Viewpoint

08.02.18

Remaking China’s Civil Society in the Xi Jinping Era

Shawn Shieh
Given his past animosity towards civil society, Xi’s actions have been seen by some as moving China towards a new form of totalitarianism and a closing of the space for civil society. I would argue instead that we should see Xi’s ascendancy,...

Viewpoint

07.13.18

‘Liu Knew His Responsibility in History’

Ian Johnson
He was risking not the immediate arrival of soldiers, but the inevitable and life-threatening imprisonment that befalls all people who challenge state power in China today. This was not an active decision to die, but a willingness to do so. The...

Viewpoint

05.30.18

Who’s Really Responsible for Digital Privacy in China?

Shazeda Ahmed & Bertram Lang
While the United States is reeling from the revelation that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested data from over 87 million Facebook accounts, China’s biggest tech companies and regulators are confronting a wave of of their own...

Viewpoint

05.23.18

Germany Needs China to Save the Global Order from Trump

Sebastian Heilmann from Mercator Institute for China Studies
The U.S. president’s attacks on multilateralism may push Chancellor Merkel into an unlikely alliance with Beijing. Germany and the EU have to test ways to work with China in the absence of transatlantic coordination. The goal must be to organize an...

Caixin Media

05.16.18

China Must Continue to Open up within World Economy

In the future, China must do more than simply open up the manufacturing sector and lift restrictions on foreign shareholders and the scope of business foreigners can conduct. China will also need to accelerate the opening-up of the service...

Features

05.11.18

Central and Regional Leadership for Xinjiang Policy in Xi’s Second Term

Jessica Batke from China Leadership Monitor
After the 19th Party Congress last fall and the recent “two meetings” in March, the Party-state has now completed its quinquennial leadership turnover and announced a major restructuring of a number of Party and state entities. This institutional...

Viewpoint

04.19.18

Trump’s Incredibly Risky Taiwan Policy

J. Stapleton Roy
So-called friends of Taiwan in the United States are putting the island at risk as never before. The Taiwan Travel Act, passed unanimously by both houses of Congress, and signed by President Trump on March 16, 2018 without reservations, could...

Viewpoint

04.16.18

Has Xi Jinping Changed China? Not Really

Teng Biao
Xi Jinping has had an eventful early spring. After he abolished presidential term limits and was unanimously elected—if it can be called an election—to serve another term in that post, Xi got the world’s attention again by holding a meeting with Kim...

Viewpoint

04.06.18

I Thought Studying Journalism outside of China Would Open Doors. Now I’m Not So Sure.

Shen Lu
Six years ago as I was about to begin my undergraduate career at The University of Iowa majoring in journalism, a fellow Chinese student who’d switched her major from communications studies to business ruthlessly doubted my choice. “How on earth...

Viewpoint

03.31.18

Nixon in China, Trump in Pyongyang

Sergey Radchenko
On March 25, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Beijing in an armored train for talks with Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping, the first known time he traveled outside his country since his father and predecessor died in...

Viewpoint

03.27.18

Secretary Pompeo’s First China Briefing

Robert Daly
Donald Trump’s national security documents frame China as the United States’ greatest long-term threat. This declaration caps a historic shift in America’s strategic disposition toward China. From the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979,...

Culture

03.23.18

What Chinese High School Students Learn in America

Jonathan Landreth
In 2011, when a rural prep school in Maine invited New York-based director Miao Wang to screen her first film, Beijing Taxi, she was surprised to find so many Chinese students enrolled at the archetypal New England establishment. Not Chinese-...

Viewpoint

03.15.18

Who Really Haunts Xi Jinping, Mao or Gorbachev?

Jessica Batke
Last week, the Chinese National People’s Congress removed Presidential and Vice-Presidential term limits, effectively allowing current President (and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary) Xi Jinping to stay in power beyond the two terms that...

Viewpoint

03.12.18

Chinese History Isn’t Over

Julian B. Gewirtz
One of the simplest and least useful ways to understand the future is to take exactly what’s happening today and project it forward, rigidly and predictably, into tomorrow. This view is more than just a form of mental inertia; it is a breed of...

Media

03.08.18

Weibo Whack-a-Mole

King-wa Fu, Channing Huang & more from Weiboscope
China might be the world’s second-largest economy, and have more Internet users than any other country, but each year it is ranked as the nation that enjoys the least Internet freedom among the 65 sample nations scored by the U.S.-based Freedom...

