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}

China Puts New Weapons on South China Sea Islands, Report Says

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
China appears to be adding new anti-aircraft weapons to a string of artificial islands in the middle of the disputed South China Sea

China Takes Aim at South Korea’s Lotte After Missile Move

Bryan Harris and Charles Clover
Financial Times
Series of probes follows Lotte’s surrender of golf course to host US-made Thaad missile shield

Risking Beijing’s Ire, Vietnam Begins Dredging on South China Sea Reef

Lincoln Feast and Greg Torode
Reuters
Activity visible on Ladd Reef in the Spratly Islands could anger Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the group and most of the resource-rich sea

Conversation

12.05.16

Should Washington Recalibrate Relations with Taipei?

Yu-Jie Chen, J. Michael Cole & more
On Friday, Donald Trump shocked the China-watching world when news broke that he had spoken on the phone to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. The call was remarkable not for its content—Tsai’s office said she told Trump she hoped the United States “...

Michael Flynn, a Top Trump Adviser, Ties China and North Korea to Islamists

Edward Wong
New York Times
Flynn believes China and N. Korea are allied with militant Islamists bent on imposing their religious ideology worldwide

S.Korea Says China is Retaliating Against Its Missile-Defense System by Taking Aim at Korean Dramas

Echo Huang
Quartz
China has turned down Korean stars’ applications to perform in the country and has not let any Korean movies screen in the mainland

Why Singapore’s Taiwan Ties Anger China

Ben Bland and Jeevan Vasagar
Financial Times
Seizure of armored vehicles comes as Beijing seeks to isolate Taipei

China Expands UN Peacekeeping Role as U.S. Influence Wanes

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
‘Blue helmet’ deployments offer opportunity to burnish international image

China Says it is Caring for Refugees from Myanmar Fighting

Associated Press
New York Times
China is caring for about 3,000 refugees who have entered its territory to escape fighting in Myanmar between the government and ethnic rebels

Electing Donald Trump: The View from China

Paul Haenle & Zhao Hai from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Donald Trump’s election in the 2016 U.S. presidential race ushers in a period of considerable uncertainty in regard to the future of U.S. policies in the Asia-Pacific and vis-à-vis its relationship with China. In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with...

China Discovers the Price of Global Power: Soldiers Returning in Caskets

Jeremy Page and Matina Stevis
Wall Street Journal
Xi’s quest to make his nation a military player on the world stage provokes soul-searching as China absorbs its first combat casualties in decades

Conversation

11.15.16

Should China’s Neighbors Rely on the U.S. for Protection?

Richard J. Heydarian, Sheila Smith & more
President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a platform of neo-isolationism that could see many traditional U.S. allies in Asia left without Washington’s support in the newly roiled waters of the South- and East China Seas. What will the governments...

China Mourns First Female J-10 Pilot After Death in Training

BBC
China is mourning the death of Yu Xu, the country's first female J-10 jet pilot who was killed during an aerobatic training session on Saturday...

Conversation

11.09.16

How Should Trump Deal with China, and How Should China Deal with Trump?

James Holmes, David Dollar & more
Donald J. Trump, president-elect of the United States, spent much of his antagonistic campaign blaming China for many of America’s economic ills, and repeatedly making thinly veiled threats of a U.S. trade war with Beijing. How should Trump engage...

Viewpoint

11.09.16

Donald Trump’s Peace Through Strength Vision for the Asia-Pacific

Peter Navarro from Foreign Policy
In 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced with great fanfare in Foreign Policy that the United States would begin a military “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific. This beating of the American chest was done against the backdrop of China’s...

China Shows Off Latest Military Innovations at Air Show

Hannah Beech
Time
This year’s aerial extravaganza has much to flaunt, from a fifth-generation stealth fighter to China’s largest combat drone

Philippines Says China Vessels Have Left Disputed Scarborough Shoal

Reuters
South China Morning Post
Unimpeded access for first time in four years, Philippine minister says

China Does Itself No Favors With Its Threats

Richard McGregor
Nikkei Asian Review
If its economy keeps on growing, China's sheer size, wealth and military reach may make a kind of Pax Sinica in the region inevitable...

China: The Virtues of the Awful Convulsion

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
For decades, Beijing’s Beihai Park has been one of the city’s most beloved retreats—a strip of green around a grand lake to the north of the Communist Party’s leadership compound, its waters crowded with electric rental boats shaped like ducks and...

Conversation

10.25.16

How Many U.S. Allies Can China Turn?

Zhang Baohui, Richard J. Heydarian & more
Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines since June, visited China this week and signaled his interest in shifting Manila’s allegiance away from Washington toward Beijing. While his predecessor sued China in an international court to contest...

Chinese Hackers Targeted U.S. Aircraft Carrier

Jeevan Vasagar and Geoff Dyer
Financial Times
Cyber security group says attack launched against visitors to vessel in South China Sea

China Warns “Hostile Forces” Trying to Undermine Military Reform

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
After protests erupted in Beijing over lay-offs, China's military warned that "hostile forces" were spreading damaging online rumors...

