This week's guest editors

China is on the brink of profound change. In this series of articles, we examine the impact of these shifts on its people, its relationship with the West, and its future global role.

China, between self and society

The need for an ethical vision to hold society together saw China's former premier Wen Jiabao look to Adam Smith. What does this reveal about the elite's thinking, asks Kerry Brown.

China vs Facebook: intimate rivals

The Chinese state and the United States company are engaged in an epic if undeclared contest over control and wealth-creation, says Kerry Brown.

Uyghur rights and China

The situation of the Uyghur minority in north-west China became even more precarious in 2013, says Henryk Szadziewski.

China and the Great Game

Almost all discussion of Afghanistan after 2014 hinges on the withdrawal of western forces. Yet into that gap a major power is stepping—China. China’s involvement in turn poses major questions, vis-à-vis Pakistan, India and their own point of friction—Kashmir.

China's visitor: Cameron in Beijing

The British prime minister's trip to China was presented as a mission to expand trade links with an important partner. But whose interests was he really representing, asks Kerry Brown.

Drones over the world

US drones are often thought of as focused entirely on action against Al-Qaeda and associates, particularly in Pakistan. But the CIA's expanding global net extends into the Pacific, linked to the surveillance operations of the National Security Agency.

China: who is in charge?

China's policy incoherence has disturbing echoes of the prelude to Europe's great war in 1914, says Kerry Brown.

Wild ghosts: Bo Xilai on trial

The trial of the disgraced Chinese politician is hurtling towards its predictable conclusion. But a spectre still haunts the Party, and all those at play in China’s political life. It is the spectre of the Cultural Revolution.

Chinese women migrants: the hardest job

An undercover investigation into the working lives of Chinese women in Britain's sex trade brought Hsiao-Hung Pai close to its painful reality.

China, time to accept differences

The scale of change in China, and the intriguing perceptions of China's elite, persuade Kerry Brown of the need to think afresh.

China: what we think we know is wrong

There's been too much lazy categorisation. It's time to get microscopic about power in China, says Kerry Brown.

China, the politics of corruption

China's new leader Xi Jinping has gathered more power more quickly than any of his predecessors. The big test now facing him will be to translate his concern about corruption into decisive action - and the early signs are promising, says Kerry Brown.

Tibet and its neighbours: China’s stakes and India’s concerns

Tibet’s two giant neighbours, China and India, have a lot at stake in a meaningful settlement of the future of Tibet, and joint efforts need to be made for arriving at a mutually acceptable solution.

Decision time for Central Asia: Russia or China?

Vladimir Putin’s attempts to draw the countries of central Asia into his fledgling Eurasian Union creates a dilemma for some of them: if they take up his offer, they might lose their valuable trading links with China. Li Lifan and Raffaello Pantucci discuss their options.

Russia and China: aligned after all?

Are China and Russia destined to form an alliance against the West? Unlikely, thinks Thomas Koenig: any future relationship will be based on economics, rather than politics.

The fable of the eagle, the dragon and the bear

How will Russia react to China’s rapid ascent as a global power? Will it develop its eastern links to spite the West, or join a USA led attempt to freeze Beijing out? Pavel Salin argues that this is a simplistic view of things and that Moscow may choose a third way.   

Life on the Chinese border: Russia's Far East

Primorsky Territory is seven time zones away from the capital and has the largest economy in the Russian Far East.  There is justifiable irritation at Moscow’s insistence on a one-size-fits-all model of government oriented towards Europe and levels of frustration are forcing people to leave, says Olesya Gerasimenko.

The rise and fall of China-watching in Russia

Russia’s relations with China have long been governed by need and fear, even when they were supposedly linked by common ideology. Now China’s financial might means it can offer seductive loans to its cash-light neighbour. But Russia has so few specialist China-watchers to offer proper advice, says Alexander Gabuyev.

Lhakar: proud to be Tibetan

Tibet has once again become the centre of international attention after a wave of self-immolations. Beyond these tragic acts, Tibetans are looking for new forms of protest against Chinese rule, such as Lhakar, a weekly celebration of Tibetan traditions.

Mo Yan and China's prize

The award of the Nobel literature prize to a Chinese writer favoured by the authorities provoked disputes both on the Chinese internet and in Swedish public life, says Temtsel Hao.

Mo Yan's Nobel, an ideal betrayed

The Swedish Academy's award of the Nobel literature prize to the Chinese novelist Mo Yan violates the principles of its founder and represents a collusion with authoritarian power, says the Sweden-based Chinese writer Mo Li.

Who is Xi Jinping, and where will he lead China?

The imminent accession to power of China's fifth generation of leaders since 1949 focuses attention on the background and character of its new president. Xi Jinping's route to the summit, and the crucial fall of his fellow princeling Bo Xilai along the way, is assessed by William A Callahan.

The US 2012 Election and China: why a real dialogue about human rights will never happen

Despite a prominent presence in the campaign, US policy towards China is very unlikely to change - especially on the hyper-sensitive topic of human rights.

China, the party-state's test

A new leadership in China will govern a system devoting huge resources to controlling its people and preserving its power. But the needs of the future require different tools and thinking, says Kerry Brown.

Foreign policy expectations from a Romney presidency

What US foreign policy should we expect if Romney was to win in November? His statements during the campaign suggests adherence to his neocon advisers' hard line stances on many topics, including hawkish positions on China, Iran and Russia. One week before the election, Commander-in-chief Romney remains a mystery.

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