Conversation

07.12.18

Can China Replace the U.S. in Europe?

Jan Weidenfeld, Isabel Hilton & more
The G7 debacle reminded Europeans the problems with relying on a fraying transatlantic partnership. Meanwhile, China has been playing a larger role on the continent, increasing its investment and its political influence. On July 6-7, Bulgaria held...

Sinica Podcast

07.09.18

Kurt Campbell on U.S.-China Diplomacy

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser talks to former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell about his career, his critique of engagement, and the fascinating events that happened on his watch—including the extrication of blind activist...

A World in Transition

Paul Haenle & William J. Burns from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
As the world is in the midst of considerable uncertainty and transition, Ambassador William J. Burns points to the emergence of rising powers like China and India, challenges to regional order in the Middle East, and revolutions in new technologies...
06.07.18

Letter from U.S. Congress Questions U.S. NGO’s Ties to Chinese Government

The United States House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources is “seek[ing] clarification” regarding the advocacy activities of U.S.-based non-profit National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). In a June 5 letter to the NRDC president,...

Viewpoint

05.23.18

Germany Needs China to Save the Global Order from Trump

Sebastian Heilmann from Mercator Institute for China Studies
The U.S. president’s attacks on multilateralism may push Chancellor Merkel into an unlikely alliance with Beijing. Germany and the EU have to test ways to work with China in the absence of transatlantic coordination. The goal must be to organize an...

Conversation

05.18.18

Does China Have a Jobs Problem?

Geoffrey Crothall, Ivan Franceschini & more
In a surprise Sunday tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump said he supported helping the phone-maker ZTE, a Chinese tech giant which has been one of the hardest hit from U.S.-China trade tensions. “Too many jobs in China lost,” he wrote. Though Trump...

Conversation

05.11.18

Do American Companies Need to Take a Stance on Taiwan?

J. Michael Cole, Frances Kitt & more
China’s airline regulator recently sent a letter to 36 international air carriers requiring them to remove from their websites references implying that Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau are not part of China. In a surprisingly direct May 5 statement, the...

Conversation

05.07.18

Can China Afford to Play Hardball with the U.S.?

Zha Daojiong & William Foster
In the midst of roiling trade tensions between the United States and China, last week Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin led a delegation of Donald Trump’s top economic advisors to Beijing. Demands were made in both directions and talks were...

U.S.-China Trade Talks End with Strong Demands, but Few Signs of a Deal

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The Beijing talks were unlikely to result in a comprehensive deal, but experts said they could still be a first step toward reaching some sort of accord.

U.S.-China Trade Talks End with Strong Demands, but Few Signs of a Deal

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The Beijing talks were unlikely to result in a comprehensive deal, but experts said they could still be a first step toward reaching some sort of accord.

Chinese Lasers Injure Us Military Pilots in Africa, Pentagon Says

Ryan Browne
CNN
Chinese personnel at the country's first overseas military base in Djibouti have been using lasers to interfere with US military aircraft at a nearby American base, activity that has resulted in injuries to US pilots...

Behind Erik Prince’s China Venture

Marc Fisher, Ian Shapira and Emily...
Washington Post
The Blackwater founder has cut a lucrative security-training deal with Chinese insiders. But is it against U.S. interests?

US Trade Team Arrives in Beijing for Talks, and China Media Are Cautious

CNBC
State media said China will stand up to U.S. bullying if need be, but it was better to work things out at the negotiating table.

The U.S. and China Are Finally Having It Out

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
With the arrival in Beijing this week of America’s top trade negotiators, you might think that the U.S. and China are about to enter high-level talks to avoid a trade war and that this is a story for the business pages. Think again.

The Rise of Populism and Implications for China

Paul Haenle & Thomas Carothers from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
The rise of populism in Europe and the United States has had a pronounced impact on domestic politics and foreign policy, as seen in Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. In China, leaders are unsettled by the nationalist and anti-globalization...

