Jack Ma Ends 20-Year Reign Over Alibaba Wealth Creation Empire


Stepping down as chairman: Jack Ma waving while standing for a photograph with Alibaba CEO Jonathan Lu (left) and co-founder and vice-chairman Joseph ‘Joe’ Tsai in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Ma is giving up the reins of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd after presiding over one of the most spectacular creations of wealth the world has ever seen. — Bloomberg

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Malaysia’s Public Universities Falling Behind


Malaysian public universities’ worst nightmare is beginning, with local private universities rapidly rising and making their presence felt in university rankings.

The respected World University Rankings now places Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) as the country’s second-best university just behind its oldest public university, University Malaya (UM). QS International University Rankings this year placed the private UCSI University sixth and Taylors University eighth. Other rankings mention Swinburne University of Technology, International Medical University, HELP University, and Sunway University among others as being in Malaysia’s top 10.

Malaysian public universities and the Ministry of Education have been fixated on rankings for many years. Ang small rise in any ranking is extolled by the media. Malaysia even has its own domestic ranking system SETARA, but this is not without criticisms. In 2017, the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) gave eight universities the highest ranking of six stars and 21 the second highest ranking of five, indicating there is not much room for these universities to improve.

This nonsensical ranking system ignores the wide gulf between Malaysian universities and universities in the rest of the world.

What is hindering Malaysian public universities from achieving their full potential? It seems to be their sense of purpose.

University mission statements are public pronouncements of the institution’s purpose, ambition, and values.The general mission statements of the country’s public universities state the prime purpose as producing graduates who will be skilled and highly sought after employees of industry. This is a mechanistic, utilitarian approach, a discourse that is purely industrial and regimented.

What is absent is the desire to assemble a diverse intellectual community and pursue knowledge and education for the betterment of the individual and society — something more holistic than the narrow education path extolled in these outmoded mission statements.

Many graduate qualifications don’t match the country’s needs. There is a large surplus of graduates with technical degrees that can’t be absorbed into the workforce. Graduate unemployment was 9.6 percent or 204,000 at the end of 2108.

These mismatches and surpluses are the result of the insistence of central control by the Ministry of Education. There is lack of autonomy in public universities about what courses can be taught. The Ministry of Education operates like a ministry would in the Soviet Union during the 1950s.


The Malay Agenda

Malaysia’s public universities are an instrument of the government of the day.

One vice chancellor told Asia Sentinel that an important covert role of public universities is to pursue the “Malay Agenda.” This is reflected in the ethnic mix of academic, administration, security, and maintenance staff, and the high percentage of Malays in university student populations. Public universities prefer to employ foreign Muslim academic staff from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Iraq, rather than Malaysian citizens who are of Chinese or Indian origin. Most, if not nearly all office holders at public universities are Malay. Administration staff numbers tend to be bloated and inefficient due to lenient work procedures compared to their private counterparts.

Public universities are Malay bastions. They have become enclaves not demographically representative of the communities they serve. Organization is extremely hierarchical and authoritarian. Expertise is recognised through position and not knowledge. This creates a master-servant, rather than collegiate culture within faculties and administrative departments. In such environments, nepotism over powers meritocracy. Thus, there is little positive within these environments for people with fresh ideas and constructive criticisms. People who question and try to improve things usually don’t last long.

What is holding public universities back is the Malay Agenda, which is not conducive with diversity, critical thinking or intellectualism.


The Islamic Agenda

The appointment of Maszlee Malik as the Minister of Education has exacerbated the furtherance of an Islamic agenda in public universities. This is not in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) or an edict approved by Federal Cabinet. It’s not part of the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto. Malaysian universities are being reformed in Maszlee’s vision rather than the national policy. The minister’s infusion into public universities of his Islamic vision is not the moderate, tolerant and accommodating Islam that Malays have practiced for hundreds of years but a Salafi-Wahabism slant that demands conformity and strict adherence.

This form of environment within public universities runs against the principle of diversity, free expression, critical thinking and creativity. The resulting organizational culture is an authoritarian environment that frowns upon freedom of expression of different ideas and diversity.

Malaysia is now witnessing the opening of a fissure into two completely different philosophies of higher education. On one side are the public universities with a structure and culture purporting to produce industrial fodder, and on the other side a private higher education sector made up of domestic private universities and Malaysian campuses of foreign universities which are beginning to emerge and being recognized in international rankings. One side carries the “Malay-Islamic” agenda of exclusion and the other, the pursuit of meritocracy.


