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08.25.16

China Analysts Should Talk to Each Other, Not at Each Other

Scott Kennedy
On August 12, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued its annual report card on China’s economy and gave the country mixed grades, finding that its “economic transition will continue to be complex, challenging, and potentially bumpy.” In...

FBI Files Say China Firm Pushed U.S. Experts for Nuclear Secrets

David Voreacos and David McLaughlin
Bloomberg
Summaries of the consultants’ interviews with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation were filed this month.

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...

Conversation

08.18.16

What Would China Look Like Today Had Zhao Ziyang Survived?

Julian B. Gewirtz, David Shambaugh & more
Almost 500 previously unpublished documents about Zhao Ziyang, the bold reformer who served as China’s premier (1980-1987) and Communist Party general secretary (1987-1989), were smuggled out of China and published in late July by the Chinese...

Viewpoint

08.18.16

Zhao Ziyang’s Legacy

David Shambaugh
It is difficult to say with any certainty how China would have evolved had Zhao Ziyang not been overthrown in 1989. The ostensible cause of his purge was his refusal to endorse martial law and authorize the use of force to suppress the Tiananmen...

Media

08.17.16

How the Philippines Can Win in the South China Sea

The Philippine Islands has a problem. It has international law on its side in its quarrel with China over maritime territory, but no policeman walking his beat to enforce the law. That means that, despite an international court’s findings, the...

China Says Other Topics Must Not Divert G-20’s Economy Focus

Bloomberg
Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said leaders shouldn’t be distracted by the South China Sea issue.

Viewpoint

08.11.16

The Future of China’s Legal System

Neysun A. Mahboubi, Carl Minzner & more
In early August, Beijing held show trials of four legal activists—a disheartening turn for those optimistic about legal reform in China. What are the prospects for the development of the rule of law in China under Communist Party Secretary Xi...

Japan Rescues Chinese Fishing Boat Amid Tense Relations

BBC
The boat had collided with a 300m long Greece-flagged merchant ship, near a group of Japan-controlled islands.

China Takes A Gamble in Scapegoating the West

Jamil Anderlini
Financial Times
This type of propaganda gives license to ordinary people to indulge their most primitive prejudices.

China Says New Satellite Will Help Safeguard Interests at Sea

Adam Jourdan
Reuters
The “Gaofen 3” satellite has a radar system that captures images from space down to 3 feet and can operate in all weather conditions.

In China, Economic Data Highlights Growing Divide Between Regions

Mark Magnier
Wall Street Journal
Provinces’ first-half figures for GDP growth also have revived the debate over the country’s statistics.

Conversation

08.10.16

Is Big Data Increasing Beijing’s Capacity for Control?

Mirjam Meissner, Rogier Creemers & more
China’s authoritarian government is using big data to develop credit scoring systems, and is urging data-sharing between companies and governments, putting ordinary Chinese squarely in the digital spotlight. How should Chinese netizens and global...

Beijing Flies Bombers Over Disputed South China Sea

Cris Larano and Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
Development comes as former Philippine leader heads to China for talks on resolving maritime dispute.

Week of TV Trials in China Signals New Phase in Attack on Rights

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Legal experts and supporters of four defendants denounced the hearings, held on consecutive days in Tianjin, a port city near Beijing, as grotesque show trials.

Kenya Angers Taiwan by Deporting More Fraud Suspects to China

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
The deportations follow similar ones in April, when 45 people from Taiwan, accused of being part of the same fraud ring, were sent from Kenya to China.

What a Former CIA China Expert Has Learned from 30 Years in the Field

Paul Haenle & Dennis Wilder from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
As tensions between the United States and China rise over security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, some are concerned about the possibility of conflict between the world’s two largest economies. Dennis Wilder, former Senior Director for East Asia...

Books

08.02.16

Creativity Class

Lily Chumley
The last three decades have seen a massive expansion of China’s visual culture industries, from architecture and graphic design to fine art and fashion. New ideologies of creativity and creative practices have reshaped the training of a new generation of art school graduates. Creativity Class is the first book to explore how Chinese art students develop, embody, and promote their own personalities and styles as they move from art school entrance test preparation, to art school, to work in the country’s burgeoning culture industries. Lily Chumley shows the connections between this creative explosion and the Chinese government’s explicit goal of cultivating creative human capital in a new “market socialist” economy where value is produced through innovation.Drawing on years of fieldwork in China’s leading art academies and art test prep schools, Chumley combines ethnography and oral history with analyses of contemporary avant-garde and official art, popular media, and propaganda. Examining the rise of a Chinese artistic vanguard and creative knowledge-based economy, Creativity Class sheds light on an important facet of today’s China. —Princeton University Press{chop}

Caixin Media

08.02.16

Revival, Resistance for National Pension Push

Bridging the “regional divide” that separates affluent and less affluent areas is a main goal as the central government revives a stalled effort to form a nationwide pension system.The State Council, China’s cabinet, laid the groundwork for a...

