A Softer Touch on Soft Power

David Bandurski
China Media Project
Soft power has become strategically important for China because cultural productivity and influence are now regarded as important components of comprehensive national power.

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 ...

China Says Web Authors Must Use Real Names

New York Times
Guidelines aim to force online authors to “take better responsibility” for their works. 

China to Pay Price for ‘Closed-Internet’ Policy |

George Chen
South China Morning Post
Thinking everything will look good by blocking online access may sound too simple and naive.

The Pacific Power Index

Tea Leaf Nation Staff
Foreign Policy
The world's most important relationship isn't the superpower showdown most analysts would have you believe. It’s a constantly shifting, symbiotic relationship shaped by millions of people, not just officials in Washington and Beijing...

Who’s Afraid of China’s Economy Slowing? Not Alibaba’s Jack Ma

Nadia Damouni
Reuters
"If China still keeps 9 percent growth of the economy there must be something wrong. You will never see the blue sky. You will never see quality. China should pay attention to the quality of the economy," he said in a question-and-answer...

Study Examines How Overseas Chinese Students Respond to Criticism of Their Country

Elizabeth Redden
Inside Higher Ed
Do conversations between domestic and foreign students result in mutual understanding and friendly feelings?

Chinese Director’s Film For Greenpeace Shows How Smog Changes Everything

Matt Sheehan
Huffington Post
The film follows families from Hebei, in heavily polluted industrial northern China, and from Beijing, the prosperous Chinese capital next door, that has seen epic pollution emergencies recently.

Media

01.22.15

Xi Jinping’s Pay Raise

Alexa Olesen
It just got slightly less difficult to be a clean Chinese official. State media reported on January 20 that Chinese civil servants had received their first pay raise in ten years, a move that includes a 60 percent bump for President Xi Jinping and...

As Growth Slows, China Pins Hopes on Consumer Spending

Alexandra Stevenson
New York Times
The economy increased by 7.3 percent in the last quarter of 2014 and 7.4 percent for the full year, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. While many countries would welcome such growth, the rate fell short of the government’s...

Vets Battle to save Stricken Panda in Shaanxi

Huang Zhiling
China Daily
Vets are racing to treat a 5-year-old panda diagnosed with canine distemper at the Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue and Breeding Research Center.

Pictures of the Day: January 15, 2015

Telegraph
Telegraph
A man walks along a newly built rainbow-colored tunnel in Zhengzhou, Henan province. The 400-meter-long tunnel is the first of this kind in China, local media reported.

The Colorful Propaganda of Xinjiang

BBC
BBC
The government believes religion breeds terror and has been trying to control religious expression in the region by imposing rules on the Uighur community. Critics say it is exacerbating the terror problem.

Media

01.13.15

This Culture Has Not Yet Been Rated

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
It all started with plunging necklines. After the sudden withdrawal and subsequent sanitizing of a popular Chinese show, viewers in China have renewed longstanding calls to strip government censors of their power, using one simple solution: a...

Media

01.13.15

‘Where’s Our Unity March?’ China Wants to Know

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian & Rachel Lu
The January 7 terrorist attack on satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead has mostly inspired unity in the West, but the massive march held in its aftermath is spurring controversy, and even some disdain, in China. While the...

Firebombs Thrown at Jimmy Lai’s Home and Company in Hong Kong

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Apple Daily has been a vocal advocate of the recent demonstrations for expanded democracy in Hong Kong. Mr. Lai frequently attended the protests, which saw several main thoroughfares occupied for more than two months. He was arrested and released in...

Sinica Podcast

01.12.15

From the Interpreter’s Booth

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are joined by Lynette Shi and William White, two globe-trotting adventurers who've found unconventional careers navigating the shoals of the professional interpretation circuit in China. So whether you’re...

Drawing the News: Wo Shi Chali (Je Suis Charlie)

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
Chinese cartoonists and netizens have responded quickly to the slaying of cartoonists and editors at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo yesterday. Masked gunmen entered the offices of the journal and fired automatic weapons at staff in an...

Media

01.08.15

What Will Happen to Uber in China?

Ride-sharing app Uber has expanded around the world at a blistering pace, launching in a new city every one or two days. At first glance, China would appear the ideal fit for the Silicon Valley startup. Most urban residents in the world’s second-...

China’s Empty Promise of Rule by Law

Teng Biao
China Change
I’m afraid that those of you who excitedly applauded the Communist Party’s rehashing of the term “governing the country according to the law” have forgotten the famous words of Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu, who once warned sternly, “Don’t...

