China’s 6th Plenum Begins With a Focus on Intra-Party Discipline: What to Expect

Ankit Panda
The highlight of China’s 2016 political calendar, the Sixth Plenum of the 18th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, kicked off on Monday

Party Time in China: The Riddle of Xi

Dexter Roberts
The prospect of the Party Congress in fall 2017 is already roiling politics.

‘I Am Chinese’: Philippine President Duterte’s Awkward Charm Offensive in China

Charlie Campbell
Having sanctioned thousands of extrajudicial killings, Duterte says his visit to China is “the defining moment of my presidency”

How the Party’s Absolute Power Undermines its Efforts to Strengthen China’s Rule of Law

Cary Huang
South China Morning Post
While Chinese leaders support the need for a credible legal system, it is their iron-clad grip that is the stumbling block to its development

China’s Real ‘House of Cards’: TV Series Unveils Graft Excess

Ting Shi
The eight-episode series, called “Always On the Road,” is being beamed daily to hundreds of millions of Chinese homes through Oct. 25 on CCTV’s Channel 1

The Limits of Chinese Isolationism

Alice Su
Can a country doing business all over the world really avoid other peoples' politics?...

The Race to China’s 19th Party Congress

Jonathan Brookfield
Next fall, China’s leaders will kick off the 19th Party Congress. Start your engines.

Xi Jinping Reminds China’s State Companies of Who’s the Boss

Emily Feng
New York Times
In an unusual meeting that ended on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping announced that the Chinese Communist Party had the ultimate say over state companies

Why Cambodia is Pinning its Hopes on Chinese President’s Visit

Luke Hunt
South China Morning Post
A country reeling from falling rice prices and foreign investment has its eyes on emergency aid and a boost in trade



The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China

Guobin Yang
Raised to be “flowers of the nation,” the first generation born after the founding of the People’s Republic of China was united in its political outlook and ambitions. Its members embraced the Cultural Revolution of 1966 but soon split into warring factions. Guobin Yang investigates the causes of this fracture and argues that Chinese youth engaged in an imaginary revolution from 1966 to 1968, enacting a political mythology that encouraged violence as a way to prove one’s revolutionary credentials. This same competitive dynamic would later turn the Red Guard against the communist government.Throughout the 1970s, the majority of Red Guard youth were sent to work in rural villages. These relocated revolutionaries developed an appreciation for the values of ordinary life, and an underground cultural movement was born. Rejecting idolatry, their new form of resistance marked a distinct reversal of Red Guard radicalism and signaled a new era of enlightenment, culminating in the Democracy Wall movement of the late 1970s and, finally, the Tiananmen protest of 1989. Yang completes his significant recasting of Red Guard activism with a chapter on the politics of history and memory, arguing that contemporary memories of the Cultural Revolution are factionalized along the lines of political division that formed 50 years before. —Columbia University Press{chop}

China Anti-Corruption Campaign Backfires

Hudson Lockett
Financial Times
Xi Jinping drive to cleanse Communist party of graft tarnishes its image

China Seeks Tighter Grip in Wake of a Religious Revival

Ian Johnson
New York Times
Increased regulations on religion are the latest move by President Xi to strengthen the Communist Party’s control over society and combat foreign influences.

Five Ways China Has Become More Repressive Under President Xi Jinping

Charlie Campbell
According to the 2016 report by the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, there has been a broad corrosion of freedoms



Is the Growing Pessimism About China Warranted?

David Shambaugh, David M. Lampton & more from Washington Quarterly
There are few more consequential questions in world affairs than China’s uncertain future trajectory. Assumptions of a reformist China integrated into the international community have given way in recent years to serious concerns about the nation’s...



What Should the U.S. Presidential Candidates Be Saying on China?

Winston Lord, Orville Schell & more
Barely eight weeks before the United States presidential election, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump have said surprisingly little about how they plan to address China—in areas ranging from the global economy...

Chinese Business’ Complicated Role in Kenyan Corruption

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
One of the many simple, widely-believed narratives about the Chinese in Africa is that Chinese businesses fuel corruption across the continent. Chinese corporate corruption in Africa is well documented, from allegations of paying off corrupt...



Mao the Man, Mao the God

Sergey Radchenko
Mao Zedong was dying a slow, agonizing death. Diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in July 1974, he gradually lost control of his motor functions. His gait was unsure. He slurred his speech and panted heavily. The decline was...

International Diplomatic Incidents Bring Benefits for China

Jamil Anderlini
Financial Times
Western officials say that negotiations and joint events often feel like exercises in humiliation.



China Analysts Should Talk to Each Other, Not at Each Other

Scott Kennedy
On August 12, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued its annual report card on China’s economy and gave the country mixed grades, finding that its “economic transition will continue to be complex, challenging, and potentially bumpy.” In...



The Future of China’s Legal System

Neysun A. Mahboubi, Carl Minzner & more
In early August, Beijing held show trials of four legal activists—a disheartening turn for those optimistic about legal reform in China. What are the prospects for the development of the rule of law in China under Communist Party Secretary Xi...

