Reports

12.01.10

Catastrophe Insurance Policy for China

Jun Wang
World Bank
The vast majority of China's population lies to the southeast of a line running from Beijing to Sichuan. This entire region is subjected to major floods each year, while typhoons affect the southern and eastern coastal areas and major...

Reports

12.01.10

Can China’s Rural Elderly Count on Support from Adult Children? Implications of Rural to Urban Migration

John Giles, Dewen Wang, and Changbao Zhao
World Bank
Support from the family continues to be an important source of support for the rural elderly, particularly the rural elderly over seventy years of age. Decline in likelihood of co-residence with, or in close proximity to, adult children raises the...

Reports

12.01.10

The Role of Trade Costs in Global Production Networks: Evidence from China’s Processing Trade Regime

Alyson C. Ma and Ari Van Assche
World Bank
This paper uses data from China's processing trade regime to analyze the role of trade costs on trade within global production networks (GPNs). Under this regime, firms are granted duty exemptions on imported inputs as long as they are used...

Reports

12.01.10

Income Uncertainty and Household Savings in China

Marcos Chamon, Kai Liu, and Eswar Prasad
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
China’s household saving rate has increased markedly since the mid-1990s and the age-savings profile has become U-shaped. The authors find that rising income uncertainty and pension reforms help explain both of these phenomena. Using a panel of...

Reports

12.01.10

Transforming China: Insights from the Japanese Experience of the 1980s

Papa N'Diaye
Sara Segal-Williams
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
China is poised on the brink of a transition to a service-based economy. The Japanese experience of the 1980s provides several insights about the way to manage such a transition and the downsides to avoid. In particular Japan offers useful insights...

Sinica Podcast

11.12.10

The End of Chinese Internet Civility

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Simmering tensions between Qihoo 360 and Tencent broke into open war last week, as Tencent disabled its chat software on computers running 360 antivirus software. This move was the most aggressive yet in a serious of escalating attacks between the...

How Reds Smashed Reds

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
July and August 1966, the first months of the ten-year Cultural Revolution, were the summer of what Andrew Walder, a sociologist at Stanford, calls “The Maoist Shrug.” Jiang Qing, Mao Zedong’s wife, told high school Red Guards, “We do not advocate...

A Hero of Our Time

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
On October 8, Liu Xiaobo became the first Chinese to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and one of only three winners ever to receive it while in prison. The Oslo committee had already received a warning from Beijing not to give Liu the prize because he...

Reports

11.05.10

Staff Report of the People’s Republic of China—Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: 2010 Article IV Consultation Discussions

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Two potent forces continue to influence Hong Kong SAR's prospects: the unprecedented monetary policy easing in the United States and the solid domestic recovery, in part driven by spillovers from the Mainland. While the substantial expansion of...

Sinica Podcast

11.05.10

The Li Gang Scandal

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
A deadly hit-and-run at Hebei University by the unapologetic son of a high-ranking official has sparked outrage across China, with early efforts to cover up the incident ultimately leading to father and son both making tearful apologies on national...

Reports

11.01.10

On the Road to Prosperity? The Economic Geography of China’s National Expressway Network

Mark Roberts, Uwe Deichmann, Bernard Fingleton, Tuo Shi
World Bank
Over the past two decades, China has embarked on an ambitious program of expressway network expansion. By facilitating market integration, this program aims both to promote efficiency at the national level and to contribute to the catch-up of...

Reports

11.01.10

Did Higher Inequality Impede Growth in Rural China?

Dwayne Benjamin, Loren Brandt, and John Giles
World Bank
Since the start of economic reform in the early 1980s, China has experienced plenty of growth and inequality; per capita income has grown nearly 8 percent annually, while the Gini coefficient rose from 0.28 to 0.39. Using a rich longitudinal survey...

Reports

11.01.10

Energy Innovation

Michael A. Levi, Elizabeth C. Economy, Shannon K. O'Neil, and Adam Segal
He Jianan
Council on Foreign Relations
Low-carbon technology innovation and diffusion are both essential aspects of an effective response to climate change. Studying China, India, and Brazil, the authors of this report examine how innovation in low-carbon technologies occurs and how the...

