Video

09.07.18

From Pimp to Politician

Guo Rongfei from Arrow Factory Video
Walking through Kabukichō, a densely packed red-light district in Tokyo, one sometime spots 58-year-old Li Xiaomu, eager to point tourists to a good time. Born in the city of Changsha, Hunan province, Li moved to Tokyo in 1988 to study fashion...

Strange Bedfellows: Trump Trade Fight Brings Japan and China Together

Peter Landers
Wall Street Journal
President Donald Trump’s tough line on trade with China has finally given Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe something to agree with Beijing about.

China and Japan Draw Closer as Asia’s Diplomatic Order Shifts

Ben Westcott
CNN
Beijing and Tokyo marked a new high point in their diplomatic relations Wednesday as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang began a three-day state visit in Japan, the first by a top Chinese leader in eight years.

China, Not North Korea, to Dominate Japan Military Planning

Tim Kelly, Nobuhiro Kubo
Reuters
North Korea’s growing missile arsenal might be the most obvious and immediate military threat facing Japan, but defense planners in Tokyo are focused on a much larger and more challenging foe as they prepare for the years ahead.

A Second Territorial Dispute in Asia Could Be More Dangerous Than the South China Sea

CNBC
When it comes to territorial disputes in Asia, the South China Sea typically commands the bulk of attention. 

China Marks Nanking Massacre's 80th Anniversary

Wayne Zhang and Gerry Shih
ABC
Chinese officials struck a tempered tone on the 80th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre on Wednesday, saying China would “look forward” and deepen friendship with its neighbor Japan despite historical misgivings.

Seeing U.S. In Retreat under Trump, Japan and China Move to Mend Ties

New York Times
When Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, met with President Xi Jinping of China on the sidelines of a regional summit meeting in Vietnam over the weekend, the pair shook hands and posed for a photo. Mr. Xi, who had looked more dour in previous...

Viewpoint

11.06.17

On the Road with Trump in Asia: Day One, Tokyo

Orville Schell
Many are fearful that Xi Jinping’s ability to awe his visitors with over-the-top manifestations of pomp and ceremony will turn Donald Trump to Jell-o. But having watched Trump arrive in Japan yesterday on the first leg of his five-country trip, it’s...

Media

09.18.17

Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century

Richard McGregor, Susan Shirk & more
The following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society in New York on September 7, 2017, and named for a new book by Richard McGregor, the former Beijing Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, “ChinaFile Presents: ‘Asia’s...

New Silk Road: Japan to Counteract China in Kazakhstan with New Asia-Europe Rail Deal

Wade Shepard
Forbes
Japan continues standing in the ring with China, exchanging blow for blow as the Asian rivals both compete and cooperate with each other in the creation of the trans-Eurasian mega-project that has been...

China Hits Back at Trump Criticism over North Korea

Ben Blanchard and Elias Glenn
Reuters
China hit back on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted he was “very disappointed” in China following Pyongyang's latest missile test, saying the problem did not arise in China and that all sides need to work for a solution...

Why Justin Bieber Got Banned from Performing in China

New Yorker
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture issued an injunction against the twenty-three-year-old pop star, Justin Bieber, who was in the middle of a global tour, prohibiting him from performing in China. (On Monday, Bieber announced that he was...

US, India and Japan Begin Naval Exercises, as China Looks On

Steve George and Huizhong Wu
CNN
A rising Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean has prompted the largest naval exercise the region has seen in more than two decades. The United States, Japan and India have deployed front-line warships, submarines, and aircraft as part of the tri-...

