Xinhua Insight: Procedures unveiled for birth of Xiongan New Area

Xinhua
Plans for Xiongan New Area, an economic zone about 100 kilometers south of Beijing, are becoming more clear. President Xi Jinping said, “The capital's core functions should be preserved and strengthened, and some inappropriate functions...

China Conducts Foreign Policy in Africa without Judgment

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this edition of the China in Africa podcast, we pull the focus back to look at China’s rapidly evolving foreign policy agenda in this new era of Western populism led by Donald Trump in the United States.François Godement, Director of the Asia and...

Environment

04.06.17

As the U.S. Steps Back, China Must Step up on Climate Leadership

Joanna Lewis & Li Shuo from chinadialogue
Presidents Trump and Xi are scheduled to meet today at Mar-a Lago, Florida, and given the tense state of U.S.-China relations and the political leanings of the Trump administration there is much at stake for cooperation between the countries on the...

How Trump Can Help Save Coal—with China’s Help

Paul Bledsoe
Politico
Last week, President Donald Trump declared that he would bring back coal jobs, directing the EPA to roll back the Clean Power Plan and other regulations on coal producers.

Viewpoint

04.05.17

Xi Is Ready for the Summit. Trump Can’t Possibly Be. So What Should He Do?

Robert Daly
At the summit in Mar-a-Lago, U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to alter deeply-rooted Chinese policies despite having no China strategy. China’s Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping hopes that by making deals on secondary matters important to Trump...

Despite Trump’s Rage against China, American Public Opinion Is Warming to the Asian Giant

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
As the U.S. president prepares to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Florida this week, a new survey by the Pew Research Center shows that the American public is significantly less worried about those issues than they were a couple of years...

Conversation

04.04.17

What Should We Expect When Trump and Xi Meet in Florida?

David Dollar, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
On April 6-7, U.S. President Donald Trump will host Xi Jinping in their first face-to-face meeting when China’s President arrives at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. The meeting comes early in Trump’s presidency, after a campaign in which he frequently...

Climate Change: China Calls U.S. ‘Selfish’ after Trump Seeks to Bring back Coal

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
State-run tabloid says Beijing cannot fill vacuum left by U.S. and urges west to pressure Trump on global warming

China Poised to Take Lead on Climate After Trump’s Move to Undo Policies

Edward Wong
New York Times
President Trump’s signing of an executive order on Tuesday aimed at undoing many of the Obama administration’s climate change policies flips the roles of the two powers.

Good News for Africa’s Elephants: China Is Losing Its Taste for Ivory

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China will close 67 ivory carving factories and retail shops on Friday, roughly one-third of the total, as it moves to implement a pledge to end all domestic ivory sales by the end of the year.

China’s Tencent Bought A 5 Percent Stake in Tesla

Johana Bhuiyan
Re/code
Tencent, a Chinese internet giant, is also an investor in Chinese ride-hail player Didi Chuxing.

A Bigger Catch: China’s Fishing Fleet Hunts New Ocean Targets

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Seagulls wheel and cry around the Caleta Portales fishing pier in the Chilean port of Valparaíso while sea lions loiter in the waves.

China to Plant ‘Green Necklace’ of Trees Around Beijing to Fight Smog

New York Times
The pollution from the factories is responsible for much of the smog in Beijing, a city of more than 22 million, and other parts of northern China.

Donkey Skin Is the New Ivory

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Countries throughout Africa are struggling to figure out how to contain the skyrocketing price of donkeys due to surging demand for the animals in China. Donkey skin is fast becoming an increasingly prized commodity due to its use in a traditional...

Clean Energy Could Spark a Trade War between the U.S. and China

Nick Stockton
Wired
In the past few years, China has surpassed the U.S. in electric vehicle sales, renewable energy capacity, and recently announced it was investing $365 billion to keep the momentum going. That investment puts China in a prime position to lead the...

As Attitudes Change, Chinese Lawmakers Seek Better Protection for Rhinos and Other Endangered Animals

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Slowly but surely, Chinese attitudes toward wildlife conservation are changing.

