Conversation

12.11.18

Is this the Beginning of a New Cold War?

Ali Wyne, Yuen Yuen Ang & more
Beyond complicating trade negotiations between the United States and China, the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has renewed concerns that the two countries are embarking on a new Cold War, based on economic preeminence and technological innovation...

Features

11.28.18

Beijing’s Long Struggle to Control Xinjiang’s Mineral Wealth

Judd C. Kinzley
The Silk Road Economic Belt—the overland component of Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)—promises to bind China to Central Asia and beyond through a new infrastructural network. Connecting through China’s far western Xinjiang...

The Promise and Peril of Chinese Tech Investment in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this week's show, we bring you two perspectives on the promise and peril of increased Chinese technology investment in Africa.Harriet Kariuki is an emerging markets analyst in Kenya where she surveys the digital landscape and local start-up...

How Will China Respond to Global Concerns about its Trade and Economic Policies?

Paul Haenle & Da Wei from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Official Chinese narratives about the U.S.-China trade war have not included Chinese reflection or discussion of what role China’s own policies have played in creating trade tensions. Many of the concerns on structural issues, such as market access...

Features

10.02.18

Here Are the Fortune 500 Companies Doing Business in Xinjiang

News reports from the western Chinese region of Xinjiang have described alarming, widespread, and worsening violations of the human rights of its predominantly Muslim, ethnically Turkic inhabitants, primarily the region’s approximately 11 million...

Video

09.07.18

From Pimp to Politician

Guo Rongfei from Arrow Factory Video
Walking through Kabukichō, a densely packed red-light district in Tokyo, one sometime spots 58-year-old Li Xiaomu, eager to point tourists to a good time. Born in the city of Changsha, Hunan province, Li moved to Tokyo in 1988 to study fashion...

Is This Really the Best Time for a China-Africa Summit?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Does it still make sense for China to put on big, expensive mega-summits with African leaders, like FOCAC, which will take place in Beijing in September? Facing a slowing economy and a potentially devastating trade war with the U.S., maybe China is...

Technology and Innovation in an Era of U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Paul Haenle & Elsa Kania from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
China has taken significant steps to implement national strategies and encourage investment in order to surpass the U.S. in high tech fields like artificial intelligence. In this podcast, Paul Haenle sat down with Elsa Kania, adjunct fellow at the...

Conversation

08.20.18

How To Fight China’s Sharp Power

Thorsten Benner, Insa Ewert & more
There is a debate raging about China’s sharp power and how to defend against it, whether it’s investment screening, shuttering Confucius institutes, or forcing visa reciprocity for journalists. But how does a fractious, divided world not only resist...

Infographics

08.15.18

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that Xi Jinping launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about more than 2,000 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources.

Huge Increase in Chinese Aid Pledged to Pacific

Kate Lyons
Guardian
Australia has traditionally been the most significant donor to the Pacific, but in 2017 China committed to spending more than four times as much as Australia, data from the Lowy Institute thinktank published today shows.

China Has an Online Lending Crisis and People Are Furious about It

Matt Rivers and Jethro Mullen
CNN
The outcry shines a light on a murky corner of China's financial industry that authorities allowed to grow rapidly with little oversight. Promises of double-digit returns attracted people looking for more lucrative places to put their money...

Walmart and JD.Com Invest $500 Million in a Chinese Online Delivery Company

Saheli Roy Choudhury
CNBC
Dada-JD Daojia was formed from the merger of JD Daojia, which is JD.com's online-to-offline business, and Dada Nexus, a large crowd-sourcing delivery platform in China with operations in more than 400 major cities...

China‘s July Factory Inflation Slows but Consumer Prices Accelerate

CNBC
The July inflation data is the first official reading on the impact on prices from China‘s retaliatory tariffs on $34 billion of U.S. goods that went into effect on July 6 and apply to a range of products from soybeans, to mixed nuts and whiskey.

