China Loses a Friend, and Leverage, with North Korean Murder

Bloomberg
The mysterious death of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother removed a potential avenue for China to press the North Korean leader to rein in his nuclear ambitions.

New Chinese Missile Upgrade Likely Designed with Taiwan in Its Crosshairs

Bruce Dorminey
Forbes
Earlier this month, the state-run English-language newspaper China Daily reported on the most recent public displays of the People’s Republic of China’s DF-16, designed, in large part, as a potential offensive weapon against the island nation of...

China Warns U.S. against Fresh Naval Patrols in South China Sea

Reuters
China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty, responding to reports the United States was planning fresh naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea.

Russia, China, ISIS: Rex Tillerson Faces Daunting Global Challenges

Mark Hanrahan
NBC News
America’s new top diplomat will be tested during his maiden overseas trip to meet counterparts at a Group of 20 world powers gathering in Germany on Thursday and Friday.

China, Russia Condemn North Korea’s Missile Launch

Joshua Berlinger
CNN
China has voiced opposition to North Korea’s test of a reported new ballistic missile more than 24 hours after reports of the launch emerged. But the country shrugged off suggestions it should be doing more to intervene in the rogue state’s military...

Viewpoint

02.10.17

Taiwan Needs to Hear Trump Say ‘Democracy’

William Kazer
President Trump has sent conflicting signals on Taiwan, first suggesting cozier relations with the self-ruled island and then walking that back to reassure China.In a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, he pledged no change to...

U.S., China Military Planes Come Inadvertently Close over South China Sea

CNBC
A U.S. Navy P-3 plane and a Chinese military aircraft came close to each other over the South China Sea in an incident the Navy believes was inadvertent, a U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday.

Trump, Changing Course on Taiwan, Gives China an Upper Hand

Jane Perlez
New York Times
By backing down in a telephone call with China’s president on his promise to review the status of Taiwan, President Trump may have averted a confrontation with America’s most powerful rival.

China’s Response to THAAD Does Not Warrant South Korean Action: Minister

Christine Kim
Reuters
South Korea’s finance minister said on Thursday China had not taken any retaliatory measures over plans to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system that warranted official action, although South Korea is ready to lodge a formal complaint if needed.

China’s North Korea Calculus under Trump

Paul Haenle & Zhao Tong from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Two weeks into President Trump’s first term, the White House has launched a review of its North Korea policy. Dealing with the threat from Pyongyang’s missile launches and nuclear weapons program is likely to top the administration’s security agenda...

Donald Trump and China on Dangerous Collision Course, Say Experts

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Report says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could deteriorate into an economic or military confrontation. 

China, United States cannot afford conflict: Chinese foreign minister

Colin Packham
Reuters
There would be no winner from conflict between China and the United States, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned on Tuesday, seeking to dampen tension between the two nations that flared after the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. 

Reports

02.07.17

U.S. Policy Toward China

Orville Schell and Susan L. Shirk
Asia Society
The Task Force on U.S.-China Policy generated the following report and set of recommendations to assist the 45th U.S. presidential administration in formulating a China strategy that will protect and further U.S. national interests. This report...

China Protests U.S. Sanctions on Iran, but Sees ‘Clouds of War’ Dispersing over South China Sea

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China said Monday it had lodged a formal protest with the United States over a decision to impose new sanctions targeting Iran, which affected a handful of Chinese companies and individuals.

U.S.-China War Would Be a Disaster for the World, Says Communist Party

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Editorial says two countries should strive to avoid conflict in first statement since Donald Trump’s election win

China’s Intelligent Weaponry Gets Smarter

John Markoff and Matthew Rosenberg
New York Times
The Pentagon’s plan to bring A.I. to the military is taking shape as Chinese researchers assert themselves in the nascent technology field.

