Viewpoint

04.16.18

Has Xi Jinping Changed China? Not Really

Teng Biao
Xi Jinping has had an eventful early spring. After he abolished presidential term limits and was unanimously elected—if it can be called an election—to serve another term in that post, Xi got the world’s attention again by holding a meeting with Kim...

Books

08.21.17

China’s Banking Transformation

James Stent
In this timely and provocative book, James Stent, a banker with decades of experience in Asian banking and fluency in Chinese language, explains how Chinese banks work, analyzes their strengths and weaknesses, and sets forth the challenges they face in a slowing economy. Without minimizing the real issues Chinese banks face, China’s Banking Transformation challenges negative media accounts and reports of “China bears.” Based on his 13 years of service on the boards of China Minsheng Bank, a privately owned listed bank, and China Everbright Bank, a state-controlled listed bank, the author brings the informed view of an insider to the reality of Chinese banking.China’s Banking Transformation demonstrates that Chinese banks have transformed into modern, well-run commercial banks, playing a vital role supporting the country’s extraordinary economic growth. Acknowledging that China’s banks are different from Western banks, the author explains that they are hybrid banks, borrowing extensively from Western models, but at the same time operating within a traditional Chinese cultural framework and in line with China’s governance model.From his personal experience working at board level, Stent describes the governance and management of China’s banks, including the role of the Communist Party. He sees China’s banks as embedded in ancient concepts of how government and society work in China, and also as actors within a market socialist political economy. The Chinese banking system today bears similarities with banking in Northeast Asian “developmental states” of recent past, and also pre-1949 Chinese banking.As the first account of Chinese banking by a Westerner who has worked in China’s banks, China’s Banking Transformation should be read by anyone interested in the political economy of contemporary China, in Asian development issues, and in banking issues generally. The book dispels misconceptions and provides insight into the financial aspects of China’s economic growth story. —Oxford University Press{chop}

Viewpoint

05.09.17

Beijing Is Weakening Hong Kong’s Rule of Law. How Far Will It Go?

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
“The American Chamber of Commerce has urged Hong Kong’s next government to reach out to international businesses still ‘unclear’ about what opportunities the city can offer under the one country, two systems policy.” —South China Morning Post, April...

How the Communist Party Guided China to Success

New York Times
One of Sebastian Heilmann’s major works is a comprehensive guide to how China is governed, now updated and translated into English as China’s Political System. This is a wide-ranging examination of how the system works—how it guides the economy,...

Conversation

10.27.16

What Does Xi Jinping’s Top-Down Leadership Mean for Innovation in China?

Matthias Stepan, Anna Ahlers & more
One of the hallmarks of Xi Jinping’s leadership has been a centralization of power across a whole range of areas of domestic politics. This week, the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership meets in Beijing for the sixth plenary session of its 18th...

Crackdown in China: Worse and Worse

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
“As a liberal, I no longer feel I have a future in China,” a prominent Chinese think tank head in the process of moving abroad recently lamented in private. Such refrains are all too familiar these days as educated Chinese professionals express...

Conversation

02.18.16

‘Rule by Fear?’

Eva Pils, Taisu Zhang & more
In the just over three years since Xi Jinping assumed leadership of China, observers and scholars of the country have increasingly coalesced around the idea that Xi’s term in office has coincided with a shift in the tone, if not the practice, of...

Why Are Tibetans Setting Themselves on Fire?

Tsering Woeser from New York Review of Books
February 27, 2009, was the third day of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. It was also the day that self-immolation came to Tibet. The authorities had just cancelled a Great Prayer Festival (Monlam) that was supposed to commemorate the victims of the...

Why Pollution is Good for China

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
I am a member of a martial arts group that performs at annual temples fairs around Beijing.

Viewpoint

11.19.15

A Response to Andrew Nathan

Daniel A. Bell
I’d like to thank Andrew Nathan for his thoughtful critique of my book, published originally in short form in The National Interest and in longer form on ChinaFile. At first glance, his argument may seem far-fetched: although I’ve been living and...

Caixin Media

05.05.15

A Byronic Hero for China’s Supremo

A little known vignette about Xi Jinping’s fondness for Song Jiang, a fictional hero in the 14th century classic novel The Water Margin, gives a peek into the private thoughts of China’s most powerful man. For someone born with a red spoon in his...

