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12.11.14

Here Is Xi’s China: Get Used To It

ARTHUR R. KROEBER

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 on the verge of an epic collapse thanks to the previous year’s sharp monetary tightening. At midyear the worry was that an endless anti-corruption campaign had caused government sclerosis, making it impossible to get anything done. And by October, as the Communist Party held its law-...

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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 path, they claim, is the result of political pragmatism and the rejection of doctrinaire ideology. Continued references to socialism are often explained as the combination of a quaint holdover of past discourse and the necessity to refer in code to authoritarianism—without using...

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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 centuries, the U.S., and the largest...

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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 aggression, the European economy in...

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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, and I heard the distinctive...

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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 set out a broad policy...

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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 sent out urgent appeals...

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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 the students have set up wooden...

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08.28.14

China’s Nicaraguan Canal

CARLOS F. CHAMORRO

While Nicaragua was once a central concern—indeed, almost an obsession—of Washington, as Sandinistas and Contras seemed to be battling for the soul of the Western Hemisphere, in more recent times our small and quite impoverished country has slipped off the screens of those...

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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 pondering what “national...

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08.05.14

Equal in Inequality...

MARC BLECHER

For the past several months, readers around the world have been buying, discussing, and even occasionally reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century, French economist Thomas Piketty’s magisterial analysis of the relationship between capitalist development and inequality in...

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06.13.14

Arrested Chinese Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang Speaks from Prison

THE EDITORS

Early this morning, the Beijing Public Security Bureau formally arrested rights-defense lawyer Pu Zhiqiang on charges of picking quarrels and illegally obtaining personal information about a Chinese citizen. The arrest, announced via one of the PSB’s verified social media...

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04.20.14

The Specter of June Fourth

PERRY LINK

If yesterday was typical, about 1,400 children in Africa died of malaria. It is a preventable, treatable disease, and the young victims lost their lives through no faults of their own. Why it is that human beings accept a fact like this as an unremarkable daily event, whereas one...

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04.23.14

From Half the Sky to ‘Leftovers...

MEI FONG & LETA HONG FINCHER

The three-plus decades since the inception of the ‘one child’ policy have resulted in a huge female shortage in China. The country is now seriously unbalanced, with 18 million more boys than girls. By 2020, there will be some 30 million surplus men in China, a condition some...

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04.09.14

Why Taiwan’s Protestors Stuck It Out

JOHN TKACIK

Some might say, “a half-million Taiwanese can’t be wrong.” That’s how many islanders descended upon their capital city, Taipei, on March 30 to shout their support for the several thousand students who have occupied the nation’s legislature for the past two weeks in a so...

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03.06.14

Can America Win in a New Era of Competition with China...

GEOFF DYER

Beijing was in a state of heightened anxiety and had been for weeks. Each day in the run-up to the National Day parade, the security measures seemed to get a little bit tighter. Our apartment building had a distant view of Jianguomen, which is the main east-west avenue that runs...

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01.14.14

Xi, Mao, and China’s Search for a Usable Past

PAUL GEWIRTZ

Since its founding, the United States has had understandable pride in its great achievements, but also has had to reckon with its complex moral history—beginning but hardly ending with the fact that our original Constitution accepted the evil of slavery and the terrible...

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02.27.14

Why Frank Underwood is Great for China’s Soft Power

YING ZHU

In depicting U.S. politics as just as vicious, if not more, sociopathic than its Chinese counterpart, House of Cards delivered a sweet Valentine’s Day gift to the Chinese government. The show handed the Chinese state an instant victory when the protagonist, a seasoned U.S....

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02.04.14

In Slickness and in Wealth...

LETA HONG FINCHER

Under the harsh glare of a studio spotlight, bride-to-be Tong turns her face until it is almost completely in shadow. Tong is posing for a three-day session of wedding photographs at Shanghai’s premier Princess Studio, where couples spend between 3,000 RMB (U.S.$500) and 130,...

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01.02.14

Global Development and Investment

ELIZABETH ECONOMY & ZHA DAOJIONG

Framing questions: In what ways do the U.S. and Chinese approaches to development and foreign investment differ? Are they evolving, and how? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each approach both to the investing country and the recipient? In what ways are China and the United...

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11.18.13

Xi Jinping Refills an Old Prescription

ORVILLE SCHELL

The reforms called for by the Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party Congress have been, like so much else in China over the past few decades, part of an ongoing Chinese quest for national unity, wealth, and power. But, for those of us steeped in Western political philosophy, such...

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11.08.13

China, One Year Later

J. STAPLETON ROY, SUSAN SHIRK & more

In November 2012, seven men were appointed to the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s supreme governing body. At the time, economic headwinds, nationalist protests, and the Bo Xilai scandal presented huge challenges for the regime. Would the charismatic new president, Xi...

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10.16.13

Innovation in Britain and What it Means for China

VINCENT NI

On the occasion of a high-level British delegation’s visit to Beiing this week, Vincent Ni, the long-time New York-based U.S. correspondent for the independent Caixin Media group, shared his views about China’s ability to innovate relative to what he saw in America and what...

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08.22.13

How Bo Xilai Split the Party and Divided the People

OUYANG BIN

After the 1989 Tiananmen Incident, Chinese political struggles became milder and more mundane. Members of the Politburo and politicians of higher rank rarely were toppled (except for Chen Liangyu in 2006) and ideology seldom triggered significant rifts. Bo Xilai changed all that...

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08.09.13

Five Years On

JONATHAN LANDRETH

On August 8, 2008, I was in Beijing reporting on the media aspects of China’s first Olympic Games, and I am still amazed that the four-hour opening ceremony, as designed by film director Zhang Yimou, was seen by sixty-nine percent of China’s television audience, or roughly...

