• Greg Baker—AFP/Getty Images

    Can the Vatican and China Get Along?

    A Sinica Podcast

    Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more via Sinica Podcast

    Ian Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has lived in Beijing and Taiwan for more than half of the past 30 years, writing for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and other publications. He has written two books: one on civil society and grassroots protest in China and another on Islamism and the Cold War in Europe. His next book, The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, will be published in April 2017.Ian has covered the gamut of... Read full story>>

  • Diptendu Dutta—AFP/Getty Images

    How Tibet Is Being Crushed—While the Dalai Lama Survives

    Jonathan Mirsky via New York Review of Books

    If you read every page of Tsering Woeser’s latest book and skip the first and last chapters of Tsering Topgyal’s, the ultimate message about the situation in Tibet is often the same. Chinese rule, writes Woeser, is no less than “ethnic oppression,” while Topgyal asserts that “the threat and use of coercive force to meet ideological, political and military objectives in Tibet have been enduring and well-documented features of Chinese rule from the beginning.” He recommends to Beijing that to... Read full story>>

  • (AFP/Getty Images)

    Can Beijing’s Ivory Ban Save the Elephants?

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Eric Olander, Peter J. Li & more

    On New Year’s Eve, Beijing announced it will ban the ivory trade in China, potentially shutting down the world’s biggest ivory market. Why did Beijing decide to curb the ivory trade? Will it put enough muscle behind it to enforce the decision? What impact will the ban have on elephant poaching? Read full story>>

  • Greg Baker—AFP/Getty Images

    2016 China-Africa Year in Review

    A China in Africa Podcast

    Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden via China Africa Project

    After years of relatively trouble-free development, 2016 marked a turning point in the China-Africa relationship, amid turbulent changes in the global economic and political order. China increased its deployment of combat troops to the continent, suffering some its first casualties in South Sudan and Mali, while trade between the two regions decreased for the first time in years. Meanwhile, China dangled promises to finally outlaw ivory as Africa’s elephants suffered another brutal year at the... Read full story>>

  • Anthony Wallace—AFP/Getty Images

    No, Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement Is Not Anti-Mainland

    Sebastian Veg

    In a November 29 essay, “The Anti-Mainland Bigotry of Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement,” published in Foreign Policy, Taisu Zhang tries to make the case that Beijing’s hardline attitude toward Hong Kong is traceable to what he calls the “bigotry of Hong Kong’s democracy movement.” While I believe there is room for reasonable disagreement on many other issues related to Beijing-Hong Kong relations, this piece is not well informed. Read full story>>

  • Liu Xingzhe

    Seeing 2016 Through Eyes on China

    Twenty Images from an Intimate Distance

    In June 2015, a couple dozen China-based photographers—some Chinese, some not—founded the Instagram account Eyes on China. Their goal, as member photographer Gilles Sabrié put it, was to collectively create “a diverse, dynamic, and objective view” of the country where they worked. In the final weeks of 2016, ChinaFile collaborated with the group to assemble a gallery of images that eschews major news stories, looking back on the year from a more intimate distance.—David M. Barreda Read full story>>

  • Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

    China Rises to Challenge of Battling Climate Change

    A China in the World Podcast

    Wang Tao & Yang Fuqiang via Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

    With the U.S. leadership role in the fight against climate change now being called into question, China has found itself in the unique position of being a global leader of the cause. In this podcast, nonresident Carnegie-Tsinghua scholar Wang Tao spoke with Yang Fuqiang, a senior advisor on climate and energy at the National Resource Defense Council, about China’s ongoing energy transition.While China’s coal consumption has declined since 2014, Yang described the many challenges China faces in... Read full story>>

Recent Stories



Rex Tillerson at State: What Will He Mean for U.S.-China Relations?

Barbara A. Finamore, Shen Dingli & more
On December 13, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced the selection of ExxonMobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. We asked ChinaFile contributors to respond to the choice with a specific focus on how Tillerson...