China Strives to Be on African Minds, and TV Sets

Bree Feng
New York Times
While China imposes strict controls on foreign-produced entertainment at home, it is also eager to see its cultural products embraced abroad. And in Africa, Chinese television shows have become immensely popular — at least according to the Chinese...

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...

China Lodges Protest after North Korea Man ‘Kills Four’

BBC
BBC
"China's public security bureau will handle the case according to law," a ministry spokeswoman said, suggesting the suspect will be prosecuted in China rather than handed back to Pyongyang...

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...

Reports

01.01.15

The Politburo’s Predicament

Sarah Cook
Freedom House
Drawing on an analysis of hundreds of official documents, censorship directives, and human rights reports, as well as some 30 expert interviews, the study finds that the overall degree of repression has increased under the new leadership. Of 17...

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...

Sinica Podcast

12.26.14

Regulating the Fourth Estate in China

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
The explosion of the commercial media sphere in China over the last decade hasn't been particularly subtle, especially if you're anything like us and walk past multiple Chinese newsstands in the morning. But let's look beyond the way...

China Building Base Near Isles Disputed With Japan, Kyodo Says

Ting Shi
Bloomberg
The dispute over the East China Sea islets—known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese—clouds ties that remain fractious even after Chinese President Xi Jinping met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing last month. Encounters between...

China Indicts Jackie Chan’s Son on Drug Charge

Associated Press
Associated Press
Beijing police detained the younger Chan at his Beijing apartment in August along with Taiwanese movie star Ko Kai. Police said Chan and Ko both tested positive for marijuana and admitted using the drug, and that 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of it were...

In China, a Rapid Jump to Mobile Advertising

Alexandra Stevenson
New York Times
Liu Xuelong, a television and documentary producer in Beijing, hasn’t used his television in years. He gets all of his entertainment on his iPhone 6 Plus, where he also taps a plethora of apps to buy plane tickets, pay bills, talk with clients.

Opinion: In Response to Sony Hack, U.S. Should Focus on China Not North Korea

Jason Healey
Christian Science Monitor
Mr. Obama’s punt is not a big surprise as there simply are no good options for responding to North Korea. How do you calibrate a “proportional response” when not countering a military attack but one that targets freedom of expression?

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,...

U.S. Blames North Korea for Sony Cyber Attack, Vows ‘Consequences’

Aruna Viswanatha and Steve Holland
Reuters
It was the first time the United States had directly accused another country of a cyber attack of such magnitude on American soil and sets up a possible new confrontation between longtime foes Washington and Pyongyang.

Media

12.18.14

Hong Kong, the Resilient City

David Wertime
The tents have folded. After 75 days of camping on the street, braving police crackdowns, occasional civilian attacks, and the city’s (admittedly mild) winter chill, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters have cleared out. As promised, police moved in...

Beijing Cannot Count on Easy Money to Sustain Its Economic Miracle

Ruchir Sharma
Financial Times
Just three months ago the main Chinese stock market was dormant. Since then it has surged 30 per cent and has started to show signs of the manic trading that normally does not appear until a bull market has been gathering steam for years.

Israeli Tech Startups Attract Chinese Investors

Orr Hirschauge
Wall Street Journal
As China scours the world for tech investments, it is increasingly flocking to Israel for the next big thing.

Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Make It Clear He's Cool with China

Matt Sheehan
Huffington Post
Lu Wei, the Chinese Internet czar who heads a censorship system that keeps many popular American sites—including, of course, Facebook—out of China, was touring American tech companies recently. Chinese media reported that when he arrived at...

China’s Lost Generation Finds Itself in Ukraine

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
A working class high-school graduate who scored abysmally on China's college entrance exam, Mei now owns his own business, claims title to three-quarters of an acre of land, lives in a split-level house, and is married to an eighteen-year-old...

Pope Francis Denies Dalai Lama an Audience Because of China Concerns

Reuters
Guardian
The Dalai Lama, in Rome for a meeting of Nobel peace prize winners, told Italian media he had approached the Vatican about a meeting but was told it could create inconveniences.

China: Inside an Internet Gaming Disorder Rehab Center

Massoud Hayoun
Al Jazeera
There are about 113,000 Internet cafes and bars in China, according to official figures. Lower-end establishments are typically a sole means of accessing the Web for China’s migrant labor population and the poor—or at 24-hour locations, a place to...