Books

11.01.10

Heart of Buddha, Heart of China

James Carter
The Buddhist monk Tanxu surmounted extraordinary obstacles—poverty, wars, famine, and foreign occupation—to become one of the most prominent monks in China, founding numerous temples and schools, and attracting crowds of students and disciples wherever he went. Now, in Heart of Buddha, Heart of China, James Carter draws on untapped archival materials to provide a book that is part travelogue, part history, and part biography of this remarkable man. This revealing biography shows a Chinese man, neither an intellectual nor a peasant, trying to reconcile his desire for a bold and activist Chinese nationalism with his own belief in China's cultural and social traditions, especially Buddhism. As it follows Tanxu's extraordinary life, the book also illuminates the pivotal events in China's modern history, showing how one individual experienced the fall of China's last empire, its descent into occupation and civil war, and its eventual birth as modern nation. Indeed, Tanxu lived in a time of almost constant warfare—from the Sino-Japanese War of 1895, to the Boxer Uprising, the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese occupation, and World War II. He and his followers were robbed by river pirates, and waylaid by bandits on the road. Caught in the struggle between nationalist and communist forces, Tanxu finally sought refuge in the British colony of Hong Kong. At the time of his death, at the age of 89, he was revered as "Master Tanxu," one of Hong Kong's leading religious figures. Capturing all this in a magnificent portrait, Carter gives first-person immediacy to one of the most turbulent periods in Chinese history.  —Oxford University Press

Books

11.01.10

Coming to Terms with the Nation

Thomas S. Mullaney
China is a vast nation comprised of hundreds of distinct ethnic communities, each with its own language, history, and culture. Today the government of China recognizes just 56 ethnic nationalities, or minzu, as groups entitled to representation. This controversial new book recounts the history of the most sweeping attempt to sort and categorize the nation's enormous population: the 1954 Ethnic Classification project (minzu shibie). Thomas S. Mullaney draws on recently declassified material and extensive oral histories to describe how the communist government, in power less than a decade, launched this process in ethnically diverse Yunnan. Mullaney shows how the government drew on Republican-era scholarship for conceptual and methodological inspiration as it developed a strategy for identifying minzu and how non-Party-member Chinese ethnologists produced a “scientific” survey that would become the basis for a policy on nationalities.  —University of California Press

Sinica Podcast

10.29.10

When Media Attacks

Gady Epstein, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, we find out what happens when the media attacks and China is caught in the crossfire. Specifically, recent weeks have brought us two prominent cases of bad press for China as the country gets caught in loaded battles fought by...

A Very Superior ‘Chinaman’

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Charlie Chan, the fictitious Chinese-American detective from Hawaii, makes his first appearance in the movie Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935) looking out the window of an airplane while flying over the Pyramids and the Sphinx. We next see him, looking...

Sinica Podcast

10.22.10

Recent Considerations on China

Kaiser Kuo, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
As backdrop for this podcast, Sinica would like to remind our gentle listeners that the word quisling comes from Norway, that barbarous queen of northern Europe whose parliament has recently been condemned internationally for its involvement in a...

Rumblings of Reform in Beijing?

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Over the past six weeks, China’s thin class of the politically aware has been gripped by a faint hope that maybe, against all odds, some sort of political opening might be in the cards this year. Monday’s conclusion of a key Communist Party meeting...

‘A Turning Point in the Long Struggle’: Chinese Citizens Defend Liu Xiaobo

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
It would be hard to overstate how much the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo on October 8 has meant to China’s community of dissidents, bloggers, and activists. Not only has it lifted their spirits tremendously; many also view it as a...

A Hero of the China Underground

Howard W. French from New York Review of Books
As a poet and chronicler of other people’s lives, Liao Yiwu is a singular figure among the generation of Chinese intellectuals who emerged after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Unlike the leaders of Beijing’s student movement, people like...

The Question of Pearl Buck

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
The announcement by the Swedish Academy in November 1938 that Pearl Buck had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature was met with sarcasm and even derision by many writers and critics. They were not impressed that this was the third choice by...

Jailed for Words: Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
On October 8, Liu Xiaobo became the first Chinese to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and one of only three winners ever to receive it while in prison. The Oslo committee had already received a warning from Beijing not to give Liu the prize because he...

Beijing’s Bluster, America’s Quiet: The Disturbing Case of Xue Feng

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Quiet diplomacy, as it’s called, has served for years as the principle guiding U.S. relations with China: the theory is that it is far better to engage the Chinese government quietly, behind the scenes, rather than through more robust public...

