Big Data and China's Foreign Policy Making

Apr. 2,2016
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Recently, Ma Ying-jeou has advocated the “mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of governing authority” a number of times. In this expression, there are two key words: “sovereignty” and “governing authority.” For “sovereignty,” there have been quite a number of discussions. Although they explain “sovereignty” from different perspectives or points of view, people have developed some knowledge of this concept. However, for “governing authority,” even though people hear it a lot, they are relatively unclear about its connotations, features and its relation with “sovereignty.” In addition, Taiwan authorities led by Ma Ying-jeou never offered a clear interpretation of “governing authority.” Therefore, it is of great necessity to conduct an in-depth analysis of “governing authority” to reveal its intrinsic essence and provide reference for developing cross-Strait relations.

The literal meaning of “governing authority” is the right to control, manage, rule or govern. According to Cihai (辞海, an encyclopedic dictionary), “governing authority” means “the right of the government” or “the five powers,” namely the right of the government advocated by Sun Yat-sen. In the interpretations of “governing authority” in publications by either the Chinese mainland’s authors or Taiwan people authors, by either domestic authors or international authors, by either “government” or civilian interpretations, there are these keywords: governmental, governing, controlling, and power. Thus, “governing authority” is the power of “government,” which is indispensable from “government.”

The relationship between “governing authority” and “sovereignty” is whether there could be multiple governing authorities within the same sovereignty. It is recognized by international law that sovereignty of one state is unique, and under normal circumstances, there is only one governing authority under the same sovereignty. The “separate governing authorities across the Strait” and “mutual non-denial of governing authorities” advocated by Taiwan authorities are, in other words, about the issue whether there could be two governing authorities within the same sovereignty.

The examples of the International Trusteeship System and disguised cession, both prove that sovereignty and governing authority can be owned by different entities, that is, within one sovereignty, there could be multiple governing authorities. However, it must be pointed out that neither the International Trusteeship System nor disguised cession is of the free will of the trust territory or the affected states. Some of these happened because the state was under coercion, which is an infringement on the sovereignty of this state. In other words, under the involuntary or forced circumstances, the phenomenon of different entities for sovereignty and governing authority or multiple governing authorities within sovereignty is the infringement of the sovereignty of a state. In addition, in the trust territory or a land of the affected state, it is the other state that owns and exercises governing authority, which is the other owner of sovereignty. In summary, those cases show that the entity of governing authority is the owner of sovereignty, i.e., the state.

In the stage of strengthening and deepening peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, Taiwan authorities led by Ma Ying-jeou called for “mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of governing authority.” The “non-recognition” and “non-denial” imply that within the sovereignty of China, the Chinese mainland and Taiwan could have their own separate “governing authorities.” No state is willing to or will initiate such a case. For Ma Ying-jeou’s proposal of “mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of governing authority,” it seems that the Chinese mainland should not rush to “respond.” Instead, it should further explore “governing authority” and “sovereignty” based on principles of law and propose innovative solutions with Chinese characteristics.

The article is finished by WU Libin, Assistant Researcher at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, doctor of law (international law), the research findings are published in the 3th issue of Taiwan Studies, 2014. The bilingual version has been launched already.

The period since 1980s has witnessed three typical stages of housing reform in China, namely, raising the rent and promoting sales by leasing; selling at low price, renting and selling simultaneously; and the monetization of housing allocation. The essence of such a housing reform in fact is the process of privatization of the once publicly-owned houses and commercialization of housing. Citizens obtain corresponding assets when getting their private housing. Worthy of being mentioned is a fact that during the reform process, private economy gradually consolidates its position in national economy when a large number of staff members of state-owned businesses choose to start businesses and become an important part of private economy.

What influences does the liquidity constraint change with housing reform impose upon entrepreneurial choice of those who start businesses?

Professor ZHOU Jingkui from Institute of Economic Studies, Nankai University and his team member explored the influences of housing reform on such entrepreneurial choice during the economic transformation by using survey date on urban dwellers. They constructed a two-phase model containing liquidity constraint and offers an analysis on influences of liquidity constraint represented by housing reform upon entrepreneurial choice.

The study result shows that housing reform increases the entrepreneurship rate of employees through decreasing liquidity constraint, and possess typical features of the presence of both short- and long-term effects; housing reform has influenced the entrepreneurial choice of staff and workers who possess significant professional skills, work in a governmental organizations, or own intermediate professional titles greater than that of other types of staff and workers or family.

The research findings are published in the 3th issue of Economic Research Journal, 2015. The bilingual version will be launched in the near future.

As the reform of the household registration system deepens, semi-urbanized population (rural migrant workers) will gradually become urban residents, and some rural residents will also become urban population due to further industrialization. Meanwhile, inter-city movement of urban residents will be more frequent as a result of the relaxation of household registration restrictions.

