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.”

Conversation

01.16.15

Why Did The West Weep for Paris But Not for Kunming?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Taisu Zhang & more
In the days since the attacks that killed 12 people at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Chinese netizens have watched the outpouring of solidarity. As our colleagues at Foreign Policy reported earlier this week, the...

‘Better Than Nothing’: U.K. Foreign Office Backs Beijing’s Hong Kong Reforms

Danny Lee
South China Morning Post
London is throwing its weight behind reform proposals in an attempt yet to heal a diplomatic rift with Beijing.

China Enlists Citizens to Patrol Border with North Korea

Sui-Lee Wee and Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
China is sending civilian militias to help secure the border it shares with North Korea in the wake of two reported killings of Chinese citizens by North Koreans that could strain ties between Pyongyang and its sole major ally.

One Among Many

The Economist
Economist
Across Africa, radio call-in programs are buzzing with tales of Africans, usually men, bemoaning the loss of their spouses and partners to rich Chinese men.

China’s 109-Year-Old Dissenter Is Still Fighting for Democracy

Tom Hancock
Business Insider
Born when a Qing dynasty emperor was on the throne, the man who helped invent the Pinyin writing system used for transliterating Chinese worldwide turns 109 on Tuesday. But Zhou Youguang's outspoken support for democracy means his writings are...

In Remote Thai Villages, Legacy of China’s Lost Army Endures

Amy Qin
New York Times
At night, traditional Chinese red lanterns illuminate the hotels, shop fronts and Yunnanese-style restaurants lining the main road in this highland village of just over 1,000 people. On one recent evening, as the mist rose off a nearby reservoir,...

Why China Will Become a Global Military Power

Oriana Skylar Mastro
Lawfare Blog
To some, China is likely an expansionist country akin to Germany before WWI. Others argue that China’s assertive behavior in its regional offshore island disputes is simply a manifestation of the Chinese Communist Party’s focus on domestic stability...

Sri Lankan Poll Upset a Blow to China’s Indian Ocean Plans

Natalie Obiko Pearson
Bloomberg
Mahinda Rajapaksa, who tightened ties with China during his decade-long rule, conceded defeat today in Sri Lanka’s closely-fought presidential election. His successor Maithripala Sirisena used his campaign to criticize the island nation’s increasing...

Conversation

01.08.15

What Does Hong Kong’s Post-Protest Report Signal For Relations with Beijing?

David Schlesinger, Joseph Cheng & more
This week, we saw the release of the official government “Report on the Recent Community and Political Situation in Hong Kong.” It concluded: "It is the common aspiration of the Central Authorities [in Beijing], the [Hong Kong Special...

Sinica Podcast

01.06.15

The Sinica Podcast’s Second Annual Call-In Show

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
If you’ve been following all of the news and gossip involving China for the last year, join Kaiser and Jeremy as they take call-in questions and talk insider politics on everything from the ongoing anti-corruption campaign to the question of coming...

Caixin Media

01.06.15

In Praise of Hu Feng

Sheila Melvin
Hu Feng (1902-85) is a name that most students of P.R.C. history have undoubtedly encountered at one time or another. I remember reading it for the first time years ago in Jonathan Spence's "The Search for Modern China." It stuck in...

Tencent Launches China’s First Online-only Bank

Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
WeBank, a joint venture led by Chinese gaming and social network group Tencent Holdings, became the first private bank to start operations under a pilot, after the banking regulator granted licences to six such institutions last year. Its name comes...

Inside a Chinese Test-Prep Factory

Brook Larmer
New York Times
One minute later, at precisely 11:45, the stillness was shattered. Thousands of teenagers swarmed out of the towering front gate of Maotanchang High School. Many of them wore identical black-and-white Windbreakers emblazoned with the slogan, in...

China’s Brave Underground Journal—II

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In downtown Beijing, just a little over a mile west of the Forbidden City, is one of China’s most illustrious high schools. Its graduates regularly attend the country’s best universities or go abroad to study, while foreign leaders and CEOs make...

Other

12.30.14

A Look Back at 2014

It’s hard to believe, but ChinaFile is almost two years old. It’s been an exciting year for us, and, as ever, an eventful year for China. It was a year of muscular leadership from Xi Jinping, who has now been in office just over two years and who...

Books

12.23.14

Top Five China Books of 2014

Laura Chang
As the editor of ChinaFile’s Books section, I have the privilege of meeting and interviewing some amazing writers covering China today—academics, journalists, scholars, activists. Based on these conversations, we create short videos of the...

China in 2014 Through the Eyes of a Human Rights Advocate

Yaxue Cao from China Change
This time last year, volunteers and I were busy writing and translating articles to prepare for the New Citizens Movement trials. Many Chinese voices were speaking out forcefully against these trials: law professors, rights lawyers, liberal...

Conversation

12.19.14

Just How Successful Is Xi Jinping?

Ian Johnson & Trey Menefee
Last week, Arthur Kroeber, Editor of the China Economic Quarterly opined that “…the Chinese state is not fragile. The regime is strong, increasingly self-confident, and without organized opposition.” His essay, which drew strong, if divided,...