• Thomas Peter—Pool/Getty Images

    What Would a Larger Chinese Presence Mean for the Middle East?

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Lindsey Ford, Daniel Kliman & more via ChinaFile Conversation

    China’s steady expansion of its Middle East footprint and influence poses significant questions for U.S. policymakers. The Middle East has long been a battleground for strategic competition between both regional and global powers. Is it poised to again emerge as a zone of great-power competition, between the United States and China? Or as U.S. policymakers debate how to bring stability to the Middle East, should the United States encourage China’s more active engagement and presence in the... Read full story>>

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    The U.S. Recently Erected a New Hurdle to U.S.-China Academic Cooperation. Here’s What It Might Mean

    Julian G. Ku

    A recent move by the U.S. Department of Commerce reminds us that academic relationships are not immune from the effects of deteriorating U.S.-China relations. In April 2019, the Department included several Chinese universities on its Unverified List (UVL)—most notably, Renmin and Tongji Universities, prestigious, highly ranked schools with many ties abroad. While being placed on the UVL is not the most serious action the U.S. government can take against a Chinese university, the UVL episode... Read full story>>

  • Anthony Kwan—Getty Images

    Will Hong Kong Unravel?

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Ho-fung Hung, Thomas Kellogg & more via ChinaFile Conversation

    Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong, Wang Zhimin, called the protests a “life and death war” and compared them to the “color revolutions.” Coming a week after Hong Kong police charged 44 people with rioting and days after strikes paralyzed parts of the city, the comments are the latest salvo in an intensifying dispute between Hong Kong protesters and their government. Over the last few months, millions of Hongkongers have taken to the streets—some calling for more democracy, or the shelving of... Read full story>>

  • Eduardo Munoz Alvarez—Getty Images

    How Should the U.S. Government Treat Chinese Students in America?

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Siqi Tu, Mary Gallagher & more via ChinaFile Conversation

    The State Department’s top education official Marie Royce gave a speech entitled “The United States Welcomes Chinese Students.” In it, she quoted recent remarks from Donald Trump, who said, “We want to have Chinese students come and use our great schools, our great universities. They have been great students and tremendous assets.” However, the remarks come amidst growing tensions between the two nations. On June 3, an official from China’s Ministry of Education warned students about the “risks... Read full story>>

  • Todd R. Darling for ChinaFile

    ‘I Love HK but Hate It at the Same Time’

    Portraits of Hong Kong Identity

    Todd R. Darling

    A central issue many of the Hong Kong people in my portraits are wrestling with is how to define an identity and being challenged in that pursuit by cultural, social, or political pressures. There is a lot of frustration and anger over the recent attempted implementation of an extradition law allowing people in Hong Kong to be tried in mainland China, and over alleged police brutality during subsequent protests. This is apparent in one particular portrait where a subject posed with a gun to... Read full story>>

  • Badiucao for ChinaFile

    ‘Once Their Mental State Is Healthy, They Will Be Able to Live Happily in Society’

    How China’s Government Conflates Uighur Identity with Mental Illness

    Timothy Grose

    We should pause before impetuously tracing the practice of describing Islam as an illness, disease, or even cancer to “Western” politicians. While the United States-led “War on Terror” and subsequent global anxieties over Islam have undeniably emboldened the C.C.P. to act with impudence toward Turkic Muslim populations, we must also recognize a history of C.C.P. attempts to pathologize any culture that poses a political threat. Read full story>>

  • Wang He—Getty Images

    What Role Will Intellectuals Play in China’s Future?

    Sebastian Veg

    As we commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of China’s 1989 democracy movement, it is hard to imagine students and intellectuals playing a similar role today. In China’s highly marketized and politically controlled society, the space for intellectual inquiry and public intervention seems to have dwindled almost to the point of disappearing. It has often been argued that, over the course of the last century, Chinese intellectuals went from serving the state to serving the market, without ever... Read full story>>

  • Lintao Zhang—Getty Images

    China’s ‘Black Week-end’

    Ian Johnson via New York Review of Books

    When Chinese law professor Xu Zhangrun began publishing articles last year criticizing the government’s turn toward a harsher variety of authoritarianism, it seemed inevitable that he would be swiftly silenced. But then, remarkably, dozens of prominent citizens began speaking up. Some signed a petition, others wrote essays and poems in Xu’s support, and one wrote a song. To anyone familiar with Chinese politics, the reference was clear: the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on the... Read full story>>

  • Fred Dufour—POOL/Getty Images

    Is South America China’s ‘New Africa’?

