Conversation

03.26.13

Can China Transform Africa?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Isabel Hilton & more
Jeremy Goldkorn:The question is all wrong. China is already transforming Africa, the question is how China is transforming Africa, not whether it can. From the “China shops”—small stores selling cheap clothing, bags, and kitchenware—that have become...

China Hacker’s Angst Opens A Window Onto Cyber-Espionage

Tommy Yang
Los Angeles Times
A P.L.A. hacker’s blog is discovered, providing a rare peek into the secretive hacking establishment of the Chinese military, in what is believed to be by far the world’s largest institutionalized hacking operation. 

New Chinese Leader Shores Up Military Support

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Since taking the top party post, Mr. Xi has made a closer relationship with the military with greater speed and sureness than his recent predecessors.  

Seized Chinese Weapons Raise Concerns On Iran

Robert F. Worth and C.J. Chivers
New York Times
The Chinese missiles were part of a larger shipment interdicted by American and Yemeni forces in January 2013, allegedly intended for Houthi rebels in northwestern Yemen.   

Conversation

03.06.13

Are Proposed Sanctions on North Korea a Hopeful Sign for U.S.-China Relations?

Orville Schell, Susan Shirk & more
Orville Schell:What may end up being most significant about the new draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council to impose stricter sanctions on North Korea, which China seems willing to sign, may not be what it amounts to in terms of...

The Cold War Meets Taiwan

James R. Holmes
Diplomat
James R. Holmes looks at the applicability of a Cold War analogy in regards to U.S.-China and China-Taiwan relations. 

Cyber Menace: Digital Spying Burdens German-Chinese Relations

Ralph Neukirch, Jörg Schmitt, Gregor...
Spiegel Online
European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company’s (EADS) firewalls have been exposed to attacks by hackers for years, but now company officials say there was “a more conspicuous” attack a few months ago.  

Reports

02.27.13

China’s Central Asia Problem

International Crisis Group
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, China and its Central Asian neighbors have developed a close relationship, initially economic but increasingly also political and security. Energy, precious metals, and other natural resources flow into China...

In Cyberspace, New Cold War

David E. Sanger
New York Times
The early 2013 cyberattacks and the U.S. government’s response illustrate how different the cyber-cold war between the U.S. and China is from the more familiar superpower conflicts of past decades.  

Books

02.25.13

Star Spangled Security

Harold Brown with Joyce Winslow
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Harold Brown served during the hottest part of the Cold War when the Soviet Union presented an existential threat to America. In Star Spangled Security, Dr. Brown, one of the most respected wise men of American foreign policy, gives an insider’s view of U.S. national security strategy during the Carter administration, relates lessons learned, and bridges them to current challenges facing America.Brown describes his part in the SALT negotiations, the normalization of relations with China, the Camp David Accords, the development of a new generation of ballistic missiles, and more. Drawing on his earlier years as the director of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, as director of defense research and engineering, as Air Force secretary, and as president of Caltech, Brown uses his hard-won wisdom, especially during the painful Iran hostage crisis, to offer specific recommendations and key questions to ponder as America copes with challenges in a turbulent world.Highly readable, Star Spangled Security is for anyone wishing to better understand the debates about defense and its budget, its effect on the entire economy, and America’s relationship with allies during conflict and peace. Brown’s access to the leading forces in national security over sixty years spans ten presidents, giving the reader entrée into the inner circle of decision makers.Since leaving public office, Brown has served on the boards of directors of a dozen corporations. His unique economic, military, research, university, and government experience—at the top of all institutions he served—makes his a voice well worth heeding. —Brookings Institution Press

Does China Have An Army Of Hackers?

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The accumulated evidence should retire the old notion that China’s most sophisticated hackers are just patriots freelancing from their parents’ basements.

China Says Army Is Not Behind Attacks In Report

David Barboza
New York Times
Geng Yansheng, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, says “The claim by the Mandiant company that the Chinese military engages in Internet espionage has no foundation in fact.”

