A Painting of China’s First Lady, Before a Rise to Stardom

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
On the exhibition notes, the painting of Peng Liyuan by Jin Shangyi is identified only as “a well-known singer.”

Sinica Podcast

10.05.15

Edmund Backhouse in the Long View of History

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Edmund Backhouse, the 20th century Sinologist, long-time Beijing resident, and occasional con-artist, is perhaps best known for his incendiary memoirs, which not only distorted Western understanding of Chinese history for more than 50 years, but...

Culture

10.02.15

In Zhang Yimou’s ‘Coming Home’ History is Muted But Not Silent

Eva Shan Chou
Coming Home, directed by the celebrated Zhang Yimou and released in the U.S. last week, begins as a man escapes a labor camp in China’s northwest and tries to return home. But he is captured when he and his wife attempt to meet, after their daughter...

Conversation

09.30.15

The Future of Autonomy in Hong Kong

David Schlesinger, Denise Y. Ho & more
Yesterday, the governing board of Hong Kong University, one of the territory’s most esteemed institutions of higher education, voted to reject the promotion of Johannes Chan, a former law school dean, over the objections of the faculty and students...

China Says Arrests Two Japanese for Spying

Linda Sieg and Kaori Kaneko
Reuters
Japan's Asahi newspaper said one man was taken into custody in China's northeast province of Liaoning near the border with North Korea and the other in the eastern province of Zhejiang near a military facility...

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

GRAHAM ALLISON
Atlantic
In 12 of 16 past cases in which a rising power has confronted a ruling power, the result has been bloodshed.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Will Arrive At The UN Armed With A List Of Things He Wants Changed

Richard Macauley
Quartz
Xi Jinping will make his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Top Hong Kong Judges Defend Rule of Law in Face of China Pressure

STELLA TSANG AND CLARE BALDWIN
Reuters
Two top Hong Kong judges on Friday defended the rule of law in an apparent rebuke of China's top official...

Cultural Revolution Shaped Xi Jinping, From Schoolboy to Survivor

CHRIS BUCKLEY and DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW
New York Times
When the pandemonium of the Cultural Revolution erupted, he was a 13-year-old who loved classical Chinese poetry. Two years later, adrift in a city torn apart by warring Red Guards, Xi Jinping had hardened into a combative street survivor.

Hybrid Warfare With Chinese Characteristics

Benjamin David Baker
Diplomat
From Sun Tzu to Xi Jinping: Russia isn’t the only one who knows hybrid warfare.

Conversation

09.22.15

Xi Jinping’s Message to America

Taisu Zhang, Graham Webster & more
China’s President Xi Jinping addressed an audience of more than 700 American businesspeople in Seattle on Tuesday evening on the first stop on his first state visit to the United States. Regular ChinaFile Contributors who watched the speech offer...

Conversation

09.22.15

Can the U.S. & China Make Peace in Cyberspace?

Charlie Smith, Rogier Creemers & more
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in the United States today on his first state visit. Xi will address a group of American business leadersin Seattle. High on their list of concerns about trade with China is cyber hacking, cyber espionage and...

Respect Your Elders: Confucian Kindergartens Catch On in China

Jeremy Page
WSJ: China Real Time Report
The Party is now introducing traditional culture classes in state-run kindergartens and other levels of schooling.

Japan's 'Profound' New American Military Ties Are All About China: Q&A

Robert Marquand
Christian Science Monitor
Japan's parliament passes the most sweeping changes to Japan's defense policy since World War II...

The Missing Piece of US-China Relations: Trust

Michael Tai
Diplomat
“U.S. antipathy to China is rooted in angst about its rise and the prospect of American decline.”

Obama and China: Trying to Play Well With A Close Frenemy

David Nakamura
Washington Post
Obama plans to welcome Xi with the highest level of diplomatic pageantry for a foreign leader.

China Teaching Troops Folk Dances to Make Friends in Xinjiang

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China's military tries to improve relations with the minority people who live there...

