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. 

Bremmer: China, Japan 2014’s Most Dangerous Spat

Rebecca Blumenstein
Wall Street Journal
Political-risk expert Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group calls the bilateral conflict between China and Japan the "greatest geopolitical danger in the world in 2014" and discusses what reform means for China under new leader Xi Jinping...

What Could Happen in China in 2014?

Gordon Orr
McKinsey & Company
Gordon Orr predicts corporate focus on driving productivity, increased interest in CIOs, bankrupt shopping malls, and European investment in Chinese soccer clubs. 

Caixin Media

01.08.14

How Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone Works

At a conference table surrounded by bookshelves in his Shanghai office, the city’s party boss Han Zheng recently polished the image of a commercial crown jewel—the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone—during an exclusive interview with Caixin.Han...

China Risks Hobbling its Economic Development with Too Many Policy Goals

Stephen Roach
South China Morning Post
(Op-ed) China's economic planners need to prune and prioritise their myriad policy objectives so the country can move with purpose towards the goal of structural rebalancing. ...

China Approves Pilot Plan to Set Up 3-5 Private Banks

Nick Macfie
Reuters
In a step to boost financial support for cash-starved smaller firms, The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has announced its plan to maintain “prudential regulatory standards” in approving private banks. 

Conversation

01.06.14

Will Xi Jinping Bring a Positive New Day to China?

Paul Mooney, Andrew J. Nathan & more
Chinese President Xi Jinping, just over a year in office, recently made a rare appearance in public in a Beijing restaurant, buying a cheap lunch and paying for it himself. Shortly thereafter, President Xi delivered a brief televised New Year...

Media

01.03.14

Coming to Chinese Headlines in 2014

Chinese people have spent another year breathing dirty air, fretting about food safety, poking fun at corrupt officials, and complaining about tightening censorship—but as a discerning consumer of international news, you probably knew that already...

Environment

01.03.14

Predictions for China’s Environment in 2014

from chinadialogue
From dead pigs in the Shanghai river to toxic smog in major cities, 2013 was a year of dramatic environmental stories in China. We asked some of our contributors for their predictions on how these and other stories are likely to develop in the...

Excerpts

01.02.14

Global Development and Investment

Elizabeth Economy & Zha Daojiong
Framing questions: In what ways do the U.S. and Chinese approaches to development and foreign investment differ? Are they evolving, and how? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each approach both to the investing country and the recipient? In...

Other

12.26.13

2013 Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, we want to take a moment to look back at some of the stories ChinaFile published in 2013. We hope you’ll find something that interests you to read—or watch—over the holidays.It’s hard to remember a recent year that didn...

China Pressures Media to Tone Down Cash Crunch Story

Jamil Anderlini and Simon Rabinovitch
Financial Times
Chinese propaganda officials have ordered financial journalists and some media outlets to tone down their coverage of a liquidity crunch in the interbank market, in a sign of how worried Beijing is that the turmoil will continue when markets reopen.

How China Spends Christmas

BBC
As the western world eagerly anticipates the festive season, in China Christmas will be a relatively subdued affair.

Bitcoin in China

Suwatchai Songwanich
Nation (Thailand)
Bitcoin, a virtual stored-value system not regulated by any country or banking authority, has been a huge phenomenon this year and much of the action has been driven out of China.

Is North Korea Unwinding Economic Ties With China?

Christina Larson
Businessweek
These are grim days not only for the friends and family of recently executed North Korean official Jang Song Thaek, but also for people and programs he had supported—including economic relations with China, which Jang had overseen.

The End of China’s One-Child Policy? An Interview with Mei Fong

Jeffrey Wasserstrom
Dissent
What exactly did the recent Third Plenum reveal about China’s strategy for dealing with the “One-Child Policy?” Questions for Mei Fong, a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter working on a book about the policy.