The Honeymoon between China and Africa Is Over and That’s a Good Thing

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
It wasn’t that long ago when it was all smiles between the Chinese and Africans. The headlines were all about “win-win” development, China’s role in helping Africa to rise above its colonial past, and investment—lots and lots of Chinese investment...

China Asks Vietnam to Investigate Report of Defaced Passport

Washington Post
The incident comes at a time of high tensions in the region.

Chinese Propaganda Video on South China Sea Will Be Played 120 Times Everyday in Times Square

Shanghaiist
The video will play from July 23rd to August 3rd.

China and Russia to Hold Joint Drills in South China Sea

BBC
The announcement follows a ruling by an international tribunal earlier this month that rejected China’s claims in the region.

Gig Economy Arrives in China (Officially); Ride-Sharing a Go

New York Times
A Cabinet document sets guidelines for registration, fares, employment of drivers and payments.

China: The People’s Fury

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
It has long been routine to find in both China’s official news organizations and its social media a barrage of anti-American comment, but rarely has it reached quite the intensity and fury of the last few days. There have been calls from citizens on...

Sinica Podcast

07.27.16

Whose Century Is It, Anyway?

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Veteran China journalists Mary Kay Magistad and Gady Epstein discuss the increasingly complex “frenemyship” of China and the United States, the South China Sea, the role of “old China hands,” and how the Middle Kingdom is changing the world and...

Times Square Is Now In the Middle of a Fight Over the South China Sea

Beimeng Fu
Buzzfeed
China has taken its fight with the Philippines over who owns territory in the South China Sea to a whole new arena: Times Square. The state-run Xinhua announced Tuesday that a 3 minute long publicity video premiered on the Square’s “China...

Southeast Asian Nations Give Weak Rebuke to China Over South China Sea Dispute

Los Angeles Times
It exposes the deep divisions in a regional body that prides itself on unity.

China Sets Up South China Sea Environment Protection Fund

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
The funds would initially be spent on exploring the world's deepest underwater sinkhole...

China Bans Internet News Reporting as Media Crackdown Widens

Bloomberg
Internet portals must shut all original reporting operations.

Media

07.21.16

More Than 100 Chinese Muslims Have Joined the Islamic State

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A July 20 report from New America, a think tank in Washington, DC, examined more than 4,000 registration records of fighters who joined the Islamic State between mid-2013 and mid-2014.

China’s Relationship Status with South Africa: ‘It’s Complicated’

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
South Africa’s relationship with China has undergone a profound transformation in a remarkably short period of time. In less than 20 years, the two countries have gone from barely acknowledging one another to developing a deep partnership that...

Dialogue the Right Way Forward in Settling South China Sea Disputes

Fei Liena
Xinhua
“China's ‘dual-track’ approach offers an excellent opportunity” for dialogue, a Xinhua commentary argues...

South China Sea Spat Looms Over Asean Meeting in Laos

Ben Otto
Wall Street Journal
ASEAN has long been divided on the South China Sea.

China Upset by U.S. Republican Platform on South China Sea, Tibet

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China's Foreign Ministry urged the U.S. Republican Party to stop making “groundless accusations” against China...

Conversation

07.20.16

How Should the Republican Party Approach China Policy?

Peter Navarro, Patrick Chovanec & more
On Tuesday, delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, chose Donald J. Trump as their nominee for President of the United States. We asked a range of contributors how the Republican Party should approach China policy.

Interpreting the South China Sea Tribunal Ruling

Paul Haenle & Elizabeth Economy from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
International responses to the tribunal’s ruling in the South China Sea have raised questions about the stability of the Asia-Pacific region and what roles the United States and China have in it. In this podcast, Paul Haenle and Elizabeth Economy...

South China Sea and Nice Attack Preoccupy Asian, European Leaders at ASEM

Peter Bittner
Diplomat
“We should attach great importance to the rule of law,” Japanese Prim Minister Shinzo Abe said.

Vietnam TV Station Drops Chinese Drama Over South China Sea Dispute

My Pham
Reuters
The decision comes as several Chinese celebrities speak up against the The Hague’s ruling.

China Announces New Military Drills in South China Sea

Financial Times
The new drills are the first since last week’s decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.

