U.S., Philippines Conduct Joint Patrols In South China Sea

Camila Domonoske
NPR
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the patrols and increased military support are intended to "tamp down tensions."...

China Summons G7 Diplomats to Protest S. China Sea Statement

Associated Press
China said the G-7 countries should have focused on global economy instead of "hyping up maritime issues and fueling tensions in the region."...

4-Star Admiral Wants to Confront China. White House Says Not So Fast

David Larter
Navy Times
Adm. Harry Harris is proposing a response to China's island-building that may include launching aircraft and conducting military operations...

China Switches on Lighthouse on Artificial Island in South China Sea

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China held a "completion ceremony", marking the start of operations of the 180-ft high lighthouse on Subi Reef...

Vietnam Seizes Chinese Vessel in South China Sea

Oliver Holmes
Guardian
Captain and two sailors detained amid escalation in territorial dispute between Hanoi and Beijing.

China Says No Need to 'Gesticulate' over South China Sea Plans

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, asked about Work's remarks, said any sovereign state had the right to set up an ADIZ...

Obama Seeing China Leader as South China Sea Tensions Rise

Matthew Pennington
Associated Press
World leaders, including those from China, Japan and South Korea, will be in town for a summit hosted by Obama on nuclear security.

Japan Opens Radar Station Close to Disputed Isles, Drawing Angry China Response

Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly
Reuters
Expert said it was part of a strategy to keep China at bay in the Western Pacific.

Indonesia Vows to Prosecute Chinese Trawler Crew in South China Sea Dispute

Guardian
Indonesia won't release eight Chinese fishermen arrested for illegal fishing, and regional tensions are tightening...

China's Xi to push Obama next week on North Korea talks

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
On this issue, China's position is consistent. We are dedicated to the decentralization of the Korean peninsula...

U.S. Hopes for Talks with China about Possible THAAD Move to South Korea

Andrea Shalal
Reuters
Beijing underscored its concerns but seemed to open the door to a diplomatic solution.

Indonesia Protests China's Retrieval of Illegal Fishing Ship

Associated Press
The fishing vessel Kway Fey was being towed when a Chinese coastguard vessel collided with it, allowing its escape.

What’s Behind China’s ‘New’ South China Sea Tsunami Warning Center?

Prashanth Parameswaran
Diplomat
A tsunami alert center had already begun initial operations even though it is still under construction.

After Shootout, China Says Uighur Militants a Threat to Indonesia

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Ethnic Uighur militants are increasing their presence in Indonesia, China's Foreign Ministry said after two Uighurs were kill by Indonesia security forces...

Media

03.15.16

Taiwan’s New Direction

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In January, Taiwan’s voters handed the traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a landslide victory, giving it control of both the parliament and presidency for the first time ever. The victory came at the expense of the...

Malaysia, Australia to Discuss China Moves in Disputed South China Sea

Rozanna Latiff
Reuters
They meet to ensure efforts are made to “hold China to their promise of not placing military assets in the area”.

Media

03.10.16

China’s Secret Weapon on Disputed Island: Beer and Badminton

Soldiers, ships, and military outposts are the usual tools of nations staking out their territory. But on disputed shoals in the South China Sea, Beijing may be deploying a new arsenal: soccer fields, pipelines, and tea shops.Woody Island is a...

China Expresses Alarm at Philippines-Japan Aircraft Deal

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Philippines will lease five aircraft from Japan to help patrol the disputed South China Sea.

China Offers Afghanistan Army Expanded Military Aid

Jessica Donati and Ehsanullah Amiri
Wall Street Journal
Expanded military aid was offered to combat the Taliban, reflecting Beijing’s readiness to deepen its engagement with Afghanistan.

China Says It Won't Budge on South China Sea Sovereignty

Chiristopher Bodeen
Associated Press
China's foreign minister said China's development there was not militaristic but defensive...

Ailing Economy Slows China’s Military Expansion

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
Much of this year’s budget will go toward major restructuring of armed forces, official says.

U.S. Proposes Reviving Naval Coalition to Balance China’s Expansion

Ellen Barry
New York Times
Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command proposed reviving a coalition that had collapsed because of protests from China.

Possible Radar Suggests Beijing Wants ‘Effective Control’ in South China Sea

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
China may be building series of radar facilities on artificial islands, which would help it to establish “effective control” over sea and air.

Media

02.19.16

New Video Celebrates Chinese Missiles With Old-School Communist Pomp

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Trumpets sound and trombones blare as a warhead launches. Intercontinental ballistic missiles mounted on trucks parade down the center of a boulevard crowded with bystanders. “We are the glorious Rocket Force,” a mixed choir sings in a Soviet-...

