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  • Author: Fan He, Qiyuan Xu
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: With a balance between radicalism and gradualism, renminbi (RMB) cross-border settlement covers all of the items in China's balance of payments (BoP), including financial accounts, although some of these accounts are still controlled by means of quotas and administrative approval. By the end of the first quarter in 2014, the amount of RMB trade settlement had reached ¥11 trillion since the pilot scheme was launched in July 2009. RMB cross-border settlement has become increasingly important for monetary authorities in terms of macroeconomic policy frameworks. This is especially the case with the more sophisticated conditions in global monetary markets, which result not only from the nontraditional monetary policies employed by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, but also the ongoing quantitative easing (QE) tapering by the US Federal Reserve and the spillover effects on emerging economies. It is increasingly important to evaluate the potential influence of RMB internationalization on China's macroeconomy. A framework, which includes monetary supply and demand, was created to analyze the influences of RMB cross-border settlement on China's domestic interest rate, asset price and foreign exchange (forex) reserves. RMB settlement behaves in different ways with the various items in BoP, such as imports, exports, foreign direct investment (FDI), overseas direct investment (ODI), RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII), RMB Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (RQDII) and cross-border loans. It was found that RMB settlement in different items leads to different effects on China's economy. For RMB export settlement, RMB overseas direct investment (RODI) and RQFII at the initial stage, RMB settlement does not affect China's interest rate and asset price. In addition, more favourable to the People's Bank of China (PBoC), foreign exchange reserves increase less with these reforms; therefore, they should be promoted with priority. However, it is necessary to stress that all settlements should be based on real transactions in order to prevent fake exports. For RMB import settlement, RODI and RQDII at the initial stage, these pilot schemes exert influences on China's economy through interest rate changes, causing an additional increase of forex reserves. Although other short-term items in the financial account could also impact the interest rate, the items in this group are either based on real business such as trade and investment or on financial transactions at the initial stage on a small scale. Therefore, this group has a relatively moderate influence on the interest rate. It is important to remember that this negative by-product is a result of the assumption that the PBoC targets exchange rate stability. If the PBoC sets the exchange rate system to be flexible enough, then such pilot schemes will not cause an increase of forex reserves. It is thus essential to advance exchange rate regime reforms to keep up with the steps of RMB internationalization. With the progress in RQDII and RQFII, the endorsement of issuing dim sum bonds for capital backflows and with the increase in lending from the offshore to the onshore market, these types of RMB cross-border settlements will not exert pressure on forex reserves; however, they do have an impact on the money market. If the amount of RMB flowing through these items is large enough, the interest rate and asset price will be significantly affected, and could be in conflict with the intended monetary policy. These types of transactions are the most risky to monetary authorities; therefore, they should be cautious regarding these items. In the short term, RMB settlements in these kinds of items should be regulated with quotas. In the medium to the longer term, these items should be opened in a gradual way.
  • Topic: Foreign Exchange, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe
  • Author: Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: As an exclusionary property right, patents invite their use as a strategic weapon to shape markets and to reap monopoly rents through patent monetization. The increasing variety and global reach of strategic patenting strategies pose new and under-researched challenges for the international distribution of innovation gains. This think piece explores the proliferation of strategic patenting strategies, and highlights the growing complexity and uncertainty of the international patent system that result from the increasing use of patents as market deterrents and as a new asset class. Part One of the paper introduces four manifestations of strategic patenting that are well documented in the literature, i.e. the use of standard-essential patents (SEPs) as entry deterrents; aggressive patent infringement litigation that has galvanized the smart phone wars, with Apple as the pioneer; the proliferation of patent monetization services; and the use of cross-border patent licensing as a tool for corporate transfer pricing and tax planning. While existing research provides important insights into the drivers, we lack systematic theoretical and empirical research on how strategic patenting affects the international distribution of innovation gains. Part Two seeks to shed light on two recent forms of strategic patenting which need both theoretical and empirical case study research, i.e. the rise of Sovereign Patent Funds (SPFs), and first signs of patent-avoiding latecomer strategies, with China's Xiaomi as the most prominent example. The paper concludes with questions for policy and further research.
