News Flash: Washington Source of All Beijing’s Problems

Elizabeth C. Economy
Council on Foreign Relations
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s swing through Asia has been marked by a revelation in Beijing: the source of all China’s problems with its neighbors is the United States. A Xinhua editorial paints the United States as a “sneaky trouble...

China's Long History of Defying the Doomsayers

Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Stephen Platt
Atlantic
Thirty-six years after "Great Helmsman" Mao Zedong died of a heart attack, leaving his country briefly rudderless during a time of crisis and uncertainty, the Chinese ship of state is still sailing. But is it still seaworthy? Observers are...

Thucydides’s Trap Has Been Sprung in the Pacific

Graham Allison
Financial Times
China’s increasingly aggressive posture towards the South China Sea and the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea is less important in itself than as a sign of things to come. For six decades after the second world war, an American “Pax Pacifica”...

China, Olympic Victim?

Economist
The race is not to the swift, says the Bible, nor the battle to the strong. But, in words attributed to Damon Runyon, an American writer, that is how the smart money bets. Unless, of course, it belongs to a Chinese nationalist, who will wager his...

Simmering Chinese Anger at Japan Is Now on the Boil

Mark McDonald
New York Times
In angry mass protests and subdued smaller gatherings, Chinese citizens have taken to the streets to protest the landing by Japanese activists on some barren islands that are claimed by both countries. Protesters in about a dozen cities on...

Party Bristles at Military’s Push for More Sway in China

Edward Wong and Jonathan Ansfield
New York Times
With China’s once-a-decade leadership transition only months away, the party is pushing back with a highly visible campaign against disloyalty and corruption, even requiring all officers to report financial assets. 

Reports

08.06.12

Chinese Leadership and Elite Responses to the U.S. Pacific Pivot

Michael D. Swaine
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
Over the past several years, the most significant overall U.S. foreign policy action of relevance to China has been the announcement and initial follow-through of the so-called Pacific pivot or “Rebalancing” of U.S. attention and resources to the...

Huawei: The Company That Spooked the World

Unattributed
Economist
BANBURY, a little English town best known for a walk-on part in a nursery rhyme and as the eponymous origin of a fruitcake, is an unlikely fulcrum for the balance of power in the world of telecoms. But the “Cyber Security Evaluation Centre” set up...

Interview: Kenneth Lieberthal on Strategic Distrust

YOICHI KATO
Asahi Shimbun
The United States and China have a relatively successful relationship, but their distrust of each other's long-term intentions has reached a potentially dangerous level, says Kenneth Lieberthal, an experienced China expert based in Washington...

Growing China Clout Sparks Concern in Taiwan Media

Austin Ramzy
Time
Taiwan regulators have put strict conditions on a bid by a China-friendly media group to purchase the island’s second largest cable TV system as concerns grow that China’s commercial clout is already undermining freedom of the press in one of Asia’s...

Hackers Linked to China's Army Seen From EU To D.C.

Michael Riley and Dune Lawrence
Bloomberg
The hackers clocked in at precisely 9:23 a.m. Brussels time on July 18 last year, and set to their task. In just 14 minutes of quick keyboard work, they scooped up the e-mails of the president of the European Union Council, Herman...

China's Military Moment

Jim Holmes
Foreign Policy
Beguiled by undersea oil and gas deposits and the weakness of fellow claimants to the Paracel Islands, China launched a naval offensive to seize the disputed archipelago. To justify its actions, Beijing pointed to history -- notably Ming Dynasty Adm...

The South China Sea Oil Card

M. Taylor Fravel
Diplomat
Over the weekend, the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) quietly announced that nine new blocks in the South China Sea were now open to foreign oil companies for exploration and development. This move reflects one of the starkest efforts by...

North Korea Tests China's Patience

Jane Perlez
New York Times
As Kim Jong-un, the young leader of North Korea, consolidates his grip on power, China is showing signs of increasing frustration at the bellicose behavior of its longtime ally.

The Unwritten Rules in Chinese Technology

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
What do we mean when we say a Chinese company has “close ties to the government”? Or is “connected to the military”? And does this matter? It is a problem that writers on China have encountered for years, and it can be difficult get firm evidence...

Reports

06.04.12

Asia in the Balance

Thomas G. Mahnken, Thomas Donnelly, Dan Blumenthal, Gary J. Schmitt, Michael Mazza, Andrew Shearer
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Since the end of World War II, the United States has developed a characteristic approach to protecting its interests in Asia. In peace and in war, the U.S. position in Asia has rested on a set of alliances, ground and air forces deployed on allied...

