How Will China Respond to Global Concerns about its Trade and Economic Policies?

Paul Haenle & Da Wei from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Official Chinese narratives about the U.S.-China trade war have not included Chinese reflection or discussion of what role China’s own policies have played in creating trade tensions. Many of the concerns on structural issues, such as market access...

Environment

10.03.18

The Anti-Corruption Campaign Takes on the War on Pollution

Julia Bowie
At last year’s 19th Party Congress, Xi Jinping vowed to confront the “principle contradiction” facing Chinese society: “the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.” While the...

Excerpts

09.30.18

For Generations of P.R.C. Leaders, a World ‘Alive with Danger’

Sulmaan Khan
There can be few jobs more difficult than that of paramount leader of China: the surrounding world invariably alive with danger, the extent of the state, its integrity and stability forever uncertain. For an outsider, it is easy to observe that the...

Books

09.30.18

Haunted by Chaos

Sulmaan Wasif Khan
Harvard University Press: Before the Chinese Communist Party came to power, China lay broken and fragmented. Today, it is a force on the global stage, and yet its leaders have continued to be haunted by the past. Drawing on an array of sources, Sulmaan Wasif Khan chronicles the grand strategies that have sought not only to protect China from aggression but also to ensure it would never again experience the powerlessness of the late Qing and Republican eras.{node, 49171}The dramatic variations in China’s modern history have obscured the commonality of purpose that binds the country’s leaders. Analyzing the calculus behind their decision making, Khan explores how they wove diplomatic, military, and economic power together to keep a fragile country safe in a world they saw as hostile. Dangerous and shrewd, Mao Zedong made China whole and succeeded in keeping it so, while the caustic, impatient Deng Xiaoping dragged China into the modern world. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao served as cautious custodians of the Deng legacy, but the powerful and deeply insecure Xi Jinping has shown an assertiveness that has raised both fear and hope across the globe.For all their considerable costs, China’s grand strategies have been largely successful. But the country faces great challenges today. Its population is aging, its government is undermined by corruption, its neighbors are arming out of concern over its growing power, and environmental degradation threatens catastrophe. A question Haunted by Chaos raises is whether China’s time-tested approach can respond to the looming threats of the 21st century.{chop}

North Korea Diplomacy and U.S.-China Relations

Paul Haenle & Kaiser Kuo from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Paul Haenle joined Kaiser Kuo to discuss next steps for DPRK diplomacy and tensions between the United States and China over trade, Taiwan, and the Belt and Road Initiative. Haenle shared his experience working as White House representative to the...

Should African Governments Welcome Or Be Wary of Chinese Infrastructure Investment?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China announced a U.S.$60 billion financing package for African states to build out new roads, airports, railways, and other needed infrastructure. While no one questions the need for infrastructure, there are legitimate concerns as to whether it...

Conversation

09.10.18

Is the Trade War Hurting Xi Jinping Politically?

Roselyn Hsueh, Andrew J. Nathan & more
What are the domestic politics for Xi Jinping of a trade war? How much is the trade war actually hurting China’s economy? And what other effects is this having on China, and on Xi’s ability to govern?

Viewpoint

09.04.18

Peak Xi Jinping?

Geremie R. Barmé
The adulation of Xi Jinping, China’s State President, Party General Secretary, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, has yet to reach similar lofty heights as that of Mao Zedong. However, on September 3, the official Beijing media took a...

Viewpoint

08.27.18

Beijing’s Bid for Global Power in the Age of Trump

Alfred W. McCoy from TomDispatch
As the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency and sixth of Xi Jinping’s draws to a close, the world seems to be witnessing one of those epochal clashes that can change the contours of global power. Just as conflicts between American President...

Infographics

08.15.18

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that Xi Jinping launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about more than 2,000 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources.

Conversation

08.07.18

We’re a Long Way from 2008

Kate Merkel-Hess, Maura Cunningham & more
On August 8, 2008, China’s then Chairman Hu Jintao told a group of world leaders visiting Beijing to attend the Olympics that “the historic moment we have long awaited is arriving.” Indeed, awarding the Games to China in 2001 sparked a fierce debate...

Chinese Audiences Will Not See Disney’s New Movie Starring Notorious Outlaw Winnie the Pooh

Marissa Martinelli
Slate
Christopher Robin, which is already in theaters in the U.S., is the second Disney movie to be rejected in China this year, following A Wrinkle in Time. Another source told THR that Christopher Robin was not...