  • Topic: Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Georg Strüver, Pascal Abb
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper uses the case of Sino–Southeast Asian relations to gain insights on China's ability to muster support for its global agenda. The analysis focuses on the regional–global nexus of interstate relations and explores the extent to which the quality of two states' regional relations influences the likelihood of behavioral alignment in global politics. To this end, we consider a range of potentially influential aspects of Sino–Southeast Asian relations (the quality of bilateral relations based on recent event data, alliance policy, regime similarity, development level, and economic ties) and employ a statistical model to search for correlations with observed trends of voting coincidence in the United Nations General Assembly during the period 1979–2010. We find a strong correlation between the quality of regional bilateral relations and global policy alignment, which indicates that patterns of regional cooperation and conflict also impact the trajectory of China's rise in world affairs.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rupture between Russia and the West stemming from the 2014 crisis over Ukraine has wide-ranging geopolitical implications. Russia has reverted to its traditional position as a Eurasian power sitting between the East and the West, and it is tilting toward China in the face of political and economic pressure from the United States and Europe. This does not presage a new Sino-Russian bloc, but the epoch of post-communist Russia's integration with the West is over. In the new epoch, Russia will seek to expand and deepen its relations with non-Western nations, focusing on Asia. Western leaders need to take this shift seriously.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Wang Tao
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Petroleum coke (petcoke), a by-product of petroleum refining that is high in contaminants, has quietly emerged in China as an inexpensive, but very dirty, alternative to coal. A significant share of the petcoke used in China is imported from the United States, where it is generally considered waste. The Chinese government is committed to reducing coal consumption for environmental reasons, but petcoke is not yet well-known to the country’s policymakers. Still, its use and resulting emissions must be addressed if efforts to reduce air pollution and climate change are to be effective.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Gregory Poling
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted its fifth annual South China Sea conference on July 21, 2015. The event garnered more interest and a considerably larger audience—both in CSIS’s at-capacity conference room and online—than its four predecessors. Interest in the conference reflected the wider discussion on the South China Sea among policy communities in Washington and around the Asia Pacific—discussions that have risen to the top of the strategic agenda in many capitals. This report seeks to grapple with the dual policy challenges—one immediate and one long-term—of the South China Sea disputes, and offers recommendations to U.S. policymakers.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Steven Colley
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China’s emergence as a global economic superpower and as a major regional military power in Asia and the Pacific, has had a major impact on its relations with the United States and its neighbors. China was the driving factor in the new strategy the United States announced in 2012 that called for the U.S. to “rebalance” its forces to Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, China’s actions on its borders, in the East China Sea, and in the South China Sea have shown that China is steadily expanding its geopolitical role in the Pacific, and having a steadily increasing impact on the strategy and military developments in other Asian powers. As a result, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the United States, and China’s neighbors face a critical need to improve their understanding of how each state in the region is developing its military power, and find ways to avoid the kind of military competition that could lead to rising tension or conflict.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Robert D. Blackwill, Henry A. Kissinger, Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: "China represents and will remain the most significant competitor to the United States for decades to come. As such, the need for a more coherent U.S. response to increasing Chinese power is long overdue," write CFR Senior Fellow Robert D. Blackwill and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Senior Associate Ashley J. Tellis in a new Council Special Report, Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China. "Because the American effort to 'integrate' China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy." The authors argue that such a strategy is designed to limit the dangers that China's geoeconomic and military power pose to U.S. national interests in Asia and globally, even as the United States and its allies maintain diplomatic and economic interactions with China.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: After the plunge in commodity prices in 2015, the outlook for raw materials remains highly uncertain amid slowing economic growth in China and looming interest rate rises in the US. In China—which gobbles up nearly one-half of the world’s consumption of aluminium, copper and coal—demand for base materials risks moderating further as the economy moves away from an investment-driven growth model. This will continue to have knock-on effects on the performance of commodity-exporting economies, weighing down on global consumption of raw materials. However, supply responses are beginning to emerge from commodity producers worldwide. Coupled with less favourable weather prospects, this will lead to some market tightening next year, allowing for some price stabilisation after four years of decline. This report provides a snapshot of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s current commodity price indexes, exploring the changing prices for industrial raw materials and food, feedstuffs & beverages. Each article provides analysis and forecasts across a number of key commodities, helping you to assess the fast-changing environment of commodity markets and influence key decision-making processes.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Carol Graham, Shaojie Zhou, Junyi Zhang
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The past two decades in China brought unprecedented rates of economic growth, development, and poverty reduction. Indeed, much of the reduction in the world’s extreme poverty rates during that time can be explained by the millions of people in China who exited poverty. GDP per capita and household consumption increased fourfold between the years 1990 and 2005.1 China jumped 10 places forward on the Human Development Index from 2008 until 2013, moving up to 93 of 187 countries, and life expectancy climbed to 75.3 years, compared to 67 years in 1980.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: China