(China Photos/Getty Images)

Rise and Fall of a Coal Boomtown

Corruption and Price Fixing Return a Hearty Mining Town to its Hardscrabble Past


Some 187 kilometers west of Taiyuan, capital of the northern province of Shanxi, the city of Luliang is located on the dry and gullied Loess Plateau in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River. The city, which covers 21,143 square kilometers with a population of some 320,000, has become a focal point of a major anti-corruption campaign that has swept the country since late 2012. Public attention fell on Luliang in March, when Xing Libin, Chairman of the province’s largest private coal miner, Liansheng Energy Co., was detained at the Taiyuan airport. His detention came right after an investigation into Jin Daoming, former Vice Chairman of the...

Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Chomping at the Bitcoin

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn

After a shocking expose of Jeremy Goldkorn’s criminal past, Sinica this week moves on to examine the Bitcoin phenomenon in China. Joined by Zennon Kapron, owner of the Shanghai consultancy Kapronasia and recent author of the book Chomping at the Bitcoin: The Past, Present and Future of Bitcoin in China, we delve into the driving forces behind the cryptocurrency revolution in China, as well as take a quick look at the various other kinds of innovation surfacing in China’s online financial sector.Listen...

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Hong Kong Documentary Explores the Roots of Dissent

A Q&A with Director Matthew Torne

La Frances Hui

To many observers, Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement”—thousands of students and other citizens in the streets demanding to choose their own political leaders—seemed to unfurl, fully formed, out of nowhere. Residents of the former colony were supposed to care more about commerce than politics. The heart of the city was supposed to reside in the heights of its sparkling, climate-defying office towers, not in its sweaty streets. And, after 1997, China’s leaders expected Hong Kong’s orderly, industrious residents freed from colonial rule to run ever more joyously into the welcoming arms of their motherland, as the first half of the “One Country, Two Systems” equation inexorably eclipsed the...

Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images

Are China’s Economic Reforms Coming Fast Enough?

A ChinaFile Conversation

Daniel H. Rosen, David Hoffman & more

Economic data show a slowdown in China. At least two opposing views of what’s next for the world’s largest economy have just been published: one skeptical, from David Hoffman at...

ejo1224/Instagram (Fairuse)

Kenny G: The Newest ‘Foreign Force’ in Hong Kong

Tea Leaf Nation & Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

As pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong extend into their fourth week with no resolution in sight, pro-Beijing voices have increasingly accused “foreign forces” of wielding influence over Hong Kong protests and intervening in Chinese internal affairs. While such accusations have seldom named explicit targets, one such alleged foreign force has just taken a specific, and surprising, form—smooth jazz sax.On October 22, California-based jazz artist Kenny G...

Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

‘We Can Only Trust Each Other and Keep the Road’

A Dispatch from Hong Kong

Ilaria Maria Sala

Snip. Snip. Snip. The officer’s face shows concentration as he cuts one yellow ribbon after another along a metal fence on Queensway in the Central district of Hong Kong. Next to him, other policemen have just finished dismantling the barricades that had blocked this major artery for more than two weeks and they are now busy disposing of the bamboo poles, security barriers, chairs, plastic cling film, umbrellas, and wooden boards that protesters had piled up in the street to block cars.The officer, in his blue overalls, takes pains not to overlook even the smallest remnant. Snip. Snip. He cuts away the last resisting strand of acrylic yellow ribbon. He looks frustrated. These...

Meng Chenguang/Xinhua/Zuma Press

Chinese Corporations in Africa: Saints or Sinners?

A China in Africa Podcast

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more

“The African way of life is under attack by Chinese corporations,” argues University of Technology, Sydney doctoral candidate Onjumi Okumu. The Kenya native contends that a combination of weak governance in African mixed with no legal restraints on Chinese corporate behavior encourage PRC companies to behave illegally and destructively in Africa, destroying the continent’s fragile social capital. Okumu focuses, in particular, on the effects Chinese investments are having on the people of Kenya. It’s a provocative, controversial, and fascinating thesis.Listen...

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Recent Stories



Rule of Law—Why Now?


In a recent essay, “How China’s Leaders Will Rule on the Law,” Carl Minzner looks at the question of why China’s leaders have announced they will emphasize rule of law at the upcoming Chinese Communist Party plenum slated to take place in Beijing October 20-23. Why have...



Pandas Were Monsters


"Rich Chinese are literally eating this exotic mammal into extinction," read a recent Global Post expose of the devastating trade in the pangolin, a scaly anteater that Chinese consider a delicacy. According to the Post, the adorable animals (which one columnist described as "a...



Tesla-Unicom Deal Could Spark China’s Electric...


Electric vehicle firm Tesla’s major new deal with China Unicom to build EV charging infrastructure unites what is seemingly the only EV success story, pursuing a business model targeting elite customers, with China’s second largest mobile phone operator. In August, they...

Caixin Media


Revision of Securities Law Is Chance to Liberalize...


China's securities law is to undergo a comprehensive revision almost a decade after the last major overhaul. Public consultation is due to start in the first half of next year, following recent comments from officials, scholars, and market participants.The first national law of...




Hou Hsiao-hsien


For younger critics and audiences, Taiwanese cinema enjoys a special status, comparable with that of Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave for earlier generations, a cinema that was and is in the midst of introducing an innovative sensibility and a fresh perspective. Hou...



China’s Super Consumers


China has transformed itself from a feudal economy in the 19th century, to Mao and Communism in the 20th century, to the largest consumer market in the world by the early 21st century. China's Super Consumers explores the extraordinary birth of...




Avoiding the Blind Alley: China’s Economic Overhaul...

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...

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




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...



Collecting Insanity


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...



Chinese Dreamers


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’


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...


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

Ex-General in China Admits He Took Bribes, Report Says

“Xu Caihou fully confessed to the facts of his bribetaking crimes,” said the brief Xinhua report. It did not give any details of who gave the bribes or how......

New York Times

Taking Back Hong Kong’s Future

Since the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, less than a year after I was born, the people of this city have muddled through with a political system that......

New York Times

China Says It Will Be Good Host to Japan During APEC

A one-on-one meeting would be a symbolic breakthrough in ties between the world’s second- and third-biggest economies, which have turned frigid in the......

Voice of America

The Secret History of Hong Kong’s Stillborn Democracy

By September 29 peaceful protesters had been clogging Hong Kong’s downtown for less than a day, but to the Chinese Communist Party this already smacked of......


China Began Push Against Hong Kong Elections in ’50s

Beginning in the 1950s, the colonial governors who ran Hong Kong repeatedly sought to introduce popular elections but abandoned those efforts in the face of......

New York Times

Pro-Democracy Movement’s Vote in Hong Kong Abruptly Called Off

The referendum boiled down to two simple questions: Did voters endorse demanding that the Hong Kong government press Beijing to make democratic concessions......

New York Times