The Sony Hack: China’s Half-Hearted Defense of North Korea

Bruce Einhorn
Businessweek
It’s not easy being one of North Korea’s only allies. Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn’t seem particularly fond of Kim Jong Un, the third-generation Kim scion who rules China’s erstwhile client state.

Fidel Castro Wins China’s Alternative Peace Prize

Associated Press
Guardian
In line with past recipients, the ailing Castro did not come to Beijing to pick up his award and it was unclear whether he was aware of the honour. The prize, in the form of a gold statuette and certificate, was instead handed to a Cuban foreign...

Young, Idealistic, and Caught Up in a Wave of Detentions

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Well educated and deeply committed to helping their fellow Chinese, Liu Jianshu and Zhao Sile are the kind of idealistic young people who pepper the story of China’s transformation over the past century as it searches for a modern identity.

Environmental Filmmakers Have Rare Impact in China

Louise Watt
Associated Press
One clip shows a girl swatting flies from a younger child among piles of trash. Another has children blowing up used medical gloves like balloons. The footage is on the computer screen of Wang Jiuliang as he edits his second film about waste harming...

Warm West Coast Reception for China’s Web Czar (Chillier in Washington)

Paul Mozur
New York Times
Mr. Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, pointed to the book, “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” last week while giving a tour of the company’s office to Lu Wei, the de facto head of Internet policy in China.

Media

12.08.14

Happy Friday, Zhou Yongkang

Alexa Olesen
Eight minutes after midnight on Friday, the axe fell on Zhou Yongkang: a terse news release from state-run Xinhua news agency said that China’s former security czar Zhou had been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party, his case handed over to...

Prince William Attacks China over ‘Ignorant Craving’ for Ivory

Ian Johnston
Independent
According to excerpts of his speech released in advance, Prince William, who is due to go to China early next year, will say: “Some endangered species are now literally worth more than their weight in gold."...

China Sentences 8 to Death for Attacks in Xinjiang

Didi Tang
ABC
The Urumqi Intermediate People's Court in the capital of Xinjiang also handed out suspended death sentences to five others, China Central Television said, without mentioning when the trials were held...

Media

12.08.14

On First Annual Constitution Day, China’s Most Censored Word Was ‘Constitution’

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On December 4, China’s first annual Constitution Day, Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily posted the complete text of the Chinese constitution to its Weibo microblogging account, accompanied by the upbeat hashtag: “Let’s all read the...

Thousands of Local Internet Propaganda Emails Leaked

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
The archive includes correspondence, photos, directories of “Internet commentators” (网评员), summaries of commentary work, and records of the online activities of specific individuals, among other documents. Over 2,700 emails are included in the...

Shunyi Foreign Foster Parent of 11 Disappears, Critically Ill Child at Hospital

Michael Wester
Beijinger
The Legal Daily reported Thursday that the girl, called Phoebe, is one of 11 ethnic Chinese foster children the man has been raising in various apartments around Beijing, most recently at Capital Paradise in Shunyi.

China Watchdog Says TV Censorship Rules Should Apply Online Too

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
A more censorious environment coincides with a boom in tie-ups between China and Hollywood. HBO and Tencent have agreed to make HBO content available on a broad basis in China, including shows like The Newsroom, Boardwalk Empire, Rome and Band of...

China Arrests Ex-Security Chief Zhou Yongkang

BBC
The most senior Chinese official to be investigated for corruption, has been arrested and expelled from the Communist Party, state media report.

Media

12.05.14

Repeat After Me: Taiwan’s Recent Elections Had Nothing to Do With Hong Kong

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
If China was in fact the invisible candidate in Taiwan’s local elections, it just lost in a landslide. On November 28, voters on the self-governing island, which mainland China considers a renegade province, selected candidates for over 11,000...

Barack Obama “Would Not Want Your Kids Growing Up in Beijing”

Steven Schwankert
Beijinger
Ouch. It was bad enough when Louis CK described Beijing as a "giant Dayton, Ohio" on David Letterman's show, following his visit to our fair city for a secret performance...

China’s Brave Underground Journal

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
On the last stretch of flatlands north of Beijing, just before the Mongolian foothills, lies the satellite city of Tiantongyuan. Built during the euphoric run-up to the 2008 Olympics, it was designed as a modern, Hong Kong–style housing district of...

Conversation

12.03.14

Can China Conquer the Internet?

David Bandurski, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
Lu Wei, China’s new Internet Czar, recently tried to get the world to agree to a model of information control designed by the Chinese Communist Party. Regular contributors comment below and we encourage readers to share their views on our Facebook...