Xi Jinping of China and Shinzo Abe of Japan Meet Amid Slight Thaw in Ties

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The meeting signaled a continued slight warming in otherwise frosty relations between Asia’s two top economies.

China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative

Jacob Stokes
Foreign Affairs
Beijing looks West toward Eurasian integration.

What China’s and Pakistan’s Special Friendship Means

Ishaan Tharoor
Washington Post
Sino-Pakistan friendship, read Islamabad billboards, "is higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, sweeter than honey, and stronger than steel."...

Shinzo Abe and Japan’s History

New York Times
But Japan cannot credibly help the U.S. to counter China in Asia if it seeks to repudiate criticism of its past.

US and EU Criticise Chinese Journalist’s Jailing for ‘Leaking State Secrets’

Tania Branigan
Guardian
Gao Yu vows to appeal her 7-yr sentence for allegedly leaking Document 9, revealing Party hostility to human rights.

Opinion: Gao Yu Verdict Sends Clear Message to Regime Critics in China

Deutsche Welle
Chinese journalist Gao Yu's seven year sentence again shows how Beijing authorities deal with critics of the regime...

Images Show Rapid Chinese Progress on New South China Sea Airstrip

David Brunnstrom
Reuters
China's new airstrips sit in a shipping lane through which $5 trillion of trade passes each year...

Wild Pigeon

Photos by Carolyn Drake, words by...
Daylight
“The underlying theme I heard when talking to people was that how you interpret things is how they will be, so its best to look at the bright side of things. You don’t mention bad dreams, or you try to interpret them in a positive way. People told...

Can the US and China Save the World?

Shannon Tiezzi
Diplomat
The Department of Commerce emphasized Obama's commitment to fighting climate change through clean energy development...

Media

04.14.15

Henry Paulson: ‘Dealing with China’

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
Speaking at Asia Society New York on April 13 with New Yorker correspondent Evan Osnos, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson explained that it’s impossible to predict the timing or magnitude of a financial crisis, but any country with...

Culture

04.10.15

A New Opera and Hong Kong’s Utopian Legacy

Denise Y. Ho
This year, the 43rd annual Hong Kong Arts Festival commissioned a chamber opera in three acts called Datong: The Chinese Utopia. Depicting the life and times of Kang Youwei (1858-1927), a philosopher and reformer of China’s last Qing dynasty, it...

Viewpoint

04.10.15

Bury Zhao Ziyang, and Praise Him

Julian B. Gewirtz
Zhao Ziyang, the premier and general secretary of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the 1980s, died on January 17, 2005. At a tightly controlled ceremony designed to avoid the kind of instability that the deaths of other controversial...

TV Presenter Insults Mao at Private Dinner

Tania Branigan
Guardian
CCTV is investigating a top presenters after he was caught calling Mao a “son of a bitch” at a private dinner.

Chinese Dreams and the African Renaissance

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Leaders in both China and Africa have articulated new visions for their respective regions that project a strong sense of confidence, renewal, and a break from once-dominant Western ideologies. In both cases, argues East is Read blogger Mothusi...

Books

04.09.15

Revolutionary Cycles in Chinese Cinema, 1951-1979

Zhuoyi Wang
A comprehensive history of how the conflicts and balances of power in the Maoist revolutionary campaigns from 1951 to 1979 complicated and diversified the meanings of films, this book offers a discursive study of the development of early PRC cinema. Wang closely investigates how film artists, Communist Party authorities, cultural bureaucrats, critics, and audiences negotiated, competed, and struggled with each other for the power to decide how to use films and how their extensively different, agonistic, and antagonistic power strategies created an ever-changing discursive network of meaning in cinema. —Palgrave Macmillan{chop}

Sinica Podcast

04.07.15

Cyber Leninism and the Political Culture of the Chinese Internet

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser Kuo and David Moser speak with Rogier Creemers, post-doctoral fellow at Oxford with a focus on Chinese Internet governance and author of the China Copyright and Media blog.{chop}

Born Red

New Yorker
How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao.

