• Yan Cong

    If China Builds It, Will the Arab World Come?

    Kyle Haddad-Fonda In May 2016, the Emirates airline inaugurated its new direct service to the Chinese city of Yinchuan. Yinchuan joins Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou as destinations served by Emirates, meaning that a passenger who boards a plane in Dubai is now able to fly nonstop to China’s first, second, third, or 71st most populous urban area.Yinchuan, situated on the loess-covered floodplain of the Yellow River in the autonomous region of Ningxia, nearly 600 miles west of Beijing and far from China’s... Read full story>>
  • (China Photos/Getty Images)

    How Should Global Stakeholders Respond to China’s New NGO Management Law?

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Sebastian Heilmann , Thomas Kellogg & more A new law gives broad powers to China’s police in regulating and surveilling the activities of foreign NGOs in China. The law would require foreign groups including foundations, charities, advocacy organizations, and academic exchange programs to register with the Public Security Bureau, as well as submit to a host of provisions regulating the groups’ finances, hiring practices, and activities. How should stakeholders around the world respond to the law? Read full story>>
  • A Revolutionary Discovery in China

    Ian Johnson via New York Review of Books 1.As Beijing prepared to host the 2008 Olympics, a small drama was unfolding in Hong Kong. Two years earlier, middlemen had come into possession of a batch of waterlogged manuscripts that had been unearthed by tomb robbers in south-central China. The documents had been smuggled to Hong Kong and were lying in a vault, waiting for a buyer.Universities and museums around the Chinese world were interested but reluctant to buy. The documents were written on hundreds of strips of bamboo, about the... Read full story>>
  • (AFP/Getty Images)

    Race, Culture, and the Politics of Being Black in China

    A China in Africa Podcast

    Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more Being black in China is not easy, but it’s not as bad as many would have you think, according to our two guests this week, who are both black immigrants currently living in Beijing. Sure, people stare a lot and there are often some inappropriate questions about hair and skin color, but more often than not, says Black Lives in China creator Nicole Bonnah, those awkward questions come from a good place: curiosity.Nicole, originally from the United Kingdom, is a Beijing-based journalist who is... Read full story>>
  • (AFP/Getty Images)

    Vaccine Scandal Rocks China

    David O’Connor China was rocked last month by another public health scandal, after Chinese police announced the discovery of a criminal organization selling millions of improperly stored vaccines in 24 provinces and municipalities. The affected vaccines have a total value of 570 million yuan (U.S.$88 million) and include many of the most common inoculations, ranging from hepatitis to rabies. While the vaccines were made by approved manufacturers, police reported that they were not refrigerated or transported... Read full story>>
  • Peter Parks—AFP/Getty Images

    Scandal Highlights China’s Weak Environmental Enforcement

    Hundreds of Children Poisoned in Changzhou, Government Promises Crackdown & New Law

    via chinadialogue For many Chinese, the country’s soil pollution crisis has become increasingly acute in recent weeks after several hundred children fell ill from attending a school built close to a former fertilizer factory.Almost 500 students at the Changzhou Foreign Languages School suffered symptoms such as skin inflammation, eczema, and bronchitis after taking lessons at a school that had only been open for six months, raising questions about what the school authorities knew.The school was built close to a... Read full story>>
  • CCTV

    Xi Jinping’s New Military Position

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Andrew J. Nathan & Tai Ming Cheung Late last week, China’s news media were filled with images of President and Party General Secretary Xi Jinping touring the joint battle command center of the Central Military Commission, dressed for the occasion in combat fatigues. The occasion for the visit and for the special attire was Xi’s assumption of a new title, Commander in Chief of China’s Military, a position he now holds in addition to his role as Chairman of the Central Military Commission. What does this new status and the manner... Read full story>>
  • Jin Silu—Tencent

    April’s Best Chinese Photojournalism

    Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more via Yuanjin Photo Over the past few weeks, the publications Sina, Tencent, Caixin, China Youth Daily, and the publishing duo Sixth Tone/The Paper published photo stories on the intimate, the industrial, the private, and the political. Journalists Yan Cong and Ye Ming have rounded up the best documentary photography of the month published in China by Chinese photographers. Follow the links to see each gallery, with captions in Chinese.Pet Burial in China | Sina{photo, 25671, 4}Untouchable Husbands: Stories of Gay... Read full story>>

Recent Stories



Fifty Years Later, How Is the Cultural Revolution Still Present in Life in China?