Books

08.08.18

Poisonous Pandas

Matthew Kohrman, Gan Quan, Liu Wennan, Robert N. Proctor
Stanford University Press: A favorite icon for cigarette manufacturers across China since the mid-20th century has been the panda, with factories from Shanghai to Sichuan using cuddly cliché to market tobacco products. The proliferation of panda-branded cigarettes coincides with profound, yet poorly appreciated, shifts in the worldwide tobacco trade. Over the last 50 years, transnational tobacco companies and their allies have fueled a tripling of the world’s annual consumption of cigarettes. At the forefront is the China National Tobacco Corporation, now producing 40 percent of cigarettes sold globally. What’s enabled the manufacturing of cigarettes in China to flourish since the time of Mao and to prosper even amidst public health condemnation of smoking?In Poisonous Pandas, an interdisciplinary group of scholars comes together to tell that story. They offer novel portraits of people within the Chinese polity―government leaders, scientists, tax officials, artists, museum curators, and soldiers―who have experimentally revamped the country’s pre-Communist cigarette supply chain and fitfully expanded its political, economic, and cultural influence. These portraits cut against the grain of what contemporary tobacco-control experts typically study, opening a vital new window on tobacco―the single largest cause of preventable death worldwide today.{chop}Related Reading:“In China, Industry Push-Back Stubs out Anti-Smoking Gains,” Christian Shepherd, Reuters, May 31, 2018“China’s Ministry in Charge of Tobacco Control Had Ties to the Tobacco Industry. Not Anymore,” Sidney Leng, South China Morning Post, March 15, 2018“The End of China’s ‘Ashtray Diplomacy’,” Heather Timmons and Quartz, The Atlantic, December 30, 2013“The Political Mapping of China’s Tobacco Industry and Anti-Smoking Campaign,” Cheng Li, Brookings, May 30, 2012Author’s Recommendations:Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, Rob Nixon (Harvard University Press, 2013)Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?, Judith Butler (Verso; Reprint edition 2010)Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Giorgio Agamben, Translated by Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford University Press, 1998)

India as China’s Secret Business Weapon

Sintia Radu
As India rises on the global economic stage, foreign players are increasingly attracted to the seemingly unlimited and unexplored potential of the South Asian giant, which offers a market of 1.3 billion potential consumers.

China Ignores Trump Threat on Iran, Says Business There Will Continue

David Reid
CNBC
U.S. sanctions against Iran came into effect Tuesday and President Donald Trump has warned that countries who trade with Tehran will not be able to do business with the U.S. Trump also said he will expand the punitive measures in the coming weeks to...

China Has Outspent the US by $24 Billion in 5G Technology since 2015, Study Shows

Arjun Kharpal
CNBC
China has in recent years outspent the U.S. by $24 billion in the area of next-generation mobile internet technology known as 5G, potentially creating a "tsunami" that will be difficult to catch up with,...

China’s Gas Tariffs Are a Permian-Size Problem for Oil

Liam Denning
Bloomberg
The latest bit of America’s energy sector to feel the over-the-shoulder lash is the liquefied natural gas-export business. On Friday, LNG joined the list of goods that China will hit with tariffs in retaliation for U.S. ones. This...

China's Yuan, Shares Fall as Trade Row Overshadows Policy Shift

Moxy Ying, Tian Chen and Jeanny Yu
Bloomberg
The onshore yuan slipped 0.17 percent to 6.8402 per dollar as of 4:02 p.m., while the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.3 percent at its lowest since February 2016. The ChiNext gauge of small caps and tech stocks fared even worse, tumbling 2.8...

How China Is Evolving From a Maker of Copycat Medicines Into a Producer of Complex Drugs

Preetika Rana
Wall Street Journal
At a cancer conference in Chicago in June last year, a little-known Chinese startup stunned researchers with early results showing its experimental gene therapy was abating an aggressive form of blood cancer in patients back home.

China Millennials’ Love of Credit Cards Raises Debt Fears

Tom Hancock and Wang Xueqiao
Financial Times
Mr Wang is part of a generation of young consumers who have rejected the thrifty habits of their elders and become used to spending with borrowed money. Outstanding consumer loans — used for vehicle purchases, holidays, household renovations and...

China’s Currency Slide Risks a Horrible Misunderstanding with Trump

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Telegraph
China’s currency slide is graduating from benign neglect to something more deliberate. Whether or not you deem it currency warfare, it is playing with political and financial fire.

Pakistan Puts a Spotlight on China’s Opaque Loans

Financial Times
Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former cricket captain and newly elected prime minister, is on a sticky wicket. His victory in last week’s polls was secured in part on a pledge to ramp up spending on public services. Yet the coffers are empty and a balance...

Germany Toughens Stance and Blocks China Deal

Arne Delfs
Sydney Morning Herald
Merkel's cabinet on Wednesday voted to block the potential purchase of German machine tool manufacturer Leifeld Metal Spinning by a Chinese investor. The government took the precautionary measure even though the Yantai Taihai Group indicated at...

China Says U.S. Trade Pressure Won’t Work

Wall Street Journal
China fired back after the Trump administration threatened to double proposed tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, saying it won’t yield to White House pressure.

China’s Empire of Money Is Reshaping Global Trade

Bloomberg Markets
Bloomberg
China is building a very 21st century empire—one where trade and debt lead the way, not armadas and boots on the ground. If President Xi Jinping’s ambitions become a reality, Beijing will cement its position at the center of a new world economic...

