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...

In Step to Lower Carbon Emissions, China Will Place a Limit on Coal Use in 2020

Edward Wong
New York Times
In theory, coal consumption might increase beyond 2020, but some researchers say economic trends show the rate of growth in coal use slowing in coming years and peaking about 2020.

Conversation

11.19.14

Was the U.S.-China Climate Deal Worth the Wait?

Deborah Seligsohn, Orville Schell & more
Last week, Ann Carlson and Alex Wang, environmental experts at UCLA Law School, called the November 12 U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change "monumental." "No two countries are more important to tackling the problem than the...

Environment

11.18.14

Four Reasons Why the U.S.-China Climate Statement Matters

from chinadialogue
The joint U.S.-China statement on climate change is both inspiring and historic. The two parties have sought common ground, set aside their differences, and put global interests first—as responsible great powers should.The agreement will have four...

Viewpoint

11.14.14

The Domestic Politics of the U.S.-China Climate Change Announcement

Ann Carlson & Alex Wang
The news from Beijing this week that the U.S. and China are committing to ambitious goals on climate change is, we think, monumental. No two countries are more important to tackling the problem than the largest carbon emitter over the past two...

Media

11.14.14

Why Is Beijing Downplaying the Supposedly Huge Climate Change Deal?

Alexa Olesen
The United States has been using some frothy language to describe its joint statement with China on forestalling climate change. In a breathless New York Times editorial, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry referred to it as "something of great...

Caixin Media

10.27.14

Rise and Fall of a Coal Boomtown

Some 187 kilometers west of Taiyuan, capital of the northern province of Shanxi, the city of Luliang is located on the dry and gullied Loess Plateau in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River.The city, which covers 21,143 square kilometers...

China’s Coal Use Actually Falling Now (For the First Time this Century)

Lauri Myllyvirta
Greenpeace
The data suggests the world's largest economy is finally starting to radically slow down its emission growth, and it comes ahead of key talks next year on a new global climate and energy deal...

Environment

10.23.14

Tesla-Unicom Deal Could Spark China’s Electric Vehicle Market

from chinadialogue
Electric vehicle firm Tesla’s major new deal with China Unicom to build EV charging infrastructure unites what is seemingly the only EV success story, pursuing a business model targeting elite customers, with China’s second largest mobile phone...

Environment

10.02.14

China ‘Not Ready to be a World Leader’ on Climate Change

from chinadialogue
The U.N. Climate Summit 2014 in New York last week passed, as expected, with public statements of intent but no sign of firm commitments to reducing climate emissions.If a deal is to be reached in Paris next year, at the latest “last hope” climate...

Environment

09.25.14

New York Climate Summit Fails to Bridge Rich-Poor Divide

from chinadialogue
India reiterated its need to develop, China listed the steps it was taking and the United States repeated that all countries should control greenhouse-gas emissions.Despite notable advances in many areas, the special climate summit convened by...

UN Climate Summit: China Pledges Emissions Action

BBC
China has pledged for the first time to take firm action on climate change, telling a UN summit that its emissions, the world's highest, would soon peak...

Obama Presses Chinese on Global Warming

Mark Landler and Coral Davenport
New York Times
Declaring that the United States and China—the world’s two largest economies and largest polluters—bear a “special responsibility to lead,” Mr. Obama said, “That’s what big nations have to do.”

China Surpasses EU in Per-Capita Pollution for First Time

Stefan Nicola
Bloomberg
If pollution continues at the current rate, the limit for carbon will be reached in 30 years, the scientists concluded in a report issued on the eve of a United Nations summit designed to step up the fight against climate change.

Conversation

09.19.14

China and Climate Change: What’s Next?

Angel Hsu & Barbara A. Finamore
Climate Week at the United Nations General Assembly is upon us and we asked a group of experts to bring us up-to-date about the areas where progress on climate change looks most possible for China, now the world's largest emitter of greenhouse...

Environment

09.19.14

Here’s How This Giant Chinese Forest Disappeared

Michael Zhao
In early August, Greenpeace China’s forest campaigner Wu Hao wrote a piece in the environmental section of the newspaper Southern Weekly about China’s astonishing rate of deforestation. He posted dramatic before and after satellite images of forests...

Caixin Media

09.16.14

Grappling with Ammonia in China’s Haze

Chicken farmers and auto designers follow different career paths, but soon both may be changing how they do their jobs as part of a campaign to clean up China's polluted air.Emissions from poultry waste and auto engines alike can contain...

China, the Climate and the Fate of the Planet

Jeff Goodell
Rolling Stone
If the world's biggest polluter doesn't radically reduce the amount of coal it burns, nothing anyone does to stabilize the climate will matter...

Environment

09.10.14

The Dark Side of the Boom

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
Just over a year ago, in July 2013, a report published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, put the health impacts of air pollution in China into an unusually clear framework: residents of south China, the report said...

Rosneft Proposes Chinese Company Take Stake in Russian Oilfield

Jack Farchy and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Rosneft is proposing that China take a stake in one of its largest oilfields—a deal that would deepen energy ties between Moscow and Beijing at a time when the future of western companies in Russia is uncertain.

Mongolia's ‘Rebalance’ Towards Russia and China

Gabriel Dominguez
Deutsche Welle
In a bid to boost its ailing economy, Mongolia is refocusing its foreign policy on its traditional partners Russia and China. But experts warn Ulan Bator runs the risk of becoming increasingly dependent.

China Considering $16 Billion for Electric-Vehicle Chargers

Bloomberg
Increased state funding would be a tailwind for carmakers coping with consumer concerns over the price, reliability and convenience of electric vehicles. 

