Sinica Podcast

04.07.14

In Conversation with Timothy Garton Ash

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are pleased to host a conversation with Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of History at Oxford University and recent participant in the Capital M Literary Festival in Beijing. As one the world's...

Books

04.01.14

The Contest of the Century

Geoff Dyer
From the former Financial Times Beijing bureau chief, a balanced and far-seeing analysis of the emerging competition between China and the United States that will dominate twenty-first-century world affairs—an inside account of Beijing’s quest for influence and an explanation of how America can come out on top. The structure of global politics is shifting rapidly. After decades of rising, China has entered a new and critical phase where it seeks to turn its economic heft into global power. In this deeply informed book, Geoff Dyer makes a lucid and convincing argument that China and the United States are now embarking on a great power–style competition that will dominate the century. This contest will take place in every arena: from control of the seas, where China’s new navy is trying to ease the United States out of Asia and reassert its traditional leadership, to rewriting the rules of the global economy, with attempts to turn the renminbi into the predominant international currency, toppling the dominance of the U.S. dollar. And by investing billions to send its media groups overseas, Beijing hopes to shift the global debate about democracy and individual rights. Eyeing the high ground of international politics, China is taking the first steps in an ambitious global agenda. Yet Dyer explains how China will struggle to unseat the United States. China’s new ambitions are provoking intense anxiety, especially in Asia, while America’s global influence has deep roots. If Washington can adjust to a world in which it is no longer dominant but still immensely powerful, it can withstand China’s challenge. With keen insight based on a deep local knowledge—offering the reader visions of coastal Chinese beauty pageants and secret submarine bases, lockstep Beijing military parades and the neon media screens of Xinhua exported to New York City’s Times Square—The Contest of the Century is essential reading at a time of great uncertainty about America’s future, a road map for retaining a central role in the world.  —Knopf {chop}

Is the American Middle Class Losing Out to China and India?

Thomas B. Edsall
New York Times
CUNY professor Branko Milanovic says the middle class in China and India experienced 60 to 70 percent income growth from 1998 to 2008, while middle class growth stalled in the United States.

Reports

04.01.14

High Tech: The Next Wave of Chinese Investment in America

Thilo Hanemann and Daniel H. Rosen
Asia Society
In this report, we explore the advent of Chinese investment in U.S. high-tech sectors in order to provide an objective starting point for debate about this nascent trend. We use a unique dataset on Chinese FDI transactions in the United States to...

Conversation

03.26.14

The Bloomberg Fallout: Where Does Journalism in China Go from Here?

Chen Weihua, Dorinda Elliott & more
On Monday, March 24, a thirteen-year veteran of Bloomberg News, Ben Richardson, news editor at large for Asia, resigned. A few days earlier, company Chairman Peter Grauer said that the news and financial information services company founded in 1981...

Media

03.26.14

A Wrinkle to Those Hot Chinese Tech IPOs

Investors, ready your wallets. In the past week, Sina Weibo, China’s massive microblogging platform with 280 million users, and Alibaba, the operator of China’s largest online marketplace which generated $1.84 billion in revenue in the fourth...

Media

03.25.14

China, We Fear You

On March 18, thousands of students began a sit-in of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan in the capital, Taipei, a historic first that has paralyzed the island’s lawmaking body. Students have amassed to protest an attempt by the Kuomintang, the island’s...

Books

03.19.14

Unbalanced

Stephen Roach
The Chinese and U.S. economies have been locked in an uncomfortable embrace since the late 1970s. Although the relationship initially arose out of mutual benefits, in recent years it has taken on the trappings of an unstable codependence, with the two largest economies in the world losing their sense of self, increasing the risk of their turning on one another in a destructive fashion.In Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China Stephen Roach lays bare the pitfalls of the current China-U.S. economic relationship. He highlights the conflicts at the center of current tensions, including disputes over trade policies and intellectual property rights, sharp contrasts in leadership styles, the role of the Internet, the recent dispute over cyberhacking, and more.A firsthand witness to the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, Roach likely knows more about the U.S.-China economic relationship than any other Westerner. Here he discusses:Why America saving too little and China saving too much creates mounting problems for bothHow China is planning to re-boot its economic growth model by moving from an external export-led model to one of internal consumerism with a new focus on service industriesHow America shows a disturbing lack of strategy, preferring a short-term reactive approach over a more coherent Chinese-style planning frameworkThe way out: what America could do to turn its own economic fate around and position itself for a healthy economic and political relationship with ChinaIn the wake of the 2008 crisis, both unbalanced economies face urgent and mutually beneficial rebalancings. Unbalanced concludes with a recipe for resolving the escalating tensions of codependence. Roach argues that the Next China offers much for the Next America—and vice versa.—Yale University Press{chop}

China’s Growing Stake in Stability

The Editorial Board
New York Times
China’s growing investment in industries worldwide chills those who see in it the specter of a global economic behemoth. But there could be more reason to welcome than fear this new role. 

