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The China-Vietnam Standoff: How Will It End?

The China-Vietnam Standoff: How Will It End?

A ChinaFile Conversation

Daniel Kliman:

Five thousand miles from Ukraine, off the coast of Vietnam, China is taking a page from Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s playbook. Beijing’s recent placement of a huge oil drilling rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea leverages a similar set of tactics. In Ukraine, Russia targeted a weak, non-U.S. ally on its frontier, using paramilitary forces to avoid the appearance of naked aggression as long as possible. In the South China Sea, Beijing is trying to press its territorial claims on Vietnam, a militarily inferior neighbor that does not have an American alliance to fall back upon. Beijing, like Moscow, has also deployed force opaquely, denying that the armada of 80 ships accompanying the rig includes any military vessels.

In Crimea, this form of gray aggression succeeded, but in the South China Sea, it may not. The stakes for China are significant, starting with control of energy resources and ending with a more distant but compelling goal – the creation of a new order in Asia. Yet the near-term stakes are much higher for Vietnam: sovereignty and self-respect. And China is trying to apply Putin’s playbook to a more difficult target. Vietnam, in contrast to Ukraine, is not plagued by internal divisions, and its government has recently invested in military upgrades.

Vietnam has not shied away from escalation in the past, and its pledge to “apply all necessary and suitable measures to defend its rights and legitimate interests” should be taken seriously. It is likely that Vietnam will first press its case through international law and through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which it is a member. But if such steps fail and China moves forward with drilling, a military confrontation is not out of the question. China would likely win an armed clash, but it could prove an empty victory, pushing Beijing’s fearful neighbors to build up their militaries and pursue even closer ties with the United States.

Responses

Ely Ratner

Ely Ratner is Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He is the author most recently of “Resident Power: Building a Politically Sustainable U.S. Military Presence in Southeast Asia and Australia” (Center for a New American Security, 2013). Prior to joining CNAS, he served on the China Desk at the State Department as the lead political officer covering China’s external relations in Asia. He has also worked as an Associate Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation and as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His commentary and research have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Quarterly, The National Interest, Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, and Chinese Journal of International Politics, among others. He received a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Although unquestionably dramatic and serious, the current standoff between China and Vietnam is perhaps less dangerous than a similar crisis would be elsewhere in Asia. For starters, the two governments have close and relatively positive relations, a far cry from the enmity and poor communications that characterize Beijing’s current ties with Manila and Tokyo.

In addition, Vietnam is not a defense treaty ally of the United States, which removes the elements of adventurism, miscalculation and escalation that cast an ominous shadow over China’s maritime disputes with Japan and the Philippines. Vietnam itself, and then ASEAN as an institution, are likely to feature as the most prominent protagonists well before the United States plays an active and consequential role.

Still, this incident highlights two emergent features of China’s foreign policy behavior that are deeply troubling.

First, the Chinese Communist Party appears increasingly unable to reconcile predominant political and economic goals of securing its sovereignty aims while sustaining a peaceful regional security environment. There was considerable expectation (even if based more on aspiration than analysis) that President Xi Jinping would exact policies that more gracefully toed the line between these contradictory goals. These hopes were reinforced by his now famous speech on “peripheral diplomacy” in October 2013, which appeared to presage a return to China’s charm offensive that defined its approach to Southeast Asia in the mid-2000s.

But that hasn’t transpired, and instead we’ve seen China engage in bearish and clumsy actions that have raised concerns not just in Tokyo and Manila, but also Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and now Hanoi. At the end of the day, this means that domestic bureaucratic and political imperatives are overcoming the logic of strategy in Beijing, a dangerous development for outsiders hoping that relative costs and benefits (not politics and nationalism) will shape China’s decision-making on its territorial disputes.

Second, the oil rig incident means that we can finally stop talking about Chinese assertiveness as reactive, which was more appropriate two years ago when Japan’s “nationalization” of the Senkaku Islands and the Philippines use of a naval vessel at Scarborough Reef spurred China into action. At the time, Chinese officials were quick to point out that other countries had taken the first step. And the principal critique of China’s responses was that they were disproportionate and escalatory, but not necessarily unprovoked.

This excuse is no longer viable. Even though President Xi himself continues to assert that China is simply reacting to the provocations of others, this is now an empirical fallacy after the announcement of the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea last November and now this assertion of sovereignty against Vietnam. Rather than even waiting for pretexts to advance its sovereignty claims, China is now making first moves without provocation.

These two troubling elements paint the picture of a country whose foreign policy is untethered from strategic logic and increasingly engaging in preemptive revisionism. Not good news for peace and stability in maritime Asia.

Orville Schell

Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and Dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Schell is the author of fifteen books, ten of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes. His most recent books are Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century (Random House, 2013) (co-authored with John Delury), Virtual Tibet: Searching for Shangri-La from the Himalayas to Hollywood (Metropolitan Books, 2000), The China Reader: The Reform Years (Vintage, 1998), and Mandate of Heaven: The Legacy of Tiananmen Square and the Next Generation of China's Leaders (Simon & Schuster, 1994). He is also a contributor to such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Granta, Wired, Newsweek, Mother Jones, The China Quarterly, and The New York Review of Books.Schell graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in Far Eastern History, was an exchange student at National Taiwan University in the 1960s, and earned a Ph.D. (Abd) at the University of California, Berkeley in Chinese History. He worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, covered the war in Indochina as a journalist, and has traveled widely in China since the mid-1970s.He is a Fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications at USC, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Schell was a Fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and the recipient of many prizes and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Overseas Press Club Award, and the Harvard-Stanford Shorenstein Prize in Asian Journalism.

What is most troublesome about the conflicts that have recently arisen out of the maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas (between China and Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and now even Indonesia) is that they involve the issue of sovereignty. This is a serious matter because, for China at least, the question of "territorial integrity" brooks no compromise, which means that there is very limited room left for its diplomats to negotiate, much less compromise. This rigidity, which has deep historical roots, is fed by China's extreme sensitivity to issues which it views involving any blush of territorial encroachment.