Pursuing Change

The flaws within the public university system need to be firstly publicly acknowledged, then corrected. To date, the government has never conceded that it is pursuing the “Malay Agenda” in public universities. This is the subliminal agenda that is preventing any meaningful change and turning universities inward into their own introspection. Public universities can’t be changed without changing the intentions of the top echelon of government.

The first question is whether public universities should be pursuing Malay-Islamic agenda, or pursuing excellence in education and learning? This is where the reform process must begin.

The second question is whether public universities should follow the mechanistic development agenda or regenerate into something else? This question requires much informed discussion with various stakeholders.

This demands honest discussion. If the government wants to maintain the Malay-Islamic agenda in public universities, just say so and don’t waste time preparing policy blueprints which state otherwise. No change here and the rest is a waste of time.

If the first two questions are resolved, then a third question needs consideration. How can Malaysia’s public universities be fixed?

This has to start at the top. Before any reforms can be made, the culture within universities requires change. There are a number of prerequisites to achieving a positive culture change.

1.Public universities must be truly independent, autonomous, and transparent. A supreme body governing the university, a university council made up of the vice chancellor, deputies, deans, representatives from academic staff, administration staff, students, industry, community, and education should replace university board of directors. This means getting rid of all the deadweight and political crony appointees and replacing them with a committed governance group representing all stakeholders.

2.The university councils should appoint vice chancellors without any interference from the minister. This process should take place without fear or favour, purely on merit. The office holders shouldn’t be restricted to Malaysian citizens. The world should be scoured for the best people with experience in excellent universities to steer Malaysian universities into a new era.

3.Academic and administration staff need to reflect the population demographics of the country. Faculties need diversity, knowledge, experience, and know how. The apartheid approach needs to be ended at universities. The private universities are a  good example of what happens when diversity exists within academic staff. Rankings are quickly reflecting this.

4.The organizational culture of universities and faculties within them needs to be changed to eliminate feudal-like hierarchies, cronyism, and nepotism. These traits have to be replaced with a culture supporting meritocracy. This requires a leadership who shows by example. Deans with experience in reform and building teams will be required to reset these institutions.

5.There needs to be a set of standards that are fair for all to meet for university entry. This doesn’t mean there can’t be special entry programs for the disadvantaged. Many students now attending public universities would have been better off in the vocational system. Stricter entry standards will mean less students attending public universities and more in the vocational system that would better suit many students’ needs. This will help ease pressure on undergraduate teaching and raise standards very quickly.

Maszlee Malik doesn’t appear to have the interest or passion to lead the drive for excellence in public universities. He has been counterproductive through his appointments of vice chancellors. Religious credentials shouldn’t be a factor in selection.

If change can be made at the top, then the new broom can focus on granting full autonomy to public universities and change the Universities & Colleges Act so that university councils can be set up. The minister must denounce covert agendas and start a national dialogue about what Malaysian public universities should become. Finally, the apartheid nature of these insular institutions needs to be dismantled.

Ministers, bureaucrats, vice chancellors and deans don’t have to fly off to see Harvard or Oxford on the pretext to learn and emulate what is being done there.

Fortunately, within the public system there are some success stories. There are the examples within public universities that can learnt from where the elements of success can be transposed to other faculties within the public system. If this is not enough, vice chancellors only need to drive across town and look at some of the vibrant private universities as examples.

By:Murray Hunter,is a development expert based in Southeast Asia and a frequent contributor to Asia Sentinel.
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Best universities in Malaysia

World University Rankings

Explore the best universities in Malaysia, based on data collected by Times Higher Education
March 13 2019
Best universities in Malaysia

Malaysia is a country in South East Asia known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse population.

Made up of two main land masses, the Malaysian Peninsula and Malaysian Borneo, the country is known equally for its cosmopolitan capital and its wildlife-rich rainforests. The jungles of Borneo are home to over 1,000 species of animals, many of which are endangered. These include orangutans, clouded leopards and pygmy elephants.

By contrast, Kuala Lumpur – the nation’s capital – is a bustling metropolis, often used as a stepping stone to many other major South Asian destinations. Featuring the iconic Petronas Towers, the city’s impressive skyline is just one of KL’s many attractions. ​

Others include a canopy walkway 100ft in the air in the heart of the city, as well as the Batu Cave Temple, the stunning National Mosque and a host of museums.