China’s Relationship Status with South Africa: ‘It’s Complicated’

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
South Africa’s relationship with China has undergone a profound transformation in a remarkably short period of time. In less than 20 years, the two countries have gone from barely acknowledging one another to developing a deep partnership that...



China’s Failure in the South China Sea

Orville Schell
By reiterating its policy of “no acceptance, no participation, no recognition, and no implementation,” China has painted itself into a difficult corner and diminished the chances of resolving the myriad maritime disputes—involving Vietnam, Brunei,...

Beetle Is Named in Honor of Xi Jinping, But China Aims To Squash The News

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
China censors the beetle that “fights corruption” like President Xi Jinping....



Is Europe Prepared to Deal with the China Challenge?

Mikko Huotari, Jan Gaspers & more
Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a grand tour of the western end of the “New Silk Road,” in visits to Serbia and Poland this week before he returns to Beijing via Uzbekistan, a more eastern outpost on China’s expanding 21st Century trade route. Xi...

The British Brexit Vote Is Awful News for China

Josh Horwitz and Heather Timmons
Behind Xi’s opposition to the UK leaving is China’s difficult trade situation with the European Union.

Sinica Podcast


Arthur Kroeber vs. the Conventional Wisdom

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
In this episode of Sinica, we present an in-depth interview with Arthur Kroeber, the founding partner and head of research for Gavekal Dragonomics, an independent global economic research firm, and the editor-in-chief of its journal, China Economic...



China and the End of Reform

Thomas Kellogg
Is the Chinese Communist Party putting an end to the decades-long process of China’s opening to the outside world? Is the era of liberal reform over? Consider the latest piece of evidence: on April 28, the Standing Committee of the National People’s...

China's 'Feud' over Economic Reform Reveals Depth of Xi Jinping's Secret State

Tom Phillips
Speculation is rife that Xi wants to curb debt-fuelled growth before it destroys the economy and oust premier Li Keqiang.

China’s Leader Wears Many Hats, but Only One Jacket

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Of the many mysteries about China’s president, the most evident may be the navy blue, zippered windbreaker that he wears like a second skin.



“It’s Time for Us To Set a New Political Agenda for Hong Kong”

Jonathan Landreth, Susan Jakes & more
Last month, midway through a whirlwind tour of United States universities, Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong took a break for a crab cake and mac-and-cheese lunch at a Manhattan brasserie. Wong, 19, came to international prominence during the...



The End of China’s Economic Miracle? A Discussion with ‘Financial Times’ Writers

George Soros, Jamil Anderlini & more
On April 20, 2016, a panel of Financial Times correspondents and editors with China experience, joined by financier and occasional FT columnist George Soros, discussed rural-to-urban migration, wage growth, real estate ups and downs, the increasing...

Who Is Xi?

Andrew J. Nathan from New York Review of Books
More than halfway through his five-year term as president of China and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party—expected to be the first of at least two—Xi Jinping’s widening crackdown on civil society and promotion of a cult of personality...

China's Xi Congratulates North Korea's Kim on New Title

Associated Press
Xi Congratulates Kim Jong Un on being chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, underscoring traditional ties between the communist neighbors despite recent strains...

China's Xi Jinping Denies House of Cards Power Struggle but Attacks 'Conspirators'

Tom Phillips
Chinese president warns of ‘cabals and cliques’ within Communist party and promises ‘resolute response to eliminate the problem.'...

'Big Daddy Xi' No More? Chinese President's Nickname Nixed

Tom Phillips
Propaganda officials warn state media off using moniker after push to portray leader as man of the people appears to backfire.



Xi Jinping’s New Military Position

Andrew J. Nathan & Tai Ming Cheung
Late last week, China’s news media were filled with images of President and Party General Secretary Xi Jinping touring the joint battle command center of the Central Military Commission, dressed for the occasion in combat fatigues. The occasion for...

President Xi Jinping’s Most Dangerous Venture Yet: Remaking China’s Military

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
The Chinese leader’s plan to revamp the armed forces, a milestone in the nation’s emergence from isolationism, faces hurdles at home.

China's Xi Jinping Takes Commander in Chief Military Title

Correspondents say that the move will be interpreted by some as a propaganda message that he is now in absolute control.



Fifty Years Later, How Is the Cultural Revolution Still Present in Life in China?

Guobin Yang, Federico Pachetti & more
Fifty years ago this May 16, Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a chaotic, terrifying, and often deadly decade-long campaign to “purify” C.C.P. ideology and reassert his political dominance...