Books

04.25.17

China’s Hegemony

Ji-Young Lee
Many have viewed the tribute system as China’s tool for projecting its power and influence in East Asia, treating other actors as passive recipients of Chinese domination. China's Hegemony sheds new light on this system and shows that the international order of Asia’s past was not as Sinocentric as conventional wisdom suggests. Instead, throughout the early modern period, Chinese hegemony was accepted, defied, and challenged by its East Asian neighbors at different times, depending on these leaders’ strategies for legitimacy among their populations. This book demonstrates that Chinese hegemony and hierarchy were not just an outcome of China’s military power or Confucian culture but were constructed while interacting with other, less powerful actors’ domestic political needs, especially in conjunction with internal power struggles.Focusing on China-Korea-Japan dynamics of East Asian international politics during the Ming and High Qing periods, Ji-Young Lee draws on extensive research of East Asian language sources, including records written by Chinese and Korean tributary envoys. She offers fascinating and rich details of war and peace in Asian international relations, addressing questions such as: why Japan invaded Korea and fought a major war against the Sino-Korean coalition in the late sixteenth century; why Korea attempted to strike at the Ming empire militarily in the late fourteenth century; and how Japan created a miniature tributary order posing as the center of Asia in lieu of the Qing empire in the seventeenth century. By exploring these questions, Lee’s in-depth study speaks directly to general international relations literature and concludes that hegemony in Asia was a domestic, as well as an international, phenomenon with profound implications for the contemporary era. —Columbia University Press{chop}

What Happened at Mar-a-Lago?

Paul Haenle & Zha Daojiong from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
One week before their first in-person meeting, President Trump told the world on Twitter that he expected the dialogue with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to be “a very difficult one” unless China was prepared to make major concessions on issues...

Trump’s First Test in Asia

Paul Haenle & Michael Green from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
While President Trump appoints new officials to his administration and reviews policy frameworks, Asia-Pacific leaders are moving ahead. Since taking office, Trump has grappled with consequential developments in the region, ranging from North Korea’...

Books

02.28.17

Everything Under the Heavens

Howard W. French
From the former New York Times Asia correspondent and author of China’s Second Continent, an incisive investigation of China’s ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy.For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is a strain of thinking that casts China’s present-day actions in decidedly historical terms, as the path to restoring the dynastic glory of the past. If we understand how that historical identity relates to current actions, in ways ideological, philosophical, and even legal, we can learn to forecast just what kind of global power China stands to become–and to interact wisely with a future peer.Steeped in deeply researched history as well as on-the-ground reporting, this is French at his revelatory best. —Penguin Random House{chop}

Japan And China Are Competing To Win Over The Philippines

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing away the United States in favor of its geopolitical rival China. But the man in office still likes Japan.

China, Fanning Patriotism, Adds Six Years to War with Japan in History Books

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
For generations, the “Eight-Year War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression” has been ingrained in the minds of Chinese schoolchildren. Now the war is getting a new name, and an extended time frame.

Power Plays Across the First Island Chain: China’s Lone Carrier Group Has a Busy December

Ankit Panda
Diplomat
For the first time, China’s lone carrier entered the Western Pacific. What does the Chinese Navy have in mind?

Conversation

10.25.16

How Many U.S. Allies Can China Turn?

Zhang Baohui, Richard J. Heydarian & more
Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines since June, visited China this week and signaled his interest in shifting Manila’s allegiance away from Washington toward Beijing. While his predecessor sued China in an international court to contest...

Japan to Expand Djibouti Military Base to Counter Chinese Influence

Nobuhiro Kubo
Reuters
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking to give the SDF a greater regional and global role as his nation steps back from seven decades of state pacifism.

Japan Warns China After Warplanes Were Spotted Flying Close to Disputed Islands

Feliz Solomon
Time
This comes days after Japan announced plans to step up presence in the South China Sea

Japan Rescues Chinese Fishing Boat Amid Tense Relations

BBC
The boat had collided with a 300m long Greece-flagged merchant ship, near a group of Japan-controlled islands.

A First: Chinese Naval Vessel Enters Senkaku Contiguous Zone in East China Sea

Ankit Panda
Diplomat
Previously, China had only sent its coast guard into Japan’s territorial sea and contiguous zone.

Caixin Media

06.06.16

Uncertain Future for China’s Market Status Bid

It’s been 15 years since China joined the World Trade Organization, and yet China is still waiting for the WTO to grant it market economy status. During this period, some Chinese businesses have expanded overseas while others have been accused of...

