Viewpoint

07.16.13

CFIUS and the U.S. Senate’s Anti-China Bug

Samuel Kleiner
Last week, senators from both parties finally came together for a common objective: stopping the $4.7 billion sale of America’s largest pork producer to China. Their reason? The sale of Smithfield Farms to a Chinese company, Shuanghui, could pose a...

China’s Blackout of U.S. Media Can No Longer Be Ignored

Jim Sciutto
Washington Post
Web censorship is not just an inconvenience but also a reminder that many leading U.S. media and technology companies are excluded, or largely excluded, from one of the world’s largest markets and this country’s largest trading partner. ...

Reports

07.09.13

Prospects for U.S.-China Trade in Meat Products and Associated Investment Opportunities

Dermot Hayes
Paulson Institute
The rapid growth rate in per capita disposable income in China, coupled with a continued migration of hundreds of millions of new consumers to urban areas, has created challenges for the Chinese crop and livestock sectors. Faced with an increase in...

China’s Strength Could Become Its Weakness

John W. Schoen
NBC News
The heavy reliance on state investment produced unintended consequences. Overbuilding of housing created a real estate bubble. The investment a capacity to produce that overshot demand in a variety of areas. 

Conversation

06.11.13

What’s the Best Way to Advance Human Rights in the U.S.-China Relationship?

Nicholas Bequelin, Sharon Hom & more
Nicholas Bequelin:The best way to advance human rights in the U.S.-China relationship is first and foremost to recognize that the engine of human rights progress in China today is the Chinese citizenry itself. Such progress is neither the product of...

Caixin Media

06.03.13

Trading Companies and the Business of Illusion

Last year, the owner of an export-processing company whom we will call Lin Minyao learned of an easy way to make money in Shenzhen, the port city next to Hong Kong.Like his fellow traders, Lin said he could set up two shell companies, one in Hong...

Is the U.S. About to Become One Big Factory Farm For China?

Tom Philpott
Mother Jones
If Shuanghui International’s purchase of Smithfield is to grease the wheels of trade carrying U.S. hogs to China and its enormous domestic pork market, then we’re looking at the further expansion of factory-scale swine farming here in the U.S.&...

Europe and China Trade Talks End Bitterly

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
China called on the European Union to refrain from imposing tariffs on solar panels, and the European trade commissioner complained that China was pressuring individual countries to prevent Europe from reaching a consensus. 

Caixin Media

04.15.13

China Export Policy Chokes on Vitamin Verdict

Internet cafés covered by the city of Wuhan’s Internet Café Association agreed to set minimum prices for online access nearly a decade ago. And more than one hundred coking coal company-members of the Coke Association of Shanxi Province each agreed...

Beijing Opposes U.S. Rule On Technology Imports

Reuters
The new provision following recent cyberattacks requires NASA, as well as the U.S. Justice and Commerce Departments, to seek approval from national law enforcement officials before buying information technology systems from China. 

Conversation

03.26.13

Can China Transform Africa?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Isabel Hilton & more
Jeremy Goldkorn:The question is all wrong. China is already transforming Africa, the question is how China is transforming Africa, not whether it can. From the “China shops”—small stores selling cheap clothing, bags, and kitchenware—that have become...

Conversation

03.01.13

Is America’s Door Really Open to China’s Investment?

Daniel H. Rosen, Orville Schell & more
Daniel Rosen:There have not been many new topics in U.S.-China economic relations over the past decade: the trade balance, offshoring of jobs, Chinese holding of U.S. government debt, whether China’s currency is undervalued and intellectual property...

Conversation

02.22.13

Will Investment in China Grow or Shrink?

Donald Clarke & David Schlesinger
Donald Clarke:I don’t have the answer as to whether investment in China will grow or shrink, but I do have a few suggestions for how to think about the question. First, we have to clarify why we want to know the answer to this question: what do we...

China Denies It Is World’s Biggest Trader Despite Data Showing It Passed U.S. Last Year

The Associated Press
Washington Post
Official Chinese and American trade data indicate China passed the United States last year in total imports and exports by a margin of $3.866 trillion to $3.822 trillion.

Conversation

02.20.13

Cyber Attacks—What’s the Best Response?

James Fallows, Xiao Qiang & more
With regular ChinaFile Conversation contributor Elizabeth Economy on the road, we turned to her colleague Adam Segal, Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Segal said that “the time for...