Books

04.27.18

The China Mission

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan
W. W. Norton & Company: As World War II came to an end, General George Marshall was renowned as the architect of Allied victory. Set to retire, he instead accepted what he thought was a final mission―this time not to win a war, but to stop one. Across the Pacific, conflict between Chinese Nationalists and Communists threatened to suck in the United States and escalate into revolution. His assignment was to broker a peace, build a Chinese democracy, and prevent a Communist takeover, all while staving off World War III.In his 13 months in China, Marshall journeyed across battle-scarred landscapes, grappled with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and plotted and argued with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his brilliant wife, often over card games or cocktails. The results at first seemed miraculous. But as they started to come apart, Marshall was faced with a wrenching choice. Its consequences would define the rest of his career, as the secretary of state who launched the Marshall Plan and set the standard for American leadership, and the shape of the Cold War and the U.S.-China relationship for decades to come. It would also help spark one of the darkest turns in American civic life, as Marshall and the mission became a first prominent target of McCarthyism, and the question of “who lost China” roiled American politics.The China Mission traces this neglected turning point and forgotten interlude in a heroic career―a story of not just diplomatic wrangling and guerrilla warfare, but also intricate spycraft and charismatic personalities. Drawing on eyewitness accounts both personal and official, it offers a richly detailed, gripping, close-up, and often surprising view of the central figures of the time―from Marshall, Mao, and Chiang to Eisenhower, Truman, and MacArthur―as they stood face-to-face and struggled to make history, with consequences and lessons that echo today.{chop}

The Corrections Needed in the U.S.-China Relationship

Paul Haenle & Stephen Hadley from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Stephen Hadley, former national security advisor to President George W. Bush, argues that the United States took false comfort in China’s hide-and-bide strategy and failed to recognize that China would increasingly assert itself as it became more...

Excerpts

03.31.18

The U.S.-Made Chinese Future That Wasn’t

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan
Soon, such a scene would become unthinkable. It was a cold morning in early March 1946, a rocky airstrip laid along a broad, barren valley in China’s northwest, lined by mountains of tawny dust blown from the Gobi Desert. Six months earlier, one war...

Books

03.29.18

Patriot Number One

Lauren Hilgers
Crown Publishing Group: In 2014, in a snow-covered house in Flushing, Queens, a village revolutionary from Southern China considered his options. Zhuang Liehong was the son of a fisherman, the former owner of a small tea shop, and the spark that had sent his village into an uproar—pitting residents against a corrupt local government. Under the alias Patriot Number One, he had stoked a series of pro-democracy protests, hoping to change his home for the better. Instead, sensing an impending crackdown, Zhuang and his wife, Little Yan, left their infant son with relatives and traveled to America. With few contacts and only a shaky grasp of English, they had to start from scratch.In Patriot Number One, Hilgers follows this dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing’s Chinese community relies on for survival. As the irrepressibly opinionated Zhuang and the more pragmatic Little Yan pursue legal status and struggle to reunite with their son, we also meet others piecing together a new life in Flushing. Tang, a democracy activist who was caught up in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, is still dedicated to his cause after more than a decade in exile. Karen, a college graduate whose mother imagined a bold American life for her, works part-time in a nail salon as she attends vocational school and refuses to look backward.With a novelist’s eye for character and detail, Hilgers captures the joys and indignities of building a life in a new country—and the stubborn allure of the American dream.{chop}

Viewpoint

03.27.18

Secretary Pompeo’s First China Briefing

Robert Daly
Donald Trump’s national security documents frame China as the United States’ greatest long-term threat. This declaration caps a historic shift in America’s strategic disposition toward China. From the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979,...

Conversation

03.02.18

How Will Trump’s Tariffs Affect U.S.-China Relations?

Derek Scissors, Donald Clarke & more
Arguing that America is harmed by other countries’ trade practices, President Donald Trump said on March 1 that the U.S. will impose a new 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. “People have no idea how badly...

Conversation

02.15.18

Is American Policy toward China Due for a ‘Reckoning’?

Charles Edel, Elizabeth Economy & more
Former diplomats Kurt M. Campbell and Ely Ratner argue that United States policy toward China, in administrations of both parties, has relied in the past on a mistaken confidence in America’s ability to “mold China to the United States’ liking.”...

Sinica Podcast

02.14.18

China’s Rise and America’s Myopia

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
China, as we say at the beginning of each Sinica Podcast episode, is a nation that is reshaping the world. But what does that reshaping really look like, and how does—and should—the world react to China’s role in globalization?

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...

Infographics

01.19.18

China According to Trump

Keeping up with the Trump administration’s statements on China and U.S.-China relations can be hard work. ChinaFile has just made it easier. Our new interactive database contains a growing collection of quotations from the President and senior...

Conversation

01.10.18

Trump on China in 2018: Lover or Hater?

Ryan Hass, Aaron L. Friedberg & more
On December 28, 2017, Donald Trump told The New York Times “I like very much” China’s Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping, adding, “He treated me better than anybody’s ever been treated in the history of China.” In the same interview, Trump also...

