A Dazzling Spectacle of China's Totalitarianism

Stein Ringen
Washington Post
When the Congress of the Chinese Communist Party convenes in Beijing on Wednesday, the world will be served up a dazzling spectacle of power and procedure.

Delegates to Party Congress Highly Representative: Report

Xinhua
Xinhua
The presidium of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its first meeting on Tuesday afternoon, approving a report on the examination of delegates’ qualifications by the delegate credentials committee.

Viewpoint

10.16.17

Why Do We Keep Writing About Chinese Politics As if We Know More Than We Do?

Jessica Batke & Oliver Melton
In the coming weeks, every major Western newspaper and many top China analysts will be making strong claims about Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s political position in the wake of the 19th Party Congress. These reports will build off years of tea-leaf...

Is Xi a Threat to Foreign Businesses in China?

Peter Martin and Keith Zhai
Bloomberg
In a speech at this year’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Xi Jinping said choosing protectionism was akin to “locking yourself in a dark room.” But his rhetoric doesn’t square with reality, multinationals say.

China Stands at ‘a New Historic Starting Point,’ Communist Party Says

Huileng Tan
CNBC
China is boasting of its growing economic and political development as the country comes to a standstill for the once-every-five-years Communist Party Congress.

Conversation

10.16.17

What to Watch at China’s Party Congress

Ho-fung Hung, Taisu Zhang & more
The Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress, a hugely important political meeting usually held once every five years, will begin on October 18 in Beijing. Like many events involving China’s ruling party, the most important decisions and...

Xi Jinping Has More Clout Than Donald Trump. The World Should Be Wary

Economist
American presidents have a habit of describing their Chinese counterparts in terms of awe. A fawning Richard Nixon said to Mao Zedong that the chairman’s writings had “changed the world”. To Jimmy Carter, Deng Xiaoping was a string of flattering...

China Targets Pollution on Eve of Xi Jinping’s Second Term

Tom Hancock and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
A wave of environmental inspections in China has led to the closure of tens of thousands of businesses producing commodities from industrial chemicals to cement and rubber, pushing up prices and disrupting some global supply chains.

The Communist Party Ghostwriters Who Wrote the Book on Xi Jinping

Jun Mai
South China Morning Post
The call came in 2015. He Yiting, a vice-chairman of the training ground for top Communist Party cadres, was given a mission that would take the next two years of his life.

China's Xi Looks Set to Keep Right-Hand Man on Despite Age

Benjamin Kang Lim, Ben Blanchard, and...
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to retain his right-hand man, the graft-buster Wang Qishan, in a senior position at a key Communist Party Congress this month even though he has reached retirement age, according to a majority of people with...

China Names New Leaders of Anti-Corruption Agencies at Financial Regulators

South China Morning Post
China’s Communist Party has named new top officials to lead anti-corruption agencies at the country’s banking and insurance regulators as it makes final preparations for a twice-a-decade party congress later this month.

Chinese Village Where Xi Jinping Fled Is Now a Monument to His Power

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Almost 50 years after Xi Jinping first trudged into this village as a cold, bewildered teenager, hundreds of political pilgrims retrace his footsteps every day. They follow a well-trod course designed to show how the seven years that the young Mr...

China Congress: Military Facelift a Sign of Bigger Changes

Cheng Li
BBC
Of the many noteworthy developments that have characterised Chinese President Xi Jinping's first five-year term, none stands out as much as military reform, and this reveals a great deal about the coming political trajectory in China, writes...

Does Chinese Leader Xi Jinping Plan to Hang on to Power for More Than 10 Years?

Choi Chi-yuk Viola Zhou
South China Morning Post
The leader of China’s Communist Party, Xi Jinping, will begin a second five-year term this month. Many observers say it’s unlikely to be his last.

What We Know about China’s 19th Party Congress and the Possible Economic Fallout

Sara Hsu
Forbes
On October 18, China will hold its 19th National Party Congress, which will provide broad indications for economic policy in the coming years. While it has been projected that there will be significant changes among the top party members, President...

The Curious Career Paths of China's Public-Sector Bosses

Tom Mitchell
Financial Times
The official heroes of China’s state-sector reform program range from dedicated anti-graft investigators, who have purged dozens of allegedly corrupt executives over recent years, to strategically minded administrators determined to create a stable...

Tillerson Masters the Art of Comity in Talks with China Leaders

Nick Wadhams
Bloomberg
Rex Tillerson made a show of harmony with Chinese leaders during a whirlwind visit to Beijing, skipping over tensions around trade and North Korea to emphasize the personal bond between the countries’ presidents.

Sinica Podcast

09.22.17

North Korea Behind the Scenes

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
North Korea is a mystery to nearly everyone—even those who have dedicated their lives to studying the country, including Korean experts based in Seoul, national security experts in Washington or Beijing, and a variety of foreigners who have spent...