Environment

03.14.17

Source of Mekong, Yellow, and Yangtze Rivers Drying Up

from chinadialogue
In 2015, the Chinese government announced plans to set up a new nature reserve in the Sanjiangyuan (“three river source”) region of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. This area is a key source of fresh water for Asia and is known for the rich biodiversity...

The Tesla China Numbers That Elon Musk Won’t Tell You

Bertel Schmitt
Forbes
More evidence about Tesla’s Big China Bonanza is coming in

Cities and Data: China’s Weapons in the Battle for Clean Air

Vincent Ni
BBC
China is proud of the fact that its air quality readings have improved in recent years, if only slightly, with lingering smog in industrial areas.

Viewpoint

03.01.17

Is the U.S.’s Withdrawal China’s Gain in Latin America?

Latin Americans can’t afford to wait four years to see when the United States will be willing to have an honest and reciprocal conversation about economic prosperity in the Western Hemisphere. Luckily for the U.S.’s southern neighbors, over the past...

The Burning Problem of China’s Garbage

NPR
Trash is piling up in China—more than 520,000 tons a day

Depth of Field

02.16.17

Riding into the New Year

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
As preparations for the Chinese New Year got underway, Liang Yingfei set up a roadside studio and asked migrants traveling home by motorbike to stop for a quick photograph. While in Cambodia for the Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, Jia...

Chinese People Are Buying All Kinds of Desperate Remedies to Protect Themselves from Smog

Charlie Campbell
Time
Air purifiers, meanwhile, are becoming cheaper and more efficient. Chinese tech firm Xiaomi leads the way with its Mi Air Purifier Pro, boasting a dual-fan, dual-motor system with ”high-precision laser sensor.” 

India’s Air Pollution Rivals China’s as World’s Deadliest

Geeta Anand
New York Times
India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world, a new study of global air pollution shows. 

China Accused of Undermining Drive to Cut Steel Capacity

Charles Clover and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
China’s cuts in steel capacity last year primarily targeted mills that were already idle, doing little to reduce the exports that have fueled trade tensions or address the blight of toxic smog, a study has found. ...

‘We Had to Sue’: The Five Lawyers Taking on China’s Authorities over Smog

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
In an unprecedented legal case, a group of Chinese lawyers have charged the governments of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei with failing to protect their citizens from air pollution, which is linked to a third of all deaths in the country

How China’s Insatiable Demand for Timber Threatens Congo’s Rainforests

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this episode, award-winning Shanghai-based environmental journalist Shi Yi joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the emerging crisis over the illegal trade of Congolese bloodwood. She recently reported on how surging demand in China is fueling...

Reports

02.07.17

U.S. Policy Toward China

Orville Schell and Susan L. Shirk
Asia Society
The Task Force on U.S.-China Policy generated the following report and set of recommendations to assist the 45th U.S. presidential administration in formulating a China strategy that will protect and further U.S. national interests. This report...

As Trump Stresses ‘America First,’ China Plays the World Leader

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China is calmly mapping out global leadership aspirations from trade to climate change, drawing distinctions between President Xi Jinping’s steady hand and new U.S. President Donald Trump

A U.S.-China Role Switch: Who’s the Globalist Now?

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Xi Jinping sees a window as Donald Trump stirs masses with slogans

Sinica Podcast

01.19.17

The State of Journalism in China—Ed Wong’s Exit Interview

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
Edward Wong became a reporter for The New York Times in 1999. He covered the Iraq war from Baghdad from 2003 to 2007, and then moved to Beijing in 2008. He has written about a wide range of subjects in China for the Times, and became its Beijing...

In China, Pollution Fears Are Both Literal and Metaphorical

Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Benjamin Van...
NPR
Last month, as China encountered some of its worst pollution yet, artists in Chengdu did something bold: They put smog-filtering cotton masks over the faces of statues representing ordinary urbanites that dot a centrally located shopping street.

China Builds World’s Biggest Solar Farm in Journey to Become Green Superpower

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Vast plant in Qinghai province is part of China’s determination to transform itself from climate change villain to a green energy colossus

Film Review: ‘Plastic China’

Dennis Harvey
Variety
Life in one Chinese town is entirely dedicated to recycling of First World waste in Jiu-liang Wang’s documentary.

