Did Trump Just Start a Trade War with China?

Daniel Shane
CNN
President Trump's decision Monday to slap tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines risks inflaming tensions with China and other big U.S. trade partners...

Conversation

01.18.18

Are China’s Blue Skies Here to Stay?

Li Shuo, Angel Hsu & more
In mid-January, the environmental group Greenpeace announced dramatic improvements in air quality across China. In 74 Chinese cities, measurements of PM2.5, the fine particles that have been a major contributor to the country’s choked skies,...

Oil Spill off China Coast Now the Size of Paris

CNN
An oil spill from an Iranian oil tanker that sank in the East China Sea is now the size of Paris.

Huge Oil Spill Spreads in East China Sea, Stirring Environmental Fears

Gerry Mullany
New York Times
Greenpeace said the disaster occurred in “an important spawning ground” for fish.

A Blue Sky in Beijing? It's Not a Fluke, Says Greenpeace

New York Times
Winters in Beijing have long been choked by thick, dusty, toxic smog. But this winter, the sky has taken on a once seemingly unthinkable hue: blue.

China Is Winning Its War on Air Pollution, at Least in Beijing

Bloomberg
China is seeing signs of success in its fight against smog as pollution levels slump dramatically in the capital region Beijing.

East China Sea Oil Tanker Burns for Third Day as Winds, High Waves Lash Rescuers

Josephine Mason, Yuna Park
Reuters
The poor conditions, with rain and waves as high as 3 meters (10 feet), frustrated efforts to tame the fire and search for the 31 remaining tanker crew members, China’s Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Tuesday.

China Unveils an Ambitious Plan to Curb Climate Change Emissions

Keith Bradsher and Lisa Friedman
New York Times
China released plans on Tuesday to start a giant market to trade credits for the right to emit planet-warming greenhouse gases. The nationwide market would initially cover only China’s vast, state-dominated power generation sector, which produced...

The China-India Row That Spells Disaster for Flood Victims

Navin Singh Khadka
BBC
Fear of flooding has been growing in the Indian state of Assam ever since upstream China stopped sharing river data crucial for issuing early warnings.

China Plans to Kill Local Subsidies for Electric Cars

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
The Ministry of Finance is working on a plan that would mandate authorities to phase out the incentives to discourage protectionism and help rein in state expenditure, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing...

Viewpoint

12.14.17

Can Environmental Lawsuits in China Succeed?

Stanley Lubman
Air and water pollution are rising in China, and so is the number of lawsuits against polluters. Access to the courts is growing: Chinese prosecutors and some NGOs have been empowered to sue polluters, and activist lawyers increasingly participate...

Need Stretchy Pants? China's Energy Squeeze May Mean Higher Prices

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Homes, businesses and even hospitals across northern China are running short of natural gas. Some schoolchildren are shivering. And in the chemical industry — well, the spandex supply is getting tight.

Rich Countries Are Reducing Their Emissions—by Exporting Them to China

Quartz
Historical greenhouse-gas emissions data make clear that much of the burden of climate change lies with rich countries. The US, the UK, Germany, and others built their economies burning fossil fuels without thinking about the consequences.

Conversation

12.06.17

Apple in China: WTF?

Samuel Wade, Shaun Rein & more
In November, the non-profit watchdog Freedom House called China “the worst abuser of Internet freedom” of the 65 countries it surveyed. And yet, on December 3, Apple CEO Tim Cook keynoted China’s annual World Internet Conference. “The theme of this...

China Will Lead an Electric Car Future, Ford's Chairman Says

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The world’s automakers are just starting to bet on an electric car future — and already, one of the most powerful people in the industry says that future belongs to China.

China Province near North Korea Warns about the Dangers of Nuclear War

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
A provincial state newspaper on China’s border with North Korea spooked a few people Wednesday by dedicating an entire page to advice for local residents on how they might survive a nuclear war.

China’s Drive for Cleaner Energy Is Causing a Gas Shortage for Winter

Huileng Tan
CNBC
China's push to clean up its environment may have had an unintended consequence: a shortage of heating fuel supply is hitting some regions in the dead of winter, sending prices of domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a three-year high...

China on pace for Record Solar-Power Installations

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is poised to install a record amount of solar-power capacity this year, prompting researchers to boost forecasts as much as 80 percent.

Why China Wants to Lead on Climate, but Clings to Coal (for Now)

Somini Sengupta
New York Times
Barely a month ago, in a landmark speech to the Communist Party Congress, President Xi Jinping of China promised that his country would take a “driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change.”

China Recovery Pushes Greenhouse Emissions to Global Record

Tobias Buck and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Stronger Chinese economic growth will push global greenhouse gas emissions to a record high in 2017 after remaining flat for three years, dashing tentative hopes of a turning point in the world’s efforts to curb climate change.

