China’s New Diplomatic Strategy in Africa: Humility

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Just a few weeks after Chinese premier Li Keqiang admitted that China was going through “growing pains” in its engagement with Africa, Beijing’s central bank chief, Zhou Xiaochuan, acknowledged some of the 2,500 PRC companies operating in Africa are...

UglyGorilla Hacker Left Tracks, U.S. Cyber-Hunters Say

Michael A. Riley and Dune Lawrence
Bloomberg
Prosecutors building a case against Wang Dong, one of five Chinese military hackers indicted for economic espionage, were helped by Wang’s apparent willingness to break a cardinal rule of spying: Leave no tracks.

China summons U.S. Ambassador Over Indictment Against Chinese Military Officers

Xinhua
China's Assistant Foreign Minister summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus to lodge a complaint over a U.S. indictment against five Chinese military officers...

Conversation

05.09.14

The China-Vietnam Standoff: How Will It End?

Daniel Kliman, Ely Ratner & more
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...

Obama Faces Headwinds on Trans-Pacific Partnership in East Asia trip

Kristine Kwok
South China Morning Post
Negotiations with Japan on a 12-nation transpacific trade liberalisation deal are bogged down, while support for it is waning in Malaysia, which could pull out altogether under pressure from business concerns. Analysts say the negotiations...

U.S. Department of State: Preview of President Obama's Upcoming Trip to Asia

Ben Rhodes and Evan Medeiros
U.S. State Department
This is the President’s fifth trip to the Asia Pacific region, which has been a focus of our foreign policy. It makes up in part for the trip he was not able to take last fall because of the government shutdown, with the stops in Malaysia and the...

Conversation

04.22.14

What Obama Should Say About China in Japan

Yuki Tatsumi, Ely Ratner & more
On Wednesday, Barack Obama will land in Tokyo beginning a week-long trip to four of China's neighbors—but not to China itself.In Obama’s stops in Tokyo, Seoul, Manila, and Kuala Lampur, the specter of China will loom large. This will be...

As China Turns Toward Middle East, China and Israel Seek Closer Ties

Shannon Tiezzi
Diplomat
Israeli President Shimon Peres is visiting China, the latest sign of growing Chinese-Israeli ties.

Paddling to Peking

Roderick MacFarquhar from New York Review of Books
For Richard Nixon’s foreign policy, 1971 was the best of years and the worst of years. He revealed his opening to China, but he connived at genocide in East Pakistan. Fortunately for him, the world marveled at the one, but was largely ignorant of...

Conversation

03.02.14

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

Kaiser Kuo, Hyeon-Ju Rho & more
Reacting to departing U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke’s February 27 farewell news conference in Beijing, the state-run China News Service published a critique by Wang Ping that called Ambassador Locke a “banana.”Kaiser Kuo:Banana or Twinkie for “white-on...

Conversation

02.22.14

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

Isabel Hilton, Donald Clarke & more
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" who seeks to use...

China and Taiwan Hold First Official Talks Since Civil War

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
The discussions were not expected to produce major breakthroughs, but they had important symbolic significance.

Senate Approves Max Baucus as China Ambassador

Alan Fram
Associated Press
Longtime Sen. Max Baucus, a lawmaker well-versed in U.S. trade policy but with little expertise about military and other issues that have raised tensions with Beijing, has been confirmed the new U.S. ambassador to China.

The Original Manchurian Candidate

G.E.
Economist
In 1868 Anson Burlingame became not only America’s first minister to China to reside in Beijing, but also China’s first ambassador to the world.

Why are China and Japan Accusing Each Other of Being Voldemort?

Justin McCurry
Christian Science Monitor
Ill-tempered media exchanges between the Chinese and Japanese ambassadors to London invoked the universal cultural icon to embellish attacks over islands in the Asia-Pacific. 

Despite Baucus Nomination, Critics Cite Void in China Lineup

Mark Landler
New York Times
With his appointment of Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, a seasoned Senate free-trader as his new ambassador to Beijing, President Obama has chosen an emissary who faithfully reflects his priorities with China, which have tended to emphasize jobs...

Biden Urges Restraint by China in Airspace Dispute

Mark Landler
New York Times
Chinese leaders pushed back at visiting Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday over what they assert is their right to control a wide swath of airspace in the bitterly contested East China Sea. But the Chinese also indicated that they had...

Conversation

12.03.13

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

Susan Shirk
Susan Shirk: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 selection as P.R.C. president and C.C.P. general...

Conversation

11.27.13

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

Chen Weihua, James Fallows & more
Chen Weihua:The Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is not a Chinese invention. The United States, Japan and some 20 other countries declared such zones in their airspace long time ago.China’s announcement of its first ADIZ in the East China Sea...

Conversation

11.24.13

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

Mary Kay Magistad & Robert Kapp
Mary Kay Magistad: Gary Locke succeeded in a way that few U.S. ambassadors to China have—in improving public perceptions of U.S. culture.  Locke’s down-to-earth approachability and lack of ostentation certainly helped. So did the...

