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China’s Craft Breweries Find They May Have a 5,000-Year-Old Relative

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Pottery vessels discovered in Shaanxi Province might be the first direct evidence of a beer-brewing operation.

Viewpoint

05.24.16

“It’s Time for Us To Set a New Political Agenda for Hong Kong”

Jonathan Landreth, Susan Jakes & more
Last month, midway through a whirlwind tour of United States universities, Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong took a break for a crab cake and mac-and-cheese lunch at a Manhattan brasserie. Wong, 19, came to international prominence during the...

Media

05.19.16

Backward Thinking about Orientalism and Chinese Characters

David Moser
For those of us who teach and research the Chinese language, it is often difficult to describe how the Chinese characters function in conveying meaning and sound, and it’s always a particular challenge to explain how the writing system differs from...

Media

05.18.16

My Uncle Was a Red Guard in the Cultural Revolution—He Isn’t Sorry

Lishui is the nickname for my uncle, a farmer who has lived all his life in the suburbs of Tianjin, a big city in northeastern China. Whenever people talk about Lishui, my mother’s older brother, they always say: “Lishui is a nice guy, honest,...

Conversation

05.16.16

Escalation in the South China Sea

Julian G. Ku, M. Taylor Fravel & more
International tensions are rising over the shipping lanes and land formations in the South China Sea. Last week, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force scrambled fighter jets in response to a U.S. Navy ship sailing near the disputed Fiery Cross Reef...

How the Cultural Revolution Changed China Forever

James Griffiths
CNN
Frank Dikotter, author of The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, discusses the turning point in modern Chinese history...

Who Is Xi?

Andrew J. Nathan from New York Review of Books
More than halfway through his five-year term as president of China and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party—expected to be the first of at least two—Xi Jinping’s widening crackdown on civil society and promotion of a cult of personality...

Sinica Podcast

05.09.16

The Cultural Revolution at Fifty

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
Fifty years ago, Mao Zedong launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, inaugurating a decade of political turmoil with his calls for young people to “bombard the headquarters.” In this special live edition of our podcast recorded at The...

Controversy Sparked Online by ‘Red Songs’ at Concert in Beijing

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
Music from the turbulent period of the Cultural Revolution was featured prominently at event at the Great Hall of the People.

A Revolutionary Discovery in China

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
1.As Beijing prepared to host the 2008 Olympics, a small drama was unfolding in Hong Kong. Two years earlier, middlemen had come into possession of a batch of waterlogged manuscripts that had been unearthed by tomb robbers in south-central China...

Conversation

04.19.16

Fifty Years Later, How Is the Cultural Revolution Still Present in Life in China?

Guobin Yang, Federico Pachetti & more
Fifty years ago this May 16, Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a chaotic, terrifying, and often deadly decade-long campaign to “purify” C.C.P. ideology and reassert his political dominance...

Culture

04.19.16

A Newly Translated Book Revisits Japan and China’s Wartime History

Karen Ma
Award-winning screenwriter and author Geling Yan has written more than 20 novels and short story collections about China, many adapted to film or TV, including Coming Home and The Flowers of War, both of which became feature films directed by Zhang...

If Mao Had Been a Hermit

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
At the annual meeting of BookExpo America that was held in New York last May, to which most leading U.S. publishers sent representatives, state-sponsored Chinese publishers were named “guests of honor.” Commercially speaking, this made sense. China’...

Reality Show Singer Breaks China's Cultural Revolution Taboo

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Yang Le sings of how he lost his father in Mao’s crackdown on perceived enemies 50 years ago.

Viewpoint

03.24.16

German President Joachim Gauck’s Speech at Tongji University in Shanghai

from Der Bundespräsident
On Wednesday, March 23, German President Joachim Gauck addressed an audience of university students in Shanghai. Among many views not typically aired in public in China, Gauck, a former Luterhan minister and anti-communist organizer, told the crowd...