One of the quite distinct elements of Party General Secretary Xi Jinping's new forward foreign policy is a posture that grows out of what might be called a "never again" Chinese attitude that arises from and important part of the "China dream,” namely that after more than a century of suffering incursion, quasi-colonialization, foreign occupation, "unequal treaties" and other forms of predation by stronger counties, now that China is strong, it should never again allow itself to compromise (especially under pressure from the "Great Powers") on questions of its territorial integrity.

But, as others in this discussion have already noted, to make matters even more intractable, China's new muscular posture in confronting its neighbors seems to have been indirectly, at least, encouraged by Putin's very aggressive, even belligerent, attitude towards regaining what he considers Russian rightful territory in the Ukraine. China and Russia have not signed any formal treaty. And the Chinese leadership is very ambivalent about any country’s unilaterally invading another (lest that give invitation for some outside power to intrude into the Tibet, Xinjiang or even Taiwan imbroglios). Still, there is little doubt that Chinese leaders feel a good deal of affinity with Putin's urge to stand up the arrogant West and Japan whenever possible.

Because of the West's sanctimonious and dismissive attitudes first towards the "Communist bloc" countries and then our condescending attitudes towards post-reform and “post-Perestroika" movements that ended up with latter-day Leninist authoritarian political systems in both Beijing and Moscow, there are significant reservoirs of historical resentment against countries belonging to what was quaintly known as "the free world" during the Cold War. While Chinese and Russian leaders have a wariness about each other that goes back to the earliest days of Sun Yat–sen's United Front with the Comintern and Mao Zedong's later reluctant subservience to the USSR as China's "socialist big brother," now they have come to share what we might characterize as a fraternity of a similar "victim kultur." The leaders of both nations see themselves as deeply aggrieved by both "the West" and Japan, and thus have a natural inclination to prove to the world, whenever they can, that they will not only no longer allow themselves to be hectored, bullied, pressured or pushed around, but will also not be deterred from consolidating what they view as their historical right to reconsolidate and regain lost territories.

Indeed, this may be the fault line on which a new kind of post-Cold War cold war begins to emerge. Such an alliance could be quite dangerous, not because Moscow and Beijing share so much actual concrete common interest (although they do have a 4,000 mile-long common border), but because they share a common and very deep wellspring of similar aggrieved national sentiment. And sometimes, it is such inchoate sentiment that proves more powerful and disruptive in world affairs than hard-nosed calculations real national interest.

Susan Shirk

Susan L. Shirk is the chair of the 21st Century China Program and Ho Miu Lam Professor of China and Pacific Relations at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at UC San Diego.  She also is director emeritus of the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Currently she is an Arthur Ross Fellow at Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations.From 1997 to 2000, Shirk served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mongolia.Shirk’s most recent publications are her edited book, Changing Media, Changing China (Oxford, 2011) and China: Fragile Superpower (Oxford, 2007).

We need to view China’s actions with clear eyes. Orville, I think it’s a mistake to distort our perceptions by drawing connections between how China behaves in Asia and how Russia behaves in Europe. The regional neighborhood in Asia is complicated enough without adding extraneous factors that may only be in our own minds.

What’s more salient is the point that Ely Ratner makes about how planting the huge oil rig off the Vietnamese coast, like the announcement of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, shows that China is making peremptory first moves to assert its maritime sovereignty claims, not merely acting reactively. China is defending its actions by saying that dispatching its rig to start exploratory drilling is only a normal progression from the 2D and 3D seismic surveys it already did in this area. That is undoubtedly what the oil company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation or CNOOC, says to the decision-makers in Beijing. But given the contested nature of the location—15 miles off one of the southern Paracel Islands that China seized from Vietnam by force in 1974 and 120 miles off the main coast of Vietnam—and the large armada of 80 government ships that accompanied the massive rig—it’s certainly not business as usual.

The diplomats in the Chinese Foreign Ministry, especially Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who crafted China’s very successful strategy to reassure Asian countries about China’s friendly intentions during 1996-2009 and is trying to revive the strategy now under Xi Jinping, must be well aware that such high-profile assertions of sovereignty will provoke a backlash among China’s worried neighbors. When ASEAN meets next week, the Southeast Asian countries will certainly be pointing fingers at China, as Taylor Fravel predicts in his very informative Q & A with The New York Times. But the Foreign Ministry’s voice no longer dominates the foreign policy process.

What China’s actions reflect, as Ely Ratner says, is the very dangerous possibility that Chinese security policy has become “untethered from strategic logic.” In other words, domestic bureaucratic interest groups and nationalist public opinion are driving toward over-expansion of sovereignty claims in a manner that could actually harm China’s overall national security interests.

Carlyle A. Thayer

Carlyle A. Thayer is Emeritus Professor, The University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Thayer is a Southeast Asia regional specialist with special expertise on Vietnam. He is the author of Southeast Asia: Patterns of Security Cooperation (Canberra: Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 2012). He writes a weekly column on Southeast Asian defense and security affairs for the The Diplomat. He has held senior appointments at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London; Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu; School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Center for International Affairs, Ohio University; Australian Command and Staff College; and the Center for Defence and Strategic Studies at the Australian Defence College. Thayer was educated at Brown, holds an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from Yale and a PhD in International Relations from The Australian National University. He was in Hanoi when the Chinese oil rig crisis off Vietnam first broke out in May 2014.

There are three possible interpretations for China’s decision to deploy the giant HD-981 oil rig to Block 143 inside Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone. These interpretations are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

The first interpretation posits that the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) decided to conduct commercial exploration activities in blocks it had put out to tender in response to Vietnam’s adoption of the Law on the Sea in mid-2012. As Susan Shirk notes CNOOC had already carried out seismic surveys and was likely following up.

This interpretation is questionable given the size and composition of the fleet of 80 Chinese ships and vessels that accompanied the oil rig. As Shirk observes this was “certainly not business as usual.” Indeed, diplomats in Beijing report that CNOOC officials were ordered to deploy the rig despite their misgivings about the high daily costs and the low evaluation of Block 143 as a source of oil and gas reserves.