What’s Next for Commercial Diplomacy with China?

Paul Haenle & Penny Pritzker from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
As the chief commercial advocate for U.S. businesses in policymaking, the Department of Commerce plays a crucial role in the U.S.-China trade and economic relationship. In the 99th episode of the China in the World Podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with...

Shifts in U.S. Global Leadership

Paul Haenle & Jake Sullivan from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Power in the world is increasingly being measured and exercised in economic terms with China, and other significant countries are already treating economic power as a core part of their statecraft. But Jake Sullivan, a former senior official in the...

Conversation

12.19.17

Trump’s National Security Strategy and China

Zha Daojiong, Pamela Kyle Crossley & more
On December 18, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced the United States’ new national security strategy. He called China a “strategic competitor,” and, along with Russia, called it a “revisionist power.” Those two nations, Trump said, are...

Trump National Security Strategy Sees U.S. Confronting China and Russia

David Sanger and Mark Landler
New York Times
President Trump’s first national security strategy envisions a world in which the United States confronts two “revisionist” powers — China and Russia — that are seeking to change the global status quo, often to the detriment of America’s interests.

Breaking Down Trump’s Visit to Asia

Paul Haenle & Daniel R. Russel from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
What is the future of geopolitics and U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific following President Donald Trump’s first official state visit to the region? In this podcast, Paul Haenle sat down with Daniel Russel, former Special Assistant to President...

US Charges 3 Chinese Nationals with Hacking, Stealing Intellectual Property from Companies

Evan Perez
CNN
The charges being brought in Pittsburgh allege that the hackers stole intellectual property from several companies, including Trimble, a maker of navigation systems; Siemens, a German technology company with major operations in the US; and Moody’s...

Viewpoint

11.22.17

The Accomplice in Chief

David Wertime
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump declared victory following his 12-day Asia trip. On the campaign trail, Trump had repeatedly promised to stop making nice with his country’s adversaries; now, thanks to his efforts, he proclaimed, “America is...

Viewpoint

11.17.17

China and the United States Are Equals. Now What?

Robert Daly
Donald Trump’s Asia trip was historic in one respect: it belatedly focused American attention on the competition between the United States and China for global primacy. China has risen, the era of uncontested American leadership has ended, and any...

Trump Hails China's North Korea Envoy as 'Big Move' but Experts Doubtful

Ben Westcott
CNN
US President Donald Trump has hailed the Chinese government sending an envoy to North Korea Friday as a "big move" in the wake of his five-country trip to Asia...

Donald Trump Tells UCLA Trio to Thank Xi Jinping for Releasing Them from China

South China Morning Post
US President Donald Trump has exhorted three suspended UCLA basketball players to thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for their freedom following a shoplifting incident while they were in China.

'It's a Mistake to Underestimate China'

Atlantic
At the recent APEC CEO Summit in Vietnam, President Donald Trump said the United States would refocus its existing development efforts in Asia toward infrastructure investment that promotes economic growth.

Donald Trump Tells UCLA Trio to Thank Xi Jinping for Releasing Them from China

South China Morning Post
U.S. President Donald Trump has exhorted three suspended UCLA basketball players to thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for their freedom following a shoplifting incident while they were in China.

China Appears to Have Crossed Trump on North Korea

Business Insider
After a 12-day trip to Asia in which President Donald Trump stressed his friendship and mutual understanding with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing appears to have crossed Trump on a key issue: North Korea.

Three UCLA Players Return from China to Calls for Suspensions — and a Twitter Scolding from Trump

Des Bieler and Matt Bonesteel
Washington Post
The three UCLA players who were detained in China for shoplifting returned to the U.S. on Tuesday night, following intervention from, among others, President Trump. As immensely relieved as LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley must be to have...

China Could Sell Trump the Brooklyn Bridge

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
There is a saying — “When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” — and it perfectly sums up the contrast between China’s President Xi Jinping and President Trump.

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...

Conversation

11.14.17

Was the Trump-Xi Summit in Beijing a Hit or a Miss?

Isaac Stone Fish, Zha Daojiong & more
On November 8 and 9, Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping and Donald Trump held their first Beijing-based summit, a year after Trump’s surprise victory and just weeks after the predictable announcement Xi would serve a second term. During the visit...

