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Newsletter: ➟ The world as viewed by Chinese scholars and think-tank analysts | Formerly @merics_eu | @SOAS and @UniofOxford Alum
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Jul 29 6 tweets 3 min read
Blinken, Yellen, Kerry and Kissinger have all travelled to #China in recent weeks. How have their visits been assessed by some of 🇨🇳's top international relations experts? Where do they see US-China relations heading? Their views in 4 key quotes:

THREAD🧵… 1⃣ "The recent back-to-back visits of Blinken, Yellen, and Kerry to China have not yielded any real and substantive results, except perhaps for the strengthening of both sides' willingness to prevent a US-China military conflict.” Image
Apr 13 15 tweets 6 min read
One of the Global South's leading voices, 🇧🇷 Lula, is in #China.

Prof. Cheng Yawen argues that "🇨🇳 and develop. countries need to break the current core-periphery world order" and build a new international system free from Western interference.

THREAD… 🔹The Author: Cheng Yawen (程亚文) – Researcher at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Shanghai International Studies University. Image
Apr 11 10 tweets 5 min read
#Brazil’s president Lula will be travelling to #China this week and meeting Xi Jinping on Friday.

Why does Lula’s Brazil matter to China? And what are Chinese experts recommending Beijing do in order to strengthen its ties with Brasilia?

THREAD 🧵… 🔹Authors:

▫️ 7 researchers from the Institute of Latin American Studies, which is part of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

▫️ Lead auhtor: Zhou Zhiwei (周志伟) – Director of the Centre for Brazilian Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Image
Mar 14 11 tweets 4 min read
🇨🇳-🇷🇺 relations have almost always been marked by a certain amount of mutual distrust.

Feng and Wen's critique of Putinism is a useful reminder that both sympathisers and sceptics of 🇷🇺 most likely coexist within the confines of Zhongnanhai.

A SUMMARY 🧵… 🔹 The authors:

▫️ Feng Yujun (冯玉军): Director of the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, Fudan Univ. Former CICIR analyst (1994 to 2016).

▫️ Wen Longjie (文龙杰): Postdoc researcher at Fudan Dev. Institute and Chief Kazakhstan correspondent, China News Service.
Mar 9 16 tweets 6 min read
This is what PKU Prof. Lu Feng (路风) was saying in January about foreign companies such as #ASML complying with US #chip export controls.

EXCERPTS 🧵 1⃣ “Since the #USA has used its ‘nuclear weapon’ against China, we should strike back and use our own ‘nuclear weapon’. More specifically, the US’s method of suppressing 🇨🇳 is to control the supply of chips. Well then, [in return], 🇨🇳 should and can control the demand for chips.”
Mar 8 13 tweets 7 min read
Fudan Prof. Jian Junbo (简军波) discusses the European Union's #StrategicAutonomy, 🇪🇺-🇨🇳 relations in 2023 and provides his government with a few suggestions.

THREAD 🧵 🔹EU #StrategicAutonomy according to Jian:

1. Benefits the development of #EU-#China relations by freeing the EU from the influence of “third parties” (i.e. the US).

2. In line with China’s desire for a multipolar world order.

Mar 7 13 tweets 6 min read
One year after #Russia's invasion of #Ukraine, Chinese experts assess the war's impact on 🇪🇺-🇨🇳 and 🇪🇺-🇺🇸relations and predict what may lie ahead.

Hint: Uncertainty prevails...

KEY TAKEAWAYS 🧵… 1⃣ The #UkraineWar has hobbled the EU’s push for #StrategicAutonomy, but its desire to pursue this goal remains.

2⃣ The war has increased the EU’s dependence on and tilt towards the #UnitedStates. This trend is largely expected to continue.
Mar 3 7 tweets 4 min read
New op-ed by one of 🇨🇳's key voices 'communicating with the West', ex-PLA colonel Zhou Bo in the FT yesterday:

"Will the war in #Ukraine spill over into a third world war? The short answer is: not unless #China lends military support to #Russia."

1/7… "#Beijing and #Moscow’s 'unlimited' friendship has alarmed the west. But imagine for a moment: if two countries vow to develop their friendship, then how could they place limits on it?" 2/7
Mar 2 14 tweets 7 min read
The effect of the #UkraineRussiaWar on the EU's quest for #StrategicAutonomy according to CICIR analyst Zhang Jian.

🔹CICIR is one of #China's most influential think tanks with links to the 🇨🇳 Ministry of State Security.

EXCERPTS 🧵 🪧 What is EU #StrategicAutonomy?

According to Zhang at least, it means the #EU “breaking away from US control and gaining the power to make strategic decisions on its own.”
Mar 1 13 tweets 7 min read
How is the #UkraineRussiaWar affecting the #EU's prospects? Its economy? Its place in the world?

▫️ Zhang Jian (张健): "It will further weaken the 🇪🇺's strength and int. influence and accelerate its marginalisation in the global geopolitical landscape."… 🔹The author: Zhang Jian (张健) is the director of the Institute of European Studies at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) – an influential think tank linked to China’s Ministry of State Security.…
Feb 24 17 tweets 7 min read
How to protect #China from #Russia-like sanctions?