China’s Currency Suddenly Reverses Direction, Stuns World Markets

Michael Schuman
Time
Some speculate that the reversal is a prelude to currency reform, yet others think that China is purposely pushing the yuan down in value to give its exports a lift amid the nation’s decelerating growth.

Caixin Media

03.11.14

Li Ka-shing’s Remedy for ‘Coddled’ Hong Kong

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing is again in the media spotlight after he mentioned in late February the possibility of publicly listing his retail business A.S. Watson Group, which is part of the Hong Kong-listed conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa."No...

Viewpoint

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...

Compliance Becomes Hotter Issue for U.S. Firms in China

Adam Jourdan
Reuters
U.S. companies in China placed greater focus on compliance last year after several high profile probes into corruption and high pricing, but rising costs and a skills shortage remained their main concerns.

Environment

03.05.14

Should China Follow in America’s Factory Farming Footsteps?

from chinadialogue
The scale of growth in China’s meat production over the past three decades is staggering. Today, one-third of the world’s meat is produced in the country and half of all pigs live there. While per capita consumption may still be below the U.S. and...

China’s National People’s Congress Annual Session

Kevin Yao, Koh Gui Qing, Judy Hua,...
Reuters
Premier Li Keqiang's prepared speech to be delivered at the start of the meeting, as well as highlights from reports from the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission. WORK REPORT FROM PREMIER LI KEQIANG ECONOMY...

Sinica Podcast

03.01.14

In Line Behind a Billion People

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are joined by Damien Ma, author of In Line Behind a Billion People, a new book for China-watchers looking at how China’s lack of affordable housing, its food and air pollution, and the country’s poor education...

Environment

02.26.14

South-North Water Transfer ‘Not Sustainable,’ Official Says

from chinadialogue
The $62 billion South-North Water Transfer Project would be rendered irrelevant if one-third of buildings in Beijing could collect more rainwater and recycle more wastewater, according to a Chinese ministerial official. The remarks made by Qiu...

Wall Street Girds for China Bribery Probe as IPOs Beckon

Cathy Chan And Keri Geiger
Bloomberg
Wall Street hiring in Asia is under increasing scrutiny after a U.S. criminal investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase & Co. employed children of China’s elite in violation of anti-bribery laws.

Nobel Winner’s Frank Advice to China’s Leadership

Jonathan Schlefer
New York Times
Nobel Prize-winning economist A. Michael Spence argues that the Chinese must move beyond low-wage exports and “generate a fair amount of demand domestically, or they’ll fail.”

The World’s Second Biggest Consumer

S.C.
Economist
Based on The Economist's calculations, China outpaced Japan as the world’s second-biggest consumer economy last year...

Caixin Media

02.18.14

Lee Hsien Loong on What Singapore Can—and Can’t—Teach China

As one of the Four Asian Tigers, Singapore is known for its strong economy and orderly society. The city-state, with its population of 5.3 million people, is listed by the World Bank as fourth in the world in terms of per capita income. As a...

Media

02.14.14

A Kapital Idea

Matthew Niederhauser & David M. Barreda
Matthew Neiderhauser is a photographer and artist whose work is influenced by his studies in anthropology. He lived in Beijing for six years and recently returned to the United States. His pictorial book Sound Kapital, published in 2009, documented...

China Trade Growth Defies Signs of Slowdown

Rachel Butt and Xin Zhou
Bloomberg
The surprise jump in China's January Export-Import growth defies signs that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing but fuels fears of a recurrence of fake shipments...

U.S. Targets Buyers of China-Bound Luxury Cars

Matthew Goldstein
Deal Book
A Florida businessman buys new cars that typically retail for $55,000 to $75,000 in the United States and resells them in China for as much as three times those prices.

Blankfein Says China’s Expansion to Have ‘Huge Consequences’

Chitra Somayaji And Russell Ward
Bloomberg
“The China growth story is going to be the story of the next 30-40 years,” Blankfein said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Caixin Media

02.11.14

Local Governments Aim for Lower GDP Growth This Year

Most of the local governments that have announced their GDP targets for this year aimed lower than they did in 2013, citing the need to rebalance the economy and improve the quality of growth. Many missed their growth targets last year.The...

