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.

Understanding Xi Jinping’s ‘Key Minority’

Lu Yiyi
Wall Street Journal
Xi’s renewed attention to the performance of county leaders shows that he is relying on local officials to play a pivotal role in implementing his program.

One-Time Aide to China’s Ex-President Accused of Corruption

CNN
Party investigators accuse Ling Jihua, 58, once aide to former President Hu Jintao, of accepting bribes and illegally obtaining party and state secrets.

Biggest Ever Winged Dinosaur is Found in China

Ian Sample
Guardian
An ancient feathered creature dug up in northeastern China is the largest winged dinosaur ever found, researchers say.

China Locks Up Lawyers, Defending the Rule of Law

Economist
Amnesty International says 120 lawyers, and more than 50 support staff, family members and activists, have been rounded up in China since July 9th.

Two Way Street

07.09.15

The ‘Two Orders’ and the Future of China-U.S. Relations

Wang Jisi from Two Way Street
The China-U.S. relationship may be the most complex relationship that has ever existed between two major powers. Ties between China and the United States are deepening, and at every level the interaction between the two countries is marked by both...

Both China and Taiwan Have South China Sea Obligations

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China and Taiwan share claims to the South China Sea, a legacy of the civil war when the Communists beat the Nationalists and took control of the mainland in 1949.

China’s Confucius Institutes and the Soft War

David Volodzko
Diplomat
The first Confucius Institute opened its door in November 2004 in Seoul, South Korea. Hanban, or the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

Chinese Tourists Warned over Turkey Uighur Protests

BBC
China advised citizens against travelling to Turkey after it said several tourists were attacked in protests over the Chinese government's treatment of Uighur Muslims...

Fears Raised as "A Third" of China Great Wall Vanishes

Maggie Hiufu Wong and Serena Dong
CNN
About 30%, of the ancient fortification built in the Ming Dynasty era has disappeared due to natural erosion and human damage, according to the Beijing Times.

China National Security Law Won’t Apply to Hong Kong

Jeffie Lam
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong has a provision on national security law-Article 23, stating that it can enact laws to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, or subversion.

China National Security Law Aims to Create 'Garrison State'

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
The law marks a crackdown on activism and dissent, featuring repression of civil-society groups, and warnings against the spread of Western ideas.

Taiwan Youth to China: Treat Us Like a Country

Michael Gold
Reuters
Activists tie themselves up in chains, block mountain roads, scale fences and throw red paint balloons in a wave of anti-China sentiment to turn politics in the next election.

Thousands Protest on Anniversary of Hong Kong’s Return to China

Alan Wong
New York Times
As Hong Kong marks the 18th anniversary of its handover from Britain from China, thousands take to the street to rally for democracy.

The Truth About China’s New National Security Law

Ankit Panda
Diplomat
China’s national legislature passed a national security law who's mandate covers politics, the military, finance, religion, cyberspace, and even ideology and religion...

Features

07.01.15

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Protests Were More Than Just a Student Movement

Samson Yuen & Edmund Cheng
For almost three months in late 2014, what came to be known as the Umbrella Movement amplified Hong Kong’s bitter struggle for the democracy its people were promised when China assumed control of the territory from Britain in 1997. Originally a...

With Beijing’s Voting Plan Dead, Hong Kong Looks Ahead

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
The rejection of a Beijing-backed plan to let the public elect Hong Kong’s top officials begs the question of what happens next.

Books

06.25.15

City of Virtues

Chuck Wooldridge
Throughout Nanjing’s history, writers have claimed that its spectacular landscape of mountains and rivers imbued the city with “royal qi,” making it a place of great political significance. City of Virtues examines the ways a series of visionaries, drawing on past glories of the city, projected their ideologies onto Nanjing as they constructed buildings, performed rituals, and reworked the literary heritage of the city. More than an urban history of Nanjing from the late 18th century until 1911―encompassing the Opium War, the Taiping occupation of the city, the rebuilding of the city by Zeng Guofan, and attempts to establish it as the capital of the Republic of China―this study shows how utopian visions of the cosmos shaped Nanjing’s path through the turbulent 19th century.―University of Washington Press{chop}

Charleston Shooting: A U.S. Expat’s View From Afar

Alyssa Abkowitz
Wall Street Journal
There’s perspective that’s gained by watching the US from afar; it helps expats understand why locals may view America as dangerous.

China Voice: Cooperation Prevails Over Confrontation in China-U.S. Ties

Xinhua
The dialogues will help pave the way for President Xi Jinping's state visit to the U.S. in September...

Caixin Media

06.22.15

Why Fukuyama Still Beats a Drum for Democracy

American author and political scientist Francis Fukuyama has long extolled the virtues of democracy against the backdrop of the Soviet Union’s collapse and the end of the Cold War.Fukuyama’s best-selling book The End of History and the Last Man...

China Extends Reach into Hong Kong to Thwart Democrats

James Pomfret and Greg Torode
Reuters
Democrats rejected a Beijing-backed Hong Kong electoral reform package but face an increasingly organized Chinese government.

China will welcome only anti-independence candidate for Taiwan president

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
For upcoming Taiwan presidential election, China will only accept anti-independence candidates.

Hong Kong Vetoes China-Backed Electoral Reform Proposal

Donny Kwok and Yimou Lee
Reuters
The rejection was expected and will likely appease activists who demanded a veto of what they call "fake" reforms...

Conversation

06.17.15

Has China’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Experiment Failed?

George Chen, Alvin Y.H. Cheung & more
As Hong Kong’s legislature began debate this week on the reform package that could shape the future of the local political system, the former British colony’s pro-democracy lawmakers swore again they will reject electoral reforms proposed by the...

