The Impact of Global Events on China

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Looking back at 2016...

Global issues are becoming increasingly complicated and fragmented. The advancement in technology, global warming, financial crisis, terrorism, refugee crisis, and cross-border crime are threatening the existing international framework.

Just as Antonio Guterres, the new UN secretary-general, underlined in his New Year’s speech that the suffering of the vulnerable people, in particular the refugees and those in conflict zones, troubles him the most when he starts his tenure. “The war will have no winners, only peace can bring about dignity, hope, progress and prosperity that humans long for,” said Guterres, who urged citizens, governments and leaders of all countries to work together toward the common goal of resolving conflicts and making 2017 a year of peace.

Within Western countries, politicians are facing the rise of extremism and national separatism. We witnessed a series of incidents including Brexit, Trump becoming the next US President, Russia initiating a Reconciliation Agreement to settle the civil war in Syria, neglecting Western governments’ presence, and the constant threat of terrorism to Western countries. These movements are forcing western countries into a major transformation in foreign strategies and policies.

The past year for Asia was full of unpredictable changes. Since Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) started to rule in May 2016, she has been taking an ambiguous stand for fundamental principles such as 1992 Consensus, which casted shadow on the future progress of Cross-Strait Relation between mainland China and Taiwan. Meanwhile, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strengthened US-Japan relation by visiting Pearl Harbour, and simultaneously showed Russia a gesture of goodwill for a back-up plan. All these movements by Abe seemed to suggest that he was preparing for Japan’s Constitutional Revision. Lastly, moving on to China, it started to take an aggressive stand on South China Sea Disputes. With increasingly empowered Chinese maritime forces and presence of carrier strike group, China’ tension with US and neighbouring countries was intensified.

The year of 2016 surprises us with major political changes and incidents. Will it be a drastic turning point in human history? Will it fundamentally change the existing post-Cold War world economic and political order? Let us observe and discover the future of World and the future of China through meaningful discussions with our guest speakers.