BEIJING -- "When China wakes, she will shake the world." Napoleon's famous comment on China has had China-watchers scratching their heads for two centuries as to what exactly he meant. The answer may be tied to Xi Jinping's vision of the future of China.
A green oasis in the middle of the desert, Turpan is located in a depression over 200 feet below sea level in what is called China's "Death Valley" registering extreme temperatures that can range from 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer plunging down to 20 below in winter.
A scan of white papers on multiple foreign policy issues published by the Chinese government is glaring for one thing: the absence of a formulated, conceptual approach towards the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Last year's mass anti-government protests against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and led by politician Imran Khan generated much speculation about Pakistan's next military coup - but of course it didn't happen.
There are many things that run through my mind when I start thinking about my recent trip in Xinjiang, China's far west region, which shares borders with Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and to the south to Tibet.
One good thing for the president is that his Asia-Pacific Pivot -- heightened engagement with the rising region, and nascent superpower China -- hasn't been wrecked by the lengthening array of Obama administration distractions, including his troubled and tardy war against Isis.
Nearly a week has come and gone since Vice President Joe Biden's big Asia-Pacific tour in the immediate wake of China declaring an air defense zone across the East China Sea. It proved to be a consequential trip, one swiftly followed on by Secretary of State John Kerry visiting Vietnam.