The second interpretation argues that CNOOC’s actions were in response to the operations by U.S. oil giant ExxonMobile in nearby blocks. This interpretation too seems unlikely. ExxonMobile has been operating in Block 119 since 2011 despite initial Chinese protests. It is unclear how the operations of a Chinese oil rig in Block 143 would deter ExxonMobile from operating elsewhere.

The third interpretation stresses the geo-political motivations behind China’s actions. The deployment of the CNOOC mega rig was a pre-planned response to President Barack Obama’s recent visit to East Asia. China was angered by Obama’s support for both Japan and the Philippines in their territorial disputes with Beijing. Therefore China manufactured the oil rig crisis to demonstrate to regional states that the United States was a “paper tiger” and there was a gap between Obama’s rhetoric and ability to act.

The third interpretation has plausibility. China can make its point and then withdraw the oil rig once it has completed its mission in mid-August. But this interpretation begs the question why Vietnam was the focus for this crisis and why China acted on the eve of the summit meeting of the heads of government/state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Edward Friedman

Edward Friedman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has worked in rural China, co-authoring Chinese Village, Socialist State (Yale University Press, 1993) and Revolution, Resistance, and Reform in Village China (Yale University Press, 2007) and serving as the major editor condensing and re-organizing Yang Jisheng's great study of the Leap era famine Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012) for an English-reading public. He also studies Chinese foreign policy, having done work for the United States Government off and on starting in 1965.

The CCP government is committed to making the PRC, seen as a uniquely moral actor, the dominant power in Asia. At times, ruling groups in Beijing seize on pretexts and claim that the PRC is reactive. Other times, the PRC manifestly takes the initiative. But, in both cases, the sources of Chinese behavior lie inside Chinese politics and not in Tokyo or Hanoi or Washington.

CCP leaders have long claimed that PRC assertiveness, including the use of military force on behalf of sovereignty, territorial claims and energy imperatives are justified and should be considered as peaceful acts. Even peaceful rise theorist Zheng Bijian said that military actions on behalf of these objectives were not exceptions to peaceful rise. This reality was long misunderstood by most international analysts who persuaded themselves that only Taiwan could be a cause of war for China. China's regional assertiveness clearly (the Paracels in 1974, the Spratleys in 1988, etc.) is not as new as some claim.

The CCP embraces the Orwellian position that war is peace. It now says so explicitly and brags about its assertiveness, a posture which is a big seller inside CCP politics. As everyone knows, this expansionist PRC agenda is legitimated as restoring China to its rightful and supposedly historical regional centrality that its neighbors are claimed to have welcomed, a position which in fact is not accepted by any of the PRC's neighbors in Asia.

However, ruling groups in Beijing tend to believe that Chinese beneficence, that is, spreading money around to neighbors (and the PRC with $4 trillion in foreign exchange has lots of money to spread around), will get those neighbors to acquiesce to subordination to the PRC. Along the way, the PRC may have to, as its rulers see it, put down some temporarily uppity neighbors.

This will not, the CCP believes, create a larger war with the USA, a war which the CCP does not seek. As the CCP sees it, the US won't go to war for disputed rocks in the South Sea when even ASEAN won't join against PRC expansionism.

Indeed, the CCP expects its neighbors to learn that they are all alone with a dominant China and that no other nation will come to their rescue. The CCP imagines that this expansive agenda is winning for China the predominance that, in the CCP imagination, is rightfully China's since China is the only magnanimous world power on this earth. CCP leaders tend to believe that, once its neighbors abandon illusions about the US coming to their aid or about their independent ability to stand against the PRC, they will become persuaded that CCP policies are somehow actually win-win and therefore concede to Chinese domination.

What is it that should persuade them they are wrong in this assessment?

Daniel Kliman is a Senior Advisor with the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where his research focuses on Asia and the future of the rules-based international...
Ely Ratner is Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He is the author most recently of “Resident Power: Building a...
Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and Dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate...
Susan L. Shirk is the chair of the 21st Century China Program and Ho Miu Lam Professor of China and Pacific Relations at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at UC San...
Carlyle A. Thayer is Emeritus Professor, The University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Thayer is a Southeast Asia regional specialist with special expertise...
Edward Friedman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has worked in rural China, co-authoring Chinese Village, Socialist State (Yale...

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Alibaba: How Big a Deal Is It?

David Wolf, Duncan Clark & more
<p>When Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba goes public some time after Labor Day it is expected be one the largest initial public offerings in history. This week, <a href="http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/alibabas-i-p-o-could-be-a-...

Conversation

07.17.14

How to Read China’s New Press Restrictions

David Schlesinger, Orville Schell & more
<p>On June 30, China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television posted a <a href="http://www.gapp.gov.cn/news/1656/211765.shtml" target="_blank">statement</a> on its website...

Conversation

07.09.14

The U.S. and China Are At the Table: What’s At Stake?

William Adams & Zha Daojiong
<p>U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew are in Beijing this week for the sixth session of the high level bilateral diplomatic exchange known as the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. We asked contributors what'...

Conversation

07.01.14

The Debate Over Confucius Institutes PART II

Gregory B. Lee, Michael Hill & more
<p class="p1">Last week, ChinaFile published <a href="http://www.chinafile.com/Debate-Over-Confucius-Institutes" target="_blank">a discussion</a>&nbsp;on the debate over Confucius Institutes–...

Conversation

06.23.14

The Debate Over Confucius Institutes

Robert Kapp, Jeffrey Wasserstrom & more
<p>Last week, the American Association of University Professors <a href="http://www.aaup.org/file/Confucius_Institutes_0.pdf" target="_blank">joined</a> a growing <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/...

Conversation

06.11.14

Is a Declining U.S. Good for China?

Zha Daojiong, Gordon G. Chang & more
<p><em>Zha Daojiong:</em></p><p>Talk of a U.S. decline is back in vogue. This time, China features more (if not most) prominently in a natural follow-up question: Which country is going to benefit? My answer: certainly...