Sinica Podcast

09.14.15

Parading Around China’s Military Legacy

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
The interpretation of history is an inherently political act in China, and the struggle for control of the narrative of the War of Resistance Against Japan—World War II—has heated up during the approach to the September 3 parade commemorating the...

Culture

09.11.15

French Director’s Chinese Movie Balances Freedom With Compromise

Jonathan Landreth
In 2012, French movie director Jean-Jacques Annaud got a warm welcome in China after more than a dozen years as persona non grata there for having offended official Chinese Communist Party history with his 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet—the story of...

China: Through the Looking Glass

Maura Cunningham
Orientalism is generally understood as a bad thing. What the “Through the Looking Glass” exhibit designers attempted to do was reclaim Orientalism, demonstrating that Western designers might only have a superficial understanding of China, but that...

Conversation

09.08.15

Advice for Xi Jinping

Nathan Gardels, Daniel H. Rosen & more
Later this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Washington for a state visit with President Obama. This week, a group of China experts from America traveled to Beijing to offer their advice to Chinese officials on how to conduct the...

The Important Anniversary China Won’t Celebrate in 2016

Kerry Brown
Diplomat
May 16, 1966 marked the start of the Cultural Revolution—but don’t except China to publicize the anniversary.

Caixin Media

09.08.15

Amnesty As a Stepping Stone to Rule of Law

A recent amnesty declaration affecting convicted criminals deemed no threat to society was a poignant reminder of China’s tradition of prudent punishment, support for human rights, and progress toward of rule of law.The recent decision by the...

Photo Zines That Explore Singapore’s Identity

Rena Silverman, photos by Sim Chi Yin
New York Times
In 1949, Sim Chi Yin’s grandfather, Shen Huansheng, a school principal and chief editor for the leftist Ipoh Daily newspaper, became a “Communist martyr.” A monument in Gaoshang with the inscription, “The tomb of martyr Shen Huansheng” proves it.

Seoul to Begin Discussions with Beijing on Unification

Kang Seung-woo
Korea Times
Park Gyun-hye said that Kim Jong-un is expected to take provocative actions in the future and it is important to deter them.

Viewpoint

09.04.15

Flying Tiger: Why I Turned Down an Invitation to China’s Victory Parade

Jack Edelman
I was invited to attend the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-fascist War and the Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese war this September, as a guest of a government that wanted me to represent friendship with the U.S...

Media

09.03.15

Who Is Xi Jinping? Introducing the Asia Society Podcast

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
Three years after Xi Jinping took control of China’s Communist Party and assumed the country’s leadership, he has emerged as one of the world’s most powerful people. But his tenure has also raised uncomfortable questions. Is he a reformer bent on...

China to Trim Military by 300,000

Charles Hutzler
Wall Street Journal
One of the world's largest militaries undergoes reforms to make it more effective...

Environment

09.03.15

The Yellow River: A History of China’s Water Crisis

from chinadialogue
During the hot, dry month of August 1992, the farmers of Baishan village in Hebei province and Panyang village in Henan came to blows. Residents from each village hurled insults and rudimentary explosives at the other across the Zhang River—the...

Viewpoint

09.03.15

The U.S. Was the True Mainstay in the Fight Against Japan in World War II

Han Lianchao from China Change
“When the Chinese people and the Chinese nation were in peril, the United States came to the rescue and asked for nothing in return. The U.S. never occupied a single inch of Chinese territory, never reaped any particular reward.”IAt 9:00 a.m. on...

Five Chinese Navy Ships Are Operating in Bering Sea Off Alaska Coast

Jeremy Page in Beijing and Gordon Lubold
Wall Street Journal
Chinese naval presence off Alaskan coast appears to be a first.

Features

09.02.15

Parading the People’s Republic

Geremie R. Barmé from China Heritage Quarterly
In light of the September 3, 2015, mega military parade held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing both to mark the seventieth anniversary of the end of Second Sino-Japanese War in 1945 and to acclaim the achievements of Xi Jinping, China’s Chairman of...

Conversation

09.02.15

What Is China’s Big Parade All About?