Street food is incredibly popular and you can expect a varied cuisine with Indian,  Chinese and Malay influences.

Among all of this are some outstanding universities, which we have listed below, based on data collected for the THE World University Rankings 2019.

University of Malaya​

The University of Malaya, a public research university in Kuala Lumpur, is Malaysia’s oldest university, founded in 1905.

Initially established to cover the shortage of doctors in the country, the university has maintained its position as a leading medical
school.

It also offers bachelors degrees right through to doctoral qualifications across a range of other disciplines including economics, law, engineering, accountancy, linguistics and education.

The university also partners with several institutions across the globe, with links to Australia, France, Japan and the UK.

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)​

Situated across two campuses in Kuala Lumpur, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) is Malaysia’s second best university.

Established as a not-for-profit university in 2002, the initial intake was just 411. This has now risen to 2,500 students, who can choose from over 110 academic programmes of study. When the university first started there were just eight degree programmes.

UTAR is made up of nine faculties, three academic institutes, three academic centres and 32 research centres. ​

There are 56 registered student societies at the university including the yoga society, the international friendship society, the robotics society, the board games club, the  taekwondo club and the first aid society among others.


Best universities in ShanghaiBest universities in TokyoBest universities in Singapore Best universities in Hong KongBest universities in TaiwanBest universities in South KoreaBest universities in China


Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia​

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, or The National University of Malaysia as it is sometimes known, was initially founded to uphold the Malay language.

​Today, the university’s focus has switched to energy, with an emphasis on biotechnology and earth science.

UKM’s Tun Seri Lanang Library is one of the biggest university libraries in Malaysia, housing a collecting of over two million
resources.

The university has three campuses: in Bangi, Cheras and Kuala Lumpur.

And the rest…

You can also choose from a range of other universities in Malaysia.

Other institutions with a focus on energy include Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN).

Away from Kuala Lumpur, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) is located on the northwest coast of stunning Borneo.

The Universiti Teknologi MARA (UITM) is the best of both worlds, with campuses in each part of Malaysia. ​


The top universities in Malaysia 2019

Click on each institution to see its full World University Rankings 2019 results

Malaysia Rank 2019 World University Rank 2019 University City/Area
1  301–350 University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur
2  501–600 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Petaling Jaya
=3  601–800 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Selangor
=3  601–800 Universiti Sains Malaysia Pulau Pinang
=3  601–800 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Johor
=3  601–800 Universiti Teknologi Petronas Seri Iskandar
=7  801–1000 Universiti Putra Malaysia Selangor
=7  801–1000 Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) Selangor
=7  801–1000 Universiti Utara Malaysia Kedah Darul Aman
=10  1001+ Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor
=10  1001+ Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) Sarawak

Read more: Best universities in Asia

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Resolve race, religion and education to aspire for a better, the real new Malaysia


A short year since the first change in government gave the people hope for a resetting of the national direction, grave doubts about the pace of scope of reforms are clouding the mood for Merdeka Day.

The risk of political instability, economic pain for modest income-earners and worsening communal relations have left many wondering what has gone wrong with the dream of a New Malaysia.

In our Special Report this issue in conjunction with Merdeka, find out what the country’s young people are wishing for the nation amid the cacophony of noises. Contributors include co-founder of #Undi18 Qyira Yusri, Zahirah Zulkifly from Teach For Malaysia and lawyer Melissa Sasidaran, among others.

On the economic front, the country is better off today than decades ago, but the income gap between the B40, M40 and T20 has actually grown. This underscores the fact that economic growth has not been equally distributed to all levels of society.

Of concern is whether there will be sustained income and unemployment growth for all segments of society, especially the lower and middle-income groups.

Then there is the issue of navigating the country’s economy to the right path towards new growth engines that is sustainable and inclusive.

This would mean addressing the various challenges facing the country such as low productivity growth and capital efficiency, continued non-optimal investment in capital-intensive and value-added industries and automation, skills gap for the future workforce, among others.

My aspirations for our 62nd Merdeka

SIXTY-TWO years ago in 1957, Malaya gained independence. The new nation was blessed with a multiracial and multi-religious society and abundant natural resources and natural beauty.

