Identity, Race, and Civilization

A Sinica Podcast

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more via Sinica Podcast

It doesn't take much exposure to China to realize the pervasiveness of identity politics here. Indeed, whether in the Chinese government’s occasionally hamfisted efforts to micromanage ethnic minority cultures or the Foreign Ministry’s soft-power promotion efforts abroad, it seems that barely a day goes by without someone in the Chinese government confusing the idea of China (the state) with the Han ethnic diaspora.This week, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are joined by David Moser, Director of the CET immersion program in Beijing, and Jeremiah Jenne, renegade Qing historian and director of The Hutong. We chat about what it means to be Chinese, where these ideas came from, and whether...

Feng Li—Getty Images

Time for Reform Advocates to Step to the Fore

By Hu Shuli

via Caixin

As the reform of China’s economy and society deepens, attention is turning to the people tasked with the job of spearheading and carrying out change. Thus, it was gratifying to hear the call by President Xi Jinping, made at the 12th meeting of the central leading group on reform, to mobilize the country’s “reform advocates,” who must “think reform, plot reform, and improve reform.”The call reflects the leadership’s resolve to rise to the challenge. Over the past two years, the 18th Central Committee has launched separate road maps to spur reforms and strengthen the rule of law. However, despite the clear goals and timetable, implementation of the proposed changes has not been smooth.In many...

Jiwei Han—Zuma Press

Censorship and Publishing in China

A ChinaFile Conversation

Andrew J. Nathan, Zha Jianying & more via ChinaFile Conversation

This week, a new PEN American Center report “Censorship and Conscience: Foreign Authors and the Challenge of Chinese Censorship,” by Alexa Olesen, draws fresh attention to a perennial problem for researchers, scholars, and creative writers trying to reach readers in China. The lure of China’s book market is powerful—revenues are projected to top $16 billion this year—but at what cost to freedom of expression?—The Editors

Jian Gao

China’s Role in Illegal Trade of Toxic E-Waste Rising Sharply

via chinadialogue

Discarded smartphones and other gadgets are poisoning the environment and people in developing countries, where most of the world’s electronic waste (e-waste) is being dumped illegally and now involves criminal gangs, the UN’s environment arm warned in a May 12 report.The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said between 60-90 percent of electronic waste is ending up in mountains of rubbish throughout the developing world, or is traded through criminal e-waste smuggling networks worth billions of dollars.This is in violation of the Basel Convention, which aims to control international trade of hazardous substances.{article, 4604}Without proper facilities, the removal of copper, lead,...

Mark Leong

An American Hero in China

Ian Johnson

One night in September, three hundred people crowded into the basement auditorium of an office tower in Beijing to hear a discussion between two of China’s most popular writers. One was Liu Yu, a thirty-eight-year-old political scientist and blogger who has written a best seller explaining how American democracy works. Her fans call her “goddess”—for her writings and her stylish looks.1But this evening, Liu was just a foil for the other writer: Peter Hessler, a low-key New Yorker journalist. Based in China until 2007, he later wrote on the American West and now lives in Egypt. Hessler has written three books on China and a collection of essays, all published in the U.S., and been recognized...

Google Map

The Dark Side of Chinese Investment in Africa

A China in Africa Podcast

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more via China Africa Project

Sam Pa is a mysterious man, largely unknown to the outside world. Yet Pa, who goes by at least seven different aliases, represents the nefarious side of China’s engagement in Africa. Sam Pa and his associates in the Hong Kong-based consortium known as the 88 Queensway Group represent a new breed of predatory investors who work in the shadows to close billions of dollars in questionable deals that have no oversight of any kind.{node, 8791}New information about Sam Pa, the Queensway Group, and shadow Chinese investors in Africa is now available in a detailed research report published by the U.S. government-funded Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS). ACSS Research Associate J.R. Mailey...

Wang Haibin—Xinhua/Zuma Press

Can China Really Meet Its Clean Energy Goals? And How?

Jill Baker

China is the world’s largest energy consumer, and its energy use is dirty and inefficient. But it is working hard to change that. Currently, coal accounts for nearly 70 percent of China’s total energy consumption, and this, coupled with an aging manufacturing infrastructure, a growing fleet of cars on the roads, and inefficiently insulated buildings, is the main reason why China alone produces almost 30 percent of world CO2 emissions. (The U.S., by contrast, produces around 16 percent.) Coal burning also causes much of the country’s PM2.5 air pollution—the tiny lethal particles that penetrate human lungs and can enter the bloodstream, that were the subject of the recent wildly popular...

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Recent Stories



The Future of NGOs in China

Isabel Hilton, Carl Minzner & more
Last week, China’s National People’s Congress released the second draft of a new law on “Managing Foreign NGOs.” Many foreign non-profits in China have operated in a legal gray area over the years. The law [full English translation here] establishes...



