• Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

    Does China Have a Jobs Problem?

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Geoffrey Crothall & Ivan Franceschini via ChinaFile Conversation

    In a surprise Sunday tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump said he supported helping the phone-maker ZTE, a Chinese tech giant which has been one of the hardest hit from U.S.-China trade tensions. “Too many jobs in China lost,” he wrote. Though Trump speaks often about bringing jobs back to America, he’s shown little concern for any labor issues in China. What sorts of labor issues does China face? And how might U.S.-China trade tensions exacerbate them? Read full story>>

  • China: Back to the Future

    Andrew J. Nathan via New York Review of Books

    In 2023, Xi Jinping will conclude his second term as China’s president. Ever since Deng Xiaoping revised the country’s constitution more than 35 years ago, two consecutive terms have been the most that a president can legally serve. But it has become increasingly clear that Xi has no plans to retire. In March, the National People’s Congress—a rubber-stamp body with no real legislative power—approved a constitutional amendment that abolished term limits for the presidency, effectively clearing... Read full story>>

  • Jia Daitengfei—Changjiang Daily

    Out of the Ashes, a Family Rises Again

    Jia Daitengfei

    The August 2015 Tianjin explosion claimed 173 lives, and the 24-year-old firefighter Pang Ti was one of them. That disaster at a chemical warehouse, caused by mismanagement and lax oversight, put his parents Pang Fangguo and Fang Zhiying among the more than one million “shidu” families in China. Shidu means “losing the only,” and refers to the loss of only children—many of whom were born during the 36 years of China’s one-child policy. Since their son’s death, Pang and Feng, both in their late... Read full story>>

  • Peter Nicholls—WPA Pool/Getty Images

    China Must Continue to Open up within World Economy

    via Caixin

    In the future, China must do more than simply open up the manufacturing sector and lift restrictions on foreign shareholders and the scope of business foreigners can conduct. China will also need to accelerate the opening-up of the service industries, substantially loosen restrictions on access to markets, and promote the orderly opening up of service industries like finance, education, culture, and health care. In addition to actively inviting the rest of the world to participate in its... Read full story>>

  • Sean Gallup—Getty Images

    Do American Companies Need to Take a Stance on Taiwan?

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    J. Michael Cole, Frances Kitt & more via ChinaFile Conversation

    China’s airline regulator recently sent a letter to 36 international air carriers requiring them to remove from their websites references implying that Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau are not part of China. In a surprisingly direct May 5 statement, the White House said U.S. President Donald Trump “will stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens.” The statement called Beijing’s move “Orwellian... Read full story>>

  • (Getty Images)

    Central and Regional Leadership for Xinjiang Policy in Xi’s Second Term

    Jessica Batke via China Leadership Monitor

    After the 19th Party Congress last fall and the recent “two meetings” in March, the Party-state has now completed its quinquennial leadership turnover and announced a major restructuring of a number of Party and state entities. This institutional restructuring will alter slightly the functional hierarchies involved in coordinating Xinjiang policy, but there is no indication that it—or the new leaders in place—will affect the content or tone of that policy. Whether regional Party Secretary Chen... Read full story>>

  • Guo Rongfei—Arrow Factory Video

    Ou Chen’s Good Run

    A Kenyan Sports Agent Wins in China

    Guo Rongfei via Arrow Factory Video

    The number of Chinese racers has risen dramatically—a phenomenon that Chinese media call a “marathon fever.” Obed Tiony, a Kenyan studying at Shanghai University, works as an agent for some 300 runners from Kenya and its neighbor Ethiopia. Tiony’s is a profession that exists everywhere in the world where Kenyan runners want to compete for lucrative prizes, but China’s road-racing market, with its explosive, sudden growth, is, Tiony says, an especially strong draw for runners who hope to make a... Read full story>>

  • High-Speed Empire

    Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia

    Less than a decade ago, China did not have a single high-speed train in service. Today, it owns a network of 14,000 miles of high-speed rail, far more than the rest of the world combined. Now, China is pushing its tracks into Southeast Asia, reviving a century-old colonial fantasy of an imperial railroad stretching to Singapore, and kicking off a key piece of the One Belt One Road initiative, which has a price tag of U.S.$1 trillion and reaches inside the borders of more than 60 countries. Read full story>>

Recent Stories

Conversation

05.07.18

Can China Afford to Play Hardball with the U.S.?

Zha Daojiong & William Foster
In the midst of roiling trade tensions between the United States and China, last week Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin led a delegation of Donald Trump’s top economic advisors to Beijing. Demands were made in both directions and talks were...
04.18.18

Government Cartoon Portrays ‘Foreign NGOs’ as National Security Concern

As part of the third annual “National Security Education Day” on April 15, several Chinese government institutions released a cartoon warning citizens to be on alert for attempts at foreign political infiltration. The cartoon shows a foreign NGO...

Conversation

04.25.18

Does China Want the Koreas to Reconcile?