Illicit Meth Trade Between China and North Korea Reveals A Lot About Their Relationship

Economist
Border police, especially in the North, are known to take bribes to allow illicit trade to pass. One illegal North Korean export causing social problems is crystal meth, a drug known in China as bingdu, or “ice.”

Morgan Stanley's Latest Alibaba Estimates Suggest It's Worth $66 Billion-$168 Billion

Eric Jackson
Forbes
The most relevant comparison is to Tencent which is still the biggest Chinese Internet company still experiencing rapid growth – albeit at a slightly slower pace than Alibaba.  (Tencent did $1.88 billion in the last year and is currently...

China Plays By Its Own Rules While Going Global

Jack Chang
Associated Press
When Venezuela seized billions of dollars in assets from Exxon Mobil and other foreign companies, Chinese state banks and investors didn't blink. Over the past five years they have loaned Venezuela more than $35 billion...

A War Between China and Japan: What it Could Cost You

Online MBA
Global economists are keeping their eyes glued to the Asia-Pacific region, where a bitter feud is brewing between two of the world’s most powerful nations over a small collectivity of islands in the East China Sea. The Chinese government argues that...

Infographics

02.14.13

Who Supplies Apple? (It’s Not Just China)

Last month, Apple Inc. released its updated list of suppliers. This report says it includes “the major manufacturing locations of suppliers who provide raw materials and components or perform final assembly on Apple.” ChinaFile used this data to...

Beijing Slams U.S. Sanctions on Chinese Companies

Teddy Ng
South China Morning Post
Beijing has denounced U.S. sanctions imposed on four Chinese companies and one individual last week for allegedly breaching a U.S. law designed to hamper the development of weapons of mass destruction by Iran, North Korea or Syria.

China’s String of Fake Pearls (Blog)

Daniel W. Drezner
Foreign Policy
For the past few years, a low level theme that occasionally pops into my news feed is the idea of greater Sino-Pakistani cooperation.  Now this has a certain amount of realpolitik sense to it.  The United States and Pakistan are...

Chinese Hackers Targeted Wall Street Journal

Siobhan Gorman, Devlin Barrett, and...
Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal said its computer systems had been infiltrated by Chinese hackers for the apparent purpose of monitoring the newspaper's China coverage...

Eastern Promise in LIttle Africa

Kit Gillet
Globe and Mail
Chasing their slice of China’s raging appetite, tens of thousands of African traders are settling uneasily in the ghettos of Guangzhou.

Books

01.24.13

Shangri-La

Michael Yamashita
The legendary Chamagudao, the Tea Horse Road, winds through dizzying mountain passes, across famed rivers like the Mekong and the Yangtze, and past monasteries and meadows in a circuitous route from Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in western China to the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa. Actually a network of roads, trails, and highways, rather than one distinct route, the Chamagudao once stretched for almost 1400 miles (2350 km)—a conduit along which the historic trade between the mighty Chinese empire and the nomadic Tibetans linked remote villages and ethnic groups. The Chinese military needed strong horses for their wars against Mongol invaders from the north, and the fiercely religious Tibetans desired tea for sacred rituals and sustenance. Once tea was introduced into Tibet around the 10th century, demand for it grew. Tea soon became a staple for Tibetans, especially when combined with their other staple, yak butter. But with Tibet’s extreme temperatures and altitudes, tea cultivation on a large scale was impossible. This set the stage for the tea-horse trade, which, by the 11th century, flourished along the Chamagudao, continuing until the 1950s. But getting these prized commodities to their growing markets was no easy feat. To transport the tea over the mountains meant many months of hard and dangerous travel for the hundreds of porters.Today, as Chinese culture merges with and even absorbs Tibetan traditions, the Tea Horse Road is a relic of a vastly different time. The Chinese are rapidly paving dirt roads to make highways for cars and trucks. Soon there will be little evidence of this once vital trade route. Though horses are no longer a military imperative for the Chinese army, Tibet has a new commodity that is in much demand in China. A homely caterpillar infected by a parasitic fungus has replaced the horse trade in Tibet. The yartsa gombu is prized for its medicinal qualities. Now Tibetans nomads drive Land Cruisers and motorcycles instead of horses, thanks to the profits they make collecting and selling the miracle mushroom worth more than gold. So trade continues, even though relics of the tea-horse trade are becoming harder to find. Following the Chamagudao, this book is a rare intimate look into the changing world of Tibet—both ancient and modern, sacred and commonplace, the rarefied and the gritty—before the legends and mysteries of the Tea Horse road disappear into the Tibetan mist. —White Star {chop}

Apple and China: A Match Made in Heaven?

