U.S.-China Economic Dialogue Ends in a Tiff

Nikkei Asian Review
Negotiators involved in the first U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue here on Wednesday failed to produce concrete results. The U.S. later issued a statement saying China acknowledged a shared objective to reduce the U.S.’s bilateral trade...

U.S.-China Trade Rifts Resurface Even After Friendly Summit

The Associated Press
Associated Press
The Trump administration risks igniting a trade war by considering slapping tariffs on steel imports.

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 Top Graft Buster Attacks ‘Unhealthy’ Political Culture

Reuters
China’s top graft-buster launched a scathing attack on the ruling Communist Party’s members on Monday, writing that party political culture remained ‘unhealthy’ and governance weak even after five years of renewed effort to fight the problem.

China Is Trading More with North Korea but Buying Much Less Coal

CNN
A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period last year.

How China Misread Donald Trump

Paul Gewirtz
Politico
Trump’s view of China is quickly turning sour. The reason for his dwindling patience is Beijing’s failure to rein in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program.

Germany’s Football Diplomacy Delights Beaming Xi Jinping as Chinese President and Angela Merkel Watch Kids’ Match in Berlin

James Porteous
South China Morning Post
China’s president remains a massive football fan, but it seems clear that youth development and commitment to training, rather than sky-high transfer fees and foreign takeovers, is the way to his heart.

Books

07.06.17

China’s Asian Dream

Tom Miller
“China,” Napoleon once remarked, “is a sleeping lion. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” In 2014, President Xi Jinping triumphantly declared that the lion had awoken. Under his leadership, China is pursuing a dream to restore its historical position as the dominant power in Asia.From the Mekong River Basin to the Central Asian steppe, China is flexing its economic muscles for strategic ends. By setting up new regional financial institutions, Beijing is challenging the post-World War II order established under the watchful eye of Washington. And by funding and building roads, railways, ports, and power lines—a New Silk Road across Eurasia and through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean—China aims to draw its neighbors ever tighter into its embrace.Combining a geopolitical overview with on-the-ground reportage from a dozen countries, China’s Asian Dream offers a fresh perspective on one of the most important questions of our time: what does China’s rise mean for the future of Asia. —Zed Books{chop}

Ahead of Fractious G20, Germany and China Pledge New Cooperation

Thomas Escritt and Michelle Martin
Reuters
Ties between China and Germany are about to enter a new phase as the Chinese president met the German chancellor before a G20 summit that is expected to highlight their differences with the United States on a host of issues.

Conversation

06.30.17

What Does Xi Jinping Intend for Hong Kong?

Alvin Y.H. Cheung, Kevin Carrico & more
Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong on Thursday to mark the 20th anniversary of the July 1, 1997 return of the territory to China from the United Kingdom. Since the handover, many Hong Kongers have chafed under...

Chinese Ways of Empire, Then and Now

Yi-Zheng Lian
New York Times
In 30 more years, Hong Kong will fully revert to the mainland. Much could happen between now and 2047, and the tea leaves are already out there waiting to be read: There are many old — even ancient — historical precedents showing how the Chinese...

China's Xi Sees 'Challenges' in Hong Kong as Beijing Dismisses Any UK Role

Greg Torode, Venus Wu
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping, visiting Hong Kong for the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule, said on Friday the city's "one country, two systems" formula faces "new challenges" as pro-democracy campaigners ramped...

US-China Honeymoon Over: Washington Sanctions Chinese Bank and Sells Arms to Taiwan

Tom Phillips, Oliver Holmes
Guardian
Relations between the world’s two largest economies look to be entering a new phase of turbulence after the US punctured Chinese celebrations of the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return by unveiling sanctions against a Chinese bank linked to North...

Trump Is China’s Chump

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
Beijing is now quietly encouraging everyone in the neighborhood to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, China’s free-trade competitor to TPP.

In China, Xi Jinping’s New Mega City Xiongan Is Expanding Underground

South China Morning Post
Chinese geologists are examining subterranean conditions of Xiong, Rongcheng and Anxin counties, which will become a new district to rival special economic zones such as Shenzhen and Pudong in Shanghai, in the hope of building structures under the...

