The ordination last week of two Chinese bishops, Joseph Tang Yuange in Sichuan province and John Baptist Wang Xiaoxun in Shanxi province, both approved by the Vatican, appears to confirm reports that China and the Vatican are close to an agreement on the crucial issue of how bishops of the Roman Catholic Church are to be chosen.
Since the early days of the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party has pressed the Catholic Church not to “interfere” in China’s internal affairs while the Vatican has insisted that the appointment of bishops is a matter for the church.
In 1957, the Communist Party created the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association to control the nation’s Catholics.… Seguir leyendo »
The agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, reached after five years of often nail-biting sessions that ended inconclusively, marks a triumph for the United States, especially for President Barack Obama, but opposition to it is so strong in the U.S. Congress that its passage is far from certain next year, which will be marked by U.S. presidential election campaign rhetoric.
China, not a TPP member, has loomed large during the talks and, as soon as an accord was reached, the White House released a statement in which Obama said, “We can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy; we should write those rules.”
Although such words may give the impression that the accord, which binds together the economies of 12 countries that together account for 40 percent of the world economy, is somehow aimed at China, the reality is that it isn’t.… Seguir leyendo »
President Xi Jinping’s impending state visit to the United States will focus attention on the widening differences between the two countries rather than their common interests despite a slowing economy and other domestic Chinese problems.
No issue is knottier than human rights, or as pressing. We received a preview last month when, for the first time in two years, a human rights dialogue was held. Tom Malinowski, U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, who led the American delegation, briefed the media afterward. Those present included representatives of China’s state media.
In opening remarks, Malinowski said there was a “growing sense of alarm” about human rights developments in China and that the issue “will be very prominently addressed” during the state visit.… Seguir leyendo »
Thirty years ago this month, Britain and China signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong, under which London agreed to restore Hong Kong to China in 1997 and Beijing spelled out its policy of “one country, two systems” for the then British colony, which would “enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defense affairs which are the responsibilities of the Central People’s Government” for 50 years, that is, until 2047.
In July, the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee announced that it would conduct an inquiry into the United Kingdom’s relations with Hong Kong. According to the committee, the inquiry will consider how the British government monitors the implementation of the Joint Declaration, as well as the U.K.’s relations with Hong Kong, including economic and cultural ties.… Seguir leyendo »
The month-long sojourn of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden on Chinese soil ended with his departure for Moscow and other parts after Hong Kong’s refusal to issue a warrant for his arrest despite an American request.
From China’s standpoint, this is the best resolution possible. It has been the main beneficiary of the whistleblower’s accusations against the American government, and it will now be spared a prolonged battle in the Hong Kong courts over whether Snowden should be extradited.
Snowden turned up in the former British colony at roughly the same time as a summit meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in California, at which time the American leader berated his Chinese counterpart for alleged involvement in large-scale cyber espionage against the United States
Snowden’s release of information about massive U.S.… Seguir leyendo »