Shall China’s urbanization be dominated by the development of small- and medium-sized cities or mainly form megalopolises in the future?

Professor Xu Qingming from the School of Public Affairs, Zhejiang University pointed out that the direction of population flow during urbanization and the subsequent spatial population distribution, which reflect the efficiency of spatial allocation of key factors during regional economic development, are in essence an issue of the spatial structure of regional economy as well as a reflection of the degree and situation of the spatial agglomeration of industries and production factors such as labor and capital in the region. Therefore, the urbanization process and spatial distribution of population need to be compatible with the optimization and upgrading (namely the advancement) of regional industrial structure.

Professor Xu compared the spatial allocation of urban population in the Yangtze River Delta of China(here referring to Shanghai Municipality, Zhejiang Province and Jiangsu Province), with Japan and South Korea, he tried to reveal the internal connection between changes in the spatial distribution of urban population and regional economic growth as well as industrial structural change. It is believed that to some extent, China’s megalopolis in the YRD, Japan and South Korea have similar features in terms of regional natural geography.

The findings of this research can be summarized as follows. Firstly, the population agglomeration gradient between core and non-core cities of a megalopolis is essentially a reflection of the region’s spatial industrial structure. The population agglomeration gradient between core and non-core cities in China’s YRD, compared with those in advanced economies such as Japan and South Korea in the similar development stage, is not quite reasonable. As a result, the YRD’s core cities’ function as centers in the regional economic circle is insignificant, and the development of the core cities’ tertiary industry and the region’s overall industrial structure are unsatisfactory and need to be improved. Secondly, the economic development of Japan and South Korea illustrate that the change of a megalopolis’ population agglomeration gradient is ultimately determined by the megalopolis’ economic growth and the spatial change of its industrial structure. Between the 1970s and the 1990s both Japan and South Korea experienced rapid economic growth. During this period, Japan witnessed an increase in its spatial gradient of population agglomeration between core and non-core cities; while South Korea saw a decrease in its corresponding gradient due to the excessive population agglomeration in the earlier time. All of these, from different aspects, reflect the consistency between the change of urban population agglomeration gradient and the change in the level of advancement and rationalization of industrial structure. Thirdly, to further promote the YRD’s economic competitiveness, and to catch up with and surpass advanced economies such as Japan and South Korea, some of the existing urbanization strategies which would hinder the increase in core cities’ population agglomeration densities need to be changed. It is also essential to deal with the relationship between the economy of megalopolises and the economy of administrative regions, and to eliminate non-marketization measures that constrain the free movement of key factors such as population. By helping to increase the population agglomeration gradient in core cities, these actions could create new opportunities for optimizing and upgrading regional industrial structure.

The research findings are published in the 1st issue of Chinese Journal of Population Science, 2015. The bilingual version has already been launched.

By the end of 2013, 15,300 Chinese domestic investors had set up nearly 25,400 outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) business outside Chinese mainland, distributed in 184 countries and regions worldwide. The cumulative net outward foreign direct investment reached USD 660.48 billion, ranking 11th in the world and became the world’s third largest foreign investor for two consecutive years.

However, when Chinese companies are “going out” and making frequent achievements, reports about damage to Chinese companies brought by foreign countries’ political and social risks have increased too. Typical cases in recent years include: in 2008 Aluminum Corporation of China Limited failed to increase its holding in Australian mining giant Rio Tinto; in 2011 serious damage to large numbers of Chinese companies due to Libya’s civil war; in 2014 Vietnam riots caused damage to Chinese companies’ properties even inflicted employee casualties; and other incidents.

With Chinese companies’ continuously accelerating “going out”, even more overseas assets will be exposed to social and political risks in the future. Social and political risks also impact on China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) at the same time.

Doctor MENG Xing from School of Economics, Shanghai University used panel data of 25 countries in 9 years and tested how China’s OFDI location choices have been impacted by the host country’s social and political risks. Social and political risks are various potential adverse influences brought by social culture, social customs, political system and other factors on the enterprises that are engaged in commercial activities in the country. Political risk is uncertainty caused by the government.

According to the research result, neither social nor political risks have significant impact on China’s OFDI before 2008. However there have been different impacts of social and political risks after distinguishing the relations between China and different host countries and the different periods of their “going out.” Specifically, in terms of social risks, Chinese companies do not avoid any risks but show risk-seeking characteristics in friendly countries; by contrast, as expected, they tend to seek for low risk in non-friendly countries. The effects of bilateral relations on political risks are more obvious. The friendly host countries’ political risks do not have significant negative effects on China’s direct investment; but investment inflows are negatively influenced by political risks in non-friendly countries.

