Japan & the invention of Chinese nationalism
An online talk on 10 November 2020 about the importance of Japan in the emergence and shaping of Chinese nationalism in the final decade of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth. I’ll be talking about the work of diplomat Huang Zunxian, journalist Liang Qichao and revolutionaries including Zhang Binglin and Sun […]
Fact, fiction and the South China Sea
Too much writing about the history of the South China Sea disputes relies on a very small number of books and papers with very poor evidential bases. In this article I show how much of the conventional wisdom originates from a few Chinese newspaper articles published in 1933 and 1974 – times of crisis in […]
Obscure Chinese oil companies in the SCS
An article I wrote for The Economist, telling the story of two relatively obscure Chinese oil companies and their contrasting approaches to exploring for oil in the South China Sea. Brightoil is going down the conventional route – risking confrontation with Vietnam – while Fosun has bought Roc and is working under Malaysian regulations. The […]
Who makes China’s policy?
I ventured into a debate between two eminent analysts of Chinese policy-making: Bonnie Glaser of CSIS in Washington and Linda Jakobson of the Lowy Institute in Sydney. Linda recently wrote a very good report highlighting how many of China’s actions in the South China Sea could be explained by the bureaucratic imperatives of the organisations […]