In an interview with China Daily, Wang Pei’an of the China Family Planning Association, an organization affiliated with the Central Committee and State Council, laments the declining interest in marriage and children in today’s China. Among other policy changes, Wang emphasizes the need to promote a culture of shared child-rearing responsibilities across genders and generations, improve maternity leave and childcare systems, and feature family development more prominently in popular online media in order to address China’s declining birth rate.
Song Guoyou, an expert on U.S.-China economic relations at Fudan University, evaluates Beijing’s response so far to de-risking strategies adopted by the Trump and Biden administrations. Song argues that China can limit both the scope and negative impacts of such measures by seeking to maintain stable relations with Europe and U.S. allies more generally, diversifying export markets, publicly contributing to global economic goods through promotion of the BRI and participation in RCEP, and sustaining U.S. business interest in China.
A pair of Chinese economists argue that the U.S. will have a difficult time effectively de-risking from China due to a variety of hurdles, including tensions with allies over the speed and scope of strategies, vested U.S. business interests, and partisan debates about China policy within the United States. To limit the scope and impact of U.S. technology and economic policies, they suggest, Beijing should seek to improve diplomatic relations with U.S. allied and partner nations, expand economic ties with developing countries, remain open to diplomatic engagement with Washington, and invest in China’s science and technology ecosystem to address innovation bottlenecks.
A prominent scholar of China-Africa relations argues that other major powers with a presence in Africa are increasingly wary of China’s activity on the continent. Since continued economic and political engagement in Africa is in China’s interests, Zhang argues, Beijing should maximize its room for maneuver by allaying such concerns. While Beijing should tailor strategies by country, Zhang advocates showing “due consideration” for other countries’ goals in Africa where they do not impinge on China’s core interests, pursuing opportunities for cooperation where they present themselves, and limiting unnecessarily provocative activities.
Researchers at Yunnan University and East China University of Political Science argue China’s aid and investment to Africa are inaccurately portrayed by Western countries as “debt trap diplomacy,” exacerbating sovereign debt risks in African countries and driven primarily by strategic rather than commercial objectives. To rebut and limit the reach of such arguments, the authors suggest Beijing seek ways to diversify Chinese investment and aid across sectors and projects, help Chinese enterprises assess investment risk and follow laws and social norms of host countries, better target aid to national development conditions, and strengthen media engagement in Africa and the West.
A scholar from the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies argues that China’s economic engagement in Africa has become more complicated given a mix of external and internal factors – including souring relations between China and Western powers, and the shifting demands and expectations of African countries. As a prognosis, the author suggests that Beijing should enhance the complementarity and tangible impact of its global initiatives, devote greater attention to green development and other emerging development needs in Africa, and develop consultation mechanisms with African countries to address “pain points” as they arise.
The CCP Politburo holds “collective study sessions” on a semi-regular basis, in which an outside academic or government expert leads a discussion on a selected topic. Such sessions are important signals as to what issues the senior leadership finds important. The seventh collective study session of the 20th Central Committee Politburo was held on July 24, 2023 and was presided over by Xi Jinping. At this session, Xi delivered a speech on the importance of strengthening military governance to ensure better coordination across departments and services and deepen the integration of military and civil strategic efforts and capabilities.
The CCP Politburo holds “collective study sessions” on a semi-regular basis, in which an outside academic or government expert leads a discussion on a selected topic. Such sessions are important signals as to what issues the senior leadership finds important. The sixth collective study session of the 20th Central Committee Politburo was held on June 30, 2023 and was presided over by Xi Jinping. At this session, Xi Jinping delivered a speech that urged Party members to continue adhering to Marxist teachings adapted to China’s national context.
Zhao Xiaozhuo, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, explains the trajectory of the Ukraine war in terms of two types of warfare: “mechanized warfare,” centered mostly on large-scale platforms such as aircraft and tanks, and “information warfare,” which more systemically integrates such platforms with other tools, including low-cost, dual-use technologies such as drones and social media. Zhao argues that Ukraine has used the latter to its advantage, which has enabled it to—among other things—take out Russian combat platforms through precision strikes.
Zhang Gaoyuan, a security scholar at Peking University, draws lessons for China amid what she terms the digital transformation of intelligence gathering. Zhang argues dual-use technology such as drones and Starlink satellites, open-source social media information, and efforts by non-combatants have been pivotal in guaranteeing Ukraine a steady flow of battlefield intelligence. As a prognosis for China, she promotes greater research into the opportunities and risks digital technologies present for intelligence acquisition and security.