Conversation

06.02.14

25 Years On, Can China Move Past Tiananmen?

Xu Zhiyuan, Arthur Waldron & more
<p><em> Xu Zhiyuan</em>:</p><p>Whenever the massacre at Tiananmen Square twenty-five years ago comes up in conversation, I think of Faulkner’s famous line: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”</p><p...

Conversation

05.19.14

Is This the Best Response to China’s Cyber-Attacks? 

Robert Daly, Chen Weihua & more
<p>On Monday, the United States Attorney General Eric Holder&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/19/us-accuses-china-of-cyber-espionage/9273019/" target="_blank">accused China of...

Conversation

05.07.14

How is China Doing in Africa?

Tendai Musakwa, Kathleen McLaughlin & more
<p><em>On his current weeklong tour of Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, and Kenya, Premier Li Keqiang announced a new $12 billion aid package intended to address China’s “growing pains” in Africa. China is by turns lauded for bringing...

Conversation

04.30.14

Will China’s Economy Be #1 by Dec. 31? (And Does it Matter?)

William Adams, Damien Ma & more
<p><em>On April 30, <a href="http://icp.worldbank.org/" target="_blank">data</a> released by the United Nations International Comparison Program showed China’s estimated 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP)...

Conversation

04.22.14

What Obama Should Say About China in Japan

Yuki Tatsumi, Ely Ratner & more
<p><em>On Wednesday, Barack Obama will land in Tokyo beginning a week-long trip to four of China's neighbors—but not to China itself.</em></p><p><em>In Obama’s stops in Tokyo, Seoul, Manila, and Kuala Lampur...

Conversation

04.12.14

China, Japan, and the U.S.—Will Cooler Heads Prevail?

Ely Ratner, Hugh White & more
<p><em>U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's whirlwind tour of China this week saw a <a href="http://johnib.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/u-s-china-defense-chiefs-trade-barbs-china-accuses-the-philippines-of-illegally-occupying...

Conversation

04.06.14

Spy Vs. Spy: When is Cyberhacking Crossing the Line?

Vincent Ni, Chen Weihua & more
<p><em>Vincent Ni: </em>For a long time, Huawei has been accused by some American politicians of “spying on Americans for the Chinese government,” but their evidence has always been sketchy. They played on fear and possibility. I...

Conversation

03.26.14

The Bloomberg Fallout: Where Does Journalism in China Go from Here?

Chen Weihua, Dorinda Elliott & more
<p><em>On Monday, March 24, a thirteen-year veteran of Bloomberg News, <a href="http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/ex-bloomberg-editor-tells-why-he-left/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;ref=world&amp;_r=0...

Conversation

03.19.14

What Should Michelle Obama Accomplish on Her Trip to China?

Orville Schell, Vincent Ni & more
<p><em>Orville Schell:&nbsp; </em>Looking at the challenges of rectifying U.S.-China relations and building some semblance of the "new kind of a big power relationship" alluded to by presidents <a href="http...

Conversation

03.10.14

Should China Support Russia in the Ukraine?

Alexander V. Pantsov, Alexander Lukin & more
<p><em>Alexander V. Pantsov:</em> The Chinese Communist Party leadership has always maintained: “China believes in non-interference in internal affairs.” In the current Ukrainian situation it is the most we can expect from the P.R...

Conversation

03.02.14

A Racist Farewell to Outgoing U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke

Kaiser Kuo, Hyeon-Ju Rho & more
<p><em>Reacting to departing U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke’s February 27 <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/54513468/ns/world_news-asia_pacific/t/us-envoy-stresses-human-rights-china-farewell-speech/" target="_blank"...

Conversation

02.27.14

How Responsible Are Americans for China’s Pollution Problem?

David Vance Wagner, Alex Wang & more
<p><em>David Vance Wagner</em>: China’s latest “airpocalypse” has again sent air pollution in Beijing <a href="http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-02/24/c_133138773.htm" target="_blank">soaring...

Conversation

02.22.14

What Can the Dalai Lama’s White House Visit Actually Accomplish?

Isabel Hilton, Donald Clarke & more
<p><em>On February 21, the Dalai Lama visited United States President Barack Obama in the White House over the objections of the Chinese government. Beijing labels the exiled spiritual leader a "wolf in sheep's clothing"...

Conversation

02.19.14

China in ‘House of Cards’

Steven Jiang, Donald Clarke & more
<p>China figures heavily in the second season of the Netflix series <em>House of Cards</em>, but how accurately does the show portray U.S.-China relations? Steven Jiang, a journalist for CNN in Beijing, binged-watched all thirteen...

Conversation

02.13.14

Are Ethnic Tensions on the Rise in China?

Enze Han, James Palmer & more
<p><em>On December 31, President Xi Jinping <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QobjqUTdahQ" target="_blank">appeared</a> on CCTV and extended his “New Year’s wishes to Chinese of all ethnic groups.”...

Conversation

02.05.14

What Should the U.S. Do about China’s Barring Foreign Reporters?

Nicholas Lemann, Michel Hockx & more
<p><em>Last week, the White House said it was <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/237720/white-house-very-disappointed-nyt-reporter-was-forced-to-leave-china/" target="_blank">“very...

Conversation

01.27.14

China’s Offshore Leaks: So What?

Paul Gillis & Robert Kapp
<p><em>Two recent stories by the <a href="http://www.icij.org/" target="_blank">International Consortium of Investigative Journalists</a> detailed China’s elite funneling money out of China to tax havens...

Conversation

01.21.14

Time to Escalate? Should the U.S. Make China Uncomfortable?

Edward Friedman, Geoff Dyer & more
<p><em>How should the United States respond to China’s new level of assertiveness in the Asia Pacific? In the past few months as Beijing has stepped up territorial claims around China's maritime borders—and in <a href="http...

Conversation

01.06.14

Will Xi Jinping Bring a Positive New Day to China?

Paul Mooney, Andrew J. Nathan & more
<p><em>Chinese President Xi Jinping, just over a year in office, recently made a rare appearance in public in a Beijing restaurant, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVKD9Bs-7Fg" target="_blank">buying a...