China Top Source of Counterfeit U.S. Military Electronics

Tony Capaccio
Businessweek
China’s government has failed to curb manufacturing of counterfeit military electronic parts by Chinese companies that are the “dominant source” of fakes in the U.S. defense supply chain, a Senate investigation found. The U.S. Air Force suspended in...

Reports

04.30.12

China’s Assertive Behavior

Michael D. Swaine
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
This essay focuses in particular on the military’s role in leadership decision-making and lower-level implementation with regard to political-military crises with foreign powers. This is a difficult topic to tackle: very little detailed, reliable...

Reports

04.30.12

The Only Honest Man?—General Liu Yuan Calls Out PLA Corruption

James Mulvenon and Leigh Ann Ragland
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
On 18 January 2012, General Logistics Department Deputy Director Liu Yuan reportedly gave a Chinese New Year speech in which he directly attacked military corruption in the ranks and promised a “do-or-die” fight against it. Within days, General...

Books

02.29.12

The Culture of War in China

Joanna Waley-Cohen
What particularly distinguished the Qing from other ruling houses in China's imperial period? In this pathbreaking book, Joanna Waley-Cohen overturns conventional wisdom to identify military power and an accompanying martial ethos as defining characteristics of the high Qing empire. From 1636 to 1800, Emperors reinforced massive military expansion with a wide-ranging cultural campaign intended to bring military success, and the martial values associated with it, into the mainstream of cultural life. Military prowess and imperial power were linked in the popular imagination though endless repetition in literature, art and architecture a startlingly modern use of words and images that demonstrates the imperial grasp of culture's potency as a political tool. Overturning the presumption that reads back China's late-nineteenth-century military weakness into the past, Waley-Cohen shows that the Qing strongly emphasized military affairs, which they understood as complementary rather than subordinate to civil matters. Arguing that the militarization of culture that took place under the high-Qing emperors provided fertile ground from which the modern militarized nation-state could develop, Waley-Cohen contends that the past two centuries of Chinese weakness on the international scene may turn out to have been a protracted aberration, rather than the normal state of affairs. The Culture of War in China is a striking revisionist history that brings new insight into the nature of the Qing dynasty and the roots of the militarized modern state.  —I. B. Tauris

The Chinese Are Coming!

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
The day after the Russian parliamentary elections in early December, the Chinese publication Global Times, an English-language newspaper and website managed by People’s Daily, the official organ of the Communist Party official, ran an editorial on...

Reports

01.06.12

China’s Assertive Behavior

Michael D. Swaine
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
In examining the origins, characteristics, and likely future course of a “more assertive” China, many analysts point to the supposedly growing role of the Chinese military (or People’s Liberation Army—PLA) in Beijing’s overall foreign and foreign-...

Reports

01.06.12

Liu Yuan: Archetype of a “Xi Jinping Man” in the PLA?

James Mulvenon and Leigh Ann Ragland
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
Liu Yuan and Xi Jinping clearly share a great deal in common. Both were born to senior CCP cadres, and are members of the elite “princelings” cohort. Yet both men’s fathers were subjected to purge and mistreatment during the late Mao era, and both...

From Tenderness to Savagery in Seconds

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
Much nonsense has been written about the Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking. We know this much: in December 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army, after taking the Chinese Nationalist capital of Nanjing, went on a six-week rampage,...

Reports

09.21.11

China’s Assertive Behavior

Michael D. Swaine and M. Taylor Fravel
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
The authors of this essay examine Chinese assertiveness concerning U.S. political and military behavior along China’s maritime periphery. This topic inevitably also concerns Chinese behavior toward Japan, South Korea, and some ASEAN nations, given...

Reports

07.14.11

Strangers at Home: North Koreans in the South

International Crisis Group
As the number of defectors from North Korea arriving in the South has surged in the past decade, there is a growing understanding of how difficult it would be to absorb a massive flow of refugees. South Korea is prosperous and generous, with a...

Reports

05.27.11

Fighting Spam to Build Trust

Karl Frederick Rauscher and Zhou Yonglin
EastWest Institute
The EastWest Institute and the Internet Society of China convened a team of China-U.S. experts for an ongoing bilateral dialogue on cybersecurity issues. This report, the first from the team, represents the first effort by Chinese and U.S. experts...

Reports

02.08.11

Beyond Symbolism? 

Lavina Lee
Cato Institute
The Obama administration has elevated nuclear disarmament to the center of its nuclear agenda through the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia and the release of the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). The administration also...

