Pavel Bednyakov—Xinhua/Zuma Press

China’s Expanding Military Presence in Africa

A China in Africa Podcast

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

China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People’s Liberation Army and Navy now have an estimated 2,700 soldiers, sailors, engineers, and medical staff stationed across the continent.The number of troops deployed in Africa is extremely small, even insignificant, in the broader context of the massive Chinese military. However, a discernible trend is becoming increasingly apparent as Beijing expands the range of operations that its forces are engaged in Africa to include post-conflict stabilization (Mali), medical humanitarian missions...

Cancan Chu—Getty Images

Who Will Save Us from the Self-help Revolution?

A Sinica Podcast

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more

Someone desperately needs to call a fumigator, because China's self-help bug is eating up the woodwork. Train station bookstores may always have served the genre’s trite pablum to bored businessmen legging it cross-country, but in recent months the popularity of the cult has spread more widely, to the point one can't go to a party these days without being accosted for one's thoughts on "the Secret", or hear coworkers fume over where their cheese might have gone and which of their colleagues has probably taken it.Drowning in this morass of anti-Enlightenment thinking? Join us on Sinica as we excoriate the self-help movement in a show featuring an almost unanimous...

Kostis Ntantamis—NurPhoto/Zuma Press

How Much Does the Chinese Market Matter to the World?

Yukon Huang, Ira Kalish & more via ChinaFile Conversation

China’s main market, reflected in the Shanghai Composite Index, has fallen 24 percent since June 12, losing $2.4 trillion in value. While many analysts are focused on the financial crisis in Greece, some are beginning to wonder if China's woes may have a greater affect in the long run...

Sim Chi Yin—VII Photo for 'Le Monde'

On the Border

A Photographer’s Encounter With North Korean Workers Turns Violent

Sim Chi Yin

Minutes after we turned off the main road and into the Tumen Economic Development Zone, we spotted a group of workers weeding along an access road.From afar, all we could make out in the gentle early morning light was that they were women in uniforms, working amid the rows of non-descript low-rise factories like in any other China industrial area. I shot an image of the general scene through the windshield of our taxi. I thought they might be North Koreans.I was on assignment for Le Monde working on an article about China’s economic interaction with its neighbor. Perhaps this was a way to illustrate our story.Without hesitating, our driver, a local who had been to this industrial estate...

Alex Ogle—AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Protests Were More Than Just a Student Movement

Samson Yuen & Edmund Cheng

For almost three months in late 2014, what came to be known as the Umbrella Movement amplified Hong Kong’s bitter struggle for the democracy its people were promised when China assumed control of the territory from Britain in 1997. Originally a civil disobedience movement led by Occupy Central with Love and Peace, the pro-democracy movement began on September 28 when protesters blocked roads in the city’s political and business center, after police fired tear gas at participants trying to lay siege to the government complex. As smoke filled the streets, protesters, widely portrayed in the media and described by the government as “youth,” donned goggles and facemasks and opened umbrellas as...

Ji Zhe—Xinhua/Zuma Press

China Deepens Planned Cuts to Carbon Intensity

Stronger Emissions Curbs Announced in Paris, Five Months Before U.N. Conference There

via chinadialogue

China has mapped out how it will try and peak greenhouse emissions by 2030 or before, details that could have a major bearing on U.N. climate talks aimed at delivering a deal in Paris later this year.The world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases “will work hard” to peak its CO2 emissions before 2030, Premier Li Keqiang said at a summit meeting with the French government in Paris ahead of the climate plan’s publication in Beijing and submission to the U.N.’s climate arm.The document said China plans to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy 60-65 percent per unit of GDP by 2030, compared with 2005 levels, and reiterated a previously-announced aim that renewables should make up 20...

Gilles Sabrié

On the Kang: A Chinese Family Album

Portraits from the Heart of the Home

Gilles Sabrié

In rural northern China, the kang is the heart of the home. The two meter wide brick platforms, heated beneath by a coal, wood, straw, or corn cob fire, are hearth, family bed, and living room all rolled into one. Especially during the winter when fields are frozen and work can be scarce, families often spend the better part of the day on the kang, chatting, dining, and playing, before returning to sleep.The photos in this series, shot in March and April of 2015 in Gansu province, use natural light to turn the kang into a kind of studio set for family portraits.I have paired the portraits with details of the families’ homes; elaborate embroidery, posters of tropical resorts, carefully tied...