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07.11.13

China at the Tipping Point...

CARL MINZNER

What will be the future of China’s authoritarian political system?Many predicted that China’s rapid development over the past several decades would inevitably lead to gradual liberalization. Economic growth was expected to generate a cascade of changes—first to society,...

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04.05.13

Christopher Hill on North Korea’s Provocations

OUYANG BIN

The first months of 2013 have seen a rapid intensification of combative rhetoric and action from North Korea. In the sixteen months since Kim Jong-un assumed leadership of the country, North Korea has run through the whole litany of provocations his father’s regime had deployed...

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04.04.13

‘Hi! I’m Fang!’ The Man Who Changed China

PERRY LINK

In China in the 1980s, the word renquan (“human rights”) was extremely “sensitive.” Few dared even to utter it in public, let alone to champion the concept. Now, nearly three decades later, a grassroots movement called weiquan (“supporting rights”) has spread widely,...

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03.19.13

For Many in China, the One Child Policy is Already Irrelevant

LESLIE T. CHANG

Before getting pregnant with her second child, Lu Qingmin went to the family-planning office to apply for a birth permit. Officials in her husband’s Hunan village where she was living turned her down, but she had the baby anyway. She may eventually be fined $1,600—about what...

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06.05.13

A Re-Opening to China...

PAUL GEWIRTZ

Five months into his second term, President Obama is about to undertake the most important diplomatic initiative of his presidency: an effort to reshape the relationship with China. With little fanfare thus far but considerable boldness on both sides, President Obama and China’...

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05.13.13

Maoism: The Most Severe Threat to China

OUYANG BIN

Ma Licheng (马立诚) is a former Senior Editorials Editor at People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s most important mouthpiece, and the author of eleven books. In 2003, when Japan’s then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visits to the Yasukuni Shrine inflamed China’s...

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04.26.13

Sino-American Relations: Amour or Les Miserables...

WINSTON LORD

Winston Lord, former United States Ambassador to China, tells us he recently hacked into the temples of government, pecking at his first-generation iPad with just one finger—a clear sign that both Beijing and Washington need to beef...

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01.24.13

China at the Tipping Point...

PERRY LINK & XIAO QIANG

Of all the transformations that Chinese society has undergone over the past fifteen years, the most dramatic has been the growth of the Internet. Information now circulates and public opinions are now expressed on electronic bulletin boards with nationwide reach such as Tianya...

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02.11.13

A Beginning for China’s Battered Women

YING ZHU

Like it or not, it takes an American woman to give a face, bring a voice, and deliver a victory to battered women in China. On February 3, a milestone court decision in Beijing granted a divorce to Kim Lee, a victim of domestic abuse, from her celebrity...

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11.05.12

The Big Enterprise

ORVILLE SCHELL

In days of yore, when a new dynasty was established in China and a new emperor was enthroned, it was known as dashi, “The Big Enterprise,” and it usually involved mass social upheaval and civil war. The latter-day version of changing leaders now takes place at Party...

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11.14.12

The Future of Legal Reform

CARL MINZNER

Carl Minzner, Professor of Law at Fordham University, talks here about the ways China’s legal reforms have ebbed and flowed, speeding up in the early 2000s, but then slowing down again after legal activists began to take the government at its word, attempting to use the letter...

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11.13.12

China’s Next Leaders: A Guide to What’s at Stake

SUSAN SHIRK

Just a little more than a week after the American presidential election, China will choose its own leaders in its own highly secretive way entirely inside the Communist Party. What’s at stake for China—and for the rest of the world—is not just who will fill which leadership...

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11.14.12

Change in Historical Context

PETER C. PERDUE

China’s Communist Party has only ruled the country since 1949. But China has a long history of contentious transfers of power among its ruler. In these videos, Yale historian, Peter C. Perdue, an expert on China's last dynasty, the Qing, puts China’s current leadership...

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11.14.12

Are You Happier Than You Were Ten Years Ago...

J. MICHAEL EVANS

“Many Chinese feel that they have not participated in the economic benefits of an economy that has been growing very rapidly,” says Michael Evans, a vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group and head of growth markets for the Wall Street investment bank. Nowadays, many...

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11.09.12

Pragmatism and Patience

HAMID BIGLARI

Hamid Bilgari, Vice Chairman of Citicorp, the strategic arm of Citigroup, is a leader in international investment banking. Bilgari says that pragmatism and patience are the dominant qualities exhibited by cultures facing major change, such as the leadership transition at...

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11.08.12

Who is Xi Jinping...

ORVILLE SCHELL

In an era of great change and economic uncertainty around the world, one might expect a leadership transition at the top of one of the world’s rising powers to shine a light on that country’s prospective next leaders so the public might form an opinion of them and decide...

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06.11.12

Dirty Air and Succession Jitters Clouding Beijing’s Judgment

STEPHEN OLIVER & SUSAN SHIRK

Last week the Chinese government accused the U.S. Embassy and consulates of illegally interfering in China’s domestic affairs by publishing online hourly air-quality information collected from their own monitoring equipment. (While the critiques didn’t name the U.S., the U.S...

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05.30.12

The Sweet and the Sour in China-U.S. Relations

WINSTON LORD

At this very hour, one early May, just shy of a half century ago, I married a girl from Shanghai and we launched our joint adventure.Ever since, Bette Bao and I have practiced the precept of Adam Smith—division of labor. She manages our finances and real estate. I changed the...

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05.20.12

Chen Guangcheng: A Hopeful Breakthrough...

ORVILLE SCHELL

The arrival of the celebrated Chinese rights activist, Chen Guangcheng in the U.S. after years of prison and house arrest, raises the larger question of what the whole incident will come to mean in terms of the status of dissidents in China and in U.S.-China relations.In the...