Books

06.30.11

Ghetto at the Center of the World

Gordon Mathews
There is nowhere else in the world quite like Chungking Mansions, a dilapidated seventeen-story commercial and residential structure in the heart of Hong Kong’s tourist district. A remarkably motley group of people call the building home: Pakistani phone stall operators, Chinese guesthouse workers, Nepalese heroin addicts, Indonesian sex workers, and traders and asylum seekers from all over Asia and Africa live and work there—even backpacking tourists rent rooms. In short, it is possibly the most globalized spot on the planet. But as Ghetto at the Center of the World shows us, a trip to Chungking Mansions reveals a far less glamorous side of globalization. A world away from the gleaming headquarters of multinational corporations, Chungking Mansions is emblematic of the way globalization actually works for most of the world’s people. Gordon Mathews’s intimate portrayal of the building’s polyethnic residents lays bare their intricate connections to the international circulation of goods, money, and ideas. We come to understand the day-to-day realities of globalization through the stories of entrepreneurs from Africa carting cell phones in their luggage to sell back home and temporary workers from South Asia struggling to earn money to bring to their families. And we see that this so-called ghetto—which inspires fear in many of Hong Kong’s other residents, despite its low crime rate—is not a place of darkness and desperation but a beacon of hope.

Gordon Mathews’s compendium of riveting stories enthralls and instructs in equal measure, making Ghetto at the Center of the World not just a fascinating tour of a singular place but also a peek into the future of life on our shrinking planet.  —University of Chicago Press

Reports

05.01.11

An American Open Door?

Daniel H. Rosen and Thilo Hanemann
Asia Society
Over the past decade, China’s unprecedented surge of economic dynamism and development has radically altered the global landscape and affected a host of international relationships. One of the most significant trends that will influence how the...

Books

12.01.10

Tea Horse Road

Michael Freeman
One of the longest and most dramatic trade routes of the ancient world, the Tea Horse Road carried a crucial exchange for 13 centuries between China and Tibet. China needed war horses to protect its northern frontier, and Tibet could supply them. When the Tibetans discovered tea in the 7th century, it became a staple of their diet, but its origins are in southwest China, and they had to trade for it. The result was a network of trails covering more than 3,000 kilometres through forests, gorges and high passes onto the Himalayan plateaus, traversed by horse, mule and yak caravans, and human porters. It linked cultures, economies and political ambitions, and lasted until the middle of the 20th century. Re-tracing the many branches of the Road, photographer and writer Michael Freeman spent two years compiling this remarkable visual record, from the tea mountains of southern Yunnan and Sichuan to Tibet and beyond. Collaborating on this fascinating account, ethnobotanist Selena Ahmed’s description of tea and bio-cultural diversity in the region draws on her original doctoral research.—River Books

Reports

12.01.10

The Role of Trade Costs in Global Production Networks: Evidence from China’s Processing Trade Regime

Alyson C. Ma and Ari Van Assche
World Bank
This paper uses data from China's processing trade regime to analyze the role of trade costs on trade within global production networks (GPNs). Under this regime, firms are granted duty exemptions on imported inputs as long as they are used...

Reports

09.21.10

China’s Steel Industry and Its Impact on the United States: Issues for Congress

Rachel Tang
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China’s steel industry has grown significantly since the mid-1990s. China is now the world’s largest steelmaker and steel consumer. The majority of Chinese steel has been used to meet domestic demand in China. However, as its steel production...

Reports

04.21.10

What’s the Difference?—Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
There is a large and growing difference between the official trade statistics released by the United States and the People’s Republic of China. According to the United States, the 2009 bilateral trade deficit with China was $226.8 billion. According...

Reports

03.24.10

Appreciate This: Chinese Currency Rise Will Have a Negligible Effect on the Trade Deficit

Daniel Ikenson
Cato Institute
This report argues that the Obama administration and Congress should consider whether RMB appreciation would even lead to the outcomes they desire—namely, more balanced trade. The evidence does not support their objective. Although the short-term...

Reports

02.04.10

The 2009 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings and U.S. Trade Policy in Asia

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Congress and the Executive Branch have historically identified the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) as potentially important in the promotion of liberalized international trade and investment in Asia, and possibly the rest of the world...

Reports

12.11.09

China’s Economic Conditions

Wayne M. Morrison
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Since the initiation of economic reforms and trade liberalization thirty years ago, China has been one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and has emerged as a major economic and trade power. The combination of large trade surpluses, FDI flows...

Reports

11.16.09

The Rise of China’s Auto Industry and Its Impact on the U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry

Rachel Tang
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The automobile industry, a key sector in China’s industrialization and modernization efforts, has been developing rapidly since the 1990s. In recent years, China has become the world’s fastest growing automotive producer. Annual vehicle output has...

Reports

07.16.09

East Asia’s Foreign Exchange Rate Policies

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Financial authorities in East Asia have adopted a variety of foreign exchange rate policies, ranging from Hong Kong’s currency board system which links the Hong Kong dollar to the U.S. dollar, to the “independently floating” exchange rates of Japan...

Reports

03.31.09

Asia Pacfic Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the 2008 Meetings in Lima, Peru

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Congress and the Executive Branch have historically identified the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as an important organization to help promote the U.S. goal of liberalizing international trade and investment in Asia, and possibly the rest...

