Donald Trump Could Be Starting a New Cold War With China. But He Has Little Chance of Winning

Charlie Campbell
Time
The new U.S. administration has been testing Beijing with provocative stances on trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea. But starting up a Cold War with China is a highly risky strategy

A U.S.-China Role Switch: Who’s the Globalist Now?

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Xi Jinping sees a window as Donald Trump stirs masses with slogans

Books

01.23.17

China as an Innovation Nation

Edited by Yu Zhou, William Lazonick, and Yifei Sun
This volume assesses China’s transition to innovation-nation status in terms of social conditions, industry characteristics, and economic impacts over the past three decades, also providing insights into future developments.Defining innovation as the process that generates a higher quality, lower cost product than was previously available, the introductory chapter conceptualizes the theory of an innovation nation and the lessons from Japan and the United States. It outlines the key governance, employment, and investment institutions that China must build for such transition to occur, and examines China’s challenges and strategies to innovate in the era of global production systems. Two succeeding chapters explain the evolving roles of the Chinese state in innovation, and the new landscape of venture capital finance. The remaining chapters provide studies of major industries, which contain analyses of the evolving roles of investment by government agencies and business interests in the process. Included in these studies are traditional industries such as mechanical engineering, railroads, and automobiles; rapidly evolving and internationally highly integrated industries such as information-and-communication-technology (ICT); and newly emerging sectors such as wind and solar energy.Written by leading academics in the field, studies in this volume reveal Chinese innovation as diverse across industries and enterprises and fluid over time. In each sector, we observe continued co-evolution of state policy, market demand, and technology development. The strategies and structures of individual companies and industrial ecosystems are changing rapidly. The sum total of the studies is a great step forward in our understanding of the industrial foundations of China’s attempt to become an innovation nation. —Oxford University Press{chop}

Diplomat Says China Would Assume World Leadership If Needed

Reuters
China does not want world leadership but could be forced to assume that role if others step back from that position, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Monday

China’s Economy Grows Strongly, Yet Central Bank Eases Policy

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
China’s economy firmly hit its growth target last year, but this is China, where figures are sometimes doubted and where economists look for signs of strain underneath the numbers.

Asian Shares Mixed as Investors Eye Trump’s Inauguration

Aza Wee Sile
CNBC
Asian markets were a mixed bag on Friday after China’s latest set of economic data suggest the economy is recovering, even as risk sentiment sours ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration

A Communist Party Man at Davos

Atlantic
Xi Jinping tries to charm the capitalist elite

U.S. Commerce Nominee Ross Calls China ‘Most Protectionist’ Country

David Lawder
Reuters
Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for commerce secretary, voiced sharp criticism of China’s trade practices on Wednesday

China Is America’s “Vendor,” and Needs to Treat Its Biggest Customer Better, Trump’s Commerce Pick Says

Heather Timmons
Quartz
China loomed large in the US senate’s confirmation hearing today of Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary.

Donald Trump and China’s Year of the Hawk

Melinda Liu
Politico
A brash new U.S. president is on a collision course with a Chinese leader bent on consolidating power. ...

China Builds World’s Biggest Solar Farm in Journey to Become Green Superpower

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Vast plant in Qinghai province is part of China’s determination to transform itself from climate change villain to a green energy colossus

Viewpoint

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...

Conversation

01.18.17

U.S.-China Flashpoints in the Age of Trump

Zha Daojiong, Isaac Stone Fish & more
Over the past year, Donald Trump has vowed to “utterly destroy” ISIS, considered lifting sanctions on Russia, promised to cancel the Paris climate agreement and “dismantle” the Iran nuclear deal. But many of his most inflammatory statements are...

China’s Top Economic Official Braces for Possible Trade War

Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Liu He has struggled to overcome resistance to a program of measured economic liberalization and more open markets that he argues is critical to China’s long-term economic health

First Freight Train from China to Britain Arrives in London

Ritvik Carvalho
Reuters
The first China-to-Britain freight train arrived in London on Wednesday after a 7,500-mile journey, marking a milestone in China’s push to build commercial links across Europe and Asia.

China Cancels 103 Coal Plants, Mindful of Smog and Wasted Capacity

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
China is canceling plans to build more than 100 coal-fired power plants, seeking to rein in runaway, wasteful investment in the sector while moving the country away from one of the dirtiest forms of electricity generation

The Chinese Government Finally Admitted That Its Economic Data Was Made Up

Zheping Huang
Quartz
For many who have long believed that China’s economic growth figures seemed too good—and tidy—to be true, they now have official confirmation of that skepticism.

In Davos, Xi Makes Case for Chinese Leadership Role

Noah Barkin and Elizabeth Piper
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a vigorous defense of free trade at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday in a speech that underscored Beijing’s desire to play a greater global role

New U.S.-China Rivalry Risks Lethal Confrontation

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Provocations by President-elect Trump over trade and territory could escalate into armed conflict

China’s Oil Collapse Is Unintentionally Helping OPEC

Bloomberg
OPEC’s campaign to prop up oil prices is getting unlikely support from its biggest customer.