Books

06.16.15

The Yellow River

David A. Pietz
Flowing through the heart of the North China Plain―home to 200 million people―the Yellow River sustains one of China’s core regions. Yet this vital water supply has become highly vulnerable in recent decades, with potentially serious repercussions for China’s economic, social, and political stability. The Yellow River is an investigative expedition to the source of China’s contemporary water crisis, mapping the confluence of forces that have shaped the predicament that the world’s most populous nation now faces in managing its water reserves.Chinese governments have long struggled to maintain ecological stability along the Yellow River, undertaking ambitious programs of canal and dike construction to mitigate the effects of recurrent droughts and floods. But particularly during the Maoist years the North China Plain was radically re-engineered to utilize every drop of water for irrigation and hydroelectric generation. As David A. Pietz shows, Maoist water management from 1949 to 1976 cast a long shadow over the reform period, beginning in 1978. Rapid urban growth, industrial expansion, and agricultural intensification over the past three decades of China’s economic boom have been realized on a water resource base that was acutely compromised, with effects that have been more difficult and costly to overcome with each passing decade. Chronicling this complex legacy, The Yellow River provides important insight into how water challenges will affect China’s course as a twenty-first-century global power.―Harvard University Press{chop}

China to Halt Its Building of Islands, but Not Its Projects on Them

Edward Wong
New York Times
China will soon halt island building in the South China Sea but will continue constructing military and civilian facilities.

Features

06.16.15

Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Mao Era?

Andrew G. Walder, Roderick MacFarquhar & more
Following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society New York on May 21, 2015, “ChinaFile Presents: Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Politics of the Mao Era?” The evening convened the scholars Roderick MacFarquhar and...

Conversation

06.11.15

How Will Beijing Treat Myanmar’s Symbol of Democracy?

Jurgen Haacke & David Mathieson
Burmese opposition leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar, is visiting the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing for five days this week, through Sunday. Also courted by...

Top Leaders to Host Suu Kyi on Her 1st Visit to China

Louise Watt
Associated Press
The five-day visit includes no public appearances and gives Beijing a chance to get to know Suu Kyi as her country has shifted toward the West.

Americans Buy a Fifth of China’s Exports

Bloomberg
Americans bought almost $1 out of every $5 worth of goods that China exported in May, the highest share since August 2010.

Conversation

06.06.15

Should the U.S. Change its China Policy and How?

Hugh White , Mary Kay Magistad & more
The past several months have seen a growing chorus of calls for the U.S. to take stock of its policy toward China. Some prominent voices have called for greater efforts by the U.S. and China to forge “a substantive sense of common purpose,” while...

Media

06.05.15

Hong Kong’s Long-Standing Unity on Tiananmen Is Unraveling

June 4, a day that changed mainland China forever, has become a cross that the city of Hong Kong bears. Each year, thousands of the city’s residents gather on an often steamy night and share anxious memories of 1989, when tanks rolled by bloodied...

China Is Exporting its Tiananmen Censorship, and We Are All Victims

Foreign Policy
Twenty six years after the killing of student protesters, the code of silence is spreading worldwide.

In North Korea: Wonder & Terror

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
The northeast of China used to be called Manchuria. Another name was “the cockpit of Asia.” Many wars were fought there. A French priest who traveled through the region in the 1920s wrote: “Although it is uncertain where God created paradise, we can...

Postcard

06.03.15

Beijing Autumn

Ilaria Maria Sala
Then even August ended. China was disappearing from the news, as portentous events elsewhere thrust themselves to the forefront.South Africa had started to come out of the dark age of apartheid. Eastern Europe had begun the march to unshackle itself...

Books

06.02.15

China Under Mao

Andrew G. Walder
China’s Communist Party seized power in 1949 after a long period of guerrilla insurgency followed by full-scale war, but the Chinese revolution was just beginning. China Under Mao narrates the rise and fall of the Maoist revolutionary state from 1949 to 1976—an epoch of startling accomplishments and disastrous failures, steered by many forces but dominated above all by Mao Zedong.Mao’s China, Andrew Walder argues, was defined by two distinctive institutions established during the first decade of Communist Party rule: a Party apparatus that exercised firm (sometimes harsh) discipline over its members and cadres; and a socialist economy modeled after the Soviet Union. Although a large national bureaucracy had oversight of this authoritarian system, Mao intervened strongly at every turn. The doctrines and political organization that produced Mao’s greatest achievements―victory in the civil war, the creation of China’s first unified modern state, a historic transformation of urban and rural life—also generated his worst failures: the industrial depression and rural famine of the Great Leap Forward and the violent destruction and stagnation of the Cultural Revolution.Misdiagnosing China’s problems as capitalist restoration and prescribing continuing class struggle against imaginary enemies as the solution, Mao ruined much of what he had built and created no viable alternative. At the time of his death, he left China backward and deeply divided.—Harvard University Press{chop}{node, 16186, 4}

Chinese Democracy Isn’t Inevitable

Daniel Bell
Atlantic
Can a political system be democratically legitimate without being democratic?

Will China Close Its Doors?

New York Times
The draft “Foreign NGO Management Law” is part of a package of legislation that includes strict laws on national security and antiterrorism.

Culture

06.01.15

Chinese Writers and Chinese Reality

Ouyang Bin
My first encounter with Liu Zhenyun was in 2003. At the time, cell phones had just become available in China and they were complicating people’s relationships. I witnessed a couple break up because of the secrets stored on a phone. I watched people...