China May Put its Nuclear Weapons on High Alert, and It's a Dangerous Idea

Elliott Negin
Huffington Post
The radical departure from China's longtime nuclear policy could pose a threat not only to the U.S., but also to China itself...

China’s Risky Gamble to Become a Major Player in the Middle East and North Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chinese president Xi Jinping’s three-country tour of the Middle East and North Africa offers yet another example of Beijing’s expanding drive for increased global influence. During his first visit to the region, Xi traveled to Saudi Arabia, Egypt,...

Will China Take Kim Jong-Un's Insult Lying Down?

Robert A. Manning
Newsweek
North Korea has conducted a nuclear weapon test and an intercontinental ballistic missile test as Beijing tries to repair frayed ties with Pyongyang.

'China Has Only One Real Ally'

Business Insider
Director of the Institute for International Relations at Tsinghua University believes China's only real ally is Pakistan...

Conversation

02.09.16

What New Approach Should the U.S. and China Take to North Korea?

John Delury, Seong-Hyon Lee & more
On Sunday, North Korea launched a long range rocket many see as a test of its capability to launch a missile attack against the U.S., defying both American and Chinese pressure not do so. Republican U.S. presidential candidates argued Washington...

Q. and A.: Yan Xuetong Urges China to Adopt a More Assertive Foreign Policy

Yufan Huang
New York Times
Director at Tsinghua University advocates "moral realism" as China challenges the US for world leadership...

Invisible Bridges

Peter Hessler, photo by Davide...
New Yorker
Over the past two centuries, there have been periodic tensions between Russia and China, including some serious border conflicts, and historically Russia has usually held the upper hand. But nowadays, at the personal level, Monteleone notices a...

China Struggles for Balance in Response to North Korea’s Boldness

Jane Perlez and Choe Sang-Hun
New York Times
North Korea's Kim Jong-un emphatically ignores China’s entreaties to refrain from launching a rocket...

How Japan Sees China’s Island Building Problem

Everett Rosenfeld
CNBC
Japanese deputy foreign minister said Tokyo views Beijing's seizures and buildup on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as a "problem."...

Conversation

02.02.16

How Close Was the Latest Close Call in the South China Sea?

Julian G. Ku, Feng Zhang & more
Had things in fact calmed down in recent weeks as the Chinese official press claimed, only to be stirred up again needlessly by another Freedom of Navigation sail by the U.S. Navy?

China’s Diplomatic Dilemma: Protecting its People and Property Overseas

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chinese special operations forces are training in the western deserts of Xinjiang in complex search and rescue missions, in environments that closely resemble North Africa or certain parts of the Middle East. Recently, these newly-trained military...

Infographics

01.21.16

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that China’s President, Xi Jinping, launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about more than 1,500 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources. *ChinaFile updated the database for this tool through December 31, 2016. We hope to refresh it and continuing updating it in the spring of 2017. If you would like to be notified when we refresh the tool, please e-mail editors@chinafile.com

Postcard

01.18.16

A People’s Friendship

James Palmer
It takes a brave man to jump off a moving train for the sake of a sale, but the clothes hawkers had the easy courage of men who did this on the regular. I watched as they leapt off the front carriage as the train chugged into a station with no stop...

Viewpoint

01.08.16

The Storm Beneath the Calm: China’s Regional Relations in 2016

Yanmei Xie
On the surface, 2015 came to a close in a moment of relative tranquility after a turbulent year for China’s neighborhood. But the calm is misleading: the optics of regional diplomacy have become increasingly detached from the reality of the...

China Lands More Civilian Planes on Fiery Cross Reef

BBC
China has landed two civilian planes on an island built in the disputed South China Sea, days after an earlier landing there prompted international concern.

Conversation

01.06.16

The North Korean Bomb Test—What's Next?

Barbara Demick, Jonathan D. Pollack & more
On Wednesday, North Korea claimed that it had tested a hydrogen bomb, bringing to four the number of nuclear weapons it has set off on its own territory since 2006. The act drew international condemnation, prompting us to ask: What’s different this...

No. Korea Tested a Nuclear Bomb on China’s Doorstep, and China is Not Pleased

May Shi and Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
In Yanji, a trade hub between the two countries, desks and tables swayed and people were evacuated from buildings.

S. China Sea Tensions Surge as China Lands Plane on Artificial Island

Greg Torode and Michael Martina
Reuters
China's increasing military presence in the disputed sea could effectively lead to a Beijing-controlled air defence zone...

China Defence: Work Starts on Second Aircraft Carrier

BBC
BBC
China is expanding its navy amid rising tension with its neighbours in the East and South China Seas.