Environment

08.13.14

Can a Pollution-Tracking App Kickstart Transparency?

from chinadialogue
It seems counter-intuitive that publicly available data needs grassroots activists to make it accessible. Yet, in a sea of regulations and information, official environmental information can be difficult to parse.The risk of information overload...

Environment

08.07.14

What to Do About China’s Polluted Farmland?

While the extent of China's soil pollution crisis is becoming clearer, the consensus on what to do next is still lacking.The results of the state soil survey earlier this year were damning: 16.1% of sampling points nationwide were in breach of...

Books

08.06.14

China’s Second Continent

Howard W. French
An exciting, hugely revealing account of China’s burgeoning presence in Africa—a developing empire already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people. A prizewinning foreign correspondent and former New York Times bureau chief in Shanghai and in West and Central Africa, Howard French is uniquely positioned to tell the story of China in Africa. Through meticulous on-the-ground reporting—conducted in Mandarin, French, and Portuguese, among other languages—Howard French crafts a layered investigation of astonishing depth and breadth as he engages not only with policy-shaping moguls and diplomats, but also with the  ordinary men and women navigating the street-level realities of cooperation, prejudice, corruption, and opportunity forged by this seismic geopolitical development. With incisiveness and empathy, French reveals the human face of China’s economic, political, and human presence across the African continent—and in doing so reveals what is at stake for everyone involved.We meet a broad spectrum of China’s dogged emigrant population, from those singlehandedly reshaping African infrastructure, commerce, and even environment (a self-made tycoon who harnessed Zambia’s now-booming copper trade; a timber entrepreneur determined to harvest the entirety of Liberia’s old-growth redwoods), to those just barely scraping by (a sibling pair running small businesses despite total illiteracy; a karaoke bar owner–cum–brothel madam), still convinced that Africa affords them better opportunities than their homeland. And we encounter an equally panoramic array of African responses: a citizens’ backlash in Senegal against a “Trojan horse” Chinese construction project (a tower complex to be built over a beloved soccer field, which locals thought would lead to overbearing Chinese pressure on their economy); a Zambian political candidate who, having protested China’s intrusiveness during the previous election and lost, now turns accommodating; the ascendant middle class of an industrial boomtown; African mine workers bitterly condemning their foreign employers, citing inadequate safety precautions and wages a fraction of their immigrant counterparts’.French’s nuanced portraits reveal the paradigms forming around this new world order, from the all-too-familiar echoes of colonial ambition—exploitation of resources and labor; cut-rate infrastructure projects; dubious treaties—to new frontiers of cultural and economic exchange, where dichotomies of suspicion and trust, assimilation and isolation, idealism and disillusionment are in dynamic flux.Part intrepid travelogue, part cultural census, part industrial and political exposé, French’s keenly observed account ultimately offers a fresh perspective on the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: why China is making the incursions it is, just how extensive its cultural and economic inroads are, what Africa’s role in the equation is, and just what the ramifications for both parties—and the watching world—will be in the foreseeable future. —Knopf {chop}

China Needs to Import More Food to Ease Water, Energy Shortages

David Stanway
Reuters
China should boost imports of food so it can dedicate more of its scarce water supplies to energy production, especially in arid but coal-rich regions like Xinjiang and Ningxia

China Imports Record Amount of Iranian Crude Oil

Wayne Ma
Wall Street Journal
The import increase comes as U.S. sanctions are loosened.

China's Support of Latin America 'Doesn't Come for Free'

Víctor M. Mijares
Deutsche Welle
After the BRICS summit and a visit to Brazil, China's President Xi Jinping is embarking on a tour of Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba in a bid to boost ties and gain clout in the region...

Environment

07.17.14

China Faces Long Battle to Clean Polluted Soil

from chinadialogue
This is the third of a special three-part series of investigations jointly run by chinadialogue and Yale Environment 360 with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. You can also read parts one and two.Luo Jinzhi is 52 and lives in...

China Looking to Play Larger Role in Funding Brazil’s Infrastructure

Paulo Trevisani and Rogerio Jelmayer
Wall Street Journal
Chinese officials are expected to announce investments in Brazil's transportation, energy and food sectors...

China Requires 30% of State Cars Use Alternative Energy

Alexandra Ho
Bloomberg
China is mandating that electric cars make up at least 30 percent of government vehicle purchases by 2016, the latest measure to fight pollution and cut energy use after exempting the autos from a purchase tax.

Environment

06.27.14

Germany’s Renewables Paradox a Warning Sign for China

from chinadialogue
From the hay field behind his house, Gunter Jurischka points out the solar panels glittering from the town’s rooftops and the towering wind turbines spinning lazily on the horizon.Thanks to Germany’s now famous Energiewende (or “energy transition”)...

Bangladesh Woos China in Snub to West

Syed Tashfin Chowdhury
Al Jazeera
India is likely to be watching closely as Sheikh Hasina bolsters ties with Beijing to repair dented legitimacy.

Bangladesh Woos China in Snub to West

Syed Tashfin Chowdhury
Al Jazeera
India is likely to be watching closely as Sheikh Hasina bolsters ties with Beijing to repair dented legitimacy.

Environment

06.19.14

What China Should Say at the U.N. Climate Change Summit

from chinadialogue
With a little more than 100 days to go, countries are gearing up for Ban Ki-moon’s New York climate summit, the first climate convention of world leaders since Copenhagen and a meeting that aims to catalyze new commitments and mobilize political...