Books

03.01.10

Spectacle and Sacrifice

David Johnson
This book is about the ritual world of a group of rural settlements in Shanxi province in pre-1949 North China. Temple festivals, with their giant processions, elaborate rituals, and operas, were the most important influence on the symbolic universe of ordinary villagers and demonstrate their remarkable capacity for religious and artistic creation. The great festivals described in this book were their supreme collective achievements and were carried out virtually without assistance from local officials or educated elites, clerical or lay. Chinese culture was a performance culture, and ritual was the highest form of performance. Village ritual life everywhere in pre-revolutionary China was complex, conservative, and extraordinarily diverse. Festivals and their associated rituals and operas provided the emotional and intellectual materials out of which ordinary people constructed their ideas about the world of men and the realm of the gods. It is, David Johnson argues, impossible to form an adequate idea of traditional Chinese society without a thorough understanding of village ritual. Newly discovered liturgical manuscripts allow him to reconstruct North Chinese temple festivals in unprecedented detail and prove that they are sharply different from the Daoist- and Buddhist-based communal rituals of South China.  —Harvard University Press

Reports

03.01.10

Public Expenditures on Social Programs and Household Consumption in China

Emanuele Baldacci, Giovanni Callegari, David Coady, Ding Ding, Manmohan Kumar, Pietro Tommasino, and Jaejoon Woo
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This paper argues that increasing government social expenditures can make a substantive contribution to increasing household consumption in China. The paper first undertakes an empirical study of the relationship between the savings rate and social...

The Triumph of Madame Chiang

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
Charlie Soong, born in 1866, was a new kind of figure in Chinese history, an independent-minded youngster with an openness to the world who came to Boston from Hainan Island at the age of twelve to work in a store. At fourteen he stowed away on a...

Reports

02.17.10

The Iran Nuclear Issue: The View from Beijing

International Crisis Group
The revelation in 2009 of nuclear facilities near Qom intensified international criticism of Iran’s opaque nuclear development. As Western countries prepare to pursue tougher sanctions at the U.N., China’s acquiescence as a permanent Security...

Locked Out: Beijing’s Border Abuse Exposed

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
On February 12, Chinese human rights campaigner Feng Zhenghu was allowed to return to Shanghai after a 92-day stay in diplomatic limbo at the Tokyo Narita airport. Having left China last April to visit family in Japan, Feng, who is a Chinese citizen...

Reports

02.04.10

The 2009 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings and U.S. Trade Policy in Asia

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Congress and the Executive Branch have historically identified the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) as potentially important in the promotion of liberalized international trade and investment in Asia, and possibly the rest of the world...

Reports

01.31.10

China Clings to Control: Press Freedom in 2009

Serenade Woo
International Federation of Journalists
It has been a tough year for press freedom in China, as the fading international spotlight on the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing emboldened central and provincial authorities to revert to clamping down on journalists and media that seek to present a...

What Beijing Fears Most

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
On December 29, four days after being sentenced to eleven years in prison for “subversion of state power,” the Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo filed an appeal to a higher court. For many familiar with the Chinese regime, the decision seemed quixotic: it...

Reports

01.22.10

China-North Korea Relations

Dick K. Nanto, Mark E. Manyin, Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) plays a key role in U.S. policy toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea). The PRC is North Korea’s closest ally, largest provider of food, fuel, and industrial machinery, and...

Reports

01.06.10

U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States faced a challenge in enlisting the full support of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the counterterrorism fight against Al Qaeda. This effort raised short-term policy issues...

Reports

01.01.10

“Where Darkness Knows No Limits”: Incarceration, Ill-Treatment, and Forced Labor as Drug Rehabilitation in China

Sara Segal-Williams
Human Rights Watch
Based on research in Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, this report documents how China's June 2008 Anti-Drug Law compounds the health risks of suspected illicit drug users by allowing government officials and security forces to incarcerate them for...

Reports

01.01.10

China: Does Government Health and Education Spending Boost Consumption?

Steven Barnett and Ray Brooks
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Consumption in China is unusually low and has continued to decline as a share of GDP over the past decade. A key policy question is how to reverse this trend, and rebalance growth away from reliance on exports and investment and toward consumption...

The Trial of Liu Xiaobo: A Citizens’ Manifesto and a Chinese Crackdown

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
One year ago, the Chinese literary critic and political commentator Liu Xiaobo was taken away from his home in Beijing by the Chinese police, who held him without charge for six months, then placed him under formal arrest for six more months, on the...