Bo Zhiyue, Zhang Baohui & more
This Friday, April 27, the South Korean and North Korean leaders will meet in the demilitarized zone dividing their estranged countries to discuss improving relations and possibly even formally ending the Korean War, which has continued in the form...

Viewpoint

04.06.18

I Thought Studying Journalism outside of China Would Open Doors. Now I’m Not So Sure.

Shen Lu
Six years ago as I was about to begin my undergraduate career at The University of Iowa majoring in journalism, a fellow Chinese student who’d switched her major from communications studies to business ruthlessly doubted my choice. “How on earth...

Viewpoint

04.16.18

Has Xi Jinping Changed China? Not Really

Teng Biao
Xi Jinping has had an eventful early spring. After he abolished presidential term limits and was unanimously elected—if it can be called an election—to serve another term in that post, Xi got the world’s attention again by holding a meeting with Kim...

Photography & Video

Video

05.07.18

Ou Chen’s Good Run

Guo Rongfei from Arrow Factory Video
The number of Chinese racers has risen dramatically—a phenomenon that Chinese media call a “marathon fever.” Obed Tiony, a Kenyan studying at Shanghai University, works as an agent for some 300 runners from Kenya and its neighbor Ethiopia. Tiony’s...

Depth of Field

04.02.18

Slow Trains, Shrinking Boomtowns, and Men Who Know Ice

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
In this issue of Depth of Field, we take a ride on one of China’s slowest trains, meet the workers who cut the ice for Harbin’s winter festival, and follow two mentally disabled “sent-down youth” on a rare trip home to visit their families. Also:...

Books

Books

05.03.18

High-Speed Empire

Will Doig
Columbia Global Reports: The story of the world’s most audacious infrastructure project.Less than a decade ago, China did not have a single high-speed train in service. Today, it owns a network of 14,000 miles of high-speed rail, far more than the rest of the world combined. Now, China is pushing its tracks into Southeast Asia, reviving a century-old colonial fantasy of an imperial railroad stretching to Singapore, and kicking off a key piece of the One Belt One Road initiative, which has a price tag of U.S.$1 trillion and reaches inside the borders of more than 60 countries.The Pan-Asia Railway portion of One Belt One Road could transform Southeast Asia, bringing shiny Chinese cities, entire economies, and waves of migrants where none existed before. But if it doesn’t succeed, that would be a cautionary tale about whether a new superpower, with levels of global authority unimaginable just a decade ago, can pull entire regions into its orbit simply with tracks, sweat, and lots of money. Journalist Will Doig traveled to Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore to chronicle the dramatic transformations taking place—and to find out whether ordinary people have a voice in this moment of economic, political, and cultural collision.{chop}

Books

04.27.18

The China Mission

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan
W. W. Norton & Company: As World War II came to an end, General George Marshall was renowned as the architect of Allied victory. Set to retire, he instead accepted what he thought was a final mission―this time not to win a war, but to stop one. Across the Pacific, conflict between Chinese Nationalists and Communists threatened to suck in the United States and escalate into revolution. His assignment was to broker a peace, build a Chinese democracy, and prevent a Communist takeover, all while staving off World War III.In his 13 months in China, Marshall journeyed across battle-scarred landscapes, grappled with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and plotted and argued with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his brilliant wife, often over card games or cocktails. The results at first seemed miraculous. But as they started to come apart, Marshall was faced with a wrenching choice. Its consequences would define the rest of his career, as the secretary of state who launched the Marshall Plan and set the standard for American leadership, and the shape of the Cold War and the U.S.-China relationship for decades to come. It would also help spark one of the darkest turns in American civic life, as Marshall and the mission became a first prominent target of McCarthyism, and the question of “who lost China” roiled American politics.The China Mission traces this neglected turning point and forgotten interlude in a heroic career―a story of not just diplomatic wrangling and guerrilla warfare, but also intricate spycraft and charismatic personalities. Drawing on eyewitness accounts both personal and official, it offers a richly detailed, gripping, close-up, and often surprising view of the central figures of the time―from Marshall, Mao, and Chiang to Eisenhower, Truman, and MacArthur―as they stood face-to-face and struggled to make history, with consequences and lessons that echo today.{chop}

Reports

Reports

09.01.17

The Costs of International Advocacy

Human Rights Watch
Even as it engages with U.N. human rights institutions, China has worked consistently and often aggressively to silence criticism of its human rights record before U.N. bodies and has taken actions aimed at weakening some of the central mechanisms...

Reports

05.24.17

China’s Social Credit System: A Big-Data Enabled Approach to Market Regulation with Broad Implications for Doing Business in China

Mirjam Meissner
Mirjam Meissner
Mercator Institute for China Studies
Under the catchphrase “Social Credit System,” China is currently implementing a new and highly innovative approach to monitoring, rating, and regulating the behavior of market participants. The Social Credit System will have significant impact on...

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