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What Went Wrong With U.S. Strategy on China’s New Bank and What Should Washington Do Now?

A ChinaFile Conversation

Patrick Chovanec, Zha Daojiong & more

Now that much of Europe has announced its intentions to join the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), was Washington’s initial opposition a mistake? Assuming the AIIB does get off the ground, what might it mean for future competition between the world’s two largest economies in the arena of global development finance and, by extension, in the realm of soft power? — The Editors

Johannes Eisele—AFP/Getty Images

Brother, Can You Spare a Renminbi?

China’s New First World Problem: Deciding Who’s Truly Needy.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

Who deserves to be poor in modern China? One man in China’s southern Zhejiang province certainly seemed sympathetic: Each day, he pushed himself along the street on a homemade wooden skateboard, his apparently paralyzed legs tucked under his body, holding out a can to ask for spare change. But in December 2014, a reporter from Chinese state media agency Xinhua secretly photographed the man standing up, tucking away his gear, and hopping on a bus, an incident that quickly spread through the Chinese web and set off online anger at a phenomenon now notorious in China: fake beggars. The...

Mark Ralston—AFP/Getty Images

China Court to Hear NGO Lawsuit Targeting Polluter’s Profits

The $4.8 Million Claim Could Prove Model for Future Legal Action

An environmental group has filed a lawsuit for 30 million yuan (U.S.$4.8 million) to seek compensation from a Shandong chemical company for pumping out harmful substances—a legal action thought to be the first public interest litigation for air pollution under China’s new environmental law. On Wednesday, the Intermediate People’s Court in the Shandong city of Dezhou agreed to hear a lawsuit requesting compensation for air pollution from Dezhou...

Courtesy of Xu Bing Studio


A Xu Bing Retrospective At Miami’s Frost Art Museum

Nicholas Griffin

Way back when, let’s say in 2012, the city of Miami and the country of China rarely mixed in sentences. Since then, connections between the Far East and the northernmost part of Latin America have become more and more frequent. Three years ago, a Hong Kong group started constructing an entire city center in downtown Miami. Last year, a large exhibition of contemporary Chinese art opened at the Rubell Family Collection. Its...

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Who Knew? Madagascar Has Africa’s Third Largest Chinese Population

A China in Africa Podcast

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more

The Chinese population on the east African island of Madagascar defies many of the poorly-informed, albeit widely-held, stereotypes about Chinese migrants on the rest of the continent. First, the community in Madagascar isn't small or isolated. In fact, the Chinese population on the island has grown five-fold over the past decade to an estimated 100,000 people, making it the third-largest Chinese community in all of Africa. While many Chinese immigrants in the rest of Africa are new to the region, that is not the case in Madagascar. The first wave of Chinese migration to the island dates back to the early 1800s. Whereas Chinese migrants elsewhere in Africa are often viewed quite...

Mohd Rasfan—AFP/Getty Images

Was Lee Kuan Yew an Inspiration or a Race Traitor? Chinese Can’t Agree

Rachel Lu

When Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore, passed away at the ripe age of 91 on March 23, the elderly statesman was as controversial in death as in life—and nowhere was the debate more vigorous than in China. While state media was full of praise, with government-owned China Central Television (CCTV) running tributes on loop during the day, calling Lee’s governance of Singapore a “miracle” and...

Wang Ye—Xinhua/Zuma Press

Kissinger: China, U.S. Must ‘Lead in Cooperation’

By Hu Shuli

Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. Secretary of State and the architect of former president Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in 1972, has continued to influence the shaping of the two countries' relations and America's foreign policy long after leaving office. On a recent trip to China, the 92-year-old Kissinger met with President Xi Jinping in his capacity as chairman of Kissinger Associates Inc., a consulting firm in New York. In September, Xi will make a trip of his own after accepting an earlier invitation from U.S. President Barack Obama to head to Washington for a state visit—the first of its kind since he became president in 2013. The upcoming meeting of the two...

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Recent Stories



Dark Days for Women in China?

Rebecca E. Karl, Leta Hong Fincher & more

With China’s recent criminal detention of five feminist activists, gender inequality in China is back in the spotlight. What does a crackdown on Chinese women fighting for equal representation say about the current state of the nation’s political landscape? Who is served by...

