Books

04.30.15

Fantasy Islands

Julie Sze
The rise of China and its status as a leading global factory are altering the way people live and consume. At the same time, the world appears wary of the real costs involved. Fantasy Islands probes Chinese, European, and American eco-desire and eco-technological dreams, and examines the solutions they offer to environmental degradation in this age of global economic change.Uncovering the stories of sites in China, including the plan for a new eco-city called Dongtan on the island of Chongming, mega-suburbs, and the Shanghai World Expo, Julie Sze explores the flows, fears, and fantasies of Pacific Rim politics that shaped them. She charts how climate change discussions align with U.S. fears of China’s ascendancy and the related demise of the American Century, and she considers the motives of financial and political capital for eco-city and ecological development supported by elite power structures in the U.K. and China. Fantasy Islands shows how ineffectual these efforts are while challenging us to see what a true eco-city would be. —University of California Press{chop}

Environment

04.24.15

Fracking May be Needed in China to Wean it Off Coal

from chinadialogue
Fracking of China’s huge shale gas reserves will only have a modest impact on the environment if anti-pollution controls—many of them new—are enforced rigorously, says a new report from the U.K.-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI).The ODI...

Conversation

04.23.15

A New Era for China and Pakistan?

Andrew Small, Paul J. Smith & more
This week, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Islamabad and showered Pakistan with attention and promises of $46 billion in development support. What does this intensified Sino-Pakistani engagement mean for Asia and the rest of the world? —The...

Cities in China’s North Resist Tapping Water Piped From South

Te-ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
Huge project transferring water from Yangtze River to drier regions runs into budgetary constraints.

China’s Big Plunge in Pakistan

The Editorial Board
New York Times
 If China can advance a stable Pakistan through development programs, the whole region would benefit.

China Warns North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal is Expanding

Agence France Presse
Agence France-Presse
China's communist ally may already have 20 warheads and the enrichment capacity to double that number in a year...

China’s Investing $46 B to Carve Route Through one of World’s Most Dangerous Regions

Lily Kuo
Quartz
Xi visiing Pakistan to sign energy and infrastructure deals for a corridor stretching to Xinjiang.

Reports

04.15.15

Towards A Water & Energy Secure China

Debra Tan, Feng Hu, Hubert Thieriot, Dawn McGregor
China Water Risk
China’s waterscape is changing. Water risks in China, be they physical, economic or regulatory, have great social-economic impacts and are well recognized, especially those in China’s water-energy nexus. Today, 93 percent of power generation in...

Can the US and China Save the World?

Shannon Tiezzi
Diplomat
The Department of Commerce emphasized Obama's commitment to fighting climate change through clean energy development...

Petrobras Deepens China Tie With $3.5 Billion Loan Deal

Juan Pablo Spinetto
Bloomberg
The world’s most indebted oil producer bolsters ties to China as corruption scandal shuts it out of international bond markets.

Reports

04.01.15

Can Fracking Green China’s Growth?

Ilmi Granoff, Sam Pickard, Julian Doczi, Roger Calow, Zhenbo Hou, & Vanessa D’Alançon
Overseas Development Institute
This paper analyses the best available technical, scientific, and engineering literature on the risks and opportunities posed by shale gas, and also what policy environment could maximise the opportunity and minimise the risk. It also analyses China...

Car-Hire Services Compete for the Ride Stuff

Qin Min and Wang XInci
Uber's deal with a car broker is a sign of growing competition among firms relying on car-hire and taxi-hailing apps...

Seeing Through the Smog

Wenjuan Zhang
China Open Research Network
Potential impacts of the documentary Under the Domes on China’s Civic Participation.

Coal Boomtowns Fade as China Declares War on Pollution

Science
China is headed towards peak coal which means cities reliant on coal mining struggle.

Environment

03.19.15

World Coal Investments Increasingly Risky, Especially China’s

from chinadialogue
The investment case for coal-fired power is looking increasingly unconvincing, but more plants will need to be cancelled if the world is to avoid runaway climate change, a report published on Monday said.The report which was co-authored by green...

Party Investigates CNPC Executive Once Seen as Company’s Next Leader

Liao Yongyuan, who oversaw gas pipeline project crossing country, becomes target of inquiry by party graft-buster.

