China Denies Preparing for North Korean Collapse

Tania Brannigan
Guardian
Experts say leaked contingency plans, which include the detention of leaders and establishment of refugee camps, may be valid but do not suggest that the alliance is weakening.

Rights Lawyer Detained Ahead of Tiananmen Anniversary

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Pu Zhiqiang, 49, has been detained by the Beijing police one month before the 25th anniversary of the deadly crackdown on the Tiananmen protest movement.

China Premier Arrives in Africa Eyeing Better Ties

Elias Meseret
Associated Press
China's Li Keqiang arrived Sunday in Ethiopia for a four-country tour of Africa, calling for deeper ties with his country and seeking to recast a relationship that has admittedly faced difficulties...

Obama in the Philippines: ‘Our Goal Is Not to Contain China’

Emily Rauhala
Time
The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement took eight months to negotiate but mere days to anger Beijing, which sees U.S. involvement in East Asia as interference despite President Obama's insistence the goal is not to "contain" China...

China Releases Japanese Wartime Documents: State Media

Alexandra Harney
Reuters
The publication comes during a fraught period in Japan-China relations. Last week, Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines paid $29 million for the release of a ship seized by China over a dispute that dates back to the 1930s...

Media

04.25.14

Bieliebers They Are Not—Chinese Outraged by Singer’s Tokyo Shrine Visit

Justin Bieber has once again displayed his talent for seemingly effortless international gaffes. The twenty-year-old Canadian pop princeling, who last year wrote “hopefully she would have been a Belieber” in the guestbook on his visit to the Anne...

The Shadow over Obama’s Asia Trip: 3 Ways China Scares the U.S.

Ishaan Tharoor
Washington Post
The Balance of Power in the Pacific; China’s global footprint; and friendship with Russia

Obama: U.S. To Defend Japan In Territorial Disputes With China

Anthony Kuhn
NPR
President Obama is in Japan for the start of his four-nation Asia visit. The trip aims to assure U.S. allies that they're not forgotten, even as China gets more bullish with its neighbors...

China Court Frees Japanese Ship After Unprecedented Seizure

Chris Cooper and Kiyotaka Matsuda
Bloomberg
A Chinese court released a Japanese ship owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. after the cargo carrier paid compensation for the loss of two vessels leased from a Chinese company before the two countries went to war in 1937.

China Won’t Necessarily Observe New Conduct Code for Navies

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
Code Approved This Week by 21 Naval Powers Isn't Legally Binding...

America Should Step Back from the East China Sea Dispute

Wu Xinbo
New York Times
The Diaoyu Islands, which are of little real strategic or economic use, are hardly worth disrupting relations among the world’s three largest economies. It is time to put the issue back into a box.

Viewpoint

04.20.14

The Specter of June Fourth

Perry Link
If yesterday was typical, about 1,400 children in Africa died of malaria. It is a preventable, treatable disease, and the young victims lost their lives through no faults of their own. Why it is that human beings accept a fact like this as an...

A Role for Taiwan in Promoting Peace in the South China Sea

Bonnie Glaser
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Taiwan has a chance to set a positive example and chart a peaceful course in managing and eventually resolving East Asian maritime disputes.

Why Ukraine Crisis has China in a Bind

Christopher Chivvis and Bonny Lin
CNN
Concerns that Chinese hardliners could seek to use Crimea as a precedent for moves against disputed territories in the Asia-Pacific should not be overplayed.

China’s Losers: Disillusioned Office Workers

Gady Epstein
Economist
Amid spreading prosperity, a generation of self-styled also-rans emerges.

Sinica Podcast

04.14.14

Live at the Association for Asian Studies

Kaiser Kuo, Jeffrey Wasserstrom & more from Sinica Podcast
This week, Sinica presents a special live recording from the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) which convened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Regular listeners, please note that the audio quality here isn’t up to our usual...

Chinese Signaling in the East China Sea?

M. Taylor Fravel and Alastair Iain...
Washington Post
What to make in the decline of Chinese patrols of the territorial waters around the Diaoyu / Senkaku Islands since September 2013. 

Conversation

04.12.14

China, Japan, and the U.S.—Will Cooler Heads Prevail?

