Monday 19 Feb 2018 | 18:57 | SYDNEY
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Merriden Varrall's picture
People | experts Merriden Varrall
Director, East Asia Program
Lowy Institute
Merriden Varrall's picture
Areas of ExpertiseChina; Chinese foreign and domestic policy; Chinese development policy
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Time for Team Washington to change the script

Recently two high-level dialogues involving China were held and at both, China and its interlocutors largely talked past each other, achieving very little genuine communication or progress. The continued determination of both Beijing and Team Washington (for want of a better collective description

The Cultural Revolution, then and now

It has been (arguably) 50 years since the start of one of the greatest, but least well understood, social upheavals of modern history. The Chinese Cultural Revolution, overseen by Mao Zedong, has been in the news in the West and in China both because of this anniversary, and because of controversy

It takes two to Thucydides

There has been a lot of talk of late in the security and international relations community about the Thucydides trap, and more specifically that China and the US find themselves in one. But there are two important problems with the way the maxim is being used that have more than just academic

How did the Chinese media cover Xi Jinping's US visit?

By Dr Merriden Varrall, the Lowy Institute's East Asia Program Director, and Jackson Kwok, an intern in the East Asia Program. Given the somewhat rocky few months President Xi Jinping has endured, his state visit to the US provided an ideal opportunity to reinforce his domestic legitimacy and his

How did the Chinese media cover Xi Jinping's US visit?

[youtube;2xOt90jpGbM] Given the somewhat rocky few months President Xi Jinping has endured, his state visit to the US provided an ideal opportunity to reinforce his domestic legitimacy and his success in steering China towards achieving its dream of national rejuvenation. The Chinese media has

Lowy poll shows that values matter in foreign policy

The 2015 Lowy Institute Poll reveals a great deal about Australian attitudes towards China, both in terms of our bilateral relationship, but also how China fits into our broader sense of economic and political security alongside other actors such as the US. It would appear that values and ideals

China's worldview, in six parts

I remember being in a takeaway food shop queue in China. The foreign woman in front of me asked for vegetables and rice, in English. The Chinese woman behind the counter didn't understand, so the foreign woman helpfully said the same thing, but louder. Not being deaf, this didn't help the woman

Shangri La Dialogue: China plays to home audience

There was considerable anticipation around the remarks of US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and Chinese Admiral Sun Jianguo, PLA Deputy Chief of General Staff, at the just concluded 14th annual Shangri La Dialogue. Secretary Carter's speech was widely praised for its balance, including by many

Unquestioned beliefs on both sides of US-China divide

China and the US have both been described as countries that consider themselves to be exceptional. China, so much so, that some analysts argue it sees itself as 'uniquely unique'. What this means in China is that most Chinese understand themselves to be part of a culture that no-one else can truly

How Chinese media covered Obama's State of the Union

In his State of the Union address on Wednesday, President Obama mentioned China a total of three times. One was to praise China's commitment to cut carbon emissions. The second was to encourage American manufacturing executives to bring back jobs from China. The third was a call-to-arms to prevent

Zhou Yongkang case won't shake China's foundations

Last weekend, Chinese media announced that former security chief and oil baron Zhou Yongkang (pictured) has been expelled from the Communist Party and now awaits trial. As the highest-level person to have been affected by President Xi's anti-corruption campaign, his downfall ranks with that of

Hong Kong protests not a harbinger of change for China

After two months of protest and occupation, is the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement over? It seems the protests are not going to achieve what they set out to do, let alone pose any threat to the rule of the Chinese Government. Chinese people on the mainland are basically uninterested and generally

Regional tensions on display at Fifth Xiangshan Forum

Last week's Fifth Xiangshan Forum in Beijing demonstrated just how difficult it will be to resolve disputes in the South China Sea as long as key parties believe history must arbitrate the veracity of claims to sovereignty over contested islands. Scholars, officials and military officers from all

Xi's address to parliament: Muted coverage in China

As Kerry Brown noted yesterday, Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech to the Australian parliament on Monday gave Australians plenty to talk about, and Australians (of a certain kind at least) have been busily dissecting it to see what it might mean for the bilateral relationship. The coverage in

Negotiations in Hong Kong: Some space for change

Last night at 6pm local time, five representatives from Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters met with five government officials to discuss the protesters' demands. The meeting, broadcast live, was exceedingly polite and civil. But in the end, none of the protesters' demands were met. The meetings