Reports

02.03.11

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities

Ronald O'Rourke
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The question of how the United States should respond to China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, has emerged as a key issue in U.S. defense planning. This issue is of particular importance to the U.S. Navy,...

Reports

12.14.10

Sino-U.S. Competition and U.S. Security

Dan Blumenthal
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Assessments of the military competition between China and the U.S. are badly needed but mostly missing. Such assessments should consider the political objectives of the competitors, their military doctrines, and alliance politics, in addition to...

Reports

07.06.10

U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The United States suspended military contacts with China and imposed sanctions on arms sales in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. In 1993, the Clinton Administration re-engaged with the top PRC leadership, including China's military...

Reports

04.15.10

East Asian Regional Architecture: New Economic and Security Arrangements and U.S. Policy

Dick K. Nanto
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The global financial crisis, the end of the Cold War, the rise of China, globalization, free trade agreements, the war on terror, and an institutional approach to keeping the peace are causing dramatic shifts in relationships among countries in East...

Reports

01.06.10

U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States faced a challenge in enlisting the full support of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the counterterrorism fight against Al Qaeda. This effort raised short-term policy issues...

Reports

11.20.09

China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is vitally important, touching on a wide range of areas including, among others, economic policy, security, foreign relations, and human rights. U.S. interests with...

Reports

11.02.09

Shades of Red: China’s Debate Over North Korea

International Crisis Group
North Korea has created a number of foreign policy dilemmas for China. The latest round of provocations makes Beijing’s balancing act between supporting a traditional ally and responding to its dangerous brinkmanship more difficult, especially when...

China at 60: Who Owns the Guns

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
The most striking feature of China’s October 1 celebration of sixty years of Communist rule was the spectacular and tightly choreographed military parade in the center of Beijing. The display of crass militarism—paralleled only by parades in...

Reports

04.17.09

China’s Growing Role in U.N. Peacekeeping

International Crisis Group
Over the past twenty years China has become an active participant in U.N. peacekeeping, a development that will benefit the international community. Beijing has the capacity to expand its contributions further and should be encouraged to do so...

Reports

02.13.09

The Pivotal Relationship: How Obama Should Engage China

Liu Xuecheng Robert Oxnam
EastWest Institute
Providing their respective hopes and expectations on what they would like to see in the Obama administration’s China policy are Liu Xuecheng and Robert Oxnam, who both envision opportunities for reframing the China-U.S. relationship in a way that...

Reports

09.01.08

China, Space Weapons, and U.S. Security

Bruce W. MacDonald
He Jianan
Council on Foreign Relations
China’s successful test of an anti-satellite weapon in 2007, followed by the US destruction earlier this year of an out-of-control American satellite, demonstrated that space may soon no longer remain a sanctuary from military conflict. As the...

Reports

05.21.08

China’s Space Program: Options for U.S.-China Cooperation

Jeffrey Logan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China has a determined, yet still modest, program of civilian space activities planned for the next decade. The potential for U.S.-China cooperation in space—an issue of interest to Congress—has become more controversial since the January 2007...

Reports

04.04.08

Security Implications of Taiwan’s Presidential Election of March 2008

Shirley Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Taiwan’s presidential election of March 22, 2008 indicates a reduction in future cross-strait tension, as winner Ma Ying-jeou is less provocative toward Beijing than Chen Shui-bian has been. The near-term outlook for Taiwan’s future is positive for...

Reports

04.23.07

China’s Anti-Satellite Weapon Test

Shirley Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
On January 11, 2007, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) conducted its first successful direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons test in destroying one of its own satellites in space. The test raised international concerns about more space...

Reports

11.01.06

Chinese Nuclear Forces and U.S. Nuclear War Planning

Hans M. Kristensen, Robert S. Norris, Matthew G. McKinzie
Natural Resources Defense Council
China and the United States have been aiming their nuclear weapons at each other for decades, but now—with the absence of a definitive enemy such as the Soviet Union—the United States has elevated China to fill the void to help justify modernizing...

Why They Hate Japan

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
1.Those who think that the Japanese are a little odd will have been confirmed in their prejudice by the behavior of Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro during his June visit to the United States. The social highlight was a trip to Graceland, home of...

Reports

03.27.06

Taiwan’s Security: Beyond the Special Budget

Mark A. Stokes
Sara Segal-Williams
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Dr. Chang Ya-chung is a professor of political science at the prestigious National Taiwan University who carries a powerful message: America has lost touch with popular sentiment on Taiwan. Professor Chang leads a growing movement called the...