Welcome to an Emerging Asia: India and China Stop Feigning Friendship while Russia Plays All Sides

Harsh V Pant
Quartz
After a few timid signs of warming, Sino-Indian relations seem to be headed for the freezer.

China’s Xi Set for Star Turn at Davos Gathering

Tom Mitchell and Charles Clover
Financial Times
President aims to show he is one of the few responsible adults left on the global stage

China Overseas Investment Spree Set to Run Out of Steam

Lingling Wei
Wall Street Journal
A government think tank predicts China’s direct investment overseas, after years of robust gains, is likely to decline in 2017

Ambassador to China Shares Lessons Learned with the Next Administration

NPR
Democrat Max Baucus, the U.S. ambassador to China since 2014, is preparing to hand over the post to his successor. He discusses the future of the U.S.-China relationship.

Japan And China Are Competing To Win Over The Philippines

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing away the United States in favor of its geopolitical rival China. But the man in office still likes Japan.

Obama Takes Parting Shot at China with WTO Aluminium Case

Shawn Donnan
Financial Times
U.S. is challenging Beijing’s financing of its industries with low-cost loans

China Banks Extend Record 12.65 Trillion Yuan in Loans in 2016 as Debt Worries Mount

Sue-Lin Wong and Lusha Zhang
Reuters
China’s banks extended a record 12.56 trillion yuan ($1.82 trillion) of loans in 2016 as the government encouraged more credit-fueled stimulus to meet its economic growth target

Books

01.11.17

Taiwan’s China Dilemma

Syaru Shirley Lin
China and Taiwan share one of the world’s most complex international relationships. Although similar cultures and economic interests have promoted an explosion of economic ties between them since the late 1980s, these ties have not led to an improved political relationship, let alone progress toward the unification that both governments once claimed to seek. In addition, Taiwan’s recent Sunflower Movement succeeded in obstructing deeper economic ties with China. Why has Taiwan’s policy toward China been so inconsistent?Taiwan’s China Dilemma explains the divergence between the development of economic and political relations across the Taiwan Strait through the interplay of national identity and economic interests. Using primary sources, opinion surveys, and interviews with Taiwanese opinion leaders, Syaru Shirley Lin paints a vivid picture of one of the most unsettled and dangerous relationships in the contemporary world, and illustrates the growing backlash against economic liberalization and regional economic integration around the world. —Stanford University Press{chop}

China Delegation Reportedly Open to Meeting Trump’s Team at Davos

Gemma Acton
CNBC
China’s President Xi Jinping’s delegation to the World Economic Forum to be held in Davos next week is open to a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump’s team

China’s Money, China’s Blue Helmets for Africa

Deutsche Welle
It’s not just about raw materials anymore. China’s expanding influence in Africa poses risks to European interests, but it offers opportunities as well.

How China’s Pink Economy Is Leading the Country’s Battle for LGBT Rights

Charlie Campbell
Fortune
China’s burgeoning LGBT community—estimated at some 70 million people—is a free-spending sector that few businesses can afford to ignore.

2016 China-Africa Year in Review

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
After years of relatively trouble-free development, 2016 marked a turning point in the China-Africa relationship, amid turbulent changes in the global economic and political order. China increased its deployment of combat troops to the continent,...

Conversation

01.10.17

Can Beijing’s Ivory Ban Save the Elephants?

Eric Olander, Peter J. Li & more
On New Year’s Eve, Beijing announced it will ban the ivory trade in China, potentially shutting down the world’s biggest ivory market. Why did Beijing decide to curb the ivory trade? Will it put enough muscle behind it to enforce the decision? What...

China Probes Bitcoin Exchanges amid Capital Flight Fears

Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
Investors in the cryptocurrency say they doubt it is being used to transfer large amounts of cash out of China.

China’s Elite Bodyguards Are Struggling to Find Enough Rich People to Protect

Charlie Campbell
Time
Training bodyguards has been big business in China for years. Now, however, a slowing economy and an anti-corruption drive are putting the brakes on the private security industry

China’s New Silk Road Is Getting Muddy

Joshua Eisenman and Devin T. Stewart
Foreign Policy
With the future of U.S.-China relations an open question for the incoming Donald Trump administration, many have focused on whether the president-elect’s promise to withdraw from negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will enhance...

McDonald’s China Operations to Be Sold to Locally Led Consortium

Amie Tsang and Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
McDonald’s said on Monday that it would sell its businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong for $2.08 billion to Citic, a state-owned conglomerate, and the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm.

China to Plow $361 Billion into Renewable Fuel by 2020

Josephine Mason
Reuters
China will plow 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country's energy agency said on Thursday, as the world's largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner...

How a China Crackdown Caused Bitcoin’s Price to Plunge

Geoffrey Smith
Fortune
The value of the cryptocurrency bitcoin is melting down Thursday, having dropped 20% against the dollar by midday Eastern Time in only two hours of frantic trading.

