Authors: Himal Neupane & Wang Li

I
nternational relations seldom affords small states a worthy mention, as these entities predominantly lack the capabilities to pursue their interests and preoccupied with their survival than are the great powers. However, history also tells that there have been a number of small states which have taken advantage of their milieu to garner security and interests previously considered unattainable given their size or means.

Authors: Wang Li & Du Hui-yan

D
uring May 30 to June 2, 2017, Chinese Premier Li Ke-qiang was invited to make an official visit to Germany, which has been the largest trade partner of China in the European Union and the one of the high-technology and Foreign Direct Investment sources of the world.

T
he assessment of China's “One Belt, One Road Initiative” is at the core of the political debate in the World Uyghur Congress and in the other Islamist networks within Xinjiang. More specifically, the Islamist Uyghurs compare Xi Jinping's proposal with other previous initiatives, such as "Opening the Northwest" of 1992; "Western Development" of 2000; the forums on the development of Xinjiang held in 2010 and 2014, besides the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2001.

Authors: Wang Li &Bokang Malefane Theoduld Ramonono

A
lthough it is a routine practice for Chinese Foreign Minister to make a visit to Africa at the beginning of each year since 1990, it is quite rare for Chinese FM to visit the African states twice in a span of four months (2017).

Authors: Zhou Dong-chen and Du Hui-yan

A
lthough Brexit was already a fait accompli, the British chancellor Philip Hammond has called for closer economic ties with China as Britain enters a new post-Brexit era. As early as in 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jin-ping made his first state visit to the United Kingdom, which ushered a “golden age” to bilateral relations, the two great powers declared their consensus in working together with all Belt and Road project partners.

Authors: Wang Li and Raphael Lissillour

C
hinese presidents usually reserve phone calls to heads of foreign countries for use in case of emergency, such as the Korean peninsula crisis. However, on May 7th 2017, President Xi Jinping immediately extended his warm regards to French President Emmanuel Macron after his election, and two days later, they talked to each other again over the phone.

A
s is also the case with Chinese traditional philosophy, present, future and past always tend to coincide in one single choice in the Chinese strategic vision.In Xi Jinping’s initial proposals for the "Belt and Road Initiative" - or, to use the official terminology, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which were outlined by him on two occasions between September and October 2013 - he starts from two evaluations, namely a strategic evaluation and another one having an immediate interest.

C
onnecting people through the soft power of education, culture and scientific innovation in the spirit of the ancient Silk Roads will open new opportunities for peace and shared prosperity, said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on 14 May, 2017.

S
peaking at a major international conference in Beijing, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today drew comparisons between China's 'One Belt, One Road' initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals, saying both are rooted in a shared vision for global development.

M
oon Jae-In is the new President of South Korea, elected with 41.4% of votes. The leader of the Democratic Party, who is the current president, had already been considered favoured in opinion polls, especially compared to Hong Yoon-Pyo, the leader of the Liberty Korea Party who, however, got 23.3% of votes.

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