Conversation

09.21.17

What Will China Do if the U.S. Attacks North Korea?

Shen Dingli & Bonnie S. Glaser
During a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, U.S. President Donald Trump warned that if North Korea threatened the United States or its allies, he would “totally destroy” the nation. As tensions continue to rise between...

Media

09.18.17

Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century

Richard McGregor, Susan Shirk & more
The following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society in New York on September 7, 2017, and named for a new book by Richard McGregor, the former Beijing Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, “ChinaFile Presents: ‘Asia’s...

Viewpoint

09.15.17

The Unprecedented Reach of China’s Surveillance State

Stanley Lubman
The Chinese Party-state is building a social credit system for collecting information about all of its citizens by police, courts, and other institutions. This enables the government to reach into society to a degree unprecedented in history...

Smuggling Operations at Sea Targeted in Latest UN Sanctions against North Korea

Liu Zhen
South China Morning Post
The UN has called on member states to use “new tools” to clamp down on smuggling activities at sea under the latest sanctions against North Korea following its nuclear test last week.

Sinica Podcast

09.11.17

China’s Tightening Grip on Cyberspace

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Adam Segal returns to Sinica to comment on China’s recent cybersecurity law—where it came from, how it changed as it was being drafted, and how it may shape the flow of information in China in the future. Other issues discussed include the...

China to Shut Bitcoin Exchanges

Chao Deng
Wall Street Journal
Chinese authorities are ordering domestic bitcoin exchanges to shut down, delivering a heavy blow to once-thriving trading hubs that helped popularize the virtual currency pushing it to recent record highs.

China Steps up Curbs on Virtual Currency Trading

Peng Qinqin, Wu Yujian and Han Wei
Chinese regulators ordered a halt to all virtual currency trading platforms in the country, acting to further rein in risks related to cryptocurrencies, Caixin learned from a source close to regulators.

Pro-Independence from China Posters Appearing on Hong Kong Campuses Stoke New Tension

Pak Yiu, Christine Chan
Reuters
Thirteen Hong Kong universities and academic institutions accused the Chinese-ruled city’s leader of undermining freedom of expression amid a row over pro-independence banners appearing on campuses.

Wanted Chinese Tycoon Seeks US Political Asylum

Gerry Shih
Associated Press
Chinese real estate tycoon Guo Wengui, one of the Communist Party’s most wanted exiles, has applied for political asylum in the United States.

North Korea Nuclear Test Puts Pressure on China and Undercuts Xi

Jane Perlez
New York Times
It was supposed to be Xi Jinping’s moment to bask in global prestige, as the Chinese president hosted the leaders of some of the world’s most dynamic economies at a summit meeting just weeks before a Communist Party leadership conference.

Google Continues to Hire in China Even as Search Remains Blocked

David Ramli
Bloomberg
Google’s search service may be banned in China but parent Alphabet Inc. is hunting for workers in a further sign it has ambitions in the world’s biggest internet market.

More Women Are in Hong Kong’s Prisons Than Anywhere Else. They Should Be Protected, Not Criminalized

Yenni Kwok
Guardian
Hong Kong and Macau, two cities associated with wealth and riches, hold a dubious distinction in the justice system: they put women behind bars at a shockingly high proportion. Women comprise 20.8% of Hong Kong’s prison population, while in...

Who Blinked in the China-India Military Standoff?

Simon Denyer and Annie Gowen
Washington Post
For weeks, China’s Foreign Ministry had been vehement in its denunciations of India and insistence that New Delhi unconditionally withdraw troops that had trespassed into Chinese territory. Don’t underestimate us, China repeatedly insisted, we are...

Green Gold: How China Quietly Grew into a Cannabis Superpower

Stephen Chen
South China Morning Post
Every year in April, Jiang Xingquan sets aside part of his farm in northern China to grow cannabis. The size of the plot varies with market demand but over the last few years it has been about 600 hectares.

China’s War on Smog Shakes up Ports; Tianjin Loses, Rivals Benefit

Meng Meng and Josephine Mason
Reuters
China’s war on smog is shaking up the country’s busiest ports, which handle billions of tonnes of cargo a year, forcing Tianjin to overhaul its business as northern rivals snare a greater share of vast coal and iron ore shipments, results show.

Conversation

08.29.17

Is the United States Still the Predominant Power in the Pacific?

Dennis J. Blasko, James Holmes & more
In late August, a U.S. destroyer collided with an oil tanker—the fourth such accident for the U.S. Navy in Asia since January. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has increased troop commitments in Afghanistan, threatened to strike North Korea with “...