Viewpoint

08.02.18

Remaking China’s Civil Society in the Xi Jinping Era

Shawn Shieh
Given his past animosity towards civil society, Xi’s actions have been seen by some as moving China towards a new form of totalitarianism and a closing of the space for civil society. I would argue instead that we should see Xi’s ascendancy,...

As China’s Woes Mount, Xi Jinping Faces Rare Rebuke at Home

Chris Buckley
New York Times
China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, seemed indomitable when lawmakers abolished a term limit on his power early this year. But months later, China has been struck by economic headwinds, a vaccine scandal and trade battles with Washington, emboldening...

Where Does Africa Fit in Xi Jinping’s Worldview?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit will take place at a delicate time for Chinese President Xi Jinping, as he confronts enormous challenges related to the ongoing trade war with the United States and, at the same time, huge opportunities...

Xi Hits Back at Critics Who Call China’s Opening Up ‘a Joke’

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
Chinese President Xi Jinping hit back at critics, saying in a speech on Thursday that those who think the nation’s opening up is "a joke" haven’t seen the confidence that Chinese people have in reform efforts...

John Oliver, Having Mocked Chinese Censorship, Is Censored in China

Tiffany May
New York Times
In a 20-minute segment about China that aired Sunday on the satirical news show “Last Week Tonight,” the host John Oliver brought up President Xi Jinping’s resemblance to Winnie the Pooh.

Books

06.20.18

The Third Revolution

Elizabeth C. Economy
Oxford University Press: In The Third Revolution, eminent China scholar Elizabeth C. Economy provides an incisive look at the transformative changes underway in China today. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, himself; the expansion of the Communist Party’s role in Chinese political, social, and economic life; and the construction of a virtual wall of regulations to control more closely the exchange of ideas and capital between China and the outside world. Beyond its borders, Beijing has recast itself as a great power, seeking to reclaim its past glory and to create a system of international norms that better serves its more ambitious geostrategic objectives. In so doing, the Chinese leadership is reversing the trends toward greater political and economic opening, as well as the low-profile foreign policy, that had been put in motion by Deng Xiaoping’s “Second Revolution” 30 years earlier.Through a wide-ranging exploration of Xi Jinping’s top political, economic, and foreign policy priorities—fighting corruption, managing the Internet, reforming the state-owned enterprise sector, improving the country’s innovation capacity, enhancing air quality, and elevating China’s presence on the global stage—Economy identifies the tensions, shortcomings, and successes of Xi’s reform efforts over the course of his first five years in office. She also assesses their implications for the rest of the world, and provides recommendations for how the United States and others should navigate their relationship with this vast nation in the coming years.{chop}

China’s Social Credit System Spreads to More Daily Transactions

Jack Karsten and Darrell M. West
Brookings Institution
In May, enforcement of China’s social credit system spread to the travel industry, restricting millions of Chinese citizens with low social credit scores from purchasing plane and train tickets.

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...

Chinese President Xi Jinping Calls Blockchain a ‘Breakthrough’ Technology

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech this week that blockchain — the technology underlying bitcoin — has “breakthrough” applications.

Trump Cedes Trade Leverage to China in His Quest for Kim Summit

Saleha Mohsin and Nick Wadhams
Bloomberg
North Korea may turn out to be Chinese President Xi Jinping’s greatest ally in negotiating a trade deal with President Donald Trump.

At the Height of His Power, China’s Xi Jinping Moves to Embrace Marxism

Steven Jiang
CNN
Why is President Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, presiding over a wealthy and resurgent China, embracing the philosophical ideas of Karl Marx?

China: Back to the Future

Andrew J. Nathan from New York Review of Books
In 2023, Xi Jinping will conclude his second term as China’s president. Ever since Deng Xiaoping revised the country’s constitution more than 35 years ago, two consecutive terms have been the most that a president can legally serve. But it has...

What Comes Next after the Panmunjom Summit?

Paul Haenle & Zhao Tong from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea at the Panmunjom Summit in April 2018, setting the stage for President Trump’s meeting with Kim in June. Just days after the summit, Paul Haenle spoke with Tong Zhao, a...

One-Time Potential Rival to China’s Xi Draws Life Sentence

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
A former top Communist Party official once seen as a potential successor and rival to Chinese President Xi Jinping received a life sentence on corruption charges—a punishment state media portrayed as lenient.

Kim Pays a Second Surprise Visit to China, Heightening Diplomatic Drama

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The leaders of China and North Korea met for the second time in two months on Tuesday, staying overnight in this Chinese port city as China worked to regain control in the fast-moving diplomacy over the North’s nuclear program.

