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.

Leaders of China, Japan and South Korea Will Work Together on Denuclearizing North Korea

Mari Yamaguchi
Time
China, Japan and South Korea agreed Wednesday to cooperate on ending North Korea’s nuclear program and promoting free trade, two hot-button issues challenging their region.

Leaders of South Korea, Japan, China to Discuss North Korea

AP
Associated Press
The annual trilateral summit since 2008 will focus on North Korea and its nuclear weapons.

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.

How China Is Challenging American Dominance in Asia

Max Fisher and Audrey Carlsen
New York Times
As China grows more powerful, it is displacing decades-old American preeminence in parts of Asia. The outlines of the rivalry are defining the future of the continent.

China Probes Report of Possible North Korea Sanctions Breach at Sea

Reuters Staff
Reuters
China said on Thursday it is investigating a Japanese report that a Chinese ship may have carried out a ship-to-ship transfer with a North Korean vessel in breach of U.N. sanctions.

Conversation

01.24.18

Is China Really a ‘Threat’ to the U.S.?

James Holmes, Zha Daojiong & more
In a move presaging tougher policies towards China, the Department of Defense’s National Defense Strategy announced that the “revisionist powers” China and Russia are the “central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security.” And on January 22, Donald...

China’s Warplanes Hold Drill near Japan, South Korea, Taiwan

Associated Press
ABC
Chinese air force spokesman Shen Jinke said the air force dispatched bombers, fighters and reconnaissance planes through the Tsushima Strait to the Sea of Japan to “test its ocean combat ability.”

Business Is Booming Between China, Japan and South Korea — the US Should Get in on It

Michael Ivanovitch
CNBC
China, Japan and South Korea account for a quarter of the world’s output of goods and services. Their combined trade surplus is currently running at an annual rate of $400 billion. They can recycle that trade income to finance, with interest, most...

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...

Media

11.15.17

What Happened When Trump Met Xi?

Bonnie S. Glaser, Daniel R. Russel & more
An edited transcript of “ChinaFile Presents: What Happened When Trump Met Xi?” a discussion of Donald Trump’s five-country trip to Asia with Daniel Russel, Bonnie Glaser, and Orville Schell, moderated by Susan Jakes. The panel took place at Asia...

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...

Conversation

11.02.17

Trump Goes to Asia

Ely Ratner, David Dollar & more
Chinese officials like to talk about practicing “win-win” diplomacy. Their American counterparts sometime joke that this means China wins twice. From November 3 to November 14, Donald Trump will visit Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines,...

Sinica Podcast

09.22.17

North Korea Behind the Scenes

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
North Korea is a mystery to nearly everyone—even those who have dedicated their lives to studying the country, including Korean experts based in Seoul, national security experts in Washington or Beijing, and a variety of foreigners who have spent...

Conversation

09.21.17

What Will China Do if the U.S. Attacks North Korea?

Shen Dingli, Bonnie S. Glaser & more
During a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, U.S. President Donald Trump warned that if North Korea threatened the United States or its allies, he would “totally destroy” the nation. As tensions continue to rise between...

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...

North Korea Fires Second Ballistic Missile over Japan

BBC
BBC
The missile reached an altitude of about 770km, travelling 3,700km — higher and further than one fired over Japan late last month — before landing in the sea off Hokkaido, South Korea's military says...

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 Reclaims Spot as World's Biggest Holder of Treasuries

Andrew Mayeda and Katherine Greifeld
Bloomberg
China reclaimed its position as the top foreign owner of U.S. Treasuries after increasing its holdings for the fifth straight month.China’s holdings of U.S. bonds, notes and bills rose to $1.15 trillion in June, up $44.3 billion from a month earlier...

SoftBank Partners with China’s Ofo to Bring Its Dock-Less Bikes to Japan

Jon Russell
TechCrunch
A month after committing to help WeWork enter Japan, SoftBank is lending a hand to another global unicorn with its sights set on the country. Today, it announced a tie-in that will bring Ofo’s dock-less bike rental service to Japanese soil.

Why China Censors Banned Winnie the Pooh

BBC
The blocking of Winnie the Pooh might seem like a bizarre move by the Chinese authorities but it is part of a struggle to restrict clever bloggers from getting around their country’s censorship.

China’s Quest to End Its Century of Shame

New York Times
At an ocean research center on Hainan Island off China’s southern coast, officials routinely usher visitors into a darkened screening room to watch a lavishly produced People’s Liberation Army video about China’s ambitions to reassert itself as a...

