China’s Scandal-Torn Oil Industry Embraces Tax Havens

Alexa Olesen, Michael Hudson
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
“If there’s a problem you can just close the company, walk away and deny you ever had anything to do with it.”

More Than Half of China’s Most Powerful Officials Have Links to Tax Havens. Now What?

Heather Timmons
Quartz
Relatively loose cencorship of the recent offshore tax reports has some thinking that the CCP is ready to talk. 

ICIJ Offshore Records Reveal Tax Haven Clients in China, Hong Kong

Marina Walker Guevara, Gerard Ryle,...
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
More than 50 reporting partners in Europe, North America, Asia and other regions investigated 2.5 million leaked files.

How We Did Offshore Leaks China

Marina Walker Guevara
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Chinese, European and Western journalists worked together to successfully leak a highly sensitive and secretive story.

China's Princelings Storing Riches in Caribbean Offshore Haven

James Ball, Guardian US Interactive Team
Guardian
The documents also disclose the central role of major Western banks and accountancy firms who acted as middlemen. 

Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze

Marina Walker Guevara, Gerard Ryle,...
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
The data illustrates the outsized dependency of China's economy on tiny islands thousands of miles away. ...

Conversation

01.21.14

Time to Escalate? Should the U.S. Make China Uncomfortable?

Edward Friedman, Geoff Dyer & more
How should the United States respond to China’s new level of assertiveness in the Asia Pacific? In the past few months as Beijing has stepped up territorial claims around China's maritime borders—and in the skies above them—the Obama...

The Trial of the Chinese Dream

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
Xu Zhiyong tried to change China from the inside, but now he will be tried by the inside. 

China’s Detention of Uighur Professor Ilham Tohti Worries U.S.

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
The U.S. government and human rights activists are voicing concern about the detention of a professor who has been an outspoken advocate for China’s Uighur minority group.  

China, Japan Slug It Out in World’s Press

Matthew Pennington
Associated Press
Escalating disputes between Japan and China are spilling onto newspaper opinion pages around the globe as the rivals try to sway attitudes abroad and placate nationalist fervor at home.

Left-Behind Children of China’s Migrant Workers Bear Grown-Up Burdens

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
About 61 Million Chinese Kids Haven’t Seen One or Both Parents for at Least Three Months

Chinese Activists Test New Leader and Are Crushed

Andrew Jacobs, Chris Buckley
New York Times
Prominent activist, Xi Zhiyong, is indicted in a harsh warning to the New Citizens Movement. 

In Rare Video, Wife of Jailed Nobel Laureate Reads Poems While Under House Arrest

The New York Times
New York Times
The video was filmed by the Independent Chinese PEN Center, a free-speech advocacy group established by Ms. Liu. 

China Fines ‘House of Flying Daggers’ Director for Breaching One-child Policy

Tania Branigan
Guardian
Film-maker Zhang Yimou, who has three children with wife Chen Ting, has to pay £750,000 for breaking law.

Slowly, Asia’s Factories Begin to Turn Green

Mike Ives
New York Times
Despite a lack of legal restriction, foreign companies in Asia are beginning to set up environmentally sustainable factories to their financial benefit. 

Snowden Lied About China Contacts

Gordon G. Chang
Daily Beast
The New York Times has urged the Obama administration to offer Edward Snowden “a plea bargain or some form of clemency,” calling the former NSA contractor “a whistle-blower” for his exposure of “the vast scope” of the NSA’s “reach into the lives of...

Police Seize 3 Tons Meth in South China Village

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
Call it “Breaking Bad: China Edition.” More than 3,000 police officers equipped with helicopters and motorboats and accompanied by dogs descended on a southern Chinese village notorious for making crystal meth, seizing 3 tons of the drug and 23 tons...

Environment

01.03.14

Predictions for China’s Environment in 2014

from chinadialogue
From dead pigs in the Shanghai river to toxic smog in major cities, 2013 was a year of dramatic environmental stories in China. We asked some of our contributors for their predictions on how these and other stories are likely to develop in the...

With Downed Balloon, China and Japan Cooperate

Gerry Mullany
New York Times
A Chinese balloonist took off from the coastal province of Fujian, trying to land on an island claimed by both China and Japan. Unfortunately, the balloonist, a cook by profession, didn’t make his target.

U.S. Frees Last of the Chinese Uighur Detainees From Guantánamo Bay

Charlie Savage
New York Times
In what the Pentagon called a “significant milestone” in the effort to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the military announced that the United States had transferred three Chinese detainees to Slovakia.

China Formally Passes Law Easing One-Child Policy

James T. Areddy
Wall Street Journal
China's legislature on Saturday formally eased two restrictive social policies of its authoritarian system, allowing some couples to have a second child and ending a form of extralegal detention. The standing committee of the National People...

Other

12.26.13

2013 Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, we want to take a moment to look back at some of the stories ChinaFile published in 2013. We hope you’ll find something that interests you to read—or watch—over the holidays.It’s hard to remember a recent year that didn...

Paying a Price to Cross China’s Border

Perry Link
Washington Post
For Chinese critics of the government, the border long ago acquired a political toll booth: Whichever way you cross, you pay a price.