Ely Ratner, Hugh White & more
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's whirlwind tour of China this week saw a tense exchange with his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan, over the intention behind America's "pivot" to Asia, followed by a more measured back-and...

The Princeling of Private Equity

Steven Aldred and Irene Jay Liu
Reuters
A firm co-founded by the grandson of China's former leader landed a sweet deal in a state-controlled sector of the economy.  Now, many in the industry are flocking to invest with Alvin Jiang...

Books

04.09.14

Poseidon

Steven R. Schwankert
Royal Navy submarine HMS Poseidon sank in collision with a Chinese freighter during routine exercises in 1931 off Weihaiwei. Thirty of its fifty-six-man crew scrambled out of the hatches as it went down. Of the twenty-six who remained inside, eight attempted to surface using "Davis gear," an early form of diving equipment: six of them made it safely to the surface in the first escape of this kind in submarine history and became heroes. The incident was then forgotten, eclipsed by the greater drama that followed in World War II, until news emerged that, for obscure reasons, the Chinese government had salvaged the wrecked submarine in 1972. This lively account of the Poseidon incident tells the story of the accident and its aftermath, and of the author’s own quest to find out about the 1972 salvage. —Hong Kong University Press {chop}{node, 4183, 3}

In a Test of Wills With China, U.S. Sticks Up for Japan

Helene Cooper
New York Times
For the first time, China will host the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, a meeting every two years of countries that border the Pacific Ocean.

As China Turns Toward Middle East, China and Israel Seek Closer Ties

Shannon Tiezzi
Diplomat
Israeli President Shimon Peres is visiting China, the latest sign of growing Chinese-Israeli ties.

Caixin Media

04.08.14

Crimea Rattles the Chinese Dream

At the Sochi Winter Olympics, President Xi Jinping professed his affection for Russian letters. Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, and other literary giants made up the reading list of his youth, and his generation was raised on a diet of Russian culture...

U.S. and China Clash Over Contested Islands

Helene Cooper
New York Times
The United States and China clashed over Japan as the Chinese defense minister asserted that Beijing had “indisputable sovereignty” over a group of islands.

Sinica Podcast

04.07.14

In Conversation with Timothy Garton Ash

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are pleased to host a conversation with Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of History at Oxford University and recent participant in the Capital M Literary Festival in Beijing. As one the world's...

U.S. Tries Candor to Assure China on Cyberattacks

David Sanger
New York Times
The Pentagon’s emerging doctrine includes defending against cyberattacks on the United States and also using its cybertechnology against adversaries, including the Chinese.

Maybe Heads of State Shouldn’t Give Maps as Presents

Emily Rauhala
Time
An antique map of China gifted by the German Chancellor to China's President is at odds with how China views its historical boundaries...

Media

04.02.14

A Merkel, a Map, a Message to China?

On March 28, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping at a dinner where they exchanged gifts. Merkel presented to Xi a 1735 map of China made by prolific French cartographer Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville and...

Sinica Podcast

03.31.14

The World War One Chinese Labor Corps

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are delighted to host Mark O’Neill, author of The Chinese Labour Corps, for a discussion of the Chinese contribution to World War One. As a comprehensive look into China’s role in The Great War, O’...

Media

03.28.14

Ang Lee and Zhang Yimou Talk Movies

Jonathan Landreth
Ang Lee, the Oscar-winning American film director with Taiwan roots, and Zhang Yimou, the storied veteran of mainland Chinese moviemaking, joined together on March 27 at Cooper Union in New York in a discussion billed “Chinese Film, Chinese...

