Sinica Podcast

08.19.11

Not in My Backyard

Kaiser Kuo, Josh Chin & more from Sinica Podcast
While some Chinese media have flown into high dudgeon over allegations of sun-exposed hamburger buns at McDonalds, powder-based soy milk at KFC, and pork broth made from concentrate at Ajisen, a more grassroots protest gained notice across China...

‘I’m Not Interested in Them; I Wish They Weren’t Interested in Me’

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Amid the recent crackdown on dissidents by the Chinese government, the case of Liao Yiwu, the well-known poet and chronicler of contemporary China, is particularly interesting. For years, Liao’s work, which draws on extensive interviews with...

Sinica Podcast

08.12.11

The Schadenfreude Podcast

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Last week must have felt good for embattled Chinese patriots. Not only did the United States lose its coveted triple-A rating from Standard and Poor’s, but months after unrest in the Middle East sparked renewed speculation about political...

Sinica Podcast

08.06.11

The China Rock Podcast

Jeremy Goldkorn & Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
“Beijing has one of the best music scenes in the world,” one of our guests intoned, triggering a brawl that quickly split along Beijing-Shanghai lines. And while we’ll admit a case can be made for Shanghai too, there is no question that China has...

Reports

08.04.11

U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues

Shirley A. Kan, Wayne M. Morrison
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Taiwan today calls itself the sovereign Republic of China (ROC), tracing its political lineage to the ROC set up in 1911 on mainland China and commemorating in 2011 the 100th anniversary of its founding. The ROC government retreated to Taipei in...

Reports

08.01.11

Measuring the Economic Gain of Investing in Girls

Jad Chaaban and Wendy Cunningham
World Bank
This report discusses the economic impact of the exclusion of girls from productive employment in developing countries. The paper explores the linkages between investing in girls and potential increases in national income by examining three widely...

Sinica Podcast

07.29.11

Train Wrecks

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
After a long and hot July marked by the near-absence of most of our guests, Sinica host Kaiser Kuo is pleased to be back this week leading a discussion of the recent accident on the high-speed Hangzhou-Wenzhou rail line, an accident that has...

Reports

07.27.11

China’s Macroeconomic Rebalancing

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
In May and June 2011, an International Monetary Fund staff team held discussions in Chengdu, Shanghai, and Beijing, which this report documents. The consultation examined China’s macroeconomic outlook, the potential for a property price bubble, the...

Reports

07.26.11

Toward a Healthy and Harmonious Life in China

Shiyong Wang, Patricio Marquez, and John Langenbrunner
World Bank
China’s 12th five-year plan (2011-2015) aims to promote inclusive, equitable growth and development by placing an increased emphasis on human development. Good health is an important component of human development, not only because it makes people’s...

Murdoch’s Chinese Adventure

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
During a Parliamentary hearing last week in London, the Murdochs, father and son, riveted television audiences with their combination of wide-eyed, hand-on-heart innocence (James), and long silences and “Yups” and “Nopes” (Rupert). After the elder...

Reports

07.18.11

China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Policies

Jane A. Leggett
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The 112th Congress continues to debate whether and how the United States should address climate change. Most often, this debate includes concerns about the effects of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions controls if China and other major countries...

Reports

07.14.11

Strangers at Home: North Koreans in the South

International Crisis Group
As the number of defectors from North Korea arriving in the South has surged in the past decade, there is a growing understanding of how difficult it would be to absorb a massive flow of refugees. South Korea is prosperous and generous, with a...

Reports

07.01.11

People’s Republic of China: Spillover Report for the 2011 Article IV Consultation and Selected Issues

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This report discusses the outward effects of China’s economic policies on the rest of the world. The report does not try to capture the full extent and historical significance of China’s new influence on the world economy. Rather, it focuses on a...

Reports

07.01.11

The External Impact of China’s Exchange Rate Policy: Evidence from Firm Level Data

Barry Eichengreen and Hui Tong
Sara Segal-Williams
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The authors examine the impact of renminbi revaluation on foreign firm valuations, considering two surprise announcements of changes in China’s exchange rate policy in 2005 and 2010 and employing data on some 6,000 firms in forty-four economies...

China’s Political Prisoners: True Confessions?

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s ankle-deep heap of porcelain sunflower seeds bewitched recent visitors to London’s Tate Modern. But in early April Ai’s strong criticisms of the regime led to his disappearance somewhere in Beijing. On June 22, eighty-...

