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,...

Sinica Podcast

06.11.10

Science Fiction in China

Kaiser Kuo & Gady Epstein from Sinica Podcast
Science fiction serves as a kind of mirror for how a society sees itself in the future. So what future do Chinese sci-fi writers envision in the far-off yet-to-come? And what role does China play in that future? Do contemporary Chinese writers see a...

Sinica Podcast

06.04.10

Suicides, Strikes, and Labor Unrest in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
A spate of suicides leaves ten dead at the Shenzhen campus of Foxconn, the giant electronics manufacturer that makes many of the world’s most popular consumer electronics. A rare strike paralyzes production at Honda Motors, shutting down all of the...

Reports

06.01.10

Game-Changing China: Lessons from China about Disruptive Low Carbon Innovation

David Tyfield, Jun Jin, Tyler Rooker
Nesta
Big hydro, big solar photovoltaic, and big wind—these are the usual focus of accounts of low-carbon technologies in China. But a very different type of innovation—ranging from a farm cooperative in Yunnan, to woodchip and corn pellets in rural...

Sinica Podcast

05.28.10

Critical Media, Foreign and Domestic

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Is the “Western media” biased in its reporting about China? What are the frames and narratives that inform the Anglophone media’s understanding of the county, and what are the misunderstandings about the “Western media” that lead Chinese people into...

The Message from the Glaciers

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
It was not so long ago that the parts of the globe covered permanently with ice and snow, the Arctic, Antarctic, and Greater Himalayas (“the abode of the snows” in Sanskrit), were viewed as distant, frigid climes of little consequence. Only the most...

Reports

05.26.10

Democratic Reforms in Taiwan: Issues for Congress

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Taiwan, which its government formally calls the Republic of China (ROC), is a success story for U.S. interests in the promotion of universal freedoms and democracy. Taiwan’s people and their leaders transformed politics from rule imposed from the...

Talking About Tibet: An Open Dialogue Between Chinese Citizens and the Dalai Lama

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Following is an English translation of an Internet dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Chinese citizens that took place on May 21. The exchange was organized by Wang Lixiong, a Chinese intellectual known for his writing on Tibet and for theorizing...

Reports

05.21.10

Navigating Climate Change: An Agenda for U.S.-Chinese Cooperation

Jacqueline McLaren Miller and Piin-Fen Kok
EastWest Institute
This paper focuses on two areas that pose the biggest obstacles to progress in bilateral and multilateral efforts to address climate change concerns: the trade-off between emission caps and development goals; and technology transfer and intellectual...

Sinica Podcast

05.21.10

Mao’s Legacy and Foreign Self-Censorship

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Notice your friends holding something back? In this Sinica podcast, we talk about the self-censoring phenomenon that’s taken root among the foreign community in China, and discuss a surprising case which demonstrates exactly the opposite: how one of...

Sinica Podcast

05.15.10

Schoolyard Violence with Chinese Characteristics

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Despite efforts to downplay the story in the face of the Shanghai Expo, news of a recent wave of copycat killings has spread quickly through China, driven in part by the surprising revelation that many of the killers have been middle-aged and...

Sinica Podcast

05.07.10

Dimensions of China’s Soft Power

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The Beijing Olympics, the Shanghai Expo, the hundreds of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms, and Beijing’s new English-language satellite news networks are all part of a grand Chinese soft power push: an effort to win the world through...

Reports

05.05.10

Restructuring Paper on a Proposed Project Restructuring of Jiangxi Integrated Agricultural Modernization Project

Sara Segal-Williams
World Bank
The development objective of the Jiangxi Integrated Agricultural Modernization Project (JIAMP) for China is to improve the livelihood of the farmers in the project areas through establishment of integrated, sustainable, and market-driven...

Reports

05.04.10

Manufacturing Discord

Daniel Ikenson
Cato Institute
Frictions in the U.S.-China relationship are nothing new, but they have intensified in recent months. This paper examines the U.S.-China economic relationship and some of its high-profile sources of friction, distills the substance from the hype,...

Reports

05.01.10

What to Do About China? 

Doug Bandow
Cato Institute
The United States is the world’s dominant power, and America will remain influential for decades to come. But China is poised to eventually force Washington to share its leadership position. Such a change would be uncomfortable for American...