Under Pressure: The Story behind China’s Ivory Ban

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
For years Chinese government officials were followed around the world, at every meeting, by a single issue: the scores of dead elephants across Africa, and the international community that blamed China for this “ivory “holocaust”.  

In China You Now Have to Provide Your Real Identity If You Want to Comment Online

Nikhil Sonnad
Quartz
The Chinese government under president Xi Jinping is continuing to make life on the internet difficult for its potential detractors. Yesterday (Aug. 25), the country’s highest internet regulator released new rules that govern who...

India, China Agree to Pull Back Troops to Resolve Tense Border Dispute

Simon Denyer and Annie Gowen
Washington Post
India and China have withdrawn troops from a disputed Himalayan region on their border, foreign ministries from the two countries announced Monday, defusing a tense standoff that had threatened to provoke armed conflict between the nuclear-armed...

India, China Agree to Pull Back Troops to Resolve Tense Border Dispute

Washington Post
India and China have withdrawn troops from a disputed Himalayan region on the border with China, foreign ministries from the two countries announced Monday, defusing a tense standoff that had threatened to provoke armed conflict between the nuclear-...

Viewpoint

08.28.17

China Is Risking the Lives of Political Prisoners by Denying Them Medical Care

Frances Eve
Dissident activist Chen Xi entered Xingyi Prison in Guangxi in January 2012 to serve a 10-year sentence. The previous month, he had been convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” for writing articles about human rights and democracy. This...

Environment

08.24.17

Testing the Limits of China’s Environmental Law

from chinadialogue
Friends of Nature, a Beijing-based non-governmental organization (NGO), filed two landmark cases against a local Environmental Protection Bureau in Yunnan this year that have revealed the current limits of one of the most hopeful provisions in China...

China and India Are Showing Muscle on Their Border

Economist
When the Indian subcontinent bumped into Eurasia 40m years ago, the collision produced the mighty Himalayas. The world’s two most populous nations, India and China, are still colliding across that majestic range.

China State Media Says US Will ‘Pay’ for ‘Unjust’ Sanctions

CNBC
China has come out strongly against new U.S. moves to pressure North Korea with its foreign ministry opposing the “long-arm jurisdiction” of President Donald Trump’s administration, arguing that Beijing has always met international obligations in...

China Will Use ‘All Necessary Means’ against US Trade Probe

Guardian
China’s commerce ministry has already expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the US launch of an inquiry into alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property, calling it “irresponsible”.

‘China Quarterly’ Publisher Restores Articles Following Backlash from Scholars

Leslie Cook
NPR
The British publisher of an academic journal has reversed a decision to take down hundreds of articles from its Chinese website. In a statement released Monday, Cambridge University Press said it’s reposting the more than 300 articles to The China...

China Demands U.S. Immediately Withdraw N. Korea Sanctions, Warns Will Hit Ties

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China demanded the United States immediately withdraw a package of sanctions on companies and individuals trading with North Korea on Wednesday, and said the decision by the Trump administration will damage Sino–U.S. ties.

New Balance Wins $1.5 Million in Landmark China Trademark Case

Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
A Chinese court has ruled that three domestic shoemakers must pay New Balance $1.5 million in damages and legal costs for infringing the American sportswear company’s signature slanting ”N” logo, in what lawyers said was the largest trademark...

Chinese Activist Jiang Tianyong's Subversion Trial Dismissed as Sham

Tom Phillips
Guardian
China’s Communist party–controlled media claimed Jiang — whose past clients include activists such as the exiled dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng — had confessed to the crime of ”inciting subversion of state power”. 

Books

08.21.17

China’s Banking Transformation

James Stent
In this timely and provocative book, James Stent, a banker with decades of experience in Asian banking and fluency in Chinese language, explains how Chinese banks work, analyzes their strengths and weaknesses, and sets forth the challenges they face in a slowing economy. Without minimizing the real issues Chinese banks face, China’s Banking Transformation challenges negative media accounts and reports of “China bears.” Based on his 13 years of service on the boards of China Minsheng Bank, a privately owned listed bank, and China Everbright Bank, a state-controlled listed bank, the author brings the informed view of an insider to the reality of Chinese banking.China’s Banking Transformation demonstrates that Chinese banks have transformed into modern, well-run commercial banks, playing a vital role supporting the country’s extraordinary economic growth. Acknowledging that China’s banks are different from Western banks, the author explains that they are hybrid banks, borrowing extensively from Western models, but at the same time operating within a traditional Chinese cultural framework and in line with China’s governance model.From his personal experience working at board level, Stent describes the governance and management of China’s banks, including the role of the Communist Party. He sees China’s banks as embedded in ancient concepts of how government and society work in China, and also as actors within a market socialist political economy. The Chinese banking system today bears similarities with banking in Northeast Asian “developmental states” of recent past, and also pre-1949 Chinese banking.As the first account of Chinese banking by a Westerner who has worked in China’s banks, China’s Banking Transformation should be read by anyone interested in the political economy of contemporary China, in Asian development issues, and in banking issues generally. The book dispels misconceptions and provides insight into the financial aspects of China’s economic growth story. —Oxford University Press{chop}

