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  • While China Scrambles Africa Builds Hope

    While commemorating 50 years of China's diplomatic ties with Africa, the China-Africa Summit, held on November 4-5, 2006 adopted a three-year action plan to deepen the existing political and economic links. This Summit, being one of the largest summits ever hosted in China's modern history, not only reflects the importance China places on its relations with Africa, but also clearly illustrates the value that the continent now attaches to this emerging Asian power vis-a-vis the West.

    November 09, 2006

    China's Power Projection in Africa

    The two-day China-Africa Summit on November 4 and 5, 2006 in Beijing, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Africa diplomatic ties, created a new milestone in China's relationship with the African continent. Hailed as a new type of strategic partnership, this gathering of forty-eight African countries - the biggest ever since the founding of the People's Republic of China - was concluded by a declaration and an action plan for 2007-2009.

    November 07, 2006

    China to Act but will Go Slow against North Korea

    The North Korean act of conducting an underground nuclear test has exposed the inherent limitations of various international institutions. It has also posed a challenge for the US as to how to make China behave as a responsible 'stakeholder' in international politics. If Beijing could not restrain Kim Jong-Il's regime from flagrantly conducting a nuclear test in disregard of the combined opposition of the international community, Pyongyang has created a complex political atmosphere, which needs China to deliver considerably to bring the current crisis to an end.

    October 24, 2006

    The Japan-China Joint Communiqué

    China and Japan issued a joint communiqué in Beijing on October 8 during the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's first foreign visit, vowing to promote strategic relations between the two countries in the coming years. Both Chinese President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Abe hailed the visit as a positive turning point in Sino-Japanese relations. Abe's visit to China is politically important since it is the first meeting between the leaders of the two countries in the past five years.

    October 19, 2006

    An Embarrassment of Riches!: China's 'Trillion Dollar' Foreign Exchange Reserves

    If current trends are any indication, the global financial system will witness a unique 'first' in mid-October when China's foreign exchange reserves are expected to cross US$ 1 trillion.

    September 26, 2006

    Thailand's Political Crisis

    Thailand is once again at the crossroads of political uncertainty and the entry of the military in the affairs of the state has created a sense of instability. On September 19, 2006, the Thai armed forces dismissed the Thai Rat Thai Party government and revoked the country's 1997 constitution even though acting Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra has announced a state of emergency in Thailand. General Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, the army chief, has assumed prime ministerial powers till alternate political arrangements are made.

    September 21, 2006

    History and Power Shift Fuel Sino-Japanese Rift

    On August 15, 2006, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement strongly protesting Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's latest visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. Koizumi’s six consecutive visits since he took office in April 2001 have chilled Sino-Japanese relations, making the issue a major stumbling block in the smooth development of relations. The souring of Sino-Japanese relations over the last few years has been a result of the complex enmeshing of two broad issues: history and power shift.

    August 23, 2006

    Jiang's Postscript!

    Calling upon party members to study the Selected Works of Jiang Zemin (SWJZ) in line with a decision taken by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), President Hu Jintao termed the publication and issue of the SWJZ "a major event in the political life of the party and state." Earlier, an editorial in the People's Daily trumpeted the publication of the SWJZ as "offering a powerful weapon of ideology for China's construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics and increasing the spiritual strength of Chinese people to build a well-off society in an all-round way." S

    August 21, 2006

    Aceh's Future Challenges

    The Indonesian Parliament passed the Aceh Governance Bill on July 11, 2006. Dissemination of information about the bill started two days later to ensure that the peace building process, which came into force after the peace accord was signed with Free Aceh Movement (GAM, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka) in Helsinki in August 2005, stays on track. One clause of the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) related to laying down of arms by GAM rebels and the passing of the Aceh Governance bill.

    July 26, 2006

    Buddhism and China's Rise

    Communist China, which has so far pursued a policy of state-sponsored repression of religion, has suddenly begun to promote a revival of Buddhism. This has deeper significance than what meets the eye. From April 13 to 16, 2006, China staged the World Buddhist Forum in Hangzhou for the first time. This first major Buddhist conference since the Chinese Communist Party took power should not be viewed as an isolated event, but is inextricably linked with growing social unrest in China, the challenges of globalisation and its wider foreign policy imperatives.

    June 23, 2006

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