Viewpoint

03.01.18

Maybe the Law Does Actually Matter to Xi Jinping

Taisu Zhang
The February 25 announcement that the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.) has proposed a constitutional amendment that would remove term limits on the office of the presidency is arguably the most significant Chinese political and legal development in...

Viewpoint

02.15.18

A Clash of Cyber Civilizations

Geoffrey Hoffman
There has been little need for the term “cyber sovereignty” among democratic states: the Internet, by its nature, operates under an aegis of freedom and cooperation. However, as the international system slips away from American unipolarity, a...

Media

02.02.18

Chinese Civil Society in 2018: What’s Ahead?

Wang Yongmei, Anthony Saich & more
The impetus for this event is it’s about a year since the new Foreign NGO Law was implemented in China. There was also another law implemented in 2016, the Charity Law, that governs how domestic NGOs function in China. But there’s a lot more going...

Viewpoint

01.31.18

The U.K. Needs to Rethink Its Engagement with China

Paul Irwin Crookes & Kyle Jaros
As British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives in Beijing today, where is the U.K.’s relationship with China heading? Despite a complex history, U.K.-China relations have remained a relative bright spot in China’s engagement with the West in recent...

Features

01.26.18

A Most Immoral Woman: George E. Morrison's Life in Turn-of-the-Century China

Linda Jaivin
My historical novel “A Most Immoral Woman” tells the story of Morrison’s passionate and unconventional affair with Mae Perkins, an independent and wealthy young American libertine, in 1904. It’s a tale that roams the landscape of a dynasty in...

Media

01.24.18

China’s Animated Underbelly

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
A tousled-haired young man in a third-tier Chinese city is desperate to fix the botched plastic surgery done on his fiancée’s face. At knifepoint, he steals a satchel of one million yuan from a local gangster, setting off a chain-reaction of greed...

Viewpoint

01.23.18

Who’s to Blame for Hong Kong’s Weakening Rule of Law?

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
Rimsky Yuen, Hong Kong’s third Secretary for Justice, stepped down in early January. He leaves his department, and the city’s reputation for rule of law, markedly worse than they were when he took office in July 2012.According to the Department of...

Viewpoint

01.19.18

China’s Leaders Are Poised to Strike a Blow to Its Legal System

Stanley Lubman
President Xi Jinping has escalated China’s war on corruption with a proposed new law that would expand the reach of the Party in an unprecedented manner. Under current law, two formally separate entities deal with cases of corruption: A Party...

Culture

01.05.18

Reflections on ‘Youth’ and Freedom—A Conversation with Feng Xiaogang and Yan Geling

The movie “Youth” is the first collaboration between Feng Xiaogang, the celebrated Chinese director, and prolific novelist Yan Geling. It is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story about the time both spent in the People’s Liberation Army during...

Features

12.20.17

Pickup Artists with Chinese Characteristics

Robert Foyle Hunwick & Wu Hao
“If you don’t teach her a lesson, someone else will,” Fei explained during his two-hour “Sexual Assertiveness” session, concluding a week-long tutorial offered by Puamap, a team of “professional” seduction artists, marketers, and makeover men. One...

Viewpoint

12.14.17

Can Environmental Lawsuits in China Succeed?

Stanley Lubman
Air and water pollution are rising in China, and so is the number of lawsuits against polluters. Access to the courts is growing: Chinese prosecutors and some NGOs have been empowered to sue polluters, and activist lawyers increasingly participate...

Media

12.07.17

Could Truman Have Worked With Mao?

Kevin Peraino, Matt Schiavenza & more
In the early months of 1949, it became increasingly clear that Mao Zedong’s Communists would win the Chinese civil war. This presented U.S. President Harry S. Truman with an unappetizing set of choices. He could either acknowledge the Communist...

Viewpoint

11.22.17

The Accomplice in Chief

David Wertime
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump declared victory following his 12-day Asia trip. On the campaign trail, Trump had repeatedly promised to stop making nice with his country’s adversaries; now, thanks to his efforts, he proclaimed, “America is...

Viewpoint

11.17.17

China and the United States Are Equals. Now What?

Robert Daly
Donald Trump’s Asia trip was historic in one respect: it belatedly focused American attention on the competition between the United States and China for global primacy. China has risen, the era of uncontested American leadership has ended, and any...

Media

11.15.17

What Happened When Trump Met Xi?