Conversation

08.21.17

Should Publications Compromise to Remain in China?

Margaret Lewis, Andrew J. Nathan & more
The prestigious “China Quarterly will continue to publish articles that make it through our rigorous double-blind peer review regardless of topic or sensitivity,” wrote editor Tim Pringle on Monday after days of intense criticism of the brief-lived...

China-India Border Dispute Spills over into Australian University

South China Morning Post
An IT lecturer at the University of Sydney has apologised for using an out-of-date map that showed a region of Tibet as being Indian territory. The image upset some Chinese students after it was used by Khimji Vaghjiani during a course titled “...

Conversation

08.17.17

Political Prisoners in Hong Kong

Jerome A. Cohen, Alvin Y.H. Cheung & more
On August 17, a Hong Kong appeals court sentenced student democracy activists Joshua Wong, Alex Chow, and Nathan Law to six to eight months imprisonment. The three had earlier been convicted of crimes related to unlawful assembly during a...

The Spark: 7 Sins of India

Xinhua
7 Sins of India

When the Law Meets the Party

Ian Johnson
Like an army defeated but undestroyed, China’s decades-long human rights movement keeps reassembling its lines after each disastrous loss, miraculously fielding new forces in the battle against an illiberal state. Each time, foot soldiers and...

China's Crackdown on North Korea over U.N. Sanctions Starts to Pinch

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Trucks packed with seafood were backed up, bumper to bumper, at the Chinese border with North Korea. Protesters carried red banners demanding compensation. And Chinese businessmen who have been making big money from North Korean crabs,...

The Lonely Struggle of Lee Ching-yu

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
On March 19, a human rights activist from Taiwan named Lee Ming-che disappeared in mainland China, and his wife back in Taipei, Lee Ching-yu, became a member of one of the least desirable clubs in the world: the spouses of people who for political...

Trump Administration Goes After China Over Intellectual Property, Advanced Technology

Ana Swanson
Washington Post
President Trump signed an executive memorandum Monday afternoon that will likely trigger an investigation into China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property, a measure that could eventually result in a wide range of penalties as the...

Facebook Tests Way Into China Via Secret Photo—Sharing App

Yuan Yang
Financial Times
A photo—sharing app has appeared on Apple’s App Store in China that looks exactly like Facebook’s Moments app, and analysts say it may be a way for the US tech group to finally break into its most coveted market.

Viewpoint

08.14.17

China is Forcing Uighurs Abroad to Return Home. Why Aren’t More Countries Refusing to Help?

Jessica Batke
The campaign began quietly. Students studying abroad were told to return home. Many did, and their classmates didn’t hear from them afterwards. For those who needed extra incentive to get moving, police detained their families back home. Finally,...

China Bans North Korea Iron, Lead, Coal Imports as Part of U.N. Sanctions

Washington Post
China announced a ban on imports of iron ore, iron, lead and coal from North Korea on Monday, increasing economic pressure on the Pyongyang regime while moving to implement a package of sanctions put together by the U.N. Security Council.

Facebook’s Secret Chinese App Is a Dud in China So Far

Quartz
Over the weekend the New York Times reported (paywall) that Facebook had stealthily released a photo-sharing app in the Chinese iOS App Store translated as “Colorful Balloons.” The news spread rapidly around English-language media, as it marked the...

China Must Stop Forcing U.S. Firms to Share Intellectual Property: Trump Trade Official

USA Today
President Trump is scheduled to sign an executive action Monday directing the United States Trade Representative to determine whether to investigate any of China’s acts, policies or practices that may be harming American intellectual property,...

U.S. Warship Sails Close to China-Held Island in Disputed Sea

ABC
A U.S. warship sailed close to a Chinese man-made island in the disputed the South China Sea in an operation that challenged China’s vast territorial claims in busy international waters, a U.S. Navy official said Thursday.