Conversation

03.21.16

Cracks in Xi Jinping’s Fortress?

Andrew J. Nathan, Rana Mitter & more
Two remarkable documents emerged from China last week—the essay “A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor,” which appeared on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and an open letter calling for Xi Jinping’s...

Media

03.15.16

Taiwan’s New Direction

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In January, Taiwan’s voters handed the traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a landslide victory, giving it control of both the parliament and presidency for the first time ever. The victory came at the expense of the...

Conversation

03.15.16

What’s Driving the Current Storm of Chinese Censorship?

David Schlesinger, Anne Henochowicz & more
The latest lightning flashes on China’s shifting media horizon this month took the form of the banishment from social media of a real estate tycoon who voiced support for constructive criticism, the firing of an editor at a newspaper that appeared...

China: The Benefits of Persecution?

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
During decades of reading and reviewing books on China I have learned a great deal, even from those I didn’t like. Only a few have surprised me. Mao’s Lost Children is such a book, and those like me who believe that the Mao period was bad for China...

Some Facts for Donald Trump about the Great Wall of China

Ishaan Tharoor
Washington Post
Donald Trump invoked the Great Wall of China when justifying the feasibility of his plan to erect a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Viewpoint

02.25.16

A Looming Crisis for China’s Legal System

Jerome A. Cohen
In China, politics continues to control law. The current leadership has rejected many of the universal legal values that China accepted—at least in principle—under communist rule in some earlier eras. Today, for example, to talk freely about...

What Is the I Ching?

Eliot Weinberger from New York Review of Books
The I Ching has served for thousands of years as a philosophical taxonomy of the universe, a guide to an ethical life, a manual for rulers, and an oracle of one’s personal future and the future of the state. It was an organizing principle or...

China Maintains Respect, and a Museum, for a U.S. General

Jane Perlez
New York Times
A museum dedicated to General Stilwell opened where more than 20 years ago where the general lived and worked.

Books

02.23.16

The Diplomacy of Migration

Meredith Oyen
During the Cold War, both Chinese and American officials employed a wide range of migration policies and practices to pursue legitimacy, security, and prestige. They focused on allowing or restricting immigration, assigning refugee status, facilitating student exchanges, and enforcing deportations. The Diplomacy of Migration focuses on the role these practices played in the relationship between the United States and the Republic of China both before and after the move to Taiwan. Meredith Oyen identifies three patterns of migration diplomacy: migration legislation as a tool to achieve foreign policy goals, migrants as subjects of diplomacy and propaganda, and migration controls that shaped the Chinese American community.Using sources from diplomatic and governmental archives in the United States, the Republic of China on Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China, and the United Kingdom, Oyen applies a truly transnational perspective. The Diplomacy of Migration combines important innovations in the field of diplomatic history with new international trends in migration history to show that even though migration issues were often considered “low stakes” or “low risk” by foreign policy professionals concerned with Cold War politics and the nuclear age, they were neither “no risk” nor unimportant to larger goals. Instead, migration diplomacy became a means of facilitating other foreign policy priorities, even when doing so came at great cost for migrants themselves. —Cornell University Press{chop}Correction: Meredith Oyen’s employer was misidentified in an earlier version of this video. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Conversation

02.23.16

How Long Can China’s Internet Thrive if the Rest of the World Gets Shut Out?

David Schlesinger, Jeff South & more
Last week, Chinese authorities announced that as of March 10, foreign-invested companies would not be allowed to publish anything on the Chinese Internet unless they have obtained government permission to publish with a Chinese partner. What does...

How Xi Jinping Sees the World ... and Why

Jeffrey A. Bader
Brookings Institution
Large national transformations are more often the product of historical forces than the writ of one powerful leader.

Conversation

02.09.16

What New Approach Should the U.S. and China Take to North Korea?

John Delury, Seong-Hyon Lee & more
On Sunday, North Korea launched a long range rocket many see as a test of its capability to launch a missile attack against the U.S., defying both American and Chinese pressure not do so. Republican U.S. presidential candidates argued Washington...