A Look At Mandiant, Allegations On China Hacking

The Associated Press
Associated Press
An introduction to Mandiant, the details of its recent report on alleged government-affiliated Chinese hacking, why the report is significant, and potential backlash from the report.

Media

02.20.13

On China’s Twitter, Discussion of Hacking Attacks Proceeds Unblocked

As The New York Times reported yesterday evening, U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant has just released a deeply troubling report called “Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units.” The report alleges wide-spread hacking sponsored by the...

China Considered Drone Strike On Foreign Soil In Hunt For Drug Lord

Ernest Kao
South China Morning Post
Liu Yuejin said one of the plans to end the manhunt for drug lord Naw Kham was to strafe a hideout in Myanmar using an unmanned aircraft.

U.S. Security Group Suspects P.L.A. Behind Hacking Attacks

Reuters
Reuters
A secretive Chinese military unit is believed to be behind a series of hacking attacks, prompting a strong denial by China and accusations that it was in fact the victim of U.S. hacking.

Conversation

02.20.13

Cyber Attacks—What’s the Best Response?

James Fallows, Xiao Qiang & more
With regular ChinaFile Conversation contributor Elizabeth Economy on the road, we turned to her colleague Adam Segal, Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Segal said that “the time for...

Nuclear Test Sparks Chinese Radiation Fears

Li Qiyan
Wall Street Journal
Chinese authorities are moving to tamp down public worries about radiation less than a week after North Korea set off a nuclear test not far from their common border.

China Muscles U.S. in the Pacific

John Garnaut
Age
Within two decades the United States will be forced out of the western Pacific, says a senior Chinese military officer, amid concerns that increasingly militarised great-power rivalry could lead to war.

Media

02.15.13

Free Coffee for North Korea?

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
What should China do to persuade its moody ally North Korea to comply with international restrictions on its nuclear ambitions?“Free conference rooms, free coffee, free soft drinks and dessert,” was the surprising and quickly viral Internet...

Vows of Change in China Belie Private Warning

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Xi Jinping told party insiders during a visit to Guangdong Province in December, China must still heed the “deeply profound” lessons of the former Soviet Union.

A War Between China and Japan: What it Could Cost You

Online MBA
Global economists are keeping their eyes glued to the Asia-Pacific region, where a bitter feud is brewing between two of the world’s most powerful nations over a small collectivity of islands in the East China Sea. The Chinese government argues that...

North Korea, China Do Their Usual Dance

Joseph Bosco
Christian Science Monitor
North Korea and China have done it again—call it the Pyongyang-Beijing two-step. Though Beijing registered ‘firm opposition’ to North Korea’s nuclear weapons test, it is unlikely to exercise its unique leverage on North Korea to encourage change.

American Policy Towards China: Getting Beyond the Friend-Or-Foe Fallacy

Ely Ratner and Steven Weber
New American Foundation
It is not widely accepted that any meaningful relationship can be boiled down to a single index that quantifies where it is at any moment and whether it is “better’’ or “worse” than a week or a month ago.

Rebuilding a Relationship, an Interview with Japan’s Ambassador to China

Huang Shan and Takehiro Masutomo
Japan's new envoy to Beijing, Masato Kitera, says his country will never escalate tensions with China, and points out the two countries have a range of issues they cooperate on...

North Korea Nuclear Test Irks Ally China

David Pierson and Ken Dilanian
Los Angeles Times
The test, held during a major Chinese holiday, is seen as a slap in the face to Beijing. But experts say China has more to lose by downgrading its bumpy ties.

Conversation

02.13.13

North Korea: How Much More Will China Take and How Should the U.S. Respond?

Winston Lord, Tai Ming Cheung & more
China is increasingly frustrated with North Korea and may even see more clearly that its actions only serve to increase allied unity, stimulate Japanese militarism and accelerate missile defense. For all these reasons the U.S. should lean on Beijing...