Books

06.30.11

Ghetto at the Center of the World

Gordon Mathews
There is nowhere else in the world quite like Chungking Mansions, a dilapidated seventeen-story commercial and residential structure in the heart of Hong Kong’s tourist district. A remarkably motley group of people call the building home: Pakistani phone stall operators, Chinese guesthouse workers, Nepalese heroin addicts, Indonesian sex workers, and traders and asylum seekers from all over Asia and Africa live and work there—even backpacking tourists rent rooms. In short, it is possibly the most globalized spot on the planet. But as Ghetto at the Center of the World shows us, a trip to Chungking Mansions reveals a far less glamorous side of globalization. A world away from the gleaming headquarters of multinational corporations, Chungking Mansions is emblematic of the way globalization actually works for most of the world’s people. Gordon Mathews’s intimate portrayal of the building’s polyethnic residents lays bare their intricate connections to the international circulation of goods, money, and ideas. We come to understand the day-to-day realities of globalization through the stories of entrepreneurs from Africa carting cell phones in their luggage to sell back home and temporary workers from South Asia struggling to earn money to bring to their families. And we see that this so-called ghetto—which inspires fear in many of Hong Kong’s other residents, despite its low crime rate—is not a place of darkness and desperation but a beacon of hope.

Gordon Mathews’s compendium of riveting stories enthralls and instructs in equal measure, making Ghetto at the Center of the World not just a fascinating tour of a singular place but also a peek into the future of life on our shrinking planet.  —University of Chicago Press

Reports

06.28.11

The United States and China: Macroeconomic Imbalances and Economic Diplomacy

Philip I. Levy
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The United States and China are now the two largest economies in the world. The relationship between the two countries is multifaceted and goes well beyond economic relations, but questions of macroeconomic imbalances have remained at the heart of...

The High Price of the New Beijing

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
One recent weekend, I went for a walk through the alleys around the Qianmen shopping district, once Beijing’s commercial heart and still home to nationally known traditional shops. One of its chief side streets, Dazhalan, had been turned into a Ye...

The Past and the Future

Fang Lizhi from New York Review of Books
Concerning the Past:I have maintained that China should move forward with the reform of society. In many speeches before 1988, I openly expressed my advocacy of reform in China.I acknowledge that the following are my principal views:Marxism—whether...

Kissinger and China

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
It is hard to fit Henry Kissinger’s latest book, On China, into any conventional frame or genre. Partly that is because the somewhat self-deprecatory title conceals what is, in fact, an ambitious goal: to make sense of China’s diplomacy and foreign...

Sinica Podcast

06.03.11

Water on the Brink

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
As the southern Yangtze region struggles with its worst drought in a century, China’s grand plans for water diversion projects and its Three Gorges Dam have come under renewed scrutiny, as have expectations Beijing can maintain economic stability...

China’s Glorious New Past

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
I first went to Datong in 1984 and was immediately taken by this gritty city in China’s northern Shanxi Province. Along with half a dozen classmates from Peking University, I traveled eight hours on an overnight train, arriving in a place that felt...

Reports

06.01.11

Sustainability Reporting Guidelines: Mapping and Gap Analysis for Shanghai Stock Exchange

World Bank
In recent years the number of companies releasing sustainability reports has continued to increase on a global level as well as in China specifically. In China, the number of sustainability reports reached over 700 in 2010. There is a widely...

Reports

06.01.11

“My Children Have Been Poisoned”: A Public Health Crisis in Four Chinese Provinces

Sara Segal-Williams
Human Rights Watch
Over the past decade, numerous mass lead poisoning incidents have been reported across China. In response, Environmental Protection Ministry officials have become more outspoken, directing local officials to increase supervision of factories and...

Reports

05.27.11

Fighting Spam to Build Trust

Karl Frederick Rauscher and Zhou Yonglin
EastWest Institute
The EastWest Institute and the Internet Society of China convened a team of China-U.S. experts for an ongoing bilateral dialogue on cybersecurity issues. This report, the first from the team, represents the first effort by Chinese and U.S. experts...

Will There Be a ‘Duel of Dalai Lamas’?

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
On March 10 the Fourteenth Dalai Lama made front-page news throughout the world by saying,As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader, elected freely by the Tibetan people, to whom I can devolve power. Now, we have...

Sinica Podcast

05.20.11

Inscrutable China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
It may be because we’ve yet to finish Henry Kissinger’s latest book on the subject, but we’ll admit to having found life in China a bit more inscrutable than normal these past few weeks, and all evidence suggests we’re not alone. Seen through the...

Quality of Life: India vs. China

Amartya Sen from New York Review of Books
The steadily rising rate of economic growth in India has recently been around 8 percent per year (it is expected to be 9 percent this year), and there is much speculation about whether and when India may catch up with and surpass China’s over 10...

Sinica Podcast

05.07.11

Crazed Madmen, Foreign and Domestic

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Despite losing almost a dollar for every dollar of revenue last year, Chinese Facebook clone Renren (人人网) made a spectacular launch on Wall Street last week, raising U.S.$743.4 million in a crazed initial public offering. So it’s no surprise that...

