Singapore Former PM Meets with Chinese Leaders

People’s Daily Online
Pepople's Daily photo archive of the late Lee Kwan Yew's meetings with five of China's top leaders...

How ‘Old Friend’ Lee Kuan Yew Influenced China

Chun Han Wong and Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
“Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was an old friend of the Chinese people,” Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote to Singapore President Tony Tan.

Sinica Podcast

03.23.15

In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined by Michael Meyer, the author of The Last Days of Old Beijing and now In Manchuria, a part literary travelogue and part journalistic account of three years spent living with family in rural Jilin.{...

China’s ‘Comfort Women’

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Thousands of Chinese women were forced into sex slavery during the second world war. Here is one survivor’s story. 

China, Japan Start First Security Talks in Four Years

Kiyoshi Takenaka
Reuters
Step aimed at thawing ties plagued by the legacy of Japan’s wartime aggression and a territorial dispute. 

Books

03.18.15

Confucius

Michael Schuman
Confucius is perhaps the most important philosopher in history. Today, his teachings shape the daily lives of more than 1.6 billion people. Throughout East Asia, Confucius’s influence can be seen in everything from business practices and family relationships to educational standards and government policies. Even as western ideas from Christianity to Communism have bombarded the region, Confucius’s doctrine has endured as the foundation of East Asian culture. It is impossible to understand East Asia, journalist Michael Schuman demonstrates, without first engaging with Confucius and his vast legacy.Confucius created a worldview that is in many respects distinct from, and in conflict with, Western culture. As Schuman shows, the way that East Asian companies are managed, how family members interact with each other, and how governments see their role in society all differ from the norm in the West due to Confucius’s lasting impact. Confucius has been credited with giving East Asia an advantage in today’s world, by instilling its people with a devotion to learning, and propelling the region’s economic progress. Still, the sage has also been highly controversial. For the past 100 years, East Asians have questioned if the region can become truly modern while Confucius remains so entrenched in society. He has been criticized for causing the inequality of women, promoting authoritarian regimes, and suppressing human rights.Despite these debates, East Asians today are turning to Confucius to help them solve the ills of modern life more than they have in a century. As a wealthy and increasingly powerful Asia rises on the world stage, Confucius, too, will command a more prominent place in global culture.Touching on philosophy, history, and current affairs, Confucius tells the vivid, dramatic story of the enigmatic philosopher whose ideas remain at the heart of East Asian civilization.  —Basic Books {chop}

Xi Meets with Kissinger, Calls for More Trust Between China, U.S.

Xinhua
Kissinger hailed the ongoing historic reform in China.

Why China Can’t Get too Angry at Burma for Dropping Bombs

William Wan and Xu Jing
Washington Post
Burma remains a large importer of Chinese weapons amd China needs the country's energy and raw materials. ...

China-Taiwan Relations: China's Bottom Line

Economist
Tensions will rise again if the winner of Taiwan’s next presidential election fails to back the One China notion.

South Korea Tells China Not to Meddle in Decision Over Missile System

Choe Sang-hun
New York Times
The United States has made it increasingly clear that it wants South Korea to install a American missile defense system.

China’s Army in Show of Force Along Myanmar Border After Fatal Bombing

Xin Lin and Wen Yuqing
Radio Free Asia
Tensions rising between Asian neighbors after death of five people in Yunnan.

Is the Chinese Dragon Losing its Puff?

