China Follows USA With Emissions Pledge

Kim Hjelmgaard
USA Today
One day after the United States said it would slash carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30% below 2005 levels, China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, said it would set an absolute cap on its emissions by 2016...

Why Vietnam Can’t Count on Its Neighbors to Rally Against China

Bruce Einhorn
Businessweek
China knows Vietnam can do little to stop it; while an appeal by Vietnam to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations could make the fight more equal, it’s not likely to be very effective.

Wide Support on Chinese Social Media for Boat Attack

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
After a Chinese fishing boat rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat near a Chinese deep sea oil rig placed in waters contested by both countries, social media reaction appeared overwhelmingly supportive — even bellicose.

China Tensions Grow After Vietnamese Ship Sinks in Clash

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Hair-trigger tensions in the South China Sea escalated as China and Vietnam traded accusations over the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the vicinity of a Chinese oil rig parked in disputed waters off Vietnam’s coast.

Vietnam PM Says Considering Legal Action Against China Over Disputed Waters

Rosemarie Francisco and Manuel Mogato
Reuters
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said his government was considering various "defense options" against China, including legal action, following the deployment of a Chinese oil rig to South China Sea waters Hanoi also claims...

China and Russia: Best Frenemies

Economist
Does the new collaboration between Russia and China amount to a renewal of the alliance against America?

Russia Signs 30-Year Gas Deal with China

BBC
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has signed a multi-billion dollar, 30-year gas deal with China, 10 years in the making, and worth some $400 billion...

Environment

05.15.14

Anti-Chinese Sentiment on Rise in Myanmar

from chinadialogue
The Shwe pipeline shaves an angry bald strip across the red clay hills and disappears into the morning mist. A sign hanging above an area cordoned off by bamboo fencing warns in English, “Severe punishment on pipeline destruction.”“Families were...

Conversation

05.09.14

The China-Vietnam Standoff: How Will It End?

Daniel Kliman, Ely Ratner & more
Daniel Kliman:Five thousand miles from Ukraine, off the coast of Vietnam, China is taking a page from Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s playbook. Beijing’s recent placement of a huge oil drilling rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea leverages...

Conversation

05.07.14

How is China Doing in Africa?

Tendai Musakwa, Kathleen McLaughlin & more
On his current weeklong tour of Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, and Kenya, Premier Li Keqiang announced a new $12 billion aid package intended to address China’s “growing pains” in Africa. China is by turns lauded for bringing development to the...

Environment

04.30.14

China’s Environmental Law Good on Paper

from chinadialogue
China’s environmental protection law, which stirred great controversy during its amendment process, has finally been passed. The updated law makes significant progress in the area of public interest litigation and strengthens the legislative tools...

Tesla CEO Makes Smooth Drive into China

Doug Young
Forbes
Tesla’s China launch, accompanied by a well-crafted publicity blitz, could help the company sell up to 5,000 cars in the market this year.

Caixin Media

04.23.14

Graft Inquiry at CNPC Uncovers Shady Deal

A little-known deal related to an equally little-known, yet highly productive oilfield has come to light as a graft investigation unfolds at oil giant China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC). A businessman with strong ties to officials is behind the...

Caixin Media

04.15.14

New Sichuan Petchem Plant on Shaky Ground

A controversial petrochemical project in the southwestern province of Sichuan quietly went into operation in March, but questions about the China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) facility continue to linger.The project is in Pengzhou, a city of 763,...

Caixin Media

03.25.14

State-Owned Oil Firms Invite Outside Investors

Since February, state-owned oil majors have taken steps toward pilots in mixed-share ownership, following central government calls for reforms to state-owned enterprises (SOEs).   After the Chinese New Year, China Petroleum and Chemical...

Environment

03.19.14

Is China Underfunding its ‘War on Pollution’?

from chinadialogue
China’s environmental spending showed a year-on-year drop of almost ten percent in 2013, according to the budget report delivered at China’s annual parliamentary gathering.Despite premier Li Keqiang’s vow to declare “war on pollution”, the 2013...

Environment

03.11.14

It’s Time to Cooperate on the Yarlung Tsangpo

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
This is part of a special series of articles produced by thethirdpole.net on the future of the Yarlung Tsangpo river—one of the world’s great transboundary rivers—which starts on the Tibetan Plateau before passing through India and Bangladesh.The...

