Yuyang Liu for ChinaFile

A Newer New Frontier

Beijing’s Ambitious Plans for Xinjiang

Yuyang Liu

Beijing’s relationship to Xinjiang and its roughly 10 million Uighurs has long been troubled. Over the last few years, several terrorist attacks allegedly committed by Uighurs throughout China have exacerbated tensions between the two ethnicities. But Beijing’s current aid program has given Xinjiang almost 22.4 billion RMB in investment over the last two years—and billions more in the years prior. New malls, roads, and construction projects have transformed the region.


Jack Taylor—AFP/Getty Images

Is Huawei Doing Enough to Train Local Staff in Africa?

A China in Africa Podcast

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

The Chinese telecom giant Huawei recently launched a massive publicity campaign to raise awareness in Africa about what it is doing to train local employees. The company has opened at least five training centers in different countries across the continent and claims that it annually provides skills training to 12,000 Africans. Every year, Huawei says it sponsors thousands of IT engineers from Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria, among other countries, to travel to the company’s headquarters in southern China for additional skills development. The company also says it wants to move beyond simple training programs to seeding African technology innovation: In July, Huawei announced a new...


(AFP/Getty Images)

What Would China Look Like Today Had Zhao Ziyang Survived?

A ChinaFile Conversation

Julian B. Gewirtz, David Shambaugh & more via ChinaFile Conversation

Almost 500 previously unpublished documents about Zhao Ziyang, the bold reformer who served as China’s premier (1980-1987) and Communist Party general secretary (1987-1989), were smuggled out of China and published in late July by the Chinese University Press in Hong Kong. The documents show how Zhao led a decade of transformational economic reform and sketched out plans for political reform. Zhao was purged in 1989 and died under house arrest in 2005. The documents have sparked a renewed interest in his time in power and offer an opportunity to imagine what might have been had the man and his ideas survived.


(VCG/Getty Images)

Why an Elite Chinese Student Decided Not to Join the Communist Party

An Excerpt from ‘Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China’

Alec Ash

“Wish Lanterns” follows the lives of six Chinese born between 1985 and 1990 as they grow up, go to school, and pursue their aspirations. Millennials are a transformational generation in China, heralding key societal and cultural shifts, and they are a hugely diverse group.


(AFP/Getty Images)

China’s Undeserved Reputation for Building Bad Infrastructure in Africa

A China in Africa Podcast

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

The Chinese build more infrastructure than any other country (foreign or African) in Africa. Chinese banks are financing billions of dollars in new loans, aid packages, and other deals to build badly-needed infrastructure across the continent, and Chinese companies are doing most of the engineering and construction work. Between 2009 and 2014, the Chinese signed $328 billion in construction projects in Africa, an average of $54 billion a year, according to data from the international law firm Baker and McKenzie. This trend is widely expected to continue as Beijing turns to its new development bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to focus more of its economic diplomacy...


Dondi Tawatao—Getty Images

How the Philippines Can Win in the South China Sea

A Third-Century Roman Dictator May Have The Answers

via Tea Leaf Nation

The Philippine Islands has a problem. It has international law on its side in its quarrel with China over maritime territory, but no policeman walking his beat to enforce the law. That means that, despite an international court’s findings, the dispute over rocks and islands off Philippine shores is far from over. On August 2, China’s defense minister, Chang Wanquan, even said China must prepare for a “people’s war” at sea. That leaves strategy as Manila’s lone recourse; yet China overshadows the Philippines in every imaginable metric of national power.But as I wrote in 2012, when South China Sea tensions were heating up, while the Philippines has “no chance of winning in combat” with China...


Anthony Wallace—AFP/Getty Images

China: The People’s Fury

Richard Bernstein via New York Review of Books

It has long been routine to find in both China’s official news organizations and its social media a barrage of anti-American comment, but rarely has it reached quite the intensity and fury of the last few days. There have been calls from citizens on the country’s social media platforms to boycott KFC, Starbucks, and the iPhone 7, accusations against the U.S. of waging a new “war” against China, and threats that the Philippines, a close U.S. ally, will be turned into a Chinese province. All of this is in response to the July 12 ruling against China by the Law of the Sea Tribunal in the Hague, which found Beijing to be engaging in a host of illegal actions and violations of international law...

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