India Should Play Bigger Role in South China Sea, Says Singapore

Sharon Chen
Bloomberg
India’s involvement in the region could give Southeast Asian nations a further buffer against China.

China Carbon Emissions Decline as 2014 Global CO2 Stays Flat

Reed Landberg
Bloomberg
New data from the International Energy Agency a sign that efforts to control pollution are gaining traction.

The Spy Cables: Chinese Espionage in Africa

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Buried in the trove of secret intelligence documents known as “The Spy Cables” obtained by Al Jazeera and The Guardian is a passing reference to allegations Chinese spies broke into a South African nuclear facility in 2007. Interestingly, this was...

Environment

03.04.15

Clearing Skies

Adam Minter from Sierra Club
After dark is when the pollution arrives on the outskirts of Shanghai. On a bright night, when moonlight refracts through the smog, you can see black clouds of soot pouring out of small workshop smokestacks silhouetted against the sky. In case you...

Reports

03.04.15

A Vital Partnership

Asia Society
As the two largest global emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the United States share the challenge of transforming each of their current fossil fuel–based energy systems into clean twenty-first-century energy systems that remain cornerstones of...

Caixin Media

03.03.15

Can Market Mechanisms Clear China’s Air?

The Chinese government recently responded to rising public discontent over environmental degradation by introducing tougher rules for industrial emissions.Meanwhile, a non-governmental organization and a state-run newspaper are coordinating a...

Beijing Quietly Curbs Discussion of Documentary on Air Pollution

Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
Censors stepped in to tamp down the buzz around an air-pollution documentary that drew 100 million views. 

Pollution Documentary ‘Under the Dome’ Blankets Chinese Internet

Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
Pollution Documentary ‘Under the Dome’ Blankets Chinese Internet http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/03/02/pollution-documentary-under-the-dome-blankets-chinese-internet/

China Orders Two Local Governments to Punish Polluting Steel Mills

Ruby Lian
Reuters
That could pile pressure on mills already struggling with weak demand-growth as the world's No.2 economy loses momentum...

China’s Coal Use and Estimated CO2 Emissions Fell in 2014 

Huffington Post
Glen Peters of the Global Carbon Project calculates that China's CO2 emissions have also fallen, by 0.7 percent, for the first time this century...

The Film That Is Going to Change China

peter Cai
Business Spectator
Chai Jing's stunning documentary on the smog problem was viewed more than 100 million times in little over two days...

Reports

03.02.15

China’s Long March To Safe Drinking Water

Hongqiao Liu
China Water Risk
China’s central government set ambitious goals to safeguard water quality in 2011, at the outset of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). Those goals targeted improvements from source-to-tap, earmarking a budget of nearly RMB 700 billion (U.S.$112...

Reports

03.01.15

China’s Elusive Shale Gas Boom

Zhongmin Wang
Paulson Institute
China’s natural gas market is expected to see robust growth over the next decade. This is a function of several factors. First, as part of the country’s effort to effect an energy transition to cleaner fuels, natural gas is viewed as a viable bridge...

Conversation

02.27.15

Are China and Russia Forging a New Ideological Bloc?

Jacqueline N. Deal, Wu Jianmin & more
With evidence of ties strengthening between Beijing and Moscow—over energy contracts, the handling of the Ukraine, and their diplomats' stance toward outside interference in internal affairs, especially if it's perceived as coming from...

Excerpts

02.25.15

The Sun Kings

Mark L. Clifford
In 1992, Shi Zhengrong completed his doctorate and found himself an expert in a field that wasn’t quite ready for him. He’d studied physics at Australia’s University of New South Wales, focusing on crystalline technology, the basic scientific...