Conversation

10.08.13

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

Winston Lord, Susan Shirk & more
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 analysts have argued...

Japanese visits to shrine on war anniversary anger China

Antoni Slodkowski
Reuters
Japan's prime minister sent an offering to a shrine for war dead on the anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat, drawing harsh complaints from China and South Korea and risking tentative ties...

U.S. and China Pledge New Model of Cooperation

Jackie Calmes and Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
The two presidents appeared eager to redefine the relationship in a way that would allow their countries to overcome their economic, political and diplomatic differences, rather than letting new — or old — crises derail progress. 

At the U.S.-China Summit, Friendship Isn’t What Matters

Gordon G. Chang
Daily Beast
As the interactions between American and Chinese officials have increased dramatically, ties between the two nations have only become more strained. That’s one indication that Chinese leaders are not influenced by personal relations. &...

Conversation

06.06.13

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

Winston Lord, Orville Schell & more
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 ideal Sunnylands...

Viewpoint

06.05.13

A Re-Opening to China?

Paul Gewirtz
Five months into his second term, President Obama is about to undertake the most important diplomatic initiative of his presidency: an effort to reshape the relationship with China. With little fanfare thus far but considerable boldness on both...

Conversation

05.29.13

What Should Obama and Xi Accomplish at Their California Summit?

Susan Shirk, Orville Schell & more
Susan Shirk: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 American presidents have been too short, formal and...

China Dips a Toe Into Middle East Peace

Edward Wong and Chris Buckley
New York Times
China took a modest step into Middle East diplomacy early May 2013, hosting back-to-back visits from Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. 

Palestinian Leader Seeks Chinese Support

Chris Buckley
New York Times
China has tried to maintain firm ties with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority while supporting Palestinian demands for statehood and occasionally chiding the Israeli government for its policies toward the Palestinians.&...

Conversation

04.30.13

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

Shai Oster, Andrew J. Nathan & more
Shai Oster: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 system and social stability as core interests. This year, it has added a...

Viewpoint

04.26.13

Sino-American Relations: Amour or Les Miserables?

Winston Lord
Winston Lord, former United States Ambassador to China, tells us he recently hacked into the temples of government, pecking at his first-generation iPad with just one finger—a clear sign that...

Environment

04.22.13

Why It’s Time to End China-Bashing on the Environment

from chinadialogue
The major impact that international summits and treaties have had on China’s environmental governance is often overlooked. Environmental protection first emerged as an issue in China in 1972, after the country dispatched a delegation to the U.N...

Conversation

04.11.13

Why Is Chinese Soft Power Such a Hard Sell?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Donald Clarke & more
Jeremy Goldkorn: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 the same: if you have enough cash, you can buy guns...

Infographics

04.09.13

China, North Korea, and Nuclear Arms

Ouyang Bin, David M. Barreda & more
As tensions again escalate on the Korean Peninsula, ChinaFile examines more than a decade of developments in North Korea’s nuclear armaments program. We begin our timeline in late 2002, when China first joined diplomatic discussions, paving the...

China’s First Lady Gets In On Charm Offensive

Financial Times
The move to make his wife more visible underscores the sense that Xi is treading a different path from his predecessor. Breaking with Chinese tradition signals his recognition that China must find new ways to make friends. 

American Policy Towards China: Getting Beyond the Friend-Or-Foe Fallacy

Ely Ratner and Steven Weber
New American Foundation
It is not widely accepted that any meaningful relationship can be boiled down to a single index that quantifies where it is at any moment and whether it is “better’’ or “worse” than a week or a month ago.

Defining the Chinese Dream (Editorial)

Hu Shuli
Amid growing rivalry with the U.S., Beijing’s diplomats must clearly explain their country’s values to ease the concerns of neighbors.

Beijing’s Test of Tokyo

Sheila A. Smith
Council on Foreign Relations
China and Japan have been drawing lines in the waters around the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands for the Chinese) almost daily since the Japanese government under Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda purchased these islands from a private owner on...

Alarm as China Issues Rules for Disputed Area

Jane Perlez
New York Times
New rules announced by a Chinese province last week to allow interceptions of ships in the South China Sea are raising concerns in the region, and in Washington, that simmering disputes with Southeast Asian countries over the waters will escalate.

The Key to Bringing Democracy to China

Huang Yasheng
Foreign Policy
For many years, Western leaders have couched the argument for greater political openness and democratization in China in moral terms, citing the universality of both human rights and the aspirations for freedom and independence. In May, defending...

Huntsman Speaks Out

Isaac Stone Fish
Foreign Policy
Since withdrawing from the Republican primaries in January, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has tried to stay engaged with China, where he served as Barack Obama's ambassador from 2009-2011. But China hasn't always...

The Pivot (Video)

Mike Chinoy
University of Southern California, U.S.-China Institute
The Obama administration has made Asia a top priority for U.S. foreign policy. The move has been dubbed "The Pivot," and it has the potential to be one of the most enduring legacies of the Obama presidency...

