Viewpoint

11.17.17

China and the United States Are Equals. Now What?

Robert Daly
Donald Trump’s Asia trip was historic in one respect: it belatedly focused American attention on the competition between the United States and China for global primacy. China has risen, the era of uncontested American leadership has ended, and any...

Excerpts

11.16.17

Mementos of 1949

Kevin Peraino
Bodies jostled, elbow to elbow, angling all morning for a spot in the square. Soldiers clomped in the cold—tanned, singing as they marched, steel helmets and bayonets under the October sun. Tanks moved in columns two by two; then howitzers, teams of...

‘Bloodless’ Takeover ‘Won’t Dampen’ Chinese Investment in Zimbabwe

Kinling Lo
South China Morning Post
China will continue to invest in its “all-weather friend” Zimbabwe despite a military takeover of the African country’s government, observers said.

US Finds Unlikely Ally in Vietnam as a Former Partner Tilts to China

CNN
US President Donald Trump may have left China for the final leg of his Asia tour, but the specter of Beijing will loom large over his discussions with Southeast Asian nations on the issues dominating the region.

Conversation

11.02.17

Trump Goes to Asia

Ely Ratner, David Dollar & more
Chinese officials like to talk about practicing “win-win” diplomacy. Their American counterparts sometime joke that this means China wins twice. From November 3 to November 14, Donald Trump will visit Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines,...

Conversation

10.27.17

What’s the Takeaway from the 19th Party Congress?

Jessica Batke, Peter Mattis & more
The day after the Party Congress ended on October 24, Xi Jinping strode across the stage of the massive Great Hall of the People with the six newly announced members of the 19th Politburo Standing Committee, the body that rules China. What might...

China Has the World’s Biggest Military Force. Now Xi Jinping Wants It to Be the Best

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
The Chinese military will embark on a massive hardware upgrade and top personnel shake-up under President Xi Jinping’s orders for the PLA to become a world-class fighting force in the next three decades.

China’s Party Congress Brings Crackdown on Critics, Nightclubs and Airbnb

New York Times
President Xi Jinping is sending a stern message to China and the world: I am in charge, and nothing can stand in my way.

Conversation

10.16.17

What to Watch at China’s Party Congress

Ho-fung Hung, Taisu Zhang & more
The Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress, a hugely important political meeting usually held once every five years, will begin on October 18 in Beijing. Like many events involving China’s ruling party, the most important decisions and...

China September Exports up 8.1%, Imports up 18.7% as Trade with North Korea Slides

CNBC
China reported strong trade data on Friday just days ahead of a major Communist Party Congress.

The Chinese World Order

Andrew J. Nathan from New York Review of Books
Ten years ago the journalist James Mann published a book called The China Fantasy, in which he criticized American policymakers for using something he called “the Soothing Scenario” to justify the policy of diplomatic and economic engagement with...

China May Consider These Countries for Its Overseas Military Base

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
China is most likely to put more military bases on the African east coast, as well as along the Indian Ocean or Arabian Sea.

China Congress: Military Facelift a Sign of Bigger Changes

Cheng Li
BBC
Of the many noteworthy developments that have characterised Chinese President Xi Jinping's first five-year term, none stands out as much as military reform, and this reveals a great deal about the coming political trajectory in China, writes...

Xi Jinping Tells Chinese Defence Firms to Aim Higher and Catch up on Weapons Technology

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
President Xi Jinping has ordered Chinese defence firms to speed up weapons development and aim to do better than the world’s most powerful militaries, a documentary aired on state media revealed.

White House Again Rejects Talks with North Korea on Nuclear Issue

Steve Holland
Reuters
The White House on Monday ruled out talks with North Korea except to discuss the fate of Americans held there, again appearing to rebuke Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said Washington was directly communicating with Pyongyang on its nuclear...

China's Real Reasons for Enforcing North Korea Sanctions: Trump, Party Congress

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Washington has praised the world's second-largest economy for making progress in enforcing sanctions imposed on North Korea. But China's current measures may just be a temporary move for its own gain...

To Intervene or Not? China's Foreign Policy Experiment in South Sudan Raises Questions

Yanmei Xie and Casie Copeland
South China Morning Post
Yanmei Xie and Casie Copeland say China’s growing involvement in South Sudan’s civil war differs from its past approach to non-interference, though there is debate on the long-term implications as its role in African, and global, security affairs...

