Politics Block Solution as Mounting Debt Threatens China

The International Monetary Fund has warned China that debt-fueled growth is not sustainable. Chinese leaders continue to delay financial reforms for containing corporate debt that has accumulated at a rate with few precedents in recent history, according to Chris Miller, associate director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale. The country has imposed stricter capital controls and slowed capital outflows, but is still at risk for a financial crisis. After the 2008 global financial crisis, China and other countries came to the rescue and provided stimulus funding that in turn hiked debt levels. In China, many of the companies and banks are state-owned, and an underlying assumption in heavy lending to such corporations is that the government will provide bailouts to prevent failures in key sectors. Household and government debt, while not reaching the levels of other countries like Japan or the United States, is also rising. Miller concludes, “Even as Beijing talks about reducing financial risk, a powerful array of political interests are aligned in favor of retaining the current system, whatever dangers it might pose.” – YaleGlobal


Is a China-Centric World Inevitable?

In June, Chinese road-building crews accompanied by soldiers started construction in western Bhutan. India’s swift response, confronting the crew with troops, may have caught China off guard, and the two countries have been in a standoff since. “India must carefully select a few key issues where it must confront China, avoiding minor annoyances not vital to national security,” argues Shyam Saran, India’s former foreign secretary. The article is adapted from the inaugural lecture he delivered at the Institute of Chinese Studies and the India International Centre, New Delhi. “Doklam is a significant security challenge.” He questions China’s narrative of power and dominance in Asia, which relies on a selective reading of history along with the country’s role in the Silk Road trading routes across many nations and cultures. Saran concludes that India and other nations that share a vision for a multipolar world could reject senseless eruptions of nationalism and sectarianism and join to form another narrative for an emerging world order, one with global humanitarian interests at its core. – YaleGlobal

Can the United States and a Rising China Avoid Thucydides’s Trap?

Thucydides, a general in Ancient Greece, was exiled from Athens after failing to reach the city of Amphipolis to prevent takeover by the Spartans. In exile, he wrote a history of the 27-year Peloponnesian War and determined, “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” That one sentence inspired Harvard political scientist Graham Allison to research 16 major power rivalries over the last 500 years between reigning and emerging powers. Not all rivalries led to war, and Börje Ljunggren, author and former Swedish ambassador to China, analyzes Allison’s arguments on whether the United States and China can escape the Thucydides’s Trap. “Allison’s ultimate ambition is to raise awareness and prevent collision between the United States and China,” Ljunggren writes. “He identifies four core ideas based on ‘structural realities’: clarifying vital interests, understanding the aims of the other, crafting strategy and addressing national challenges. Predictability is crucial.” Sources for unpredictability and confrontation are many, from Chinese ties with North Korea along with claims in the South China Sea to controls over currency or human rights. Yet the world’s largest economic and military powers share common interests. Ljunggren concludes, “there is ample scope for joint efforts beyond distrust.” – YaleGlobal

The Yale-born Junzi Kitchen is expanding

The first New York location for fast-casual Chinese restaurant Junzi Kitchen will open on June 21 near Columbia University. The New Haven-based restaurant was conceived by Yale grads Yong Zhao, Wanting Zhang, and Ming Bai with chef Lucas Sin, who created a Northern China-based menu of noodle bowls and bings in the first location in 2015.

Junzi Kitchen has a Chipotle-like menu, with either a bing or noodles as the base, with various meats, vegetables, garnishes, and sauce options to mix in. The full menu for the NYC location is below and includes some rather cheffy ingredients for a fast-casual chain, such as chive ash and shrimp salt.


India Challenges China’s Intentions on One Belt, One Road Initiative

China insists that its One Belt, One Road initiative stretching along three continents will benefit the entire world with $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements. But some countries harbor doubts. Businesses and governments in the West express concern that the massive trade and infrastructure initiative is more bilateral than multilateral, and “India, an emerging economy that shares a contested border with China, worries about containment and new pathways for aggression from Pakistan,” explains Harsh V Pant, professor of international relations, King’s College London. Also, “the Maritime Silk Road reinforces New Delhi’s concerns about encirclement. Beijing’s port development projects in the Indian Ocean open the possibility of dual-use facilities, complicating India’s security calculus.” The land and maritime routes, as envisioned by Chinese President Xi Jinping, will link about 65 countries that encompass about 40 percent of global GDP. Plans should emphasize transparency and multilateral cooperation, Pant concludes, or China could confront more opposition. – YaleGlobal


YSPH Grant to Train Health Professionals in China in Bioethics Renewed

Training grant renewed

A School of Public Health program that trains future generations of public health researchers in China has been awarded a grant renewal of $1.25 million from the Fogarty International Center, of the National Institutes of Health, to continue its work.

Since 2011, Associate Professor Kaveh Khoshnood, Ph.D. ’95, M.P.H. ’89, has led a team at Yale and at Central South University (CSU) in Changsha, China, with a focus on bioethics training. The new funding will support the development of a novel interdisciplinary Master of Bioethics (MBE) program at CSU.