Dedicated to the development of the future stewards of U.S.-China relations
In this week's newsletter we focus on the ongoing debate surrounding the United States' strategy toward North Korea, a pertinent suyu to describe overcoming challenges, and a recent Beijing documentary series which focuses on China's brand of diplomacy.
For all of its problems, the Trump administration appears to have succeeded in pressuring Beijing over North Korea in ways that previous administrations failed. The pressure alongside North Korea's continuing missile and nuclear tests appears to be generating a lively debate in China for the first time in a while. Here is some of the back-and-forth between Beijing University's Jia Qingguo [贾庆国] and Zhejiang Academy of Social Science's Zhu Zhihua [朱志华]. Although the ad hominem attacks are quite entertaining, the debate is serious and deserves attention. Whether U.S. policy is the best course of action now is one question; whether U.S. policy has made North Korea a "strategic burden" for China for the first time is another. But the latter question appears to have been answered.
Xinhua credits Xi Jinping with using this phrase on September 25 while attending an exhibit at the Beijing Exhibition Center. The exhibit, entitled "砥砺奋进的五年", showcases the accomplishments of the five years since the 18th Party Congress. Xi used this phrase (it may not actually be a 成语) to stress the challenges that the leadership had to overcome to better the lives of the Chinese people.
In August, Beijing released a six-party documentary on China's diplomacy as a great power under the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. The film celebrates the achievements of the Chinese government in foreign policy, while highlighting different approaches that have underpinned Beijing's diplomacy as well as the breadth of their outreach. The series also warranted a 钟声 commentary in the People's Daily, suggesting an official imprimatur on 《大国外交》.
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