Conversation

12.17.13

Why Is China Purging Its Former Top Security Chief, Zhou Yongkang?

Pin Ho & Richard McGregor
<p><em>Pin Ho:</em></p><p>[Zhou Yongkang’s downfall] is the second chapter of the “Bo Xilai Drama”—a drama begun at the 18th Party Congress. The Party’s power transition has been secret and has lacked convincing...

Conversation

12.07.13

Will China Shut Out the Foreign Press?

Winston Lord, Paul Mooney & more
Some two dozen journalists employed by The New York Times and Bloomberg News have not yet received the visas they need to continue to report and live in China after the end of this year. Without them, they will effectively be expelled from the...

Conversation

12.03.13

What Posture Should Joe Biden Adopt Toward A Newly Muscular China?

Susan Shirk
<p><em>Susan Shirk:</em></p><p>United States Vice President Joseph Biden is the American political figure who has spent the most time with Xi Jinping and has the deepest understanding of Xi as an individual. Before Xi’s...

Conversation

11.27.13

Why’s the U.S. Flying Bombers Over the East China Sea?

Chen Weihua, James Fallows & more
<p><em>Chen Weihua:</em></p><p>The Air Defense Identification Zone (<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25062525" target="_blank">ADIZ</a>) is not a Chinese invention. The...

Conversation

11.24.13

What Should the Next U.S. Ambassador to China Tackle First?

Mary Kay Magistad & Robert Kapp
<p><em>Mary Kay Magistad:</em> Gary Locke succeeded in a way that few U.S. ambassadors to China have—in improving public perceptions of U.S. culture.&nbsp; Locke’s down-to-earth approachability and lack of ostentation certainly...

Conversation

11.19.13

What Will the Beginning of the End of the One-Child Policy Bring?

Leta Hong Fincher, Vincent Ni & more
<p><em>Leta Hong Fincher:</em></p><p>The Communist Party’s announcement that it will loosen the one-child policy is, of course, welcome news. Married couples will be allowed to have two children if only one of the...

Conversation

11.12.13

Spiked in China?

John Garnaut, Sidney Rittenberg & more
<p>Last weekend,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/09/world/asia/bloomberg-news-is-said-to-curb-articles-that-might-anger-china.html" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em></a>...

Conversation

10.30.13

Trial By TV: What Does a Reporter’s Arrest and Confession Tell Us About Chinese Media?

Wang Feng & Jeremy Goldkorn
<p><em>The latest ChinaFile Conversation focuses on the case of Chen Yongzhou, the Guangzhou New Express journalist whose series of investigative reports exposed fraud at the Changsha, Hunan-based heavy machinery maker <a href="...

Conversation

10.25.13

Can State-Run Capitalism Absorb the Shocks of ‘Creative Destruction’?

Barry Naughton, Shai Oster & more
<p><em>Following are ChinaFile Conversation participants’ reactions to <a href="http://nationalinterest.org/article/china-superpower-or-superbust-9269?page=1" target="_blank">“China: Superpower or Superbust?”...

Conversation

10.22.13

Why’s China’s Smog Crisis Still Burning So Hot?

Alex Wang, Isabel Hilton & more
<p><em>Alex Wang:</em></p><p>On Sunday, the start of the winter heating season in northern China brought the <a href="http://www.chinafile.com/airpocalypse-now-china-tipping-point" target="_blank...

Conversation

10.16.13

Uncomfortable Bedfellows: How Much Does China Need America Now?

Bill Bishop, David Schlesinger & more
<p><em>Bill Bishop:</em></p><p>The D.C. dysfunction puts China in a difficult place. Any financial markets turmoil that occurs because of a failure of Congress to do its job could harm China’s economy, and especially...

Conversation

10.10.13

CCTV Network News Broadcast

<p>Following is a transcript of the network news <a href="http://news.cntv.cn/2013/10/01/VIDE1380638280415972.shtml%20" target="_blank">broadcast</a> of China Central Television on September 30, 2013:</p>...

Conversation

10.08.13

Obama’s Canceled Trip to Asia: How Much Did It Matter?

Winston Lord, Susan Shirk & more
<p><em>Last week as the U.S. Federal Government shut down, President Obama canceled his planned trip to Indonesia and Brunei, where he was to have attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bali. Some foreign policy...

Conversation

10.07.13

Why Is Xi Jinping Promoting Self-Criticism?

Stephen C. Angle & Taisu Zhang
<p>Critics both within and without China have suggested that Xi Jinping’s promotion of self-criticism by Communist Party cadres has at least two motives: it promotes the appearance of concern with lax discipline while avoiding deeper reform,...

Conversation

09.27.13

Can China’s Leading Indie Film Director Cross Over in America?

Jonathan Landreth, Michael Berry & more
<p><em>Jonathan Landreth:</em></p><p>Chinese writer and director Jia Zhangke’s <em>A Touch of Sin</em> won the prize for the best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Though the dialogue and its...

Conversation

09.24.13

A Shark Called Wanda—Will Hollywood Swallow the Chinese Dream Whole?

Stanley Rosen, Jonathan Landreth & more
<p><em>Stanley Rosen:</em></p><p>Wang Jianlin, who personally doesn’t know much about film, made a splash when he <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-21/china-s-wanda-group-to-buy-amc-cinema-chain-for...

Conversation

09.17.13

What’s Behind China’s Recent Internet Crackdown?

Xiao Qiang, John Garnaut & more
<p><em>Last weekend, Charles Xue Manzi, a Chinese American multi-millionaire investor and opinion leader on one of China’s most popular microblogs, <a href="http://news.cntv.cn/2013/09/15/VIDE1379202482346211.shtml?utm_source=The...

Conversation

09.13.13

What Can China and Japan Do to Start Anew?

Paula S. Harrell & Chen Weihua
<p><em>Paula S. Harrell:</em></p><p>While the media keeps its eye on the ongoing Diaoyu/Senkaku islands dispute, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/10/japan-workers-disputed-islands-china"...