Top Chinese Security Official Is Investigated

Edward Wong
New York Times
Li Dongsheng, a vice minister of public security, is being investigated by the Communist Party for “suspected serious law and discipline violations,” according to Xinhua, the state news agency.

Viewpoint

12.20.13

‘Community Corrections’ and the Road Ahead for Re-Education Through Labor

Robert Williams
Chinese and foreign observers welcomed the recent announcement that the Chinese government will “abolish”—not merely reform—the administrative punishment system known as re-education through labor (RTL). The proclamation, part of a sixty-point...

Environment

12.18.13

Fines Won’t Solve China’s Smog Problem

from chinadialogue
Eight municipal governments in northeast Liaoning province have together received 54.2 million yuan (U.S.$8.9 million) in fines for failing to reach air quality standards—the first time a provincial government has imposed financial penalties on...

China Continues Rights Abuses Even as Labor Camps Ditched—Amnesty

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
China is increasingly using extra-judicial “black jails” and drug rehabilitation centers to punish people who would formerly have been sent to forced labor camps, rights group Amnesty International says.

Conversation

12.17.13

Why Is China Purging Its Former Top Security Chief, Zhou Yongkang?

Pin Ho & Richard McGregor
Pin Ho:[Zhou Yongkang’s downfall] is the second chapter of the “Bo Xilai Drama”—a drama begun at the 18th Party Congress. The Party’s power transition has been secret and has lacked convincing procedure. This [lack of transparency] has triggered...

China’s Corruption Purge: The Fall of Zhou Yongkang

Wenguang Huang and Ho Pin
Daily Beast
New reports confirm that Zhou Yongkang, China’s third most powerful politician, is under investigation for murder, corruption, and plotting to overthrow the government.

Chinese Prosecutors File Charges Against Leading Activist Xu Zhiyong

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Four days after the U.S. government expressed concern about his imprisonment, Chinese prosecutors have filed charges in court against leading activist Xu Zhiyong, founder of the New Citizens Movement, a loose network of activists seeking to promote...

China Spins Mandela to Fit Its Political Narrative

Dan Levin
New York Times
State-run newspaper Global Times dismisses Western media comparisons between recently deceased anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison in South Africa, and veteran Chinese human rights advocate, Liu Xiaobo, now serving...

Late to the Party? The U.S. Government’s Response to China’s Censorship

Elizabeth Lynch
China Law & Policy
When China denied veteran journalist Paul Mooney’s visa request in November, neither the State Department, Administration officials nor anyone on Capitol Hill said anything publicly about a U.S. citizen appearing to be punished for his speech.

Abe Calls for China Talks Citing 2006 Trip as Tensions Rise

Isabel Reynolds
Bloomberg
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping after an escalation in bilateral tensions since China’s declaration last month of an air-defense zone that overlaps with Japan’s over the East China Sea.

China’s Government Is Scaring Foreign Journalists Into Censoring Themselves

Emily D. Parker
New Republic
The story of self-censorship in China is a quieter tale of unwritten articles, avoided topics and careful phrasing.

China’s Strong-Arm Tactics Toward U.S. Media Merit a Response

Washington Post
Chinese journalists get an open door to the United States. This reflects U.S. values and is fundamentally correct. If China continues to exclude and threaten American journalists, the U.S. should inject a little more symmetry into its visa policy.

Son of Former Chinese Security Chief Helping with Graft Probe

Benjamin Kang Lim and Ben Blanchard
Reuters
If Zhou Yongkang, 71, one of China's most powerful politicians of the last decade, were directly implicated in the probe, he would be the most senior Chinese politician ensnared in a graft scandal since the Communists came to power in...

Environment

11.27.13

Life in the Shadow of the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the second in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong (Lancang) River. Part one is an analysis of how China’s resettlement policies are playing out on the ground. Part two, below,...

Conversation

11.27.13

Why’s the U.S. Flying Bombers Over the East China Sea?

Chen Weihua, James Fallows & more
Chen Weihua:The Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is not a Chinese invention. The United States, Japan and some 20 other countries declared such zones in their airspace long time ago.China’s announcement of its first ADIZ in the East China Sea...

Conversation

11.19.13

What Will the Beginning of the End of the One-Child Policy Bring?

Leta Hong Fincher, Vincent Ni & more
Leta Hong Fincher:The Communist Party’s announcement that it will loosen the one-child policy is, of course, welcome news. Married couples will be allowed to have two children if only one of the spouses is an only child, meaning that millions more...

China to Move Slowly on One-Child Law Reform

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
China's family-planning agency is projecting a slow rollout for an easing of its one-child policy, underscoring reluctance by the government in moving too quickly to let some couples have two children and a law in place for decades...

Reporter on Unpublished Bloomberg Article Is Suspended

Edward Wong and Christine Haughney
New York Times
A reporter for Bloomberg News who worked on an unpublished article about China that employees for the company said had been killed for political reasons by top Bloomberg editors was suspended last week by managers.

China to Ease Longtime Policy of 1-Child Limit

Christopher Buckley
New York Times
The Chinese government will ease its one-child family restrictions and abolish “re-education through labor” camps, significantly curtailing two policies that for decades have defined the state’s power to control citizens’ lives.