Conversation

09.21.17

What Will China Do if the U.S. Attacks North Korea?

Shen Dingli, Bonnie S. Glaser & more
During a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, U.S. President Donald Trump warned that if North Korea threatened the United States or its allies, he would “totally destroy” the nation. As tensions continue to rise between...

Media

09.18.17

Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century

Richard McGregor, Susan Shirk & more
The following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society in New York on September 7, 2017, and named for a new book by Richard McGregor, the former Beijing Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, “ChinaFile Presents: ‘Asia’s...

China to Amend Party Constitution at October Congress

Reuters
China’s ruling Communist Party is expected to amend its constitution at a key party congress next month, state media said on Monday, in a sign that President Xi Jinping aims to enshrine his guiding ideological doctrine in the charter.

Conversation

09.15.17

Bannon Says the U.S. Is at ‘Economic War with China.’ Is He Right?

Paul Haenle, Jacqueline N. Deal & more
Steve Bannon, whose controversial views on China remain hugely influential in the White House, is visiting Hong Kong this week to speak at a China investment conference. In August, before he left his White House position as chief strategist, Bannon...

How Strongmen Co-Opted Democracy

Kishore Mahbubani
New York Times
A wave of strongmen rulers has been elected, many of whom have clear non-Western identities. This list includes Shinzo Abe of Japan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Narendra Modi of India, Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, as well as China’s Xi Jinping.

Lacking a Point Person on China, U.S. Risks Aggravating Tensions

Mark Landler
New York Times
The National Security Council is conducting a review of the White House’s China policy — taking into account Mr. Trump’s populist trade agenda and differences over how to curb the rogue government in North Korea. Aside from Mr. Trump himself, it...

Conversation

09.06.17

China’s Communist Party Is About to Meet. Here’s What You Should Know.

Matthias Stepan, Victor Shih & more
The Chinese Communist Party will hold its 19th Party Congress on October 18, marking the end of the first term of General Secretary Xi Jinping. In a leadership reshuffle, Xi is expected to promote allies to the Party’s key decision-making body, the...

Did Kim Jong-Un Kill His Uncle and Brother over ‘Coup Plot Involving China’?

Telegraph
Sources told the newspaper that Kim Jong-Un’s uncle, Mr. Jang Song Thaek, proposed a plot to overthrow Mr. Kim, with Beijing's assistance, and to replace him with his oldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam...

Steve Bannon Says U.S. In Economic War with China

NBC News
The United States is in an economic war with China, U.S President Donald Trump's chief political strategist has said, warning Washington is losing the fight but is about to hit China hard over unfair trade practices...

Conversation

08.10.17

Should China Support the U.S. in a War with North Korea?

Ryan Hass, Susan Shirk & more
On August 9, U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that if it does not stop threatening the United States, it will be “met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” Just hours later, the...

As Trump Unnerves Asia, China Sees an Opening

New York Times
With America’s Asian allies unnerved by President Trump’s threat to bring “fire and fury” to North Korea, China sees a chance to capitalize on the fear and confusion and emerge as the sober-minded power in the region, according to analysts who study...

Trump Is Signaling He’s about to Lash out at China — Here’s What Beijing Is Thinking

CNBC
China is bracing for a clash with the U.S. when President Donald Trump announces potentially aggressive trade measures against Beijing.

Books

08.01.17

Globalization against Democracy

Guoguang Wu
Globalization has reconfigured both the external institutional framework and the intrinsic operating mechanisms of capitalism. The global triumph of capitalism implies the embracing of the market by the state in all its variants, and that global capitalism is not confined to the shell of nation-state democracy. Guoguang Wu provides a theoretical framework of global capitalism for specialists in political economy, political science, economics, and international relations, for graduate and undergraduate courses on globalization, capitalism, development, and democracy, as well as for the public who are interested in globalization. Wu examines the new institutional features of global capitalism and how they re-frame movements of capital, labor, and consumption. He explores how globalization has created a chain of connection in which capital depends on effective authoritarianism, while democracy depends on capital. Ultimately, he argues that the emerging state-market nexus has fundamentally shaken the existing institutional systems, harming democracy in the process. —Cambridge University Press{chop}

Sinica Podcast

07.24.17

Straight Talk on North Korea and China

Jeremy Goldkorn & Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
Lyle Goldstein, an associate professor and strategic researcher at the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, is an expert on Chinese and Russian security strategies. He is also an insightful commentator on what is going on...

Xi Jinping Picks War Games over Military Parade for Chinese Army’s 90th Birthday Bash

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
China’s biggest annual war games, at Asia’s largest military training base, will be attended by President Xi Jinping on August 1 to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Former Political Star in China Is Under Party Investigation

New York Times
The Chinese Communist Party said on Monday that Sun Zhengcai, a high-flying politician who had been seen as a potential future premier, was under investigation over suspected “grave violations of discipline,” ending his career and raising the stakes...

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...