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06.08.17

Can China Really Lead the World on Climate?

Isabel Hilton
On Wednesday, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, found himself, not for the first time, with more in common with Chinese President Xi Jinping than with the president of his own nation, Donald Trump. Just days after President Trump announced...

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06.05.17

China Has a New Domestic Violence Law. So Why Are Victims Still Often Unsafe?

Su Lin Han
In rural Hunan province, about two hours from the city of Changsha, a young woman named Zhang Meili married a violent man. According to local police, Zhang had trouble coping with her husband’s strong sexual appetite and he became jealous and...

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05.09.17

Beijing Is Weakening Hong Kong’s Rule of Law. How Far Will It Go?

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
“The American Chamber of Commerce has urged Hong Kong’s next government to reach out to international businesses still ‘unclear’ about what opportunities the city can offer under the one country, two systems policy.” —South China Morning Post, April...

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05.03.17

Thinking about War with China

Chas W. Freeman
Let’s not kid ourselves. The armed forces of the United States and China are now very far along in planning and practicing how to go to war with each other. Neither has any idea when or why it might have to engage the other on the battlefield but...

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04.20.17

A Taiwanese Man’s Detention in Guangdong Threatens a Key Pillar of Cross-Straits Relations

Jerome A. Cohen & Yu-Jie Chen
Update: On March 26, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office announced that Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che had been formally arrested on charges of “subverting state power.” Jerome Cohen has added a new comment to this essay. To skip to that...

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04.06.17

Is It Time to Give up on Engagement?

Orville Schell & Anders Corr
In the lead-up to U.S. President Trump’s meeting later this week with China’s Xi Jinping, Orville Schell, ChinaFile’s publisher, wrote an essay in The Wall Street Journal on the history of China’s episodic embrace of democratic principles and why in...

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04.06.17

What Do Trump and Xi Share? A Dislike of Muslims

Nury Turkel
During the 1980s, as an idealistic, ambitious Uighur growing up under repressive Chinese conditions in the city of Kashgar, there was one nation to which I pinned my hopes for freedom and democracy. To me, the United States was a symbol of my...

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04.05.17

Xi Is Ready for the Summit. Trump Can’t Possibly Be. So What Should He Do?

Robert Daly
At the summit in Mar-a-Lago, U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to alter deeply-rooted Chinese policies despite having no China strategy. China’s Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping hopes that by making deals on secondary matters important to Trump...

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04.05.17

No Winners or Losers, Please

Paul Gewirtz
Who will be the winner of the upcoming Trump-Xi summit? My answer: That’s a dangerous—and wrongheaded—question to focus on. Yes, we want the U.S. to win, but the U.S.-China relationship must be played and judged as a long game.The present situation...

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04.03.17

What Does the Future Hold for Business between the U.S. and China under Trump?

Ker Gibbs
We are now well into the first 100 days of the Trump administration. His supporters expect major changes in the China relationship. They voted for a man who promised to impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods and slap China with the currency...

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03.01.17

Is the U.S.’s Withdrawal China’s Gain in Latin America?

Latin Americans can’t afford to wait four years to see when the United States will be willing to have an honest and reciprocal conversation about economic prosperity in the Western Hemisphere. Luckily for the U.S.’s southern neighbors, over the past...

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02.27.17

Back to the Jungle?

Zhang Boshu
The recent election of Donald J. Trump as the president of the United States is likely to have a profound effect on world history. The issue is not the controversies raised by Trump’s character, personality, abilities, and preferences, but rather...

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02.13.17

The U.S. Should Not Demand In-Kind Reciprocity from China

James Zimmerman
In a well-drafted task force report issued this week by the Asia Society and the University of California San Diego, a group of scholars and former government officials recommend that the Trump administration take steps to make the U.S.-China...

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02.10.17

Taiwan Needs to Hear Trump Say ‘Democracy’

William Kazer
President Trump has sent conflicting signals on Taiwan, first suggesting cozier relations with the self-ruled island and then walking that back to reassure China.In a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, he pledged no change to...

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02.07.17

Can the New U.S. Ambassador to China See Xi Jinping for Who He Really Is?

Jeffrey Wasserstrom
When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds confirmation hearings on Terry Branstad’s nomination to be Ambassador to China, the Iowa Governor is sure to be asked about the positions of the president who nominated him. I hope, though, that...

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02.02.17

The Art of a China Deal

James McGregor
By his own admission, President Donald J. Trump is a brilliant businessman, a master negotiator, an exceptional deal maker, somebody who always wins. When it comes to China, he is prepared to do just that—win. “I’ve read hundreds of books about...

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01.31.17

The Origins of China’s New Law on Foreign NGOs

Shawn Shieh
For many years, the vast majority of foreign NGOs operated quietly in China in a legal grey area. Many are unregistered and work in China through local partners, while others are registered as commercial enterprises. That all changed with the...