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...

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...

Environment

02.12.14

China Unlikely to Reduce Coal Use in the Next Decade

from chinadialogue
Coal will account for no less than sixty percent of China’s total energy use in the next decade, said Zheng Xinye, an energy economist at Renmin University. Currently, coal accounts for seventy percent of China’s total energy consumption. The...

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 “...

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...

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}

In China’s War On Bad Air, Government Decision to Release Data Gives Hope

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China’s Communist state is hardly known for its transparency. So when environmental groups appealed for official air pollution data, they were not expecting much.

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...

Environment

01.30.14

This Chinese Filmmaker Can’t Stop Talking Trash

Sun Yunfan
Documentary filmmaker and photographer Wang Jiuliang spent four years, between 2008 and 2011, documenting over 460 hazardous and mostly illegal landfill sites around Beijing.His award-winning film Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011) provoked intense...

Environment

01.21.14

Real-time Air Quality Data Due from 179 Chinese Cities

from chinadialogue
More than 170 cities in China have now joined a real-time air quality disclosure scheme, initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.Launched in 2012, more than sixty cities had started publishing data from their monitoring stations by the...

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}

Environment

01.15.14

Why Low-Carbon Innovation Matters

Sam Geall from chinadialogue
It came as little surprise when Beijing’s environmental authorities reported in early January last year that the capital’s levels of PM2.5 (a measure of air pollution) were more than double the national standard. The past year saw no end to the smog...

Environment

01.08.14

The Drying Up of China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

from chinadialogue
When Jiang Minsheng moored his fishing boat on the eastern shore of Jiangxi’s Poyang Lake in November last year, he didn’t expect to it to be marooned. The fisherman’s village is on an island in the middle of the freshwater lake, once China’s...

Caixin Media

01.07.14

Chinese Firm Linked to CNPC Suspected of Fraud in Iraq

Just after the December 29 celebration of the Muslim holiday Ashura in southern Iraq, heads of the Iraqi subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) received a letter titled “Suspending all activities of Hermic.”The sender of the letter...

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...

China May Raise Iran Oil Imports With New Contract: Sources

Chen Aizhu
Reuters
China may buy more Iranian oil this year as a state trader is negotiating a new light crude contract that could raise imports from Tehran to levels not seen since tough Western sanctions were imposed in 2012, running the risk of upsetting Washington.

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: Here Are Some Great Things About Toxic Air

Emily Rauhala
Time
China's state-run TV tries to put a positive spin on toxic haze. Nice try, guys, nice try...

Environment

12.05.13

Daoism, Confucianism, and the Environment

from chinadialogue
In September, an unusual environmental organization was launched in one of the most ancient and significant sites in China—the Songyang Academy, Dengfeng, Henan. Founded in the eleventh century AD, this was one of the four Confucian Academies of...

Caixin Media

12.02.13

How an Expectant Mother Died in Qingdao

One of the fifty-five people to die in an explosion on November 22 at a pipeline owned by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) in the eastern city of Qingdao was a twenty-three-year-old pregnant woman named Chen Na.Her husband, who...

Environment

11.27.13

Life in the Shadow of the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the second in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong (Lancang) River. Part one is an analysis of how China’s resettlement policies are playing out on the ground. Part two, below,...

Environment

11.21.13

Displaced by the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the first in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong River.From far away, Kang Lianghong and his wife look like little white dots, zig-zagging their way down the steep hillside...

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...

Conversation

10.22.13

Why’s China’s Smog Crisis Still Burning So Hot?

Alex Wang, Isabel Hilton & more
Alex Wang:On Sunday, the start of the winter heating season in northern China brought the “airpocalypse” back with a vengeance.Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province and home to 11 million people, registered fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution...

Hebei Calls a Provincial Meeting to Address Atmospheric Pollution

Zhou Yingjiu
China Environmental News
In an effort to reduce pollution, a conference in Hebei province has vowed to cut coal consumption by 40 million tons by 2017, relative to 2012.

Beijing Toughens Pollution Rules to Clean Up Air

Xinhua
In a five-year clean air action plan (2013-2017), the Beijing municipal government said 1,200 polluting companies will be ordered to upgrade or close parts or all of their facilities in the coming years to 2016. 

