• Ng Han Guan—Pool/Getty Images

    Xi’s Visit to ‘Rival’ Europe

    A China in the World Podcast

    Paul Haenle & Philippe Le Corre via Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

    President Xi Jinping travels to Italy and France this month for his first overseas trip of 2019. His visit comes soon after the European Commission labeled China a “systemic rival” and “economic competitor.” Xi’s objective for both trips is to shore up ties with key European partners, Le Corre argues. The European Commission’s labeling China a “systemic rival” represents a harsh rebuke of Beijing’s behavior. However, Le Corre points to Europe’s lack of cohesiveness and countries’ divergent... Read full story>>

  • Charles McQuillan—Getty Images

    Is This the Last Dalai Lama?

    Jessica Batke

    This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet. His departure exposed the rift between the Tibetan faithful and the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.), one which has not closed in the six decades since—and which threatens to become even deeper once the current Dalai Lama, 83-year-old Tenzin Gyatso, passes on. Read full story>>

  • Lisa Ross

    ‘I Can’t Sleep: Homage to a Uyghur Homeland’

    A Q&A with Photographer Lisa Ross

    Lisa Ross & Muyi Xiao

    In the 2000s, New York-based artist Lisa Ross traveled to the city of Turpan in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and photographed local people on the beds that they keep in their fields. The portraits in that series are currently on exhibit at the Miyako Yoshinaga gallery in New York through March 16, 2019. ChinaFile’s Visuals Editor, Muyi Xiao, interviewed Ross about the work and its connection to the campaign of repression and incarceration of Uighurs taking place in Xinjiang today. Read full story>>

  • (China Photos/Getty Images)

    Here’s How the Trade War Is Affecting Hollywood

    Ying Zhu

    In February 2017, the United States and China began renegotiating the five-year film pact that had limited the annual number of foreign film exports to China to 34 and the share of revenue payable to foreign-rights holders to 25 percent of gross box office. Hollywood wanted an increase in revenue-sharing films, a higher share of box-office receipts, and more access to key viewing windows in China’s ever-expanding film market. In January 2018, Beijing agreed to discuss “policies and practices... Read full story>>

  • Sim Chi Yin—Magnum Photos

    ‘It’s Hopeless But You Persist’: An Interview with Jiang Xue

    Ian Johnson via New York Review of Books

    The forty-five-year-old investigative journalist Jiang Xue is one of the most influential members of a group of journalists who came of age in the early 2000s, taking advantage of new—if temporary—freedoms created by the Internet to investigate pressing social issues. She worked at Chinese Business View (Huashangbao) until 2014, when she quit as its opinion-page editor over censorship. Since then, she has kept writing to an ever-shrinking audience on social media, most notably about the wives... Read full story>>

  • (China Photos/Getty Images)

    The Future of China-U.S. Military Relations

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Joel Wuthnow, Oriana Skylar Mastro & more via ChinaFile Conversation

    The U.S.-China military relationship has been relatively stable over the past few years. Both sides’ leaders recognize that effective relations between the two militaries help prevent crises and stabilize the broader bilateral relationship. Events in late 2018, however, demonstrated how easily the military relationship could get off track. How much cooperation can be expected throughout 2019? What should the agenda be for U.S.-China military relations, and what obstacles will need to be... Read full story>>

  • Chuck Fishman—Getty Images

    ‘We’re Very Sexy People’: How the U.S. Miscalculated Its Allure to China

    Sergey Radchenko

    The Sino-Vietnamese War is rarely remembered or discussed today. But 40 years ago, the war appeared to herald a tectonic shift in regional and global politics and helped forge a close, more trusting relationship between the leader of the free world and the world’s largest autocracy. China’s 1979 invasion of Vietnam demonstrated that Beijing stood on the American side in the global Cold War—a message that President Jimmy Carter embraced. China may have been a brutal dictatorship, but the fact... Read full story>>

  • Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

    ‘Reeducating’ Xinjiang’s Muslims

    James A. Millward via New York Review of Books

    In a courtroom in Zharkent, Kazakhstan, in July 2018, a former kindergarten principal named Sayragul Sauytbay calmly described what Chinese officials continue to deny: a vast new gulag of “de-extremification training centers” has been created for Turkic Muslim inhabitants of Xinjiang, the Alaska-sized region in western China. Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh, had fled Xinjiang and was seeking asylum in Kazakhstan, where her husband and son are citizens. She told the court how she had been transferred... Read full story>>

  • Zhou Na for ChinaFile

    The Face of China’s #MeToo Movement Enters the Fray

    Zhou Na

    In the summer of 2014, Zhou Xiaoxuan, then a 21-year-old living in Beijing, filed a report with the local police. She described what had happened the previous day when she had delivered a basket of fruit to one of China’s most prominent news anchors, Zhu Jun, in his dressing room. Zhou told the police that after she entered the room, the anchor had kissed her and groped her against her will. Two days later, the police contacted Zhou’s parents and persuaded them not to pursue action against Zhu... Read full story>>

Recent Stories

Conversation

02.02.19

What Do the Huawei Indictments Mean for the Future of Global Tech?

Adam Segal, Samm Sacks & more
The United States indictments against Huawei look set to significantly worsen already tense relations between China and the U.S. As America pressures allies to drop Huawei and other Chinese firms, U.S. and European officials point to China’s own...