Conversation

09.09.13

What Are Chinese Attitudes Toward a U.S. Strike in Syria?

Chen Weihua, Vincent Ni & more
<p><em>Chen Weihua:<br /></em></p><p>Chinese truly believe that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. On the contrary, a U.S. air strike would only worsen the situation there. Chinese have seen many...

Conversation

09.05.13

To Reform or Not Reform?—Echoes of the Late Qing Dynasty

Orville Schell, John Delury & more
<p><em>Orville Schell:</em><br /><br />It is true that China is no longer beset by threats of foreign incursion nor is it a laggard in the world of economic development and trade. But being there and being steeped in an...

Conversation

08.28.13

Beijing, Why So Tense?

Andrew J. Nathan, Isabel Hilton & more
<p><em>Andrew Nathan:</em><br /><br />I think of the Chinese leaders as holding a plant spritzer and dousing sparks that are jumping up all around them.&nbsp; Mao made the famous remark, “A single spark can start a...

Conversation

08.21.13

Is Xi Jinping Redder Than Bo Xilai Or Vice Versa?

Michael Anti & Shai Oster
<p><em>Michael Anti:</em></p><p><strong>Competing for Redness: The Scarlet Bo vs the Vermilion Xi?</strong></p><p>Bo Xilai, the fallen Chinese princeling famous for leading a “Red Songs”...

Conversation

08.15.13

What Should China Do to Reverse its Tourism Deficit?

Leah Thompson, Damien Ma & more
<p>Recent news stories and industry studies show that fewer international visitors are choosing China as their destination. January-June <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/world/asia/china-foreign-tourism-falls-and-smog-may-be-...

Conversation

08.07.13

What Will Come out of the Communist Party’s Polling the People Online?

David Wertime, Duncan Clark & more
<p><em>David Wertime:</em></p><p>Simon Denyer’s recent article (<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-china-government-mines-public-opinion/2013/08/02/33358026-f2b5-11e2-ae43-b31dc363c3bf_story.html?...

Conversation

08.01.13

How Dangerous Are Sino-Japanese Tensions?

Jerome A. Cohen
<p>Sino-Japanese relations do not look promising at the moment. Obviously, the Diaoyu-Senkaku dispute is not the only factor in play but it does focus nationalist passions on both sides. Yet both countries are capable of wiser conduct if their...

Conversation

07.30.13

Is Business in China Getting Riskier, Or Are Multinationals Taking More Risks?

Arthur R. Kroeber, David Schlesinger & more
<p><em>Arthur Kroeber:</em></p><p>The environment for foreign companies in China has been getting steadily tougher since 2006, when the nation came to the end of a five-year schedule of market-opening measures it...

Conversation

07.25.13

The Bo Xilai Trial: What’s It Really About?

Jerome A. Cohen, Andrew J. Nathan & more
<p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/25/us-china-politics-bo-idUSBRE96O01U20130725" target="_blank">China has charged disgraced senior politician Bo Xilai</a> with bribery, abuse of power and...

Conversation

07.23.13

What Would a Hard Landing in China Mean for the World?

Barry Naughton, James McGregor & more
<p><em>Barry Naughton:</em></p><p>Paul Krugman in a recent post (<a href="http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/20/how-much-should-we-worry-about-a-china-shock/" target="_blank">“How Much...

Conversation

07.18.13

Xu Zhiyong Arrested: How Serious Can Beijing Be About Political Reform?

Donald Clarke, Andrew J. Nathan & more
<p><em>Donald Clarke:</em></p><p>When I heard that Xu Zhiyong had just been detained, my first thought was, “Again?” This seems to be something the authorities do every time they get nervous, a kind of political Alka...

Conversation

07.16.13

What’s the Senate’s Beef with China’s Play for American Pork?

Arthur R. Kroeber, Steve Dickinson & more
<p><span style="font-size: 13.3333339691162px; line-height: 1.538em;">Last week the U.S. Senate held hearings to question the CEO of meat-producer Smithfield Farms, about the proposed $4.7 billion sale of the Virginia-based...

Conversation

07.09.13

What Is the “Chinese Dream” Really All About?

Stein Ringen, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
<p><em>Stein Ringen</em><em>:</em></p><p>I’m coming to the view that the ‘Chinese Dream’ is a signal from the leadership of great import that has much to say about the nature of the Chinese state. It is...

Conversation

07.03.13

How Would Accepting Gay Culture Change China?

Fei Wang & Steven Jiang
<p><em>Last week's <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/26/us/annotated-supreme-court-decision-on-doma.html" target="_blank">U.S. Supreme Court decision</a> to strike down the core...

Conversation

06.27.13

Is Xi Jinping’s Fight Against Corruption For Real?

Roderick MacFarquhar, Winston Lord & more
<p><em>Roderick MacFarquhar:</em></p><p>Xi Jinping’s overriding aim is the preservation of Communist party rule in China, as he made clear in speeches shortly after his elevation to be China’s senior leader. &nbsp;...

Conversation

06.25.13

How Badly Have Snowden’s Leaks Hurt U.S.-China Relations?

Matt Schiavenza
<p><em>Matt Schiavenza:</em></p><p>In the understatement of the day, the United States is unhappy with the recent developments of the Edward Snowden situation. Just three days ago, Washington was in negotiations with...

Conversation

06.21.13

How Should the World Prepare for a Slower China?

Arthur R. Kroeber & Patrick Chovanec
<p><strong>Get Ready for a Slower China</strong><br /><br />The recent gyrations on the Chinese interbank market underscore that the chief risk to global growth now comes from China. Make no mistake: credit policy will...

Conversation

06.18.13

What’s Right or Wrong with This Chinese Stance on Edward Snowden?

Shai Oster & Steve Dickinson
<p><em>For today’s ChinaFile Conversation we asked contributors to react to the following excerpt from an <a href="http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/789238.shtml">op-ed published on Monday June 17 in the</a><a...