Zachary Keck
Diplomat
China has long played a major role in Apple’s success after it moved much of its manufacturing from the U.S. to China and other Asian nations in the 1990’s.

ODI-lay Hee-ho: China's Overseas Investment

The Economist
Economist
China’s outward direct investment (ODI) exceeded $77 billion in 2012, an increase of 12.6% on the previous year.

Economists React: China's GDP Growth Hits 7.9% in Fourth Quarter

China Real Time Report
Wall Street Journal
Chinese growth is likely to stabilize around 8% this year after a more than two-year slowdown. 

Google Concedes Defeat in Chinese Censorship Battle

Josh Halliday
Guardian
U.S. company quietly drops warning message that Chinese users saw when searching for politically sensitive phrases

Caixin Media

12.16.12

Mobile Phones Souring Africa’s Image of China

Every day, about a dozen mobile phone wholesalers field orders and manufacturer offers from offices inside a nondescript, five-story building on Luthuli Avenue in downtown Nairobi.The building doesn’t look like a hub for global commerce, nor does it...

Don’t Underestimate China’s Luxury Market

Michael J. Silverstein
Harvard Business Review
China’s luxury market — and the global phenomenon of “trading up”— are well known. Yet when China's consumer markets recently experienced short terms blips, several doubters promptly questioned the pace of their long term growth. ...

S.E.C. Probe Puts China Listings in Doubt

Kathey Chu, Michael Rapoport and Ben...
Wall Street Journal
The watchdog's look at Chinese affiliates of five U.S. major accounting firms deals a blow to China firms eyeing U.S. captial. ...

S.E.C. Charges the Chinese Affiliates of 5 Big Accounting Firms

Edward Wyatt
New York Times
The U.S. financial watchdog says the firms failed to produce work papers from their audits of several China-based companies that are under S.E.C. investigation.

China Overtaking U.S. as Global Trader

Joe McDonald and Youkyung Lee
Associated Press
In just five years, China has surpassed the U.S. as a trading partner for much of the world.  The first story in new Associated Press series on "China's Reach."...

Mr. China Comes to America

James Fallows
Atlantic
Near the end of this year’s second presidential debate, Candy Crowley of CNN pointed out that iPads, iPhones, and other globally sought-after Apple products are all made in China. What would it take, she asked both Mitt Romney and Barack...

China Will Top U.S. as Biggest Film Market in the World by 2020: Study

Clarence Tsui
Hollywood Reporter
Box office haul in China, which now stands as the second-largest film market in the world after Japan, will surpass that in the U.S. by 2020, according to Ernst & Young.

China’s Xi May Unveil Plan for Change Late 2013, CICC Head Says

Zhou Xin
Bloomberg
China’s new leadership, headed by Xi Jinping, will probably unveil new market-oriented changes in late 2013, according to Li Jiange, head of the country’s biggest investment bank.Li, chairman of China International Capital Corp. and a vice...

China Film Regulator: Don't Blame us for Hollywood Hiccups

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
Beijing says it was the market that decided to bar imported films from domestic cinemas this summer, not film regulators.

Debating China’s Economic Future

Nicholas Lardy and Michael Pettis
Wall Street Journal
Is China’s economic growth destined to plunge down to 3% to 4% a year, or can it be sustained in the current 7% to 8% range? China Real Time has asked heavyweight experts Michael Pettis of Peking University and ...

China Leads in Foreign Direct Investment

Jack Perkowski
Forbes
China reclaiming from the FDI leadership had as much to do with the fall off in FDI into the U.S. as it had to do with events in China.

When Madison Met Handan – A Tale of Two Cities

Dinny McMahon and Carolyn Cui
Wall Street Journal
It’s unlikely that many of the 60 Chinese investors who visited Madison in September had heard of the Wisconsin state capital and home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers before agreeing to visit the U.S. Similarly the city of Handan, the Chinese...

'Iron Man 3': First Footage Reveals New Villian, No China

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
Much touted Disney-Marvel film co-production with Beijing-based studio DMG may ring hollow.

Europe and China Don't Need a Trade War: EU Trade Chief

Robin Emmott and Sebastian Moffett
Reuters
De Gucht says EU won't back down from fight againt unfair Chinese competition, but mutual self-interest will prevent trade war.  ...

Romney Can Invoke Japan Overtaking China as U.S. Lender

Wes Goodman and Daniel Kruger
Bloomberg
China is poised to lose its place as the U.S.’s biggest creditor for the first time since the height of the financial crisis, blunting one of Mitt Romney’s favored attacks in the presidential campaign.

