Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images

China’s Nicaraguan Canal

Digging in the Dark

Carlos F. Chamorro

While Nicaragua was once a central concern—indeed, almost an obsession—of Washington, as Sandinistas and Contras seemed to be battling for the soul of the Western Hemisphere, in more recent times our small and quite impoverished country has slipped off the screens of those who fancy themselves the managers of the “world order.” But recently, a new and quite unexpected global political power play has been threatening to bring our now forgotten country back into world prominence. An unlikely private Chinese entrepreneur has appeared on the Central American horizon promising to bring the largest civil engineering project in history to Nicaragua. This mysterious developer, Wang Jing, has...

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Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Standing Up for Indie Film in China

Jonathan Landreth

In July, Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth in the action-packed series of Hollywood films about trucks turning into giant robots to save the world, became the first film to sell more than $300 million in tickets at China’s box office. Hollywood’s drive to crack the Chinese market is stronger than ever, and it is no shock that Chinese-language films mimicking the American studios’ fare are being made at a rapid clip. But it is good to know that the fight hasn’t left China’s scrappy independent film scene—which, in...

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Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images

A ‘School Bus and a Ferrari’

The Problem With Calling Those U.S. and Chinese Planes Names

Tea Leaf Nation & David Wertime

Communication between China and the United States can often resemble ships passing in the night—or planes passing through international airspace. But when it comes to this particularly fraught bilateral relationship, perhaps metaphors are best avoided. On August 22, after a wing commander in the air force of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) performed a barrel roll over the top of a U.S. surveillance plane in international airspace near the southern Chinese island of Hainan, a U.S. defense official...

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Chongqing Publishing Group

Healthy Words

Science Fiction from China

Alec Ash

In 1902, Lu Xun translated Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon into Chinese from the Japanese edition. Science fiction, he wrote in the preface, was “as rare as unicorn horns, which shows in a way the intellectual poverty of our time.” Not any more. The Three-Body Trilogy by Liu Cixin has sold 500,000 copies in China since the first volume was published in 2006 (it will come out in English in the autumn). Liu, an engineer, is one of the so-called “three generals” of contemporary Chinese science fiction, along with Wang Jinkang and Han Song. “Sci fi,” Han says, “can express a lot that can’t be expressed in other literature.” His most recent collection of...

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Sim Chi Yin/VII Photo

Beyond the Dalai Lama: An Interview with Woeser and Wang Lixiong

Ian Johnson

In recent months, China has been beset by growing ethnic violence. In Tibet, 125 people have set themselves on fire since the suppression of 2008 protests over the country’s ethnic policies. In the Muslim region of Xinjiang, there have been a series of attacks by militants against Chinese rule; on July 28, the government reported that dozens of Uighur and Han Chinese were killed by knife-wielding assailants and police, who fired into the crowd.This summer, I met with Tsering Woeser (generally known simply as Woeser) and Wang Lixiong, an activist couple who have devoted themselves to chronicling the ethnic unrest, and to finding solutions to it. Woeser, who is forty-eight, is...

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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 Dream.” As the new central motto of Chinese politics, introduced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, it is an expression of the Communist Party’s attempt to acknowledge the aspirations of its people. At the same time, wittingly or not, it is a provocative invitation to the public imagination.In a country that has long defined its interests in collective terms, people are no longer waiting for their goals and...

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Recent Stories

Conversation

08.11.14

Simon Leys Remembered

ISABEL HILTON, PERRY LINK & more

Isabel Hilton: When I heard the news of the death of Pierre Ryckmans, better known by his pen name, Simon Leys, I began to hunt in my bookshelves for the now yellowing and grimy copies of Chinese Shadows and The Chairman’s New Clothes: Mao and the Cultural Revolution, both...

Environment

08.21.14

Who Will Feed China’s Pigs?

CHINADIALOGUE

He's been called China’s richest chicken farmer, but Liu Yonghao has come a long way from his days breeding birds in rural Sichuan province.As the billionaire founder of the New Hope Group, China’s largest producer of animal feed, Liu’s rise over the past three decades...

Infographics

08.19.14

Landed

CAIXIN

Chinese are the largest foreign buyers of U.S. real estate, spending around $22 billion in total in from April 2013 to March 2014, about a quarter of the United States’ total sales to foreigners, according to a July 8 report by the National Association of Realtors. Overseas...

Features

08.14.14

Making It in China and the U.S.

JONATHAN LANDRETH & EMILY PARKER

Emily Parker is a creator of Green Electronics: A U.S.-China Maker Challenge. The Green Electronics Challenge was an unprecedented collaboration between the New America Foundation, Arizona State University, Slate Magazine, China’s Tsinghua University, and hackerspaces in the U....

Culture

08.11.14

The Bard in Beijing

SHEILA MELVIN

At the end of a rollicking production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream—directed by Tim Robbins and staged in China in June by the Los Angeles-based Actors’ Gang—the director and actors returned to the stage for a dialogue with the Beijing audience.The...

Books

Books

08.06.14

China’s Second Continent

HOWARD W. FRENCH

An exciting, hugely revealing account of China’s burgeoning presence in Africa—a developing empire already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people. A prizewinning foreign correspondent and former New York Times bureau chief in Shanghai and in West and...

Books

07.15.14

The Forbidden Game

DAN WASHBURN

In China, just because something is banned, doesn't mean it can't boom. Statistically, zero percent of the Chinese population plays golf, still known as the "rich man’s game" and considered taboo. Yet China is in the midst of a golf boom—hundreds of new courses have...

Reports

Reports

06.01.14

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...

Reports

04.01.14

Distribution of Metals in Soils From Uncultivated Land...

Greenpeace

Contamination of soil with a number of toxic metals, including cadmium and lead, is known to be an existing problem for many parts of Hunan province, China. High levels of these metals have also been reported for rice grown in many parts of the province. This study investigated...

Photography and Video

Video

05.28.14

Staying Afloat

LYNN ZHANG & SHIRLEY HAN YING

If you drive south from Beijing on the highways that cut across the North China Plain, some of the first things you notice are the invisible rivers. The road arcs upward above the cornfields and a sign insists you are crossing, “The Hancun River Bridge,” “The Liuli River...

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...

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...

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

Will China Vet Hong Kong Election?

The occupation of Hong Kong’s central financial district could start early next week, after Beijing releases its guidelines Sunday on how the city̵...

The Christian Science Monitor

Could Beijing be the Healthiest City in China?

Beijing, despite its reputation for dangerous levels of air pollution, choking traffic, and food scandals, is the healthiest city in China. ...

Quartz

Reading Howl in China

My generation, once impassioned by the Western literature of rebellion, is now lulled by ‘Wealthy Socialism.’ ...

Aeon Magazine

Apple Stores User Data in China.

What does it mean for cybersecurity? ...

The Christian Science Monitor

China Tells Citizens to Walk, Bike, and Snitch in “United Struggle” to Breathe Easier

The environmental ministry has published a set of guidelines for citizens, which encourage them not only to reduce their personal environmental imprint, but ...

Quartz

China Denounces Pet Dogs As Filthy Imports from West

In a recent People’s Daily op-ed, pet dogs are referred to as a “crude and ludicrious imitation… of a Western lifestyle” and a blight on “social ...

NBC News