China Invites Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to Visit Beijing

Bloomberg
Details of the possible trip by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both of whom have official jobs in the White House, were still under discussion, according to a U.S. official and a Chinese official who asked not to be identified. The visit may also...

Trump Says ‘We Have a Great Relationship with China’ after Critical Tweet

CNBC
The United States pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to help rein in its nuclear and missile programs during a round of high-level talks in Washington on Wednesday.

China’s Trump Honeymoon: Unexpected, and at Risk of Ending

Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
Mr. Trump’s assertion that China had failed to pressure North Korea into curbing its nuclear and ballistic missile program means that Beijing must now confront the prospect of a stormier relationship ahead — not just over North Korea but also...

What Are the Odds of a U.S.-China War?

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Two fiery nationalists— Xi Jinping and Donald Trump—now occupy the seats of power in Beijing and Washington. In their mission to make their countries great again, one pursues the “China Dream,” one “America First.” Both see the other as the chief...

Are China and the United States Headed for War?

New Yorker
Professors, pundits, and journalists weigh in on a heated topic.

Conversation

06.09.17

Australia Is Debating Chinese Influence. Should the U.S. Do the Same?

Bruce Jacobs, Kerry Brown & more
“The Chinese Communist Party is waging a covert campaign of influence in Australia,” went the claim in the newspaper The Age, in a series of articles exploring China’s hard and soft power “Down Under.” The articles set off a domestic debate about...

Viewpoint

06.08.17

Can China Really Lead the World on Climate?

Isabel Hilton
On Wednesday, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, found himself, not for the first time, with more in common with Chinese President Xi Jinping than with the president of his own nation, Donald Trump. Just days after President Trump announced...

Trump Lies. China Thrives.

New York Times
We underestimate China — and attribute all of its surge in growth to unfair trade practices — at our peril. China has been fast and smart at adopting new technologies, particularly the mobile internet.

West Underestimates China’s New Silk Road, German Envoy Says

Channel NewsAsia
Western countries are underestimating China’s new Silk Road project, which is an important scheme, despite concerns it is too China-centric and so far lacking in opportunities for foreign firms, Germany’s ambassador to China said on Thursday.

China Is Now Looking to California–Not Trump–to Help Lead the Fight Against Climate Change

Jessica Meyers
Los Angeles Times
Governor Jerry Brown met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a rare diplomatic coup that catapults California into quasi-national status as a negotiator.

China Tries to Play Nice at Key Security Forum

Nikkei Asian Review
Although China attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone in this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, a major Asian security forum held here through Sunday, officials’ uncompromising comments on Taiwan and the South China Sea only highlighted its rifts...

Ivanka Trump’s Firm Seeks New Trademarks in China, Reviving Ethical Concerns

CNN
A trove of Chinese trademark applications filed by Ivanka Trump’s namesake business is focusing attention once again on the ethical complications presented by the Trump family’s business ties.

Trump Hands the Chinese a Gift: The Chance for Global Leadership

New York Times
The Chinese are eager to fill the void that Washington is leaving around the world on everything from setting the rules of trade and environmental standards to financing infrastructure projects.

China and Europe Are Moving Forward without Trump

CNN
Beijing is in prime position to capitalize on major policy fissures that have emerged between Europe and the Trump administration on climate, trade and defense. The new dynamic will be on full display on Thursday in Brussels, when Chinese Premier Li...

China Renews Call for Seoul to Halt THAAD amid ‘Shocking’ News of New Launchers

CNBC
China’s state-owned media on Thursday criticized reports new THAAD anti-missile launchers were secretly brought into South Korea without approval from the Seoul government.

China Renews Call for Seoul to Halt THAAD amid ‘Shocking’ News of New Launchers

CNBC
China’s state-owned media on Thursday criticized reports new THAAD anti-missile launchers were secretly brought into South Korea without approval from the Seoul government.