No Regrets: Xi Says Marxism Still 'Totally Correct' for China

CNBC
The decision of China's ruling Communist Party to stick with the political theories of Karl Marx remains "totally correct", President Xi Jinping said ahead of the 200th anniversary of the German philosopher's birth...

China’s Huge Celebrations of Karl Marx Are Not Really about Marxism

Zheping Huang
Quartz
What if Karl Marx lived long enough to see that one of his biggest fans in the world turned out to be the autocratic leader of a capitalist country where inequality and corruption prevail?

When Modi and Xi Meet, Indian Elections Will Set the Tone

Jeffrey Gettleman
New York Times
When the leaders of the world’s two most populous nations meet on Friday in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India will be pushing to get less from President Xi Jinping of China.

Conversation

04.25.18

Does China Want the Koreas to Reconcile?

Bo Zhiyue, Zhang Baohui & more
This Friday, April 27, the South Korean and North Korean leaders will meet in the demilitarized zone dividing their estranged countries to discuss improving relations and possibly even formally ending the Korean War, which has continued in the form...

For China’s Buddhist Monks, an IPO Too Far

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
In China, religion is big business.

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...

Viewpoint

04.19.18

Trump’s Incredibly Risky Taiwan Policy

J. Stapleton Roy
So-called friends of Taiwan in the United States are putting the island at risk as never before. The Taiwan Travel Act, passed unanimously by both houses of Congress, and signed by President Trump on March 16, 2018 without reservations, could...

Chinese President Xi Jinping Will Visit Pyongyang ‘Soon,’ Official Says

Will Ripley and Ben Westcott
CNN
Chinese President Xi Jinping is preparing to visit the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, an official with knowledge of the discussions told CNN Wednesday.

Viewpoint

04.16.18

Has Xi Jinping Changed China? Not Really

Teng Biao
Xi Jinping has had an eventful early spring. After he abolished presidential term limits and was unanimously elected—if it can be called an election—to serve another term in that post, Xi got the world’s attention again by holding a meeting with Kim...

One-Time Potential Rival to China’s Xi Pleads Guilty to Corruption

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
A purged Communist Party politician once regarded as a future Chinese leader stood trial on corruption charges in a case seen as part of an effort by President Xi Jinping to neutralize potential political rivals.

Conversation

04.11.18

China’s Communist Party Takes (Even More) Control of the Media

Stanley Rosen, Chris Fenton & more
China’s Communist Party made moves last month to solidify and formalize its (already substantial) control over the country’s media. China’s main state-run broadcasters are to be consolidated into a massive new “Voice of China” under the management...

U.S. Stocks Surge after China’s Xi Eases Trade Fears

David Hodari and Allison Prang
Wall Street Journal
U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday, with the Dow gaining more than 400 points, as remarks from Chinese President Xi Jinping soothed concerns about a trade war that have roiled markets in recent weeks.

What China Gained From Hosting Kim Jong Un

Oriana Skylar Mastro
Foreign Affairs
In late March, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who had not stepped foot outside the hermit kingdom since taking power in 2011, traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time.

Xi Says China to Lower Trade Barriers as Beijing Files Wto Complaint against U.S.

Scott Neuman
NPR
China’s President Xi Jinping says his country will “significantly lower” import tariffs on automobiles as part of a broader move to open up its economy amid a major trade dispute with the U.S.

China-Africa Relations in the Xi Jinping Era

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
For much of the past 20 years, China’s strategy in Africa could be summarized in two words: invest and extract. Today, that is no longer the case. China’s agenda in Africa, and throughout much of the global south, has broadened significantly in...

China Elites Seek to De-Escalate Trade Tension before Xi Speech

Gabriel Wildau and Emily Feng
Financial Times
Government advisers dismiss reports of secret plan to sell off US Treasury bill.

Hopes Are High for China to Announce Market Access Reforms on Tuesday

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Xi’s speech to announce market reforms could help heal U.S.-China trade frictions.

Viewpoint

03.31.18

Nixon in China, Trump in Pyongyang

Sergey Radchenko
On March 25, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Beijing in an armored train for talks with Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping, the first known time he traveled outside his country since his father and predecessor died in...

Conversation

03.28.18

Kim Jong-un Visits Beijing

Sung-Yoon Lee, Ankit Panda & more
After two days of rumors, on Wednesday March 28, the official news agencies of China and North Korea announced that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un had just completed a visit to Beijing. The “unofficial visit,” as Xinhua put it, was Kim’s first...