Bonnie S. Glaser, Daniel R. Russel & more
An edited transcript of “ChinaFile Presents: What Happened When Trump Met Xi?” a discussion of Donald Trump’s five-country trip to Asia with Daniel Russel, Bonnie Glaser, and Orville Schell, moderated by Susan Jakes. The panel took place at Asia...

Viewpoint

11.10.17

Bathed in the Xi Jinping Bromance

Orville Schell
Sitting in a grand salon of the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square and awaiting the official arrival ceremony of President Trump was to be taken back to that period of Sino-Soviet amity when Stalin was Mao’s “big brother” and the Chinese...

Viewpoint

11.09.17

Protecting the Rights of the Accused in U.S.-China Relations

Margaret Lewis
As President Donald Trump visits China, the Chinese government wishes that billionaire fugitive Guo Wengui would follow suit and board a plane to Beijing. For months, he has regaled the world from his luxury apartment in Manhattan with stories of...

Viewpoint

11.08.17

Will Trump’s ‘Flattery Machine’ Work on Xi Jinping?

Orville Schell
Before winging off to Beijing, Trump managed to convince his staff and Korean President Moon to take him to the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Many of his aides were said to have been wary about the idea, fearing he might make some kind of provocative...

Viewpoint

11.07.17

Sticking to the Script, Trump Seems to Internalize It

Orville Schell
Slowly we are stitching our way across Asia on Donald J. Trump’s great five-nation oriental hegira. After a punishing 2:00 a.m. departure from Yokota Air Force Base outside Tokyo, we arrived this morning at Osan Air Base outside of Seoul, a reminder...

Viewpoint

11.06.17

On the Road with Trump in Asia: Day One, Tokyo

Orville Schell
Many are fearful that Xi Jinping’s ability to awe his visitors with over-the-top manifestations of pomp and ceremony will turn Donald Trump to Jell-o. But having watched Trump arrive in Japan yesterday on the first leg of his five-country trip, it’s...

Viewpoint

11.03.17

The Future of Particle Physics Will Live and Die in China

Yangyang Cheng from Foreign Policy
“Don’t you dare kill my project.”My phone interview with a senior official at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) had started with bland, yet polite, responses. But it took a sharp turn toward audible agitation and hostility as I raised my final...

Features

10.26.17

A Brooklyn Gospel Choir Goes to China

Jocelyn Ford & Yuyang Liu
Pastor Frank Haye was quietly nervous as he paced the lawn around the temporary stage at one of China’s biggest rock festivals.It was the last day of concerts by rock, electronic, and metal bands, and in a few hours, his Brooklyn gospel choir would...

Viewpoint

10.21.17

The Ayes Have It

Geremie R. Barmé
On April 1, 1969, delegates to the Ninth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party convened in the Great Hall of the People on the western flank of Tiananmen Square. The hall had been constructed as one of the Ten Grand Edifices 十大建築 hastily...

Viewpoint

10.20.17

Mao Wished He Could Upend the World Order. Does Xi?

Sergey Radchenko
In his October 18 speech opening the 19th Party Congress, Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping cautiously embraced the future. Eyeing thousands of Party delegates, Xi spoke for three-and-a-half hours about turning China into a “great modern...

Viewpoint

10.19.17

Could Xi Jinping Stay in Power After He Retires? Here’s How Deng Xiaoping Did It

Julian B. Gewirtz
It was the worst kept secret in Chinese politics. From 1978 until his death in 1997, Deng Xiaoping was Beijing’s ultimate decider, even though he never held any of the top official titles in this period: not general secretary of the Chinese...

Viewpoint

10.17.17

Stein Ringen: ‘The Truth About China’

Stein Ringen
Democracies have found it difficult to deal with the great dictatorships. So now with China. The first difficulty is to recognize just what we are up against, and to avoid wishful thinking.In his first five years, Xi Jinping has reshaped the Chinese...

Viewpoint

10.16.17

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

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

Media

09.29.17

Trump on China

In the run-up to and during his race toward the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump made frequent statements about China, its people, and the government in Beijing, in remarks that ranged from effusive praise to outright attack, and which...

Viewpoint

09.24.17

China, Global Peacemaker?

James Bowen
In May, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave opening remarks to a two-day international forum designed to demystify and attract support for Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative.” This estimated $1 trillion investment campaign aims to create extensive...

Media

09.23.17

The German Edition of the Falun Gong-Affiliated ‘Epoch Times’ Aligns with the Far Right

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On the eve of the German election Sunday, it’s no surprise that Russian state-funded media outlets are attacking German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sensationalizing migrant violence, and providing conciliatory coverage of far-right groups. Russia,...