Books

12.29.15

Crouching Tiger

Peter Navarro
Will there be war with China? This book provides the most complete and accurate assessment of the probability of conflict between the United States and the rising Asian superpower. Equally important, it lays out an in-depth analysis of the possible pathways to peace. Written like a geopolitical detective story, the narrative encourages reader interaction by starting each chapter with an intriguing question that often challenges conventional wisdom.Based on interviews with more than thirty top experts, the author highlights a number of disturbing facts about China's recent military buildup and the shifting balance of power in Asia: the Chinese are deploying game-changing "carrier killer" ballistic missiles; some of America's supposed allies in Europe and Asia are selling highly lethal weapons systems to China in a perverse twist on globalization; and, on the U.S. side, debilitating cutbacks in the military budget send a message to the world that America is not serious about its "pivot to Asia."In the face of these threatening developments, the book stresses the importance of maintaining U.S. military strength and preparedness and strengthening alliances, while warning against a complacent optimism that relies on economic engagement, negotiations, and nuclear deterrence to ensure peace.Accessible to readers from all walks of life, this multidisciplinary work blends geopolitics, economics, history, international relations, military doctrine, and political science to provide a better understanding of one of the most vexing problems facing the world. —Prometheus Books{chop}

China Passes Controversial Anti-terrorism Law to Access Encrypted User Accounts

Dante D'Orazio...
Verge
The new rules state that telecom operators and internet service providers must "provide technical support and assistance, including decryption" to Chinese authorities to help prevent and investigate terrorist activities...

China Plans a New Silk Road, but Trading Partners Are Wary

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Kazakhstan has limited Chinese investment and immigration for fear of being overwhelmed.

Another Journalist's Effective Expulsion From China

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier
Atlantic
A French journalist has managed to incite “the outrage of the Chinese people” with an article on Beijing’s relationship with Uighurs.

Use by Iraqi Military May Be a Boon for China-Made Drones

PATRICK BOEHLER and GERRY DOYLE
New York Times
Soldiers used the Chinese drone on Dec. 6 to destroy an ISIS position amid efforts to retake the city of Ramadi.

China Protests Sale of U.S. Arms to Taiwan

MICHAEL FORSYTHE
New York Times
The Obama administration’s announcement that it would sell $1.83 billion worth of arms to Taiwan.

U.S. Navy Commander Implies China Has Eroded Safety of South China Sea

JANE PERLEZ
New York Times
A senior American naval commander has implicitly accused China of creating artificial islands in the South China Sea.

Books

12.10.15

Pacific

Simon Winchester
Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature.As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World, the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow. With China on the rise, so, too, are the American cities of the West coast, including Seattle, San Francisco, and the long cluster of towns down the Silicon Valley.Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long transformed us—tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis—but its human history, from a Western perspective, is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s sixteenth-century circumnavigation. It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made.In telling the story of the Pacific, Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between. He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila, visits aboriginals in northern Queensland, and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego, the land at the end of the world. His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway, a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands, and a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor.Winchester’s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none. And his historical understanding of the region is formidable, making Pacific a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty, myth, and imagination that is transforming our lives. —HarperCollins{chop}

Sino-Indian Border Talks Not Enough to Defuse Tensions

Sarah Watson and John Chen
Diplomat
Unless India and China can take positive actions, they risk drifting into a growing conflict on their disputed border.

Terrorism Forces its Way onto the China-Africa Agenda

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Terrorism and security issues will likely move close to the top of the agenda when Xi Jinping meets with 50+ African counterparts at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit. China’s vulnerability to terrorism was brazenly exposed when ISIS...

What China Hopes To Achieve With First Peacekeeping Mission

Karen Allen
BBC
China started deploying hundreds of troops to South Sudan earlier this year to bolster the UN peace mission in the country.

China to Build Naval Hub in Djibouti

Jeremy Page and Gordon Lubold
Wall Street Journal
Beijing confirms for the first time plans for East African nation, already home to U.S. base.

Q. and A.: Christina Lin on China’s Antiterrorism Efforts

JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ
New York Times
Chinese leaders have long been wary of joining global efforts against terrorism.

Conversation

11.24.15

The China Africa Relationship: Crossroads or Cliff?

Cobus van Staden, Eric Olander & more
As we approach the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Johannesburg, we try better to understand the main issues that surely will arise when Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma meet on December 4...

Obama Pledges Military Aid to Allies in Southeast Asia

Michael D. Shear
New York Times
“We have a treaty obligation, an ironclad commitment to the defense of our ally the Philippines, who can count on the United States.”