When Xi Met Kim: How China and North Korea Depicted It

Javier C. Hernández
New York Times
Kim Jong-un’s surprise visit to Beijing this week to meet President Xi Jinping added an element of intrigue to talks over North Korea’s nuclear program.

China Says North Korea’s Kim Pledged Commitment to Denuclearization

Ben Blanchard, Joyce Lee
Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearization and to meet U.S. officials, China said on Wednesday after his meeting with President Xi Jinping, who promised China would uphold friendship with its isolated neighbor.

How China’s Government Has Changed after the NPC

BBC
BBC
A stronger military and more power to fight corruption are among the major changes revealed at China’s National People's Congress (NPC) this year...

China Approves Giant Propaganda Machine to Improve Global Image

Keith Zhai
Bloomberg
China has approved the creation of one of the world’s largest propaganda machines as it looks to improve its global image, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Hong Kong’s Judges Voice Fears over China Influence in Judiciary

Greg Torode, James Pomfret
Reuters
As Hong Kong’s judges and senior lawyers paraded in ceremonial wigs and gowns on Jan 8 to mark the start of the legal year, anxieties over China’s growing reach into the city’s vaunted legal system swirled with the wintry winds.

Hard-Charging Chinese Energy Tycoon Falls from Xi Government’s Graces

Alexandra Stevenson
New York Times
A mysterious Chinese buyer surprised the financial world last year when it swooped in to buy a $9 billion chunk of Russia’s state oil company.

Viewpoint

03.15.18

Who Really Haunts Xi Jinping, Mao or Gorbachev?

Jessica Batke
Last week, the Chinese National People’s Congress removed Presidential and Vice-Presidential term limits, effectively allowing current President (and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary) Xi Jinping to stay in power beyond the two terms that...

Chairman Xi, Chinese Idol

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
For nearly sixty years since it opened in 1959, the Great Hall of the People has been the public focus of Chinese politics, a monumental granite block that extends 1,200 feet along the west side of Tiananmen Square. It is where the country’s leaders...

Conversation

03.13.18

When Trump and Kim Meet, What Will Xi Do?

Zha Daojiong, Sergey Radchenko & more
On March 8, South Korea’s National Security Advisor announced that Donald Trump had agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May. Although now-ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previously downplayed the announcement, a summit...

Viewpoint

03.12.18

Chinese History Isn’t Over

Julian B. Gewirtz
One of the simplest and least useful ways to understand the future is to take exactly what’s happening today and project it forward, rigidly and predictably, into tomorrow. This view is more than just a form of mental inertia; it is a breed of...

Xi Jinping Clear to Rule Indefinitely as China Scraps Presidential Term Limits

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
Legislature votes to repeal 10-year presidential term limit imposed after Mao’s death.

Ending Term Limits for China’s Xi Is a Big Deal. Here’s Why.

Chris Buck and Adam Wu
New York Times
What is at stake when China ends term limit on Xi’s presidency?

Books

03.09.18

End of an Era

Carl Minzner
Oxford University Press: Since the 1990s, Beijing’s leaders have firmly rejected any fundamental reform of their authoritarian one-party political system, even as a decades-long boom has reshaped China’s economy and society. On the surface, their efforts have been a success. Political turmoil has toppled former communist Eastern Bloc regimes, internal unrest overtaken Middle East nations, and populist movements risen to challenge established Western democracies. China, in contrast, has appeared a relative haven of stability and growth.But as Carl Minzner shows, a closer look at China’s reform era reveals a different truth. Over the past three decades, a frozen political system has fueled both the rise of entrenched interests within the Communist Party itself and the systematic underdevelopment of institutions of governance among state and society at large. Economic cleavages have widened. Social unrest has worsened. Ideological polarization has deepened.{node, 45901}Now, to address these looming problems, China’s leaders are progressively cannibalizing institutional norms and practices that have formed the bedrock of the regime’s stability in the reform era. Technocratic rule is giving way to black-box purges; collective governance sliding back towards single-man rule. The post-1978 era of “reform and opening up” is ending. China is closing down. Uncertainty hangs in the air as a new future slouches towards Beijing to be born. End of an Era explains how China arrived at this dangerous turning point, and outlines the potential outcomes that could result. {chop}

Xi Jinping Says China’s Authoritarian System Can Be a Model for the World

Zheping Huang
Quartz
Chinese president Xi Jinping has repeatedly told the world that China is ready to lead on issues like free trade and climate change.