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01.23.17

The Chairmen, Trump and Mao

Geremie R. Barmé
The January 13, 1967 issue of TIME magazine featured Mao Zedong on its cover with the headline “China in Chaos.” Fifty years later, TIME made U.S. President-elect Donald Trump its Man of The Year. With a groundswell of mass support, both men...

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01.19.17

Do We Want to Live in China’s World?

Robert Daly
Each weekday morning, I cross D.C.’s National Mall and pass a sign on Constitution Avenue bearing an epigram by the U.S. architect Daniel Burnham: Make No Little Plans. And every morning, these words make me think not of Burnham’s 20th century...

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01.06.17

No, Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement Is Not Anti-Mainland

Sebastian Veg
In a November 29 essay, “The Anti-Mainland Bigotry of Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement,” published in Foreign Policy, Taisu Zhang tries to make the case that Beijing’s hardline attitude toward Hong Kong is traceable to what he calls the “bigotry of...

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12.15.16

The Missing Topic in Trump’s Tough Talk on China

Melissa Chan
President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric suggests he will push China on many issues, not just one. Some observers have held on to the hope that his phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, his burst of anti-China tweets, and his most recent...

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12.09.16

I Think That Chinese Official Really Liked Me!

David Wertime & James Palmer
“Friendship” is everywhere in China, at least when it comes to dealing with foreigners. International societies are friendship associations. The stores once accessible only to foreign currency holders were called Friendship Stores. Provincial cities...

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12.01.16

Why I’m Giving Away My Book in China

Mei Fong
After a decade covering Asia for The Wall Street Journal, I devoted three years of my life to researching and writing a book about China’s one-child policy, One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment. This month, I’m giving away the...

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11.29.16

The Anti-Mainland Bigotry of Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement

Taisu Zhang
Given the political earthquake that occurred on November 8, the recent political and constitutional crisis in Hong Kong now seems comparatively diminished in significance. At the time, however, it was widely seen as—and continues to be—a major...

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11.22.16

Making China Great Again

Ann Carlson & Alex Wang
China loomed large in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He accused the country of stealing American jobs and manipulating its currency for trade advantage. He famously tweeted that global warming was a concept created by the Chinese to “make U.S...

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11.09.16

A Chinese Observer of the U.S. Election Reacts to Trump’s Win

Jonathan Landreth
On the heels of Donald Trump’s election as the next U.S. president on Tuesday, Hua Jianping, a 40-year-old Beijing native and host of the popular Chinese-language “U.S. Election” podcast, spoke to ChinaFile by telephone from his home in College...

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11.09.16

Donald Trump’s Peace Through Strength Vision for the Asia-Pacific

Peter Navarro from Foreign Policy
In 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced with great fanfare in Foreign Policy that the United States would begin a military “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific. This beating of the American chest was done against the backdrop of China’s...

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11.09.16

China Just Won The U.S. Election

James Palmer from Foreign Policy
The election of Donald Trump will be a disaster for anyone who cares about human rights, U.S. global leadership, and media freedom. That means it’s a victory for Beijing, where, as I write, the Chinese leaders near me in the palatial complex of...

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10.14.16

Let One Hundred Panthers Bloom

Eveline Chao
“Chairman Mao says that death comes to all of us, but it varies in its significance: to die for the reactionary is lighter than a feather; to die for the revolution is heavier than Mount Tai.” So wrote Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther...

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09.08.16

Mao the Man, Mao the God

Sergey Radchenko
Mao Zedong was dying a slow, agonizing death. Diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in July 1974, he gradually lost control of his motor functions. His gait was unsure. He slurred his speech and panted heavily. The decline was...

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09.01.16

How to Deal With China’s Human Rights Abuses

Sophie Richardson
When world leaders touch down in early September in the city of Hangzhou for this year’s G20 leaders’ summit, which China will they see? The one of glossy skylines, enviable growth statistics, and perfectly choreographed diplomatic exchanges? Or the...

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08.18.16

Zhao Ziyang’s Legacy

David Shambaugh
It is difficult to say with any certainty how China would have evolved had Zhao Ziyang not been overthrown in 1989. The ostensible cause of his purge was his refusal to endorse martial law and authorize the use of force to suppress the Tiananmen...

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08.11.16

The Future of China’s Legal System

Neysun A. Mahboubi, Carl Minzner & more
In early August, Beijing held show trials of four legal activists—a disheartening turn for those optimistic about legal reform in China. What are the prospects for the development of the rule of law in China under Communist Party Secretary Xi...

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07.26.16

Sex Workers and Condoms

Charmain Mohamed & Shen Tingting
China has long taken a punitive approach to sex work, but sex workers in China have recently experienced the harshest crackdown in a decade. The “strike hard” campaigns which began in Beijing and Dongguan in 2010 and 2014 respectively, ultimately...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...