There were serious challenges facing the new nation then, but we were blessed with honest, strong, competent and dedicated founding fathers and able leaders who provided good governance, set up credible national institutions like parliament, the judiciary, security and civil services.

Most importantly, poverty, which was widespread at independence, was considerably reduced as we moved forward, thanks to assertive rural development policies.

The country was also blessed with high economic growth and dubbed a tiger economy. There was little corruption and cronyism for many years after Merdeka.

The economy has since grown faster and developed more strongly in the last 61 years, and the country has progressed in peace and harmony except for the aberration of the 1969 riots.

We were more united then and shared a strong national family spirit. We emphasised and enjoyed our commonality and universality as Malayan and then as Malaysians.

After 60 years of being governed by one political party, we realised that we had been going off the track with rising corruption, cronyism and fracturing national unity, religious intolerance, racism and widening income inequality.

That was when we as a nation said “enough is enough” and elected a new government in our uniquely democratic Malaysian way. Thank God for the fundamental change and transition towards greater socioeconomic, political and institutional reforms and revitalisation of our country under the Pakatan Harapan government.

But we have to work harder to stick to the straight and narrow path and not go off the rails again.

So, on this auspicious 62nd Merdeka Day anniversary, can we all resolve to develop a new national consensus and mould a New Malaysia Policy (NMP)?

To do this, we need to:

1. Apply the NEP to all Malaysians regardless of race or religion. Make the NEP a needs-based socioeconomic policy and end the race-based policy as practised now. This change in policy will remove the sense of alienation that most non-Malays and even many neglected bumiputra now feel;

2. Show greater priority in increasing the opportunities for the B40 groups of all races to earn higher incomes through better and more skills-based education and training programmes;

3. Reject compulsory training in some non-academic studies that are not directly related to improving the present generally low quality of education at almost all levels. Provide more technical and vocational training and use English to teach science subjects. This is essential to make our graduates more employable and get a more rounded education;

4. There should be equal business and employment opportunities in both the government and private sectors. The civil service and business sectors have to be more multiracial in their employment make-up. One way to encourage more multiracial ownership and balanced employment in the private sector in the context of the new policy of “Shared Prosperity” would be to provide new tax incentives in Budget 2020;

5. National schools could teach our mother tongues to encourage higher multiracial attendance. The current perception of national schools being Islamic schools needs to be corrected. They could then become schools of choice;

6. The present campaign against corruption, cronyism and money politics must be stepped up. Continuation of any elements of these very bad practices will undermine national interest and the public’s well-being and welfare;

7. The government must take a harder stand against hate speech and those who promote racial and religious conflict. Foreign speakers and external financing that promote social unrest should be dealt with more sternly and quickly. The

government should not protect these undesirable troublemakers, both foreign and local, who can cause major disunity and instability;

8. Public institutions should be further strengthened and made more independent of any political interference. This is essential to safeguard the integrity and sustainability and, indeed, the very sovereignty of our nation;

9. With climate change and global warming becoming more critical, we must not look at short-term profits and neglect the longer-term devastation of Mother Earth; and

10. As far as possible, we should preach and practise universal human rights in a more sincere and serious way. We can always protect our religious and cultural values and adopt human rights at the same time.

On our 62nd Merdeka Day anniversary, let us all pledge to protect our precious Constitution, live by the principles of the Rukun Negara and resolve to aspire for a better Malaysia.

May God continue to bless our beloved country and people. Selamat Hari Merdeka 2019.

TAN SRI RAMON NAVARATNAM, Chairman Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies –
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Daim: Malaysia far from being able to compete globally | The Edge …

Let us not be under any illusions * We are still far from being out of the woods * We are far from being ready for the changes happening around us * We are far from being a united people * We are far from being able to compete at global level * We are far from being able to embrace differences and changes * underpinning all this unpreparedness is education * education key to preparing youth for future * education ministry has failed to prioritise right issues * hindered  progress of reforms within the national education policy


Malaysia far from developed country with unified citizens ready to face industrial challenges of futures said Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Malaysia still playing catch up with 4th IR other countries gearing for 5th IR
Let us not be under any illusions
We are still far from being out of the woods
We are far from being ready for the changes happening around us.
We are far from being a united people

We are far from being able to compete at global level

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is still far from reaching the status of a developed country with a unified citizen that is ready to face the industrial challenges of the future, said Council of Eminent Persons chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Daim said Malaysia is still playing catch up with the fourth industrial revolution when other countries are already gearing for the supposed fifth industrial revolution.