North Korea: Is China Trying Hard Enough to Stop Pyongyang Threat?

Fox News
Recent actions by South Korea President Moon Jae-in and China’s President Xi Jinping have raised questions about the sincerity of both countries in helping the U.S. reign in North Korea’s nuclear program.

Senate Democrats Ask Trump for Answers on China Trademarks

Voice of America
A group of Senate Democrats has sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump requesting information about a raft of trademark approvals from China this year that they say may violate the U.S. Constitution’s ban on gifts from foreign governments.

Sinica Podcast

05.26.17

Chinese Power in the Age of Donald Trump

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
When Joseph Nye, Jr., first used the phrase “soft power” in his 1990 book Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power, China did not factor much into his calculus of world order: It had relatively little military and economic power, and...

South China Sea: U.S. Warship Challenges China’s Claims with First Operation under Trump

CNN
A U.S. Navy destroyer has sailed close to a disputed South China Sea island controlled by China for the first time under U.S. President Donald Trump.

China Throws out More Trade and Business Offers to Trump’s America

South China Morning Post
A report issued by the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday said China may buy further goods from the U.S., including crude and refined oil products, cotton and machine tools.

Trump Adds Another Chinese Trademark to His Portfolio

New York Times
China has granted President Trump preliminary approval for another trademark in apparel, expanding business interests that have already generated criticism over potential conflicts.

Larry Summers: Trump’s ‘China Deal’ Is Only a Good Deal for China

Washington Post
It is true that a ludicrously hyped squib of a deal is much better than a trade war. So perhaps we should be pleased that the president and his commerce secretary are so easily manipulated. Perhaps our officials know how bad a deal they got and are...

Xi Jinping Is ‘Putting the House in Order.’ or Is China Facing Destabilizing Changes?

Washington Post
Instead of political instability, recent political science research suggests that Xi’s reforms are on track to repair an undisciplined CCP and strengthen China’s fragmented government.

Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations

MARK MAZZETTI, ADAM GOLDMAN, MICHAEL S...
New York Times
The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Philippines, China Play down Duterte's Talk of War in Disputed Sea

Reuters
The Philippines and China played down on Monday a warning by President Rodrigo Duterte that China would go to war if the Philippines drilled for oil in the disputed South China Sea.

Why Soft Power Could Be the Real Value of China’s Massive Belt and Road Project

Justina Crabtree, Cheang Ming
CNBC
The real benefits of OBOR to China could be the international clout it stands to gain as its attempts to spearhead international policy and improve relations with OBOR partner countries.

What Belt and Road Snub Means for Singapore’s Ties with China

BHAVAN JAIPRAGAS
South China Morning Post
China’s decision not to invite Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to last weekend’s Belt and Road Forum highlights the still-strained ties between the two countries, observers say, though officials in the Lion City have tried to shrug off...

China, Philippines to Hold First South China Sea Talks Friday

CLIFF VENZON
Nikkei Asian Review
The meeting will take place in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, which is also hosting talks on Thursday between China and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on establishing a framework for a code of conduct in the...

Conversation

05.16.17

How Big a Deal is the New U.S.-China Trade Deal?

Wendy Cutler, Zha Daojiong & more
Last week, the United States and China announced a new trade deal on the eve of China launching a sweeping conference to promote its One Belt, One Road development and infrastructure investment initiative. How good are the terms of the Washington-...

India Boycotts China’s Global Trade Jamboree

Rishi Iyengar
CNN
India’s main objection is the partnership China is developing with Pakistan. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a key component of One Belt, One Road -- passes through the disputed region of Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim in its...

China’s New Silk Road Promises Trade and Riches, with President Xi at Helm

Ben Blanchard, Sue-Lin Wong
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping and 29 other heads of state on Monday reaffirmed their commitment to build an open economy and ensure free and inclusive trade, under the ambitious Belt and Road initiative led by Beijing.

Why China Will Never Put America First

J. Michael Cole
National Interest
The Trump administration will eventually awaken to the fact that Beijing cannot, and has no desire to, deliver on North Korea.