Reports

12.11.09

China’s Economic Conditions

Wayne M. Morrison
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Since the initiation of economic reforms and trade liberalization thirty years ago, China has been one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and has emerged as a major economic and trade power. The combination of large trade surpluses, FDI flows...

Reports

12.07.09

China’s Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Wayne M. Morrison, Marc Labonte
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Some Members of Congress charge that China’s policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into...

Copenhagen: China’s Oppressive Climate

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
As the UN’s Climate Change Conference opens in Copenhagen this week, much attention will focus on China and the United States, who are, by a wide margin, the world’s two leading emitters of greenhouse gases. The success of the conference will depend...

Specters of a Chinese Master

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
1.Luo Ping, who lived from 1733 to 1799, was perfectly placed by time and circumstance to view the shifts in fortune that were so prominent in China at that period. He grew up in Yangzhou, a prosperous city on the Grand Canal, just north of the...

Reports

11.25.09

China’s Assistance and Government-Sponsored Investment Activities in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Thomas Lum
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In recent years, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has bolstered its diplomatic presence and garnered international goodwill in the developing world through financing infrastructure and natural resource development projects, assisting in the...

Reports

11.20.09

China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is vitally important, touching on a wide range of areas including, among others, economic policy, security, foreign relations, and human rights. U.S. interests with...

The Empire of Sister Ping

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
The headquarters of what was once the global people-smuggling operation of Cheng Chui Ping, aka Sister Ping, who is serving thirty-five years at a federal prison for women in Danbury, Connecticut, is now the Yung Sun seafood restaurant at 47 East...

China: The Fragile Superpower

Christian Caryl from New York Review of Books
Some China watchers believe that China’s dramatically rising prosperity will inevitably make the country more open and democratic. President Barack Obama’s highly-scripted trip this week provided little to support that claim. As The Washington Post...

Reports

11.16.09

The Rise of China’s Auto Industry and Its Impact on the U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry

Rachel Tang
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The automobile industry, a key sector in China’s industrialization and modernization efforts, has been developing rapidly since the 1990s. In recent years, China has become the world’s fastest growing automotive producer. Annual vehicle output has...

Reports

11.02.09

Shades of Red: China’s Debate Over North Korea

International Crisis Group
North Korea has created a number of foreign policy dilemmas for China. The latest round of provocations makes Beijing’s balancing act between supporting a traditional ally and responding to its dangerous brinkmanship more difficult, especially when...

Reports

11.01.09

Macroeconomic Implications for Hong Kong SAR of Accommodative U.S. Monetary Policy

Papa N'Diaye
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This paper discusses the potential macroeconomic implications for Hong Kong SAR of accommodative monetary policy in the United States. It shows, through model simulations, that a resumption of the credit channel in Hong Kong SAR has the potential to...

Reports

11.01.09

“An Alleyway in Hell”: China’s Abusive “Black Jails’

Human Rights Watch
Since 2003, large numbers of Chinese citizens have been held incommunicado for days or months in secret, unlawful detention facilities. These "black jails" are housed in state-owned hostels, hotels, nursing homes, and psychiatric hospitals...

Reports

11.01.09

Governance and Fund Management in the Chinese Pension System

Gregoro Impavido, Yu-Wei Hu, and Xiaohong Li
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The Chinese pension system is highly fragmented and decentralized, with governance standards, pension fund management practices, their regulation and supervision varying considerably both across the funded components of the Chinese pension system...

Reports

11.01.09

A Roadmap for U.S.-China Collaboration on Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Asia Society
The United States and China are the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters. Collaboration between the two nations, therefore, offers the greatest opportunity for achieving meaningful reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. The time is...

China’s Boom: The Dark Side in Photos

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
I have seen some woeful scenes of industrial apocalypse and pollution in my travels throughout China, but there are very few images that remain vividly in my mind. This is why the photographs of Lu Guang are so important. A fearless documentary...

The Enigma of Chiang Kai-shek

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
Back in 1975, when he died in Taiwan at the age of eighty-seven, it was easy to see Chiang Kai-shek as a failure, as a piece of Chinese flotsam left awkwardly drifting in the wake of Mao Zedong’s revolutionary victories. Now it is not easy to be so...