Guobin Yang, Federico Pachetti & more
Fifty years ago this May 16, Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a chaotic, terrifying, and often deadly decade-long campaign to “purify” C.C.P. ideology and reassert his political dominance...



Drinking the Northwest Wind

Sharron Lovell, Tom Wang & more
Like so many of Mao’s pronouncements, it sounded simple. “The South has a lot of water; the North lacks water. So if it can be done, borrowing a little water and bringing it up might do the trick.” And thus, in 1952, the foundation was laid for what...



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.



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...

Photography and Video

Depth of Field


Meet ‘Depth of Field’: The Month’s Best Chinese Photojournalism

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Welcome to ChinaFile’s inaugural “Depth of Field” column. In collaboration with Yuanjin Photo, an independent photo blog published by photographers Yan Cong and Ye Ming on the Chinese social media platform WeChat, we will highlight new and...





Duncan Clark
In just a decade and half, Jack Ma, a man from modest beginnings who started out as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into one of the world’s largest companies, an e-commerce empire on which hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend. Alibaba’s $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the largest global IPO ever. A Rockefeller of his age who is courted by CEOs and Presidents around the world, Jack is an icon for China’s booming private sector and the gatekeeper to hundreds of millions of middle class consumers.Duncan Clark first met Jack in 1999 in the small apartment where Jack founded Alibaba. Granted unprecedented access to a wealth of new material, including exclusive interviews, Clark draws on his own experience as an early adviser to Alibaba and two decades in China chronicling the Internet’s impact on the country to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of Alibaba’s rise.How did Jack overcome his humble origins and early failures to achieve massive success with Alibaba? How did he outsmart rival entrepreneurs from China and Silicon Valley? Can Alibaba maintain its 80 percent market share? As it forges ahead into finance and entertainment, are there limits to Alibaba’s ambitions? How does the Chinese government view its rise? Will Alibaba expand further overseas, including in the U.S.? Clark tells Alibaba’s tale in the context of China’s momentous economic and social changes, illuminating an unlikely corporate titan as never before. —HarperCollins{chop}



China’s Future

David Shambaugh
China’s future arguably is the most consequential question in global affairs. Having enjoyed unprecedented levels of growth, China is at a critical juncture in the development of its economy, society, polity, national security, and international relations. The direction the nation takes at this turning point will determine whether it stalls or continues to develop and prosper.Will China be successful in implementing a new wave of transformational reforms that could last decades and make it the world’s leading superpower? Or will its leaders shy away from the drastic changes required because the regime’s power is at risk? If so, will that lead to prolonged stagnation or even regime collapse? Might China move down a more liberal or even democratic path? Or will China instead emerge as a hard, authoritarian, and aggressive superstate?In this new book, David Shambaugh argues that these potential pathways are all possibilities—but they depend on key decisions yet to be made by China’s leaders, different pressures from within Chinese society, as well as actions taken by other nations. Assessing these scenarios and their implications, he offers a thoughtful and clear study of China’s future for all those seeking to understand the country’s likely trajectory over the coming decade and beyond. —Polity 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”...

Around the Web

Baidu Should Have Even Higher Standards Than Google, Because It's All China's Citizens Have

Many believe Baidu's claims that it performs strict due diligence before accepting ads......


Reinventing China's Abortion Police

Family planning officers were trained for new jobs as teachers of parents and grandparents how to develop toddlers' minds by talking, singing and reading......


As Trump Becomes Presumptive Nominee, China Urges Objectivity

"We hope people in all fields can rationally and objectively view this relationship." Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said......


Philippine Front-Runner Duterte Floats New Tactic in South China Sea Dispute

Davao City mayor’s proposal is at odds with U.S.’s multilateral response on maritime disputes....

Wall Street Journal

China Turns to Song and Dance in Thanking Workers on Disputed Island

One of the most applauded songs of the evening was “This Is the Kind of Man We Want to Marry.”...

New York Times

Meet China's RoboCop: The Robot Police Officer Who Doesn't Tire—or Second-Guess Commands

Defence researchers have developed AnBot, a robot that can seize suspects and deliver shocks....

South China Morning Post