Hong Kong Cleans Up 93 Tons of Palm Oil; Beaches Smothered By Spill

Donny Kwok and Anne Marie Roantree
Reuters
Hong Kong stepped up efforts on Wednesday to clean up a massive palm oil spill, with authorities scooping up more than 90 tonnes of foul—smelling, styrofoam—like clumps in one of the worst environmental disasters to blight the territory’s waters.

Viewpoint

08.03.17

China’s ‘New Achievements’ in Legal Reform Exist More in Policy than in Practice

Stanley Lubman
It is no coincidence that two days after Liu Xiaobo’s death, Xinhua published an article praising China’s “new achievements in judicial protection of human rights.” The judicial reforms the article mentions have not yet been fully implemented and...

Conversation

08.03.17

As China Reins in Capital, What Next for Global Trade?

Yu Zhou & Peter Knaack
China’s Communist Party and its leader, Xi Jinping, are tightening controls on overseas spending by the country’s biggest companies and their highly visible billionaire CEOs. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Xi personally signed off on...

U.S. Cinema Chain AMC's Shares Plummet 25% on Profit Warning in Latest Setback to China's Wanda Group

Jane Li
South China Morning Post
Troubled Chinese real estate conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has received another setback after shares of its U.S. cinema subsidiary, AMC Entertainment Holdings, plummeted 25 percent on Tuesday after it issued a profit warning for the second quarter.

Apple’s Decision to Remove VPN Apps from the App Store in China Explained by Tim Cook

Andrew Griffin
Independent
Tim Cook has responded to criticisms that Apple is quietly removing apps from the App Store for the Chinese government.

Sinica Podcast

08.01.17

Joan Kaufman on Foreign Nonprofits and Academia in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Joan Kaufman is a fascinating figure: Her long and storied career in China started in the early 1980s, when she was what she calls a “cappuccino-and-croissant socialist from Berkeley.” Today, she is the director for academics at the Schwarzman...

Debt-Ridden Chinese Giant Now a Shadow of Its Former Size

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The Han Show here in central China was supposed to turn the city of Wuhan into a leading tourist destination, with a dazzling spectacle of lights, water jets and acrobats by the former creative director of Cirque du Soleil. But the custom-built 2,...

Joining Apple, Amazon’s China Cloud Service Bows to Censors

Paul Mozur
New York Times
Days after Apple yanked anti-censorship tools off its app store in China, another major American technology company is moving to implement the country’s tough restrictions on online content.

China Targets Muslim Uighurs Studying Abroad

Emily Feng
Financial Times
China has launched a campaign to repatriate and interrogate Uighurs studying overseas, the latest draconian measure against the Muslim minority.

A Crackdown on Unfettered Internet Access Is Jeopardizing China’s Pro-Business Credentials

Charlie Campbell
Time
Another big political meeting, another crackdown on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)—the location-shifting software many in China use to access websites banned by its government, such as Facebook, YouTube and Google.

Apple ‘Pulls 60 VPNs from China App Store’

BBC
The BBC understands that as many as 60 VPNs were pulled over the weekend. Apple said it was legally required to remove them because they did not comply with new regulations. It refused to confirm the exact number of apps withdrawn, but did not deny...

Anger at Plan to Let Chinese Police Patrol in Hong Kong

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
A Hong Kong government plan to lease part of a new high-speed rail station to China and allow Chinese police to enforce mainland laws has sparked new fears the city is losing its autonomy.

Why Ponzi Schemes Are Thriving in China Despite Crackdowns

Frank Tang
South China Morning Post
The financial naivety of the public and a collective desire for unfeasibly high returns have helped fuel the proliferation of fraudulent investment schemes in China, according to an academic.

Former Political Star in China Is Under Party Investigation

New York Times
The Chinese Communist Party said on Monday that Sun Zhengcai, a high-flying politician who had been seen as a potential future premier, was under investigation over suspected “grave violations of discipline,” ending his career and raising the stakes...

Conversation

07.20.17

Should the U.S. Play Hardball with China on Trade?

Tom Hoffecker, Duncan Innes-Ker & more
Last week, United States President Donald Trump suggested that he is considering leveraging tariffs on Chinese steel imports. Trump’s aggressive posture has left diplomatic experts uneasy amid an already divided U.S. diplomatic house in Beijing, and...

China Clamping down on Use of VPNs to Evade Great Firewall

CNBC
China is tightening control over foreign companies’ internet use in a move some worry might disrupt their operations or jeopardize trade secrets as part of a crackdown on technology that allows web surfers to evade Beijing’s online censorship.