China Is Crushing the U.S. in Renewable Energy

Sherisse Pham and Matt Rivers
CNN
China may be the planet's biggest polluter but it's also powering ahead of other countries on renewable energy...

Despite Ban, Rhino Horn Flooding Black Markets across China

Laurel Neme
National Geographic
The country is pledged to end the trade in elephant ivory this year, but will it take steps to help save rhinos?

Trump in Paris to Improve Ties despite Divergence on Climate, Trade

Xinhua
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Paris on Thursday morning in a diplomatic move to soften divergence with France over climate change and trade liberalization by seeking common ground on security and fight against terrorism.

Environment

07.06.17

Industrial Energy Efficiency Can Improve Air Quality

from chinadialogue
Despite extensive efforts by the Chinese government to improve air quality, including the introduction of the State Council’s “Ten Measures” Action Plan and implementation of regional air quality control measures, air pollution recently worsened in...

Features

07.05.17

China is Driving a Boom in Brazilian Mining, but at What Cost?

Milton Leal
In the middle of northern Brazil’s Amazon jungle, Chinese-made digging equipment rasps at the bottom of a giant iron ore mine. Here in the municipality of Canaã dos Carajás in the Serra dos Carajás in Brazil’s Pará state, some 1,600 miles northwest...

Environment

06.30.17

Can the AIIB Support Asia’s Energy Revolution?

from chinadialogue
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), headquartered in Beijing, held its second annual meeting on the Korean island of Jeju last week. Korea is currently positioning Jeju as a zero-carbon tourist destination, so the choice of location...

Sinica Podcast

06.28.17

Top U.S. Diplomat David Rank on Why He Resigned to Protest Trump

Kaiser Kuo & David Rank from Sinica Podcast
David Rank became the leading diplomat for one of America’s most important embassies during the transition when Iowa governor Terry Branstad formally succeeded former Montana senator Max Baucus as U.S. Ambassador to China on May 24, 2017. He soon...

Second Landslide Hits Stricken Site in Southwest China

Associated Press
Associated Press
A second landslide struck a village in southwestern China where rescue workers have been looking for nearly 100 people buried over the weekend by a massive wave of rocks and debris.

Coal on the Rise in China, US, India after Major 2016 Drop

ABC
The world’s biggest coal users — China, the United States and India — have boosted coal mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year’s record global decline for the heavily polluting fuel and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change...

In China, Xi Jinping’s New Mega City Xiongan Is Expanding Underground

South China Morning Post
Chinese geologists are examining subterranean conditions of Xiong, Rongcheng and Anxin counties, which will become a new district to rival special economic zones such as Shenzhen and Pudong in Shanghai, in the hope of building structures under the...

China Landslide: Families' Frustration Grows as More Than 100 Feared Dead

Guardian
Families affected by huge slip that buried Xinmo village say they are concerned by a lack of information and the fate of orphaned children

Unless China Changes Tack, India Won’t Be the Only Country Opposing One Belt, One Road

Harsh V Pant
Quartz
India said about OBOR that “no country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

China's Government Tightens Its Grip On Golf, Shuts Down Courses

Rob Schmitz
NPR
By 2004, many of China's hundreds of golf courses were found to be built on valuable farmland through corrupt land deals...

Xi Jinping Is Set for a Big Gamble With China’s Carbon Trading Market

Chris Bukcley
New York Times
The start of China’s carbon trading market late this year has been years in the making, but is now shaping up as Mr. Xi’s big policy retort to Mr. Trump’s decision to quit the Paris accord.

China’s Dog Meat Festival Opens Despite Rumours of a Ban

Agence France-Presse
A notorious Chinese dog meat festival opened on Wednesday with butchers hacking slabs of canines and cooks frying the flesh despite rumours that the authorities would impose a ban this year.

China Propels Rise of Electric Ultra-High-Performance Cars

New York Times
Want an insanely fast ride with zero emissions? Startup NIO has the car: An electric two-seater with muscular European lines and a top speed of 195 miles per hour (313 kilometers per hour). The catch: The EP9 costs nearly $1.5 million. NIO, a...

Environment

06.15.17

Bike-Sharing Schemes: Flourishing or Running Riot?

from chinadialogue
Almost one hundred Chinese cities, from Beijing to Lhasa, now have bike-sharing schemes. The bikes, clad in various colors, have GPS trackers and can be unlocked simply by scanning a barcode on the frame with your phone. Some can even be reserved...

Nearly 14,000 Companies in China Violate Pollution Rules

Edward Wong
New York Times
Environmental inspectors in northern China have found that nearly 14,000 companies, or 70 percent of the businesses they examined, failed to meet environmental standards for controlling air pollution.

Viewpoint

06.08.17

Can China Really Lead the World on Climate?

