China to Rev up Bullet Train Revolution with World's Fastest Service on Shanghai-Beijing Line

Sarah Zheng
South China Morning Post
China will soon start official operation of the world’s fastest train service, knocking an hour off the 1,318km journey between Beijing and Shanghai.

U.S. Warship Sails Close to China-Held Island in Disputed Sea

ABC
A U.S. warship sailed close to a Chinese man-made island in the disputed the South China Sea in an operation that challenged China’s vast territorial claims in busy international waters, a U.S. Navy official said Thursday.

As Trump Unnerves Asia, China Sees an Opening

New York Times
With America’s Asian allies unnerved by President Trump’s threat to bring “fire and fury” to North Korea, China sees a chance to capitalize on the fear and confusion and emerge as the sober-minded power in the region, according to analysts who study...

Depth of Field

08.03.17

Inspirational Vandalism, Theme Parks, and the Man Who Swam to Hong Kong

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This month, five photo galleries explore different aspects of public and private space in contemporary China. Wu Yue meets a couple who swam to Hong Kong from Guangzhou during the Cultural Revolution and still find solace in the waters of Hong Kong’...

Chinese Blogger Sorry after Essay Slamming Beijingers’ ‘Fake’ Lives Goes Viral and Is Censored

Eva Li
South China Morning Post
Widely-read blog criticized by state media after it lists complaints about soaring property prices, crowded subways and lack of human warmth in the capital

Video

07.27.17

Where The Streets Had My Name

Ge Yulu
If you’re not dead yet and you were never very famous, can you still get a street named after you in Beijing? You can if you’re 27-year-old artist Ge Yulu. Open Google Maps, enter his name, and there you will find a 1,476-foot-long street that...

China Dispatches Troops to Djibouti to Set up Its First Overseas Base

NPR
China dispatched troops to set up its first military base overseas on Tuesday. After a ceremony in the southern port city of Zhanjiang, military personnel embarked on a voyage to the East African country of Djibouti to establish an outpost “...

In China, Xi Jinping’s New Mega City Xiongan Is Expanding Underground

South China Morning Post
Chinese geologists are examining subterranean conditions of Xiong, Rongcheng and Anxin counties, which will become a new district to rival special economic zones such as Shenzhen and Pudong in Shanghai, in the hope of building structures under the...

China Likely to Set up Military Base in Pakistan – Pentagon

Telegraph
The report from the Pentagon predicts China will expand its military prowess after the construction of its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, a strategic location at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal.

Trump Lies. China Thrives.

New York Times
We underestimate China — and attribute all of its surge in growth to unfair trade practices — at our peril. China has been fast and smart at adopting new technologies, particularly the mobile internet.

West Underestimates China’s New Silk Road, German Envoy Says

Channel NewsAsia
Western countries are underestimating China’s new Silk Road project, which is an important scheme, despite concerns it is too China-centric and so far lacking in opportunities for foreign firms, Germany’s ambassador to China said on Thursday.

China Tries to Play Nice at Key Security Forum

Nikkei Asian Review
Although China attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone in this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, a major Asian security forum held here through Sunday, officials’ uncompromising comments on Taiwan and the South China Sea only highlighted its rifts...

China and Europe Are Moving Forward without Trump

CNN
Beijing is in prime position to capitalize on major policy fissures that have emerged between Europe and the Trump administration on climate, trade and defense. The new dynamic will be on full display on Thursday in Brussels, when Chinese Premier Li...

North Korea: Is China Trying Hard Enough to Stop Pyongyang Threat?

Fox News
Recent actions by South Korea President Moon Jae-in and China’s President Xi Jinping have raised questions about the sincerity of both countries in helping the U.S. reign in North Korea’s nuclear program.

China’s New Cybersecurity Law Leaves Foreign Firms Guessing

New York Times
As China moves to start enforcing a new cybersecurity law, foreign companies face a major problem: They know very little about it. The law — which was rubber-stamped by the country’s Parliament last year — is part of wide-ranging efforts by Beijing...