China’s Future

David Shambaugh
China’s future arguably is the most consequential question in global affairs. Having enjoyed unprecedented levels of growth, China is at a critical juncture in the development of its economy, society, polity, national security, and international relations. The direction the nation takes at this turning point will determine whether it stalls or continues to develop and prosper.Will China be successful in implementing a new wave of transformational reforms that could last decades and make it the world’s leading superpower? Or will its leaders shy away from the drastic changes required because the regime’s power is at risk? If so, will that lead to prolonged stagnation or even regime collapse? Might China move down a more liberal or even democratic path? Or will China instead emerge as a hard, authoritarian, and aggressive superstate?In this new book, David Shambaugh argues that these potential pathways are all possibilities—but they depend on key decisions yet to be made by China’s leaders, different pressures from within Chinese society, as well as actions taken by other nations. Assessing these scenarios and their implications, he offers a thoughtful and clear study of China’s future for all those seeking to understand the country’s likely trajectory over the coming decade and beyond. —Polity Press{chop}

China Steps up Panama Papers Censorship after Leaders' Relatives Named

Tom Phillips
It's dangerous for higher leaders regarding internal party credibility as much as the broader public...



China in the Panama Papers

Andrew J. Nathan, Bill Bishop & more
The overseas wealth of several relatives of senior Chinese leaders has come to light in an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) report, part of the analysis by a group of media outlets of more than 11 million documents leaked...

Crackdown in China: Worse and Worse

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
“As a liberal, I no longer feel I have a future in China,” a prominent Chinese think tank head in the process of moving abroad recently lamented in private. Such refrains are all too familiar these days as educated Chinese professionals express...

China ‘Detained 20 over Xi Resignation Letter’

John Sudworth
The letter focuses on what it says is Xi's “gathering of all power” in his own hands and restrictions on freedom of speech...

Chinese Activist in N.Y. Says Beijing Officials 'Abducted' His Parents and Brother

Los Angeles Times
An influential Communist Party critic with more than 220,000 Twitter followers said authorities detained his family in Guangdong.



A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor

Several cadre leaders have been punished for breaking the law, and nearly all of them have said: There isn’t enough internal supervision and no one warned me; if there’d been someone there whispering in my ear, I wouldn’t have committed such grave...



Cracks in Xi Jinping’s Fortress?

Andrew J. Nathan, Rana Mitter & more
Two remarkable documents emerged from China last week—the essay “A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor,” which appeared on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and an open letter calling for Xi Jinping’s...

Sinica Podcast


Everything Old is New Again

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Members of the Politburo are rarely praised for their dancing skills, but consider Xi Jinping’s almost flawless execution of the political two-step: first casting himself as the voice of liberal moderation in the face of Bo Xilai’s mass propaganda,...



Taiwan’s New Direction

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In January, Taiwan’s voters handed the traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a landslide victory, giving it control of both the parliament and presidency for the first time ever. The victory came at the expense of the...



What’s Driving the Current Storm of Chinese Censorship?

David Schlesinger, Anne Henochowicz & more
The latest lightning flashes on China’s shifting media horizon this month took the form of the banishment from social media of a real estate tycoon who voiced support for constructive criticism, the firing of an editor at a newspaper that appeared...

In Xi Jinping’s Tears, a Message for China’s People

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
It’s all right to cry, even when you’re the leader of the world’s most populous nation.



China’s Coming Ideological Wars

Taisu Zhang
For most Chinese, the 1990s were a period of intense material pragmatism. Economic development was the paramount social and political concern, while the various state ideologies that had guided policy during the initial decades of the People’s...



Xi Jinping: A Cult of Personality?

Jonathan Landreth, Taisu Zhang & more
By some accounts, Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping is the most powerful leader the country has  had since Mao Zedong. One arrow in his quiver that echoes Mao’s armory is Xi’s embrace of popular song, listened to these days not on the radio or...

China’s Xi Jinping Puts Loyalty to the Test at Congress

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
President focuses on party discipline, as corruption crackdown has unsettled Chinese officials.

From Xi to Shining Xi: China's Propaganda Machine Goes into Overdrive

James Griffiths
Cringeworthy poems, viral videos and animated raps—some of the tools President Xi uses in guiding media coverage.

A Misty-Eyed Ode to China's Leader from a Deputy Editor

John Sudworth
A poem written by deputy editor at Xinhua in tribute to President Xi has gone viral, although that should not be taken as a sign of literary merits.



How Long Can China’s Internet Thrive if the Rest of the World Gets Shut Out?

David Schlesinger, Jeff South & more
Last week, Chinese authorities announced that as of March 10, foreign-invested companies would not be allowed to publish anything on the Chinese Internet unless they have obtained government permission to publish with a Chinese partner. What does...



‘Rule by Fear?’

Eva Pils, Taisu Zhang & more
In the just over three years since Xi Jinping assumed leadership of China, observers and scholars of the country have increasingly coalesced around the idea that Xi’s term in office has coincided with a shift in the tone, if not the practice, of...

How Xi Jinping Sees the World ... and Why

Jeffrey A. Bader
Brookings Institution
Large national transformations are more often the product of historical forces than the writ of one powerful leader.



What New Approach Should the U.S. and China Take to North Korea?

John Delury, Seong-Hyon Lee & more
On Sunday, North Korea launched a long range rocket many see as a test of its capability to launch a missile attack against the U.S., defying both American and Chinese pressure not do so. Republican U.S. presidential candidates argued Washington...