Conspiracy Theories Abound About China’s Gold Purchases

Tom Holland
South China Morning Post
Huge imports of gold have fueled speculation about the mainland’s intentions, including an alleged bid to launch a global monetary system.

How Does China Impact the Global Economy? (Video)

Bloomberg
Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Elizabeth C. Economy discusses the Chinese economy, natural resources, the pollution problem, the fallacies of referring to the C.C.P. as a “totalitarian regime”, and more on Bloomberg Television’s “...

No, China Did Not Win the Global Battle for Supremacy

Daniel Rosen
Foreign Policy
Eric X. Li enumerates the defects of a U.S.-centric international system that he perceives to be crumbling, praises the deftness and strength he sees in China's statecraft, and predicts a coming period of international volatility as...

Chinese Factories Are Ordered to Release Data on Real-Time Emission Levels

Chrstina Larson
Businessweek
In a sign of progress for the environment and information transparency, China's central government in January ordered 15,000 large and small factories to make real-time data about air and water pollution public...

Media

02.07.14

Why Chinese Media Is Going Soft on Sochi

Ready or not, Putingrad (aka Sochi) is now on prime time. The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics will take place in the subtropical Russian resort town on February 7. In the Twittersphere, Western journalists and visitors have assailed Sochi’s...

China, the Death Star of Emerging Markets

William Pesek
Bloomberg
On any list of banking accidents waiting to happen, China is assured a place at the very top. But could a crash there take the entire global economy down with it?

Environment

02.05.14

China’s Future Energy Security Will Depend on Water

from chinadialogue
When we think about water use we think about the water we drink, but we also need water to grow food, generate electricity, make our clothes, and extract minerals. In short, water drives the economy. In China, ninety-seven percent of electricity...

Books

02.05.14

By All Means Necessary

Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi
In the past thirty years, China has transformed from an impoverished country where peasants comprised the largest portion of the populace to an economic power with an expanding middle class and more megacities than anywhere else on earth. This remarkable transformation has required, and will continue to demand, massive quantities of resources. Like every other major power in modern history, China is looking outward to find them.In By All Means Necessary, Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy and the global effects of its meteoric growth. China is now engaged in a far-flung quest, hunting around the world for fuel, ores, water, and land for farming, and deploying whatever it needs in the economic, political, and military spheres to secure the resources it requires. Chinese traders and investors buy commodities, with consequences for economies, people, and the environment around the world. Meanwhile the Chinese military aspires to secure sea lanes, and Chinese diplomats struggle to protect the country’s interests abroad. And just as surely as China’s pursuit of natural resources is changing the world—restructuring markets, pushing up commodity prices, transforming resource-rich economies through investment and trade—it is also changing China itself. As Chinese corporations increasingly venture abroad, they must navigate various political regimes, participate in international markets, and adopt foreign standards and practices, which can lead to wide-reaching social and political ramifications at home.Clear, authoritative, and provocative, By All Means Necessary is a sweeping account of where China’s pursuit of raw materials may take the country in the coming years and what the consequences will be—not just for China, but for the whole world. —Oxford University Press{chop}

China Crushes Puny US Super Bowl Audience: 704 Million Watch New Year Gala

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
Some 814 million watched the Lunar New Year TV extravaganza from China Central Television—way more than the 112 million viewers for the 2014 Super Bowl on Fox in the U.S. 

China’s Way to Happiness

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Richard Madsen is one of the modern-day founders of the study of Chinese religion. A professor at the University of California San Diego, the seventy-three-year-old’s works include Morality and Power in a Chinese Village, China and the American...

Media

02.03.14

‘Chicken Fart Decade’: GDP Vs. Smog

Chinese media have debated why January saw pollution so extreme it closed schools and airports, chased away foreign tourists, and even prompted a ban on Lunar New Year’s fireworks. It’s likely that a substantial portion of this smog is caused by...

Environment

01.31.14

Beijing Passes Law to Curb Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
China’s first legally binding regulations for reducing PM2.5 levels have been approved by Beijing’s municipal congress.Beijing’s annual average PM2.5 level currently stands at 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter, far exceeding the 35-micrograms national...

Baucus Pledges to Press China on Security Issues, Trade in Hearing on Ambassador Post

Anne Gearan
Washington Post
Baucus says he will hold firm on human rights, intellectual property, free trade, and marine navigation. 

China's New Foreign Policy: Not Conflict But Convergence Of Interests

Yan Xuetong
Guancha.cn
China will begin to underwrite domestic benefits in exchange for political support in Central and Southeast Asia.  

Conversation

01.27.14

China’s Offshore Leaks: So What?

