Fred DuFour—AFP/Getty Images

Live at the Bookworm, Part II

A Sinica Podcast

via Sinica Podcast

This is the second part of the Live Sinica discussion recorded last month during a special event at the Bookworm literary festival. In this show, David Moser and Kaiser Kuo were joined by China-newcomer Jeremy Goldkorn, fresh off the plane from Nashville to field questions from the live Beijing audience. During this show, the hosts talk about what Beijing means to them and what they see happening in China going forward. If you’re a long-time listener, be sure to check out this unusual episode—recorded in front of a live audience.{chop}{node, 21426, 4}

Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

China’s Joking on Smog

Michael Zhao via The Green Space

In the world of Chinese air pollution, there’s a new kid on the block. Shenyang, the northeastern stronghold of heavy industry and manufacturing since the Mao era, last week saw its levels of PM2.5 pollution shoot past 1000 and register a whopping 1400 on some monitoring sites. Beijing flirted with PM2.5 levels this high two years ago, triggering a national outcry and calls for government action and eventually leading to Premier Li Keqiang to declare a war on smog.Why did Shenyang get so bad? With hundreds of farms burning the crop stubble in their fields, spewing dangerous amounts of fine dust and smoke in the northeastern provinces, cities like Shenyang are edging Beijing out of smog...


Court in China Adds Last-Minute Charge Against Rights Leader During Sentencing

Yaxue Cao via China Change

On August 8, 2013, Guo Feixiong (real name Yang Maodong) was arrested and then indicted on charges of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” The case stems from Guo’s activism around the Southern Weekend incident, in which he made speeches outside the newspaper’s offices, and later that year he initiated a campaign demanding that the National People’s Congress ratify the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” On November 28 last year, he and co-defendant Sun Desheng were tried without a verdict. On Friday, November 27, after three postponements over the course of 12 months, the Tianhe court in Guangzhou has pronounced its verdict, with Guo Feixiong...

Chinese Doodles

The Chinese Road to Paris 2015

Davide Vacatello & Valentina Caruso via Chinese Doodles

Beginning on November 30, Paris will host the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nationals Framework on Climate Change (COP21). Whatever progress is made toward the parties’ agreement on a path forward will depend in large part on China, now the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Use these graphs to get a quick, colorful handle on the history of COP21 and how China fits into it.

Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

‘Personal Media’ in China Takes a Hit From Pre-Publication Censorship

Hu Yong

Observers have long thought that Chinese authorities censor the media depending on type: the censorship of traditional media is primarily conducted in advance, with a thorough inspection of news and discussion before publication; new media, in contrast, is primarily censored or penalized after the fact, in a “relatively mild” fashion.This observation appears less and less valid. China’s censorship of new media in fact extends from start to finish. For instance, personal posts that are put up on some major new media platforms (in order to recruit more users, Internet companies frequently offer personal media (zimeiti) hosting on their new media platforms) must first undergo inspection before...

Wang Zhao—Getty Images

The China Africa Relationship: Crossroads or Cliff?

A ChinaFile Conversation

via ChinaFile Conversation

Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden publish the China Africa Project website, whose weekly podcast we are proud to syndicate. As we approach the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Johannesburg, we’ve picked up written commentaries Eric and Cobus first posted to their site in the hope of leading our contributors and readers into a discussion of how better to understand the main issues that surely will arise when Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma meet on December 4 to deliver the FOCAC keynote addresses along with African Union Chairman Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe. —The Editors

Greg Baker—AFP/Getty Images

Pulitzer’s ‘Lookout on the Bridge’ vs. China’s ‘News Ethics Committees’

David Bandurski

In a recent harangue on the imperative of better journalism, a website run by the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department tore a jagged page from the wisdom of American newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer: “A journalist is the lookout on the bridge of the ship of state,” the site quotes. “He is there to watch over the safety and the welfare of the people who trust him.”Pulitzer’s words, so propitious in their own context, an article in the North American Review in 1904 hailing the planned creation of the world’s first professional journalism school, darken against the backdrop of contemporary Chinese politics, where President Xi Jinping is doubling down on controls over all...


Recent Stories



Is China a Credible Partner in Fighting Terror?

Andrew Small, Chen Weihua, Wei Zhu, Eric Hundman from ChinaFile Conversation
In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said, “China is also a victim of terrorism. The fight against the ‘East Turkestan Islamic Movement’… should become an important part of the international fight against...