Books

02.25.15

The Greening of Asia

Mark L. Clifford
One of Asia's best-respected writers on business and economy, Hong Kong-based author Mark L. Clifford provides a behind-the-scenes look at what companies in China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand are doing to build businesses that will lessen the environmental impact of Asia's extraordinary economic growth. Dirty air, foul water, and hellishly overcrowded cities are threatening to choke the region's impressive prosperity. Recognizing a business opportunity in solving social problems, Asian businesses have developed innovative responses to the region's environmental crises.{node, 13216}From solar and wind power technologies to green buildings, electric cars, water services, and sustainable tropical forestry, Asian corporations are upending old business models in their home countries and throughout the world. Companies have the money, the technology, and the people to act—yet, as Clifford emphasizes, support from the government (in the form of more effective, market-friendly policies) and the engagement of civil society are crucial for a region-wide shift to greener business practices. Clifford paints detailed profiles of what some of these companies are doing and includes a unique appendix that encapsulates the environmental business practices of more than fifty companies mentioned in the book.  —Columbia Business School Publishing  {chop}

Reports

02.25.15

Double Impact

Valerie J. Karplus
Paulson Institute
This paper makes the case for establishing a national CO2 price in China as soon as possible. End-of-pipe pollution control technologies—a core component of China’s Air Pollution Action Plan (APAP)—can address local air pollution but not CO2...

Environment

02.23.15

Chinese Firms Must Act Decisively on Climate Change, Report Says

from chinadialogue
Chinese companies will need to cut direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of their operations by up to 2.7% a year if China is to stay on track with the level of action required to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, says a new report...

Commodities Explained: China’s New Normal

Henry Sanderson
Financial Times
China has been the most important factor in commodities demand in the past decade.

Environment

02.11.15

China’s New Environment Minister Has Work Cut Out For Him

from chinadialogue
The elevation of the president of China's most prestigious university to the job of government minister was unexpected. It is rare to bring in an academic without a goverment background. But given the tarnished reputation of a ministry that is...

Books

02.10.15

The People’s Republic of Chemicals

William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs
Maverick environmental writers William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs follow up their acclaimed Smogtown with a provocative examination of China’s ecological calamity already imperiling a warming planet. Toxic smog most people figured was obsolete needlessly kills as many as died in the 9/11 attacks every day, while sometimes Grand Canyon-sized drifts of industrial particles aloft on the winds rain down ozone and waterway-poisoning mercury in America.In vivid, gonzo prose blending first-person reportage with exhaustive research and a sense of karma, Kelly and Jacobs describe China’s ancient love affair with coal, Bill Clinton’s blunders cutting free-trade deals enabling the U.S. to "export" manufacturing emissions to Asia in a shift that pilloried the West's middle class, Communist Party manipulation of eco-statistics, the horror of cancer villages, the deception of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and spellbinding peasant revolts against cancer-spreading plants involving thousands in mostly-censored melées. Ending with China’s monumental coal-bases decried by climatologists as a global warming dagger, The People's Republic of Chemicals names names and emphasizes humanity over bloodless statistics in a classic sure to ruffle feathers as an indictment of money as the real green that not even Al Gore can deny.   —Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book  {chop}

Large South China Sea Gas Field Discovered South of Hainan

Xinhua
The China National Offshore Oil Corp has identified over 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas at the Lingshui 17-2 gas field.

Reports

02.01.15

China’s Water-Energy-Food Roadmap

Susan Chan Shifflett, Jennifer L. Turner, Luan Dong, Ilaria Mazzocco, Bai Yunwen
Wilson Center
The water-energy-food nexus is creating a complicated challenge for China and the world. Energy development requires water. Moving and cleaning water requires energy. Food production at all stages—from irrigation to distribution—requires water and...

Bobby Jindal & China’s Louisiana Methanol Plant

Al Jazeera
A Chinese tycoon whose natural gas firm's environmental and labor rights record is under fire in the Chinese press is parking assets in a multibillion dollar methanol plant in Louisiana...

Chinese Director’s Film For Greenpeace Shows How Smog Changes Everything

Matt Sheehan
Huffington Post
The film follows families from Hebei, in heavily polluted industrial northern China, and from Beijing, the prosperous Chinese capital next door, that has seen epic pollution emergencies recently.

The South China Sea: Oil on Troubled Waters

The Economist
Economist
Two Chinese oil companies show contrasting approaches in their attempts to operate in the South China Sea where, to the discomfort of its smaller neighbours, China’s claims in disputed waters have grown increasingly assertive.

Environment

01.16.15

Can the Potato Help Feed China, Cut Pollution, and Alleviate Drought?

from chinadialogue
The Ministry of Agriculture’s move to make potatoes an increasingly important staple in Chinese kitchens, including the propagation of recipes that rely on the humble tuber, at first glance might appear slightly odd and surprising.The potato has...