Reports

05.01.11

An American Open Door?

Daniel H. Rosen and Thilo Hanemann
Asia Society
Over the past decade, China’s unprecedented surge of economic dynamism and development has radically altered the global landscape and affected a host of international relationships. One of the most significant trends that will influence how the...

Reports

05.01.11

China and Africa: Small Hydro Power Cooperation

Leon White
He Jianan
Global Environmental Institute
The development of Small Hydro Power (SHP) in China has been a success for rural electrification yet to be replicated in the rest of the world. This paper introduces basic technical, financial, and policy principles of SHP and examines the factors...

Sinica Podcast

05.01.11

Nouriel Roubini Gets It in the A** in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
China Doomerism, the once familiar retreat of a chummy pantheon of economic cranks, recently went mainstream with Nouriel Roubini’s pronouncement that the Chinese economy is wrestling with over-investment and his prediction that it will likely come...

Reports

04.28.11

Identifying the Linkages Between Major Mining Commodity Prices and China’s Economic Growth—Implications for Latin America

Yongzhen Yu
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Major mining commodity prices are inherently volatile and cyclical. High levels of investment in China have been a key driver in the strong world demand for minerals and metals over the past decade. The urbanization and industrialization of China...

Recharging Chinese Art

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
Retirement was not usually a concept of pressing concern to Chinese emperors. Succession and survival were normally quite enough to keep them occupied, and death—when it came—was often unexpected and frequently brutal. But Emperor Qianlong, who...

Reports

04.27.11

China’s Green Revolution

Isabel Hilton, Olivia Boyd, Tan Copsey, Hu Angang, Liang Jiaochen, Liu Jianqiang, Shin Wei Ng, Linden Ellis, Thomas Ho, Sam Geall
chinadialogue
In March, China officially adopted its Twelfth Five-Year Plan, a blueprint for the country’s development from 2011 to 2015. Its green targets will shape China’s action on the environment over the next five years. To mark the occasion, chinadialogue...

China Misunderstood: Did We Contribute to Ai Weiwei’s Arrest?

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Like many artists, Ai Weiwei enjoys provoking. It isn’t just his finger-to-the-Chinese-government images that he has become known for but also how he does it: his obsessive-compulsive documentation of himself in photos, blogs, tweets, and rants into...

Sinica Podcast

04.22.11

China’s Second Internet Bubble?

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Interest in Chinese Internet companies has reached a fever pitch. Fueled by the fact that roughly fifty percent of the companies that went public on NASDAQ last year were Chinese in origin, at least seventeen more high-profile companies are planning...

Reports

04.18.11

Books

04.15.11

Tide Players

Jianying Zha
In Tide Players, acclaimed New Yorker contributor and author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming modern China. Through half a dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in the world’s fastest growing economy. Zha’s vivid cast of characters includes an unlikely couple who teamed up to become the country’s leading real-estate moguls; a gifted chameleon who transformed himself from Mao’s favorite “barefoot doctor” during the Cultural Revolution to a publishing maverick; and a tycoon of home-electronic chain stores who insisted on avenging his mother, who had been executed as “a counter-revolutionary criminal.” Alongside these entrepreneurs, Zha also brings us the intellectuals: a cantankerous professor at China’s top university; a former cultural minister turned prolific writer; and Zha’s own brother, a dissident who served a nine-year prison term for helping to found the China Democracy Party. Deeply engaging, lucid, and poignant, Zha’s insightful “insider-outsider” portraits offer a picture of a China that few Western readers have seen before. —The New Press{chop}

On the Sacred Mountain

Pico Iyer from New York Review of Books
A powerful, unexpected scene suddenly surfaces near the beginning of Colin Thubron’s characteristically beautiful, though uncharacteristically haunted, new book of travel. As he walks through the mountains of Nepal, toward the holy peak of Mount...

Reports

04.01.11

Diagnosing Development Bottlenecks: China and India

Wei Li, Taye Mengistae, and Lixin Colin Xu
World Bank
Although it had a a lower income level than India in 1980, China's 2006 per capita gross domestic product stood more than twice that of India's. This paper investigates the role of the business environment in explaining China's...

Reports

04.01.11

The China New Energy Vehicles Program: Challenges and Opportunities

Sara Segal-Williams
World Bank
In June 2010, the World Bank organized a team of international experts in urban transport, electric vehicle technologies, and policy and environment to carry out a survey study of China’s New Energy Vehicle (NEV) Program. The preliminary findings of...

Sinica Podcast

04.01.11

Scandal in Baidu and Chongqing

Kaiser Kuo, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
A year after our first show memorialized Google’s retreat from the China market, our first anniversary sees Sinica host Kaiser Kuo and his employer on the defensive as Gady Epstein and Bill Bishop grill Kaiser over recent allegations of copyright...