Western and Japanese Snub of China’s Belt and Road Summit Is a Missed Opportunity

Jean-Pierre Lehmann
South China Morning Post
The conspicuous absence of the heads of state from the major Western economic powers and Japan at the belt and road summit this month in Beijing is a big mistake and a missed opportunity for enhancing dynamic and cooperative globalisation.

Why China’s New Aircraft Carrier Is Significant

CHRISTOPHER BODEEN
ABC
China on Wednesday launched the navy’s second aircraft carrier, its first to be entirely homebuilt.

The North Korea Rhetoric Is Angry -- but Is Conflict Closer?

Joshua Berlinger, Brad Lendon
CNN
U.S. warships and submarines are on the move. North Korea has carried out its largest ever live-fire drill. Washington and Pyongyang are trading inflammatory rhetoric on a weekly basis.

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}

China Hits ‘Provocative’ US on North Korea after Saying USS Carl Vinson Was Headed to the Peninsula

News.com.au
China has avoided directly criticising the United States for lying about the course of its nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, but warned that such actions might compromise regional peace.

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...

North Korea Is Increasingly a Focus of U.S.-China Meeting

ABC
The White House is talking in more urgent terms about North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, as President Donald Trump’s talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping approach.

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’...

Demolishing Dalian: China’s ‘Russian’ City Is Erasing Its Heritage—in Pictures

Francesca Perry
Guardian
Founded by the Russians, Dalian boasts a wealth of architectural history. But now its treasured buildings are marked for demolition—and the government is being sued. One student went to capture the area before it disappears

Tillerson to Press China on North Korea in Tough First Asia Trip

David Brunnstrom and Yeganeh Torbati
Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson faces a tough first trip to Asia this week when he will seek to reassure nervous allies facing North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threat and press China to do more

Books

03.13.17

The End of the Asian Century

Michael Auslin
Since Marco Polo, the West has waited for the “Asian Century.” Today, the world believes that Century has arrived. Yet from China’s slumping economy to war clouds over the South China Sea and from environmental devastation to demographic crisis, Asia’s future is increasingly uncertain. Historian and geopolitical expert Michael Auslin argues that far from being a cohesive powerhouse, Asia is a fractured region threatened by stagnation and instability. Here, he provides a comprehensive account of the economic, military, political, and demographic risks that bedevil half of our world, arguing that Asia, working with the United States, has a unique opportunity to avert catastrophe—but only if it acts boldly. Bringing together firsthand observations and decades of research, Auslin’s provocative reassessment of Asia’s future will be a must-read for industry and investors, as well as politicians and scholars, for years to come. —Yale University Press{chop}

Japan Plans to Send Largest Warship to South China Sea, Sources Say

Reuters
China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation.

Sinica Podcast

03.10.17

Jane Perlez: Chinese Foreign Relations in a New Age of Uncertainty

Jeremy Goldkorn & Jane Perlez from Sinica Podcast
Jane Perlez has been a reporter at The New York Times since 1981. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for coverage of the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She has reported on wars, diplomacy, and foreign policy from...

Conversation

03.09.17

Is THAAD the Start of a U.S.-China Arms Race?

Isaac Stone Fish, Graham Webster & more
In late February, U.S. President Donald Trump called for adding $54 billion to the U.S. military budget—an increase of roughly 10 percent. And in early March, despite outcry from Beijing, the United States began deploying the Terminal High-Altitude...

China Wants to Avert ‘Head-on Collision’ in the Koreas, but Will Trump Sign on?

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
China’s foreign minister has a plan to ease tensions in East Asia: North Korea should stop testing missiles, and the United States and South Korea should stop joint military exercises, he said Wednesday. ...

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...

China, Russia Condemn North Korea’s Missile Launch

Joshua Berlinger
CNN
China has voiced opposition to North Korea’s test of a reported new ballistic missile more than 24 hours after reports of the launch emerged. But the country shrugged off suggestions it should be doing more to intervene in the rogue state’s military...

Trump’s Defense Chief Heads to Asia, Eying China, North Korea Threat

Phil Stewart and Nobuhiro Kubo
Reuters
President Donald Trump’s defense secretary is expected to underscore U.S. security commitments to key allies South Korea and Japan on his debut trip to Asia this week as concerns mount over North Korea’s missile program and tensions with China.