Reports

10.01.10

A Case Study on Large-Scale Forestland Acquisition in China

Li Ping and Robin Nielsen
He Jianan
Landesa
Rural development and forest restoration have been key priorities for the Chinese government over the last decade, and indeed many countries in the world. To address these priorities, the Chinese government has aggressively promoted new investment—...

Reports

10.01.10

Market Transformation for Urban Energy Efficiency in China

He Jianan
Global Environmental Institute
The acute energy shortage faced by many Chinese cities has dragged down local productivity and living standards. Cities are motivated to actively seek solutions to minimize the gap between energy demand and supply. This project aims to lay out...

Reports

10.01.10

Measuring Health Workforce Inequalities

Sudhir Anand
Luo Xiaoyuan
World Health Organization
Measuring health workforce inequalities: methods and application to China and India is for users and producers of quantitative data in support of decision-making for health policy and practice, including statistical analysts, researchers, health...

Books

10.01.10

When a Billion Chinese Jump

Jonathan Watts
As a young child, Jonathan Watts believed if everyone in China jumped at the same time, the earth would be shaken off its axis, annihilating mankind. Now, more than thirty years later, as a correspondent for The Guardian in Beijing, he has discovered it is not only foolish little boys who dread a planet-shaking leap by the world's most populous nation. When a Billion Chinese Jump is a road journey into the future of our species. Traveling from the mountains of Tibet to the deserts of Inner Mongolia via the Silk Road, tiger farms, cancer villages, weather-modifying bases, and eco-cities, Watts chronicles the environmental impact of economic growth with a series of gripping stories from the country on the front line of global development. He talks to nomads and philosophers, entrepreneurs and scientists, rural farmers and urban consumers, examining how individuals are trying to adapt to one of the most spectacular bursts of change in human history, then poses a question that will affect all of our lives: Can China find a new way forward or is this giant nation doomed to magnify the mistakes that have already taken humanity to the brink of disaster?  —Simon & Schuster

Sinica Podcast

10.01.10

Racism in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Racism isn’t a problem in China. That’s the official story you’ll read in the papers and hear on the streets, at least, and maybe there’s even a kernel of truth to it. Without a legacy of colonial activities abroad, the Chinese people are in many...

The Party: Impenetrable, All Powerful

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In the next few weeks, an event will take place in Beijing on a par with anything dreamed up by a conspiracy theorist. A group of roughly three hundred men and women will meet at an undisclosed time and location to set policies for a sixth of...

Sinica Podcast

09.24.10

Attack of the China Bears

Kaiser Kuo, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
As the American economy teeters on the brink of a double-dip recession, “China Bear” sightings have increased significantly. A loosely-knit group of economists and critics who see storm clouds looming over the Chinese economy, China Bears have a...

Reports

09.23.10

China’s Sovereign Wealth Fund: Developments and Policy Implications

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China’s ruling executive body, the State Council, established the China Investment Corporation (CIC), a sovereign wealth fund, in September 2007 to invest $200 billion of China’s then $1.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. As with other...

Reports

09.21.10

China’s Steel Industry and Its Impact on the United States: Issues for Congress

Rachel Tang
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China’s steel industry has grown significantly since the mid-1990s. China is now the world’s largest steelmaker and steel consumer. The majority of Chinese steel has been used to meet domestic demand in China. However, as its steel production...

Sinica Podcast

09.17.10

Capital Punishment in China

Kaiser Kuo, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Crimes that merit capital punishment in China include treason, murder, corruption, drug-traffiking, and occasionally even wildlife poaching. Yet despite the broad reach of the law here, the true extent of the death penalty in China remains one of...

Books

09.15.10

China Marches West

Peter Perdue
From about 1600 to 1800, the Qing empire of China expanded to unprecedented size. Through astute diplomacy, economic investment, and a series of ambitious military campaigns into the heart of Central Eurasia, the Manchu rulers defeated the Zunghar Mongols, and brought all of modern Xinjiang and Mongolia under their control, while gaining dominant influence in Tibet. The China we know is a product of these vast conquests. Peter C. Perdue chronicles this little-known story of China’s expansion into the northwestern frontier. Unlike previous Chinese dynasties, the Qing achieved lasting domination over the eastern half of the Eurasian continent. Rulers used forcible repression when faced with resistance, but also aimed to win over subject peoples by peaceful means. They invested heavily in the economic and administrative development of the frontier, promoted trade networks, and adapted ceremonies to the distinct regional cultures. Perdue thus illuminates how China came to rule Central Eurasia and how it justifies that control, what holds the Chinese nation together, and how its relations with the Islamic world and Mongolia developed. He offers valuable comparisons to other colonial empires and discusses the legacy left by China’s frontier expansion. The Beijing government today faces unrest on its frontiers from peoples who reject its autocratic rule. At the same time, China has launched an ambitious development program in its interior that in many ways echoes the old Qing policies.  —Harvard University Press

Booming China, Migrant Misery

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
At the beginning of September, a Beijing criminal court announced a decision that called attention to the difficult and sometimes tragic circumstances of millions of migrant workers in China who have left their countryside homes to work for low...