Pamela Kyle Crossley, Richard Bernstein & more
On September 3, China will mark the 70th anniversary of its World War II victory over Japan with a massive parade involving thousands of Chinese troops and an arsenal of tanks, planes, and missiles in a tightly choreographed march across Tiananmen...

As Economy Falters, Military Parade Offers Chance to Burnish China’s Image

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
China celebrates a new national holiday to honor the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Media

08.31.15

Netanyahu, Shanghai, and the Communist Party’s Forbidden History

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On August 26, the Israeli Embassy in China posted a one-minute video to its official account on Weibo, China’s huge microblogging platform, thanking the coastal Chinese city of Shanghai for its role sheltering roughly 20,000 Jews fleeing persecution...

Rethinking the Obama-Xi Summit

Joseph Bosco
Diplomat
How the U.S. might use the summit for a new “new model of great power relations.”

China’s Stocks Cap Biggest Selloff Since 2008 on Rescue Doubts

Enda Curran
Bloomberg
Bearish options market bets climbed as traders weighed level of state support before a World War II parade this week.

China Punishes Nearly 200 Over ‘Rumors’ About Stocks, Blasts and Parade

Edward Wong
New York Times
The moves indicate the political sensitivities aggravated in recent weeks by several volatile issues.

Donald Trump Meet the Chinese American Cook and the Father of ‘Birthright Citizenship’

Fred Barbash
Washington Post
All born or naturalized in the US and subject to jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the state where they reside.

U.S., China Stress Positives Ahead of Xi Trip

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
The world's two largest economies have mutual interests, like trying to rein in North Korea's nuclear program, sevear deep disagreements exist...

A Mainstay of Presidential Campaigning: China-bashing

Chick Reed
CBS News
Presidential candidates Trump, Walker, Rubio, Clinton and others are making politcal hay out of pitting the U.S. against China.

Books

08.27.15

China’s Disruptors

Edward Tse
In September 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world’s biggest-ever initial public offering. Since then, millions of investors and managers worldwide have pondered a fundamental question: What’s really going on with the new wave of China’s disruptors?Alibaba wasn’t an outlier—it’s one of a rising tide of thriving Chinese companies, mostly but not exclusively in the technology sector. Overnight, its founder, Jack Ma, appeared on the same magazine covers as American entrepreneurial icons like Mark Zuckerberg. Ma was quickly followed by the founders of other previously little-known companies, such as Baidu, Tencent, and Xiaomi.Over the past two decades, an unprecedented burst of entrepreneurialism has transformed China’s economy from a closed, impoverished, state-run system into a major power in global business. As products in China become more and more sophisticated, and as its companies embrace domestically developed technology, we will increasingly see Chinese goods setting global standards. Meanwhile, companies in the rest of the world wonder how they can access the fast-rising incomes of China’s 1.3 billion consumers.Now Edward Tse, a leading global strategy consultant, reveals how China got to this point, and what the country’s rise means for the United States and the rest of the world. Tse has spent more than twenty years working with senior Chinese executives, learning firsthand how China’s most powerful companies operate. He’s an expert on how private firms are thriving in what is still, officially, a communist country. His book draws on exclusive interviews and case studies to explore questions such as:What drives China’s entrepreneurs? Personal fame and fortune—or a quest for national pride and communal achievement?How do these companies grow so quickly? In 2005, Lenovo sold just one category of products (personal computers) in one market, China. Today, not only is it the world’s largest PC seller; it is also the world’s third-largest smartphone seller.How does Chinese culture shape the strategies and tactics of these business leaders? Can outsiders copy what the Chinese are doing?Can capitalists really thrive within a communist system? How does Tencent’s Pony Ma serve as a member of China’s parliament while running a company that dominates online games and messaging?What impact will China have on the rest of the world as its private companies enter new markets, acquire foreign businesses, and threaten established firms in countless industries?As Tse concludes: “I believe that as a consequence of the opening driven by China’s entrepreneurs, the push to invest in science, research, and development, and the new freedoms that people are enjoying across the country, China has embarked on a renaissance that could rival its greatest era in history—the Tang dynasty. These entrepreneurs are the front line in China’s intense hunger for success. They will have an even more remarkable impact on the global economy in the future, through the rest of this decade and beyond.” —Portfolio/Penguin{chop}

China’s Complexity Problem

Stephen S. Roach
Project Syndicate
The challenge for Xi Jinping is to prioritize plentiful political will in a way that keeps China on the course of reform and rebalancing.

