Say It Ain’t So, Zhou

China Reacts to the Downfall of its Once-Powerful Security Czar

Tea Leaf Nation & David Wertime

It was an exchange perfectly tailored for modern Chinese politics: alternately unscripted and cagey, chummy but laced with a hint of menace. At a Beijing press conference following a Chinese Communist Party meeting in early March, a reporter for Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post had just asked Party spokesman Lu Xinhua whether foreign reports about the imminent downfall of Zhou Yongkang—once the country's feared Security Chief, Politburo Standing Committee member, and part-time oil baron, whose investigation for...

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Paper Tiger

China’s Once-Feared Top Security Chief Zhou Yongkang Became Just a Sad Old Man

Tea Leaf Nation, Isaac Stone Fish & more

For 10 months, the fate of Zhou Yongkang existed in a space of plausible deniability. Respected Western media outlets had reported that the 71-year-old Zhou, a retired official who served as China's much-feared domestic security czar from 2007 to 2012, was being investigated for corruption and had been placed under house arrest. Chinese state media published long exposés on the alleged corrupt practices of his son Zhou Bin, and on his many associates and protégés. But they never once uttered his name.Sometimes they obliquely called him “The Tiger,” in reference to...

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Hong Kong Rising: An Interview with Albert Ho

Perry Link & Ian Johnson

The former British colony of Hong Kong reverted to China on July 1, 1997, and on every July 1 since then Hong Kong citizens have marched in the streets asking for democracy. The demonstrations on this year’s anniversary, however, were on a much larger scale. According to the police, they drew nearly one hundred thousand people; the movement’s organizers estimate that as many as a half million people took part. The protests were not violent, and there were no clashes with the security forces who were closely monitoring the crowd. As part of the protest, in the early morning of July 2 about one thousand people sat down in Hong Kong’s central district in a disciplined exercise of civil...

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Alibaba: How Big a Deal Is It?

A ChinaFile Conversation

David Wolf & Duncan Clark

When Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba goes public some time after Labor Day it is expected be one the largest initial public offerings in history. This week, a story in The New York Times shed light on ties between Alibaba and the sons and grandsons of some of the highest ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party. We asked our contributors to discuss just how big a deal—the IPO and Alibaba’s connections to the CCP—might be. —The Editors (Addendum: Alibaba...

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Hong Kong Protests and Suicide in China

The Sinica Podcast

Jeremy Goldkorn, David Moser & more

This week on Sinica, we’re delighted to welcome back the stalwart Mr. Gady Epstein, Beijing correspondent for The Economist, to discuss the recent protests in Hong Kong, as well as the flux in China’s suicide rates. And specifically, we’ll be looking at the similarities and differences in the stories told by officials and rural women on this front.ListenRecommendations:...

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Moving a Mountain, of Trash

Protests Have Left Waste Incinerators Sitting Idle. Can New Pollution Standards Fix the Problem?


On July 1, tough new standards for pollution from waste incinerators came into effect. The move is an attempt to end the conflict between communities across China and the nearby rubbish-burning plants they believe threaten their health and house prices. But experts on both sides of the debate are doubtful that pollution standards are the cause of opposition, or the key to ending it. Waste incineration in China got started in the 1990s. In 2000, pollution standards for incinerators operating around Beijing were put in place, but local residents were still plagued by smoke and solid waste. Protests against these facilities have become more frequent in recent years. ...

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Stability the Watchword for Progress in China

Opinion by Hu Shuli


Chinese diplomacy has had a busy few months, with numerous visits abroad by leaders and a constant stream of foreign leaders coming to the country. Amid the flurry of activity, two meetings were particularly noteworthy: the sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing on July 9 and 10, and the BRICS leaders’ summit in Brazil on July 15 and 16. The former offers a window into China’s relationship with the world’s sole superpower, while the latter maps out how the major emerging economies, including China, can work together toward mutual development. These two events capture in a nutshell the risks and opportunities for Chinese foreign...

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Recent Stories



How to Read China’s New Press Restrictions


On June 30, China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television posted a statement on its website warning Chinese journalists not to share information with their counterparts in the foreign press corps. Most major non-Chinese news organizations rely...



All Hail ‘Fatty Kim the Third’


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Debating Societies in China


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Tibet Resists


Tsering Woeser was born in Lhasa in 1966, the daughter of a senior officer in the Chinese army. She became a passionate supporter of the Dalai Lama. When she was very young the family moved to Tibetan towns inside China proper. In school, only Chinese was used, but Tibetan “...

Caixin Media


Hard Choices for Family Planners and Parents


The technocrats in charge of China's one-child policy have the power to force sterilizations, abortions, and intra-uterine device (IUD) implants, as well as punish uncooperative parents by denying them jobs, denying their children schooling, and slapping them with fines.So when...




The Forbidden Game


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Chinese Comfort Women


During the Asia-Pacific War, the Japanese military forced hundreds of thousands of women across Asia into "comfort stations" where they were repeatedly raped and tortured. Japanese imperial forces claimed they recruited women to join these stations in order to prevent the mass...




Decoding China’s Emerging “Great Power” Strategy...

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...



Distribution of Metals in Soils From Uncultivated Land...


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Photography and Video



Staying Afloat


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ChinaFile Presents



Evan Osnos: China’s ‘Age of Ambition’


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On “Strange Stones,” a Discussion with Peter...


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...


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

The Diplomatic Battle Between China and Japan is Taking a Latin American Road Trip

When Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe appeals to officials and business people in Central and South America this week, his hosts will be comparing him to a...


China’s Wanda Plans to Buy ‘One or Two Large International Entertainment Companies’

Amid consolidation chatter in the U.S., the owner of exhibition giant AMC says it plans to become a “real” multinational company and “intensify” its investme...

The Hollywood Reporter

Market Reforms, Fight against Corruption Go Hand in Hand, Expert Says

Peking University’s Li Chengyan argues the party is taking a two-pronged approach to reform, and institutional changes at local level will help make anti-gra...


Defining Taiwan’s Status Quo

This month, the Democratic Progressive Party chairperson proposed a controversial amednment to the party charter that includes a freeze on the party’s indepe...

Thinking Taiwan

Edelman, Rui Chenggang, and China PR

Operating ethically is seen as naive at best, and culturally imperialist at worst (“how dare you impose your values on us!”). ...

Silicon Hutong

China's Support of Latin America 'Doesn't Come for Free'

After the BRICS summit and a visit to Brazil, China’s President Xi Jinping is embarking on a tour of Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba in a bid to boost ti...

Deutsche Welle