American Politics and Chinese Data

Bill Bishop
Deal Book
In the midst of increasingly heated election rhetoric about China, Beijing has released some important economic data as its currency hits record highs. Both Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul D. Ryancriticized...

China Economic Figures Shore Up Global Markets

Kelvin Chan
Associated Press
Markets rose Monday on news of China's Sept. inflation falling to 1.9 percent from 2 percent in Aug. ...

Reports

10.12.12

Chinese Direct Investment in California

Daniel H. Rosen and Thilo Hanemann
Daniel H. Rosen
Asia Society
To build the case for a robust response to these opportunities and looming risks, this report analyzes Chinese investment in California in depth, mining a unique database for insights about California’s comparative advantages, the Chinese firms most...

As Romney Repeats Trade Message, Bain Maintains China Ties

Sharon LaFraniere and Mike McIntire
New York Times
China-related holdings by funds in which Mr. Romney has invested are a reminder of how he inhabits two worlds. 

Huawei Fires Back at the U.S.

SIOBHAN GORMAN And JURO OSAWA
Wall Street Journal
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Inc. lashed out Monday at a scathing congressional report, calling allegations that it may be spying on Americans and violating U.S. laws "little more than an exercise in China-bashing."...

Glut of Solar Panels Poses a New Threat to China

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
China’s supply of solar panels has grown faster than soaring global demand, sparking a price war.

Ralls vs. CFIUS: What Are the Implications for Chinese Investment?

Daniel H. Rosen and Thilo Hanemann
Council on Foreign Relations
First, this was not a political move by the President to position himself as tough on China, as suggested by some. The timeline of the review through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Presidential...

The Changing Politics of Chinese Trade and Investment

Edward Alden
Council on Foreign Relations
On the same day last week that President Obama was issuing an order blocking a Chinese company from acquiring several Oregon wind farms, the Financial Times had a fascinating story on the changing politics of the U.S...

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 Car Country, Obama Trumpets China Trade Case

Mark Landler
New York Times
In a vivid display of the powers of incumbency, President Obama on Monday filed a broad new trade case against China at the World Trade Organization, announcing the action in this industrial battleground where Mitt Romney has pressed his argument...

U.S. Files W.T.O. Case Against China Over Cars

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The United States on Monday filed a broad trade case against China at the World Trade Organization, alleging unfair subsidies for exports of cars and auto parts.

Who Makes China Exports: Local Companies or Foreign?

Valentina Romei and Rob Minto
Financial Times
Another month of disappointing China trade data: on Monday, overall Chinese exports increased just 2.7 per cent in August from a year earlier, and imports dropped 2.6 per cent. Export growth was higher than July’s worrying 1 per cent, but...

Buyers Dry Up in China as Economy Slows

Aaron Back
Wall Street Journal
China's soft August trade data could presage further weakness in its key export sector in the months ahead, suggesting that the world's No. 2 economy will continue to slow.The data released Monday showed that China's external and...

Romney’s Young ‘China’ Hand

Kenneth Rapoza
Forbes
Mitt Romney’s old China hand is more young than old, more Taiwan than China.Lanhee Chen, 34, is Romney’s policy wonk and one of Romney’s brains on China policy.  The California born policy director for the Romney campaign said that when it...

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...

Books

08.29.12

The Silk Road

Valerie Hansen
The Silk Road is as iconic in world history as the Colossus of Rhodes or the Suez Canal. But what was it, exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different—and far more interesting—as revealed in this new history.In The Silk Road, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archeological finds that revolutionize our understanding of these trade routes. For centuries, key records remained hidden—sometimes deliberately buried by bureaucrats for safe keeping. But the sands of the Taklamakan Desert have revealed fascinating material, sometimes preserved by illiterate locals who recycled official documents to make insoles for shoes or garments for the dead. Hansen explores seven oases along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. There was no single, continuous road, but a chain of markets that traded between east and west. China and the Roman Empire had very little direct trade. China's main partners were the peoples of modern-day Iran, whose tombs in China reveal much about their Zoroastrian beliefs. Silk was not the most important good on the road; paper, invented in China before Julius Caesar was born, had a bigger impact in Europe, while metals, spices, and glass were just as important as silk. Perhaps most significant of all was the road's transmission of ideas, technologies, and artistic motifs.The Silk Road is a fascinating story of archeological discovery, cultural transmission, and the intricate chains across Central Asia and China.  —Oxford University Press