Sanka Vidanagama/AFP/Getty Images

Why Marx Still Matters: The Ideological Drivers of Chinese Politics

Rogier Creemers

In days of greater political brouhaha, “to go and see Marx” used to be a slang expression among Chinese Communists, to refer to death. More recently, a considerable number of commentators have pronounced the expiry of Marxism itself. China’s reform path, they claim, is the result of political pragmatism and the rejection of doctrinaire ideology. Continued references to socialism are often explained as the combination of a quaint holdover of past discourse and the necessity to refer in code to authoritarianism—without using that word.There is some merit to that argument. It certainly is no longer the case that any government measure or proposal has to be justified by citing...


Leah Thompson

Down to the Countryside

Sun Yunfan & Leah Thompson

The world has heard much of late about the scale and scope of China’s mass migration from the poor rural countryside to its booming cities. Some think the number of these migrant workers will soon reach some 400 million souls. They have created massive new urban megaplexes like Chongqing, which now has a population of close to 30 million. But such precipitous, rapid, and massive urbanization inevitably causes reactions. And in this beautifully shot short film by Leah Thompson and Sun Yunfan, we are introduced to one urban “back-to-the-lander,” Ou Ning, who for all the understandable reasons has moved his family from Beijing to the countryside in the storied Huizhou region of Anhui Province...


Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images

Who Are the Chinese in Africa?

A China in Africa Podcast

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more

Some say the number of Chinese in Africa now exceeds one million people; some even go as high as two million. Although no one has a precise accounting of just how many Chinese migrants now live on the continent, there is no doubt their numbers are large and growing. This week, we speak with Dr. Yoon Jung Park, one of the world’s foremost experts on Chinese migration, to find out who the Chinese in Africa are and what effects their integration is having on African societies.Listen...


Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

What Must China and Japan Do to Get Along in 2015?

A ChinaFile Conversation

Allen Carlson & Zha Daojiong

Last week, Akio Takahara, a professor at the University of Tokyo currently visiting Peking University, wrote a New York Times Op-Ed praising recent diplomatic efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and Chinese President Xi Jinping to deflect power from their nations’ nationalists. But it is in people-to-people contact that sustainable peace between the two northeast Asian powers lies, Takahara said, prompting the question, “What must China and Japan do to get along in 2015?”...


Fiona Goodall/AFP/Getty Images

Here Is Xi’s China: Get Used To It

The Party Line

Arthur R. Kroeber

The prevailing mood among China-watchers in 2014 was one of anxiety and skepticism. The year began in the shadow of Chinese assertiveness in the East and South China Seas. Economic concerns quickly took over: by February the property market seemed on the verge of an epic collapse thanks to the previous year’s sharp monetary tightening. At midyear the worry was that an endless anti-corruption campaign had caused government sclerosis, making it impossible to get anything done. And by October, as the Communist Party held its law-focused Fourth Plenum, many bemoaned both the lack of evident progress on the economic reforms outlined at the prior year’s Third Plenum and the Party’s...


Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong, the Resilient City

David Wertime

The tents have folded. After 75 days of camping on the street, braving police crackdowns, occasional civilian attacks, and the city’s (admittedly mild) winter chill, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters have cleared out. As promised, police moved in on December 11 at 9 a.m. Hong Kong time to enforce a court order requiring demonstrators to vacate an encampment in the central business district of Admiralty, their last remaining stronghold.There’s no doubt that Hong Kong has been changed profoundly—perhaps irrevocably—from a financial capital with a (somewhat unfair) go-along-to-...


Bishan Magazine

A Map of China’s Back-to-the-Land Efforts

Leah Thompson

In our short film “Down to the Countryside,” Sun Yunfan and I follow Ou Ning, an artist and curator who moved from Beijing to the village of Bishan in rural Anhui province in 2013, where he experiments with preserving and revitalizing local heritage, developing the rural economy, and bringing art and culture to the countryside. His journey stems from his rejection of China’s unbridled urbanization and the growing inequality between urban and rural. But it is also an individual quest, a pastoral search for the good life....