Obama’s Bad Bargain with Beijing

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
As the echoes of China’s spectacular military parade on October 1 were subsiding, officials in the Obama administration, in quieter settings in Washington, D.C., were telling representatives of the Dalai Lama that the president was not going to meet...

China at 60: Who Owns the Guns

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
The most striking feature of China’s October 1 celebration of sixty years of Communist rule was the spectacular and tightly choreographed military parade in the center of Beijing. The display of crass militarism—paralleled only by parades in...

Reports

10.01.09

Identifying Near-Term Opportunities for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) in China

Jingjing Qian, George Peridas, Jason Chen, and Yueming Qiu
Sara Segal-Williams
Natural Resources Defense Council
To avoid the worst consequences of global warming, the world must limit average temperature increases by significantly reducing carbon emissions by 2050. Achieving the urgently needed emission reductions will require efforts beyond first-resort...

Reports

10.01.09

“We Are Afraid to Even Look for Them”: Enforced Disappearances in the Wake of Xinjiang’s Protests

Human Rights Watch
In the aftermath of the July 2009 protests in Xinjiang province, which according to the Chinese government killed at least 197 people, Chinese security forces detained hundreds of people on suspicion of participating in the unrest. Dozens of these...

Reports

09.01.09

What’s the Damage? Medium-term Output Dynamics After Banking Crises

Abdul Abiad, Ravi Balakrishnan, Petya Koeva Brooks, Daniel Leigh, and Irina Tytell
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This paper investigates the medium-term behavior of output following banking crises, and its association with pre- and post-crisis conditions and policies. The authors find that output tends to be depressed substantially following banking crises,...

Reports

09.01.09

What Drives China's Interbank Market?

Nathan Porter and TengTeng Xu
Sara Segal-Williams
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Interest rates in China comprise a mix of both market determined interest rates (interbank rates and bond yields), and regulated interest rates (lending and deposit rates), reflecting China's gradual process of interest rate liberalization. We...

Reports

07.16.09

East Asia’s Foreign Exchange Rate Policies

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Financial authorities in East Asia have adopted a variety of foreign exchange rate policies, ranging from Hong Kong’s currency board system which links the Hong Kong dollar to the U.S. dollar, to the “independently floating” exchange rates of Japan...

Reports

07.13.09

Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications

Thomas Lum, Hannah Fischer
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Human rights has been a principal area of U.S. concern in its relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), particularly since the violent government crackdown on the Tiananmen democracy movement in 1989. Some policy makers contend that the U...

China’s Dictators at Work: The Secret Story

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
Prisoner of the State is the secretly recorded memoir of Zhao Ziyang, once holder of China’s two highest Party and state positions and the architect of the economic reforms that have brought the country to the edge of great-power status. The book...

Reports

07.01.09

Broad Money Demand and Asset Substitution in China

Ge Wu
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Recent changes to China's financial system, in particular ongoing interest rate liberalization, gradual movement toward a more flexible exchange rate regime, and rapid development of capital markets, have changed substantially the environment...

Reports

06.17.09

Report on the Tri-Provincial and Hubei-Xiaogan-Xiangfan Highway Projects

World Bank
This is a report on the performance of two highway projects in China which were financed by a loan from the World Bank. The Tri-Provincial Highway Project, which links Gansu, Ningxi, and Inner Mongolia, and the Hubei-Xiaogan-Xiangfan Highway Project...

Reports

06.04.09

Taiwan’s Political Status: Historical Background and Ongoing Implications

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In 1979, official U.S. relations with Taiwan (the Republic of China) became a casualty of the American decision to recognize the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as China’s sole legitimate government. Since then, U.S. unofficial...

Reports

06.03.09

China and the Global Financial Crisis: Implications for the United States

Wayne M. Morrison
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Over the past several years, China has enjoyed one of the world’s fastest growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth. However, the current global financial crisis threatens to significantly slow China’s economy...

The Mystery of Zhou Enlai

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
Through the ups and downs of the unpredictable Chinese Revolution, Zhou Enlai’s reputation has seemed to stand untarnished. The reasons for this are in part old-fashioned ones: in a world of violent change, not noted for its finesse, Zhou Enlai...

Reports

05.01.09

China’s $1.5 Trillion Bet: Understanding China’s External Portfolio

Brad W. Setser
He Jianan
Council on Foreign Relations
China is now by far the United States’ largest creditor. Its treasury portfolio recently surpassed that of Japan’s, and it has long held more agency (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) bonds than any other country. Never before has a nation as poor as China...