Conversation

06.13.13

Who’d You Rather Be Watched By: China or the U.S.?

Tai Ming Cheung, Andrew J. Nathan & more
<p><em>Reports of U.S. gathering data on emails and phone calls have stoked fears of an over-reaching government spying on its citizens. Chinese artist <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/11/nsa-surveillance...

Conversation

06.11.13

What’s the Best Way to Advance Human Rights in the U.S.-China Relationship?

Nicholas Bequelin, Sharon Hom & more
<p><em>Nicholas Bequelin:</em></p><p>The best way to advance human rights in the U.S.-China relationship is first and foremost to recognize that the engine of human rights progress in China today is the Chinese...

Conversation

06.06.13

What Would the Best U.S.-China Joint Statement Say?

Winston Lord, Orville Schell & more
<p><em>As we approach the June 7-8 meeting in California of U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping we are holding a small contest. We have asked ChinaFile Conversation regulars and a few guests to envision their...

Conversation

06.04.13

How Would Facing Its Past Change China’s Future?

David Wertime, Isabel Hilton & more
<p><em>David Wertime:</em></p><p>The memory of the 1989 massacre of protesters at Tiananmen Square remains neither alive nor dead, neither reckoned nor obliterated. Instead, it hangs spectre-like in the background, a...

Conversation

05.29.13

What Should Obama and Xi Accomplish at Their California Summit?

Susan Shirk, Orville Schell & more
<p><em>Susan Shirk:</em></p><p>It’s an excellent idea for President Obama and President Xi to spend two days of quality time together at a private retreat in Southern California. Past meetings between Chinese and...

Conversation

05.23.13

China and the Other Asian Giant: Where are Relations with India Headed?

Michael Kulma, Mark Frazier & more
<p><em>Mike Kulma:</em></p><p>Earlier this week at an Asia Society forum on U.S.-China economic relations, Dr. Henry Kissinger remarked that when the U.S. first started down the path of normalizing relations with China...

Conversation

05.21.13

U.S.-China Economic Relations—What Will the Next Decade Bring?

Orville Schell & Patrick Chovanec
<p><em>On Monday, within hours of the announcement that <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/20/us-usa-china-obama-idUSBRE94J0UQ20130520" target="_blank">Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet U.S...

Conversation

05.16.13

China: What’s Going Right?

Michael Zhao, James Fallows & more
<p><em>Michael Zhao:</em><br /><br />On a recent trip to China, meeting mostly with former colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, I got a dose of optimism and hope for one aspect of the motherland. In terms of...

Conversation

05.14.13

Why Can’t China Make Its Food Safe?—Or Can It?

Alex Wang, John C. Balzano & more
<p>The month my wife and I moved to Beijing in 2004, I saw a bag of oatmeal at our local grocery store prominently labeled: “NOT POLLUTED!” How funny that this would be a selling point, we thought.</p><p>But 7 years later as we...

Conversation

05.10.13

What’s China’s Game in the Middle East?

Rachel Beitarie, Massoud Hayoun & more
<p><em>Rachel Beitarie:</em></p><p>Xi Jinping’s four point proposal for a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement is interesting not so much for its content, as for its source. While China has maintained the appearance of...

Conversation

05.07.13

Why Is a 1995 Poisoning Case the Top Topic on Chinese Social Media?

Rachel Lu, Andrew J. Nathan & more
<p>With a population base of 1.3 billion people, China has no shortage of strange and gruesome crimes, but the attempted murder of Zhu Ling by thallium poisoning in 1995 is burning up China’s social media long after the trails have gone cold...

Conversation

05.02.13

Does Promoting “Core Interests” Do China More Harm Than Good?

Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt, Susan Shirk & more
<p><em>On April 30, as tensions around China’s claims to territories in the South- and East China Seas continued to simmer, we began what proved to be a popular ChinaFile Conversation, asking the question, <a href="http://www...

Conversation

04.30.13

What’s Really at the Core of China’s “Core Interests”?

Shai Oster, Andrew J. Nathan & more
<p><em>Shai</em> <em>Oster</em>:</p><p>It’s Pilates diplomacy—work on your core. China’s diplomats keep talking about China’s core interests and it’s a growing list. In 2011, China included its political...

Conversation

04.25.13

Hollywood in China—What’s the Price of Admission?

Jonathan Landreth, Ying Zhu & more
<p>Last week, DreamWorks Animation (DWA), the Hollywood studio behind the worldwide blockbuster <em>Kung Fu Panda</em> films, announced that it will cooperate with the China Film Group (CFG) on an animated feature called <em>...

Conversation

04.23.13

How Would You Spend (the Next) $300 Million on U.S.-China Relations?

Orville Schell & Michael Kulma
<p><em>Orville Schell</em>:</p><p>When Stephen A. Schwarzman announced his new <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/schwarzman-scholars-in-china-2013-4" target="_blank">$300 million program...

Conversation

04.18.13

How Fast Is China’s Slowdown Coming, and What Should Beijing Do About It?

Patrick Chovanec, Barry Naughton & more
<p>Slower Chinese GDP growth is not a bad thing if it’s happening for the right reasons. But it’s not happening for the right reasons.</p><p>Instead of reining in credit to try to curb over-investment, Chinese authorities have...

Conversation

04.16.13

Why is China Still Messing with the Foreign Press?

Andrew J. Nathan, Isabel Hilton & more
<p>To those raised in the Marxist tradition, nothing in the media happens by accident.&nbsp; In China, the flagship newspapers are still the “throat and tongue” of the ruling party, and their work is directed by the Party’s Propaganda...

Conversation

04.11.13

Why Is Chinese Soft Power Such a Hard Sell?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Donald Clarke & more
<p><em>Jeremy Goldkorn:</em></p><p>Chairman Mao Zedong said that power comes out of the barrel of a gun, and he knew a thing or two about power, both hard and soft. If you have enough guns, you have respect. Money is...

Conversation

04.09.13

Is China Doing All it Can to Rein in Kim Jong-un?