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Recent Stories

Conversation

12.03.14

Can China Conquer the Internet...

DAVID BANDURSKI, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Lu Wei, China’s new Internet Czar, recently tried to get the world to agree to a model of information control designed by the Chinese Communist Party. Regular contributors comment below and we encourage readers to share their views on our Facebook page.  —The Editors

Infographics

12.15.14

Is Studying Abroad Worth the Cost...

Editor's note: Last year our partner publication, Sohu Business, published a graphic on the dramatic increase in Chinese students studying abroad and the costs involved. We have translated, updated, and adapted it.Between 2000 and 2013, the number of Chinese students studying...

Features

12.10.14

Why Beijing’s Troubles Could Get a Lot Worse

Few foreigners know China as intimately as Anne Stevenson-Yang does. She has spent the bulk of her professional life there since first arriving in 1985, working as a journalist, magazine publisher, and software executive, with stints in between heading up the U.S. Information...

Environment

12.05.14

The Great Lake in Danger

WILFREDO MIRANDA ABURTO & CARLOS HERRERA

Southwest of the Maderas volcano, where the Rivas coast is a line fading into the distance, Lake Cocibolca’s inmensity is on prominent display: breezes softly comb stretches of water that are seemingly endless. Sonar has marked this as the deepest point on the route for the “...

China’s Brave Underground Journal

IAN JOHNSON

On the last stretch of flatlands north of Beijing, just before the Mongolian foothills, lies the satellite city of Tiantongyuan. Built during the euphoric run-up to the 2008 Olympics, it was designed as a modern, Hong Kong–style housing district of over 400,000 people, with...

Books

Books

11.12.14

The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History

RIAN THUM

For 250 years, the Turkic Muslims of Altishahr—the vast desert region to the northwest of Tibet—have led an uneasy existence under Chinese rule. Today they call themselves Uyghurs, and they have cultivated a sense of history and identity that challenges Beijing’s official...

Books

11.05.14

China 1945

RICHARD BERNSTEIN

A riveting account of the watershed moment in America’s dealings with China that forever altered the course of East-West relations.As 1945 opened, America was on surprisingly congenial terms with China’s Communist rebels—their soldiers treated their American counterparts as...

Reports

Reports

10.01.14

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...

Reports

06.01.14

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

Photo Gallery

09.28.14

Traces

IAN TEH

One in five people in the world get their water from great Asian rivers linked to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau in northwestern China. Here, beneath a gently undulating landscape, spring the headwaters of the Yellow River, which sweep three thousands miles across China on their way...

Video

09.18.14

Collecting Insanity

JOSHUA FRANK

Every country has a past it likes to celebrate and another it would rather forget. In China, where history still falls under the tight control of government-run museums and officially approved textbooks, the omissions appear especially stark. An unusual museum dedicated largely...

Video

08.12.14

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

Media

05.15.14

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. 

Media

05.22.13

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....

Media

05.01.13

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

Beijing Cannot Count on Easy Money to Sustain Its Economic Miracle

Just three months ago the main Chinese stock market was dormant. Since then it has surged 30 per cent and has started to show signs of the manic trading......

Financial Times

Israeli Tech Startups Attract Chinese Investors

As China scours the world for tech investments, it is increasingly flocking to Israel for the next big thing.... ...

Wall Street Journal

Dalai Lama Concedes He May Be the Last

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said he realizes that he may be the last to hold the title. But he told the BBC it would be better that......

BBC

China’s Mountain Hermits Seek a Highway to Heaven

His unheated hut is half way up a mountain with no electricity, and his diet consists mostly of cabbage. But Master Hou says he has found a recipe for joy......

Agence France-Presse

Maldives to Officially Join China's Maritime Silk Route Policy

“With projects such as oil exploration and bridge construction in the agenda for discussion, the meeting will benefit economies of both countries. This is a......

Global Times

Diversity the New Game for Macau as Gambling Revenues Tumble

When inaugural chief executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah threw the liberalisation dice that took Macau’s flagging gaming industry into the 21st century in......

South China Morning Post

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