Reports

04.29.09

Implementation Completion and Results Report: Health IX Project

World Bank
China's significant health gains during the 1960s and 1970s earned worldwide recognition. Following onset of economic reforms in the 1980s, however, the primary health care system was weakened, reducing access to both curative and preventive...

Reports

04.24.09

U.S.-Funded Assistance Programs in China

Thomas Lum
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
U.S. government support of rule of law and civil society programs in the People’s Republic of China constitutes a key component of its efforts to promote democratic change in China. Other related U.S. activities include participation in official...

Reports

04.17.09

China’s Growing Role in U.N. Peacekeeping

International Crisis Group
Over the past twenty years China has become an active participant in U.N. peacekeeping, a development that will benefit the international community. Beijing has the capacity to expand its contributions further and should be encouraged to do so...

Reports

04.15.09

Village-by-Village Democracy in China

Robert T. Gannett Jr.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

‘A Hell on Earth’

Pico Iyer from New York Review of Books
“The situation inside Tibet is almost like a military occupation,” I heard the Dalai Lama tell an interviewer last November, when I spent a week traveling with him across Japan. “Everywhere. Everywhere, fear, terror. I cannot remain indifferent.”...

Reports

04.02.09

Taiwan-U.S. Relations: Developments and Policy Implications

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Policy toward and support for Taiwan are a key element in U.S. relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and an important component of U.S. policy in Asia. Recently, pessimistic observers see growing PRC-Taiwan ties eroding U.S. influence...

Reports

03.31.09

Asia Pacfic Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the 2008 Meetings in Lima, Peru

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Congress and the Executive Branch have historically identified the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as an important organization to help promote the U.S. goal of liberalizing international trade and investment in Asia, and possibly the rest...

The Death and Life of a Great Chinese City

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Judging from the evidence of Michael Meyer’s portrait of life in a narrow backstreet of Beijing as China prepared for the Olympic Games, old Beijing has been vanishing for a very long time. “Peking you simply would not be able to recognize except by...

Reports

03.17.09

The Tibetan Policy Act of 2002: Background and Implementation

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
U.S. policy on Tibet is governed by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (TPA), enacted as part of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of FY2003 (P.L. 107-228). In addition to establishing a number of U.S. principles with respect to human rights,...

Reports

03.11.09

Epilepsy Management at Primary Health Level in Rural China

Kennett Werner
World Health Organization
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, affecting about 50 million people in the world, 85 percent of whom live in resource-poor countries. Epilepsy imposes an enormous physical, psychological, social and economic burden on...

Reports

03.04.09

China’s Fight Against Climate Change

Sara Segal-Williams
Natural Resources Defense Council
On March 4, 2009, Barbara Finamore, Senior Attorney and China Program Director of the National Resources Defense Council, testified before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in the United States House of Representatives...

The China We Don’t Know

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
In the late 1990s, Chinese peasants in the village of Da Fo, many of whom between 1959 and 1961 had survived the twentieth century’s greatest famine, felt free enough to install shrines to Guangong, the traditional war god of resistance to...

Reports

02.25.09

China’s Foreign Aid Activities in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Thomas Lum, Hannah Fischer, Julissa Gomez Granger, Anne Leland
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In the past several years, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has bolstered its diplomatic presence and garnered international goodwill through its financing of infrastructure and natural resource development projects, assistance in the carrying...

Reports

02.13.09

The Pivotal Relationship: How Obama Should Engage China

Liu Xuecheng Robert Oxnam
EastWest Institute
Providing their respective hopes and expectations on what they would like to see in the Obama administration’s China policy are Liu Xuecheng and Robert Oxnam, who both envision opportunities for reframing the China-U.S. relationship in a way that...

Reports

01.31.09

Strengthening US-China Climate Change and Energy Engagement

Sara Segal-Williams
Natural Resources Defense Council
The United States of America and the People's Republic of China are both key players in international efforts to address global warming and global energy security. Indeed, they are by far the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in...

China’s Charter 08

Liu Xiaobo & Perry Link from New York Review of Books
The document below, signed by more than two thousand Chinese citizens, was conceived and written in conscious admiration of the founding of Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, where, in January 1977, more than two hundred Czech and Slovak intellectuals...