Viewpoint

07.14.16

China’s Failure in the South China Sea

Orville Schell
By reiterating its policy of “no acceptance, no participation, no recognition, and no implementation,” China has painted itself into a difficult corner and diminished the chances of resolving the myriad maritime disputes—involving Vietnam, Brunei,...

Tribunal Has Handled Arbitration Case Irresponsibly, Law Experts Say

Li Xiaokun and Mo Jingxi
China Daily
‘I don't think China is getting a fair shake,’ one expert said...

Ruling ‘Null and Void,’ With No Binding Force

Fu Jing and An Baijie
China Daily
Nation remains committed to resolving maritime disputes through negotiation, President Xi says.

Here’s What China’s People Really Think About the South China Sea

Jessica Chen Weiss
Washington Post
Yes, Chinese people feel strongly about China’s island claims.

Features

07.12.16

You Ask How Deeply I Love You

Anna Beth Keim
“Back when I was a soldier on Kinmen, around 1975, the water demons still sometimes killed people,” Xu Shifu (Master Xu) said. The laugh-lines at the corners of his eyes were not visible now, even in the white fluorescent light shining down from the...

China Peacekeepers Killed in South Sudan as Civil War Looms

Okech Francis and William Davison
Bloomberg
Heavy clashes continued early Monday near the UN’s two bases in the capital Juba.

Viewpoint

07.07.16

The South China Sea Needs ASEAN More Than Ever

Yanmei Xie
A ruling from The Hague next week on maritime disputes in the South China Sea is likely to exacerbate frictions between China and the U.S. Both would be better off respecting the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)...

China Violated Rights of Detained American, U.N. Panel Says

Edward Wong
New York Times
The panel has called for her immediate release.

Hong Kong Refuses to Return Bookseller Lam Wing Kee to China

BBC
Chinese police say he is in breach of his bail terms and have threatened further action if he does not return.

Challenging China: Former Executive Hosts a Politically Sensitive Book Club

Wall Street Journal
China puts heavy security on one woman....

Uncertainty in China-Europe Relations

Paul Haenle & François Godement from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Economic relations between Europe and China remain highly salient due to the potential for increased trade and investment, as well as future cooperation on projects stemming from the Belt and Road initiative. Yet, in this podcast with Paul Haenle,...

Depth of Field

07.01.16

Tornados and Drag Queens

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Being a photojournalist involves reacting to breaking news, a dedication to long-term projects, and everything in between. This month’s showcase of work by Chinese photographers published in Chinese media underscores this range of angles: from the...

Infographics

06.30.16

Visualizing China’s Aid to Africa

Eva Constantaras
In June of last year, 50 countries signed on to the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, including the U.K., Germany, Australia, and South Korea, acknowledgement of China’s success in driving development through mega-projects to build...

Hong Kong’s Brexit Ambitions

James Griffiths
CNN
Could the city ever be independent from China?

Beijing Slams South China Sea Case as Court Ruling Nears

Ben Blanchard and Anthony Deutsch
Reuters
"China does not accept any dispute resolution from a third party."...

Party Propaganda Rap Aims to ‘Tell Foreigners Truth’ About China

BBC
It says China has “terrible problems” but is peace-loving and affluent.

Books

06.28.16

John Birch

Terry Lautz
John Birch was better known in death than life. Shot and killed by Communists in China in 1945, he posthumously became the namesake for a right-wing organization whose influence is still visible in today’s Tea Party. This is the remarkable story of who he actually was: an American missionary-turned-soldier who wanted to save China, but instead became a victim. Terry Lautz, a longtime scholar of U.S.-China relations, has investigated archives, spoken with three of Birch’s brothers, found letters written to the women he loved, and visited sites in China where he lived and died. The result, John Birch: A Life, is the first authoritative biography of this fascinating figure whose name was appropriated for a political cause.Raised as a Baptist fundamentalist, Birch became a missionary to China prior to America’s entry into the Second World War. After Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for the U.S. Army in China, served with Claire Chennault, Commander of the famed Flying Tigers, and operated behind enemy lines as an intelligence officer. He planned to resume his missionary work after the war, but was killed in a dispute with Communist troops just days after Japan’s surrender. During the heyday of the Cold War in the 1950s, Robert Welch, a retired businessman from Boston, chose Birch as the figurehead for the John Birch Society, believing that his death was evidence of conspiracy at the highest levels of government. The Birch Society became one of the most polarizing organizations of its time, and the name of John Birch became synonymous with right-wing extremism.Cutting through the layers of mythology surrounding Birch, Lautz deftly presents his life and his afterlife, placing him not only in the context of anti-communism but in the longstanding American quest to shape China’s destiny. —Oxford University Press{chop}

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