Whistleblower Reveals Google’s Plans for Censored Search in China

James Vincent
Verge
According to internal documents provided to The Intercept by a whistleblower, Google has been developing a censored version of its search engine under the codename “Dragonfly” since the beginning of 2017. The search engine is being built as an...

As Trump’s Tariffs Start to Bite, China Pledges It’ll Keep Its Economy Stable

Huileng Tan
CNBC
In a statement carried by China’s state media after a meeting of the Politburo, a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party, Beijing said it will take targeted measures to solve issues in the economy. The Chinese economy is facing “some...

Trump’s Tariffs Push Electronics From China to Southeast Asia

Debby Wu
Bloomberg
A number of Taiwanese firms that form a crucial plank of the global supply chain have in recent days signaled their intention to diversify away from the world’s No. 2 economy. Delta Electronics Inc., which supplies power components to Apple Inc.,...

China’s Plan to Win Friends and Influence Includes Ski Slopes and Spas

Alexandra Stevenson and Cao Li
New York Times
In Thailand, a theater rigged with hydraulic seats will give moviegoers the sensation of flight. In Australia, an indoor ski slope is going up near the beaches of the Gold Coast. In the Czech Republic, a spa with Chinese medicine is under...

China in Africa: Win-Win Development, or a New Colonialism?

Guardian
As their hand-built wooden dhow approaches the shore, Ibrahim Chamume and his fellow fishermen take in the sail and prepare to sell their catch to the small huddle of villagers waiting on the white sand. He has been making a living like this on the...

Conversation

07.30.18

China May Become the World’s Leader in AI. But at What Cost?

Andrew Batson, Virgilio Bisio & more
The unprecedented amounts of data Chinese tech giants like Baidu and Alibaba collect is helping accelerate China’s development of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) applications, including facial recognition, automated retail operations, and...

More of Africa Finds Itself in China’s Debt

Matina Stevis-Gridneff
Wall Street Journal
Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed a slate of investment deals during a weeklong tour of Africa, feeding into concerns in the West and on the continent over ballooning levels of indebtedness to Beijing and its expanding political footprint.

China Hasn’t Delivered on Its $24 Billion Philippines Promise

Jason Koutsoukis, Cecilia Yap
Bloomberg
Of the 27 deals signed between China and the Philippines during Duterte’s visit to Beijing in October 2016, China originally agreed to provide $9 billion in soft loans, including a $3 billion credit line with the Bank of China, with a further $15...

Trump Says China Is ‘Being Vicious’ and Targeting U.S. Farmers on Purpose

Fred Imbert
CNBC
Trump’s comment comes after the administration announced a $12 billion bailout plan for farmers hit by tariffs on their goods. Earlier this month, China slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans, one of the biggest U.S. exports to China.

China Stimulates Again, but Don’t Expect Fireworks

Nathaniel Taplin
Wall Street Journal
The country’s main stock benchmark was up 1.6% Tuesday, after a call from China’s cabinet overnight for more fiscal spending, abundant liquidity, and—perhaps most significant—support for the “reasonable” fundraising needs of local governments’...

Giving In to China, U.S. Airlines Drop Taiwan (in Name at Least)

Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
You can book a ticket to Taipei from New York on a major American airline. Just don’t ask them which country you are going to. American, which was the first to make the switch, listed Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, the city’s main airport, as...

China and India Launch Investment Spree in Africa Ahead of Key Summit

Justina Crabtree
CNBC
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have continued to lend in tandem to African countries ahead of a major emerging markets summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, beginning on Wednesday.

U.S.-China Tensions over Trade and Technology

Paul Haenle & Chen Dingding from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Chen says deteriorating bilateral relations are due to both the Trump administration’s trade policies and to a growing U.S. consensus that foreign policy toward China should be reevaluated. The Chinese government’s view that industrial policy is a...

China’s Effort to Control Debt Loses Steam

Chao Deng and Lingling Wei
Wall Street Journal
China is letting up on its drive to keep a lid on debt growth as it faces a softening economy at home and escalating trade tensions with the U.S.

US-China Trade Brawl Threatens America’s Booming Oil Exports

Matt Egan
CNN
China is America’s second-biggest crude oil customer, and Beijing has threatened to retaliate against President Donald Trump’s trade crackdown by imposing tariffs on US crude oil.

China Is Better Able To Withstand A Trade War Than In The Past

Jim Zarroli
NPR
As President Trump threatens to heap more tariffs on Chinese imports, he’s got one important fact on his side: The United States remains China’s biggest single export market, buying some $500 billion in goods last year alone.