Peter Hartcher
Sydney Morning Herald

Books

03.16.15

The China Collectors

Shareen Blair Brysac and Karl E. Meyer
Thanks to Salem sea captains, Gilded Age millionaires, curators on horseback, and missionaries gone native, North American museums now possess the greatest collections of Chinese art outside of East Asia itself. How did it happen? The China Collectors is the first full account of a century-long treasure hunt in China from the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion to Mao Zedong's 1949 ascent.The principal gatherers are mostly little known and defy invention. They included "foreign devils" who braved desert sandstorms, bandits, and local warlords in acquiring significant works. Adventurous curators like Langdon Warner, a forebear of Indiana Jones, argued that the caves of Dunhuang were already threatened by vandals, thereby justifying the removal of frescoes and sculptures. Other Americans include George Kates, an alumnus of Harvard, Oxford, and Hollywood, who fell in love with Ming furniture. The Chinese were divided between dealers who profited from the artworks' removal, and scholars who sought to protect their country's patrimony. Duanfang, the greatest Chinese collector of his era, was beheaded in a coup and his splendid bronzes now adorn major museums. Others in this rich tapestry include Charles Lang Freer, an enlightened Detroit entrepreneur, two generations of Rockefellers, and Avery Brundage, the imperious Olympian, and Arthur Sackler, the grand acquisitor. No less important are two museum directors, Cleveland's Sherman Lee and Kansas City's Laurence Sickman, who challenged the East Coast's hegemony.Shareen Blair Brysac and Karl E. Meyer even-handedly consider whether ancient treasures were looted or salvaged, and whether it was morally acceptable to spirit hitherto inaccessible objects westward, where they could be studied and preserved by trained museum personnel. And how should the U.S. and Canada and their museums respond now that China has the means and will to reclaim its missing patrimony?—Palgrave Macmillan {chop}

Q. and A.: David Shambaugh on the Risks to Chinese Communist Rule

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Shambaugh’s recent essay argued that the “endgame of Chinese communist rule has now begun.”

Shambaugh China Essay in Shambles

China Daily
Shambaugh's deep flaw is that he looked at China with a bias, completely ignoring the positive aspects...

Chinese Debate Potential Collapse of Communist Party

Joanna Chiu
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Debate sparked by an essay by David Shambaugh, professor of international affairs at George Washington University.

Conversation

03.11.15

Is China Really Cracking Up?

Suisheng Zhao, Arthur R. Kroeber & more
On March 7, The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by David Shambaugh arguing that “the endgame of Chinese communist rule has now begun...and it has progressed further than many think.” Shambaugh laid out a variety of signs he believes...

China Celebrates International Women’s Day By Arresting Women’s Rights Activists

Matthew Sheehan
Huffington Post
Many women’s rights groups activists who also work on LGBT issues have gone into hiding.

Sorry, America: China Is NOT Going to Collapse

Chen Dingding
National Interest
David Shambaugh bases his conclusion on flawed interpretations of recent socioeconomic and political developments.

US Should Consider Establishing a So China Sea Intl Ops Ctr in Indonesia

Jeff W. Benson
USNI News
The PLA Navy is building more submarines and ships and intends to operate three aircraft carriers.

Under the China Dome – A Reality Check

Cao Yaxue
China Change
China’s left foot wants to go north, and China’s right foot wants to go south. Both feet have the same goal, and, that is, to maintain the one-party rule.

The Coming Chinese Crack-Up

Wall Street Journal
Predicting the demise of authoritarian regimes is a risky business.

How China Fuels Myanmar’s Wars

Matthew F. Smith
New York Times
No one should be investing in large-scale development projects in Myanmar’s war zones until durable peace agreements are established.

China’s Military Budget Increasing 10% for 2015, Official Says

Chris Buckley and Edward Wong
New York Times
Increase would put the budget around $145 billion, the world’s second-largest, though still far behind the United States,

Media

03.04.15

The Other China

Michael Meyer & Ian Buruma
Writers Michael Meyer and Ian Buruma engage in a discussion co-sponsored by The New York Review of Books centered on Meyer’s new book, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, which combines immersion...

Travels with My Censor

New Yorker
China’s reading public has begun to discover nonfiction books about China by foreigners.

Earthbound China

03.02.15

Village Acupuncture

Andrew Stokols
On a bamboo-covered mountaintop the mud-walled houses of Diaotan village are just barely visible through the thick fog that often shrouds this remote hamlet in China’s Zhejiang province. Worn but sturdy earthen walls still enclose the largest...