    A China in Africa Podcast

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

    At first glance, China’s engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) looks a lot like what it’s doing in Africa. Just as China surpassed Europe as Africa’s largest trading partner, China has become the top trading partner of several LAC countries, including Brazil, Chile, Peru, and others. While China’s trade with Africa dipped significantly between 2015 and 2017, only this past year regaining a similar level to 2015, it’s a different story in the Americas, where trade has steadily... Read full story>>

Recent Stories

Conversation

06.19.19

Hong Kong in Protest

David Schlesinger, Ho-fung Hung & more
On June 16, an estimated 2 million people took to the streets to protest the Hong Kong government’s handling of a proposed extradition bill. This followed two massive demonstrations against the bill earlier in the month, including one where police...

Conversation

07.08.19

The Other Tiananmen Papers

David Shambaugh, Evan Medeiros & more
In the wake of the lethal use of force by China’s military against demonstrators in Tiananmen Square and citizens of Beijing on June 4, 1989, the United States and other governments were confronted with a series of vexing moral and policy questions...

China-India Relations One Year After the Wuhan Summit

Paul Haenle, Rudra Chaudhuri & more from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
In May 2018, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Wuhan for an informal summit that many say helped reset the relationship following the Doklam crisis. In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Rudra Chaudhuri, Director of...

Viewpoint

06.19.19

What Does the Pause of Hong Kong’s Extradition Bill Mean?

Jerome A. Cohen
The Hong Kong people’s historic mass protests during the past 10 days have demonstrated their awareness that the now suspended extradition bill proposed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam represented a threat to Hong Kong’s promised “high degree of...

Viewpoint

07.18.19

‘See, They Are So Happy with Our Generosity!’

Yaqiu Wang
On June 22, in Sihanoukville, a port city in southwest Cambodia, a Chinese-owned building under construction collapsed, killing at least 28 people, all Cambodians. The owner had undertaken the construction without the required permit, and defied...

Photography & Video

Photo Gallery

07.24.19

‘I Love HK but Hate It at the Same Time’

Todd R. Darling
A central issue many of the Hong Kong people in my portraits are wrestling with is how to define an identity and being challenged in that pursuit by cultural, social, or political pressures. There is a lot of frustration and anger over the recent...

Depth of Field

07.01.19

The Journey of a Bra

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Many of the photo stories in this edition of Depth of Field cover issues relating to women and gender, including a piece on women from Madagascar married to men in rural Zhejiang province, artistic photo collaborations with women and men who have...

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

08.01.19

Active Defense

M. Taylor Fravel
Princeton University Press: Since the 1949 Communist Revolution, China has devised nine different military strategies, which the People’s Liberation Army (P.L.A.) calls “strategic guidelines.” What accounts for these numerous changes? Active Defense offers the first systematic look at China’s military strategy from the mid-20th century to today. Exploring the range and intensity of threats that China has faced, M. Taylor Fravel illuminates the nation’s past and present military goals and how China sought to achieve them, and offers a rich set of cases for deepening the study of change in military organizations.Drawing from diverse Chinese-language sources, including memoirs of leading generals, military histories, and document collections that have become available only in the last two decades, Fravel shows why transformations in military strategy were pursued at certain times and not others. He focuses on the military strategies adopted in 1956, 1980, and 1993—when the P.L.A. was attempting to wage war in a new kind of way—to show that China has pursued major change in its strategic guidelines when there has been a significant shift in the conduct of warfare in the international system and when the Chinese Communist Party has been united.Delving into the security threats China has faced over the last seven decades, Active Defense offers a detailed investigation into how and why states alter their defense policies.{chop}

Books

06.24.19

China, Trade and Power

Stewart Paterson
London Publishing Partnership: Few people could tell you what happened on December 11, 2001, yet China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will define the geopolitics of the 21st century. What were Western leaders thinking at the time?This book tells the story of the most successful trading nation of the early 21st century. It looks at how the Chinese Communist Party has retained and cemented its monopoly of political power, producing unimagined riches for the political elite. It is the most extraordinary economic success story of our time, and it has reshaped the geopolitics not just of Asia but of the world. As China has come to dominate global manufacturing, its power and influence has grown. This economic power is being translated into political power, and the West now has a global rival that is politically antithetical to liberal values.Meanwhile, economic liberalism has lost its moral foundation, in part because economic outcomes are not perceived to be the result of fair competition. The weaknesses of the West’s democratic model are being laid bare as a lack of wage growth coupled with a policy of inflation targeting by Western central banks has led to falling real incomes for the many, and rising asset prices that have benefited the few.In order to have a fighting chance of protecting the freedoms of liberal democracies, it is of the utmost importance that we understand how the policy of indulgent engagement with China has affected Western society in recent years. Only then will the West be able to change direction for the better, and row back from the harmful consequences of China’s accession to the WTO.{chop}

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