Sinica Podcast


In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more

Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined by Michael Meyer, the author of The Last Days of Old Beijing and now In Manchuria, a part literary travelogue and part journalistic account of three years spent living with family in rural Jilin.Starting with stories of...



China Has Its Own Anti-Vaxxers—Blame the Internet

Alexa Olesen

While health officials in the United States and parts of Europe wrestle with a growing anti-vaccination, or “anti-vaxxer” movement, China is dealing with a less organized but similarly serious fear of immunizations. Social media reveals traces of vaccination anxiety across...



World Coal Investments Increasingly Risky, Especially China’s

The investment case for coal-fired power is looking increasingly unconvincing, but more plants will need to be cancelled if the world is to avoid runaway climate change, a report published on Monday said.The report which was co-authored by green groups CoalSwarm and the Sierra...

Cameroon Highlights Pros and Cons of Chinese Infrastructure Development

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more

When finished, the new deep-sea port in the southern Cameroonian city of Kribi will likely become a major gateway for all of Central Africa. This will be Cameroon’s only deep-sea port that can accommodate the larger inter-continental trading ships. This might explain why...





Michael Schuman

Confucius is perhaps the most important philosopher in history. Today, his teachings shape the daily lives of more than 1.6 billion people. Throughout East Asia, Confucius’s influence can be seen in everything from business practices and family relationships to educational...



The China Collectors

Shareen Blair Brysac and Karl E. Meyer

Thanks to Salem sea captains, Gilded Age millionaires, curators on horseback, and missionaries gone native, North American museums now possess the greatest collections of Chinese art outside of East Asia itself. How did it happen? The China Collectors is the first full account of...




Avoiding the Blind Alley: China’s Economic Overhaul and Its Global Implications

Asia Society

President Xi Jinping announced a sweeping overhaul for China’s economy in November 2013, with pledges to make market forces decisive, treat homegrown and foreign investors with the same laws and regulations, and change the mission statement of the government. The reform program...



Decoding China’s Emerging “Great Power” Strategy in Asia

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

The course charted by China’s reemergence as a great power over the next few decades represents the primary strategic challenge for the U.S.-Japan security alliance and for the East Asian security landscape writ large. If China’s economic, military, and geopolitical influence...

Photography and Video



Chinese Dreamers

Sharron Lovell & Tom Wang

A dream, in the truest sense, is a solo act. It can’t be created by committee or replicated en masse. Try as you might, you can’t compel your neighbor to conjure up the reverie that you envision. And therein lies the latent, uncertain energy in the concept of the “Chinese...

ChinaFile Presents



Evan Osnos: China’s ‘Age of Ambition’

Evan Osnos & Orville Schell

New Yorker correspondent Evan Osnos discusses his new book, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, with Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations. 



On “Strange Stones,” a Discussion with Peter Hessler

Peter Hessler, Michael Meyer & more

On May 21st at the Asia Society in New York City, Peter Hessler, author of the recently published Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West, discussed his book and a decade of writing about China and elsewhere with author, Michael Meyer and Susan Jakes, Editor of ChinaFile....



The Wall Street Journal: Covering China Past and Present

The Editors

The Wall Street Journal was one of the first American publications to set up a bureau in Beijing. Since its establishment, scores of the Journal’s correspondents have traveled in and out of the country to cover China’s economic and political development. On April 30th, 2013,...

Around the Web

Skiing Is the Latest Obsession for China’s Wealthy

Winter sports are catching on as Beijing bids to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. ...

Wall Street Journal

The Devil, or Mr Wang

China’s second most powerful leader is admired and feared.   ...


Which U.S. Companies Are Doing the Most R&D in China and India?

Companies' quest to cut costs per engineer drives new entrants into using R&D from India and China. ...

Harvard Business Review

South Korea Says It Will Join China-Led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank

Seoul makes assurances about AIIB’s governance, which U.S. has been wary about. ...

Wall Street Journal

US Admiral: China Counter-Space Threat Is ‘Real’

China’s ability to wage war in space is a major concern for the United States., ...


US Risks Epic Blunder by Treating China as an Economic Enemy

The United States has handled its economic diplomacy with shocking myopia. ...


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