Chinese Scientists Warn North Korea about Disaster Threat at Nuclear Test Site

Stephen Chen
South China Morning Post
Chinese geologists have warned their North Korean counterparts of a potential catastrophic collapse of a North Korean underground nuclear test site on China’s doorstep.

China Shuts Down Tens of Thousands of Factories in Unprecedented Pollution Crackdown

Rob Schmitz
NPR
In the gritty industrial town of Yiwu, workers prepare jeans to be dyed in a vivid range of colors.Two months ago, this factory — and this entire city, located in China's eastern province of Zhejiang — was a much quieter place. Inspection crews...

China’s Appetite for Abalone Spurs Organized Crime in South Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Cape Town-based journalist Kimon de Greef joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the lucrative illegal abalone trade between South Africa and China that threatens the survival of this prized shellfish. The abalone trade, according to recent reporting by de...

China’s New Antipollution Push Could Cool Its Growth Engine

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
China’s minister for environmental protection said Monday that even tougher measures will be coming. 

China's Pollution Crackdown Is Gaining Momentum

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
That political will overlaps with an economic need to rein in surplus production of steel, aluminum and other basic materials after years of over-investment. How and when that capacity gets replaced will be a key factor in the economy’s performance...

Conversation

10.16.17

What to Watch at China’s Party Congress

Ho-fung Hung, Taisu Zhang & more
The Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress, a hugely important political meeting usually held once every five years, will begin on October 18 in Beijing. Like many events involving China’s ruling party, the most important decisions and...

China Targets Pollution on Eve of Xi Jinping’s Second Term

Tom Hancock and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
A wave of environmental inspections in China has led to the closure of tens of thousands of businesses producing commodities from industrial chemicals to cement and rubber, pushing up prices and disrupting some global supply chains.

Video

10.11.17

The Town at the Heart of China’s Black Market in Ivory

from Environmental Investigation Agency
Last year, in response to mounting criticism for its key role in the steep decline in the world’s elephant population, China announced that it would ban ivory trading and shutter all of the country’s 177 licensed ivory processing companies and...

China Hastens the World toward an Electric-Car Future

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
There is a powerful reason that automakers worldwide are speeding up their efforts to develop electric vehicles — and that reason is China.

While U.S. Moves toward Coal, China Bets Big on Solar

Ben Tracy
CBS News
In southern China, the country flipped the switch on the world's largest floating solar installation - built on top of a lake created by an abandoned coal mine. Projects like these helped China double its solar capacity last year. It is now...

Breakingviews - China's Oil Giants Brace for Electric Car Crash

Katrina Hamlin
Reuters
China’s push into new energy vehicles (NEVs) – including battery-powered and hybrid cars – could curb demand for black gold. Sinopec and PetroChina will be hardest hit. The policy will also add to downward pressure on global crude prices.

China Sees Difficulty Meeting 2017 Air Quality Targets: Minister

China faces difficulties in meeting its smog-fighting target for 2017, its environmental protection minister said during a visit to four heavily industrialized provinces in northern China, where the country’s air pollution problem is especially...

China’s Putting the Brakes on Coal for Heating Millions of Homes This Winter

Echo Huang
Quartz
China might start to see better air this winter as it prepares to heat heat millions of houses for the first time by gas, and continues a clampdown on coal to battle its deadly pollution.

North Korea’s Diplomats in Africa Are Making Big Money Selling Ivory to Chinese Consumers

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The tightening of international sanctions against North Korea is helping to fuel the illicit ivory trade in Africa as the increasingly isolated country searches for new ways to generate revenue, according to a new report from the Global Initiative...

Exclusive: One Ford, Two Systems - U.S. Carmaker Revamps China Strategy amid EV Push

Norihiko Shirouzu, Joseph White
Reuters
U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co (F.N) is overhauling its China plans as its global “One Ford” strategy is holding it back in the world’s biggest auto market, two high-ranking company insiders told Reuters.

Media

09.29.17

Trump on China

In the run-up to and during his race toward the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump made frequent statements about China, its people, and the government in Beijing, in remarks that ranged from effusive praise to outright attack, and which...

China Gives Carmakers More Time in Biggest Electric-Vehicle Plan

Bloomberg
China unveiled a comprehensive set of emission rules and delayed a credit-score program tied to the production of electric cars, giving automakers more time to prepare for the phasing out of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

Chinese Cities Order Steel Output Cuts Earlier Than Expected to Fend off Smog

South China Morning Post
The city of Handan in the top steelmaking province of Hebei has ordered steel mills to halve output a month earlier than expected, according to media reports, the latest city to ramp up efforts to reduce the smog that blankets northern China during...

Conversation

09.27.17

How are NGOs in China Faring under the New Law?

Holly Snape, Anthony Saich & more
In September 2016, Beijing implemented a new law governing charities, which changed the ways domestic charitable organizations can register and fundraise. Then in January 2017, Beijing began implementation of a new law on the management of foreign...