Trump on China

In the run-up to and during his race toward the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump made frequent statements about China, its people, and the government in Beijing, in remarks that ranged from effusive praise to outright attack, and which...



‘Caught in Quicksand’: Gay and HIV-Positive in China

Fan Fei, Jieqian Zhang & more
China is a country with giant cities, huge skyscrapers, and the world’s second largest economy. But underneath its modern looking facade, the country is still very traditional; this is especially true of attitudes toward homosexuality.China’s...



U.S.-China Relations As a Cycle of ‘Rapturous Enchantment’ and ‘Deep Disappointment’

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In 1872, China’s imperial government began sending teenage boys to the United States to study science and technology. After a series of “humiliating” military defeats at the hands of technologically superior foreign powers, China’s leaders realized...



How Do You Stand up to China? Ask Mongolia

Sergey Radchenko
The day before the Dalai Lama’s November 18 trip to Mongolia, Beijing issued a “strong demand” to its neighbor to cancel the visit of the “anti-Chinese separatist” or face (unstated) consequences. The Dalai Lama would be making his ninth visit to...

Photography & Video

Depth of Field


From West Africa, the Czech Republic, and Home

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
In this month’s Depth of Field, Chinese photojournalists explore foreign terrain, both beyond China’s borders and within them. Independent photographer Yuyang Liu traveled the open seas to document the lives of Chinese and African workers who fish...

Depth of Field


Dongbei’s Last Match Factory, Capital Straphangers, Retracing the Long March...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
In October, several publications marked the 80th Anniversary of the Chinese Communists’ Long March. We have chosen two stories that revisited this event and that were standouts, visually. Elsewhere, photographers followed stories both large and...

Depth of Field


Over-Protective Mothers, E-cigarettes, Sports Hunting, and More

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
A photojournalist’s job is to capture the unique and the universal—to portray brief moments that tell individual stories, yet are instantly relatable to a wide audience. The delightful task of curating that type of Chinese photojournalism is the...




Taiwan’s China Dilemma

Syaru Shirley Lin
China and Taiwan share one of the world’s most complex international relationships. Although similar cultures and economic interests have promoted an explosion of economic ties between them since the late 1980s, these ties have not led to an improved political relationship, let alone progress toward the unification that both governments once claimed to seek. In addition, Taiwan’s recent Sunflower Movement succeeded in obstructing deeper economic ties with China. Why has Taiwan’s policy toward China been so inconsistent?Taiwan’s China Dilemma explains the divergence between the development of economic and political relations across the Taiwan Strait through the interplay of national identity and economic interests. Using primary sources, opinion surveys, and interviews with Taiwanese opinion leaders, Syaru Shirley Lin paints a vivid picture of one of the most unsettled and dangerous relationships in the contemporary world, and illustrates the growing backlash against economic liberalization and regional economic integration around the world. —Stanford University Press{chop}



The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom
This lavishly illustrated volume explores the history of China during a period of dramatic shifts and surprising transformations, from the founding of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) through to the present day.The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China promises to be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this rising superpower on the verge of what promises to be the “Chinese century,” introducing readers to important but often overlooked events in China’s past, such as the bloody Taiping Civil War (1850-1864), which had a death toll far higher than the roughly contemporaneous American Civil War. It also helps readers see more familiar landmarks in Chinese history in new ways, such as the Opium War (1839-1842), the Boxer Uprising of 1900, the rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, and the Tiananmen protests and Beijing Massacre of 1989.This is one of the first major efforts—and in many ways the most ambitious to date—to come to terms with the broad sweep of modern Chinese history, taking readers from the origins of modern China right up through the dramatic events of the last few years (the Beijing Games, the financial crisis, and China’s rise to global economic pre-eminence) which have so fundamentally altered Western views of China and China’s place in the world. —Oxford University Press{chop}

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