Not a Shred of Face: China Reacts to North Korean Nuke Test

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
Is Kim Jong Eun deliberately trying to insult China? That was the question on the minds of some Chinese following a nuclear test in North Korea that left even the Hermit Kingdom’s closest ally feeling flustered.

North Korea’s Nuclear Test: Are You Listening America?

Economist
EARS shut to the impending chorus of international condemnation, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on February 12th. It said the detonation was of a “smaller and light” atomic bomb that was different from its previous two, and that it had...

Nuclear Test Poses Big Challenge to China’s New Leader

Jane Perlez
New York Times
North Korea's nuclear test in defiance of China’s warnings leaves that country’s new leader, Xi Jinping, with a choice: Does he upset North Korea just a bit by agreeing to stepped up United Nations sanctions, or does he rattle the regime by...

Japan Protests to China After Radar Pointed At Vessel

Kiyoshi Takenaka
Reuters
A Chinese vessel pointed a type of radar normally used to help guide missiles at a Japanese navy ship near disputed East China Sea islets, prompting the Japanese government to lodge a protest with China, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said.

China’s String of Fake Pearls (Blog)

Daniel W. Drezner
Foreign Policy
For the past few years, a low level theme that occasionally pops into my news feed is the idea of greater Sino-Pakistani cooperation.  Now this has a certain amount of realpolitik sense to it.  The United States and Pakistan are...

China to Tibetans: Stay Put

Robert Barnett
Atlantic
The Chinese Communist Party's repression of its Tibetan minority now extends, apparently, to travel. Few Tibetans have been issued passports since last spring. Beijing has yet to comment officially about this issue, but its approach to Tibet...

Conversation

01.30.13

China, Japan and the Islands: What Do the Tensions Mean?

Orville Schell, John Delury & more
How did the Diaoyu, Spratly, and Paracel islands come to replace Taiwan as the main source of tension for maritime Asia? And how are we to explain the fact that China’s foreign policy toward its Asian neighbors has now morphed from such slogans as...

China Announces Naval Exercises Amid Japan Tensions

Christopher Bodeen
Associated Press
China said Wednesday that its navy would proceed with a deep-water training exercise amid a continuing spat with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea that has sparked regular confrontations among patrol boats from each side.

China Leader Affirms Policy on Islands

Christopher Buckley
New York Times
China won't bargain over what it deems to be “core” territorial and security interests, the country’s top leader, Xi Jinping, said in his first published speech setting out his foreign policy views since taking over as head of the Communist...

Xi Jinping’s Opposition to Political Reforms Laid out in Leaked Internal Speech

John Kennedy
South China Morning Post
Beijing-based writer Gao Yu’s writing on a speech Xi Jinping made during his “southern  tour” in December, suggests Xi, who blames those not “man enough” to do what had to be done to save the Soviet Communist Party from itself, has even...

Beijing Observation: Xi Jinping the Man

Gao Yu
Seeing Red in China
Xi Jinping’s “new southern tour speech,” made in December, began circulating last week in the party. It reads like a confirmation of Harvard Professor Roderick MacFarquhar’s prediction that the likelihood of the Chinese Communist Party reforming...

New Komeito, LDP at Odds Over How to Improve Ties with China

Norihisa Hoshino and Atsushi Okudera
Asahi Shimbun
New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi's meeting on Jan. 25 with Chinese leader Xi Jinping highlighted the differences emerging within the ruling coalition over how to improve ties with Beijing...

China Wouldn’t Mind a Unified Korea--Just Not Yet

Matt Schiavenza
Atlantic
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, China has had the dubious distinction of being North Korea’s only ally and friend on the world stage.

Pressures at Home, Tensions Offshore

Bill Bishop
Deal Book
It is tempting to conclude that the increasingly dangerous dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands is driven in part by Beijing’s need to distract its populace from problems at home

The Next War?