Commentary: Why North Korea Is Turning into a Headache for China and Xi Jinping

Bo Zhiyue
Channel NewsAsia
Chinese President Xi Jinping has found himself in a peculiar predicament over the North Korean nuclear issue. Although Xi is widely believed to be far more popular as a global leader than his immediate predecessor, President Hu Jintao, he is...

Trump’s Pretty Good China Deal

Wall Street Journal
Wilbur Ross made some startling claims after Thursday’s announcement of a 10-point agreement with China on trade. The U.S. Commerce Secretary boasted that the “herculean accomplishment” was “more than has been done in the whole history of U.S.-China...

China Pledges More Than $100 Billion in Belt and Road Projects

sophia yan
CNBC
China is pledging more than $100 billion to finance projects under its “One Belt, One Road” strategy, an ambitious initiative to strengthen the world’s second-largest economy’s investment, influence and trade links to the rest of the globe.

China’s Summit for Its New Silk Road Is Missing 44 Heads of State from the 65 Nations Involved

zheping huang
Quartz
World leaders are gathering in Beijing this weekend for a big summit touting China’s infrastructure spending spree to connect Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The project, known as the Belt and Road Initiative—or “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR...

Sinica Podcast

05.12.17

What It Takes to Be a Good China-Watcher

Kaiser Kuo & Bill Bishop from Sinica Podcast
China-watching isn’t what it used to be. Not too long ago, the field of international China studies was dominated by a few male Westerners with an encyclopedic knowledge of China, but with surprisingly little experience living in the country or...

South Korea’s New President Moves to Soothe Tensions with China

CHOE SANG-HUN
New York Times
Moon Jae-in, the newly elected leader of South Korea, moved swiftly to mend ties with China on Thursday, announcing plans to dispatch a delegation to Beijing to resolve a festering dispute over the deployment of an American missile-defense system in...

China Says Silk Road Plan Is Not Tied to Presidency

Reuters
China’s President Xi Jinping initiated the ambitious “Belt and Road” development plan but it has become a world plan not tied to his presidency, the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday, days before Xi hosts a global forum on the initiative.

The Princeling in the West Wing

JILL ABRAMSON
New York Times
Over the weekend, there was the unseemly spectacle of Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, hawking golden visas to connected Chinese investors if they would put $500,000 into one of the Kushners’ real estate projects in Jersey City.

Books

05.08.17

The Souls of China

Ian Johnson
From journalist Ian Johnson, a revelatory portrait of religion in China today—its history, the spiritual traditions of its Eastern and Western faiths, and the ways in which it is influencing China’s future.The Souls of China tells the story of one of the world’s great spiritual revivals. Following a century of violent anti-religious campaigns, China is now filled with new temples, churches, and mosques—as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty over what it means to be Chinese and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality a century ago and is searching for new guideposts.Johnson first visited China in 1984. In the 1990s, he helped run a charity to rebuild Daoist temples, and in 2001 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. While researching this book, he lived for extended periods with underground church members, rural Daoists, and Buddhist pilgrims. Along the way, he learned esoteric meditation techniques, visited a nonagenarian Confucian sage, and befriended government propagandists as they fashioned a remarkable embrace of traditional values. He has distilled these experiences into a cycle of festivals, births, deaths, detentions, and struggle—a great awakening of faith that is shaping the soul of the world’s newest superpower. —Pantheon{chop}

China Pitch by Kushner Sister Renews Controversy over Visa Program for Wealthy

Michael Kranish
Washington Post
A much-criticized visa program that allows foreigners to win fast-track immigration in return for investing $500,000 in U.S. properties was extended in a bill signed by President Trump just one day before a sister of senior White House adviser Jared...

AP Exclusive: China Lawyer’s Family Says U.S. Helped Them Flee

Gerry Shih
Washington Post
Chen Guiqiu whose husband, prominent rights lawyer Xie Yang, is held on charge of inciting subversion made a harrowing flight from China with her daughters chased by Chinese security agents across Southeast Asia.