China's Cricket Catchers Cashing in on Insects That Can Float Like a Butterfly and Sting Like a Bee

Mandy Zuo
South China Morning Post
An annual cricket craze is sweeping a rural area of east China as demand for the leaping insects soars among “trainers” who use them for fighting and gambling, online media reported.

China Considers Rule Change That Could Aid Tesla

Trefor Moss and Eva Dou
Wall Street Journal
The move could pave the way for Tesla Inc. to manufacture vehicles in China.

BYD Predicts Ambitious China Shift to Electric Cars by 2030

David Stanway
Reuters
All vehicles in the country will be “electrified” by 2030, which could range from full electric cars to mild hybrids, Chinese automaker BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said on Thursday. BYD, backed by Warren Buffett, has already invested heavily in the...

China's Pollution Crackdown Shakes up Iron Ore Traders

Neil Hume
Financial Times
Over the summer, price differentials between high and low grade iron ore have intensified amid a government-led crackdown on pollution and outdated steelmaking capacity. That has caught many traders on the hop and left some nursing nasty losses from...

China and India Water ‘Dispute’ after Border Stand-Off

Navin Singh Khadka
BBC
China and India may have defused a potential border conflict but the stand-off seems to have led to dispute over another contentious issue: water.

China's 'Sponge Cities' Aim to Re-Use 70% of Rainwater

Asit K Biswas and Kris Hartley
CNN
Asian cities are struggling to accommodate rapid urban migration, and development is encroaching on flood-prone areas.

G.M. Chief, in China, Challenges Planned Bans of Gasoline Cars

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Speaking in Shanghai on Friday, Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors said her company was making a big push to develop electric cars but that consumers, not government dictates, should decide how cars are powered.

World's Oldest Captive Panda Basi Dies in China

BBC
BBC
At 37, Basi had outlived all her panda peers, reaching the equivalent of more than a hundred in human years.

China Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race

Bloomberg
China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.

300 Tonnes of Diseased Pig Carcasses – the Latest Example of China's Pollution Crisis

Tom Philips
Guardian
Stomach-churning symbols of the environmental calamity facing China have never been in short supply: exploding watermelons, toxic running tracks, rivers that flow the colour of blood.

High Cost of China's Push for Unesco Heritage Sites

Ben Bland
Financial Times
China is ranked second only to Italy in terms of number of world heritage sites. But it's come at a cost...

China Brings Mars a Little Closer with Replica on Tibet Plateau

Tom Philips
Guardian
The “simulated Mars station” – a 95,000 square-kilometre tribute to the solar system’s second-smallest planet – will be built in Qinghai province’s Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan autonomous prefecture, not far from the westernmost tip of the Great Wall.

Green Gold: How China Quietly Grew into a Cannabis Superpower

Stephen Chen
South China Morning Post
Every year in April, Jiang Xingquan sets aside part of his farm in northern China to grow cannabis. The size of the plot varies with market demand but over the last few years it has been about 600 hectares.

China’s War on Smog Shakes up Ports; Tianjin Loses, Rivals Benefit

Meng Meng and Josephine Mason
Reuters
China’s war on smog is shaking up the country’s busiest ports, which handle billions of tonnes of cargo a year, forcing Tianjin to overhaul its business as northern rivals snare a greater share of vast coal and iron ore shipments, results show.

Under Pressure: The Story behind China’s Ivory Ban

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
For years Chinese government officials were followed around the world, at every meeting, by a single issue: the scores of dead elephants across Africa, and the international community that blamed China for this “ivory “holocaust”.  

Environment

08.24.17

Testing the Limits of China’s Environmental Law

from chinadialogue
Friends of Nature, a Beijing-based non-governmental organization (NGO), filed two landmark cases against a local Environmental Protection Bureau in Yunnan this year that have revealed the current limits of one of the most hopeful provisions in China...

China Says Economy Unaffected by Environmental Inspections

South China Morning Post
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said that recent environmental inspections did not hurt the country’s economy and blamed some ”inappropriate methods” conducted by local authorities for causing short–term market dislocation.

Ford in Talks to Launch Fully Electric Cars in China

Peter Campbell
Financial Times
Ford is in talks to launch fully electric cars for the Chinese market as the US carmaker plays catch up to international rivals in the race to develop battery vehicles.  

China’s Energy Exports To North Korea Plummet–But It’s Not Because of Sanctions

Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
China’s energy exports to North Korea — including electricity and oil and gas products — have fallen sharply.Experts said the drop may partly be due to Pyongyang becoming more self—sufficient in producing energy rather than the impact of sanctions...

South China Sea: Vietnam Takes Up Fight Against China

Gregory Poling
CNN
When it comes to the disputed waters of the South China Sea, Vietnam’s leaders must feel very lonely these days.Their fellow Southeast Asian claimants have either reversed course after years of escalating tensions with Beijing, or are...