(AFP/Getty Images)

In China, Organic Food Is Gaining Ground

via Tea Leaf Nation

Wan Li, a young Beijing professional in her late 20s, is at her desk when her cell phone rings. She picks up. “North entrance?” She confirms. “I’ll be right out.” An electric delivery scooter has just pulled up to Wan’s office with her order of tomatoes and Chinese spinach from Emerald Bay Farm, an eight-acre farm located in the northeast outskirts of Beijing. Though not organically certified, Emerald Bay grows vegetables without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, on land not previously used for industrial purposes, and draws groundwater from the nearby Shunyi mountain range.With a bag of fresh produce in hand, Wan returns to the office with a smile, already eager for the...

Joe Raedle—Getty Images

What Should the U.S. Presidential Candidates Be Saying on China?

A ChinaFile Conversation

Winston Lord, Orville Schell & more via ChinaFile Conversation

Barely eight weeks before the United States presidential election, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump have said surprisingly little about how they plan to address China—in areas ranging from the global economy and security to the sustainability of our planet. To kick off this week’s conversation, former Ambassador to China Winston Lord and ChinaFile publisher Orville Schell talked with Emily Parker, a journalist who has written extensively about China, in a public program designed to spark a discussion about how Washington should engage Beijing under the next administration.

Sim Chi Yin—VII Photo

The People in Retreat

An Interview with Ai Xiaoming

Ian Johnson via New York Review of Books

Ai Xiaoming is one of China’s leading documentary filmmakers and political activists. Since 2004, she has made more than two dozen films, many of them long, gritty documentaries that detail citizen activism or uncover whitewashed historical events. Among them are Taishi Village, which recounts the efforts of farmers to remove a corrupt party secretary; The Epic of the Central Plains, which tells the story of an AIDS village in Henan province; a five-part series on the 2008 Beichuan Earthquake that focuses on the efforts of activist Tan Zuoren; and, most recently, a five-part documentary on Jiabiangou—a labor camp for political prisoners where thousands died of famine in the Great Leap...

Atsushi Tomura—Getty Images

Obama’s Asia Legacy

A China in the World Podcast

Paul Haenle & Michael Green via Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

As President Obama enters his final months in office and a new administration prepares to take the helm in 2017, what will his legacy be in the Asia-Pacific? In this podcast, Paul Haenle and Michael Green, former senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council under President George W. Bush, analyze the successes and failures of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” and what approaches the next administration could take to solve ongoing issues, such as tension in the South China Sea, Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and North Korea’s continued nuclear development.Green argues that while President Obama achieved his policy objectives during his final trip to the region, the next...

Bryan Thomas—Getty Images

What is the Chinese-American Identity?

A Sinica Podcast

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn via Sinica Podcast

What is the Chinese-American identity? How has the rise of China affected American attitudes toward ethnically Chinese people in the United States and elsewhere? How do the 3.8 million Chinese-Americans impact U.S.-China relations, and what role could or should they play in easing tensions between the two great powers?This episode is a conversation with Frank H. Wu, Chair of the Committee of 100, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging constructive relations between the people of the United States and Greater China, and to promoting the participation of Chinese-Americans in all areas of U.S. life. Wu is also a distinguished professor at the University of California, Hastings...

Mark Makela—Getty Images

Chinese Spending Can Help Create Jobs in the United States

By Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

via Caixin

Trade does result in very real and serious job losses, while its benefits are spread more broadly over the entire U.S. economy. Yet many job losses are not a result of trade; they are actually driven by productivity gains related to rapid advancements in technology, a powerful force disrupting labor markets globally and affecting numerous countries, including the United States and China.Capital flows between the two countries are already substantial. But in the past, the vast majority of Chinese capital flows into the U.S. market were paper transactions involving the purchase of securities, particularly U.S. Treasuries, not direct investments that involved the hiring of U.S. workers or the...

