China’s 13th National People's Congress (NPC) held its first annual session at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing from March 5 to 20. The NPC, which brings together almost 3,000 delegates from all over the country, is China's national legislative body. Delegates approve major legislation and senior leaders from China’s Communist Party (CCP) give speeches allowing other countries a glimpse of the CCP’s intentions for the next few years. This year’s session had a special significance as it followed close on the heels of the once-in-five-years Party Congress of October 2017. Delegates approved various important amendments to the Constitution, the most noted one being an amendment that removes term limits for China’s President.
Commenting on the NPC’s first session and its implication for Canada, Yves Tiberghien (UBC) argued in The Globe and Mail that the changes to the Constitution “have dealt a massive blow to the institutionalization of China as a constitutional autocracy” and that Canada is in need of a “new kind of principled engagement that is much less idealistic and more strategic.”
China Research Partnership – March/April 2018 Highlights
A lot has happened at the China Research Partnership since February, here are some highlights:
- Xiaojun Li (UBC) co-authored a peer-reviewed article in Research and Politics revealing how online crowdsourcing platforms can be useful tools for subject recruitment, especially when researchers are interested in making inferences about Chinese netizens and colleagues.
- Stewart Beck (APF Canada) published an article in Policy Options arguing that a major component of building stronger ties and trade with China lies with Canadian university students, and that we need to give them more chances to study abroad.
- Stephan R. Nagy (APF Canada) wrote several articles on the Northeast Asian region. He explained in China Plus the complexities and challenges of the meeting between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un, and he explored in Asia and the Pacific the different strategies employed by Northeast Asian leaders to deal with the unorthodox President of the United States, Donald Trump.
- Gordon Houlden (China Institute) edited a book with Nong Hong, Maritime Order and the Law in East Asia, that evaluates the role of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in managing maritime order in East Asia.
- Sarah Kutulakos (CCBC) published two articles looking into trade relations between Canada and China. In Caifu, she marked the Year of the Dog and reflected on the growing commercial opportunities between Canada and China. In The Hills Time, Sarah argued that Canada’s future economic prosperity requires more collaboration with Chinese companies but that “Canadians have sometimes been reluctant to seize them because of a lack of understanding about modern China and outdated perceptions of Chinese businesses, particularly stateowned enterprises.”
- Both the China Institute and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada released reports on foreign direct investment between Canada and Asia. The China Institute’s report looks into Chinese investment in Canada while APF Canada’s report explores Canadian investment in the Asia Pacific region more broadly, reveling interesting information about Canadian investment in China.
New Podcasts Section
In order to keep up with the increasing number of podcasts with Canadian scholars and experts on China, the China Research Partnership created a new Podcasts section on its website. We will be hosting the newly launched podcast series by China Institute, China Matters. You can hear the first edition here, in which former Ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques discusses many questions of importance for Canada's relations with China.
Also in this new podcast section, Diana Fu (U of T) talks about her latest book, Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China, and Gordon Houlden (China Institute) discusses the U.S.-China trade war and its implications for Canada.