Viewpoint

05.26.16

Why Does Japan’s Wartime Ghost Keep Reemerging?

Friso M.S. Stevens
The ritual offerings made by Japanese Cabinet members and lawmakers at the Yasukuni Shrine in April once again brought Japan’s troubled wartime past back into the spotlight. An all-too familiar routine followed, with Beijing urging Japan to “make a...

Culture

04.19.16

A Newly Translated Book Revisits Japan and China’s Wartime History

Karen Ma
Award-winning screenwriter and author Geling Yan has written more than 20 novels and short story collections about China, many adapted to film or TV, including Coming Home and The Flowers of War, both of which became feature films directed by Zhang...

Japan Opens Radar Station Close to Disputed Isles, Drawing Angry China Response

Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly
Reuters
Expert said it was part of a strategy to keep China at bay in the Western Pacific.

China Expresses Alarm at Philippines-Japan Aircraft Deal

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Philippines will lease five aircraft from Japan to help patrol the disputed South China Sea.

How Japan Sees China’s Island Building Problem

Everett Rosenfeld
CNBC
Japanese deputy foreign minister said Tokyo views Beijing's seizures and buildup on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as a "problem."...

Frenzy for Foreign Condoms in China

Monami Yui
Bloomberg
Chinese consumers are attracted to the “high quality” of Japanese condoms.

Viewpoint

01.08.16

The Storm Beneath the Calm: China’s Regional Relations in 2016

Yanmei Xie
On the surface, 2015 came to a close in a moment of relative tranquility after a turbulent year for China’s neighborhood. But the calm is misleading: the optics of regional diplomacy have become increasingly detached from the reality of the...

Japan Protests Intrusion of Armed Chinese Vessel Into its Waters

James Mayger and Yuji Nakamura
Bloomberg
The vessel was formerly a People’s Liberation Army Navy ship and is now operated by another department.

Q. and A.: Ezra F. Vogel on China’s Shifting Relations With Japan and Taiwan

JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ
New York Times
Mr. Vogel is working on a book that will explore moments in history when China and Japan were in closest contact.

Two More Japanese Being Held in China, Says Chinese Official

Elaine Lies and Adam Rose
Reuters
"In addition to the two who were arrested, one is being held and one is being watched at home," the official said...

Conversation

10.28.15

Making Waves in the South China Sea

Peter Dutton, Jessica Chen Weiss & more
Challenging China’s newly assertive behavior in the South China Sea, this week the U.S. Navy sailed some of its biggest ships inside the nine-dash line, exercising its claim to freedom of movement in international waters plied by billions in trade...

Japan May Halt Funds for UNESCO Over Nanjing Row With China

KIYOSHI TAKENAKA
Reuters
Japan's military aggression before and during World War Two still haunts ties between Asia's two biggest economies...

Wartime Sex Slaves at the Heart of UN Battle Between Japan and China

Justin McCurry
Guardian
Both countries have submitted competing nominations for inclusion in Unesco’s Memory of the World programme.

China Says Arrests Two Japanese for Spying

Linda Sieg and Kaori Kaneko
Reuters
Japan's Asahi newspaper said one man was taken into custody in China's northeast province of Liaoning near the border with North Korea and the other in the eastern province of Zhejiang near a military facility...

Japan's 'Profound' New American Military Ties Are All About China: Q&A

Robert Marquand
Christian Science Monitor
Japan's parliament passes the most sweeping changes to Japan's defense policy since World War II...

Viewpoint

09.03.15

The U.S. Was the True Mainstay in the Fight Against Japan in World War II

Han Lianchao from China Change
“When the Chinese people and the Chinese nation were in peril, the United States came to the rescue and asked for nothing in return. The U.S. never occupied a single inch of Chinese territory, never reaped any particular reward.”IAt 9:00 a.m. on...