Reports

05.01.10

Seeding Positive Impacts: How Business and Civil Society Can Contribute to the Sustainability of Chinese Agriculture

Laura Ediger, Fengyuan Wang, Stephanie Tian, and Keanu Zhang
Sara Segal-Williams
BSR
From farm-level impacts related to pesticide and fertilizer use, to the processing and packaging of the final product, processes along the agricultural supply chain in China have an adverse environmental health impact. Companies and civil society...

Sinica Podcast

04.30.10

Huang Guangyu Trial, Real Estate Dilemma

Kaiser Kuo, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Huang Guangyu, the richest man in China, went on trial last week in Beijing. The founder of home electronics chain GOME was brought up on charges of bribery, money laundering, and insider trading. The dragnet in the investigation leading up to the...

Sinica Podcast

04.26.10

A Tom Friedman Exclusive

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
As you’re probably aware, earlier this month Hu Jintao hotfooted it to Washington to attend a nuclear security summit and discuss potential United Nations sanctions against Iran.While the rest of the Internet was sleeping on this story, we at Sinica...

Sinica Podcast

04.23.10

The Eulogy and the Aftershocks

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Coming twenty-one years after the death of former Party Secretary Hu Yaobang, Premier Wen Jiabao’s surprise eulogy to his former mentor last week was the subject of much discussion among China-watchers worldwide. In today’s episode of Sinica, we...

Reports

04.21.10

What’s the Difference?—Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
There is a large and growing difference between the official trade statistics released by the United States and the People’s Republic of China. According to the United States, the 2009 bilateral trade deficit with China was $226.8 billion. According...

Sinica Podcast

04.16.10

China’s Gadflies and the Mine Miracle

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This Week: Kaiser Kuo hosts a discussion all about China’s best-known gadflies: artist-cum-activist Ai Weiwei and writer, auto racer, and blogger Han Han. So join us as we talk about who both of these public figures are and why they have gained so...

Reports

04.15.10

East Asian Regional Architecture: New Economic and Security Arrangements and U.S. Policy

Dick K. Nanto
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The global financial crisis, the end of the Cold War, the rise of China, globalization, free trade agreements, the war on terror, and an institutional approach to keeping the peace are causing dramatic shifts in relationships among countries in East...

Books

04.15.10

Superstitious Regimes

Rebecca Nedostup
We live in a world shaped by secularism—the separation of numinous power from political authority and religion from the political, social, and economic realms of public life. Not only has progress toward modernity often been equated with secularization, but when religion is admitted into modernity, it has been distinguished from superstition. That such ideas are continually contested does not undercut their extraordinary influence.These divisions underpin this investigation of the role of religion in the construction of modernity and political power during the Nanjing Decade (1927–1937) of Nationalist rule in China. This book explores the modern recategorization of religious practices and people and examines how state power affected the religious lives and physical order of local communities. It also looks at how politicians conceived of their own ritual role in an era when authority was meant to derive from popular sovereignty. The claims of secular nationalism and mobilizational politics prompted the Nationalists to conceive of the world of religious association as a dangerous realm of “superstition” that would destroy the nation. This is the first “superstitious regime” of the book’s title. It also convinced them that national feeling and faith in the party-state would replace those ties—the second “superstitious regime.” —Harvard University Press{chop}

Sinica Podcast

04.09.10

Iran and the Vaccination Scandal

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Welcome back to the Sinica Podcast, a roundtable on current affairs in China featuring China-watchers from a wide range of backgrounds. In this week’s installment, host Kaiser Kuo talks about China’s delicate maneuvering in the Middle East, as well...

Sinica Podcast

04.02.10

Google China and the Pullout

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
What exactly happened earlier this week with Google’s inaccessibility? Does Yasheng Huang have the right take on their pull-out of China, or is Tania Branigan from The Guardian more on the money? What are the consequences for Google’s future in Asia...

Books

04.01.10

Myth of the Social Volcano

Martin K. Whyte
Is popular anger about rising inequality propelling China toward a "social volcano" of protest activity and instability that could challenge Chinese Communist Party rule? Many inside and outside of China have speculated, without evidence, that the answer is yes. In 2004, Harvard sociologist Martin King Whyte has undertaken the first systematic, nationwide survey of ordinary Chinese citizens to ask them directly how they feel about inequalities that have resulted since China's market opening in 1978. His findings are the subject of this book. —Stanford University Press