Reports

03.31.11

Jasmine in the Middle Kingdom: Autopsy of China’s (Failed) Revolution

Dale Swartz
Sara Segal-Williams
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
China’s version of the Arab world's “Jasmine Revolution” was a complete failure. Online calls for protests against Communist Party rule have elicited little response from would-be protesters. Yet Beijing’s reaction was swift and overwhelming—...

Sinica Podcast

03.25.11

Where Did the Internet/Salt Go?

Kaiser Kuo, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
In less time than it took Chinese netizens to strip their supermarkets of common table salt, China ended its live-and-let-live policy with regards to the most commonly used tools for evading the country’s Internet restrictions. Recent weeks have...

How China Fears the Middle East Revolutions

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Chinese authorities have done what they can to stop news—and worse, from their point of view, any influence—of Tunisian and Egyptian people-power from spreading to China. They have been worrying especially about what social media like Twitter and...

Sinica Podcast

03.11.11

The Exercise of Power

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In the last week, power and pageantry have engulfed Beijing as China has convened its Twin Congresses: the annual meeting of the country’s two highest decision-making councils. As the Communist Party has seized the opportunity to celebrate its grip...

Reports

03.11.11

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment: Urumqi District Heating Project

World Bank
The city of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in westernmost China, is experiencing rapid urbanization and economic growth, which poses challenges to Urumqi Municipal Government in providing adequate and efficient public...

Reports

03.01.11

How Do Special Economic Zones and Industrial Clusters Drive China’s Rapid Development?

Douglas Zhihua Zeng
World Bank
In the past thirty years, China has achieved phenomenal economic growth, an unprecedented development “miracle” in human history. How did China achieve this rapid growth? What have been its key drivers? And, most important, what can be learned from...

Reports

03.01.11

Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights

Human Rights in China
Throughout the world, terrorism continues to pose major threats to peace, security, and stability. Since September 11, 2001, intensified counter-terrorism debates and responses, including national, multilateral, and regional approaches, have been...

Sinica Podcast

02.26.11

Troubles and Ambitions in China

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Watch your rice, folks. That’s our takeaway from this week’s Sinica, which ruminates on troubles old and new in the Middle Kingdom. Up for discussion in particular are Chinese activities in Rwanda, dodgy rice, ongoing worker troubles at Apple...

The Secret Politburo Meeting Behind China’s New Democracy Crackdown

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
In an NYRblog post on February 17 (“Middle East Revolutions: The View from China”), I discussed Chinese government’s efforts to block news of the democracy uprisings spreading across the Middle East and speculated how China’s rulers might view those...

Sinica Podcast

02.18.11

Turmoil in Egypt and Groupon

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Welcome back to Sinica after our New Year’s break. And what could headline our first podcast of the New Year but Egypt, where an unexpected political uprising has raised obvious parallels for China-watchers worldwide. Moving beyond the politics of...

Middle East Revolutions: The View from China

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Chinese authorities have done what they can to block news of Egyptian people-power from spreading to China. Reports about Egypt in China’s state-run media have been brief and vacuous. On February 6, at the height of the protests, the People’s Daily...

The Worst Man-Made Catastrophe, Ever

Roderick MacFarquhar from New York Review of Books
When the first waves of Chinese graduate students arrived on American campuses in the early 1980s, they were excited at entering an unfettered learning environment. After the recent ravages of the Cultural Revolution, political science students had...

Reports

02.08.11

Beyond Symbolism? 

Lavina Lee
Cato Institute
The Obama administration has elevated nuclear disarmament to the center of its nuclear agenda through the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia and the release of the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). The administration also...

Reports

02.03.11

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities

Ronald O'Rourke
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The question of how the United States should respond to China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, has emerged as a key issue in U.S. defense planning. This issue is of particular importance to the U.S. Navy,...

Reports

02.01.11

A Seventeen-Province Survey of Rural Land Rights in China

He Jianan
Landesa
China continues to boost economic development in the countryside by extending secure land tenure rights to its 200 million farming families, according to findings from a seventeen-province survey, published in the 2011 Chinese Academy of Social...

Reports

02.01.11

Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: The 2012 Election Reforms

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Support for the democratization of Hong Kong has been an element of U.S. foreign policy for over seventeen years. The democratization of Hong Kong is also enshrined in the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s quasi-constitution that was passed by China’s National...

Sinica Podcast

01.21.11

Hu Jintao and the Washington Summit

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
As part of our ongoing efforts to secure the hottest scoops for you, our Sinica team originally planned to storm Hu Jintao’s flight to Washington and record a live podcast with everyone’s favorite chairman during his flight across the Pacific. Sadly...