“Let us not be under any illusions. We are still far from being out of the woods. We are far from being ready for the changes happening around us.

“We are far from being a united people. We are far from being able to compete at the global level. We are far from being able to embrace differences and changes.

“And underpinning all of this unpreparedness is education,” he said at the launch of the International Conference on Emerging Issues in Public Policy at Universiti Malaya’s Institute of Public Policy and Management.

The former finance minister pointed out that education is the key to preparing the youth for the future. However, he said the education ministry has failed to prioritise the right issues to tackle, which has hindered the progress of reforms within the national education policy.

“We are still arguing over whether we should teach Maths and Science in English, when the rest of the world has embarked on advanced curriculums that focus on Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4) so as to make their youth more competitive and relevant in a world that is going to be dominated by artificial intelligence and robotics,” he said.

“To participate in IR4, we must go through a knowledge-based economy and here Malaysia has failed because the government, through the ministry of education, has not got its priorities right. The education ministry must not fail our nation.

“While we are still mired in the political rhetoric of languages, others around us have moved beyond English or Mandarin or Bahasa Malaysia into the language of programming and coding. When will we realise just how far behind we are and lacking?” Daim added.

In facing the rise of technology in industrialisation, Daim said the government should implement policies that create an environment where people are allowed to maximise their potential and pursue creative pursuits that are complemented by technology, not replaced by it.

The reality is, he said, technology will have the most impact on future employment as robots replace humans in menial tasks. But where one window closes, another opens, he added.

“Fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, Supply Chain Logistics, and Smart Manufacturing need skilled workers and indeed, the World Economic Forum has estimated that 133 million jobs will emerge as technology advances,” he said.

At the same time, Daim stressed that education is not just for skills development, but it is also for the soul. He said the values, that are instilled in the youth at home and at the school level, will greatly impact on the type of adults they evolve into.

“We must empower them with the ability to think critically, logically, wisely and to make their own informed decisions, no matter the situation. We must raise a new generation of leaders and great thinkers, not of sheep and cowards,” he said.

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The cradle of Chinese leadership



Westerners do not understand how vital a competent government is in China.

中国政府有时就像家长,既要赚钱养家又做好榜样

Set in stone: Staff members walking near a statue at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in Beijing as the party opened its leading school for cadres to a rare visit by foreign journalists. — AP

It is back to school for thousand of cadres of the national party to brush up on the country’s progress.

EVERY year, thousands of party cadres from the Communist Party of China (CPC) returned to school to learn about the latest direction of the country as it progresses.

At the Party School of CPC Central Committee (CCPS) – the key cradle of China’s leaders – the trainees are taught Marxism classics, moral and conduct while receiving anti-corruption education.

They are also exposed to the latest in technology and various skills to lead the rural villagers out of poverty as the nation is striving towards its “Chinese Dream” of building a well-off society for all.

Located opposite the Summer Palace in Beijing, the school also conducts training and guidance to improve the governing ability of cadres while motivating them to serve as firm followers and loyal practitioners of Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

Just last year, 137 training sessions were organised for nearly 11,000 cadres all over the country.

The school opened its door to a group of foreign journalists recently.

We were led to a class which was in progress and the trainer, who requested to remain anonymous, was giving a lecture on various tra­n­s­formation and innovation prog­rammes to improve the environment and livelihood of rural villagers.

During the short visit, we listened in on the trainer telling cadres about the use of flush toilets.

For many of us, we have taken for granted the availability of flush toilets in our homes or offices.

But for those dwelling in the mountainous areas far from water sources in China, this sanitary ware is a luxury.

The locals from a village in Shangdong have invented their own “dry toilet” in which they covered up waste with organic materials.

“The toilet does not stink at all and it is environmentally friendly.

“A little effort makes big changes in improving the environment and the people’s lives,” the trainer told the cadres, believed to be grassroots leaders from the rural areas.

The trainer also told the class the story of a village in Tonglu of Zhejiang province where the locals turned their rural agricultural home into a famous tourist spot.

He said the locals successfully transformed an abandoned pig pen into a popular cafe.

“There is a very expensive type of coffee known as mao shi kafei (Indonesia’s kopi luwak) in the world.

“If rich people can sit at a stinking pig pen while tasting a cup of expensive coffee, isn’t this another way of enjoyment?” asked the trainer.

