Books

10.07.15

Unmade in China

Jeremy R. Haft
If you look carefully at how things are actually made in China—from shirts to toys, apple juice to oil rigs—you see a reality that contradicts every widely-held notion about the world’s so-called economic powerhouse. From the inside looking out, China is not a manufacturing juggernaut. It’s a Lilliputian. Nor is it a killer of American jobs. It’s a huge job creator. Rising China is importing goods from America in such volume that millions of U.S. jobs are sustained through Chinese trade and investment. In Unmade in China, entrepreneur and Georgetown University business professor Jeremy R. Haft lifts the lid on the hidden world of China’s intricate supply chains. Informed by years of experience building new companies in China, Haft’s unique, insider’s view reveals a startling picture of an economy which struggles to make baby formula safely, much less a nuclear power plant. Using firm-level data and recent case studies, Unmade in China tells the story of systemic risk in Chinese manufacturing and why this is both really bad and really good news for America. —Polity Press{chop}

China Is Working to Reach Its Emissions Peak Before 2030 Deadline, Analyst Says

Oliver Milman
Guardian
Qi Ye, director of public policy centre in Beijing, says China is showing ‘global leadership’ on climate change.

Seven Dead, 223 Injured as Tornadoes Brought by Typhoon Mujigae Ravage China’s Guangdong Province

Mimi Lau
South China Morning Post
Mujigae was the strongest typhoon to make landfall in at least six decades.

The Return of China's Environmental Avenger

Elizabeth Economy
Diplomat
Pan Yue, China’s most outspoken, innovative, and articulate environmental official, is back in action.

Media

10.01.15

U.S. Presidential Candidates on China

Our Presidential Quotes tracker keeps you up to date on what the candidates are saying about China, and where and when they say it.

Environment

09.30.15

Less Snow in Tibet Means More Heatwaves in Europe

from chinadialogue
Recent summer heatwaves in Europe and northeast Asia have caused massive water shortages and a large number of deaths. But the mechanism behind these extreme weather events is not fully understood.Scientists at China’s Nanjing University of...

Environment

09.25.15

Weak Case for UK’s China-Funded Nuclear Plant, Critics Say

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
The U.K. and China moved closer this week to finalizing the finance of a highly controversial plan to build the first new nuclear power plant in the U.K. for a generation. The plant, Hinkley Point C in Somerset, western England, is seeking Chinese...

Obama, the Pope, and the President of China Are Teaming Up to Save the World

James West
Mother Jones
Something big and strange is happening in the United States this week.

Enacting Cap-and-Trade Will Present Challenges Under China’s System

CHRIS BUCKLEY
New York Times
White House officials have lauded President Xi Jinping's anticipated promise of a national market for China in greenhouse gas quotas...

Reports

09.24.15

Bottled Water In China: Boom Or Bust?

Hongqiao Liu
China Water Risk
It has only taken China two decades to become the world’s largest bottled water consumer and a major producer. But given China’s much publicized water woes from pollution to scarcity and droughts, can China’s bottled water market continue to boom?...

Conversation

09.22.15

Xi Jinping’s Message to America

Taisu Zhang, Graham Webster & more
China’s President Xi Jinping addressed an audience of more than 700 American businesspeople in Seattle on Tuesday evening on the first stop on his first state visit to the United States. Regular ChinaFile Contributors who watched the speech offer...

Caixin Media

09.22.15

Chinese Contractor Finds Project in Bahamas Is No Day at Beach

A giant luxury resort planned on a beach outside the Bahamas’ capital, Nassau, that is supposed to be a showpiece to help China’s largest construction company tap the U.S. market has become a headache for both its builder and a lender.The resort was...

Environment

09.17.15

Beijing Welcomes World’s First Smog-Eating Tower

from chinadialogue
Beijingers enjoyed a rare breath of fresh air this week. The city’s smog levels fell to their lowest levels in recent years, as authorities scrambled to shut down factories and curb car use so that China’s Second World War victory military parade...

Conversation

09.16.15

What Would New Breakthroughs on Climate Change Mean for the U.S.-China Relationship?

Junjie Zhang, Joanna Lewis & more
With just over a week to go before Chinese President Xi Jinping begins his first State Visit to the United States, there is much evidence to suggest that bilateral action to fight climate change is an area most ripe for meaningful Sino-U.S...