Media

09.18.17

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

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

Viewpoint

09.15.17

The Unprecedented Reach of China’s Surveillance State

Stanley Lubman
The Chinese Party-state is building a social credit system for collecting information about all of its citizens by police, courts, and other institutions. This enables the government to reach into society to a degree unprecedented in history...

Viewpoint

09.15.17

There Is Only One China, And There Is Only One Taiwan

Richard Bernstein
One of Beijing’s least favorite people is Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who won a landslide election victory 18 months ago on a platform calling for more separation from China—a coded way of rejecting one of the mainland’s most sacred principles...

Features

09.08.17

A Drag Queen for the Dearly Departed

Ian Johnson & Tomoko Kikuchi
In the good old days, about three thousand years ago, people really knew how to mourn the dead. That was back in the Zhou dynasty, when there was no laughing in the dead person’s house, no sighing while eating, and no singing while walking down a...

Viewpoint

08.28.17

China Is Risking the Lives of Political Prisoners by Denying Them Medical Care

Frances Eve
Dissident activist Chen Xi entered Xingyi Prison in Guangxi in January 2012 to serve a 10-year sentence. The previous month, he had been convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” for writing articles about human rights and democracy. This...

Environment

08.24.17

Testing the Limits of China’s Environmental Law

from chinadialogue
Friends of Nature, a Beijing-based non-governmental organization (NGO), filed two landmark cases against a local Environmental Protection Bureau in Yunnan this year that have revealed the current limits of one of the most hopeful provisions in China...

Viewpoint

08.22.17

Burn the Books, Bury the Scholars!

Geremie R. Barmé
Chinese censorship has come a long way. During his rule in the second century B.C.E., the First Emperor of a unified China, Ying Zheng, famously quashed the intellectual diversity of his day by ‘burning the books and burying the scholars’. He not...

Viewpoint

08.14.17

China is Forcing Uighurs Abroad to Return Home. Why Aren’t More Countries Refusing to Help?

Jessica Batke
The campaign began quietly. Students studying abroad were told to return home. Many did, and their classmates didn’t hear from them afterwards. For those who needed extra incentive to get moving, police detained their families back home. Finally,...

Viewpoint

08.03.17

China’s ‘New Achievements’ in Legal Reform Exist More in Policy than in Practice

Stanley Lubman
It is no coincidence that two days after Liu Xiaobo’s death, Xinhua published an article praising China’s “new achievements in judicial protection of human rights.” The judicial reforms the article mentions have not yet been fully implemented and...

Environment

08.02.17

Crowded Beijing Revives Old Plan for New Overflow City

from chinadialogue
On April 1, 2017—April Fool’s Day—the government made a surprise announcement that a satellite city bigger than New York would be built from scratch on the outskirts of Beijing. Official news site Xinhua described Xiong’an New District as the “plan...

Viewpoint

07.31.17

Ping Pong Fury

Ma Tianjie from Chublic Opinion
The match was scheduled for 7:40 p.m. on June 23. Thousands of viewers were eagerly anticipating Chinese Ping Pong superstar Ma Long to face off against his Japanese challenger Yuya Oshima at the China Open, held in the southwestern city of Chengdu...

Environment

07.25.17

China Enters the Garden of Eden

from chinadialogue
Built on the site of an abandoned clay pit, the Eden Project has never been short of grand vision.Its iconic biomes house the world’s largest captive rainforest and have become a landmark of the local Cornish countryside. Since opening 16 years ago...

Viewpoint

07.22.17

Why Korean Reunification is in China’s Strategic National Interest

Jamie Metzl
North Korea’s July 4 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile has highlighted once again both the extent to which Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and aggressive behavior is destabilizing the Asia Pacific region and the relative impotence...

Viewpoint

07.13.17

The Chinese Think Liu Xiaobo Was Asking For It

James Palmer from Foreign Policy
Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Chinese dissident writer, is dying of liver cancer. He’s been in prison since 2009, his “crime” being the publication of a charter calling for political reform. But he’s not a hero to his countrymen. Most...

Viewpoint

07.09.17

Why Won’t China Help With North Korea? Remember 1956

Sergey Radchenko
President Donald J. Trump’s short-lived honeymoon with Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping is over. On June 29, the U.S. imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank, a Chinese shipping company, and two Chinese nationals, all accused of helping...