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07.14.16

China’s Failure in the South China Sea

Orville Schell
By reiterating its policy of “no acceptance, no participation, no recognition, and no implementation,” China has painted itself into a difficult corner and diminished the chances of resolving the myriad maritime disputes—involving Vietnam, Brunei,...

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07.07.16

The South China Sea Needs ASEAN More Than Ever

Yanmei Xie
A ruling from The Hague next week on maritime disputes in the South China Sea is likely to exacerbate frictions between China and the U.S. Both would be better off respecting the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)...

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05.26.16

China and the End of Reform

Thomas Kellogg
Is the Chinese Communist Party putting an end to the decades-long process of China’s opening to the outside world? Is the era of liberal reform over? Consider the latest piece of evidence: on April 28, the Standing Committee of the National People’s...

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05.26.16

Why Does Japan’s Wartime Ghost Keep Reemerging?

Friso M.S. Stevens
The ritual offerings made by Japanese Cabinet members and lawmakers at the Yasukuni Shrine in April once again brought Japan’s troubled wartime past back into the spotlight. An all-too familiar routine followed, with Beijing urging Japan to “make a...

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05.25.16

Hong Kong’s International Law Problem

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
In the years leading up to Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, Beijing was keen to reassure the world that nothing significant would change in the territory. Business elites and local politicians alike busied themselves with...

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05.24.16

“It’s Time for Us To Set a New Political Agenda for Hong Kong”

Jonathan Landreth, Susan Jakes & more
Last month, midway through a whirlwind tour of United States universities, Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong took a break for a crab cake and mac-and-cheese lunch at a Manhattan brasserie. Wong, 19, came to international prominence during the...

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04.06.16

Will China Ever Have Its Own Cinematic Superhero?

Anthony Kao
As Batman v Superman attempts to barnstorm cinema box offices worldwide, including in China—now the world’s No. 2 movie marketplace—I’ve been watching a different kind of hero movie: Jian Bing Man.This 2015 Chinese blockbuster isn’t exactly a...

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03.24.16

Why China’s Economy Can’t Collapse

from Radio Free Asia
China’s economic outlook once again became the focus of attention for many last week. For one thing, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) listed the possibility of a hard landing for China’s economy as the topmost of the world’s top 10 risks. There...

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03.24.16

German President Joachim Gauck’s Speech at Tongji University in Shanghai

from Der Bundespräsident
On Wednesday, March 23, German President Joachim Gauck addressed an audience of university students in Shanghai. Among many views not typically aired in public in China, Gauck, a former Luterhan minister and anti-communist organizer, told the crowd...

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02.25.16

A Looming Crisis for China’s Legal System

Jerome A. Cohen
In China, politics continues to control law. The current leadership has rejected many of the universal legal values that China accepted—at least in principle—under communist rule in some earlier eras. Today, for example, to talk freely about...

Viewpoint

01.28.16

The Trouble with Hong Kong’s Chief Executives

Denise Y. Ho & Alyssa King
On January 14, the trial of Sir Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s former chief executive who served from 2005 to 2012, was set for January 3 of 2017. This past December, Tsang pleaded not guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, charges on which...

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01.21.16

After a Landslide Election, Now Comes the Hard Part for Taiwan's President

William Kazer
Taiwan elected its first woman president on Saturday in a landslide victory that brought a nominally pro-independence party back to power after eight years in opposition.Tsai Ing-wen led her Democratic Progressive Party to a thumping victory,...

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01.15.16

China’s New Development Bank Needs Better Human Rights Protections

Nicholas Bequelin
On January 16, the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will meet in Beijing to formally launch its operations.A symbol of China’s growing clout on the international scene, the AIIB attracted 57 founding members,...

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01.08.16

The Storm Beneath the Calm: China’s Regional Relations in 2016

Yanmei Xie
On the surface, 2015 came to a close in a moment of relative tranquility after a turbulent year for China’s neighborhood. But the calm is misleading: the optics of regional diplomacy have become increasingly detached from the reality of the...

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01.07.16

What Is Disappearing from Hong Kong

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
The recent disappearance of publisher Lee Po—allegedly kidnapped from Hong Kong and rendered to Mainland China—has prompted widespread alarm about the state of Hong Kong’s autonomy, both within the city and internationally. In a widely-shared video...