Ex-Apple Engineer Arrested on His Way to China, Charged with Stealing Company’s Autonomous Car Secrets

Allyson Chiu
Washington Post
For about two years, Xiaolang Zhang was privy to information to which many in the tech world can only dream of having access: the inner workings of Apple’s secretive autonomous car research.

Welcome to China, Tesla. Now Time to Cough Up

Anjani Trivedi
Bloomberg
Welcome to China, Elon. Let’s talk about how this is going to work.

New Round of U.S.-China Trade War Rattles Global Markets

Alexandra Stevenson
New York Times
President Trump’s escalating trade war with China rattled global markets on Wednesday.

Trump Moves to Block China Mobile's U.S. Entry on Security Concerns

Brenda Goh, Sijia Jiang
Reuters
The U.S. government has moved to block China Mobile (0941.HK) from offering services to the country’s telecommunications market, recommending its application be rejected because the firm posed national security risks.

China’s Massive ‘Belt and Road’ Spending Spree Has Caused Concern around the World, and Now It's China’s Turn to Worry

Christopher Woody
Business Insider
Since announcing its Belt and Road Initiative five years ago, China has spread billions of dollars around Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe, supporting a variety of infrastructure projects and stoking concern about Beijing's growing global sway...

Made in China 2025

Paul Haenle & Paul Triolo from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
China’s “Made in China 2025” policy to upgrade its industry plays a central role in the ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions. Paul Haenle sat down with Paul Triolo, practice head of Geo-technology at the Eurasia Group, to discuss how the Chinese...

An American Lean-In Guru in China

John Corrigan
Wall Street Journal
Joy Chen got a glimpse of the limelight as a Los Angeles deputy mayor two decades ago, but it was nothing like the fame she has found in China urging women to forget what they’ve been taught about matrimony.

Xi Hits Back at Critics Who Call China’s Opening Up ‘a Joke’

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
Chinese President Xi Jinping hit back at critics, saying in a speech on Thursday that those who think the nation’s opening up is "a joke" haven’t seen the confidence that Chinese people have in reform efforts...

Meituan Wants to Be the Grubhub of China (and the Yelp, and the Groupon, and the Kayak)

Liza Lin
Wall Street Journal
China’s burgeoning middle class, which increasingly is going online for everything from ordering lunch to booking hotel rooms, is fueling expectations that an 8-year-old startup with an innovative smartphone app will go public at a lofty $60 billion...

China’s Rust-Belt Region Has a New Hope for Revival: North Korea

Frank Tang
South China Morning Post
China’s rust-belt region, which has been plagued by an inefficient state economy and exodus of talent, is now pinning its hopes on a new factor to help its revival: North Korea.

Books

06.20.18

The Third Revolution

Elizabeth C. Economy
Oxford University Press: In The Third Revolution, eminent China scholar Elizabeth C. Economy provides an incisive look at the transformative changes underway in China today. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, himself; the expansion of the Communist Party’s role in Chinese political, social, and economic life; and the construction of a virtual wall of regulations to control more closely the exchange of ideas and capital between China and the outside world. Beyond its borders, Beijing has recast itself as a great power, seeking to reclaim its past glory and to create a system of international norms that better serves its more ambitious geostrategic objectives. In so doing, the Chinese leadership is reversing the trends toward greater political and economic opening, as well as the low-profile foreign policy, that had been put in motion by Deng Xiaoping’s “Second Revolution” 30 years earlier.Through a wide-ranging exploration of Xi Jinping’s top political, economic, and foreign policy priorities—fighting corruption, managing the Internet, reforming the state-owned enterprise sector, improving the country’s innovation capacity, enhancing air quality, and elevating China’s presence on the global stage—Economy identifies the tensions, shortcomings, and successes of Xi’s reform efforts over the course of his first five years in office. She also assesses their implications for the rest of the world, and provides recommendations for how the United States and others should navigate their relationship with this vast nation in the coming years.{chop}

Trump Could Slap China with Tariffs as Soon as Friday

Adam Behsudi
Politico
President Donald Trump is expected to impose tariffs on Chinese goods as soon as Friday or next week, according to two sources briefed on internal deliberations, a move that is sure to further inflame tensions and spark almost immediate retaliation...

Chinese Companies May Invest in North Korea. American Not so Much

Daniel Shane
CNN
President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday at a historic summit that the United States hopes will lead to North Korean nuclear disarmament.

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...

In China’s Booming Tech Scene, Women Battle Sexism and Conservative Values

Cate Cadell, Adam Jourdan
Reuters
Ms Li has a day job in the marketing department of one of China’s biggest tech firms.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Calls Blockchain a ‘Breakthrough’ Technology

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech this week that blockchain — the technology underlying bitcoin — has “breakthrough” applications.