Jiang Mei for ChinaFile/The Intercept

China’s Teflon Toxin Problem

Sharon Lerner via Intercept

Since the late 1970s, the chemical industry has been at the heart of China’s dazzling growth. And as regulations increase around the world, many toxic chemicals wind up coming to China just to die a slow death. Teflon—the slippery substance used in dental floss, textile fibers, wire and cable insulation, and hundreds of other products, including nonstick cookware—is one of them.


Recent Stories



Can China’s Best Newspaper Survive?

Isaac Stone Fish, David Schlesinger & more
On September 9, the South China Morning Post’s Chinese-language website went dark with little explanation, leading to concerns that censorship might next spread to the newspaper’s English-language coverage. Can Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, who has...



The Destruction of Baishizhou

Eli MacKinnon
Early this spring, the Chinese character for “demolish” (“拆”) showed up in red spray paint on a strip of shops in Shenzhen’s Baishizhou neighborhood. Wang An, 41, has been selling women’s underwear from one of these shops for the last 10 years. “...



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...



Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s new interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that China’s President, Xi Jinping, launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about nearly 1,500 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources.



Mao the Man, Mao the God

Sergey Radchenko
Mao Zedong was dying a slow, agonizing death. Diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in July 1974, he gradually lost control of his motor functions. His gait was unsure. He slurred his speech and panted heavily. The decline was...

Who Is Kim Jong-un?

Andrew J. Nathan from New York Review of Books
The pudgy cheeks and flaring hairdo of North Korea’s young ruler Kim Jong-un, his bromance with tattooed and pierced former basketball star Dennis Rodman, his boy-on-a-lark grin at missile firings, combine incongruously with the regime’s pledge to...

Photography and Video

Depth of Field


African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...




Creativity Class

Lily Chumley
The last three decades have seen a massive expansion of China’s visual culture industries, from architecture and graphic design to fine art and fashion. New ideologies of creativity and creative practices have reshaped the training of a new generation of art school graduates. Creativity Class is the first book to explore how Chinese art students develop, embody, and promote their own personalities and styles as they move from art school entrance test preparation, to art school, to work in the country’s burgeoning culture industries. Lily Chumley shows the connections between this creative explosion and the Chinese government’s explicit goal of cultivating creative human capital in a new “market socialist” economy where value is produced through innovation.Drawing on years of fieldwork in China’s leading art academies and art test prep schools, Chumley combines ethnography and oral history with analyses of contemporary avant-garde and official art, popular media, and propaganda. Examining the rise of a Chinese artistic vanguard and creative knowledge-based economy, Creativity Class sheds light on an important facet of today’s China. —Princeton University Press{chop}



John Birch

Terry Lautz
John Birch was better known in death than life. Shot and killed by Communists in China in 1945, he posthumously became the namesake for a right-wing organization whose influence is still visible in today’s Tea Party. This is the remarkable story of who he actually was: an American missionary-turned-soldier who wanted to save China, but instead became a victim. Terry Lautz, a longtime scholar of U.S.-China relations, has investigated archives, spoken with three of Birch’s brothers, found letters written to the women he loved, and visited sites in China where he lived and died. The result, John Birch: A Life, is the first authoritative biography of this fascinating figure whose name was appropriated for a political cause.Raised as a Baptist fundamentalist, Birch became a missionary to China prior to America’s entry into the Second World War. After Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for the U.S. Army in China, served with Claire Chennault, Commander of the famed Flying Tigers, and operated behind enemy lines as an intelligence officer. He planned to resume his missionary work after the war, but was killed in a dispute with Communist troops just days after Japan’s surrender. During the heyday of the Cold War in the 1950s, Robert Welch, a retired businessman from Boston, chose Birch as the figurehead for the John Birch Society, believing that his death was evidence of conspiracy at the highest levels of government. The Birch Society became one of the most polarizing organizations of its time, and the name of John Birch became synonymous with right-wing extremism.Cutting through the layers of mythology surrounding Birch, Lautz deftly presents his life and his afterlife, placing him not only in the context of anti-communism but in the longstanding American quest to shape China’s destiny. —Oxford University Press{chop}




Censorship and Conscience

Alexa Olesen
Alexa Olesen
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...



Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China

Robert D. Blackwill, Ashley J. Tellis
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”...

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