Books

12.03.13

Junkyard Planet

Adam Minter
When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday’s newspaper in the recycling bin, where does it go? Probably halfway around the world, to people and places that clean up what you don’t want and turn it into something you can’t wait to buy. In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter—veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner—travels deeply into a vast, often hidden, multibillion-dollar industry that’s transforming our economy and environment. Minter takes us from back-alley Chinese computer recycling operations to high-tech facilities capable of processing a jumbo jet’s worth of recyclable trash every day. Along the way, we meet an unforgettable cast of characters who’ve figured out how to build fortunes from what we throw away: Leonard Fritz, a young boy “grubbing” in Detroit’s city dumps in the 1930s; Johnson Zeng, a former plastics engineer roaming America in search of scrap; and Homer Lai, an unassuming barber turned scrap titan in Qingyuan, China. Junkyard Planet reveals how “going green” usually means making money—and why that’s often the most sustainable choice, even when the recycling methods aren’t pretty. With unmatched access to and insight on the junk trade, and the explanatory gifts and an eye for detail worthy of a John McPhee or William Langewiesche, Minter traces the export of America’s recyclables and the massive profits that China and other rising nations earn from it. What emerges is an engaging, colorful, and sometimes troubling tale of consumption, innovation, and the ascent of a developing world that recognizes value where Americans don’t. Junkyard Planet reveals that we might need to learn a smarter way to take out the trash.—Bloomsbury Press{chop}

Conversation

12.03.13

What Posture Should Joe Biden Adopt Toward A Newly Muscular China?

Susan Shirk
Susan Shirk:United States Vice President Joseph Biden is the American political figure who has spent the most time with Xi Jinping and has the deepest understanding of Xi as an individual. Before Xi’s selection as P.R.C. president and C.C.P. general...

Media

11.21.13

For Cash-Strapped Parents, Two Babies Are Too Many

Call it reproduction with Chinese capitalist characteristics. On November 15, authorities announced that the country’s One-Child Policy would be loosened, adding couples in which one spouse is an only child to the list of families allowed to have...

Dreams of a Different China

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Last November, China’s newly installed leader, Xi Jinping, asked his fellow Chinese to help realize a “Chinese dream” of national rejuvenation. In the months since then, his talk has been seen as a marker in the new leadership’s thinking, especially...

Sinica Podcast

11.19.13

Partners and Rivals

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
Few will dispute that the Sino-American relationship constitutes the most important bilateral relationship of our time, shedding a sort of lunar influence on international politics which helps shape not only the dynamic of global tensions, but also...

Viewpoint

11.18.13

Xi Jinping Refills an Old Prescription

Orville Schell
The reforms called for by the Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party Congress have been, like so much else in China over the past few decades, part of an ongoing Chinese quest for national unity, wealth, and power. But, for those of us steeped in...

China to Move Slowly on One-Child Law Reform

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
China's family-planning agency is projecting a slow rollout for an easing of its one-child policy, underscoring reluctance by the government in moving too quickly to let some couples have two children and a law in place for decades...

China Unveils Boldest Reforms in Decades, Shows Xi in Command

Kevin Yao and Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China has relaxed its longstanding one-child policy and further freed up the markets in order to put the world's second-largest economy on a more stable footing...

China’s Party Platter of Overhauls

Alex Frangos
Wall Street Journal
There is hope that the Third Plenum, an important meeting in the life cycle of each five-year Party Congress, could bring real change in the spheres of real estate, banking, state-owned enterprises and currency. 

China’s Communists Want Unattainable Goal of Affluence Without Freedom

Ambrose Evans Pritchard
Telegraph
The upcoming meetings on economic reform are a chance for China to break free of the "middle income trap", the fate of countless states in Latin America and around the world which all failed to make the switch in time to a grown-up growth...

Environment

11.12.13

China’s Urban Dilemma

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
After nearly three decades of rapid urbanization, China’s official and unofficial city dwellers outnumber its farmers. More than 400 million people have already moved into cities in the past thirty years, and in 2011 China crossed the threshold of a...

Caixin Media

11.11.13

How Ambition Buried an Official Known As ‘The Digger’

Cranes and bulldozers were quieter in the ancient city of Nanjing on October 16.News broke that day that the city’s fifty-seven-year-old mayor, Ji Jianye, was being investigated for “suspected serious discipline violations,” the Communist Party’s...

How China Profits From Our Junk

Adam Minter
Atlantic
The son and grandson of scrap metalists, reporter Adam Minter traveled throughout the world to investigate how what we discard—and reuse—helps drive the global economy. 