U.S. and China Aim to Hit Climate Goals Sooner Than Expected in Some Cities

CHRISTI PARSONS AND CHRIS MEGERIAN
Los Angeles Times
U.S. and Chinese officials plan to unveil more ambitious carbon-emission rules for several Chinese cities and provinces.

Growing Demand in China for Africa’s Lion Bones

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Traditional Chinese medicine—popular throughout Asia—long has prized the supposed medicinal value of tiger bones. Now, though, as the world’s wild tiger population is disappearing fast, even facing extinction, the Chinese medicine industry may have...

Environment

09.11.15

Beijing Slams Henan Capital for Using Scarce Fresh Water to Combat Smog

Officials in the city of Zhengzhou are under central government scrutiny after media reports revealed the capital of Henan province is using valuable fresh water supplies to combat air pollution. Scientists and academics have criticised...

Culture

09.11.15

French Director’s Chinese Movie Balances Freedom With Compromise

Jonathan Landreth
In 2012, French movie director Jean-Jacques Annaud got a warm welcome in China after more than a dozen years as persona non grata there for having offended official Chinese Communist Party history with his 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet—the story of...

China Will close 150 Factories to Make Sure Shanghai Disneyland Has Blue Skies

Steve Mollman
Quartz
What will Disneyland with Chinese characteristics look like?

Can the Chinese Government Get Its People to Like G.M.O.s?

New Yorker
Genetically modified food faces zealous public opposition and is largely banned from the marketplace.

Environment

09.03.15

The Yellow River: A History of China’s Water Crisis

from chinadialogue
During the hot, dry month of August 1992, the farmers of Baishan village in Hebei province and Panyang village in Henan came to blows. Residents from each village hurled insults and rudimentary explosives at the other across the Zhang River—the...

How My Presidency Would Deal With China

Marco Rubio
Wall Street Journal
Approaching Beijing on the basis of strength and example, not weakness and appeasement.

Environment

08.21.15

Beijing Tells Mayors of Chinese Cities to Clean Up Their Air

from chinadialogue
In China, “APEC blue” was the sarcastic term used to refer to the unusually clear skies Beijing enjoyed when an Asia-Pacific leaders summit was in progress late last year.A similar phenomenon is now being seen in smaller Chinese cities, as mayors...

Caixin Media

08.18.15

Official Stonewalling on Tianjin Explosions Sparks Outcry

While victims of the Tianjin explosions are still waiting to be told why their loved ones died or, how safe it is to go outside, officials remained evasive in the sixth press conference regarding the disaster.In response to a question from a Caixin...

Military Sends Chemical Specialists to Blast Site, Death Toll Rises to 50

Xinhua
So far more than 1,000 firefighters, 151 fire engines and a drone have been dispatched to the blast site.

Tianjin Blast Rescuers Removing Toxic Chemical Substance from Scene

Liu Rong
People’s Daily Online
Sodium cyanide has now been detected in the sewage and leakage has been confirmed.

Environment

08.12.15

Beijing’s Air Quality May Finally Be Improving ... But it Still Ain’t Great

Michael Zhao
In February, a Chinese celebrity journalist named Chai Jing released a video on the Internet about the damage air pollution was causing her country. During the week it was online (before Chinese censors pulled it down), people viewed the video 200...

Caixin Media

08.11.15

Auditors Probe Sinopec, Savvy Broker in Angola

Government auditors are taking a closer look at U.S.$10 billion worth of offshore oil investments by state-run China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) that owe their existence to a Hong Kong businessman with a flair for networking in the...

At Sea in the City

Economist
When building cities in China, someone forgot the drains.

Environment

08.05.15

High-Ranking Retired Environmental Protection Official Mired in Corruption Probe

from chinadialogue
Retired Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) Vice Minister Zhang Lijun has run afoul of the ongoing corruption crackdown, becoming the highest-ranking environmental official yet to be investigated.On Thursday, China’s anti-corruption watchdog...

China Gets the 2022 Winter Olympics

Economist
Beijing will stage the winter games in the desert.

Environment

07.30.15

China’s Shift From Coal to Hydro Comes at a Heavy Price

from chinadialogue
As outlined in China’s national climate plan, submitted to the United Nations last month, the country’s aim to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 or sooner will rely heavily on a shift from coal to use of non-fossil fuels.To many, that would seem...