Paul Gillis & Robert Kapp
Two recent stories by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists detailed China’s elite funneling money out of China to tax havens in the Caribbean. We asked contributors to weigh the impact of the revelations.

China Exclusive: Chinese, U.S. Presidents Possibly to Meet on Three Occasions in 2014

Xiong Zhengyan, Bai Jie
Xinhua
Possible meetings on the sidelines of three international conferences will enable more bilateral cooperation. 

Is China really running out of cash?

Leslie Shaffer
CNBC
Citibank fund transfer delays sparks concern over a possible nation-wide liquidity shortage. 

Caixin Media

01.27.14

Time for Overhaul of China’s Land Market

The expected launch of land reform is dividing opinions. At a work meeting this month, the Minister of Land and Resources, Jiang Daming, said the central government would limit land supply in cities with more than five million residents. His words...

Chinese Trust Fund Avoids High-profile Default

Simon Rabinovitch, Josh Noble
Financial Times
One of China's biggest “shadow banks” raises Rmb3bn from investors, which was backed by a coal mine which later collapsed. ...

China Reveals Members of New Leading Group on Reform

Zachary Keck
Diplomat
The highly publicized nature of the meeting implies that the Party intends for the group to play a prominent role in future reforms. 

Ilham Tohti’s Arrest Demonstrates China’s Renewed Hard Line on Xinjiang

Michael Clarke
Lowy Institute Interpreter
Economist Tohti was reportedly arrested after 30 police raided his apartment, confiscating documents, books and hard drives. He is most likely to be charged with ‘endangering state security,’ which carries heavy penalties including life imprisonment.

Economic Shifts in U.S. and China Batter Markets

Nathaniel Popper
Deal Book
An index of Chinese manufacturing growth released on January 23 showed that the most important cog in the country’s economy, the world’s second-largest, was contracting for the first time in six months.

China Loses its Allure

Economist
Life is getting tougher for foreign companies. Those that want to stay will have to adjust.

Survey: Fewer Americans Support the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty

Asahi Shimbun
Some observors say the decline may be due to a reluctance to involve the U.S. in Sino-Japanese disputes. 

China's Princelings Storing Riches in Caribbean Offshore Haven

James Ball, Guardian US Interactive Team
Guardian
The documents also disclose the central role of major Western banks and accountancy firms who acted as middlemen. 

Back in China, Watching My Words

Helen Gao
New York Times
Back in China after many years in the U.S., Yuxin Gao feels alienated and silenced, and many ask why she returned. 

Left-Behind Children of China’s Migrant Workers Bear Grown-Up Burdens

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
About 61 Million Chinese Kids Haven’t Seen One or Both Parents for at Least Three Months

Books

01.16.14

Debating China

Nina Hachigian (Editor)
America and China are the two most powerful players in global affairs, and no relationship is more consequential. How they choose to cooperate and compete affects billions of lives. But U.S.-China relations are complex and often delicate, featuring a multitude of critical issues that America and China must navigate together. Missteps could spell catastrophe.In Debating China, Nina Hachigian pairs American and Chinese experts in collegial “letter exchanges” that illuminate this multi-dimensional and complex relationship. These fascinating conversations—written by highly respected scholars and former government officials from the U.S. and China—provide an invaluable dual perspective on such crucial issues as trade and investment, human rights, climate change, military dynamics, regional security in Asia, and the media, including the Internet. The engaging dialogue between American and Chinese experts gives readers an inside view of how both sides see the key challenges. Readers bear witness to the writers’ hopes and frustrations as they explore the politics, values, history, and strategic frameworks that inform their positions. This unique volume is perfect for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of U.S.-China relations today.—Oxford University Press{chop}{node, 4406, 4}

China Playing a Long Game in Polar Governance

Anne-Marie Brady
World Politics Review
The recent Antarctic rescue of a Russian vessel highlights China's comprehensive polar strategy. ...

China Dwarfs U.S. in Monetary Stimulus

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Can China slow credit growth and money supply without causing slumps in real-estate and business?

China Pouring Billions into London Real Estate

Zhang Chunyan
China Daily
Chinese investment in London real-estate has risen 1,500 percent since 2010.

Is China's Economy Headed for a Crash?

John Aziz
Week
A growth model dependant on financial repression of the household sector has run out of steam. 

China Stocks Fall to Five-Month Low

Weiyi Lim
Bloomberg
Declines for technology and consumer shares have overshadowed a rally for Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. and raw-material companies.

China Claims Title of World's Top Trading Nation

Joshua Keating
Slate
Despite heavy investments in technology, aerospace, and autombiles, most Chinese trade is still in low-end goods.