Books

03.26.14

Stagnant Water & Other Poems by Wen Yiduo

Robert Hammond Dorsett (Translator)
On June 6, 1946, at 5pm, after stepping out of the office of the Democratic Weekly, Wen Yiduo died in a hail of bullets. Mao blamed the Nationalists and transformed Wen into a paragon of the revolution.Wen was born into a well-to-do family in Hubei, China, and received a classical education. But he came of age as old imperial China and its institu­tions were being swept away, and the Chinese people were looking ahead to a new China. It was fertile ground for a young poet.In 1922, Wen came to the U.S. and studied art and literature at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was during this period that his first collection of poetry was published, Hongzu or “Red Candle.” He returned to China in 1925 and took a position as a university professor and became active in the political and aesthetic debates of the time. His second collection of poems, Sishui, rendered by previous translators as “Dead Water,” was published in 1928.As political trends shifted from an intellectual, elitist base toward a populist one, changes in literature were just as pervasive. Wen was one of the leaders of a movement to reform Chinese poetry—hitherto written in a classical style with a diction and rhetoric so far removed from everyday usage that it had segregated itself from all but the wealthy and the well educated—by adapting common speech and direct observation, while maintaining a strict, albeit new, formalism.However, Wen never resolved the conflicts that existed within him: The elitist and the proletarian, the scholar and the activist, the traditionalist and the innovator, the personal man and the public man, fought for ascendancy. Yet it was these contradictions that proved so fruitful and give his poetry its singular power. —Bright City Books {chop}

Sinica Podcast

03.24.14

We Will Make You Learn to Love Baijiu

Jeremy Goldkorn & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Forget our complaints about the pollution, China has an even more intractable public relations problem that has everything to do with the country’s favorite hard liquor. And yes, we are talking about baijiu. In 1854, French Catholic missionary Régis...

Paddling to Peking

Roderick MacFarquhar from New York Review of Books
For Richard Nixon’s foreign policy, 1971 was the best of years and the worst of years. He revealed his opening to China, but he connived at genocide in East Pakistan. Fortunately for him, the world marveled at the one, but was largely ignorant of...

Conversation

03.19.14

What Should Michelle Obama Accomplish on Her Trip to China?

Orville Schell, Vincent Ni & more
Orville Schell:  Looking at the challenges of rectifying U.S.-China relations and building some semblance of the "new kind of a big power relationship" alluded to by presidents Obama and Xi at Sunnylands last year, will most...

Mr. Abe’s Dangerous Revisionism

The Editorial Board
New York Times
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s use of revisionist history is a dangerous provocation for East Asia, which is already struggling with China’s aggressive stance in territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas.

Conversation

03.10.14

Should China Support Russia in the Ukraine?

Alexander V. Pantsov, Alexander Lukin & more
Alexander V. Pantsov: The Chinese Communist Party leadership has always maintained: “China believes in non-interference in internal affairs.” In the current Ukrainian situation it is the most we can expect from the P.R.C. because it is not able to...

Sinica Podcast

03.07.14

Wealth and Power: Intellectuals in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week, Kaiser and Jeremy are joined by David Moser and Orville Schell. While long-time listeners will of course know of David Moser as one of our favorite resident sinologists, if you haven’t also heard of Orville Schell we think you should have...

Nurturing History’s Miseries

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
The lurch to the political right by the Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe so fraught with danger because it plays into poisonous memories of Japan in China. 

Books

03.05.14

Sporting Gender

Yunxiang Gao
When China hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics—and amazed international observers with both its pageantry and gold-medal count—it made a very public statement about the country’s surge to global power. Yet, China has a much longer history of using sport to communicate a political message. Sporting Gender is the first book to explore the rise to fame of female athletes in China during its national crisis of 1931-45 brought on by the Japanese invasion. By re-mapping lives and careers of individual female athletes, administrators, and film actors within a wartime context, Gao shows how these women coped with the conflicting demands of nationalist causes, unwanted male attention, and modern fame. While addressing the themes of state control, media influence, fashion, and changes in gender roles, she argues that the athletic female form helped to create a new ideal of modern womanhood in China at time when women’s emancipation and national needs went hand in hand. This book brings vividly to life the histories of these athletes and demonstrates how intertwined they were with the aims of the state and the needs of society. —University of British Columbia Press{chop}  

China, Eyeing Japan, Seeks WW2 Focus for Xi During Germany Visit

Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina
Reuters
Diplomatic sources said Germany did not want to get dragged into the dispute between China and Japan, and dislikes China constantly bringing up Germany's painful past...

James Cahill, Influential Authority on Chinese Art, Dies at 87

Graham Bowley
New York Times
James Cahill was one of the foremost authorities on Chinese art whose interpretations of Chinese painting for the West influenced generations of scholars.