Environment

11.12.13

China’s Urban Dilemma

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
After nearly three decades of rapid urbanization, China’s official and unofficial city dwellers outnumber its farmers. More than 400 million people have already moved into cities in the past thirty years, and in 2011 China crossed the threshold of a...

Conversation

11.12.13

Spiked in China?

John Garnaut, Sidney Rittenberg & more
Last weekend, The New York Times and later, The Financial Times reported that, according to Bloomberg News employees, Bloomberg editor in chief Matthew Winkler informed reporters by telephone on October...

China Paper Issues Public Apology As Reporter ‘Confesses’ Bribery

Eric Baculinao
NBC News
The New Express condemned its reporter Chen Yongzhou for “accepting money to publish a large number of false reports” just days after it ran unprecedented front-page editorials decrying police violation of press freedom and...

In Mess Bo Left Behind, An Opportunity for Beijing to Set Things Right

Stanley Lubman
Wall Street Journal
Bo Xilai’s “Smash the Black” campaign used ruthless measures to curb organized crime. The recent guilty verdict handed to Bo gives the Chinese leadership an opportunity to demonstrate that illegalities committed in the course of...

How to Deal with the Chinese Police

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
A casual visitor to China today does not get the impression of a police state. Life bustles along as people pursue work, fashion, sports, romance, amusement, and so on, without any sign of being under coercion. But the government spends tens of...

Caixin Media

11.04.13

China’s Chilling Effect for Investor Research

Shanghai investor Wang Weihua’s final microblog post October 12 was brief and ominous: “The police are coming.”Three days later, Wang’s family said he’d been taken into custody by police officers who traveled more than 3,600 kilometers to Wang’s...

Conversation

10.30.13

Trial By TV: What Does a Reporter’s Arrest and Confession Tell Us About Chinese Media?

Wang Feng & Jeremy Goldkorn
The latest ChinaFile Conversation focuses on the case of Chen Yongzhou, the Guangzhou New Express journalist whose series of investigative reports exposed fraud at the Changsha, Hunan-based heavy machinery maker Zoomlion. Chen later was arrested and...

Caixin Media

10.28.13

How Police Got It So Wrong Arresting a Journalist

The arrest of a journalist for allegedly damaging the reputation of an equipment manufacturer has spurred debate in both the media and legal circles. The discussions revolve around the rights of the press, interpretation of the law, and possible...

Newspaper Publishes Front-Page Call for Journalist’s Release

Oiwan Lam
Global Voices
A Guangzhou-based newspaper, the New Express, published a front-page editorial statement urging the Security Bureau of Hunan Province to release their investigative reporter Chen Yongzhou who was arrested for criminal...

Features

10.25.13

Bo Xilai May Have Gotten Off Easy

Ouyang Bin, Zhang Mengqi & more
On October 25, the Shandong High People’s Court rejected the appeal of Bo Xilai, the former Party Secretary of Chongqing who on September 22 was convicted of bribe-taking, embezzlement, and abuse of power and sentenced to life in prison.At the end...

China to Announce Decision on Bo Xilai Appeal

Reuters
A court in eastern China said it would announce a decision on October 25 on whether to accept an appeal by ousted former senior politician Bo Xilai over his guilty verdict and life sentence on charges of bribery, corruption and...

Robbed in China? Remain Calm and Call a Foreigner

David Wertime
Foreign Policy
Photos circulating on Chinese social media have bolstered the perception among Chinese citizens that victims of crime who hold foreign passports are granted special treatment and more attention by the police. 

Media

10.23.13

How to Say “Truthiness” in Chinese

“Official rumors” is more than just an oxymoron. The phrase—pronounced guanyao—has become a useful weapon in Chinese Internet users’ linguistic guerrilla warfare against government censorship. That battle has intensified during a government-led...

China Companies Rank Lowest in Survey of Transparency Reporting

Bloomberg
The report draws attention to a Chinese business environment corrupt due to minimal public-reporting requirements. Party leaders have warned that corruption threatens their grip on power and have announced anti-graft investigations of a number of...

China Holds Two Bloggers As It Expands Crackdown on Rumors

Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
Police in China have arrested an influential blogger and are holding a cartoonist in a widening crackdown on online “rumor-mongering”, friends and a lawyer for one of them said on Thursday October 17. 

Busting China’s Bloggers

Murong Xuecun
New York Times
The vast state censorship apparatus works hard to keep Chinese social media’s most influential bloggers down. But posts race through Weibo so quickly that it’s difficult to control them with technology. Hence, the government is resorting to...

It’s the Law: Chengguan in Guangzhou Now Have to be Nice

Barry van Wyk
Danwei
The new regulations state clearly that chengguan may not use profane or threatening language while enforcing their duties, may not damage private property, and may not use any form of violence or intimidation. 

Chinese Censors Crack Down on Cartoon Violence

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
In May, two young brothers from Jiangsu province were badly burned after being tied to a tree by a third boy and set alight – allegedly imitating a scene from the popular cartoon “Pleasant Goat and Big, Big Wolf.”