He was motivating the class cadres to be creative and to transform abandoned poultry farms into money-making businesses as well as preserve old buildings that have witnessed special events.

The trainer also showed the class modern farming techniques known as the Integrated Rice-Duck Farming by raising ducks in the paddy field.

“With modern technology, we are able to calculate the suitable number of ducks for a paddy field of a particular size and the timing of releasing the birds,” he added.

With over 100 trainees but only a handful of female cadres, the class also learned about homestay and handicraft-making programmes.

In a tea session with the media, vice-head of academic affairs of the school, Wang Gang said currently, there are some 1,600 cadres undergoing training at the campus.

Asked why men outnumbered women trainees by a large margin, Wang Gang said they have another programme catering for female cadres.

He, however, did not elaborate.

The CCPS – also known as China National Academy of Governance – was set up in 1933, 12 years after the founding of the CPC.

Over the decades, it has groomed a large number of governing elites and talent for the party and the country.

State leaders such as the late Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and Hu Jintao have served as its president.

The CCPS campus houses a museum, a sports centre with various facilities including swimming pool, squash court, ping pong tables and a gym for the trainees, who are required to stay in the campus throughout their training period.

Apart from providing training to the cadres, the CCPS also serves as a high-end think-tank for the party and a national research institution for philosophy and social science.

It has also taken part in exchange programmes and activities with political parties from 159 nations, 21 international and multilateral organisations.

Last year, the school received 1,248 visitors.

CPC, with over 90 million members, is the biggest political party in the world.

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American China Experts open letter against Trump’s China policy; Hong Kong attacks a political act


‘China is Not an Enemy’ Says Open Letter Signed by 100 American China Experts to Trump

 

U.S. President Donald Trump. Photo: VCG
U.S. President Donald Trump. Photo: VCG

Experts tell Trump that China is not the enemy, so who is?

A hundred American academics, diplomats and experts from the military and business communities signed an open letter calling on President Donald Trump to reexamine his policy toward China. The letter was published Wednesday in the Washington Post.

In the letter, titled “China is Not an Enemy,” the signatories express concern over the negative orientation of the Trump administration’s China policy.

“We do not believe Beijing is an economic enemy or an existential national security threat that must be confronted in every sphere,” the experts say in the letter.

The five authors are M. Taylor Fravel, a professor at MIT; J. Stapleton Roy, a former U.S. ambassador to China; Michael D. Swaine of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Susan A. Thornton, the former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; and Ezra Vogel, a professor at the Harvard University Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

The deterioration of the bilateral relationship is not in the interests of the U.S. or the rest of the world, and Trump’s attempt to “decouple China from the global economy” will damage the U.S. global reputation, according to the letter.

“The United States cannot significantly slow China’s rise without damaging itself,” the authors write.

“The fear that Beijing will replace the United States as the global leader is exaggerated,” the letter says. “Most other countries have no interest in such an outcome, and it is not clear that Beijing itself sees this goal as necessary or feasible.”

The key message of the letter is that the U.S. should not make China its enemy, especially in a rash manner, said Li Cheng, director of the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center, who signed the letter.

Signatories are representative as they hold different views toward China — some are pro-China and others are more critical, Li said. But they all disagree with the Trump administration’s China policy, Li said.

“I won’t say we are the majority,” Li said. “Maybe we are the minority that can’t change some people’s extreme views, but among those who reexamine the U.S. policy on China, many have started reconsideration.” Additional scholars have endorsed the letter after its publication online, he said.

A better policy orientation for the U.S. would focus on building long-term alliances that support economic and security objectives based on a realistic assessment of China’s ideology, interests, goals and actions, the experts write.

“We believe that the large number of signers of this open letter clearly indicates that there is no single Washington consensus endorsing an overall adversarial stance toward China, as some believe exists,” the letter concludes.

Views toward China vary significantly among different social groups in the U.S. and also inside the government, Li said.

“There is a need for different voices to let China know that there is no consensus on America’s China policy, and there won’t be one for a long time,” Li said.

Most of the signers are older experts who don’t represent the views of younger Americans, some observers said. Although the open letter originally targeted senior scholars with strong academic backgrounds, Li said it’s inappropriate to argue that younger scholars view China in a more adversarial way. A public poll showed that Americans under 29 are actually friendlier toward China, Li said.