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Recent Stories



Has China’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Experiment Failed?

George Chen, Alvin Y.H. Cheung, Sebastian Veg, Ho-fung Hung
As Hong Kong’s legislature began debate this week on the reform package that could shape the future of the local political system, the former British colony’s pro-democracy lawmakers swore again they will reject electoral reforms proposed by the...

China Starts to Play Nice with Foreign Aid Partners

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden, Hannah Ryder
New research from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in China indicates Beijing is starting to be more open about its international aid programs. If so, this would mark a significant change from the past where the Chinese government was...

A Partnership with China to Avoid World War

George Soros
International cooperation is in decline both in the political and financial spheres. The U.N. has failed to address any of the major conflicts since the end of the cold war; the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference left a sour aftertaste; the...




City of Virtues

Chuck Wooldridge
Throughout Nanjing’s history, writers have claimed that its spectacular landscape of mountains and rivers imbued the city with “royal qi,” making it a place of great political significance. City of Virtues examines the ways a series of visionaries, drawing on past glories of the city, projected their ideologies onto Nanjing as they constructed buildings, performed rituals, and reworked the literary heritage of the city. More than an urban history of Nanjing from the late 18th century until 1911―encompassing the Opium War, the Taiping occupation of the city, the rebuilding of the city by Zeng Guofan, and attempts to establish it as the capital of the Republic of China―this study shows how utopian visions of the cosmos shaped Nanjing’s path through the turbulent 19th century.―University of Washington Press{chop}



The Yellow River

David A. Pietz
Flowing through the heart of the North China Plain―home to 200 million people―the Yellow River sustains one of China’s core regions. Yet this vital water supply has become highly vulnerable in recent decades, with potentially serious repercussions for China’s economic, social, and political stability. The Yellow River is an investigative expedition to the source of China’s contemporary water crisis, mapping the confluence of forces that have shaped the predicament that the world’s most populous nation now faces in managing its water reserves.Chinese governments have long struggled to maintain ecological stability along the Yellow River, undertaking ambitious programs of canal and dike construction to mitigate the effects of recurrent droughts and floods. But particularly during the Maoist years the North China Plain was radically re-engineered to utilize every drop of water for irrigation and hydroelectric generation. As David A. Pietz shows, Maoist water management from 1949 to 1976 cast a long shadow over the reform period, beginning in 1978. Rapid urban growth, industrial expansion, and agricultural intensification over the past three decades of China’s economic boom have been realized on a water resource base that was acutely compromised, with effects that have been more difficult and costly to overcome with each passing decade. Chronicling this complex legacy, The Yellow River provides important insight into how water challenges will affect China’s course as a twenty-first-century global power.―Harvard University Press{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



Small Part, Big Screen

Gilles Sabrié
Every morning outside the imposing gate of the Beijing Film Studio, a throng gathers to try to find a way inside. These aren’t fans, exactly. Look at their faces, the practiced way they crane their necks or square their shoulders when the man with...

ChinaFile Presents



Weighing Mao’s Legacy in China Today

Roderick MacFarquhar, Susan Shirk, Orville Schell, Andrew G. Walder
At the May 21 Asia Society event ChinaFile Presents: Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Politics of the Mao Era?, a discussion of author Andrew Walder’s new book, China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed, sparked a lively debate about the...



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, Susan Jakes
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...

Around the Web

Hillary Clinton says China Hacks into “Everything that Doesn’t Move”

The Democratic presidential candidate accused Chinese hackers of stealing “huge amounts of government information.”...


Chinese Tourists Warned over Turkey Uighur Protests

China advised citizens against travelling to Turkey after it said several tourists were attacked in protests over the Chinese government's treatment of......


China Stocks Rise as Beijing’s Emergency Moves Brings Some Relief

Support measures unleashed by Beijing brought some relief to a market after headlong slide over three weeks. ...


Beijing's National Security Law Could Create New Tensions

China adopted a national security law which defines issues in cyberspace, outer space, the deep sea and, the South China Sea, as areas it has the right to......

International Business Times

GSK’s Viiv Arm Agrees China Tie-up to Produce HIV Drugs

GlaxoSmithKline signs a deal to manufacture cut-price HIV drugs in China as the UK group rebuilds its presence after a corruption scandal....

Financial Times

Why are China’s Stock Markets so Volatile?

Home to the world’s largest equity markets after the US, China is still extremely volatile with benchmark indices often swinging as much as 10 per cent in a......

Financial Times