Books

04.02.15

Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy

Sulmaan Wasif Khan
In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Lhasa, leaving the People's Republic of China with a crisis on its Tibetan frontier. Sulmaan Wasif Khan tells the story of the PRC's response to that crisis and, in doing so, brings to life an extraordinary cast of characters: Chinese diplomats appalled by sky burials, Guomindang spies working with Tibetans in Nepal, traders carrying salt across the Himalayas, and Tibetan Muslims rioting in Lhasa. What Chinese policymakers confronted in Tibet, Khan argues, was not a "third world" but a "fourth world" problem: Beijing was dealing with peoples whose ways were defined by statelessness. As it sought to tighten control over the restive borderlands, Mao's China moved from a lighter hand to a harder, heavier imperial structure. That change triggered long-lasting shifts in Chinese foreign policy. Moving from capital cities to far-flung mountain villages, from top diplomats to nomads crossing disputed boundaries in search of pasture, this book shows Cold War China as it has never been seen before and reveals the deep influence of the Tibetan crisis on the political fabric of present-day China. —The University of North Carolina Press{chop}

American Admiral Flexing Muscles

Sydney Morning Herald
After taking aim at China's “Great Wall of Sand” China’s in the South China Sea, U.S. Admiral Harris has to make a plan. ...

New App Collects Xi’s Wisdom

Xinhua
The free app makes available Xi’s books including “The Governance of China.”

Xi Jinping Forever

Willy Lam
Foreign Policy
Is China’s increasingly powerful president angling to break tradition and extend his rule indefinitely?

U.S. Navy Alarmed at Beijing’s ‘Great Wall of Sand’ in So China Sea

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
US Admiral says competing territorial claims in the South China Sea are “increasing regional tensions and the potential for miscalculation." ...

Reports

04.01.15

U.S.-China 21: The Future of U.S.-China Relations Under Xi Jinping

Kevin Rudd
Harvard University
We are, therefore, seeing the emergence of an asymmetric world in which the fulcrums of economic and military power are no longer co-located, but, in fact, are beginning to diverge significantly. Political power, through the agency of foreign policy...

Sinica Podcast

03.30.15

Comfort Women and the Struggle for Reparations

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser talks with Lucy Hornby, China correspondent for the Financial Times and author of a recent piece on China’s last surviving Chinese comfort women and their longstanding and often futile attempt to seek reparations in both China and Japan.Also...

Lee Kuan Yew, the Man Who Remade Asia

Orville Schell
Wall Street Journal
He preached ‘Asian values’ and turned a tiny, poor city-state into an astonishing economic success. Is Lee’s ‘Singapore model’ the future of Asia?

Apple is Hitler, says Chinese CEO

James Vincent
Verge
Chinese tech firm LeTV is rumored to be entering the smartphone market.

US Admiral: China Counter-Space Threat Is ‘Real’

Diplomat
China’s ability to wage war in space is a major concern for the United States.,

Media

03.25.15

Was Lee Kuan Yew an Inspiration or a Race Traitor? Chinese Can’t Agree

Rachel Lu
When Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore, passed away at the ripe age of 91 on March 23, the elderly statesman was as controversial in death as in life—and nowhere was the debate more vigorous than in China. While state media was full of...

In Lee Kuan Yew, China Saw a Leader to Emulate

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Singapore won an outsize influence with China after they embarked on an experiment with controlled capitalism.

Singapore’s Lee Seen as an Inspiration for Modern China

Christoper Bodeen
Associated Press
Chinese leaders admired Singapore's founder Lee Kuan Yew for toughness, economic pragmatism, and insistence on respect for authority...

Culture

03.23.15

Wordplay

Nicholas Griffin
Way back when, let’s say in 2012, the city of Miami and the country of China rarely mixed in sentences. Since then, connections between the Far East and the northernmost part of Latin America have become more and more frequent. Three years ago, a...

Indonesian President Says China’s Main Claim in South China Sea Has No Legal Basis

Kanupriya Kapoor and Linda Sieg
Reuters
Jakarta says it wants to remain an "honest broker" in one of Asia's most thorny territorial disputes...

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...