Scott Walker Calls on Obama to Cancel Chinese State Visit

Zeke J. Miller
Time
Amid rising tension, a Republican calls to end a diplomatic courtesy.

Great Fall of China Sinks World Stocks, Dollar

Sinead Carew
Reuters
A near 9-percent dive in China shares and a sharp drop in the dollar and major commodities sent investors rushing for the exit.

Japan Refuses to Take Part in China’s ‘Victory Day’ Event to Mark End of War

Justin McCurry in Tokyo and Tom...
Guardian
Shinzo Abe has decided against visiting Beijing for the event, partly to protest against China’s regional military build-up.

China Says More than 10 Countries to Join Unprecedented WW II Military Parade

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
Russia and Kazakhstan are among those countries joining a parade in Beijing in September to commemorate China's WWII victory over Japan...

Conversation

08.18.15

How Should the U.S. Conduct the Xi Jinping State Visit?

Evan A. Feigenbaum, Arthur Waldron & more
As tensions increase between China and the United States over the value of the yuan, human rights violations, alleged cyber attacks, and disputed maritime territories, among other issues, how should the Obama administration conduct the upcoming...

China TV Anchor Bi Fujian to be Punished for Mao Insult

BBC
He committed "a serious violation of political discipline" mocking the man who led the Cultural Revolution and sparked a crippling famine...

China Hits Back at U.S. Criticism over South China Sea ‘Restrictions’

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
Free overflights and navigation doesn't equal foreign warships and jets to violate sovereignty and security, Beijing said. ...

Excerpts

08.10.15

What Happened to the Settlers the Japanese Army Abandoned in China

Michael Meyer
Seventy years ago today, thousands of Japanese settlers—mostly women and children—found themselves trapped in an area then known as Manchuria, or Manchukuo, the name of the puppet state the Japanese military established in 1931. Abandoned by their...

The Melancholy Pop Idol Who Haunts China

Hua Hsu
New Yorker
Teresa Teng’s influence is particularly powerful in China, which her parents had fled after the revolution.

China Seeks Businessman Said to Have Fled to U.S., Further Straining Ties

Michael Forsythe, Mark Mazetti
New York Times
Ling Wancheng is the younger brother of Ling Jihua, who for years held a post akin to that of the White House chief of staff.

Guo Boxiong Expelled From Chinese Communist Party in Bid to Reform Military

Philip Wen
Sydney Morning Herald
The military has been a core focus of President Xi Jinping's campaign against official corruption...

China’s Naked Emperors

Paul Krugman
New York Times
By trying to control the market China's rulers show that despite 25 years of success they have no idea what they’re doing...

Wan Li Obituary

John Gittings
Guardian
Former leader Wan Li, who died at age 98, was a reform-minded communist. In the post-Mao Zedong era, Wan achieved one great success only to fail dismally in another crucial enterprise.

Xi Turns Back the Clock on Women’s Rights in China

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Although it is unthinkable today, two decades ago 30,000 women from around the world converged outside Beijing to promote a host of social and political causes.

Louisa Lim: “How Chinese People Became Complicit...”

Louisa Lim
Guardian
I didn’t want to write this book. Even the thought of it scared me, but it hammered away at my conscience. When I finally gave in, I took elaborate precautions.

Conversation

07.21.15

Is China’s Reform Era Over and, If So, What’s Next?

Carl Minzner, Jeremy L. Wallace & more
Fordham Law School professor and regular ChinaFile contributor Carl Minzner says we've arrived at “China After the Reform Era,” a development that’s “not entirely bad” but also has a “dark side.” Minzner’s conclusions, excerpted below, come...

Japan Sharpens Censure of China Disputed Sea Activity

BBC
Japan is nearing approval of changes to a national security law that would allow Japanese troops to fight overseas for the first time since World War II.