Trump, Tillerson and the South China Sea: What’s at Stake

Katie Hunt
CNN
Rex Tillerson, who was sworn in as U.S. Secretary of State Wednesday, takes responsibility for U.S. policy in one of the world’s biggest flashpoints: the South China Sea.

Trump’s Defense Chief Heads to Asia, Eying China, North Korea Threat

Phil Stewart and Nobuhiro Kubo
Reuters
President Donald Trump’s defense secretary is expected to underscore U.S. security commitments to key allies South Korea and Japan on his debut trip to Asia this week as concerns mount over North Korea’s missile program and tensions with China.

Make China Great Again

David Leonhardt
New York Times
America’s rivals and enemies have enjoyed a very good 10 days.

Philippines’ Duterte Asks China to Patrol Piracy-Plagued Waters

Reuters
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he had asked China to help in the fight against Islamic State-linked militants by sending ships to patrol southern waters plagued by raids on commercial vessels.

U.S.-China War Increasingly a ‘Reality,’ Chinese Army Official Says

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
China is preparing for a potential military clash with the United States, according to an article on the Chinese army’s website.

Donald Trump Is Handing China the World

David Axe
Daily Beast
While Trump focuses on building up the U.S. Navy to counter China, Beijing is gobbling up the other segments of global relations that used to be dominated by the U.S.

China’s Happy to Sit Out the Nuclear Arms Race

Melissa Hanham
Foreign Policy
While Putin and Trump push for bigger arsenals, Beijing has all the nukes it'll ever need...

If the U.S. Ever Went to War with China, It Would Be a Trump Distraction Technique

Guardian
There is no indication that the U.S. president wants a war. But, if he did get into one, it would be to direct attention away from his incompetence

China Gives Details of Items Banned from Export to North Korea

Reuters
China released on Wednesday a new, comprehensive list of goods that can not be exported to North Korea, including many “dual use” items that can be used to build weapons of mass destruction.

Hong Kong Denies Beijing Role in Seizure of Singaporean Troop Carriers

Christy Leung
South China Morning Post
Customs chief says the enforcement action was based on Hong Kong law and also claims Singapore’s government was never a target for investigation

China Commissions 31st Stealth Warship

Hindu
Chinese media have said the U.S. has to wage a war with China if America blocks it from accessing the artificial islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

Is Trump Ready for War in the South China Sea, or Is His Team Just Not Being Clear?

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Was this a prelude to a major escalation in the South China Sea, or is the Trump administration having trouble articulating its foreign policy?

Donald Trump Could Be Starting a New Cold War With China. But He Has Little Chance of Winning

Charlie Campbell
Time
The new U.S. administration has been testing Beijing with provocative stances on trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea. But starting up a Cold War with China is a highly risky strategy

A Chinese Nuclear Site, Hidden in a Mountain, Is Reborn as a Tourist Draw

Amy Qin
New York Times
Fifteen years ago, the local government announced that inside the hollowed-out mountain lay the remnants of what was once one of China’s most ambitious military infrastructure projects: the top-secret 816 nuclear plant.

China Urges Trump Administration to Grasp Importance of ‘One China’

Reuters
The new U.S. administration must fully understand the importance of the “One China” policy and appreciate that the issue of Taiwan is highly sensitive for the Beijing government, China said on Monday.

Viewpoint

01.23.17

The Chairmen, Trump and Mao

Geremie R. Barmé
The January 13, 1967 issue of TIME magazine featured Mao Zedong on its cover with the headline “China in Chaos.” Fifty years later, TIME made U.S. President-elect Donald Trump its Man of The Year. With a groundswell of mass support, both men...

Here’s How China Will Test Trump With North Korean Nukes

Gordon G. Chang
Daily Beast
China is demanding South Korea not defend itself from North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons, which Beijing has helped Pyongyang develop

Viewpoint

01.19.17

Do We Want to Live in China’s World?

Robert Daly
Each weekday morning, I cross D.C.’s National Mall and pass a sign on Constitution Avenue bearing an epigram by the U.S. architect Daniel Burnham: Make No Little Plans. And every morning, these words make me think not of Burnham’s 20th century...