Invisible Bridges

Peter Hessler, photo by Davide...
New Yorker
Over the past two centuries, there have been periodic tensions between Russia and China, including some serious border conflicts, and historically Russia has usually held the upper hand. But nowadays, at the personal level, Monteleone notices a...

Conversation

02.02.16

How Close Was the Latest Close Call in the South China Sea?

Julian G. Ku, Feng Zhang & more
Had things in fact calmed down in recent weeks as the Chinese official press claimed, only to be stirred up again needlessly by another Freedom of Navigation sail by the U.S. Navy?

Caixin Media

02.01.16

Tough Times call for Tougher Reform Push

Beijing has has done a good job in terms of industrializing the country but will face unprecedented challenges when dealing with a service-driven economy.

Media

01.29.16

‘The New Yorker’ on China

Jiayang Fan, Peter Hessler & more
Following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society New York on December 17, 2015, “ChinaFile Presents: The New Yorker On China.” (The full video appears above.) The evening, introduced by Asia Society President Josette Sheeran...

Media

01.29.16

‘I Don't Want to Think About Activating Change’

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In 2012, The New York Times published a groundbreaking investigative report showing that the family of Wen Jiabao, China’s then-prime minister, possessed wealth in excess of $2.7 billion. In response, the Chinese government blocked the Times’...

Viewpoint

01.28.16

The Trouble with Hong Kong’s Chief Executives

Denise Y. Ho & Alyssa King
On January 14, the trial of Sir Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s former chief executive who served from 2005 to 2012, was set for January 3 of 2017. This past December, Tsang pleaded not guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, charges on which...

Conversation

01.27.16

Is George Soros Right that China’s Headed for a Hard Landing?

Arthur R. Kroeber, Stephen S. Roach & more
On Tuesday in an article headlined, “Declaring War on China’s Currency? Ha ha,” the People’s Daily attacked billionaire investor George Soros for suggesting he might short the renminbi. The Chinese currency has dropped 5.7 percent since August when...

‘My Personal Vendetta’

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
The presumed kidnapping of the Hong Kong bookseller and British citizen Lee Bo late last year has brought international attention to the challenges faced by the Hong Kong publishing business. During a break from The New York Review’s conference on...

Infographics

01.21.16

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s new interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that China’s President, Xi Jinping, launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about nearly 1,500 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources.

Viewpoint

01.21.16

After a Landslide Election, Now Comes the Hard Part for Taiwan's President

William Kazer
Taiwan elected its first woman president on Saturday in a landslide victory that brought a nominally pro-independence party back to power after eight years in opposition.Tsai Ing-wen led her Democratic Progressive Party to a thumping victory,...

Conversation

01.20.16

Beijing’s Televised Confessions

Jeremy Goldkorn, David Bandurski & more
Recent days have seen two more in a long string of televised “confessions” on China Central Television, that of Swedish human rights activist Peter Dahlin and Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai. Did these gentlemen break any Chinese laws? What do these...

Postcard

01.18.16

A People’s Friendship

James Palmer
It takes a brave man to jump off a moving train for the sake of a sale, but the clothes hawkers had the easy courage of men who did this on the regular. I watched as they leapt off the front carriage as the train chugged into a station with no stop...

Features

01.13.16

Those Taiwanese Blues

Anna Beth Keim
“Brainwashed slave!”“Running dog of the Kuomintang!”These are the sentiments 27-year-old Lin Yu-hsiang expects to find on his Facebook page as a result of his campaigning work for the Kuomintang (KMT), or Nationalist Party, ahead of Saturday’s...

Manchu, Former Empire's Language, Hangs On at China's Edge

New York Times
Descendants of the settlers struggle to keep a nearly vanished tongue alive

China’s Obsolete Economic Strategy

The Editorial Board
New York Times
China has changed dramatically over 30 years, and command-and-control economic management will not produce the results of the past.