Reports

04.15.05

European Union’s Arms Embargo on China: Implications and Options for U.S. Policy

Kristin Archick, Richard Grimmett, Shirley Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The European Union (EU) is considering lifting its arms embargo on China, which was imposed in response to the June 1989 Tiananmen Crackdown. France, Germany, and other EU members claim that the embargo hinders the development of a “strategic...

Chinese Shadows

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
There are many reasons for getting tattooed. But a sense of belonging—to a group, a faith, or a person—is key. As a mark of identification a tattoo is more lasting than a passport. This is not always voluntary. In Japan, criminals used to have the...

Reports

03.01.05

European Union’s Arms Control Regime and Arms Exports to China: Background and Legal Analysis

Richard F. Grimmett, Theresa Papademetriou
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In recent months, discussions have been held within the European Union (EU) on the question of lifting the embargo on arms exports to the People’s Republic of China that was imposed on China on June 27, 1989. The prospect that the EU would lift its...

Reports

05.20.04

China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues for the 108th Congress

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
During the George W. Bush Administration, U.S. and People’s Republic of China (PRC) foreign policy calculations have undergone several changes. The Bush Administration assumed office in January 2001 viewing China as a U.S. ”strategic competitor.”...

Reports

05.01.03

Chinese Military Power

Chair: Harold Brown, Vice Chair: Joseph Prueher, Director: Adam Segal
He Jianan
Council on Foreign Relations
The rise of China has long been a growing concern among US foreign policymakers. Of particular concern is the strength of Chinese military power and its relation to US military capability. This important report assesses the situation and concludes...

Reports

02.05.03

The China-Taiwan Military Balance

Ivan Eland
Cato Institute
China’s economy is four times the size of Taiwan’s and apparently growing at a faster rate; that economic disparity between China and Taiwan could eventually lead to a military disparity as well. Nonetheless, even an informal U.S. security guarantee...

Reports

01.23.03

Is Chinese Military Modernization a Threat to the United States?

Ivan Eland
Cato Institute
Both the Pentagon and a congressionally mandated commission recently issued studies on the Chinese military that overstated the threat to the United States posed by that force. In contrast, this paper attempts to place the modernizing Chinese...

Reports

12.17.01

China’s Relations with Central Asian States and Problems with Terrorism

Dewardric L. McNeal
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Over a number of years, the United States has been actively engaged in efforts to improve human rights conditions in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). However, some analysts suggest that the events of September 11, 2001, may make it more...

Reports

04.01.00

China, Nuclear Weapons, and Arms Control

Robert A. Manning, Ronald Montaperto, Brad Roberts
He Jianan
Council on Foreign Relations
The U.S.-PRC bilateral agenda is loaded with many contentious issues, including trade relations, human rights, regional security, and nonproliferation. During the last year or two, another issue has emerged: the strategic military dimension of the...

Peking, Hong Kong, & the U.S.

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
No recent book has blown a bigger hole in the proposition that the US must follow a policy of “positive engagement” with China than The Coming Conflict with China. It is a mark of the wound they inflicted on Peking that the authors, ex-reporters in...

Reports

01.23.96

The Sweet-and-Sour Sino-American Relationship

Leon T. Hadar
Cato Institute
Relations between the United States and China are becoming frayed, with serious risks for both countries. Although the Clinton administration has wisely resisted the most reckless proposals, its policies have been inconsistent and sometimes inept...

The End of the Long March

Roderick MacFarquhar from New York Review of Books
In Peking last September, China’s supreme leader, Deng Xiaoping, pensioned off the surviving generals of the Long March. Fifty years after their epic exploit, these old soldiers finally agreed to fade away. Deng must hope that the legend has now...

His Man in Canton

John K. Fairbank from New York Review of Books
In the Chinese united front of the mid-1920s, the Soviet agent Borodin has been a protean figure. Bringing Leninist skills, arms, and advisers to Canton, he seemed to be the priceless ingredient that finally catalyzed Sun Yat-sen’s revolution...

Report from the China Sea

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
Since the Communist victory in 1949 there has been very little contact between Americans and Chinese. Although a tiny community of aging Americans continues to live in Peking, no American, except for Edgar Snow, has traveled widely in the People’s...

Mao’s China

Martin Bernal from New York Review of Books
To most Westerners China is not a part of the known world and Mao is not a figure of our time. The ignorant believe he is the leader of a host of martians whose sole occupation is plotting the destruction of civilization and the enslavement of...