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12.30.15

The Perils of Advising the Empire

Jeremiah Jenne
Goodnow was not the first, nor would he be the last, foreign academic to have their views appropriated in support of illiberal regimes. Recent controversies involving Daniel Bell, whom The Economist once directly compared to Frank Goodnow, and his...

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12.30.15

No, Pu Zhiqiang’s Release Is Not A Victory

Hu Yong
Pu Zhiqiang is a well-known Chinese human rights lawyer and outspoken intellectual who has taken on many precedent-setting cases defending freedom and protecting civil liberties. But his outstanding contributions in the judicial realm and his...

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11.30.15

Court in China Adds Last-Minute Charge Against Rights Leader During Sentencing

Yaxue Cao from China Change
On August 8, 2013, Guo Feixiong (real name Yang Maodong) was arrested and then indicted on charges of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” The heavy sentence came as a shock to everyone following the case. More shockingly, the...

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11.19.15

A Response to Andrew Nathan

Daniel A. Bell
I’d like to thank Andrew Nathan for his thoughtful critique of my book, published originally in short form in The National Interest and in longer form on ChinaFile. At first glance, his argument may seem far-fetched: although I’ve been living and...

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11.17.15

What Xi and Ma Really Said

Perry Link
The Chinese government employs hundreds of thousands of people at all administrative levels, central to local, to prescribe and monitor how news stories are presented to the public. These people tell editors of newspapers and web pages not only what...

Viewpoint

11.05.15

The Problem With the China Model

Andrew J. Nathan
The ideological competition between democracy and authoritarianism was supposed to have died with the Cold War. But it has returned with a vengeance, powered above all by the rise of China. Now comes a book by a respected scholar that purports to...

Viewpoint

10.16.15

How Contagious is Taiwan’s Democracy?

Richard Bernstein
The old barriers have crumbled, the old animosities have abated, and as a result, millions of people from the authoritarian mainland of China now spend various lengths of time on democratic Taiwan. In fact, the two-way traffic is tremendous. On...

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09.21.15

A New Book Praises China’s Governance Model, But Overlooks Its Politics

Thomas Kellogg
On August 12, China once again met with man-made tragedy. Massive explosions at a chemical storage warehouse in Tianjin took the lives of 173 people and injured nearly 700, some of them seriously. The owner of the warehouse that blew up, Rui Hai...

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09.04.15

Flying Tiger: Why I Turned Down an Invitation to China’s Victory Parade

Jack Edelman
I was invited to attend the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-fascist War and the Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese war this September, as a guest of a government that wanted me to represent friendship with the U.S...

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09.03.15

The U.S. Was the True Mainstay in the Fight Against Japan in World War II

Han Lianchao from China Change
“When the Chinese people and the Chinese nation were in peril, the United States came to the rescue and asked for nothing in return. The U.S. never occupied a single inch of Chinese territory, never reaped any particular reward.”IAt 9:00 a.m. on...

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08.07.15

Here’s What’s Wrong With Most Commentary on the Beijing 2022 Olympics

Taisu Zhang & Paul H. Haagen
Upon hearing that Beijing would be hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, we wondered what the Chinese government was thinking. The decision seemed counterintuitive, to say the least: For one thing, it barely snows in Beijing, or even in Zhangjiakou, the...

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07.12.15

Making Sense of China’s Market Mess

Arthur R. Kroeber
Nearly two years ago China’s Communist Party released a major economic reform blueprint, whose signature phrase was that market forces would be given a “decisive role” in resource allocation. That Third Plenum Decision and other policy...

Viewpoint

07.07.15

U.S. Should Make More Public Statements About China’s Human Rights

Sophie Richardson
When China’s leader Xi Jinping comes to the United States for his first state visit in September, will U.S. leaders use the summit to address the country’s deteriorating human rights conditions?Not if the U.S. performance at June’s Strategic and...

Viewpoint

06.11.15

Why I Publish in China

Peter Hessler
A couple of weeks ago, I received a request from a New York Times reporter to talk about publishing in China. The topic has been in the news lately, with the BookExpo in New York, where Chinese publishers were the guests of honor. In May, the PEN...

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05.19.15

Hong Kong’s Not That Special, And Beijing Should Stop Saying It Is

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
As political wrangling in Hong Kong continues over changes to how the city’s chief executive will be selected in 2017, Beijing marks the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Hong Kong Basic Law—the Special Administrative Region’s...

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04.23.15

China’s Leftists Are Embracing Confucius. Why?