Why Kim Jong Un Is Alienating China

Blaine Harden
Washington Post
Totalitarian leaders usually don’t explain themselves, and Kim — six years in power and only 33 — is no exception. But insights into his Sino-belligerence can be gleaned from the back story of his family.

As Sanctions Bite, North Korean Workers Leave Chinese Border Hub

Philip Wen
Reuters
Almost 100,000 overseas workers, based predominantly in China and Russia, funnel some $500 million in wages a year to help finance the North Korean regime, the U.S. government says.

Tillerson Masters the Art of Comity in Talks with China Leaders

Nick Wadhams
Bloomberg
Rex Tillerson made a show of harmony with Chinese leaders during a whirlwind visit to Beijing, skipping over tensions around trade and North Korea to emphasize the personal bond between the countries’ presidents.

In Tillerson's China Stop, Questions on North Korea but Slim Chance of Clarity

David E. Sanger
New York Times
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is scheduled to arrive in Beijing early Saturday for a brief visit, amid confusing signals about President Trump’s position on two questions looming over the confrontation with North Korea: Is America’s long-term...

U.S. Directly Communicating with North Korea, Seeks Dialogue

Phil Stewart, Ben Blanchard
Reuters
The disclosure by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a trip to China represented the first time he has spoken to such an extent about U.S. outreach to North Korea over its pursuit of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

Media

09.29.17

Trump on China

In the run-up to and during his race toward the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump made frequent statements about China, its people, and the government in Beijing, in remarks that ranged from effusive praise to outright attack, and which...

This Is What World War III with China Might Look Like

Alfred W. McCoy
Nation
For the past 50 years, American leaders have been supremely confident that they could suffer military setbacks in places like Cuba or Vietnam without having their system of global hegemony, backed by the world’s wealthiest economy and finest...

Is Trump All Talk on North Korea? The Uncertainty Sends a Shiver

Julie Hirschfeld Davis
New York Times
Mr. Trump’s willingness to casually threaten to annihilate a nuclear-armed foe was yet another reminder of the steep risks inherent in his brute-force approach to diplomacy.

Live-Fire Show of Force by Troops from China's First Overseas Military Base

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
The exercises in Djibouti on Friday involved dozens of officers and took place at the country’s national gendarmerie training range, the People’s Liberation Army Navy said in an online report.

Viewpoint

09.24.17

China, Global Peacemaker?

James Bowen
In May, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave opening remarks to a two-day international forum designed to demystify and attract support for Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative.” This estimated $1 trillion investment campaign aims to create extensive...

Sinica Podcast

09.22.17

North Korea Behind the Scenes

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
North Korea is a mystery to nearly everyone—even those who have dedicated their lives to studying the country, including Korean experts based in Seoul, national security experts in Washington or Beijing, and a variety of foreigners who have spent...

Conversation

09.21.17

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

Shen Dingli, Bonnie S. Glaser & more
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...

China to Trump: That Speech on North Korea Was Really Unhelpful

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China rebuked President Trump on Wednesday after he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary, a warning that may have undermined the chances of peace but also gave Beijing an easy opportunity to seize the moral high ground.

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...

North Korea Fires Second Ballistic Missile over Japan

BBC
BBC
The missile reached an altitude of about 770km, travelling 3,700km — higher and further than one fired over Japan late last month — before landing in the sea off Hokkaido, South Korea's military says...

Chinese Academics Prod Beijing to Consider North Korea Contingencies

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Chinese academics are publicly broaching the idea that China and the United States should share plans on how to deal with a potential conflict on the Korean Peninsula, a sign some say of how North Korea’s weapons test may be making Beijing more open...

Viewpoint

09.15.17

There Is Only One China, And There Is Only One Taiwan

Richard Bernstein
One of Beijing’s least favorite people is Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who won a landslide election victory 18 months ago on a platform calling for more separation from China—a coded way of rejecting one of the mainland’s most sacred principles...

What Would China Do If North Korea and the United States Go to War?

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
The US should sit down with China before pursuing a discussion with North Korea on how to solve the Korean peninsula’s nuclear crisis, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told the South China Morning Post on Tuesday.

China and Russia Warn the U.S. Not to Seek North Korean Regime Change

Ting Shi and David Tweed
Bloomberg
In supporting a watered-down version of North Korea sanctions, China and Russia had a stern warning for the U.S.: Don’t try to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Tillerson Is Working with China and Russia — Very, Very Quietly

David Ignatius
Washington Post
The Tillerson approach focuses on personal diplomacy, in direct contacts with Chinese and Russian leaders, and through private channels to North Korea. His core strategic assumption is that if the United States can subtly manage its relations with...