China, Seeking to Stop Weakening of Currency, Issues Restrictions

Neil Gough
New York Times
China’s financial regulators appear to have grown increasingly concerned in recent weeks about the pace of the renminbi’s depreciation

How Chinese Entrepreneurs Can Help Trump ‘Make America Great Again’

Edward Tse
South China Morning Post
Edward Tse says Chinese investment and job creation are just what the US economy needs to sharpen its edge, not isolationism and trade wars

Books

01.04.17

The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom
This lavishly illustrated volume explores the history of China during a period of dramatic shifts and surprising transformations, from the founding of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) through to the present day.The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China promises to be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this rising superpower on the verge of what promises to be the “Chinese century,” introducing readers to important but often overlooked events in China’s past, such as the bloody Taiping Civil War (1850-1864), which had a death toll far higher than the roughly contemporaneous American Civil War. It also helps readers see more familiar landmarks in Chinese history in new ways, such as the Opium War (1839-1842), the Boxer Uprising of 1900, the rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, and the Tiananmen protests and Beijing Massacre of 1989.This is one of the first major efforts—and in many ways the most ambitious to date—to come to terms with the broad sweep of modern Chinese history, taking readers from the origins of modern China right up through the dramatic events of the last few years (the Beijing Games, the financial crisis, and China’s rise to global economic pre-eminence) which have so fundamentally altered Western views of China and China’s place in the world. —Oxford University Press{chop}

China Inc.’s Large Dollar Debts Fuel Beijing’s Efforts to Curb Yuan Plunge

Ling Ling Wei
Wall Street Journal
The large pile of foreign debt owed by Chinese companies, from state-owned banks to airlines, is giving added impetus to Beijing’s efforts to keep the yuan from falling too steeply against the rallying dollar.

Obama Got Tough on China. It Cost U.S. Jobs and Raised Prices

Patrick Gillespie
CNN
Protect American jobs by getting tough on China. That's the underlying idea behind President-elect Donald Trump's threat of a 45% tariff against China as a ploy to bring jobs back to America. Before pursuing that strategy, however, Trump...

First China-U.K. Freight Train Departs as Xi Seeks to Lift Trade

Bloomberg
China initiated a rail-freight service to Britain as part of President Xi Jinping’s efforts to strengthen trade ties with Europe.

Chinese Access to U.S. Semiconductor Industry May Be Curbed

Ian Talley
Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration is finalizing a study that could lead to restrictions on Chinese investment in the U.S. semiconductor sector.

China Should Set More Flexible GDP Growth Target in 2017: Central Bank Adviser

Reuters
China should set a more flexible economic growth target this year to create more room for reforms, a central bank adviser told the official Xinhua news agency, suggesting a range of 6.0 to 7.0 percent versus 6.5 to 7.0 percent in 2016. China has...

Twitter China Chief Kathy Chen Departs

Wall Street Journal
Twitter Inc.’s controversial China chief has departed after only eight months, the latest executive to leave amid a global reorganization. A stream of executives has left the company since it announced layoffs in October amid continued losses...

Conversation

12.30.16

Rex Tillerson at State: What Will He Mean for U.S.-China Relations?

Barbara A. Finamore, Shen Dingli & more
On December 13, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced the selection of ExxonMobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. We asked ChinaFile contributors to respond to the choice with a specific focus on how Tillerson...

A Good Year for Xi Jinping— But Trouble is Heading His Way

Tom Phillips
Guardian
After domestic victories in 2016, China’s president must deal with a worsening economy and Trump in the White House

China Builds Out the Air as Frustrations Mount Below

Emily Feng
New York Times
An angry mob ransacks a terminal. A frustrated passenger tries to leave the plane while it taxis. China's air travel system isn't working. ...

China’s Film Fever Cools

Wayne Ma and Erich Schwartzel
Wall Street Journal
China’s highflying box office got a reality check in 2016, as cutbacks in discounted tickets led to a sharp decline in cinema-revenue growth

While the Rest of the World Retreats, China Expands Investments in Arab World

Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden
Huffington Post
As chaos consumes large portions of the region, Beijing is sending in cash

How China Built ‘iPhone City’ With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partner

David Barboza
New York Times
A hidden bounty of benefits for Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, the world’s biggest iPhone factory, is central to the production of Apple’s most profitable product

Postcard from Dandong: Politics and Pity on the Border of China and North Korea

Economist
The border between the two countries shows how drastically they have grown apart

China’s Markets are Tamed— but Not Tempting

Anjie Zheng
Wall Street Journal
The roller-coaster ride may be over, but global investors say that still hasn’t made China attractive for 2017

As China Pivots, Trump Risks Fighting an Old War

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Incoming U.S. administration highlights trade retaliation as Beijing shifts to a form of high-tech protectionism

China Resumes Ties with São Tomé, Which Turned Away from Taiwan

Associated Press
New York Times
Beijing suspended its relationship with São Tomé in 1997 after the African island nation established diplomatic ties with Taiwan

China’s Risky Power Play in the Arab World

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
International Relations Professor Zaynab El Bernoussi from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, joins Eric and Cobus this week to discuss her recent column on China’s growing influence in the Middle East and North Africa. Professor El...

Stoking Tensions with China

New York Times
No relationship is more vital to international stability than that between the United States and China, but now there are dangerous new uncertainties