Taisu Zhang
When Jennifer Pan and Yiqing Xu posted their new paper, “China’s Ideological Spectrum,” last week, it marked the first time that anyone has provided large-scale empirical data on the ideological shifts and trends within the Chinese population. China...

Viewpoint

04.22.15

Will China’s New Anti-Terrorism Law Mean the End of Privacy?

Scott D. Livingston
A newly drafted Chinese anti-terrorism law, if enacted in its current form, will empower Beijing to expand its already nearly unchecked policing of the Internet to reach web traffic and other online data flows emanating from both domestic and...

Viewpoint

04.10.15

Bury Zhao Ziyang, and Praise Him

Julian B. Gewirtz
Zhao Ziyang, the premier and general secretary of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the 1980s, died on January 17, 2005. At a tightly controlled ceremony designed to avoid the kind of instability that the deaths of other controversial...

Viewpoint

04.01.15

China’s Government Is Serious About Fundamentally Reshaping Itself

Rebecca Liao
Respected China scholar David Shambaugh recently set off a firestorm among other China specialists when he predicted the collapse of China’s ruling Communist Party in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. Beneath many of the arguments in his defense...

Viewpoint

02.20.15

Major China Apple Supplier Pays Workers Less Than Foxconn

Jonathan Landreth & Kevin Slaten
Apple, the world’s most beloved maker of sleek mobile phones, powerful personal computers, and slim portable music players recently reported record profits—money a new report from the New York-based nongovernmental organization China Labor Watch (...

Viewpoint

02.19.15

Beijing Touts ‘Cyber-Sovereignty’ In Internet Governance

Scott D. Livingston
It has been a difficult few weeks for global technology companies operating in China.Chinese officials strengthened the Internet firewall by blocking the use of virtual private networks (VPNs), reasserted demands that web users register their real...

Viewpoint

02.04.15

Why China Is Banning Islamic Veils

Timothy Grose & James Leibold
This week, regional authorities outlawed Islamic veils from all public spaces in the regional capital of China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The Urumqi ban, which went into effect on Sunday February 1 (coincidentally the third annual*...

Viewpoint

01.16.15

The Plight of China’s Rights Lawyers

Frances Eve
As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s embattled civil society. Bookending...

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01.15.15

Chinese Lawyers to Chinese Lawmakers: Let Us Defend Our Clients

Joshua Rosenzweig
Legal Opinion on Article 35 of the Ninth (Draft) Amendment to the Criminal Law: "We are a group of legal professionals who care about the rights of lawyers and reform of the judicial system and who have taken note of the draft for the Ninth...

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12.16.14

Why Marx Still Matters: The Ideological Drivers of Chinese Politics

Rogier Creemers
In days of greater political brouhaha, “to go and see Marx” used to be a slang expression among Chinese Communists, to refer to death. More recently, a considerable number of commentators have pronounced the expiry of Marxism itself. China’s reform...

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12.11.14

Here Is Xi’s China: Get Used To It

Arthur R. Kroeber from China Economic Quarterly
The prevailing mood among China-watchers in 2014 was one of anxiety and skepticism. The year began in the shadow of Chinese assertiveness in the East and South China Seas. Economic concerns quickly took over: by February the property market seemed...

Viewpoint

11.26.14

Three Views of Local Consciousness in Hong Kong

Ho-fung Hung
Hong Kong has been in turmoil. The 2003 demonstration in which more than half a million demonstrators successfully forestalled the Article 23 anti-subversion legislation, as well as the 2012 rally of 130,000 and the threat of general student strikes...

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11.21.14

What Will Make the U.S.-China Climate Deal Work

Mark Hertsgaard
Nearly everyone agrees that the U.S.-China climate announcement is a big deal, but most observers have overlooked what truly makes it a game-changer: if the world’s two climate change superpowers limit their greenhouse gas emissions, it will have...

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11.21.14

“Getting Pantsed” by the “Central People’s Court”

Hu Yong
In December of last year CCTV producer Wang Qinglei wrote a post on his Weibo account criticizing the Chinese government’s campaign-style attacks on prominent social media figures and arguing the media had also been drawn in and was “sidestepping...

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11.14.14

The Domestic Politics of the U.S.-China Climate Change Announcement

Ann Carlson & Alex Wang
The news from Beijing this week that the U.S. and China are committing to ambitious goals on climate change is, we think, monumental. No two countries are more important to tackling the problem than the largest carbon emitter over the past two...