In Shark-Infested Waters, Resolve of Two Giants Is Tested

Martin Fackler
New York Times
 The voyage to these remote islands at the center of one of Asia’s most heated territorial disputes is a bone-jarring seven-hour boat ride from one of Japan’s southernmost ports, a long enough journey that the fishermen who brave...

The Chinese View of Obama and Romney

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
China has been pulled into the center ring of the U.S. Presidential campaign in recent weeks, with the candidates seeking to outdo each other on pledges to harden up on trade, currency, and security. In the Times...

State to Tighten Oversight of International NGOs

He Dan
China Daily
By amending existing law, China will set clear rules for international NGOs to register on the mainland and will strengthen supervision of their activities. Li Liguo, minister of civil affairs, made the announcement at a news conference inBeijing on...

Obama’s Evolution to a Tougher Line on China

Mark Landler
New York Times
President Obama’s patience with China had been fraying for months, and by November 2010 he was fed up. Meeting with President Hu Jintao in Seoul, South Korea, Mr. Obama warned that if China did not do more to curb...

In China, Panetta Says U.S. Focus on Asia Is No Threat

Thom Shanker and Ian Johnson
New York Times
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta declared on Wednesday that the United States was not trying to contain a risingChina, and he stressed that with patience and effort current tensions between the giant rivals on opposite sides of...

Rumors Swirl as China's Xi Vanishes

Jamil Anderlini
Financial Times
Over the last week Mr Xi has cancelled at least four scheduled meetings with visiting dignitaries, including a Russian delegation, the prime minister of Singapore and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last Wednesday, and the prime minister of...

Obama's DNC Speech and China

Austin Ramzy
Time
In his speech Thursday to the Democratic National Convention, President Obama’s mentions of China added up to just a couple dozen words, but they underscored a new and significant role the Asian power is playing in the 2012 campaign.

China's Long History of Defying the Doomsayers

Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Stephen Platt
Atlantic
Thirty-six years after "Great Helmsman" Mao Zedong died of a heart attack, leaving his country briefly rudderless during a time of crisis and uncertainty, the Chinese ship of state is still sailing. But is it still seaworthy? Observers are...

China's Greatest Challenge: Not America, But Itself

Anka Lee
Diplomat
As China’s international profile continues to rise in tandem with its economic and political significance, one might conclude that the Chinese public is likely to expect Xi Jinping to carry a higher profile on the international stage. As the leader...

A Diplomatic Incident in China

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The Japanese ambassador to Beijing, Uichiro Niwa, and his wife were riding in their limo this week when an unknown Chinese man approached and tore the mini-flag off the hood. There is some debate about whether the limo was blocked...

China Leadership Monitor--Issue 38

Alice Miller et al.
Hoover Institution
Includes articles on Bo Xilai and the PLA, the Pacific PIvot, Economic Uncertaintly Its Effect on Politics, and China's Top Future Leaders to watch...

Interview: Kenneth Lieberthal on Strategic Distrust

YOICHI KATO
Asahi Shimbun
The United States and China have a relatively successful relationship, but their distrust of each other's long-term intentions has reached a potentially dangerous level, says Kenneth Lieberthal, an experienced China expert based in Washington...

Olympic Uniforms, Congressional Fashion Statements, and the WTO

Donald Clarke
Chinese Law Prof Blog
Many bloggers have already written about the posturing of certain of our elected representatives on the issue of China-made clothing for US Olympic athletes, using various permutations of the word “idiot” (e.g., Daniel Drezner, “idiocies...

Growing China Clout Sparks Concern in Taiwan Media

Austin Ramzy
Time
Taiwan regulators have put strict conditions on a bid by a China-friendly media group to purchase the island’s second largest cable TV system as concerns grow that China’s commercial clout is already undermining freedom of the press in one of Asia’s...

China's Military Moment

Jim Holmes
Foreign Policy
Beguiled by undersea oil and gas deposits and the weakness of fellow claimants to the Paracel Islands, China launched a naval offensive to seize the disputed archipelago. To justify its actions, Beijing pointed to history -- notably Ming Dynasty Adm...

Chinese Maker of Olympic Uniforms Baffled by Backlash

David Pierson
Los Angeles Times
If Horatio Alger had spoken Mandarin he would have loved the rags-to-riches tale of garment maker Li Guilian. Chinese President Hu Jintao and fellow Politburo members are loyal customers of her firm,...

Reports

07.24.12

Stirring Up the South China Sea (II) 

International Crisis Group
The South China Sea dispute between China and some of its South East Asian neighbours - Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei - has reached an impasse. Increasingly assertive positions among claimants have pushed regional tensions to new...

Stirring up the South China Sea: Regional Responses

Unattributed
International Crisis Group
The South China Sea dispute between China and some of its South East Asian neighbours – Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei – has reached an impasse. Increasingly assertive positions among claimants have pushed regional tensions to new...