Older scholars and officials have a better understanding of China after witnessing the country’s changes over recent decades, but members of younger generations will also know China better as time goes by, Li said.

“A proper discussion of China policy is very important, and it shouldn’t be limited inside the government,” Li said. Although it is unclear whether the letter will influence policy, he said it sends a strong message that “the views toward China between the U.S. government and scholars are different.”

Since last year, the two countries have been locked in a trade war, slapping tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump agreed last week at a G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, to resume trade talks. The U.S. also agreed not to impose new tariffs on Chinese imports.

This story was updated with Li’s comments.

By Qing Ying, Ren Qiuyu and Han Wei

Contact reporter Ren Qiuyu (qiuyuren@caixin.com); Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com)

 

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An open letter to US President Donald Trump signed by scores of Asia specialists including former US diplomats and military officers has revealed that rational voices are emerging to challenge paranoid ideas, Chinese experts noted on Thursday.

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‘Hong Kong attacks a political act’ – Asean+ | The Star Online

During an interview Thursday, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt still refused to directly criticize the violent protesters who stormed and vandalized the Hong Kong Legislative Council. Instead, he superficially stated that the UK condemns “all violence” and warned China again. He did not elaborate on the “serious consequences” that he previously warned China that it may face, but said the UK is “keeping options open” over China.

Almost all analyses believe Hunt is putting on an air. Nobody believes the UK will send its only aircraft carrier to China’s coast. Nor would anyone believe the UK will punish Beijing at the cost of hurting trade with China. The UK has been dwarfed by China in military and trade. Hunt’s inappropriate statements make many British people nervous: Will Beijing cancel an order from the UK to warn British politicians?

If China-UK relations deteriorate, will expelling Chinese diplomats become a card for London? This was the way that the Theresa May government used to deal with Moscow when a former Russian spy was poisoned in the UK. BBC reporters asked Hunt about the possibility for expelling diplomats. But it seems more like these BBC reporters, who bully politicians for pleasure, were using the unreliable option to make things difficult for Hunt.

Launching a diplomatic war against China leads to nowhere. European countries will not stand by London on the Hong Kong issue. By worsening diplomatic relations with China, the UK will only isolate itself.

What’s important is that Beijing has done nothing wrong on the Hong Kong issue. It is obvious to all that China persists in the “one country, two systems” policy, and Hong Kong’s system is different from the mainland’s. The Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, proposed by Hong Kong regional government, was a small cause of the unrest. It was politicized and magnified by opposition factions. The situation escalated according to the logic under Hong Kong’s system, not that of the mainland. But such storming and vandalizing is not acceptable under Hong Kong’s system or any system worldwide.

Instead of blaming violent protesters, Hunt directed his ire against Beijing, which is based on his selfish interests to win the election. Hunt wants to defeat Boris Johnson. In charge of diplomacy, Hunt believes the Hong Kong issue is a chance that dropped into his and the UK’s lap. But this is not the 19th century when the Opium War broke out. The UK has gone past its prime.

Hunt knew that Beijing would sniff at his threat of “serious consequences.” But he still said it because he needed to play in front of voters. This is political fraud. Hunt obviously believes that the British people can be manipulated like a flock of sheep.

But Hunt’s stunt has no good effect. Many British people are more worried whether Hunt’s words would lead to “serious consequences” from China. Purpose and ability should match in diplomatic strategy, but Hunt is obviously outwardly strong and inwardly weak. Even the British people think his performance is amusing.

In a few short years, one minute the UK calls its relations with China the “Golden Era,” and the next minute it warns China of “serious consequences.” Although these statements are from different administrations and politicians, the UK still shows inconsistency in policy. The country also swung from side to side on Brexit. The UK’s politics have become politicians’ coffers and plots. They are undermining the UK’s image.

Under such circumstances, we should not be too serious when dealing with the UK. Regardless of whether it shows a friendly or an opportunistic gesture, we should remind ourselves this will not be its first or last attitude toward China, and by saying that we mean it will be in a relatively short time, to be specific. – Global Times

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Martin Jacques
Martin Jacques (2012)
Born 1945 (age 73–74)

Coventry, England, Great Britain, U.K
Nationality British
Education King Henry VIII School, Coventry
Alma mater University of Manchester (B.A.)

University of Cambridge (PhD)

Occupation Editor, academic, author
Website MartinJacques.com

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