(AFP/Getty Images)

Does Size Matter? (In the U.S. and Chinese Economies, That Is...)

A ChinaFile Conversation

Taisu Zhang

Last week, President Obama’s State of the Union Address touted a U.S. economic recovery. Meanwhile, China’s economic growth is slowing and Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, has said that China’s economy, contrary to overseas media reports, has not overtaken the economy of the United States to become the largest in the world. Why does this debate persist? What lies in the...

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Inside the Property Revolution

A Sinica Podcast

Jeremy Goldkorn

Luigi Tomba, expert on municipal government in China, fellow at the Australian Centre on China and the World, and author of the book The Government Next Door: Neighborhood Politics in Urban China, is this week’s Sinica Podcast guest. Since 2005, Luigi has also been the Co-Editor of The China Journal, a well-known academic journal on Chinese affairs.We’re delighted to have Luigi since it gives us an excuse to talk about the property market, without obsessing over real estate speculation and prices per square meter. Instead, after...

(China Air Daily)

China’s Air Pollution: The Tipping Point

Michael Zhao

Last November, Beijing saw a stretch of solidly clear skies and the Chinese media coined a phrase to describe them: APEC blue. After the diplomats and businesspeople gathered in China’s capital for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum dispersed, and the factories shut down ahead of the meeting came back online, the clean air held for a while, stretching into early December. But soon, the smog was back. Since 2011, frequent hazardous smog, topping 300 on the Air Quality Index (AQI), has plagued Beijing, often monthly, even weekly...

Greg Baker—AFP/Getty Images

South Africa: China’s BFF in Africa

A China in Africa Podcast

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more

South Africa is emerging as one of China’s most important international partners as the relationship deepens across all levels. Economically, South Africa is the source of more Chinese investment than any other country on the continent. However, this relationship extends far beyond just investment. In education, diplomacy, and finance, the two countries’ ruling parties are all broadening their ties with one another. Kemo Bosielo, a South African Masters candidate at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the unique aspects of this increasingly important geopolitical relationship. Recommendations “...

(ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

‘New Measures Needed’ To Take China’s Cars Off the Roads

China Mulls Congestion Taxes, Parking Fee Hike to Curb Cars in Polluted, Gridlocked Cities

As air pollution once more soared to hazardous levels last week in Beijing, in Washington a panel of Chinese and other international experts explained some of the solutions to taking cars off the roads in the world’s most populous country, but there are few easy answers. Chinese cities are struggling to discourage driving after decades of unprecedented growth in car ownership, meaning that new measures may be needed to cut the number of car journeys, said the World Bank’s Binyam Reja at a...

Mike Clarke—AFP/Getty Images

China’s Losing Bet Against History

Daniel Kliman

In 1991, Deng Xiaoping famously explained that in order to reassure the world of its peaceful intentions, China should “cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.” Since then, China’s reassurance strategy has evolved as its economic clout and military capabilities have become impossible to mask, and its participation in global governance has become unavoidable. Rather than maintaining a low profile, China has gone on the offensive to combat perceptions that its growing strength constitutes a threat, initially vowing a “...

Peter Parks—AFP/Getty Images

The Plight of China’s Rights Lawyers

Frances Eve

As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s embattled civil society. Bookending the year were the cases of two prominent legal advocates: in January, Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years imprisonment for his moderate criticism of government policy and leading the “New Citizens’ Movement,” a group advocating for political reforms in...

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Recent Stories



Why Did The West Weep for Paris But Not for Kunming?


In the days since the attacks that killed 12 people at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Chinese netizens have watched the outpouring of solidarity. As our colleagues at Foreign Policy reported earlier this week, the Chinese reaction has been...



Xi Jinping’s Pay Raise


It just got slightly less difficult to be a clean Chinese official. State media reported on January 20 that Chinese civil servants had received their first pay raise in ten years, a move that includes a 60 percent bump for President Xi Jinping and the six men who serve with him...

Caixin Media


Good Times Are Over for Local Governments

Two pieces of recent news have piqued the public's interest. First, local governments reported their latest debt figures to the Ministry of Finance. The numbers have not been made public, but sources say many officials reported large amounts in an attempt to account for as much...



A Look Back at 2014


It’s hard to believe, but ChinaFile is almost two years old. It’s been an exciting year for us, and, as ever, an eventful year for China. It was a year of muscular leadership from Xi Jinping, who has now been in office just over two years and who appears to be successfully...




The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History


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...



China 1945


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...




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...



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




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...

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 Hessler


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 Present


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

Xi Stresses Adherence to Dialectical Materialism

China should not be judged by GDP alone, said the president. China should be judged by its transition in economic......


China Communist Party Magazine Blasts Professors Who Spread ‘Western Values’

Party journal’s commentary targets liberal academics after President Xi Jinping calls for ‘ideological guidance’ for teachers and students......

South China Morning Post

China Says Web Authors Must Use Real Names

Guidelines aim to force online authors to “take better responsibility” for their works.  ... ...

New York Times

Bobby Jindal & China’s Louisiana Methanol Plant

A Chinese tycoon whose natural gas firm’s environmental and labor rights record is under fire in the Chinese press is parking assets in a multibillion......

Al Jazeera

China to Pay Price for ‘Closed-Internet’ Policy |

Thinking everything will look good by blocking online access may sound too simple and naive.... ...

South China Morning Post

Death Threats and Dawn Raids: Welcome to China’s Anti-Graft Drive

On one side is Peking University Founder Group, a state-owned company that partnered with Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) in a separate securities joint......


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