Reports

12.19.08

Sino-Japanese Relations: Issues for U.S. Policy

Emma Chanlett-Avery, Kerry Dumbaugh, William H. Cooper
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
After a period of diplomatic rancor earlier this decade, Japan and China have demonstrably improved their bilateral relationship. The emerging detente includes breakthrough agreements on territorial disputes, various high-level exchanges, and...

Reports

08.24.08

Energy Interests and Alliances: China, America and Africa

Angelica Austin, Danila Bochkarev, and Willem van der Geest
EastWest Institute
According to conventional wisdom, the United States and China are locked in a high-stakes competition for energy resources around the world, particularly in Africa. Against the backdrop of highly volatile oil prices, mounting concerns about global...

Reports

11.01.07

China's Changing Trade Elasticities

Jahangir Aziz and Xiangming Li
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
In recent years, much has been written about the China's rising current account surplus and the importance of its exchange rate policy. At the same time, the increasing integration of China into the global economy has raised questions about how...

Reports

09.01.07

The Shifting Structure of China's Trade and Production

Li Cui and Murtaza Syed
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This paper uses disaggregated trade data to assess how the expansion of China's production capacity and its changing production structure may be affecting its trade linkages with other countries. It finds that China is moving away from...

Reports

01.13.07

Is China a Threat to the U.S. Economy?

Craig K. Elwell, Marc Labonte
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The rise of China from a poor, stagnant country to a major economic power within a time span of only twenty-eight years is often described by analysts as one of the greatest economic success stories in modern times. From 1979 (when economic reforms...

Reports

01.04.07

China’s Trade with the United States and the World

Thomas Lum, Dick K. Nanto
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
As imports from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have surged in recent years, posing a threat to some U.S. industries and manufacturing employment, Congress has begun to focus on not only access to the Chinese market and intellectual property...

Reports

07.11.06

Who’s Manipulating Whom? China’s Currency and the U.S. Economy

Daniel Griswold
Cato Institute
Congress and the Bush administration continue to pressure China to allow its currency to appreciate against the U.S. dollar under threat of trade sanctions. Critics contend “currency manipulation” gives Chinese producers an unfair advantage against...

Reports

04.20.05

China’s Growing Interest in Latin America

Kerry Dumbaugh, Mark P. Sullivan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Over the past year, increasing attention has focused on China’s growing interest in Latin America. Most analysts appear to agree that China’s primary interest in the region is to gain greater access to needed resources—such as oil, copper, and iron—...

Reports

01.01.05

Exchange Rate and Monetary Policy in China

Nicholas R. Lardy
Cato Institute
China's account surplus has increased sharply as a product of economic growth and manipulation of its undervalued currency. This paper argues that China's account surplus is actually higher than reports indicate. China’s monetary...

Reports

05.20.04

China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues for the 108th Congress

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
During the George W. Bush Administration, U.S. and People’s Republic of China (PRC) foreign policy calculations have undergone several changes. The Bush Administration assumed office in January 2001 viewing China as a U.S. ”strategic competitor.”...

Reports

08.06.03

China and the World Trade Organization

Wayne M. Morrison
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
After many years of difficult negotiations, China, on December 11, 2001, become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the international agency that administers multilateral trade rules. Under the terms of its WTO membership, China agreed...

Reports

08.01.03

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Free Trade, and the 2003 Summit in Bangkok, Thailand

Dick K. Nanto
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
On October 20-21, 2003, the Eleventh APEC Leader’s Meeting is to be held in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme for APEC 2003 is “A World of Differences: Partnership for the Future,” which is intended to bring together the best potential of all APEC...

Reports

01.31.03

China-U.S. Relations

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, U.S. and PRC foreign policy calculations appear to be changing. The Administration of George W. Bush assumed office in January 2001 viewing China as a U.S. “strategic...

Reports

10.17.02

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), FreeTrade, and the 2002 Summit in Mexico

Dick K. Nanto
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
On October 26-27, 2002, the Tenth APEC Leaders’ Meeting (summit) is to be hosted by Mexico in Las Cabos, Mexico. APEC 2002 is intended to send a clear message to the world that APEC has the ability to implement its initiatives while responding and...

Reports

10.26.01

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Free Trade, and the 2001 Summit in Shanghai

Dick K. Nanto
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
On October 20-21, 2001, the Ninth APEC Leaders’ Meeting (summit) was hosted by China in Shanghai. The theme for APEC 2001 was “Meeting New Challenges in the New Century: Achieving Common Prosperity through Participation and Cooperation” with the sub...

Reports

04.24.00

China’s Long March to a Market Economy

Mark A. Groombridge
Cato Institute
The U.S. Congress is in the historic position of being able to help pro-reform leaders in China move their country in a market-oriented direction. A vote to grant China permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status will bolster the position of...

Reports

07.19.99

Trade and the Transformation of China

Dan Griswold, Ned Graham, Robert Kapp, and Nicholas Lardy
Cato Institute
Congress will soon consider whether to revoke normal trade relations (NTR) with China and then, possibly in the fall, whether to make NTR permanent as part of China’s anticipated entry into the World Trade Organization. The consequences of...

Where the East Begins

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
Between 1965 and 1977, Donald Lach published the first two volumes of his Asia in the Making of Europe, an illuminating and erudite survey of the various ways that Asia has affected scholarship, literature, and the visual arts in the West. Beginning...

China: Mulberries and Famine

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
Near the beginning of the Chinese “Classic of Historical Documents” (the Shujing), where the doings of early mythic rulers are being described, there is a brief passage that stands out among the others for its precision and clarity. The focus of...