Video

11.05.13

Small Part, Big Screen

Gilles Sabrié
Every morning outside the imposing gate of the Beijing Film Studio, a throng gathers to try to find a way inside. These aren’t fans, exactly. Look at their faces, the practiced way they crane their necks or square their shoulders when the man with...

Viewpoint

11.01.13

What the Heck is China’s ‘Third Plenum’ and Why Should You Care?

Barry Naughton
China’s economy is already two-thirds the size of the economy of the U.S., and it’s been growing five times as fast. But now, China’s economy is beginning to slow and is facing a raft of difficult problems.  If China’s leaders don’t address...

Books

10.28.13

In Line Behind a Billion People

Damien Ma, William Adams
Nearly everything you know about China is wrong! Yes, within a decade, China will have the world’s largest economy. But that is the least important thing to know about China. In this enlightening book, two of the world’s leading China experts turn the conventional wisdom on its head, showing why China’s economic growth will constrain rather than empower it. Pioneering political analyst Damien Ma and global economist Bill Adams reveal why, having thirty-five years of ferocious economic growth, China’s future will be shaped by the same fundamental reality that has shaped it for millennia: scarcity.{node, 4231}Ma and Adams drill deep into Chinese society, illuminating all the scarcities that will limit its power and progress. Beyond scarcities of natural resources and public goods, they illuminate China’s persistent poverties of individual freedoms, cultural appeal, and ideological legitimacy—and the corrosive loss of values and beliefs amongst a growing middle class shackled by a parochial and inflexible political system. Everyone knows “the 21st century is China’s to lose”—but, as with so many things that “everyone knows,” that’s just wrong. Ma and Adams get beyond cheerleading and fearmongering to tell the complex truth about China today. This is a truth you need to hear—whether you’re an investor, business decision-maker, policymaker, or citizen. —Pearson{chop}

Excerpts

10.28.13

Stark Choices for China’s Leaders

Damien Ma & William Adams
One Beijing morning in early November 2012, seven men in dark suits strode onto the stage of the Great Hall of the People. China’s newly elected Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Xi Jinping stood at the center of the ensemble, flanked on each...

Can China Keep Growing at 8% Annually?

Simon Montlake
Forbes
China’s economy grew by 7.8% in the third quarter, its fastest pace since the end of 2012. For most world leaders heading into a party conclave, this would be triumphant news, but now the debate is over how far Xi can and should go to...

Conversation

10.25.13

Can State-Run Capitalism Absorb the Shocks of ‘Creative Destruction’?

Barry Naughton, Shai Oster & more
Following are ChinaFile Conversation participants’ reactions to “China: Superpower or Superbust?” in the November-December issue of The National Interest in which author Ian Bremmer says that China’s state-capitalism is ill-equipped to absorb the...

Sinica Podcast

10.24.13

Innovation in China

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
In China, innovation has become one of those political buzzwords which—like harmony—seems to mean anything and everything to the Central Propaganda Department. So much so that we find it difficult to walk down the streets in Beijing now without...

Infographics

10.23.13

To Save or Not to Save

from Sohu
China is known for saving money, and as the country has become wealthier, the household saving rate has increased. China’s personal saving rate has risen steadily since the mid-90s and now exceeds 50%, much higher than Germany’s 10%—considered high...

China: A Place to Call Home

Simon Rabinovitch
Financial Times
Property prices have almost quintupled in leading Chinese cities over the past decade and they are perhaps the biggest single threat to the country’s economic and social stability.  

China Urges Economic Policy Implementation to Spur Rebound

Bloomberg
China’s central government called for “unrelenting” implementation of its economic policies and reform measures to consolidate the nation’s recovery from a two-quarter slowdown and improve the quality of growth. 

The Labor Shortage That Could End China’s Economic Boom

Damien Ma and William Adams
Foreign Affairs
Based on its track record, the purely economic dimensions of an economic transition don’t seem more daunting than the other feats the C.C.P. has pulled off. Instead, it’s the social and political dimensions of the demographic hangover that seem most...

