Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Summer 2021 Issue 68

Summer 2021 Issue 68

China’s Climate Strategy

Elizabeth Economy

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Chinese president Xi Jinping has put forth a set of significant commitments in response to the threat of global climate change. He has called for China to achieve peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, to enhance the role of renewable energy in its energy mix, to increase forest cover, and to make use of market mechanisms, such as an emissions trading system, to incentivize industry to decarbonize. Several of these initiatives, however, face design and implementation weaknesses that raise questions about their efficacy. In addition, the international community and the Chinese expert and NGO communities have called on Beijing to provide a more detailed action plan with benchmarks for realizing its climate targets and to end the export of coal plants through its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. China’s climate commitments are notable, but ultimately, its efforts will be judged by the results.

China’s Climate Strategy

Elizabeth Economy

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Chinese president Xi Jinping has put forth a set of significant commitments in response to the threat of global climate change. He has called for China to achieve peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, to enhance the role of renewable energy in its energy mix, to increase forest cover, and to make use of market mechanisms, such as an emissions trading system, to incentivize industry to decarbonize. Several of these initiatives, however, face design and implementation weaknesses that raise questions about their efficacy. In addition, the international community and the Chinese expert and NGO communities have called on Beijing to provide a more detailed action plan with benchmarks for realizing its climate targets and to end the export of coal plants through its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. China’s climate commitments are notable, but ultimately, its efforts will be judged by the results.

It’s Not Just China: Population, Power Generation, Political Polarization, and Parochialism Are Also Long-term Threats to Taiwan’s Success and Survival

Syaru Shirley Lin

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Although it is under constant threat from Beijing, Taiwan has four major structural issues that urgently require solutions, including population decline, power generation, political polarization, and parochialism. If they are not successfully addressed, a marginalized and divided Taiwan may find itself falling deeper into China’s orbit. While remaining within America’s one-China policy, the U.S. can help by increasing exchanges of students, faculty, and professionals, reaching a bilateral trade agreement, and assisting Taiwan to restructure its current manufacturing economy by creating new greener industries and higher value-added services. It can also facilitate Taiwan’s efforts to work with like-minded partners on the global stage. More immediately, Taiwan’s early successes and more recent challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic highlight how isolated it is even when Taiwan and the world need each other. Here the U.S. can help Taiwan acquire more vaccines and then share its experiences with the rest of the world.

It’s Not Just China: Population, Power Generation, Political Polarization, and Parochialism Are Also Long-term Threats to Taiwan’s Success and Survival

Syaru Shirley Lin

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Although it is under constant threat from Beijing, Taiwan has four major structural issues that urgently require solutions, including population decline, power generation, political polarization, and parochialism. If they are not successfully addressed, a marginalized and divided Taiwan may find itself falling deeper into China’s orbit. While remaining within America’s one-China policy, the U.S. can help by increasing exchanges of students, faculty, and professionals, reaching a bilateral trade agreement, and assisting Taiwan to restructure its current manufacturing economy by creating new greener industries and higher value-added services. It can also facilitate Taiwan’s efforts to work with like-minded partners on the global stage. More immediately, Taiwan’s early successes and more recent challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic highlight how isolated it is even when Taiwan and the world need each other. Here the U.S. can help Taiwan acquire more vaccines and then share its experiences with the rest of the world.

The Myth of Authoritarian Superiority: China’s Response to Covid-19 Revisited

Yanzhong Huang 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Is China’s authoritarian system superior to a liberal democracy in terms of crisis management? This question is addressed by looking at China’s pandemic response since December 2019. In due course, an authoritarian state can come forth ​with a robust ability to mobilize resources and bureaucratic capacity for high-priority action. However, the downside of China’s authoritarian model is equally glaring. Although the cover-up and inaction contributed to emergence of the crisis, China’s initial mishandling suggests that an authoritarian state is highly susceptible to any disruptions or shocks. To some extent, the policy blunders in late January 2020 intensified the crisis facing the Chinese leaders​hip. The zero-infections policy introduced after April 2020 encourages an at-all-costs and by-all-means approach that is ​currently experiencing diminishing returns and hindering China’s mass vaccination efforts. Overall, the analysis does not support China’s authoritarian model as a viable alternative to liberal democracy.

The Myth of Authoritarian Superiority: China’s Response to Covid-19 Revisited

Yanzhong Huang 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Is China’s authoritarian system superior to a liberal democracy in terms of crisis management? This question is addressed by looking at China’s pandemic response since December 2019. In due course, an authoritarian state can come forth ​with a robust ability to mobilize resources and bureaucratic capacity for high-priority action. However, the downside of China’s authoritarian model is equally glaring. Although the cover-up and inaction contributed to emergence of the crisis, China’s initial mishandling suggests that an authoritarian state is highly susceptible to any disruptions or shocks. To some extent, the policy blunders in late January 2020 intensified the crisis facing the Chinese leaders​hip. The zero-infections policy introduced after April 2020 encourages an at-all-costs and by-all-means approach that is ​currently experiencing diminishing returns and hindering China’s mass vaccination efforts. Overall, the analysis does not support China’s authoritarian model as a viable alternative to liberal democracy.

Threading the Needle: Balancing Security and Development in the 14th Five-Year Plan

Minxin Pei

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Due to the deterioration of China’s external environment in general, and its escalating tensions with the United States in particular, the Chinese government has readjusted its economic development strategy.  As delineated in Beijing’s 14th Five-Year Plan, which was unveiled in mid-March of this year, China will invest in efforts designed to strengthen its economic security and better protect its economy from external economic threats.  These initiatives include science and technology self-sufficiency, secure supply chains in its manufacturing economy, growth sustained by domestic demand, and food and energy security.  Although these efforts seem attractive on paper, China will likely encounter immense challenges in trying to implement its new development strategy.  Chinese leaders may have underestimated the potential costs of strengthening national security at the expense of global integration.  Beijing’s disappointing records in executing industrial policy and rebalancing its economy also raise doubts whether it will be able to meet its ambitious goals.

Threading the Needle: Balancing Security and Development in the 14th Five-Year Plan

Minxin Pei

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Due to the deterioration of China’s external environment in general, and its escalating tensions with the United States in particular, the Chinese government has readjusted its economic development strategy.  As delineated in Beijing’s 14th Five-Year Plan, which was unveiled in mid-March of this year, China will invest in efforts designed to strengthen its economic security and better protect its economy from external economic threats.  These initiatives include science and technology self-sufficiency, secure supply chains in its manufacturing economy, growth sustained by domestic demand, and food and energy security.  Although these efforts seem attractive on paper, China will likely encounter immense challenges in trying to implement its new development strategy.  Chinese leaders may have underestimated the potential costs of strengthening national security at the expense of global integration.  Beijing’s disappointing records in executing industrial policy and rebalancing its economy also raise doubts whether it will be able to meet its ambitious goals.

CLM Insights Interview with Jonathan E. Hillman on his recent book:

The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century

(Yale University Press, 2020)

CLM Insights Interview with Jonathan E. Hillman on his recent book:

The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century

(Yale University Press, 2020)