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11.08.14

Obama’s Chance to Get China Right

Paul Gewirtz
With much of his domestic agenda now stymied by the Republican sweep of Congress, President Obama’s room for maneuver remains greatest in foreign affairs. Yet with much of the Middle East in flames, an angry Vladimir Putin threatening Russian...

Viewpoint

10.21.14

‘We Can Only Trust Each Other and Keep the Road’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Snip. Snip. Snip. The officer’s face shows concentration as he cuts one yellow ribbon after another along a metal fence on Queensway in the Central district of Hong Kong. Next to him, other policemen have just finished dismantling the barricades...

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10.20.14

‘A Power Capable of Making Us Weep’

Hu Yong
This September, the editors of the online edition of the 21st Century Business Herald—a leading Chinese business newspaper based in Guangzhou and owned by Southern Media Group (Nanfang Baoye Jituan)—came under investigation on charges of extortion...

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10.15.14

How China’s Leaders Will Rule on the Law

Carl Minzner
Last week, as the world watched the student demonstrations in Hong Kong, China’s Politburo announced the dates for the Communist Party’s annual plenary session would be from October 20-23. As in previous years, top leaders will gather in Beijing to...

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10.14.14

On Dealing with Chinese Censors

Joseph W. Esherick
It was a hot afternoon in June in the East China city of Jinan. I was returning to my hotel after an afternoon coffee, thinking of the conference I had come to attend and trying to escape the heat on the shady side of the street. My cell phone rang...

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10.08.14

‘We Do Not Want to Be Persuaded’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Over the past week, it has been hard to make sense of the threats and ultimatums the Hong Kong protesters have faced. On Sunday, the South China Morning Post splashed on its front page that Hong Kong had “hours to avoid tragedy.” University deans...

Viewpoint

10.01.14

‘The City Feels New’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Down on the streets occupied by the striking students, the city feels new: roads normally accessible only on wheels look like familiar strangers when suddenly you can walk down them. Big, immovable concrete partitions still separate the lanes, and...

Viewpoint

09.29.14

The Day that China Came to Hong Kong

Mark L. Clifford
Hong Kong’s massive protests should have surprised no one. A bitter debate over political reform split the city. Beijing’s high-handed diktats deepened the anger. Before the protests, the question was whether or not the vast majority of this city of...

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09.29.14

‘Against My Fear, I See That You Hope’

Denise Y. Ho
A week ago today I sat together with you outside the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s library, a teacher among other teachers, a university member beside students, 13,000 strong. The weeks before had felt quiet: at the three previous all-student...

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09.26.14

‘The China-U.S. Relationship is Basically Good’

Wu Jianmin
A few days ago, I was in Washington, D.C. for a conference. While there, I met some American friends. We had an interesting discussion about what seems to me to be a debate going on in the U.S. about China-U.S. relations: One side believes the China...

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09.25.14

How Bad Does the Air Pollution Have to Be Before You’d Wear a Face Mask?

Stephanie Ho
“Mommy, why don’t I wear a face mask?” asked my nine-year-old daughter Maggie nearly every day during the first few weeks of school. Two of her expat classmates had been in Beijing less than a year, but it seemed as if they wore theirs all the time...

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09.19.14

“Daddy’s ‘Friends’ Are Actually Plainclothes Cops”

Zeng Jinyan
[Updated March 18, 2015] The essay that follows was written by Zeng Jinyan, whose former partner, Hu Jia, has been prominently involved in activism around environmental issues, AIDS, and human rights in China over the past decade and a half and is a...

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09.18.14

More Exploitation, More Happiness

Kevin Slaten
It was one of the deadliest industrial disasters in recent Chinese history. On August 2, a massive metal dust explosion killed 75 workers and injured another 186 at a factory in Kunshan, in Jiangsu province, that supplied wheels to General Motors...

Viewpoint

09.10.14

China’s Tough New Internet Rules Explained

Hu Yong
On August 7, the State Internet Information Office issued a new set of guidelines entitled “Provisional Regulations for the Development and Management of Instant Messaging Tools and Public Information Services.” These regulations require that...

Viewpoint

09.02.14

The Danger of China’s ‘Chosen Trauma’

Harry W.S. Lee
When we see young Chinese people at a state event collectively chant, “Do not forget national humiliation and realize the Chinese dream!” we may be tempted to dismiss it as yet another piece of CCP propaganda. But we may also find ourselves...

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