Sinica Podcast

03.02.15

Keep in Touch, Nightman

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In 1997, Beijing was smaller city, and Keep in Touch, Jamhouse, and Nightman were the hippest venues around. There was no traffic on the ring roads, and if you got tired of Chinese food you might take a trip to Fangzhuang to visit this Italian...

Chinese Diplomat Tells West to Consider Russia’s Security Concerns over Ukraine

Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
China's ambassador to Belgium urged Western powers to "abandon the zero-sum mentality" with Russia...

China’s Neighbors Build Up Militaries

Trefor Moss
Wall Street Journal
China’s neighbors are moving forward with the modernization of their militaries with new fighter jets, submarines and other hardware, even as Beijing has tried to tamp down territorial tensions in the region.

Conversation

02.27.15

Are China and Russia Forging a New Ideological Bloc?

Jacqueline N. Deal, Wu Jianmin & more
With evidence of ties strengthening between Beijing and Moscow—over energy contracts, the handling of the Ukraine, and their diplomats' stance toward outside interference in internal affairs, especially if it's perceived as coming from...

Xi Jinping Hopes to Count in Chinese Political History With ‘Four Comprehensives’ -

Wall Street Journal
Chinese President Xi Jinping has uncorked his own ordinal political philosophy.

Traffic Peaks as Lunar New Year Holiday Ends

Meng Jie
Xinhua
The last day of the holiday saw about 9.7 million train trips, 1.4 million by plane, and 73.6 million by highway.

China Looks West to Bring ‘Wolf Totem’ to Screen

New York Times
French director Jean-Jacques Annaud was reportedly long-banned from China for “his 1997 film "Seven Years in Tibet."...

China Protests India Leader’s Visit to Disputed Border Area

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
A large portion of the Austria-size state is claimed by China, and the two sides fought a border war over the area in 1962.

Ringing In the Lunar New Year, Whatever It’s Called

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Because Han Chinese culture developed in regions where herders and goats prevailed, many think the zodiac talisman must be a goat.

China Says Thousands Forced to Flee Myanmar Fighting

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
The Yunnan government said that since Feb. 9 there had been more than 30,000 trips by border residents both into and out of China.

Soft Recruits Hinder China’s Military Modernization

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Many of China's army conscripts have been raised as spoiled children of the one-child policy and need toughening up, a RAND report says. ...

China, Russia to Mark 70th Anniversary of End of WWII in Show of Unity |

Laura Zhou
South China Morning Post
Military parades marking anniversary give two nations platform to offset U.S. influence while diplomats reassure Japan.

Conversation

02.12.15

Is Mao Still Dead?

Rebecca E. Karl, Michael Schoenhals & more
It has long been standard operating procedure for China’s leaders to pay tribute to Mao. Even as the People’s Republic he wrought has embraced capitalist behavior with ever more heated ardor, the party he founded has remained firmly in power and his...

Learn the History of Modern China Through Photobooks

Ye Ming
Time
A new book and exhibition reveals the untold history of photobook publishing in China.

In Sharp Words From Xi, Ominous Implications for China’s Legal Reforms

Stanley Lubman
Wall Street Journal
A Communist saying about the role of law states “the handle of the knife is firmly in the hands of the party and the people.”

Books

02.10.15

Buried Ideas

Sarah Allan
The discovery of previously unknown philosophical texts from the Axial Age is revolutionizing our understanding of Chinese intellectual history. Buried Ideas presents and discusses four texts found on brush-written slips of bamboo and their seemingly unprecedented political philosophy. Written in the regional script of Chu during the Warring States period (475–221 BCE), all of the works discuss Yao’s abdication to Shun and are related to but differ significantly from the core texts of the classical period, such as the Mencius and Zhuangzi. Notably, these works evince an unusually meritocratic stance, and two even advocate abdication over hereditary succession as a political ideal. Sarah Allan includes full English translations and her own modern-character editions of the four works examined: Tang Yú zhi dao, Zigao, Rongchengshi, and Bao xun. In addition, she provides an introduction to Chu-script bamboo-slip manuscripts and the complex issues inherent in deciphering them. —SUNY Press{chop}

Q. and A.: Andrew Small on the China-Pakistan Relationship

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The book “The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics” argues that there have always been irritants below the surface.