Conversation

01.18.17

U.S.-China Flashpoints in the Age of Trump

Zha Daojiong, Isaac Stone Fish & more
Over the past year, Donald Trump has vowed to “utterly destroy” ISIS, considered lifting sanctions on Russia, promised to cancel the Paris climate agreement and “dismantle” the Iran nuclear deal. But many of his most inflammatory statements are...

Taiwan Carries out Drills amid Rising Fears of Chinese Invasion

Nicola Smith and Tom Phillips
Guardian
The island’s armed forces test combat readiness, amid deteriorating relations between Beijing and Taipei

New U.S.-China Rivalry Risks Lethal Confrontation

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Provocations by President-elect Trump over trade and territory could escalate into armed conflict

South China Sea: China Media Warn US over ‘Confrontation’

BBC
Blocking China from islands it has built in contested waters would lead to “devastating confrontation,” Chinese state media have warned.

Tillerson Channels Reagan on South China Sea

James Kraska
Lawfare Blog
Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson said that perhaps the United States should deny China access to its artificial islands in the South China Sea.

Trump Nominee’s Proposal to Block China From Islands Sets Off Alarms

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
If carried out, Tillerson’s proposal to bar Beijing from some South China Sea islands would likely trigger military battle, experts say

China Launches New Electronic Intelligence Naval Ship

CNBC
China’s Navy has launched a new electronic reconnaissance ship as Beijing’s new assertiveness to territorial claims in the South China Sea fuels tensions.

Japan And China Are Competing To Win Over The Philippines

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing away the United States in favor of its geopolitical rival China. But the man in office still likes Japan.

Taiwan Scrambles Jets, Navy as China Aircraft Carrier Enters Taiwan Strait

Reuters
Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships on Wednesday as a group of Chinese warships, led by its sole aircraft carrier, sailed through the Taiwan Strait

2016 China-Africa Year in Review

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
After years of relatively trouble-free development, 2016 marked a turning point in the China-Africa relationship, amid turbulent changes in the global economic and political order. China increased its deployment of combat troops to the continent,...

Books

01.04.17

The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom
This lavishly illustrated volume explores the history of China during a period of dramatic shifts and surprising transformations, from the founding of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) through to the present day.The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China promises to be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this rising superpower on the verge of what promises to be the “Chinese century,” introducing readers to important but often overlooked events in China’s past, such as the bloody Taiping Civil War (1850-1864), which had a death toll far higher than the roughly contemporaneous American Civil War. It also helps readers see more familiar landmarks in Chinese history in new ways, such as the Opium War (1839-1842), the Boxer Uprising of 1900, the rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, and the Tiananmen protests and Beijing Massacre of 1989.This is one of the first major efforts—and in many ways the most ambitious to date—to come to terms with the broad sweep of modern Chinese history, taking readers from the origins of modern China right up through the dramatic events of the last few years (the Beijing Games, the financial crisis, and China’s rise to global economic pre-eminence) which have so fundamentally altered Western views of China and China’s place in the world. —Oxford University Press{chop}

As Trump and North Korea’s Kim Spar, China Poses as the Responsible Actor

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
President-elect Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been trading threats this week, while China poses as the mature, reasonable kid on the block.

Conversation

12.30.16

Rex Tillerson at State: What Will He Mean for U.S.-China Relations?

Barbara A. Finamore, Shen Dingli & more
On December 13, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced the selection of ExxonMobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. We asked ChinaFile contributors to respond to the choice with a specific focus on how Tillerson...