Isabel Hilton
On Wednesday, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, found himself, not for the first time, with more in common with Chinese President Xi Jinping than with the president of his own nation, Donald Trump. Just days after President Trump announced...

China’s Clean Energy Ambition Floats on Abandoned Coal Mine

Bloomberg
China’s ambitions to dominate new energy technologies are unfolding at the site of an abandoned coal mine about 300 miles (483 kilometers) northwest of Shanghai.

China Is Now Looking to California–Not Trump–to Help Lead the Fight Against Climate Change

Jessica Meyers
Los Angeles Times
Governor Jerry Brown met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a rare diplomatic coup that catapults California into quasi-national status as a negotiator.

China Doesn't Want To Be the Only World Leader, Says State Council Counselor

Akiko Fujita, Huileng Tan
CNBC
Rather than fully stepping into a global leadership vacuum that could be left by an increasingly isolationist U.S., China is looking to be but one of the world's leaders...

Turning against Trump: How the Chinese Covered the Climate Pact Exit

New York Times
Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement gave fresh material to one of the Chinese state media’s favorite propaganda themes: the idea that Western democracy is flawed, chaotic and prone to social strife.

Trump Hands the Chinese a Gift: The Chance for Global Leadership

New York Times
The Chinese are eager to fill the void that Washington is leaving around the world on everything from setting the rules of trade and environmental standards to financing infrastructure projects.

China and Europe Are Moving Forward without Trump

CNN
Beijing is in prime position to capitalize on major policy fissures that have emerged between Europe and the Trump administration on climate, trade and defense. The new dynamic will be on full display on Thursday in Brussels, when Chinese Premier Li...

China Is Getting Serious about Fighting Climate Change at Home. Abroad, Its Investments Tell a Different Story

Los Angeles Times
China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has in recent years emerged as a global leader in climate action. The country’s use of coal — considered the single biggest contributor to anthropogenic climate change — has dropped every year since...

Conversation

05.25.17

Can Free Speech on American Campuses Withstand Chinese Nationalism?

Yifu Dong, Edward Friedman & more
Earlier this week, Kunming native Yang Shuping, a student at the University of Maryland, gave a commencement speech extolling the “fresh air” and “free speech” she experienced while studying in the United States. Video of her speech spread on the...

Chinese Student’s Commencement Speech in U.S. Isn’t Going over Well in China

NPR
A Chinese student who praised the “fresh air of free speech” in the U.S. during her commencement address at the University of Maryland is facing an online backlash from classmates and from people in China who say she insulted her own country.

Environment

05.23.17

India and China Will Offset Trump’s Climate Backslide

from chinadialogue
With the U.S. likely to fall short of its Paris Agreement pledge to reduce carbon emissions, a new analysis released last week claims that overachievement by India and China will ensure progress on climate action is not stymied.The U.S., the world’s...

China and India Make Big Strides on Climate Change

New York Times
China’s emissions of carbon dioxide appear to have peaked more than 10 years sooner than its government had said they would. And India is now expected to obtain 40 percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2022, eight years ahead of...

China’s Xi Positions Himself as Free Trade and Climate Champion

James Griffiths
CNN
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for the world to reject protectionism and promote free trade in the latest attempt by Beijing to take up the mantle of globalization since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Books

05.15.17

A World Trimmed with Fur

Jonathan Schlesinger
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, booming demand for natural resources transformed China and its frontiers. Historians of China have described this process in stark terms: pristine borderlands became breadbaskets. Yet Manchu and Mongolian archives reveal a different story. Well before homesteaders arrived, wild objects from the far north became part of elite fashion, and unprecedented consumption had exhausted the region’s most precious resources.In A World Trimmed with Fur, Jonathan Schlesinger uses these diverse archives to reveal how Qing rule witnessed not the destruction of unspoiled environments, but their invention. Qing frontiers were never pristine in the nineteenth century—pearlers had stripped riverbeds of mussels, mushroom pickers had uprooted the steppe, and fur-bearing animals had disappeared from the forest. In response, the court turned to “purification”; it registered and arrested poachers, reformed territorial rule, and redefined the boundary between the pristine and the corrupted. Schlesinger’s resulting analysis provides a framework for rethinking the global invention of nature. —Stanford University Press{chop}

Dust Storm Chokes Beijing and Northern China

BBC
A dust storm is choking a large swathe of northern China including the capital, Beijing, in yet another air quality crisis to affect the country.

China’s Huge Dam Projects Will Threaten Southeast Asia as Water Scarcity Builds Downstream

Daniel Rechtschaffen
Forbes
A river is born high in the Tibetan Plateau, before snaking its way 3,000 miles south and emptying itself into the South China Sea.

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. ...