Caixin Media

09.04.13

China’s Shale Gas Development Goals Just Pipe Dreams

China wants to reap the benefits of a shale gas revolution similar to the one in the United States, but there are many obstacles to this happening, experts say.In the first half of 2013, fifty-six shale gas wells were in the exploratory phase in the...

Chad Pushes Back Against China’s National Oil Company

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The Chadian government shut most or all oil operations run by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) over allegations of an oil spill, poor worker safety, and violations of other environmental regulations. CNPC, not surprisingly, denied the...

Can China Clean Up Fast Enough?

Economist
China is going through an industrial-powered growth spurt and the urge to get rich outweighs the desire for clean air. However, China is beginning to clean up its act.

China Likely to Become World’s Largest Oil Importer

BBC
China is likely to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest oil importer as early as next year.The switch comes as the U.S. continues to boost domestic energy supply while China’s energy demand remains robust.

Caixin Media

08.05.13

County in Shaanxi in a Deep Hole as Mining Bubble Pops

A financial crisis triggered by falling coal prices is brewing in Shenmu County, in the northwestern province of Shaanxi.Construction projects have been halted, universal health care has run into payment problems and many private bankers have...

Books

08.05.13

China Threat?

Lionel Vairon
From the long-term threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and China, to the disappearance of the African elephant due to Chinese demand for ivory, each week brings a new round of critique and denunciation of the risks China poses to the stability of the entire planet. While critics raise a certain number of fundamental questions that bear asking about this nascent superpower, the answers put forth are usually based on ideological or economic considerations. Lionel Vairon systematically challenges these views in this first English language edition of China Threat?With an incisive review of China’s economic strategy, deployment of resources, national defence, political reform, ethnicity and religion, terrorism, and developments in human rights, Vairon amply demonstrates that China poses no threat to the world. On the contrary, China Threat? shows that China’s peaceful rise should be a matter of positive news across the globe.  —CN Times Books {chop}

Reports

08.01.13

Recharging China’s Electric Vehicle Policy

Wang Tao
Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Electric vehicles offer China an opportunity to reduce its reliance on foreign oil, improve air quality by curbing emissions from the burgeoning transportation sector, and enjoy the future economic benefits of being a global pioneer in an emerging...

Myanmar-China Gas Pipeline Goes Into Operation

Global Post
As well as diversifying China's sources of fuel, by supplying energy to the vast and less developed west the Myanmar-China gas pipeline could help Beijing's attempts to promote economic growth there...

Reports

07.23.13

Thirsty Coal 2: Shenhua’s Water Grab

Greenpeace
This investigation report is a follow-up to the 2012 Greenpeace and the China Academy of Sciences joint study: “Thirsty Coal: A Water Crisis Exacerbated By China’s New Mega Coal Bases.” In this report, we focus on the most controversial part of...

China Pushes Europe to Lower Hurdles to Solar Deal

Ethan Bilby
Reuters
A European Commission document dated July 12 said China wants any solar agreement to expire by the end of 2014, that the so-called certain parts of the panels should be excluded from tariffs and that any cap on Chinese exports should be...

After Protest, China Cancels Plans for Uranium Plant

Gerry Mullany
New York Times
The protest in Jiangmen was the latest display of growing public disquiet about environmental hazards, which could frustrate China’s ambitious plans for nuclear power and technology. 

China Mine Runoff Pollutes Water for 30,000, China Daily Says

Bloomberg
Officials in southern China shut 112 illegal mines after polluted runoff entered the local water supply, killing fish and making the water unusable for about 30,000 people, China Daily newspaper said.

Environment

07.03.13

Understanding China’s Domestic Agenda Can End U.N. Climate Gridlock

from chinadialogue
Li Shuo of Greenpeace China has recently argued on chinadialogue that U.N. climate talks can drive more ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in China, the world’s largest emitter. This optimism goes against much of the conventional wisdom...

Conversation

05.23.13

China and the Other Asian Giant: Where are Relations with India Headed?

Michael Kulma, Mark Frazier & more
Mike Kulma:Earlier this week at an Asia Society forum on U.S.-China economic relations, Dr. Henry Kissinger remarked that when the U.S. first started down the path of normalizing relations with China in the early 1970s, the economic relationship and...