Xinjiang Attack: Four 'Terrorists' and One Bystander Killed, Says China

Reuters
Guardian
Assailants shot dead after driving up to regional Communist party headquarters and setting off bomb, according to official media, in flare-up in Uighur region

China’s Defense Ministry Confirms Probe of Leading General Wang Jianping

Laura Zhou
South China Morning Post
Ministry announcement verifies August report that Wang had been arrested on the suspicion of taking bribes

Power Plays Across the First Island Chain: China’s Lone Carrier Group Has a Busy December

Ankit Panda
Diplomat
For the first time, China’s lone carrier entered the Western Pacific. What does the Chinese Navy have in mind?

Chinese Warships Enter South China Sea Near Taiwan in Show of Force

Reuters
Guardian
Beijing’s only aircraft carrier cruises past Taiwan’s Pratas Islands in an exercise state media said showed the country’s improving combat capabilities

How Tibet Is Being Crushed—While the Dalai Lama Survives

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
If you read every page of Tsering Woeser’s latest book and skip the first and last chapters of Tsering Topgyal’s, the ultimate message about the situation in Tibet is often the same. Chinese rule, writes Woeser, is no less than “ethnic oppression,”...

Thousands of Refugees from Myanmar May Have Fled to China Due to Fighting

Al Jazeera
As many as 15,000 people have fled across Myanmar's border into China in the past month as fighting between the army and armed ethnic groups intensifies, the UN says...

Chinese Navy Returns Seized Underwater Drone to U.S.

Chris Buckley
New York Times
A Chinese vessel returned the submersible drone to a United States Navy ship in international waters off the Philippines, near where it was taken

U.S. Demands Return of Drone Seized by Chinese Warship

Helene Cooper
New York Times
The episode threatens to increase tensions in a region already fraught with great-power rivalries

China to Return Seized U.S. Drone, Says Washington 'Hyping Up' Incident

Ben Blanchard and Steve Holland
Reuters
The drone incident has raised fresh concerns about China's increased military presence and aggressive posture in the energy-rich South China Sea...

Donald Trump Accuses China of 'Unpresidented' Act Over US Navy Drone

Martin Pengelly
Guardian
President-elect makes spelling error in belligerent early morning tweet; China says ‘hyping up’ of issue is not helpful but agrees return of vehicle

China Says Trump’s Description of Drone Seizure as Theft is ‘Inaccurate’

Chuin-Wei Yap
Wall Street Journal
U.S., China militaries in smooth communication over drone, Chinese Foreign Ministry says

Viewpoint

12.15.16

The Missing Topic in Trump’s Tough Talk on China

Melissa Chan
President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric suggests he will push China on many issues, not just one. Some observers have held on to the hope that his phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, his burst of anti-China tweets, and his most recent...

Books

12.15.16

Crashing the Party

Scott Savitt
It’s 1983. Scott Savitt, one of the first American exchange students in Beijing, picks up his guitar and begins strumming “Blackbird.” He’s soon surrounded by Chinese students who know every word to every Beatles song he plays. Savitt stays on in Beijing, working as a reporter for Asiaweek Magazine. The city’s first nightclubs open; rock ‘n’ roll promises democracy. Promoted to foreign correspondent for The Los Angeles Times and then United Press International, Savitt finds himself drawn into China’s political heart. His girlfriend is the assistant to Bette Bao Lord, the wife of the U.S. ambassador. He interviews people who will become leaders of the democracy movement.Later, at 25 years old, Savitt is the youngest accredited foreign correspondent in China, with an intimate knowledge of Beijing’s backstreets. But as the seven-week occupation of Tiananmen Square ends in bloodshed on June 4, 1989, his greatest asset is his flame-red 500cc Honda motorcycle—giving Savitt the freedom to witness first-hand what the Chinese government still denies ever took place. After Tiananmen, Savitt founds the first independent English-language newspaper in China, Beijing Scene. He knows that it’s only a matter of time before the authorities move in, and sure enough, in 2000 he’s arrested, flung into solitary confinement and, after a month in jail, deported.Savitt’s extraordinary memoir of his two decades in China manages to take an extremely complex political-historical subject and turn it into an adventure story. —Soft Skull{chop}