After Winding Odyssey, Tibetan Texts Find Home

Sophie Beach
China Digital Times
An American scholar of Tibet has collected thousands of Tibetan language books and donated them to Chengdu’s Southwest University for Nationalities.

Features

02.14.14

It’s Hard to Say ‘I Love You’ in Chinese

Roseann Lake
“We didn’t say ‘I love you,’” said Dr. Kaiping Peng, Associate Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. I’d ventured over to his China office on the campus of Beijing’s mighty Tsinghua University to talk to him...

Media

02.14.14

A Kapital Idea

Matthew Niederhauser & David M. Barreda
Matthew Neiderhauser is a photographer and artist whose work is influenced by his studies in anthropology. He lived in Beijing for six years and recently returned to the United States. His pictorial book Sound Kapital, published in 2009, documented...

Conversation

02.13.14

Are Ethnic Tensions on the Rise in China?

Enze Han, James Palmer & more
On December 31, President Xi Jinping appeared on CCTV and extended his “New Year’s wishes to Chinese of all ethnic groups.” On January 15, Beijing officials detained Ilham Tohti, a leading Uighur economist and subsequently accused him of “separtist...

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Isaac Stone Fish
Foreign Policy
Will China win its 65-year war with Taiwan—without firing a shot?

China Tells Spain to Prevent Tibet-Related Lawsuits

Reuters
Two Tibetan support groups and a monk with Spanish nationality brought a case in Spain against former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and ex-prime minister Li Peng in 2006 over allegations they committed genocide in Tibet.

Tangling with China

Editorial Board
New York Times
The international community should insist China abide the rule of law and heed the United Nations arbitration ruling where tensions around China’s claims in the South and East China Seas are concerned.

The Original Manchurian Candidate

G.E.
Economist
In 1868 Anson Burlingame became not only America’s first minister to China to reside in Beijing, but also China’s first ambassador to the world.

China’s Way to Happiness

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
The return of collective religious traditions is part of Chinese people's search for meaning and stability...

Commentary: Philippine Leader's Senseless Attack Against China Smells of Amateurish Politician

Ming Jinwei
Xinhua
A Xinhua writer fiercely responds to Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III’s comparison of China to Nazy Germany.

Philippine Leader Sounds Alarm on China

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
President Benigno S. Aquino III called for nations around the world to support the Philippines in resisting China’s claims to the seas near his country, drawing a comparison to the West’s failure to support Czechoslovakia against Hitler’s demands...

Conversation

02.05.14

What Should the U.S. Do about China’s Barring Foreign Reporters?

Nicholas Lemann, Michel Hockx & more
Last week, the White House said it was “very disappointed” in China for denying a visa to another journalist working for The New York Times in Beijing, forcing him to leave the country after eight years. What else should the U.S. government...

China to Ramp Up Military Spending

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
China will spend $148 billion on its military this year, up from $139.2 billion in 2013, according to IHS Jane’s, a defense industry consulting and analysis company.

In Pictures: Chinese New Year Around the World

BBC
A Chinese folk artist performs at the opening ceremony of the Spring Festival Temple Fair in Beijing, one of millions of people around the world celebrating ahead of Chinese, or Lunar, New Year.

Class Consciousness

Ian Johnson
New Yorker
China’s new bourgeoisie discovers alternative education

Abe Comparing China to Pre-World War One Germany Fuels Tensions

By Isabel Reynolds and Takashi Hirokawa
Businessweek
China said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was evading Japan’s “history of aggression” by comparing Sino-Japanese relations to those of the U.K. and Germany prior to World War I.

China, Japan Slug It Out in World’s Press

Matthew Pennington
Associated Press
Escalating disputes between Japan and China are spilling onto newspaper opinion pages around the globe as the rivals try to sway attitudes abroad and placate nationalist fervor at home.

Viewpoint

01.14.14

Xi, Mao, and China’s Search for a Usable Past

Paul Gewirtz
Since its founding, the United States has had understandable pride in its great achievements, but also has had to reckon with its complex moral history—beginning but hardly ending with the fact that our original Constitution accepted the evil of...

Though I am Gone

Hu Jie
Fast Company
(Vid) Wang Jingyao chronicles the murder of his wife, the first victim of the Cultural Revolution.