This question continues to be debated by Chinese analysts.

▫️ Ye Yan's solution: Beijing should build an international alliance of businesses to circumvent and neutralise Western #sanctions

A THREAD 🧵… 🔹About the author: Ye Yan (叶研) is currently a senior economist at the international R&D arm of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and an adjunct professor at China’s Southwest University of Political Science & Law.
Feb 18 9 tweets 4 min read
How should #China respond to the growing political divide between China and the West?

▫️ Yang Ping (杨平) advocates building a new international system led by China and countries in the Global South rather than the West.

🧵🧵🧵… 🔹The author: Yang is the head of the highly regarded Beijing Cultural Review (BCR). He is also the director of the Longway Foundation which publishes BCR. The foundation describes its publication as “the most influential magazine of intellectual thought and commentary in China”.
Feb 16 10 tweets 4 min read
🪧 Remember #XiJinping encouraging #CCP members/diplomats to show a “fighting spirit" and his repeated emphasis on "being good at struggling"?

What this implies is still being debated in #China.

Below is a 'moderate' take by one of China’s most respected US specialists:

🧵🧵🧵 🔹 Da Wei (达巍) is a professor of international relations at Tsinghua University and the director of its prestigious Centre for International Security and Strategy (CISS). Image
Jan 21 13 tweets 6 min read
🔹Most read article on Chinese aggregator of scholarly articles Aisixiang (爱思想) over the past 30 days:

“Ten critical shifts in international politics in 2023 and their prospects” by CUHK scholar Zheng Yongnian (郑永年).

🧵 EXCERPTS #UnitedStates:

▫️ “When it comes to international political risks, the US's domestic problems have to be placed at the top of the list ... the US’s internal divisions produce huge externalities that have far-reaching effects on world politics.”
Jan 20 5 tweets 3 min read
"#RishiSunak has now become the representative of 🇬🇧's hardliners on #China. We cannot expect him to become a moderate on China again after becoming PM."

🔹 Author: Xu Ruike (徐瑞珂) – Prof. at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Image ▫️ "Under Sunak, the 'Americanisation' of Britain's China policy will remain evident ... Economics will take a back seat. Suspicion and hostility towards China will gradually become the defining theme of Sino-British relations."
Jan 20 5 tweets 2 min read
TOP Read on Aisixiang (爱思想) – CUHK scholar Zheng Yongnian discusses 10 international risks and challenges facing #China in 2023. These are:

1⃣ The US’s political polarisation, domestic tensions and their potential repercussions on the world and China.… 2⃣ The war in Ukraine and the risks posed by a nuclear war.

3⃣ The ‘NATOisation’ of Europe and NATO’s increasing interest in the Indo-Pacific.

4⃣ The growing risk of a nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.
Nov 25, 2022 8 tweets 3 min read
🇺🇸 Tech and supply chain strategy:

“The US's incremental adjustments allow resources to continue to be channelled into 🇨🇳 through ‘third countries’, ‘detours’ or even ‘transfers’, thereby allowing 🇨🇳 to make adjustments and repairs to its supply chains.” – Ma Xue, CICIR analyst. “The US does not have a complete monopoly on cutting-edge research ... This means that unilateral US controls are often ineffective and the paths for technology transfers to #China are difficult to block."
Nov 3, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
This is how Scholz's visit to 🇨🇳 + COSCO deal is being interpreted in China:

"[COSCO's acquisition] underlines that German Chancellor Scholz is still relatively steady and pragmatic vis-à-vis developing relations with China." – Wu Huiping, Centre for 🇩🇪 Studies at Tongji Univ. "Scholz is also sending a certain message to those within Germany, that is: although the Greens are currently running the country’s foreign ministry, Germany’s most important foreign policy-making power still lies in the hands of the chancellor." – Wu Huiping
Nov 2, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
Chinese analysts react to Rishi Sunak becoming new 🇬🇧 PM. A thread:

"He is not a 'hawk' [like Truss]. In my opinion and judging from the current situation, relations with China should be relatively stable during his tenure." – Ding Chun, Director of 🇪🇺 Studies, Fudan Univ.

"What is encouraging is that Sunak already has convincing qualities and experience, which is half the battle." – Wang Yanxing, senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.

Nov 1, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
Interesting to see former PLA colonel and now research fellow at Tsinghua Zhou Bo's article for the FT cross-posted today on

"China can help the world by simply telling Putin: don’t use nuclear weapons, Mr President."

Any chance of this getting censored? Image "So far Beijing has trodden a careful line between Russia, its strategic partner, and Ukraine ... But if Moscow decides to use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine, China can hardly maintain such a position any more."
Oct 11, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
Another damning assessment of Liz Truss, this time by Sun Haichao (孙海潮), director of the European Centre at the China Foundation for International Studies. (1/5) Sun's description of Truss:

"Truss is a diplomatic hawk, with both a Margaret Thatcher-like approach to free trade and an ultra-conservative 'Britain First' bias, as well as a deeply rooted Cold War mindset" (2/5)