The west is well used to the "panda diplomacy" which has seen the worldwide symbol of conservation used as an instrument of China's soft power. But more significant are the now-ubiquitous Confucius Institutes established in more than 500 university campuses around the world, through which the Chinese state is also trying to control international academic discourse on topics related to China.
Africa is growing 7-10 times faster than any other continent in the world and with that comes an increased need for foreign investment. China is Africa's biggest single trading partner and is now the largest lending country to infrastructure projects on the continent. In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $60 billion in loans and aid to Africa and as of September 2016, Chinese companies have invested $56 billion into construction and infrastructure projects alone around the continent.
The government job is deemed an 'iron rice bowl' (an occupation with guaranteed job security and income). With the importance of feeding your family, one Sina noted that the China Democratic League job was a "golden rice bowl" as a result of its notable desirability.
The EU approach to Climate Change is another example of the unintended consequences associated with policies made at an EU level. The initiative was well-meaning maybe, but failed totally to anticipate the consequences on world trade and impact on EU member states. Most damaging is that EU is also terribly slow to ameliorate the negative effects of its own policies.
Whether we're in politics, diplomacy or business, we all know that risk and opportunity are two sides of the same coin. Some commentators are sounding the alarm about the Chinese economic slowdown, and the impact this might have on other economies in the region and further afield. This does not change the fundamental fact that Asia is now - and will remain - a major engine for global growth, and one with which we must continue to engage.
Rewind about five years, and you couldn't escape the proclamations that a new financial and political order was about to
On the final leg of his State Visit to the UK, President Xi of China took a trip to Manchester to visit the Northern Powerhouse, in what is undoubtedly a coup for the city. Moreover, Xi's visit neatly summarises two of the current priorities of the Conservative Government, in particular Chancellor George Osborne: China and the Northern Powerhouse.
I'm delighted to have discovered a leaked 'damage limitation' briefing, sent to David Cameron from advisers, ahead of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. The paper gives some useful advice on what Mr Cameron should say to 'extract' himself from a damaging and embarrassing deal involving Chinese finance for nuclear new build...
Stock markets the world over plunged in value on Monday morning, andDamian McBride, Gordon Brown’s ex-head of communications
The world's second-largest economy tanked spectacularly this week, sending the Chinese stock market into free fall before