Trump’s New Vision and China’s Diplomatic Options Ruan Zongze
Donald J. Trump said in his inaugural address a new vision would govern America so as to build a new millennium that features “America First” and “make America great again”. From a historical perspective, the Trump Phenomenon is not only the outcome of populist movements upheld by the middle and lower classes in the US, but also a rectification of US liberalism. The significant changes in international arena and the rise of Trump make America the biggest uncertainty affecting China-us relations. However, this does not mean that China can only adapt rather passively. Instead, China may actively shoulder the responsibilities for shaping China-us relations. To avoid the historical tragedy of great power rivalry and mutually destructive scenario, China and the US should be committed to building a community of common destiny for all mankind and create the prospects of win-win cooperation. This is precisely what President Xi Jinping meant by saying “developing sound bilateral relations is a due responsibility of China and the US towards the world as two major countries”.
Prospects of China-us Relations in the Trump Administration
During the Trump administration, adjustments in US domestic and foreign policies will lead to changes in the circumstances, agenda and pattern of China-us interactions, presenting bilateral relations with new challenges and opportunities. Yet, ChinaUS relations will evolve on the existing basis rather than start all over again, and the existent structure and features will shape to a large extent its future orientation. Compared with the past, China nowadays possesses more resources, richer experiences and stronger strategic maneuvering abilities in managing China-us ties. China should endeavor to make “mutual accommodation” the main pattern of interactions between the two countries, take economic and trade relations as the primary focus and develop pragmatic cooperative partnership. In the process, China should also seek to improve the quality of bilateral ties and pursue the principle of “no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win- win cooperation”, thus continuing to enhance the goal of building a new type of China-us major-country relationship.
India-led BBIN Sub-regional Cooperation: Motivation and Challenges Wu Zhaoli
The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Initiative is driven by several strategic considerations, such as realizing the integration of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in a gradual manner, serving Prime Minister Modi’s Neighborhood-first policy to reshape India’s regional influence, balancing domestic development imbalance, as well as building an India- led framework of regional economic cooperation in South Asia. Up to now, BBIN sub-regional cooperation has made significant progress; its future, however, remains uncertain due to the conditions of infrastructure, underinvestment and political instability in these countries, as well as the impact of traditional and non-traditional security issues in South Asia. China is committed to synergizing the development strategies of both sides, but trust deficit has limited the extent of the synergy.
Legal Critique of the Historic Rights Issues in the South China Sea Arbitration Award Lei Xiaolu & Yu Minyou
The final Award by the Arbitral Tribunal of the South China Sea arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines denied China’s historic rights in the South China Sea. The Tribunal’s jurisdiction is ungrounded, as it is not only based on an incorrect judgment of the nature of China’s claim to historic rights, but also wrongly interpreting Article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). With regard to merits, the argument of the Tribunal, which chose to apply the so-called “general rules” in UNCLOS Article 311, lacks solid jurisprudential foundation. Its interpretation of the UNCLOS provisions and relevant international judicial and arbitral practices is biased and inconsistent with the rules codified by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, hence rendering its ruling unconvincing. The Tribunal adopted double standards with the evidence of China’s historic rights, ignoring the association between Chinese fishermen’s discovery, development and utilization of the South China Sea islands and reefs and exploitation of relevant waters. The Tribunal’s Award, which has distorted and nullified China’s legitimate claim to historic rights with a default position in favor of the Philippines, is unfair, illegitimate and unjustified.