Features

09.02.15

Parading the People’s Republic

Geremie R. Barmé from China Heritage Quarterly
In light of the September 3, 2015, mega military parade held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing both to mark the seventieth anniversary of the end of Second Sino-Japanese War in 1945 and to acclaim the achievements of Xi Jinping, China’s Chairman of...

Conversation

09.02.15

What Is China’s Big Parade All About?

Pamela Kyle Crossley, Richard Bernstein & more
On September 3, China will mark the 70th anniversary of its World War II victory over Japan with a massive parade involving thousands of Chinese troops and an arsenal of tanks, planes, and missiles in a tightly choreographed march across Tiananmen...

As Economy Falters, Military Parade Offers Chance to Burnish China’s Image

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
China celebrates a new national holiday to honor the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Media

08.31.15

Netanyahu, Shanghai, and the Communist Party’s Forbidden History

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On August 26, the Israeli Embassy in China posted a one-minute video to its official account on Weibo, China’s huge microblogging platform, thanking the coastal Chinese city of Shanghai for its role sheltering roughly 20,000 Jews fleeing persecution...

Japan Refuses to Take Part in China’s ‘Victory Day’ Event to Mark End of War

Justin McCurry in Tokyo and Tom...
Guardian
Shinzo Abe has decided against visiting Beijing for the event, partly to protest against China’s regional military build-up.

Culture

08.11.15

Japan’s Soft Power Leader in China is a Fat Blue Cartoon Cat

David Volodzko
On July 28, costumed in vibrant colors, throngs of fans flocked toward the early morning light of Victoria Harbor, queueing outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center for the last day of the 17th Ani-Com & Games Hong Kong. The...

Excerpts

08.10.15

What Happened to the Settlers the Japanese Army Abandoned in China

Michael Meyer
Seventy years ago today, thousands of Japanese settlers—mostly women and children—found themselves trapped in an area then known as Manchuria, or Manchukuo, the name of the puppet state the Japanese military established in 1931. Abandoned by their...

Media

07.28.15

Clickbait Nationalism

On July 16, the lower house of the Japanese Parliament passed a set of new security legislation that would grant Japan limited power to engage in foreign conflicts for the first time since its defeat in World War II. Despite domestic public...

China Calls Japan Foreign Policy 'Two-faced'

Thomas Peter
Reuters
China's Defense Ministry says it reserves the right to a "necessary reaction" after Japan called on Beijing to stop building oil and gas exploration platforms close to disputed waters...

Japan Sharpens Censure of China Disputed Sea Activity

BBC
Japan is nearing approval of changes to a national security law that would allow Japanese troops to fight overseas for the first time since World War II.

6 Arrested in China After Dressing Room Sex Video Goes Viral

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
A 19-year-old man was charged with disseminating obscene material. The couple pictured and three others were detained.

China Warns Japan Over Laws to Allow Troops to Fight Abroad

Julian Borger
Guardian
China warns Japan against “crippling regional peace and security” after Tokyo passes bills to allow Japanese troops to fight abroad.

Could China Be the Next Japan?

Enda Curran
Bloomberg
Even as China's economy shows signs of recovering from a slowdown, it is vulnerable to the crash that dragged Japan into falling consumer prices and stagnant growth...

China Blacklists 38 Cartoons, Violence, Porn Cited

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
Among the banned are a 2014 animated TV series set in a Tokyo after a terrorist attack has destroyed the city.

In North Korea: Wonder & Terror

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
The northeast of China used to be called Manchuria. Another name was “the cockpit of Asia.” Many wars were fought there. A French priest who traveled through the region in the 1920s wrote: “Although it is uncertain where God created paradise, we can...

U.S., China Set for High-Stakes Rivalry in Skies Above South China Sea

Greg Torode
Reuters
Experts say it's increasingly likley that Beijing will declare an Air Defense Identification Zone in the area...

China and South Korea Criticize Japanese Prime Minister’s Speech in US

Justin McCurry
Guardian
Shinzo Abe denounced for not repeating previous PMs’ apologies for Japan using sex slaves during second world war.