Books

02.10.15

Buried Ideas

Sarah Allan
The discovery of previously unknown philosophical texts from the Axial Age is revolutionizing our understanding of Chinese intellectual history. Buried Ideas presents and discusses four texts found on brush-written slips of bamboo and their seemingly unprecedented political philosophy. Written in the regional script of Chu during the Warring States period (475–221 BCE), all of the works discuss Yao’s abdication to Shun and are related to but differ significantly from the core texts of the classical period, such as the Mencius and Zhuangzi. Notably, these works evince an unusually meritocratic stance, and two even advocate abdication over hereditary succession as a political ideal. Sarah Allan includes full English translations and her own modern-character editions of the four works examined: Tang Yú zhi dao, Zigao, Rongchengshi, and Bao xun. In addition, she provides an introduction to Chu-script bamboo-slip manuscripts and the complex issues inherent in deciphering them. —SUNY Press{chop}

Viewpoint

11.26.14

Three Views of Local Consciousness in Hong Kong

Ho-fung Hung
Hong Kong has been in turmoil. The 2003 demonstration in which more than half a million demonstrators successfully forestalled the Article 23 anti-subversion legislation, as well as the 2012 rally of 130,000 and the threat of general student strikes...

Infographics

11.20.14

Who Really Benefits from Poverty Alleviation in China?

from Sohu
A series of reports issued by China's National Audit Office highlights problems in 19 counties that have received funding from national poverty alleviation programs. News of "impoverished counties’" constructing luxurious new...

China and ‘The Battle for Africa’

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Al Jazeera stands alone among the major international news channels in its regular coverage of the Chinese in Africa. In the network’s latest documentary released in September 2014, veteran Sierra Leonean journalist Sorious Samura hosts “The Battle...

Caixin Media

09.22.14

Nudging China Toward Governance Reform

Three recent items of news deserve attention. First, revisions to the budget law were passed late last month. Second, in a speech this month marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the National People's Congress, Party General Secretary...

Caixin Media

09.30.13

Reform of State-Owned Enterprise Requires Adopting Modern Governance

Corruption involving the country’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has hogged the headlines. So far, senior executives at China National Petroleum Corp. have been sacked, former railways officials have been hauled to court and, most recently, news...

Challenges Mount For China’s President

Bill Bishop
Deal Book
Whatever honeymoon President Xi Jinping of China may have been having appears to be over. Now the president must grapple with the H7N9 virus, tensions over North Korea, an economic slowdown, corruption, and a host of other issues. 

China’s Intelligence Reforms?

Peter Mattis
Diplomat
The Chinese Communist Party is  aware of the need to improve governance and recent rumors include a possible change of contols over the Ministry of State Security.

No Ancient Wisdom for China

James McGregor
YaleGlobal Online
The much-vaunted China Model has morphed in the past decade to a one-of-a-kind system of authoritarian capitalism that is in danger of terminating itself – and taking the world down with it. It is also proving incompatible with global trade...

Keywords: Preserving Stability

Qian Gang
China Media Project
The two-character Chinese phrase weiwen is an abbreviated form of the full phrase, weihu wending, meaning to preserve or safeguard stability. The Chinese Communist Party has many such shortened phrases, compact verbalisms that pack a political punch...

Propaganda Bites Official

Cheng Jiulong
Economic Observer
Wuhan, the largest city in the central Chinese province of Hubei, has a reputation for being one of China's three "furnace" cities, but on this occasion the heat was on the government officials as they were about to appear on a...

Reports

05.10.12

Understanding China’s Political System

Susan V. Lawrence, Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China’s Communist Party dominates state and society in China, is committed to maintaining a permanent monopoly on power, and is intolerant of those who question its right to rule. Nonetheless, analysts consider China’s political system to be neither...

Reports

11.01.09

Governance and Fund Management in the Chinese Pension System

Gregoro Impavido, Yu-Wei Hu, and Xiaohong Li
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The Chinese pension system is highly fragmented and decentralized, with governance standards, pension fund management practices, their regulation and supervision varying considerably both across the funded components of the Chinese pension system...