Emirates Says Telling Cabin Crew Not to Wear Taiwan Flag Pins per China’s Request Was an ‘Error’

Danny Lee
South China Morning Post
Emirates on Wednesday walked back an email ordering its Taiwanese cabin crew to remove the island’s flag from their uniforms following the Middle East airline’s decision to acquiesce to Beijing’s one-China policy.

China Has a Huge Debt Problem. How Bad Is It?

CNN
Credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded China this week, warning that the country’s financial health is suffering from rising debt and slowing economic growth. It’s the first time the agency has cut China’s rating in nearly three decades.

Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations

MARK MAZZETTI, ADAM GOLDMAN, MICHAEL S...
New York Times
The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Philippines, China Play down Duterte's Talk of War in Disputed Sea

Reuters
The Philippines and China played down on Monday a warning by President Rodrigo Duterte that China would go to war if the Philippines drilled for oil in the disputed South China Sea.

Why Soft Power Could Be the Real Value of China’s Massive Belt and Road Project

Justina Crabtree, Cheang Ming
CNBC
The real benefits of OBOR to China could be the international clout it stands to gain as its attempts to spearhead international policy and improve relations with OBOR partner countries.

Chinese Aviation Finally Takes off with Help from the West

Financial Times
The latest vehicle for China’s aviation dream, the Comac C919, has just completed its first test flight after Beijing decided to take a different path: buying parts from European and U.S. aviation companies rather than stealing their technology.

India Boycotts China’s Global Trade Jamboree

Rishi Iyengar
CNN
India’s main objection is the partnership China is developing with Pakistan. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a key component of One Belt, One Road -- passes through the disputed region of Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim in its...

Books

05.15.17

A World Trimmed with Fur

Jonathan Schlesinger
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, booming demand for natural resources transformed China and its frontiers. Historians of China have described this process in stark terms: pristine borderlands became breadbaskets. Yet Manchu and Mongolian archives reveal a different story. Well before homesteaders arrived, wild objects from the far north became part of elite fashion, and unprecedented consumption had exhausted the region’s most precious resources.In A World Trimmed with Fur, Jonathan Schlesinger uses these diverse archives to reveal how Qing rule witnessed not the destruction of unspoiled environments, but their invention. Qing frontiers were never pristine in the nineteenth century—pearlers had stripped riverbeds of mussels, mushroom pickers had uprooted the steppe, and fur-bearing animals had disappeared from the forest. In response, the court turned to “purification”; it registered and arrested poachers, reformed territorial rule, and redefined the boundary between the pristine and the corrupted. Schlesinger’s resulting analysis provides a framework for rethinking the global invention of nature. —Stanford University Press{chop}

China’s New Silk Road Promises Trade and Riches, with President Xi at Helm

Ben Blanchard, Sue-Lin Wong
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping and 29 other heads of state on Monday reaffirmed their commitment to build an open economy and ensure free and inclusive trade, under the ambitious Belt and Road initiative led by Beijing.

Why China Will Never Put America First

J. Michael Cole
National Interest
The Trump administration will eventually awaken to the fact that Beijing cannot, and has no desire to, deliver on North Korea.

Kenya President Urges Rebalance of China-Africa Trade

David Piling
Financial Times
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has called on China to rebalance an increasingly skewed trade relationship between Africa and the rising superpower, arguing that Beijing must do more to tackle a widening trade deficit.

China Pledges More Than $100 Billion in Belt and Road Projects

sophia yan
CNBC
China is pledging more than $100 billion to finance projects under its “One Belt, One Road” strategy, an ambitious initiative to strengthen the world’s second-largest economy’s investment, influence and trade links to the rest of the globe.

China’s Summit for Its New Silk Road Is Missing 44 Heads of State from the 65 Nations Involved

zheping huang
Quartz
World leaders are gathering in Beijing this weekend for a big summit touting China’s infrastructure spending spree to connect Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The project, known as the Belt and Road Initiative—or “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR...

Syria Says up to 5,000 Chinese Uighurs Fighting in Militant Groups

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Up to 5,000 ethnic Uighurs from China's violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang are fighting in various militant groups in Syria, the Syrian ambassador to China said on Monday, adding that Beijing should be extremely concerned about it...