Michael Klare
Tom Dispatch
China, Japan, and various other Asian countries insist a group of tiny islands are theirs alone.  Toss in national pride and you have the potential for one of the dumber, more destructive face-offs in recent history.

China Says U.S. Culpable in Japan Island Dispute

The Associated Press
Associated Press
China says the U.S. has "undeniable historical responsibility" in Beijing's dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea...

China Urges Cautious U.N. Resolution on North Korea

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China says the United Nations Security Council need pass a cautious resolution on North Korea's December rocket launch, saying that was the way to ensure regional tensions do not escalate further...

A New Opportunity for China-South Korea Relations Under Park Geun-hye and Xi Jinping?

Scott A. Snyder
Council on Foreign Relations
South Korea and China are natural economic partners, but North Korea continues to rear its head as a challenging sticking point between the two sides.

China’s Risky Path, from Revolution to War

Cheng Li
Daily Beast
The scenario of abrupt bottom-up revolution occurring in China has recently generated much debate.

China Seeks Peaceful End to Dispute as Japan Pledges Calm

Michael Wei, Stephen Tan and Isabel...
Bloomberg
China wants to settle territorial issues peacefully and criticized U.S. Secretary of State Clinton for comments made after she met Japan’s Foreign Minister.

Infographic Map: Territorial Disputes Involving Japan

The New York Times
New York Times
Territorial disputes linked to Japan’s 20th-century military expansion across Asia, which ended in World War II, persist today.

Abe Adviser: Japan, China Need “Rules of the Game”

Reuters
Reuters
China scrambled two J-10 fighters last week after two Japanese F-15s followed a Chinese military aircraft on a "routine patrol"...

The Drums of War: China and Japan Square Up

The Economist
Economist
Watch Chinese TV these days and you might conclude that the outbreak of war with Japan over what it calls the Senkaku and China the Diaoyu islands is imminent.

Talking Trust with China's Army

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
With suspicion apparently the order of the day in East and Southeast Asia, an American scholar's visit to a Chinese military forum turned up some fascinating things to say...

Why China and Japan Can't Get Along (Opinion)

Odd Arne Westad
New York Times
There are few societies on earth more complementary than China's and Japan's. But Japan is afraid of China’s rise, and China is troubled by Japan...

China's Central Bank, Aircraft Carrier Style

Dinny McMahon and Carlos Tejada
Wall Street Journal
The People’s Bank of China will issue gold and silver coins celebrating the nation's first aircraft carrier. ...

China's Giant New Warplane Will Look Awfully Familiar to the U.S. Air Force

David Axe
Wired
China's military has released photos of a prototype heavy transport warplane resembling the U.S. Air Force’s workhorse C-17...

Pentagon Preps Stealth Strike Force to Counter China

David Axe
Wired
The U.S. military will over the next five years see each of its three main stealth warplane types deployed to bases near China.

China Assails U.S. Over Alliance with Japan and Possible F-16 Sales to Taiwan

Mark McDonald
New York Times
State-run news media attacked the passage of a new U.S. military spending bill that is awaiting President Obama’s signature.

Beijing’s Test of Tokyo

Sheila A. Smith
Council on Foreign Relations
China and Japan have been drawing lines in the waters around the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands for the Chinese) almost daily since the Japanese government under Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda purchased these islands from a private owner on...

In the People’s Liberation Army

Mo Yan
New York Review of Books
Mo Yan, recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, describes an experience in the People's Liberation Army in the 1970s. This text is excerpted from his part fiction, part memoir Change...

Mongolia Finds China Can Be Too Close for Comfort

Charles Hutzler
Associated Press
In a global rush to get rich off China, Mongolia works to ensure that Chinese investment doesn't become Chinese dominance...

Alarm as China Issues Rules for Disputed Area

Jane Perlez
New York Times
New rules announced by a Chinese province last week to allow interceptions of ships in the South China Sea are raising concerns in the region, and in Washington, that simmering disputes with Southeast Asian countries over the waters will escalate.