Viewpoint

11.13.12

China’s Next Leaders: A Guide to What’s at Stake

Susan Shirk
Just a little more than a week after the American presidential election, China will choose its own leaders in its own highly secretive way entirely inside the Communist Party. What’s at stake for China—and for the rest of the world—is not just who...

The U.S.-China Reset

Minxin Pei
New York Times
The leaders of the U.S. and China may not want to say it out loud, but they would privately admit that U.S.-China relations are in trouble.

Exclusive: Hu Jintao Set to Step Down as Military Chief

Staff Reporters
South China Morning Post
Outgoing President Hu Jintao will formally relinquish his position as military chief at the end of the 18th party congress this week, according to sources.His decision to opt for complete retirement surprised many analysts, who had expected him to...

China to Launch New Manned Spaceship in 2013-Xinhua

Aileen Wang and Nick Edwards
Reuters
The launch marks a step forward in Beijing's ambitions for a bigger space presence, including construction of a space station by 2020...

China Reshuffles Top Military

Benjamin Kang Lim
Reuters
Outgoing air force commander General Xu Qiliang, 62, promoted to vice-chairman of the military's top decision-making body. ...

"The Revolutionary": An Unrequited Love for China

Scott Simon
NPR
In a new documentary on his life, Sidney Rittenberg, who once translated for Mao, refers to his jailer as both a hero and criminal.

Reports

10.18.12

Cyber Detente Between the United States and China

Greg Austin and Franz-Stefan Gady
EastWest Institute
In May 2012, the United States and China agreed publicly for the first time to begin talks on military aspects of cybersecurity. The agenda and expectations for this process at the official level remain to be set. Through Track 2 processes some very...

Against Backdrop of Dispute with China, Japan Shows Off Navy

Associated Press
Associated Press
Japan’s navy marked 60th year with major exercise, showing off maritime strength amid territorial dispute with China.

Japan and China Agree to Talks on Rift after Noda Call

Isabel Reynolds and Takashi Hirokawa
Bloomberg
Talks aim to reduce tensions over territorial dispute, avoid suffering in Asia’s biggest economies.

Noda Calls for China Talks as Island Spat Threatens Growth

Matthew Winkler, Isabel Reynolds and...
Bloomberg
PM calls for talks to contain economic damage from dispute with Japan's No. 1 trade partner...

Five Points on the Deeply Flawed U.S. Congress Huawei Report

Graham Webster
Transpacifica
Chinese telecomms firms painted as shady, but evidence to back up allegations is hidden in report's classified sections...

The Pivot (Video)

Mike Chinoy
University of Southern California, U.S.-China Institute
The Obama administration has made Asia a top priority for U.S. foreign policy. The move has been dubbed "The Pivot," and it has the potential to be one of the most enduring legacies of the Obama presidency...

China Shows Off an Aircraft Carrier but Experts Are Skeptical

Jane Perlez
New York Times
In a ceremony attended by the country’s top leaders, China put its first aircraft carrier into service on Tuesday, a move intended to signal its growing military might as tensions escalate between Beijing and its neighbors over islands in nearby...

Flag Raising Ceremony Held on China’s First Aircraft Carrier

Barry van Wyk
Danwei
Various front pages in China today feature glowing reports of China’s first aircraft carrier on whose platform a flag raising ceremony was held yesterday. Yet the fact that it happened is just about everything we know for sure about the ship. The...

In Shark-Infested Waters, Resolve of Two Giants Is Tested

Martin Fackler
New York Times
 The voyage to these remote islands at the center of one of Asia’s most heated territorial disputes is a bone-jarring seven-hour boat ride from one of Japan’s southernmost ports, a long enough journey that the fishermen who brave...

Sinica Podcast

09.21.12

The Island Imbroglio

Kaiser Kuo, Damien Ma & more from Sinica Podcast
As Xi Jinping has stepped back into the public eye this week, the reappearance of China’s heir apparent has been upstaged by large demonstrations across the country as tensions mount over territorial claims to the Diaoyu (or Senkaku) Islands. As...

In China, Panetta Says U.S. Focus on Asia Is No Threat

Thom Shanker and Ian Johnson
New York Times
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta declared on Wednesday that the United States was not trying to contain a risingChina, and he stressed that with patience and effort current tensions between the giant rivals on opposite sides of...

Caixin Media

09.14.12

Why War is Not a Possibility

There won’t be a war in East Asia.The United States has five military alliances in the western Pacific. Its allies are South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore. And American battleships are busy patrolling the seas.Without a go-...

Media

09.06.12

Tangled in the Party Line

Amy Qin
Netizens on China’s popular microblogging service Sina Weibo are in a fit of pique over remarks made by a PLA major general about the importance of Chinese TV commentators holding “unconditionally” to the Party line. Zhang Zhaozhong, a major general...

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...