Hong Kong’s Not That Special, And Beijing Should Stop Saying It Is

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
As political wrangling in Hong Kong continues over changes to how the city’s chief executive will be selected in 2017, Beijing marks the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Hong Kong Basic Law—the Special Administrative Region’s...




Jeffrey Linn & David M. Barreda
Urban planner and cartographer Jeffrey Linn mapped a possible future for China’s coast, where some 43% of its population currently lives, when the earth's polar ice caps and glaciers have all melted and the sea rises if the planet’s temperature...




No Ordinary Disruption

Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, Jonathan Woetzel
Our intuition on how the world works could well be wrong. We are surprised when new competitors burst on the scene, or businesses protected by large and deep moats find their defenses easily breached, or vast new markets are conjured from nothing. Trend lines resemble saw-tooth mountain ridges.The world not only feels different. The data tell us it is different. Based on years of research by the directors of the McKinsey Global Institute, No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Forces Breaking All the Trends is a timely and important analysis of how we need to reset our intuition as a result of four forces colliding and transforming the global economy: the rise of emerging markets; the accelerating impact of technology on the natural forces of market competition; an aging world population; and accelerating flows of trade, capital, and people.Our intuitions formed during a uniquely benign period for the world economy—often termed the Great Moderation. Asset prices were rising, cost of capital was falling, labor and resources were abundant, and generation after generation was growing up more prosperous than their parents.But the Great Moderation has gone. The cost of capital may rise. The price of everything from grain to steel may become more volatile. The world’s labor force could shrink. Individuals, particularly those with low job skills, are at risk of growing up poorer than their parents.What sets No Ordinary Disruption apart is depth of analysis combined with lively writing informed by surprising, memorable insights that enable us to quickly grasp the disruptive forces at work. For evidence of the shift to emerging markets, consider the startling fact that, by 2025, a single regional city in China—Tianjin—will have a GDP equal to that of the Sweden, or that, in the decades ahead, half of the world’s economic growth will come from 440 cities including Kumasi in Ghana or Santa Carina in Brazil that most executives today would be hard-pressed to locate on a map.What we are now seeing is no ordinary disruption but the new facts of business life—facts that require executives and leaders at all levels to reset their operating assumptions and management intuition.—PublicAffairs{chop}



Meet Me in Venice

Suzanne Ma
When Ye Pei dreamed of Venice as a girl, she imagined a magical floating city of canals and gondola rides. And she imagined her mother, successful in her new life and eager to embrace the daughter she had never forgotten. But when Ye Pei arrives in Italy, she learns her mother works on a farm far from the city. Her only connection, a mean-spirited Chinese auntie, puts Ye Pei to work in a small-town café. Rather than giving up and returning to China, a determined Ye Pei takes on a grueling schedule, resolving to save enough money to provide her family with a better future.{node, 15611}A groundbreaking work of journalism, Meet Me in Venice provides a personal, intimate account of Chinese individuals in the very act of migration. Suzanne Ma spent years in China and Europe to understand why Chinese people choose to immigrate to nations where they endure hardship, suspicion, manual labor, and separation from their loved ones. Today, all eyes are on China and its explosive economic growth. With the rise of the Chinese middle class, Chinese communities around the world are growing in size and prosperity, a development many westerners find unsettling and even threatening. Following Ye Pei’s undaunted path, this inspiring book is an engrossing read for those eager to understand contemporary China and the enormous impact of Chinese emigrants around the world. —Rowman & Littlefield{chop} 




Censorship and Conscience

PEN International

In this report, PEN American Center (PEN) examines how foreign authors in particular are navigating the heavily censored Chinese book industry. China is one of the largest book publishing markets in the world, with total revenue projected to exceed $16 billion in 2015 and a...



Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China

Council on Foreign Relations

China represents and will remain the most significant competitor to the United States for decades to come. As such, the need for a more coherent U.S. response to increasing Chinese power is long overdue. Because the American effort to “integrate” China into the liberal...

Photography and Video



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...

ChinaFile Presents



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.{chop} ...



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...



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...

Around the Web

Corrupting the Chinese Language

The author fears Orwell’s prediciton: “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”...

New York Times

China Issues First White Paper on Military Strategy

The document used expressions new to Chinese white papers, such as “active defense.”...

China Daily

How America Should Respond to China’s Moves in the South China Sea

U.S. military superiority is required to keep the Asia-Pacific region from getting out of hand. ...

National Interest

China to Expand Naval Operations Amid Growing Tensions With U.S.

Changes designed to address U.S. rebalance in Asia and other challenges....

Wall Street Journal

Sex Trade Goes Underground in China’s ‘Sin City’

More than 2,000 hotels, saunas and massage parlors were shut down in Dongguan. ...


Paris Can’t Be Another Copenhagen

The U.S. and China must rapidly increase collaboration on climate change both within and beyond the framework of the conference....

New York Times