China and Pakistan Team up for Swipe at Trump's Afghanistan Plans

Stuart Lau
South China Morning Post
The air forces of China and Pakistan teamed up for joint training exercises, state media reported on Friday as the foreign ministers from the two countries present a united front in Beijing against Washington’s new military policy in Afghanistan.

Sweeping Change in China's Military Points to More Firepower for Xi

Philip Wen and Benjamin Kang Lim
Reuters
China’s military is preparing a sweeping leadership reshuffle, dropping top generals, including two that sources say are under investigation for corruption. The changes would make room for President Xi Jinping to install trusted allies in key...

China Will Back Fresh U.N. Measures on North Korea over Nuclear Tests

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
China’s foreign minister said Thursday that Beijing would support further U.N.-imposed “measures” against North Korea following its largest nuclear test, but stopped short of saying whether China would back crippling economic sanctions such as halts...

Conversation

09.06.17

China’s Communist Party Is About to Meet. Here’s What You Should Know.

Matthias Stepan, Victor Shih & more
The Chinese Communist Party will hold its 19th Party Congress on October 18, marking the end of the first term of General Secretary Xi Jinping. In a leadership reshuffle, Xi is expected to promote allies to the Party’s key decision-making body, the...

South Korea Calls for Cutting North Korea's Oil Supplies but Russia Is Reluctant

Michelle Ye Hee Lee
Washington Post
Amid escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-In sought Russian backing Wednesday for calls to block critical crude oil supplies to the North Korean regime after its latest nuclear test.

Bad News, World: China Can’t Solve the North Korea Problem

Max Fisher
New York Times
After each North Korean provocation, a soothing mantra echoes through the halls of government and think tanks in the United States.

China Brushes off Vietnam Protests over South China Sea Drills

Reuters
Reuters
China on Wednesday dismissed Vietnamese condemnation of its military live-fire exercises in the disputed South China Sea, saying it was acting within its sovereign rights.

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...

China Can Squeeze Its Neighbors When It Wants. Ask South Korea

Jethro Mullen
CNN
South Korean businesses have been suffering since early this year after the country angered the Chinese government with the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system. The victims include companies in tourism and retail, but also Hyundai (HYMTF),...

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 “...

China Says North Korea Tensions Have Reached 'Tipping Point'

Agence France Presse
South China Morning Post
China warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached a “tipping point” after North Korea on Tuesday fired a ballistic missile over Japan, but said the United States and South Korea are partly to blame. 

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-...

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-...

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.

Balance of Power: China Extends Its Reach

Bloomberg
President Xi Jinping is spending more than $50 billion in an economic corridor in Pakistan, Afghanistan’s neighbor. The highways and gas pipelines, designed to provide China an alternative land route to the high seas, also give it an interest in...

If a Crisis Shuts down the South China Sea, Here Are the Losers — and a Few Winners

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Several industries are trying to assess what open confrontation in the South China Sea would cost them, and a lot of them don't like what they’re finding. The world’s second–largest economy is getting more wary — and...

We Are Human Too, India and China Have to Start Talking and Stop Using Us Soldiers as Cannon Fodder

Ajai Shukla
South China Morning Post
In Autumn 1986, as a young army captain deployed in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as its own territory, I readied to go to war with China. The provocation: a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) company, about a...

After U.S. Destroyer Collision, Chinese Paper Says U.S. Navy a Hazard

Reuters
The U.S. navy’s latest collision at sea, the fourth in its Pacific fleet this year, shows it is becoming an increasing risk to shipping in Asia despite its claims of helping to protect freedom of navigation, an official Chinese newspaper said.

China’s Global Ambitions: Are There Lessons to Be Learnt from Tibet?

Sydney Morning Herald
The Harvard-educated lawyer’s message to Australia: “It happened to Tibet - you could be next.”

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 “...

The Spark: 7 Sins of India

Xinhua
7 Sins of India

India and China Troops Clash along Himalayan Border

BBC
The PTI news agency said soldiers threw stones, causing minor injuries to both sides, as Chinese troops tried to enter Indian territory near the Pangong lake. 

Can the United States Play North Korea against China?

Josh Rogin
Washington Post
For decades, the United States has been trying to get China to use its influence and power to isolate North Korea. Now, experts are asking, why doesn’t the United States try working with North Korea to isolate China? That could be a game...