Sinica Podcast

09.10.10

Showdown in Shenzhen

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
On September 6, Shenzhen celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its founding as a special economic zone (SEZ). And while the city feted itself at the highest levels of power, its celebrations were marred by an unexpected development: in a speech...

Reports

09.08.10

Winds From the East: How the People’s Republic of China Seeks to Influence the Media in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Douglas Farah and Andy Mosher
Center for International Media Assistance
The People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) is using various components of public diplomacy to influence the media in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. China’s primary purposes appear to be to present China as a reliable friend and partner, as...

Reports

09.01.10

Price Dynamics in China

Nathan Porter
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Chinese inflation, particularly non-food inflation, has been surprisingly modest in recent years. The author finds that supply factors, including those captured through upstream foreign commodity and producer prices, have been important drivers of...

Sinica Podcast

08.20.10

China’s Troubled Waters

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Are Chinese-American maritime relations running aground? The recent sinking of the South Korean corvette the Cheonan, most likely by China’s unruly client state North Korea, has led to the U.S.S. George Washington participating in naval exercises...

Waiting for WikiLeaks: Beijing’s Seven Secrets

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
While people in the U.S. and elsewhere have been reacting to the release by WikiLeaks of classified U.S. documents on the Afghan War, Chinese bloggers have been discussing the event in parallel with another in their own country. On July 21 in...

Sinica Podcast

08.13.10

The Guo Degang Affair and China Apologists

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein, Will Moss, and David Moser join Kaiser to talk about the Guo Degang Affair. When a fight with the media at the famous comedian’s house became news, the incident sparked a week of heated public...

Sinica Podcast

08.06.10

China in Africa

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The world is abuzz over a number of recent large-scale infrastructure-for-resources deals China has signed in Africa. While some observers see these agreements as a force for good in local economic development, others have gone so far as to call the...

Reports

08.01.10

Chess on the High Seas: Dangerous Times for U.S.-China Relations

Michael Mazza
Sara Segal-Williams
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The Obama administration’s hopes that its warmer approach to Beijing would yield a more fruitful Sino-American relationship have been disappointed. Rather than adopting a more cooperative bearing, Beijing has become increasingly assertive over the...

Reports

08.01.10

Addressing the Environmental and Social Governance Challenges of Chinese Mining Companies Operating in Africa

Carole Biau
Global Environmental Institute
The growth of China’s consumption of base metals is reflected in increased overseas engagement in mining activities, particularly in Africa. There is increasing concern about the environmental and social implications of China’s overseas involvement...

Reports

08.01.10

Addressing the Environmental and Social Governance Challenges of Chinese Mining Companies Operating in Africa

Carole Biau
He Jianan
Global Environmental Institute
There is growing concern about the environmental and social implications of China’s overseas involvement in Africa, especially in environmentally-sensitive sectors such as mining and other extractive industries. In particular, Chinese firms are...

Books

08.01.10

Dreaming in Chinese

Deborah Fallows
Deborah Fallows has spent much of her life learning languages and traveling around the world. But nothing prepared her for the surprises of learning Mandarin, China's most common language, or the intensity of living in Shanghai and Beijing. Over time, she realized that her struggles and triumphs in studying the language of her adopted home provided small clues to deciphering the behavior and habits of its people, and its culture's conundrums. As her skill with Mandarin increased, bits of the language-a word, a phrase, an oddity of grammar-became windows into understanding romance, humor, protocol, relationships, and the overflowing humanity of modern China.Fallows learned, for example, that the abrupt, blunt way of speaking that Chinese people sometimes use isn't rudeness, but is, in fact, a way to acknowledge and honor the closeness between two friends. She learned that English speakers' trouble with hearing or saying tones-the variations in inflection that can change a word's meaning-is matched by Chinese speakers' inability not to hear tones, or to even take a guess at understanding what might have been meant when foreigners misuse them.In sharing what she discovered about Mandarin, and how those discoveries helped her understand a culture that had at first seemed impenetrable, Deborah Fallows's Dreaming in Chinese opens up China to Westerners more completely, perhaps, than it has ever been before.  —WalkerBooks

Sinica Podcast

07.23.10

Death of the China Blog

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The China blog is officially dead, moribund, cadaverous, extinct, buried, bereft of life, defunct, and totally-and-utterly-inert. It could even be said to be resting in peace, save for the fact that Will Moss drove a silver stake through its heart...