Asia Pacific Nations Are Tilting Closer toward China as Trump Declares ‘America First’

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
There are strong signs that countries in Asia and the Pacific region are turning away from the United States and tilting toward China as the Trump administration emphasizes “America First.”

Donald Trump Is Handing China the World

David Axe
Daily Beast
While Trump focuses on building up the U.S. Navy to counter China, Beijing is gobbling up the other segments of global relations that used to be dominated by the U.S.

New U.S.-China Rivalry Risks Lethal Confrontation

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Provocations by President-elect Trump over trade and territory could escalate into armed conflict

Conversation

11.15.16

Should China’s Neighbors Rely on the U.S. for Protection?

Richard J. Heydarian, Sheila Smith & more
President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a platform of neo-isolationism that could see many traditional U.S. allies in Asia left without Washington’s support in the newly roiled waters of the South- and East China Seas. What will the governments...

TPP’s Failure Would Hand U.S. Business in Japan to China, White House Says

William Mauldin
Wall Street Journal
Exporters could miss gains from Pacific trade deal, lose market share, according to study

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.

Li Keqiang Becomes First Chinese Premier to Visit Cuba

Catherine Putz
Diplomat
The world’s largest and smallest communist states have had stable relations for years.

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

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...

Sinica Podcast

02.22.16

Allegiance

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser and Jeremy recorded today’s show from New York, where they waylaid Holly Chang, founder of Project Pengyou and now Acting Executive Director of the Committee of 100, for a discussion on spying, stealing commercial spying, spying, and Broadway...

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."...

Conversation

01.06.16

The North Korean Bomb Test—What's Next?

Barbara Demick, Jonathan D. Pollack & more
On Wednesday, North Korea claimed that it had tested a hydrogen bomb, bringing to four the number of nuclear weapons it has set off on its own territory since 2006. The act drew international condemnation, prompting us to ask: What’s different this...

Books

12.29.15

Crouching Tiger

Peter Navarro
Will there be war with China? This book provides the most complete and accurate assessment of the probability of conflict between the United States and the rising Asian superpower. Equally important, it lays out an in-depth analysis of the possible pathways to peace. Written like a geopolitical detective story, the narrative encourages reader interaction by starting each chapter with an intriguing question that often challenges conventional wisdom.Based on interviews with more than thirty top experts, the author highlights a number of disturbing facts about China's recent military buildup and the shifting balance of power in Asia: the Chinese are deploying game-changing "carrier killer" ballistic missiles; some of America's supposed allies in Europe and Asia are selling highly lethal weapons systems to China in a perverse twist on globalization; and, on the U.S. side, debilitating cutbacks in the military budget send a message to the world that America is not serious about its "pivot to Asia."In the face of these threatening developments, the book stresses the importance of maintaining U.S. military strength and preparedness and strengthening alliances, while warning against a complacent optimism that relies on economic engagement, negotiations, and nuclear deterrence to ensure peace.Accessible to readers from all walks of life, this multidisciplinary work blends geopolitics, economics, history, international relations, military doctrine, and political science to provide a better understanding of one of the most vexing problems facing the world. —Prometheus Books{chop}

Abe and Modi Strengthen Ties to Counter China's Rise

Natalie Obiko Pearson
Bloomberg
India and Japan took their biggest steps yet to deepen strategic ties, and it’s mostly thanks to China.

Japan Could Risk Chinese Anger by Joining U.S. Sea Patrols

Justin McCurry
Guardian
Shinzo Abe reported told Barack Obama that Tokyo would think about participating in operations in South China Sea.

Conversation

11.18.15

How Can China’s Neighbors Make Progress at APEC?

Le Hong Hiep & Brian Eyler
Ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit next week, we asked a group of experts from China’s neighboring countries what they thought the main thrust of discussion in Manila should be. If host, the Philippines, under pressure from...

Vietnam Talks Trust With China, Invites Japanese Warship

MARTIN PETTY AND BEN BLANCHARD
Reuters
Vietnam agreed to build a "truly trustworthy" relationship with China on Friday during a visit to Hanoi by its President Xi Jinping...

China, Japan and South Korea Relations 'Completely Restored' After Summit

Tiffany Ap, KJ Kwon and Yoko Wakatsuki
CNN
"All sides shared the view that trilateral cooperation has been completely restored in this meeting."...