Winston Lord, Susan Shirk & more
<p><em>Winston Lord:</em></p><p>No.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

Conversation

04.03.13

Bird Flu Fears: Should We Trust Beijing This Time?

David Wertime, Yanzhong Huang & more
<p><em>David Wertime:</em></p><p>A new strain of avian flu called H7N9 has <a href="http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_04_03/en/index.html" target="_blank">infected at least seven humans and...

Conversation

04.02.13

Why Did Apple Apologize to Chinese Consumers and What Does It Mean?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Isabel Hilton & more
<p><em>Jeremy Goldkorn:</em></p><p>On March 22, before the foreign media or Apple themselves seemed to have grasped the seriousness of the CCTV attacks on the Californian behemoth, I wrote a post on <a href="...

Conversation

03.28.13

Will China’s Renminbi Replace the Dollar as the World’s Top Currency?

Patrick Chovanec, Damien Ma & more
<p><em>Patrick Chovanec:</em></p><p>This week’s news that Brazil and China have signed a $30 billion currency swap agreement gave a renewed boost to excited chatter over the rising influence of China’s currency, the...

Conversation

03.26.13

Can China Transform Africa?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Isabel Hilton & more
<p><em>Jeremy Goldkorn:</em></p><p>The question is all wrong. China is already transforming Africa, the question is how China is transforming Africa, not whether it can. From the “<a href="http://www...

Conversation

03.19.13

China’s New Leaders Say They Want to Fight Corruption. Can They? Will They?

Andrew J. Nathan & Ouyang Bin
<p>In his first <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/world/asia/li-keqiang-chinas-premier-offers-plan-of-economic-and-social-reforms.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">press conference</a>...

Conversation

03.15.13

Is the One Child Policy Finished—And Was It a Failure?

Dorinda Elliott, Alexa Olesen & more
<p><em style="border-style: initial; border-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; border-width: 0px; padding: 0px; margin: 0px;">Dorinda Elliott:</em></p><p>China’s recent&nbsp;<a href="http://...

Conversation

03.13.13

China’s Post 1980’s Generation—Are the Kids All Right?

Sun Yunfan, Orville Schell & more
<p><em>This week, the <a href="http://www.chinafile.com/blog" target="_blank">ChinaFile Conversation</a> is a call for reactions to an article about China's current generation gap, written by James...

Conversation

03.08.13

Will China’s Property Market Crash, and So What If It Does?

Dorinda Elliott & Bill Bishop
<p><em>Dorinda Elliott:</em></p><p>At this week’s National People’s Congress, outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao proclaimed that the government kept housing prices from rising too fast. Really? I wonder what my 28-year-old...

Conversation

03.06.13

Are Proposed Sanctions on North Korea a Hopeful Sign for U.S.-China Relations?

Orville Schell, Susan Shirk & more
<p><em>Orville Schell:</em></p><p>What may end up being most significant about the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/world/asia/china-said-to-back-new-sanctions-against-north-korea.html" target=...

Conversation

03.01.13

Is America’s Door Really Open to China’s Investment?

Daniel H. Rosen, Orville Schell & more
<p><em>Daniel Rosen:</em></p><p>There have not been many new topics in U.S.-China economic relations over the past decade: the trade balance, offshoring of jobs, Chinese holding of U.S. government debt, whether China’s...

Conversation

02.27.13

How Long Can China Keep Pollution Data a State Secret?

Elizabeth Economy, Orville Schell & more
<p><em>Elizabeth Economy</em>:</p><p>The environment is center stage once again in China. A Chinese lawyer has requested the findings of a national survey on soil pollution from the Ministry of Environmental Protection...

Conversation

02.22.13

Will Investment in China Grow or Shrink?

Donald Clarke & David Schlesinger
<p><em>Donald Clarke:</em></p><p>I don’t have the answer as to whether investment in China will grow or shrink, but I do have a few suggestions for how to think about the question. First, we have to clarify why we want...

Conversation

02.20.13

Cyber Attacks—What’s the Best Response?

James Fallows, Xiao Qiang & more
<p>With regular ChinaFile Conversation contributor <a href="http://www.chinafile.com/contributor/Elizabeth%20Economy" target="_blank">Elizabeth Economy</a> on the road, we turned to her colleague <a href=...

Conversation

02.15.13

U.S.-China Tensions: What Must Kerry Do?

Dorinda Elliott, Elizabeth Economy & more
<p><em>Dorinda Elliott:</em></p><p>On a recent trip to China, I heard a lot of scary talk of potential war over the disputed Diaoyu Islands—this from both senior intellectual types and also just regular people, from an...

Conversation

02.13.13

North Korea: How Much More Will China Take and How Should the U.S. Respond?

Winston Lord, Tai Ming Cheung & more
<p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">China is increasingly frustrated with North Korea and may even see more clearly that its actions only serve to increase allied unity, stimulate Japanese militarism and accelerate missile...

Conversation

02.08.13

Rich, Poor and Chinese—Does Anyone Trust Beijing to Bust the Corrupt?

Andrew J. Nathan, Susan Shirk & more
<p><em>Andrew Nathan</em>:</p><p>The new Chinese leadership under Xi Jinping seems to be making some bold opening moves with its attacks on corruption and the announcement on February 5 of <a href="%20http://...

Conversation

02.06.13

Airpocalypse Now: China’s Tipping Point?

Alex Wang, Orville Schell & more
<p>The recent run of air pollution in China, we now know, has been worse than the air quality in <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-30/beijing-air-akin-to-living-in-smoking-lounge-chart-of-the-day.html" target="...

Conversation

02.01.13

China’s Cyberattacks — At What Cost?

James Fallows, Donald Clarke & more
<p><em>James Fallows: </em>Here are some initial reactions on the latest <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/technology/chinese-hackers-infiltrate-new-york-times-computers.html?_r=0" target="_blank"...

Conversation

01.30.13

China, Japan and the Islands: What Do the Tensions Mean?

Orville Schell, John Delury & more
<p>How did the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaoyuki/Diaoyu" target="_blank">Diaoyu</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...