Obama’s Public Encounter With the Dalai Lama Riles China

New York Times
Obama previously met the Dalai Lama privately in the White House rather than in public.

Conversation

02.05.15

What’s the Case for Heads of State Meeting the Dalai Lama?

Francesco Sisci, Robert Barnett & more
On Thursday in Washington, the Dalai Lama attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama, angering China's leaders in Beijing who have long called the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader a "splittist" and...

Culture

02.04.15

‘This is not that China Story’

James Carter & Michael Meyer
James Carter spent much of the 1990s researching the modern history of Harbin, China’s northernmost major city, in the region that is today known as dongbei, the northeast. That region is the subject of Michael Meyer’s forthcoming book, In Manchuria...

Why Scrapping Quotas in China’s Criminal Justice System Won’t Be Easy

Stanley Lubman
Wall Street Journal
Can judicial reform increase the courts' independence by reducing local government and party influence? ...

China and the World: Yuan for All

Economist
The yuan is not yet fully convertible and will not be for several years, which limits China's influence...

China Expels Top Police Official from Communist Party

Reuters
Cai Guangliao, a major general in the paramilitary armed police, accepted bribes, illegally engaging in business activities and accepting gifts.

Excerpts

01.28.15

The View from Wasteland

Michael Meyer
In winter the land is frozen and still. A cloudless sky shines off snow-covered rice paddies, reflecting light so bright, you have to shield your eyes. I lean into a stinging wind and trudge north up Red Flag Road, to a village named Wasteland.The...

China Tries to Stay Aloof From a Warming U.S.-India Relationship

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Beijing is aware India’s problems with the United States are based largely on Washington’s relationship with Pakistan.

Xi Stresses Adherence to Dialectical Materialism

Xinhua
China should not be judged by GDP alone, said the president. China should be judged by its transition in economic development, restructuring, dissolution of overcapacity and by the strength of the nation's commitment to an ecological society...

China Communist Party Magazine Blasts Professors Who Spread ‘Western Values’

George Chen
South China Morning Post
Party journal's commentary targets liberal academics after President Xi Jinping calls for 'ideological guidance' for teachers and students ...

Reporter Honored for Clearing Dead Man’s Name

Ma Chi
China Daily
Hugjiltu, a man of Mongolian ethnicity, was sentenced to death for rape and murder in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia autonomous region, in 1996. The 18-year-old was executed 62 days after being charged, despite doubts about the evidence...

China Says Ousted Security Tsar’s Influence Corrupted Others

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
Last year, China arrested Zhou and expelled him from the party, accusing him of crimes ranging from taking bribes to leaking state secrets.

Why Paul Krugman is Scared of China

Sophia Yan
CNN
"China scares me," he said Tuesday at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong. "It scares me not because the policies have been wrong or anything, but because of the magnitude of the adjustment."...

5 Takeaways from China’s GDP

Richard Silk
Wall Street Journal
For much of the last two decades, China has been working overtime to drive the growth of the world economy. Now, it’s slowing to suborbital speeds.

China Reports Sharp Rise in HIV Cases

Patti Waldmeir
Financial Times
China had nearly half a million people living with the virus or disease by the end of August last year, with 70,000 of them newly diagnosed in the first eight months of 2014, official statistics showed.

Is ‘China’s Machiavelli’ Now Its Most Important Political Philosopher?

Ryan Mitchell
Diplomat
Much like a dragon, “the ruler of men has bristling scales. Only if a speaker can avoid brushing against them can he have any hope of success.”