Chinese companies focus more on political risks but pay less attention to social risks after 2008. Maybe because of the lessons learned from previous investments in addition to Chinese government’s supervision and guidance, Chinese companies in new round of “going out” tide have gradually realized the importance of host country’s political risks and responded proactively. But empirical evidence also shows that emphasis on host countries’ political risks is not enough and Chinese companies would ignore potential social risks while accelerating “going out.”

The above conclusion has practical significance in better guiding Chinese companies’ foreign direct investment in the future. The research findings are published in the 4th issue of Journal of International Trade, 2015. The bilingual version has already been launched.

Affected by Chinese acupuncture, western acupuncture has been developing very quickly. The western medical acupuncture (WMA) has been acknowledged to some extent in clinical use, and it has great curative effect on painful diseases. Moreover, a systematic theory has been formulating gradually. However, Chinese acupuncture, as the foundation of WMA, has been questioned by western people. As far as the intense competition exists, the comparison and analytical research between the WMA and Chinese acupuncture is inevitable if we want to decide who the winner is.

HE Wei from the Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences made a discussion to compare Chinese acupuncture with WMA from the aspects of the origin, theory development, stimulating location and method, and categories of diseases. Based on the analysis of their differences, he summarized the enlightenment on Chinese acupuncture, so as to push the development and promotion of modern acupuncture.

Through this comparison, the findings can be summarized as follows. From the aspect of theoretical basis, Chinese acupuncture is guided by the basic theories of meridians and acupoints, while WMA has no concepts of acupoints and holds that the stimulation of traditional acupoints is more likely the sensory stimulation of nervous system. From the aspect of stimulation sites, in Chinese acupuncture, acupoints are the sites to be stimulated, which are usually fixed in human body; however, WMA emphasizes stimulation points or MTrPs which can be located depending on whether there is spontaneous pain. MTrPs and acupoints are not completely overlapped. From the aspect of treatment methods, in WMA, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, dry needling treatment, and wed needling treatment are adopted; in Chinese acupuncture, stimulus patterns and techniques are diversified and vary with each individual, and the sensation of deqi is also emphasized. From the aspect of diseases that can be treated, WMA mainly treats the pain, especially the myofascial pain in the body surface; in contrast, except treatment for the pain, Chinese acupuncture pays more attention to the regulation of visceral functions and qi and blood of the whole body.

Faced with the challenge of WMA, Chinese acupuncture should keep pace with times and take measures to innovate. Firstly, it should put emphasis on the reconstitution of Chinese acupuncture theory, and build up the reasonably structured and normatively expressed theoretical framework for modern acupuncture to guide the clinical application. Secondly, it should re-recognize the acupoint locations and functions. Finally, it should establish the clinical evaluation system confirming to the clinical characteristics of Chinese acupuncture gradually.

The research findings are published in the 2nd issue of Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion, 2015. The bilingual version has been launched already.

Food security is among the hot issues concerned by the globe. In China particularly, it is of primary importance when it comes to the national economy and people’s livelihood; and the safeguarding of national food security is also closely connected with the overall situation of economic development, national self-reliance and social stability. All the time, the Chinese government and leaders attach great importance to agricultural production and food security. In the recent two years, Chinese President Xi Jinping accentuated repeatedly the magnitude of food security and pointed out that “We should mainly fill our bowls with food produced by ourselves,” “We should rely on ourselves to tackle the problem of food security,” “to base on the domestic market persistently,”[1] all these views making clear the radical attitude and strategic orientation of the Chinese government on the issue of food security.

Food security is such an important issue but how is the status quo and future of food security in China? Let us try to understand the status quo, tendency and problems of China’s food security based on the evaluation index system for food security, set and constructed in accordance with internationally acknowledged concept of food security and China’s national conditions and developmental phase,

Financially supported by Innovation Project of Rural Development Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Science and co-authored by ZHANG Yuanhong, LIU Changquan and GUO Lulai from Rural Development Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Science, this article is published on China Rural Survey the 1st issue in 2015.

According to the result of index calculation, China’s food security state in the past decade has been obviously ameliorated and is at a relatively high level. Food security of China enjoys a variety of advantages, such as high production level, sufficient supply, abundant food reserve, strong self-protection ability and active support of government, but it also has disadvantages including low-level distribution and transport facilities, unbalanced food structure, low nutritional quality, great environment pressure and inadequate sustainability.

The analysis of indicator system reveals the basic situation, development trend, existing problems, merits and demerits of China’s food security. In future, proper adjustments should be made to the policies related to food security, ranging from guaranteeing the food production capacity and stabilizing the food output, adjusting food production structure and enhancing food quality and nutrition level, transforming agricultural production mode and sticking to sustainability, focusing on requirements management and reducing irrational consumption and loss, reducing reserve rate properly and abating financial pressure and resources waste, applying global resources properly and alleviating the domestic production stress.

Corresponding Author: WANG Cungang
CNKI Press Officer: ZHONG Ming

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