China Lands More Civilian Planes on Fiery Cross Reef

BBC
China has landed two civilian planes on an island built in the disputed South China Sea, days after an earlier landing there prompted international concern.

Conversation

01.06.16

The North Korean Bomb Test—What's Next?

Barbara Demick, Jonathan D. Pollack & more
On Wednesday, North Korea claimed that it had tested a hydrogen bomb, bringing to four the number of nuclear weapons it has set off on its own territory since 2006. The act drew international condemnation, prompting us to ask: What’s different this...

No. Korea Tested a Nuclear Bomb on China’s Doorstep, and China is Not Pleased

May Shi and Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
In Yanji, a trade hub between the two countries, desks and tables swayed and people were evacuated from buildings.

China's Markets—A Sharp Reminder on Reform

Australian Financial Review
The old command model has reached its limits: if China wants things to stay the same, it will have to change. 

China Defence: Work Starts on Second Aircraft Carrier

BBC
BBC
China is expanding its navy amid rising tension with its neighbours in the East and South China Seas.

Viewpoint

12.30.15

The Perils of Advising the Empire

Jeremiah Jenne
Goodnow was not the first, nor would he be the last, foreign academic to have their views appropriated in support of illiberal regimes. Recent controversies involving Daniel Bell, whom The Economist once directly compared to Frank Goodnow, and his...

China Plans a New Silk Road, but Trading Partners Are Wary

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Kazakhstan has limited Chinese investment and immigration for fear of being overwhelmed.

Japan Protests Intrusion of Armed Chinese Vessel Into its Waters

James Mayger and Yuji Nakamura
Bloomberg
The vessel was formerly a People’s Liberation Army Navy ship and is now operated by another department.

Conversation

12.23.15

China in 2016

Andrew J. Nathan, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian & more
What should China watchers be watching most closely in China in 2016? What developments would be the most meaningful? What predictions can be made sensibly?

Media

12.22.15

‘New Yorker’ Writers Reflect on ‘Extreme’ Reporting About China

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
While international reporting on China has improved by leaps and bounds since foreign journalists first started trickling into the country in the 1970s, major challenges remain in giving readers back home a balanced image. That was the message from...

A Wordless Elegy for China’s War Dead

DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW
New York Times
Mr. Wang explained why he wanted to write a requiem about a war that ended 70 years ago.

Books

12.10.15

Pacific

Simon Winchester
Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature.As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World, the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow. With China on the rise, so, too, are the American cities of the West coast, including Seattle, San Francisco, and the long cluster of towns down the Silicon Valley.Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long transformed us—tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis—but its human history, from a Western perspective, is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s sixteenth-century circumnavigation. It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made.In telling the story of the Pacific, Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between. He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila, visits aboriginals in northern Queensland, and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego, the land at the end of the world. His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway, a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands, and a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor.Winchester’s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none. And his historical understanding of the region is formidable, making Pacific a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty, myth, and imagination that is transforming our lives. —HarperCollins{chop}

Xi'an City Wall: How China Turned A Military Site Into A Unique Park

Shen Lu
CNN
Xi'an, China's 637-year-old city wall is a relatively new kid on the block...

You Can't Understand China Unless You Know How the Communist Party Thinks

Zheng Bijian
Huffington Post
The CPC came into being in 1921, almost a century ago.

Caixin Media

12.02.15

Zhang Zhixin: The Woman who Took on the ‘Gang of Four’

Sheila Melvin
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). The desire not to dwell on that tumultuous decade, after half a century has passed, is understandable, but the failure to reflect on its impact, offer a full...

Viewpoint

11.30.15

Court in China Adds Last-Minute Charge Against Rights Leader During Sentencing

Yaxue Cao from China Change
On August 8, 2013, Guo Feixiong (real name Yang Maodong) was arrested and then indicted on charges of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” The heavy sentence came as a shock to everyone following the case. More shockingly, the...

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