Reports

07.14.10

China and the United States - A Comparison of Green Energy Programs and Policies

Richard J. Campbell
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China has experienced tremendous economic growth over the last three decades, with an annual average increase in gross domestic product of 9.8 percent during that period. This has led to an increasing demand for energy, spurring China to add an...

Sinica Podcast

07.12.10

Ich Bin Ein Beijinger

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
Sad as it is to admit, the rare solar eclipse that incited such mayhem on Easter Island earlier this week has thrown our own Beijing community into a tizzy. Or perhaps the culprit is the stultifying heatwave which has descended on our city, turning...

Sinica Podcast

07.09.10

China’s Environmental Collapse

Kaiser Kuo, William Moss & more from Sinica Podcast
After the collapse of international climate change talks in Copenhagen in 2009, Mark Lynas’ devastating article, published in the Guardian, laid the blame squarely at China’s feet, accusing the Chinese government of deliberately scuttling American-...

Reports

07.06.10

U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The United States suspended military contacts with China and imposed sanctions on arms sales in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. In 1993, the Clinton Administration re-engaged with the top PRC leadership, including China's military...

Sinica Podcast

07.02.10

Newsweek Bid, Renminbi Revaluation

Kaiser Kuo, Evan Osnos & more from Sinica Podcast
In a sudden move clearly intended to stave off criticism at the G20 meeting in Toronto, China loosened the yuan’s twenty-three-month-old peg to the American dollar earlier this month, allowing its currency to appreciate against the greenback. This...

Sinica Podcast

07.01.10

What If the BP Oil Spill Happened in China...

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
As Gady Epstein reports in this special dispatch, “some time ago, we reached the China Zone in the BP story.” The China Zone is—for those of you who haven’t heard of it yet—the point at which a reasonable observer will believe almost anything about...

Reports

07.01.10

People’s Republic of China: 2010 Article IV Consultation-Staff Report; Staff Statement; Public Information Notice on the Executive Board Discussion

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This is the staff report for the 2010 Article IV consultation, prepared by a staff team of the IMF, following discussions that ended on July 1, 2010, with the officials of the People's Republic of China on economic developments and policies...

Reports

07.01.10

“Justice, Justice”: The July 2009 Protests in Xinjiang, China

Amnesty International
On July 5, 2009, thousands of Chinese of Uighur ethnicity demonstrated in Urumqi, the regional capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). In the aftermath of the Urumqi protests, the authorities detained more than 1,400 people. In this...

Reports

07.01.10

“I Saw It With My Own Eyes”

Sara Segal-Williams
Human Rights Watch
More than two years after protests—the largest and most sustained in decades—erupted across the Tibetan plateau in March 2008, the Chinese government has yet to explain the circumstances that led to dozens of clashes between protesters and police...

Reports

06.30.10

Breaking the Ice on Environmental Open Information

Ma Jun, Wang Jingjing, Ruan Qingyuan, Shen Sunan, Wu Wei, Alex Wang, Hu Yuanqiong, Michael Zhang & Zhang Xiya
Natural Resources Defense Council
On May 1, 2008, the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information and the Ministry of Environmental  Protection Measures on Open Environmental Information (trial) entered into effect. These regulations stand...

Sinica Podcast

06.25.10

Beijing’s Ambivalent Relationship with the Internet

Jeremy Goldkorn, Bill Bishop & more from Sinica Podcast
Mere mention of Chinese Internet censorship is no longer taboo. Or that’s our take-away from a recent white paper by the State Council Information Office that outlines exactly how and why the Chinese government plans to tighten controls over online...

Sinica Podcast

06.18.10

Review of Chinese Books

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Looking for a little summer reading? This week, Sinica sorts the wheat from the chaff with a massive review of books on China. Our discussion touches on a everything from Chinese fiction to non-fiction academic works on Chinese politics, economics,...