Behind the Scenes, Communist Strategist Presses China’s Rise

Jane Perlez
New York Times
He was a brilliant student during the dark days of China’s Cultural Revolution. He visited America, and left unimpressed with democracy. Plucked from academia, he climbed the ladder of Beijing’s brutal politics.

China’s Three New Economic Challenges for the U.S.

Roselyn Hsueh
Washington Post
President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend the Nov. 13-14 East Asia Summit, the last stop on a lengthy Asia trip. This year’s meeting brings together the leaders of 16 Asia-Pacific countries, the United States, Canada and Russia for a discussion...

Trump Humbled in China as Beijing Visit Underlines the New World Order in Asia

Richard Heydarian
South China Morning Post
Of the stops on Donald Trump’s five-country trip to Asia, the one that stands out is Beijing. After all, China is considered America’s biggest regional rival, and often the object of the president’s non-stop tirades.

Viewpoint

11.10.17

Bathed in the Xi Jinping Bromance

Orville Schell
Sitting in a grand salon of the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square and awaiting the official arrival ceremony of President Trump was to be taken back to that period of Sino-Soviet amity when Stalin was Mao’s “big brother” and the Chinese...

AP FACT CHECK: US-China Trade Package Mostly about Symbolism

Washington Post
A trade and investment package announced during President Donald Trump’s visit to China is more about the art of diplomacy than the art of the deal.

Viewpoint

11.09.17

Protecting the Rights of the Accused in U.S.-China Relations

Margaret Lewis
As President Donald Trump visits China, the Chinese government wishes that billionaire fugitive Guo Wengui would follow suit and board a plane to Beijing. For months, he has regaled the world from his luxury apartment in Manhattan with stories of...

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping's Grand Gestures Can't Paper over Diplomatic Divide

South China Morning Post
China and the United States announced a record-breaking “gift pack” of a quarter of a trillion US dollars worth of business deals as the presidents of the two nations wrapped up their talks on Thursday.

China's CEOs View Trump as a Dealmaker

Bloomberg
President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ rhetoric on trade has prompted concerns among many that his words could soon be matched by action. Chinese executives say they’re not worried.

Trump Touts 'Great Chemistry' with China's Xi as Leaders Agree to Closer Ties

NPR
President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping say they have agreed to work together on the denuclearization of North Korea and closer cooperation on trade.

Despite Trump's Pleas, China's Online Opioid Bazaar Is Booming

New York Times
President Trump is looking to President Xi Jinping to “do something” about America’s opioid epidemic, for which he blames China.

Trump Is Ceding Global Leadership to China

New York Times
Amid the pomp that President Xi Jinping of China is bestowing upon his visiting American counterpart, President Trump, it’s hard not to see two leaders — and two countries — heading in very different directions.

U.S. Companies Signed a Ton of Deals during Trump's China Trip

Fortune
U.S. companies, from chip giant Qualcomm to aircraft maker Boeing, announced a slew of deals on Thursday during U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing. The deals could be valued as much as $250 billion, though some have been long in the...

Trump, in China, Seeks Help Over a Nuclear North Korea

Mark Landler and Jane Perlez
New York Times
President Trump arrived in China on Wednesday, primed to ask his host, President Xi Jinping, to step up Chinese pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. But Mr. Trump’s latest foray into personal diplomacy may end in...

Shaky U.S.-China Trade Relationship Will Top Trump's Agenda in Beijing

Rob Schmitz
NPR
Soft lounge music pipes through the speakers as elegantly dressed shoppers peruse organic produce and meats at City'super, one of Shanghai's most upscale markets, a cross between Whole Foods and Louis Vuitton. But one look at the price of...

Trump’s Granddaughter Plays Diplomat Once More as She Sings for ‘Grandpa’ Xi Jinping

Laura Zhou
South China Morning Post
She might be only five years old, but Arabella Kushner played her diplomatic role perfectly again on Wednesday as she helped ease the interaction between two of the world’s most powerful men – Chinese President Xi Jinping and her grandfather, Donald.

Viewpoint

11.08.17

Will Trump’s ‘Flattery Machine’ Work on Xi Jinping?

Orville Schell
Before winging off to Beijing, Trump managed to convince his staff and Korean President Moon to take him to the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Many of his aides were said to have been wary about the idea, fearing he might make some kind of provocative...

Ex-Spy on What His CIA Experience Taught Him about China

Steve Inskeep
NPR
Randy Phillips spent 28 years with the CIA, most recently serving as the chief CIA representative in China. He talks about what leverage the U.S. has when it comes to managing China's ambitions...