China Reports a Modest Acceleration of Growth

Chris Buckley
New York Times
The third-quarter data are likely to give policy makers in Beijing more confidence that, for now, they can maintain adequate growth without resorting to major stimulus initiatives, several economists said. 

Media

10.22.13

China’s Silly War on Starbucks Lattes

There are worse things in the world than an overpriced latte. That’s the message that thousands of Chinese web users are sending China Central Television (CCTV), a state-owned media behemoth that ran an October 20 segment accusing the Seattle-based...

Seeing Its Own Money at Risk, China Rails at U.S.

Mark Landler
New York Times
China has become shrill in its criticism of the fiscal train wreck in the United States, arguing that the answer to a potential government default is to begin creating a “de-Americanized world.” 

Conversation

10.16.13

Uncomfortable Bedfellows: How Much Does China Need America Now?

Bill Bishop, David Schlesinger & more
Bill Bishop:The D.C. dysfunction puts China in a difficult place. Any financial markets turmoil that occurs because of a failure of Congress to do its job could harm China’s economy, and especially its exports. The accumulation of massive foreign-...

China Inflation at Seven-Month High, Limits Room for Easing Despite Export Tumble

Kevin Yao and Xiaoyi Shao
Reuters
China's annual consumer inflation rate rose to a seven-month high of 3.1 percent in September as poor weather drove up food prices, limiting the scope for the central bank to maneuver to support the economy even as exports...

U.S. Fiscal Failure Warrants a De-Americanized World

Liu Chang
Xinhua
A recent op-ed piece published on Xinhua challenges America’s placement at the center of global matters, suggesting reforms in the world’s international economic and political organizations so that it may avoid America’s negative influences.

The Vitamin C Cartel (Video)

New American Foundation
A Chinese cartel has come to control 100% of the Vitamin C that is contained in foods found in American supermarkets, an unprecedented circumstance which will have political and economic ramifications in the near future. 

China to United States: Don’t Default, For Our Sake

Dan Kedmey
Time
One day after Republican House Speaker John Boehner promised to “stand and fight” over the budget, Chinese officials pleaded with America’s deadlocked Congressmen to stand down, because otherwise China, the U.S.’s biggest creditor, will be...

Reports

10.10.13

Congressional-Executive Commission on China: 2013 Annual Report

United States Congress
The Commission notes China’s lack of progress in guaranteeing Chinese citizens’ freedom of expression, assembly, and religion; restraining the power of the Chinese Communist Party; and establishing the rule of law under the new leadership of...

China Data Proves Doubters Wrong

Richard Silk
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Not long ago analysts were pondering whether China could meet its 7.5% growth target for the year. Now, after a series of happy surprises on the economic front, the question is how far third quarter growth will exceed that goal. 

Obama’s Absence Leaves China as Dominant Force at Asia-Pacific Meeting

Jane Perlez and Joe Cochrane
New York Times
Secretary of State John Kerry replaced President Obama at the opening of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, leaving China’s president, Xi Jinping, as the dominant leader at a economic gathering.

China’s Economy, Back on Track

Henry M. Paulson
New York Times
This vast array of specific reforms can’t be achieved at a stroke, and certainly not at a single party gathering. But the decisions likely to be taken in November will set China’s economy in a positive—and lasting—new direction.

Media

10.07.13

Just How Free Is Shanghai’s New Free Trade Zone?

This article is adapted, with updates, from the September 20 article “China’s New Free Trade Zone: Silver Bullet or Stopgap Measure?“Two weeks after taking office in March 2013, China’s Premier Li Keqiang announced that Shanghai, the country’s...

Big Reform Plans for China’s Newest Trade Zone Set High Expectations

Pete Sweeney
Reuters
China has formally announced detailed plans for a new free-trade zone in Shanghai, touted as the country’s biggest potential economic reform since Deng Xiaoping used a similar zone in Shenzhen to pry open a closed economy ...

Infographics

10.01.13

Markups, Kickbacks, and Sellouts: What’s Wrong with China’s Medical System

from Sohu
As the United States haltingly moves to implement the Affordable Care Act, China claims it has already achieved universal rural health care, with more than 800 million rural residents enrolled in a medical plan. Yet according to recent reports the...