Wang Zhao—Pool/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 web site, whose weekly podcast we are proud to syndicate.  As we approach the sixth Forum on China Africa Cooperation Summit in Johannesburg, we’ve also 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

China Eyes More Muscle for Market Supervision

Empowering the Central Bank Could Prevent Further Stocks Turmoil

via Caixin

Strengthening the People’s Bank of China’s regulatory clout is high on a list of suggestions for improving financial market oversight following last summer’s stock market crash.As supporters of the plan see it, no government institution is in a better position to improve stock trading controls, manage Internet-only banks, and close regulatory loopholes than the central bank.The need for improvements was stressed by President Xi Jinping during a November 3 speech to Communist Party officials in the capital, where he said the government should improve financial system regulation.“Frequent exposure to risks and recent capital markets turmoil indicate that the current regulatory framework and...

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...

Karim Sahib—AFP/Getty Images

China Censors Online Outcry After ISIS Execution

The Death of a Chinese Hostage Could Put Grassroots Pressure on the Government to Get More Involved in the Middle East

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian via Tea Leaf Nation

On November 18, the Islamic State (IS) released photos of what it claimed were two executed hostages. The photos, appearing in the terrorist group’s English-language magazine Dabiq, depict two men with bloodied faces, the word “executed” emblazoned across the image. One of the men resembled Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad of Norway, the other Fan Jinghui of China. IS had claimed in September to have kidnapped the two; but Fan’s death threatens to send shockwaves through a Chinese citizenry generally leery of the kind of military involvement that has imposed so many costs on the United States. Small wonder that China’s censors are descending on cyberspace before citizens get a chance to discuss...

Mark Ralston—AFP/Getty Images

China Remains a Rocky Road for Electric Cars

Sales Picking Up, but Charging Infrastructure and Financial Incentives Lag

via chinadialogue

Recent revelations about Volkswagen’s emissions have focused attention on the environmental damage caused by the auto and fuel industries—and the need for a decisive shift towards genuinely green transport that can cut smog in the world’s major cities.This is particularly so in China, as the country readies its 13th Five-Year Plan that will include ambitious targets for the use of New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) in China as part of a wider drive for greener growth and improved air quality.China has long been lagging in its efforts to persuade motorists to shift to greener alternatives, prompting a rethink at the highest levels on how electric vehicles (EVs) can be made more attractive. China...

Kim Kyong-Hoon—Pool—Getty Images

Is China a Credible Partner in Fighting Terror?

A ChinaFile Conversation

via 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 terrorism.” But China recently has cracked down on Muslim Uighur communities, just this week killing 17 alleged terrorists, including women and children, killing dozens of Uighur protesters in July last year, and banning religious holidays such as Ramadan, and barring the wearing of the headscarf, leading us to ponder this week’s question. —The Editors

Illustration by @badiucao—China Digital Times, photo by Reuters

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 stories to run, but also what words and phrases to use, how to write headlines, and what page a story should appear on. They further prescribe what words must not be used, which stories not be published, and which stories allowed but “downplayed.” The more politically important a story is, the closer the scrutiny is. The attention given to national-level slogans and top policy announcements is meticulous. Elite word workers study them from...


Recent Stories



How Can China’s Neighbors Make Progress at APEC?

Le Hong Hiep, Brian Eyler from ChinaFile Conversation
Ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit next week, we asked a group of experts from China’s neighboring countries what they thought the main thrust of discussion in Manila should be. If host, the Philippines, under pressure from...



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...



All The Chairman’s Statues

Davide Vacatello, Valentina Caruso from Chinese Doodles
Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party and the founding supremo of its People’s Republic, is not a man who has retreated from history quietly. During the last decade of his life, during the Cultural Revolution he unleashed in part to...



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...



Good Journalist, Bad Journalist

David Bandurski
As China marked its annual Journalists’ Day over the weekend, proclaiming the importance of “correct news ideals,” even jaded New Yorkers stopped in their tracks and took notice. How could they not? The message beamed over 7th Avenue on Times Square...

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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