After North Korea Criticism, China Says Wants to Be Good Neighbor

Reuters
China said on Thursday it wants to be good neighbors with North Korea, after the isolated country’s state news agency published a rare criticism of Chinese state media commentaries calling for tougher sanctions over the North’s nuclear program.

Asian Nations Pulled into China’s Orbit as Trump Puts America First

Manuel Mogato, Martin Petty
Reuters
Across Asia, more and more countries are being pulled into Beijing’s orbit, with the timid stance adopted by Southeast Asian nations on the South China Sea at a weekend summit a clear sign this fundamental geostrategic shift is gathering momentum.

Trump Warns North Korea on Missile Tests, Says ‘We’ll See’ If Military Action Is Needed

NBC News
President Donald Trump declared that neither the U.S. nor China would be “happy” if North Korea tested more missiles, and said “we’ll see” if military action would be needed to curb the country’s nuclear ambitions.

China Finds U.S. Businesswoman Guilty of Stealing State Secrets, Orders Deportation

Newsweek
A Chinese court on Tuesday sentenced a U.S. citizen to three-years and six-months in prison for espionage but then ordered she be deported, her lawyer said, in a case that has added to U.S.-China tension.

China Is Sending the U.S. a New Message about North Korea

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
Beijing appears to be sending fresh signals about its view on North Korea, in order to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to take less aggressive action against the rogue nuclear state, several political analysts say.

China Is Squeezing North Korea - but Not Too Hard

Jethro Mullen
CNN
China wields huge influence over the North Korean economy, accounting for more than 80% of its smaller neighbor’s foreign trade and serving as its main gateway to the rest of the world.

China Needs Its Friend the Philippines More Than the Philippines Needs China

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
If China can choreograph its own relations with all four Southeast Asian nations that dispute its aggressive, decade-old expansion in the same 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea, it can easily ignore threats from the United States, the world court or...

China Left as Observer as Tensions Rise on Korean Peninsula

Christopher Bodeen
Washington Post
China’s foreign minister recently likened the U.S. and North Korea to two speeding trains hurtling toward each other, an analogy that would seem to place China in the role of helpless bystander. And indeed, while tensions have risen, Beijing has...

China Names Areas in Region Disputed with India to Assert Claims

Reuters
China has issued standardized spellings of the names of six places in a region disputed with India, in what China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday was an assertion of sovereignty.

China Says Ivanka Trump Trademark Requests Handled Properly

Chicago Tribune
China is defending its handling of trademark applications from President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her company, saying that all such requests are handled fairly.

China’s Korea Policy ‘in Tatters’ as Both North and South Defy Sanctions

Washington Post
On Monday, South Korea announced that it would press ahead with the “swift deployment” of a U.S. missile defense system, despite vociferous Chinese opposition.

China Warns of ‘Storm Clouds Gathering’ in U.S.-North Korea Standoff

New York Times
China warned on Friday that tensions on the Korean Peninsula could spin out of control, as North Korea said it could test a nuclear weapon at any time and an American naval group neared the peninsula in a show of resolve.

Dalai Lama’s Journey Provokes China, and Hints at His Heir

New York Times
It has been a hard journey for the 81-year-old Dalai Lama, perhaps his last over the mountain passes at the edge of China, to a town that has played a fateful role in his life, and in the history of Tibetan Buddhism.

Xiongan District Becomes Hot Property in China

BBC
A sleepy district in Hebei province has suddenly become the center of China’s latest property craze and the talk of the country.

China Calls for Explanation After Paris Police Shoot Dead Chinese Man

Ben Blanchard, Simon Carraud and John...
Reuters
French police said on Tuesday they opened an inquiry after a Chinese man was shot dead by police at his Paris home, triggering rioting in the French capital by members of the Chinese community and a sharp reaction from Beijing.