China Pollution: Beijing Smog Hits Hazardous Levels

BBC
BBC
Pollution has soared to hazardous levels in Beijing, reaching 20 times the limit recommended by the World Health Organisation.

China to Boost Support for NGOs That Sue Environment Polluters

Feifei Shen
Bloomberg
The nation will work to reduce court charges for NGOs in public non-profit environmental litigation, according to a statement on the website of China’s Supreme People’s Court. Defendants will be required to pay court costs when plaintiffs win...

Embattled Venezuela Says it Has Secured $20 Billion Lifeline from China

Jim Wyss
Miami Herald
The money is good news for a country that is being rattled by inflation of 64 percent, a contracting economy, shrinking foreign reserves and sporadic food shortages.Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/...

Reports

01.06.15

Rebalancing China’s Energy Strategy

Damien Ma
Paulson Institute
At a high-level meeting of China’s top finance and economics body in June 2014, President Xi Jinping called for a sweeping energy revolution in China, centered on five areas: demand, production, technology, institutional governance, and global...

Other

12.30.14

A Look Back at 2014

It’s hard to believe, but ChinaFile is almost two years old. It’s been an exciting year for us, and, as ever, an eventful year for China. It was a year of muscular leadership from Xi Jinping, who has now been in office just over two years and who...

China’s Double-Edged Pact

Martin Adams
New York Times
Whether China is a climate hero or a climate villain is a matter of polarized debate. At one extreme, the world’s biggest carbon-emitter is portrayed as a wasteful bogeyman that obstructs efforts to halt global warming and “steals” clean-tech jobs...

Falling Oil Prices Push Venezuela Deeper Into China’s Orbit

Peter Wilson
Businessweek
The late Hugo Chávez cozied up to China as part of his drive to curb U.S. influence in the Americas. Maduro, like his predecessor, has relied on Beijing to underwrite Venezuela’s flagging socialist revolution and finance the country’s gaping fiscal...

Caixin Media

12.09.14

With New Fund, China Hits a Silk Road Stride

China's ambitious plan to expand trade links westward into Central Asia in the spirit of the ancient Silk Road is taking shape now that the government has decided to shift foreign currency into a special fund.The State Council will tap the...

What China Has to Do with the Mysterious Death of an Indigenous Leader in Ecuador

Lily Kuo
Quartz
Last week the leader of an Ecuadorian indigenous group, José Isidro Tendetza Antún was found by his son in an unmarked grave. The outspoken critic of a controversial Ecuadorian mining project had been due to speak at the United Nations climate talks...

Environment

12.04.14

Indian Critics of Tibet’s First Dam ‘Exaggerating’ Dangers

from chinadialogue
Tibet’s first major dam, the Zangmu hydropower station, started generating electricity at the end of November. This prompted complaints from Indian media that Chinese dam building on the Yarlung Zangbo River could reduce water flow and cause...

Caixin Media

12.02.14

Clearing the Air With a Sino-U.S. Climate Pact

A long-anticipated, Sino-U.S. agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions was announced on November 12 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing.The deal marked a surprise turn toward compromise for the world's largest...

Environment

11.26.14

The People’s Republic of Chemicals

from chinadialogue
The name of China is almost obscured by a grey smudge on the title page of The People’s Republic of Chemicals, and this image proves to be apt.  This book examines the crisis caused by toxic&...

China Corruption Watchdog Launches Inspections, Eyes Sinopec

Judy Hua and Paul Carsten
Reuters
The inspectors, part of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), will focus on senior figures within Sinopec who may be promoted to leadership roles...

Caixin Media

11.24.14

At Factory Waste Ponds, Fumes Choke Fantasies

Deep in the Tengger Desert, near a community of cattle herders about 700 kilometers west of Beijing, pipes from a complex of coal processing and chemical factories once spewed slimy wastewater into six ponds.The "evaporation ponds" were...

Viewpoint

11.21.14

What Will Make the U.S.-China Climate Deal Work

Mark Hertsgaard
Nearly everyone agrees that the U.S.-China climate announcement is a big deal, but most observers have overlooked what truly makes it a game-changer: if the world’s two climate change superpowers limit their greenhouse gas emissions, it will have...