Environment

07.22.15

China, Both Major Cause of and Potential Solution to Illegal Logging

from chinadialogue
China is now the world’s largest importer and consumer of wood-based products. Its booming domestic market is the main driver of growth in imports, though the country is also now the world’s most important timber-processing hub. In 2013, China’s...

This Instagram Account Offers a New Perspective on China

Time
Some photographs show the surprisingly mundane moments in the life of regular Chinese, such as Albertazzi’s image of a group of men playing cards in their swim shorts on a hot summer afternoon in Beijing; others are images from long-term documentary...

As Beijing Becomes a Supercity, the Rapid Growth Brings Pains

New York Times
The planned megalopolis, a metropolitan area that would be about six times the size of New York's, is meant to revamp northern China's economy...

Biggest Ever Winged Dinosaur is Found in China

Ian Sample
Guardian
An ancient feathered creature dug up in northeastern China is the largest winged dinosaur ever found, researchers say.

Google Alters Name of Disputed South China Sea Reef

Katie Hunt
CNN
Google says it has altered its map of a disputed reef in the South China Sea, removing its Chinese name in favor of what it says is its internationally recognized moniker.

China's Pollution Quagmire

Jeff McMahon
Forbes
China’s efforts to reduce air pollution could be negated by its unregulated and unmonitored burning of petcoke, a fuel dirtier than coal, an expert on Chinese climate and energy policy said.

Environment

07.15.15

Scientists Call for More Emission Cuts

from chinadialogue
It is still possible to limit average global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius (2˚C) and avoid catastrophic climate change, but the remaining global carbon budget—the amount of carbon that can be safely released into the atmosphere if this...

Caixin Media

07.14.15

Uber CEO Enjoying a Fast China Ride

Demand for cross-town transportation is at the heart of an urban lifestyle that is defining modern China. It is also giving the American car-hire service Uber Technologies Inc. an incredible ride.Few are enjoying the ride more than Uber CEO Travis...

China’s Rapidly Changing Views on Wildlife Conservation in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
A dramatic shift in Chinese public opinion about animal welfare and global wildlife conservation appears to be underway. Supported by high-profile celebrity campaigns by NBA legend Yao Ming and actress Li Bing Bing, there is growing awareness in...

Conversation

07.08.15

Are China’s Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Meaningful?

Barbara A. Finamore, Sam Geall & more
Last week, Premier Li Keqiang said China would cut its “carbon intensity”—the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of GDP—to 60-65 percent of 2005 levels by 2030. Visiting Paris, the site in September of the United Nations Climate Change...

The Philippines Takes China to Court

Al Jazeera
The Philippines argued at a closed that an international court should intervene in its dispute with China over rights to exploit natural resources and fish in the South China Sea.

Books

07.07.15

Meeting China Halfway

Lyle J. Goldstein
Though a U.S.–China conflict is far from inevitable, major tensions are building in the Asia-Pacific region. These strains are the result of historical enmity, cultural divergence, and deep ideological estrangement, not to mention apprehensions fueled by geopolitical competition and the closely related "security dilemma." Despite worrying signs of intensifying rivalry between Washington and Beijing, few observers have provided concrete paradigms to lead this troubled relationship away from disaster. Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging US-China Rivalry is dramatically different from any other book about U.S.-China relations. Lyle J. Goldstein's explicit focus in almost every chapter is on laying bare both U.S. and Chinese perceptions of where their interests clash and proposing new paths to ease bilateral tensions through compromise. Each chapter contains a “cooperation spiral”―the opposite of an escalation spiral―to illustrate the policy proposals. Goldstein not only parses findings from the latest American scholarship but also breaks new ground by analyzing hundreds of Chinese-language sources, including military publications, never before evaluated by Western experts. Goldstein makes one hundred policy proposals over the course of this book, not because these are the only solutions to arresting the alarming course toward conflict, but rather to inaugurate a genuine debate regarding cooperative policy solutions to the most vexing problems in U.S.-China relations. ―Georgetown University Press {chop}

Fears Raised as "A Third" of China Great Wall Vanishes

Maggie Hiufu Wong and Serena Dong
CNN
About 30%, of the ancient fortification built in the Ming Dynasty era has disappeared due to natural erosion and human damage, according to the Beijing Times.