Viewpoint

02.16.19

Roderick MacFarquhar: A Remembrance

Bao Pu
When Roderick MacFarquhar passed away on February 10, 2019, I was left with a deep regret: that our friendship had been too short.“He can be very intimidating. Don’t be put off by it; it’s just a mannerism,” Nancy Hearst, the librarian at Harvard’s...

Features

01.08.19

Where Did the One Million Figure for Detentions in Xinjiang’s Camps Come From?

Jessica Batke
As journalists and scholars have reported in recent months on the campaign of religious and cultural repression and incarceration taking place in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, a central question has emerged: How many people has China’s government...

Conversation

12.11.18

Is this the Beginning of a New Cold War?

Ali Wyne, Yuen Yuen Ang & more
Beyond complicating trade negotiations between the United States and China, the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has renewed concerns that the two countries are embarking on a new Cold War, based on economic preeminence and technological innovation...

Conversation

11.27.18

How to Be a Chinese Scientist without Being China’s Scientist

Yangyang Cheng, Yu He & more
As trade tensions between the United States and China worsen, a new technological cold war looms, casting its shadow over American universities and research institutions. How should individual scientists of Chinese origin decide whether to accept a...

Photography & Video

Depth of Field

02.25.19

Living by the Rivers

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
If the stories in this edition of Depth of Field share a common thread—apart from their distinguished photographic storytelling—it’s their interest in the flux and churn of life in China in 2019, where nothing seems fixed and pressure of constant...

Books

Books

09.30.18

Haunted by Chaos

Sulmaan Wasif Khan
Harvard University Press: Before the Chinese Communist Party came to power, China lay broken and fragmented. Today, it is a force on the global stage, and yet its leaders have continued to be haunted by the past. Drawing on an array of sources, Sulmaan Wasif Khan chronicles the grand strategies that have sought not only to protect China from aggression but also to ensure it would never again experience the powerlessness of the late Qing and Republican eras.{node, 49171}The dramatic variations in China’s modern history have obscured the commonality of purpose that binds the country’s leaders. Analyzing the calculus behind their decision making, Khan explores how they wove diplomatic, military, and economic power together to keep a fragile country safe in a world they saw as hostile. Dangerous and shrewd, Mao Zedong made China whole and succeeded in keeping it so, while the caustic, impatient Deng Xiaoping dragged China into the modern world. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao served as cautious custodians of the Deng legacy, but the powerful and deeply insecure Xi Jinping has shown an assertiveness that has raised both fear and hope across the globe.For all their considerable costs, China’s grand strategies have been largely successful. But the country faces great challenges today. Its population is aging, its government is undermined by corruption, its neighbors are arming out of concern over its growing power, and environmental degradation threatens catastrophe. A question Haunted by Chaos raises is whether China’s time-tested approach can respond to the looming threats of the 21st century.{chop}

Books

08.08.18

Poisonous Pandas

Matthew Kohrman, Gan Quan, Liu Wennan, Robert N. Proctor
Stanford University Press: A favorite icon for cigarette manufacturers across China since the mid-20th century has been the panda, with factories from Shanghai to Sichuan using cuddly cliché to market tobacco products. The proliferation of panda-branded cigarettes coincides with profound, yet poorly appreciated, shifts in the worldwide tobacco trade. Over the last 50 years, transnational tobacco companies and their allies have fueled a tripling of the world’s annual consumption of cigarettes. At the forefront is the China National Tobacco Corporation, now producing 40 percent of cigarettes sold globally. What’s enabled the manufacturing of cigarettes in China to flourish since the time of Mao and to prosper even amidst public health condemnation of smoking?In Poisonous Pandas, an interdisciplinary group of scholars comes together to tell that story. They offer novel portraits of people within the Chinese polity―government leaders, scientists, tax officials, artists, museum curators, and soldiers―who have experimentally revamped the country’s pre-Communist cigarette supply chain and fitfully expanded its political, economic, and cultural influence. These portraits cut against the grain of what contemporary tobacco-control experts typically study, opening a vital new window on tobacco―the single largest cause of preventable death worldwide today.{chop}Related Reading:“In China, Industry Push-Back Stubs out Anti-Smoking Gains,” Christian Shepherd, Reuters, May 31, 2018“China’s Ministry in Charge of Tobacco Control Had Ties to the Tobacco Industry. Not Anymore,” Sidney Leng, South China Morning Post, March 15, 2018“The End of China’s ‘Ashtray Diplomacy’,” Heather Timmons and Quartz, The Atlantic, December 30, 2013“The Political Mapping of China’s Tobacco Industry and Anti-Smoking Campaign,” Cheng Li, Brookings, May 30, 2012Author’s Recommendations:Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, Rob Nixon (Harvard University Press, 2013)Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?, Judith Butler (Verso; Reprint edition 2010)Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Giorgio Agamben, Translated by Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford University Press, 1998)

Reports

Reports

09.01.17

The Costs of International Advocacy

Human Rights Watch
Even as it engages with U.N. human rights institutions, China has worked consistently and often aggressively to silence criticism of its human rights record before U.N. bodies and has taken actions aimed at weakening some of the central mechanisms...

Reports

05.24.17

China’s Social Credit System: A Big-Data Enabled Approach to Market Regulation with Broad Implications for Doing Business in China

Mirjam Meissner
Mirjam Meissner
Mercator Institute for China Studies
Under the catchphrase “Social Credit System,” China is currently implementing a new and highly innovative approach to monitoring, rating, and regulating the behavior of market participants. The Social Credit System will have significant impact on...

Partners