China Cancels 103 Coal Plants, Mindful of Smog and Wasted Capacity

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
China is canceling plans to build more than 100 coal-fired power plants, seeking to rein in runaway, wasteful investment in the sector while moving the country away from one of the dirtiest forms of electricity generation

Trump Warming to Reality of Climate Change, Says Senior Chinese Official

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Beijing’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, talks down fears that joint leadership shown by China and the US will be reversed under new president

China Wants to Be a Climate Change Watchdog, but Can It Lead by Example?

Edward Wong
New York Times
Like some other nations, China, the world’s biggest polluter, has refused to accept international monitoring of its emissions and says it will provide data to outside observers.

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...

Don’t Blame the Weather For China’s Smog

Junfeng Zhang
Fortune
China’s air quality has been particularly bad so far this winter. Severe smog or haze episodes have occurred one after another with short breaks in between,

China’s Neighbors Are Getting a Whiff of Its Terrible Pollution

Echo Huang
Quartz
Turns out China isn’t the only country choking on its smog. In the first week of 2017, more than half of Chinese cities suffered from air pollution, and 31 of them issued a red alert, which requires measures like limiting car usage and closing...

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...

China’s Electric Vehicle Strategy Paved With Potholes

Anjani Trivedi
Wall Street Journal
By the numbers, China looks like it’s on the way to dominating the global electric car industry. But

China’s Largest Freshwater Lake Is Shrinking

Dominique Mosbergen
Huffington Post
China’s largest freshwater lake is under serious threat, and it seems no one can agree on how to save it. Poyang Lake can swell to over 1,700 square miles, an area larger than Rhode Island. But photographs released by China’s state-run Xinhua News...

China Gets Tough on Smog Offenders

Joshua Berlinger
CNN
China has slapped millions of dollars worth of fines on alleged offenders for violating anti-pollution rules, according to state media.

China Smog: Millions Start New Year Shrouded by Health Alerts and Travel Chaos

Guardian
Millions in China rang in the New Year shrouded in a thick blanket of toxic smog, causing road closures and flight cancellations as 24 cities issued alerts that will last through much of the week. On the first day of 2017 in Beijing, concentrations...

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...

Bike-Sharing Revolution Aims to Put China Back on Two Wheels

Top Phillips
Guardian
From Shanghai to Sichuan, schemes are being rolled out to slash congestion, cut air pollution – and spin a profit

China Replaces Anti-Pollution Charges with Beefed Up ‘Green’ Tax

Wu Gang
China will start collecting environment protection taxes in 2018 to strengthen enforcement that authorities said local governments had interfered with

Students in China Were Made to Take Exams Outdoors in Toxic Smog

Kevin Lui
Time
Widely circulated photos of the students, sitting at desks while blanketed in choking pollution, starkly dramatize the Chinese "airpocalypse"...

Smog Refugees Flee Chinese Cities as ‘Airpocalypse’ Blights Half a Billion

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Thousands head to pollution-free regions as haze descends on the country’s northern industrial heartland

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 ...

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...

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

China Has Made Strides in Addressing Air Pollution, Environmentalists Say

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
Ma Jun, the director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, says transparency is up and pollution is down

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...

Environment

12.13.16

Chinese Consumers Adopt Greener Lifestyle

from chinadialogue
For the last two years, Helen Ni has hosted low-carbon technology workshops for local kids and their parents. The informal gatherings take place at her ground-floor apartment in the Shanghai suburb of Minhang, close to Jiaotong University, one of...

China to Set Date to Close Ivory Factories

Karl Mathiesen and Naomi Larsson
Guardian
Preparation is under way in China to bring in a ban on their domestic ivory trade, following a promise made with the US earlier this year

China Riot Police Seal Off City Center After Smog Protestors Put Masks on Statues

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Clampdown in Chengdu after protesters place masks on statues in anger at air pollution choking the city

Going Green in China, Where Climate Change Isn’t Considered a Hoax

Matthew Kahn
Salon
Chinese leaders want to improve the quality of life in their nation's cities...