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...

Reports

01.01.17

Record Flows and Growing Imbalances

Thilo Hanemann and Mikko Huotari
Mercator Institute for China Studies
Foreign direct investment (FDI) has become an increasingly important part of the E.U.-China economic relationship. European companies have invested hundreds of billions of euros into the Chinese economy since the 1980s, and have made big bets on...

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

The New Scramble for Africa: How China Became the Partner of Choice

Richard Poplak
Guardian
In 2014 alone China invested £56 billion in African infrastructure. But is this colonialism in another guise?

Taiwan’s President to Visit U.S. Despite Objections from China

Guardian
Planned trip causes speculation in Washington and Taiwan that Tsai Ing-wen may meet Donald Trump in person

China Weighs Response to New U.S. Trade Foe

Mark Magnier
Wall Street Journal
Beijing considers retaliatory steps after Trump appoints China trade skeptic Peter Navarro

The Trouble With Trumps Dangerous Instincts on China

Jiayang Fan
New Yorker
The President-elect has shown that his instinct is to turn the world’s significant bilateral relationships into frighteningly spectacular reality TV

“Brutal, Amoral, Ruthless, Cheating”: How Trump’s New Trade Tsar Sees China

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Peter Navarro has been picked to lead US trade and industrial policy – a move that may upset Beijing

China’s Millennial Consumers: What Victoria’s Secret Got Wrong, and Nike Got Right

Helen Wang
Forbes
Chinese millennials are conflicted between their national pride and their love for western brands

Conversation

12.21.16

Did Oslo Kowtow to Beijing?

Isaac Stone Fish, Stein Ringen & more
In 2010, the Oslo-appointed Nobel Peace Prize committee bestowed the honor on imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Furious with the selection of Liu, a human rights advocate, who is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence on spurious...

Bring Back Jobs from China? In Shenzhen, They Aren’t That Worried

John Lyons
Wall Street Journal
As Trump presses companies on U.S. manufacturing, the city that became the globalization poster child has learned to adapt to economic shifts

Step Inside China’s Hellish, Illicit Steel Factories

Laura Mallonee
Wired
Kevin Frayer's photographs of illegal Chinese steel factories look like postcards from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution ...

These Three Major China Themes Will Be Pivotal in 2017

Aidan Yao
South China Morning Post
China’s economic growth target, the depreciation of the yuan and a looming change in several senior Communist Party positions will be important factors

China Rises to Challenge of Battling Climate Change

Wang Tao & Yang Fuqiang from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
With the U.S. leadership role in the fight against climate change now being called into question, China has found itself in the unique position of being a global leader of the cause. In this podcast, nonresident Carnegie-Tsinghua scholar Wang Tao...

Books

12.20.16

The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom

John Pomfret
From the clipper ships that ventured to Canton hauling cargos of American ginseng to swap for Chinese tea, to the U.S. warships facing off against China’s growing navy in the South China Sea, from the Yankee missionaries who brought Christianity and education to China, to the Chinese who built the American West, the United States and China have always been dramatically intertwined. For more than two centuries, American and Chinese statesmen, merchants, missionaries, and adventurers, men and women, have profoundly influenced the fate of these nations. While we tend to think of America’s ties with China as starting in 1972 with the visit of President Richard Nixon to China, the patterns—rapturous enchantment followed by angry disillusionment—were set in motion hundreds of years earlier.Drawing on personal letters, diaries, memoirs, government documents, and contemporary news reports, John Pomfret reconstructs the surprising, tragic, and marvelous ways Americans and Chinese have engaged with one another through the centuries. A fascinating and thrilling account, The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom is also an indispensable book for understanding the most important—and often the most perplexing—relationship between any two countries in the world. —Henry Holt{chop}

Drone Diplomacy

Tim Hume
Vice News
Trump's tweets at China over a drone are intensifying an already strained relationship...

China Chokes on Smog So Bad that Planes Can't Land

John Bacon
USA Today
Major cities across northern China choked Monday under a blanket of smog so thick that industries were ordered shut down and air and ground traffic was disrupted

President Obama Says Donald Trump Should Deal Cautiously With Taiwan, China

Carol Lee
Wall Street Journal
President warns successor to think through the consequences of his actions

Where Trump Does (and Doesn’t) Have Leverage with China

Thomas Hout
Harvard Business Review
Trump must keep his trade demands on Beijing specific and legitimate. The question is, does he have the discipline?

Trump Aide Plays Down Prospect of Upending 'One China' Policy

Reuters
CNBC
Trump aide Reince Priebus: "We are not suggesting that we're revisiting 'one China' policy right now,"...

Trump’s and Xi’s Differences Magnify Uncertainties Between U.S. and China

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Both came to power vowing to restore their nations to greatness...but that's where the similarities end...

Heralding Social, Financial Change, China Aims Blow at Iron Rice Bowl

David Stanway
Reuters
China has ordered state firms to smash the decades-old system of providing cradle-to-grave welfare support, known as the country's "iron rice bowl"...

As Trump Tweets, China Quietly Weights Options to Retaliate

Ting Shi, Nick Wadhams and David Tweed
Bloomberg
China’s leaders are biting their tongues as U.S. President-elect Trump uses Twitter to rattle relations between the world’s biggest economies

China Central Bank Extends Emergency Loans to Financial Firms

Rachel Rosenthal and Yifan Xie
Wall Street Journal
Extends hundreds of billions of yuan in loans to ease liquidity crunch, continuing debt selloff

Finding Balance in the US-China Relationship

Roncevert Ganan Almond
Diplomat
As Donald Trump ascends to the Oval Office, he must recognize the larger vision required to see clearly at the height of power

When China Bullies Its Neighbors, India Gets More Muscular

Ilaria Maria Sala
Quartz
China’s increasingly rough-handed and assertive foreign policy towards its neighbors is raising India’s diplomatic and economic clout in the region

Viewpoint

12.15.16

The Missing Topic in Trump’s Tough Talk on China

Melissa Chan
President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric suggests he will push China on many issues, not just one. Some observers have held on to the hope that his phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, his burst of anti-China tweets, and his most recent...

Taiwan is Both Exhilarated and Unnerved by Trump’s China’s Remarks

Javier Hernandez and Amy Qin
New York Times
What does it mean for one’s homeland to be put on the table by Mr. Trump, in negotiations with China’s leaders, who are not known for making concessions easily?

China’s Economic Policy Under Pressure After Fed Flags New Era

Tom Mitchell, Yuan Yang and Gabriel...
Financial Times
Rising US rates complicate balancing act for Beijing as it faces capital flight

GM China Reportedly Under Antitrust Investigation: A Warning for Trump?

Bertel Schmitt
Forbes
The surprising report of an investigation of GM comes suspiciously close to President-elect Trump’s incendiary recent comments on Taiwan

‘Friends Forever’? China Wary of Rex Tillerson Wooing Away Russia

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Trump will have close ties to Moscow via its Secretary of State, but relations with Beijing are frosty. Could Sino-Russian ties be under threat?