U.S. Presidential Candidates on China

Our Presidential Quotes tracker keeps you up to date on what the current candidates are saying about China, and where and when they say it. We’ll be updating the site with new and expanded tools for understanding China’s role in the U.S. election in...



What Xi and Ma Really Said

Perry Link
The Chinese government employs hundreds of thousands of people at all administrative levels, central to local, to prescribe and monitor how news stories are presented to the public. These people tell editors of newspapers and web pages not only what...



The Watch

Hai Zhang
On a trip back to China in 2011, photographer Hai Zhang came across a crowd in the People’s Square of Wushan, a town outside of Chongqing. People had gathered to watch a gala sponsored by a local real estate developer to promote his new residential...

Photography and Video



A Miner’s China Dream

Sim Chi Yin
Over the four years I have known him, He Quangui, a gold miner from Shaanxi, has told me many times he wants to travel with me back to Beijing. It’s not just me he wants to visit. He dreams of going to the Chinese leadership’s compound, Zhongnanhai...




Unmade in China

Jeremy R. Haft
If you look carefully at how things are actually made in China—from shirts to toys, apple juice to oil rigs—you see a reality that contradicts every widely-held notion about the world’s so-called economic powerhouse. From the inside looking out, China is not a manufacturing juggernaut. It’s a Lilliputian. Nor is it a killer of American jobs. It’s a huge job creator. Rising China is importing goods from America in such volume that millions of U.S. jobs are sustained through Chinese trade and investment. In Unmade in China, entrepreneur and Georgetown University business professor Jeremy R. Haft lifts the lid on the hidden world of China’s intricate supply chains. Informed by years of experience building new companies in China, Haft’s unique, insider’s view reveals a startling picture of an economy which struggles to make baby formula safely, much less a nuclear power plant. Using firm-level data and recent case studies, Unmade in China tells the story of systemic risk in Chinese manufacturing and why this is both really bad and really good news for America. —Polity Press{chop}



China’s Disruptors

Edward Tse
In September 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world’s biggest-ever initial public offering. Since then, millions of investors and managers worldwide have pondered a fundamental question: What’s really going on with the new wave of China’s disruptors?Alibaba wasn’t an outlier—it’s one of a rising tide of thriving Chinese companies, mostly but not exclusively in the technology sector. Overnight, its founder, Jack Ma, appeared on the same magazine covers as American entrepreneurial icons like Mark Zuckerberg. Ma was quickly followed by the founders of other previously little-known companies, such as Baidu, Tencent, and Xiaomi.Over the past two decades, an unprecedented burst of entrepreneurialism has transformed China’s economy from a closed, impoverished, state-run system into a major power in global business. As products in China become more and more sophisticated, and as its companies embrace domestically developed technology, we will increasingly see Chinese goods setting global standards. Meanwhile, companies in the rest of the world wonder how they can access the fast-rising incomes of China’s 1.3 billion consumers.Now Edward Tse, a leading global strategy consultant, reveals how China got to this point, and what the country’s rise means for the United States and the rest of the world. Tse has spent more than twenty years working with senior Chinese executives, learning firsthand how China’s most powerful companies operate. He’s an expert on how private firms are thriving in what is still, officially, a communist country. His book draws on exclusive interviews and case studies to explore questions such as:What drives China’s entrepreneurs? Personal fame and fortune—or a quest for national pride and communal achievement?How do these companies grow so quickly? In 2005, Lenovo sold just one category of products (personal computers) in one market, China. Today, not only is it the world’s largest PC seller; it is also the world’s third-largest smartphone seller.How does Chinese culture shape the strategies and tactics of these business leaders? Can outsiders copy what the Chinese are doing?Can capitalists really thrive within a communist system? How does Tencent’s Pony Ma serve as a member of China’s parliament while running a company that dominates online games and messaging?What impact will China have on the rest of the world as its private companies enter new markets, acquire foreign businesses, and threaten established firms in countless industries?As Tse concludes: “I believe that as a consequence of the opening driven by China’s entrepreneurs, the push to invest in science, research, and development, and the new freedoms that people are enjoying across the country, China has embarked on a renaissance that could rival its greatest era in history—the Tang dynasty. These entrepreneurs are the front line in China’s intense hunger for success. They will have an even more remarkable impact on the global economy in the future, through the rest of this decade and beyond.” —Portfolio/Penguin{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...

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