sporting programs on China’s main television channel, CCTV.[1] As such, China’s indisputable interest in soccer, even as a spectator, subscribes to the view that soccer can be utilised by both China and the international community for economic investment and cultural engagement opportunities. In recent years, soccer has received greater attention from China’s government and business sectors with the aim of enhancing China’s domestic soccer leagues and bolstering its international image. […]

POSTED on 05 March 2015 by Sam Wu

The Internationalisation of the RMB, and Implications for Australia

Australia appears well poised to benefit from the monumental economic transformation that is the internationalisation of the RMB. To consider this, it is worth looking at a snapshot of our trade relationship. China is currently Australia’s most important trade partner. As the PRC pushes its agenda to settle trade in RMB, it could be expected that Australia settles much of its imports in RMB until a normalisation occurs in years to come. This will allow Australia to build up its pile of RMB for future purchases of PRC imports and investments. As more trades are settled directly between Australia and China in RMB and the AUD, the exchange rate used should become more representative of a market value. The elimination of third party currency exposure means less costly currency risk management costs, thereby lowering transaction costs. This is an important component in advancing the recently ratified China Australia Free Trade Agreement. Australia’s primary, education and tourism export industries will be better placed by being able to invoice directly in RMB rather than an intermediary currency, as is often the case at the moment. Financial flows between the countries are also worth noting. China’s historical foreign direct investment into Australia has […]

Australia appears well poised to benefit from the monumental economic transformation that is the internationalisation of the RMB. To consider this, it is worth looking at a snapshot of our trade relationship. China is currently Australia’s most important trade partner. As the PRC pushes its agenda to settle trade in RMB, it could be expected that Australia settles much of its imports in RMB until a normalisation occurs in years to come. This will allow Australia to build up its pile of RMB for future purchases of PRC imports and investments. As more trades are settled directly between Australia and China in RMB and the AUD, the exchange rate used should become more representative of a market value. The elimination of third party currency exposure means less costly currency risk management costs, thereby lowering transaction costs. This is an important component in advancing the recently ratified China Australia Free Trade Agreement. Australia’s primary, education and tourism export industries will be better placed by being able to invoice directly in RMB rather than an intermediary currency, as is often the case at the moment. Financial flows between the countries are also worth noting. China’s historical foreign direct investment into Australia has […]

Chinese Tea Set