Books

03.27.17

Wish Lanterns

Alec Ash
If China will rule the world one day, who will rule China? There are more than 320 million Chinese between the ages of 16 and 30. Children of the one-child policy, born after Mao, with no memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre, they are the first net native generation to come of age in a market-driven, more international China. Their experiences and aspirations were formed in a radically different country from the one that shaped their elders, and their lives will decide the future of their nation and its place in the world.Wish Lanterns offers a deep dive into the life stories of six young Chinese. Dahai is a military child, netizen, and self-styled loser. Xiaoxiao is a hipster from the freezing north. Fred, born on the tropical southern island of Hainan, is the daughter of a Party official, while Lucifer is a would-be international rock star. Snail is a country boy and Internet-gaming addict, and Mia is a fashionista rebel from far west Xinjiang. Following them as they grow up, go to college, and find work and love, all the while navigating the pressure of their parents and society, Wish Lanterns paints a vivid portrait of Chinese youth culture and of a millennial generation whose struggles and dreams reflect the larger issues confronting China today. —Arcade Publishing{chop}

China to Plant ‘Green Necklace’ of Trees Around Beijing to Fight Smog

New York Times
The pollution from the factories is responsible for much of the smog in Beijing, a city of more than 22 million, and other parts of northern China.

China Steps up Battle against Property Bubble

Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
Big cities escalate efforts to curb the soaring prices that are stoking anger

The Dalai Lama Told John Oliver That China’s Leaders Are Not “Using the Human Brain Properly”

Zheping Huang
Quartz
British comedian John Oliver recently flew to the north Indian town of Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama has lived in exile for more than five decades.

China Congress: BBC Team Forced to Sign Confession

John Sudworth
BBC
The story reveals more about the exercise of power in China than any interview ever could. It is one that involves violence, intimidation and a forced confession—in which I found myself apologizing for “behavior causing a bad impact” and for trying...

We Must Resist until China Gives Hong Kong a Say in Our Future

Joshua Wong and Emily Lim
Guardian
If Beijing allows human rights to deteriorate in Hong Kong, then the whole country will lose all hope of reform

The Burning Problem of China’s Garbage

NPR
Trash is piling up in China—more than 520,000 tons a day

Media

02.14.17

Surprise Findings: China’s Youth Are Getting Less Nationalistic, Not More

Anyone who’s spent any length of time following Western press coverage of China is familiar with the notion that China’s leaders are obligated to look tough in order to appease a rising nationalism. Much has been written about the online activities...

Surprise Findings: China’s Youth Are Getting Less Nationalistic, Not More

Matt Schrader
Foreign Policy
Harvard and Peking University researchers just upended conventional wisdom.

China Billionaire’s Disappearance from Hong Kong Revives Autonomy Concerns

Venus Wu and James Pomfret
Reuters
The uncertain fate of Xiao Jianhua, a China-born billionaire who was last seen at a luxury Hong Kong hotel a week ago, has raised fresh fears about the city’s autonomy amid media reports he may have been abducted by Chinese agents.

Sinica Podcast

01.31.17

Talking ’Bout My Generation: Chinese Millennials

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Alec Ash, a young British writer who lives in Beijing, has covered “left-behind” children in Chinese villages, the “toughest high-school exam in the world,” and Internet live-streaming, among many other subjects. He is the author of Wish Lanterns,...

How Taiwan Became a Divisive Political Issue in South Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), now sees the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party’s close ties to China as a vulnerability that the DA aims to exploit. Evidence of this new strategy came in December when the DA...

China Gets Tough on Smog Offenders

Joshua Berlinger
CNN
China has slapped millions of dollars worth of fines on alleged offenders for violating anti-pollution rules, according to state media.

Caixin Media

12.15.16

Attempts to ‘Clean Up Beijing’ Target Low-Cost Migrant Homes

Li Yi, a young computer engineer working in Beijing, said authorities forced him out of his apartment in a village in Haidian district in November, days after his power supply was cut off even though he had paid the bills.Li (not his real name) is...

Attempts to ‘Clean Up Beijing’ Target Low-Cost Migrant Homes

Huang Shulun and Li Rongde
"They came and banged on tenants' doors every day until they agreed to move out, and they cut off their power supply for a week"...

Depth of Field

11.08.16

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

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