The Future of UK-China Relations

As relations between the U.K. and China continue to cool, two countervailing forces are competing to influence their future...

Brexit Doesn’t Blow Sino-UK Relationship Off Course as “Golden Era” Stays Strong

A week-long trip to an idyllic, snowy ski-resort high up in the Swiss Alps must have sounded like the perfect winter getaway for British prime minister Theresa May. Unfortunately for her, instead of attending the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, she remained in London, as she and her cabinet attempted to steady the good-ship Brexit, which has been blown widely off course over the last month. Recent events in Parliament have given Mrs May a mandate to return to Brussels and attempt to renegotiate issues over the Irish-backstop, which has become a red line issue for many Brexiteers (pro-Brexit voters). However, Members of Parliament (MPs) still failed to drop the controversial and potentially dangerous ‘no-deal’ scenario, which has led to many businesses re-positioning themselves away from Britain. Last week, Jaguar Land Rover have announced plans to slash 4,500 jobs worldwide, mostly in the UK and Ford have decided to restructure their 54,000-strong European workforce, partially as a result of Brexit, creating insecurity for its 13,000 UK-based workers. This follows cruise-ship company P&O Ferries, music giant Sony, fellow car manufacturer Bentley and electronics company Dyson, who all announced plans to either move headquarters or re-register away from the UK, the latter to Singapore. With the March 2019 deadline looming, thick black clouds are circling over Mrs May, who is quickly running […]

China and ASEAN Single Draft Negotiating Text of COC to Secure South China Sea Stability

Wang Yi, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, attended China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore on August 2. As the rotating chairman of ASEAN and coordinator of China-ASEAN relations, Foreign Minister of Singapore announced that China and ASEAN arrived at the single draft negotiating text of Code of Conduct (COC) on the same day. This is the first move towards substantive negotiations on the COC, and also a critical move and a milestone that lay foundation and provide essential safeguard for further talks. Δ  Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (First row, L3) attends the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum retreat held in Singapore on Aug 4, 2018.[Photo/ Xinhua] What is the single draft negotiating text of COC? The 14th Senior Officials’ Meeting on Implementation of Declaration on the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea (DOC), held last May, passed the framework of COC, indicating that negotiations had entered a new substantive stage. However, a series of difficulties and challenges exist in such stage, among which the foremost one is the drafting of the basic document. As Wang Yi depicted, the progress made in these negotiations can be compared to China and ASEAN building a new house together. In the past, eleven countries had 11 plans, but now, with China and ASEAN agreeing on a single draft […]