China Nears Completion of Controversial Airstrip in South China Sea

Oliver Holmes
Guardian
The runway is large enough for heavy military transport planes and fighters. It is only a third complete, showing that it has since been constructed at a rapid rate.

Environment

07.01.15

China Deepens Planned Cuts to Carbon Intensity

from chinadialogue
China has mapped out how it will try and peak greenhouse emissions by 2030 or before, details that could have a major bearing on U.N. climate talks aimed at delivering a deal in Paris later this year.The world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases “...

See China’s Rapid Island-Building Strategy in Action

Kevin Uhrmarcher, Kevin Schaul and...
Washington Post
New satellite imagery of remote islands in the South China Sea shows Chinese island-building projects and how attention has turned to building military bases.

Why is China's Female Prison Population Growing?

Celia Hatton
BBC
Women comprise just 6.3% of China's prison population. If trends continue, within five years, China will imprison more women than the United States...

Environment

06.25.15

Growing Pains for China’s New Environmental Courts

from chinadialogue
In recent years, China has set up hundreds of new environmental courts as part of institutional reforms that aim to encourage greener growth and curb pollution, but the country will have to speed up training and recruitment to ensure judges have the...

Outcry in Russia over China land lease

Kathrin Hille
Financial Times
Plans to hand a stretch of remote Siberian territory to Chinese investors triggers protests in Russia, underlining how the relationship between both countries is undermined by deep-rooted distrust.

China plays favorites with endangered species

Kristie Lu Stout
CNN
“The Chinese government has put so much money and so much effort into preserving pandas but there are so many other species that need addressing.”

Environment

06.24.15

High Off the Hog

Stefani Kim
Hongshaorou—“red braised” pork belly, a classic Chinese dish—is cooked with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce until the squares of fatty meat are so tender they dissolve in the mouth. Once a luxury, this succulent delicacy was known to be a favorite...

Gas Leak Raises Fears Over China Network

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
A brand new natural gas pipeline operated by CNPC in Yunnan sprung a leak, raising worries about the safety of China's network of oil and gas pipes...

100,000 Tons of Smuggled Meat, Some From 1970s, Seized Across China

Crystal Tse
New York Times
Smuggled frozen meat has been seized across China, some of it more than 40 years old and valued at up to $483 million. ...

China Opens New Land Route to Tibet for Indian Pilgrims

Edward Wong
New York Times
The crossing of Nathu La, between India and Tibet, signals the opening of a new pilgrimage route for Indian pilgrims to holy sites.

The Village and the Girl

Carrie Gracie
BBC
The destruction of rural China became for pig farmer Xiao Zhang a liberation and an opportunity.

China’s Annual Dog-Eating Festival Prompts Social Media Firestorm

Lindsey Bever and Nick Kirkpatrick
Washington Post
At a solstice festival in China 10,000 canines are said to be beaten, killed and cooked for human consumption.

Books

06.16.15

The Yellow River

David A. Pietz
Flowing through the heart of the North China Plain―home to 200 million people―the Yellow River sustains one of China’s core regions. Yet this vital water supply has become highly vulnerable in recent decades, with potentially serious repercussions for China’s economic, social, and political stability. The Yellow River is an investigative expedition to the source of China’s contemporary water crisis, mapping the confluence of forces that have shaped the predicament that the world’s most populous nation now faces in managing its water reserves.Chinese governments have long struggled to maintain ecological stability along the Yellow River, undertaking ambitious programs of canal and dike construction to mitigate the effects of recurrent droughts and floods. But particularly during the Maoist years the North China Plain was radically re-engineered to utilize every drop of water for irrigation and hydroelectric generation. As David A. Pietz shows, Maoist water management from 1949 to 1976 cast a long shadow over the reform period, beginning in 1978. Rapid urban growth, industrial expansion, and agricultural intensification over the past three decades of China’s economic boom have been realized on a water resource base that was acutely compromised, with effects that have been more difficult and costly to overcome with each passing decade. Chronicling this complex legacy, The Yellow River provides important insight into how water challenges will affect China’s course as a twenty-first-century global power.―Harvard University Press{chop}

China to Halt Its Building of Islands, but Not Its Projects on Them

Edward Wong
New York Times
China will soon halt island building in the South China Sea but will continue constructing military and civilian facilities.