Japan to Expand Djibouti Military Base to Counter Chinese Influence

Nobuhiro Kubo
Reuters
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking to give the SDF a greater regional and global role as his nation steps back from seven decades of state pacifism.

Books

10.11.16

The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China

Guobin Yang
Raised to be “flowers of the nation,” the first generation born after the founding of the People’s Republic of China was united in its political outlook and ambitions. Its members embraced the Cultural Revolution of 1966 but soon split into warring factions. Guobin Yang investigates the causes of this fracture and argues that Chinese youth engaged in an imaginary revolution from 1966 to 1968, enacting a political mythology that encouraged violence as a way to prove one’s revolutionary credentials. This same competitive dynamic would later turn the Red Guard against the communist government.Throughout the 1970s, the majority of Red Guard youth were sent to work in rural villages. These relocated revolutionaries developed an appreciation for the values of ordinary life, and an underground cultural movement was born. Rejecting idolatry, their new form of resistance marked a distinct reversal of Red Guard radicalism and signaled a new era of enlightenment, culminating in the Democracy Wall movement of the late 1970s and, finally, the Tiananmen protest of 1989. Yang completes his significant recasting of Red Guard activism with a chapter on the politics of history and memory, arguing that contemporary memories of the Cultural Revolution are factionalized along the lines of political division that formed 50 years before. —Columbia University Press{chop}

Protests Outside Chinese Defense Ministry at Army Cuts

Guardian
More than 1,000 people walk and chant in Beijing in demonstration believed to be about pensions and personnel cuts

Indonesia Parades Air-Force Arsenal Over South China Sea

Ben Otto
Wall Street Journal
Military exercises are around country’s Natuna Islands, over waters where run-ins with Chinese fishing boats are on the rise

China’s Experiment in Djibouti

François Dubé
Diplomat
China’s role in Africa is changing from resource extractor to long-term strategic partner. Djibouti is a prime example

Is Philippine President Duterte Playing the United States and China?

Raissa Robles
South China Morning Post
Is the pivot away from the U.S. and towards China real, or is Manila just trying to play the two superpowers against each other?

China Eyes Ending Western Grip on Top U.N. Jobs With Greater Control Over Blue Helmets

Column Lynch
Foreign Policy
As China steps up its commitment to U.N. peacekeeping, Beijing is said to be eyeing a leadership role — with potentially troubling human rights implications

How Rocky U.S.-China Relations Benefit North Korea’s Nuclear Missiles

Minxin Pei
Fortune
Earlier this month, North Korea tested its fifth nuclear device.

Blow-By-Blow Account of the China-Singapore Spat Over South China Sea Report

Viola Zhou
South China Morning Post
Global Times report stirs up controversy

North Korea and The South China Sea: What’s Next?

Paul Haenle & Gary Roughead from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Given the increasingly complex security environment in the Asia-Pacific, it is critical for the United States and China to deepen cooperation on promoting regional stability. In this podcast, Paul Haenle and Admiral Gary Roughead, former Chief of...

Why the US Presidential Debate Couldn’t Ignore China

Viola Zhou and Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
Clinton, Trump clash over cybersecurity, terrorism, trade, and nuclear threats

Japan Warns China After Warplanes Were Spotted Flying Close to Disputed Islands

Feliz Solomon
Time
This comes days after Japan announced plans to step up presence in the South China Sea

China, US to Step Up Cooperation to Halt North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program

Catherine Wong
South China Morning Post
China’s premier and Obama make a pledge at the UN

Obama’s Asia Legacy

Paul Haenle & Michael Green from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
As President Obama enters his final months in office and a new administration prepares to take the helm in 2017, what will his legacy be in the Asia-Pacific? In this podcast, Paul Haenle and Michael Green, former senior director for Asian affairs at...

Depth of Field

09.12.16

African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...

China Confirms Development of New Long-Range Bomber

Franz-Stefan Gady
Diplomat
The new long-range bomber should be capable of reaching targets as far as the “second island chain.”

China Military Says It Is Providing Medical Training for Syria

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China has its own security concerns about violence in the region.

Conversation

08.25.16

Could China Now Defeat the United States in a Battle Over the South China Sea or Taiwan?

Joel Wuthnow, Phillip C. Saunders & more
Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping kicked off the latest round of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reforms at a September 3, 2015 military parade. The reforms could result in a leaner, more combat-effective PLA. This could create new...

Excerpts

08.18.16

Why an Elite Chinese Student Decided Not to Join the Communist Party

Alec Ash
“Wish Lanterns” follows the lives of six Chinese born between 1985 and 1990 as they grow up, go to school, and pursue their aspirations. Millennials are a transformational generation in China, heralding key societal and cultural shifts, and they are...