Viewpoint

07.22.17

Why Korean Reunification is in China’s Strategic National Interest

Jamie Metzl
North Korea’s July 4 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile has highlighted once again both the extent to which Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and aggressive behavior is destabilizing the Asia Pacific region and the relative impotence...

Conversation

07.20.17

Should the U.S. Play Hardball with China on Trade?

Tom Hoffecker, Duncan Innes-Ker & more
Last week, United States President Donald Trump suggested that he is considering leveraging tariffs on Chinese steel imports. Trump’s aggressive posture has left diplomatic experts uneasy amid an already divided U.S. diplomatic house in Beijing, and...

India Ready for Talks with China on Border Standoff

Washington Post
India said Thursday it is ready to hold talks with China if both sides pull back their forces to end a standoff along a disputed territory high in the Himalayan mountains. Tensions flared last month in the southernmost part of Tibet in an area also...

China Clamping down on Use of VPNs to Evade Great Firewall

CNBC
China is tightening control over foreign companies’ internet use in a move some worry might disrupt their operations or jeopardize trade secrets as part of a crackdown on technology that allows web surfers to evade Beijing’s online censorship.

U.S.-China Economic Dialogue Ends in a Tiff

Nikkei Asian Review
Negotiators involved in the first U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue here on Wednesday failed to produce concrete results. The U.S. later issued a statement saying China acknowledged a shared objective to reduce the U.S.’s bilateral trade...

In China, Despair for Cause of Democracy after Nobel Laureate’s Death

New York Times
Now, the ruling Communist Party’s feverish attempts to erase Mr. Liu Xiaobo’s legacy have raised fears that Mr. Xi will intensify his campaign against activists pushing for ideas like freedom of speech and religion.

CPEC: The Growing Resentment and Resistance among Poor Pakistanis Can Cost China Dearly

Quartz
In Pakistan, there’s no topic hotter than the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion dollar bilateral development project that will officials promised in 2015, “usher in an era of unprecedented progress and prosperity.”

Sinica Podcast

07.19.17

Guo Wengui: The Extraordinary Tale of a Chinese Billionaire Turned Dissident

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
The life and times of Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui reads much like an epic play, so it is fitting that we have included with this podcast a dramatis personæ to explain the many characters in Guo’s story. Scroll to the bottom, below the...

China and the U.S. Are Both Going for Trade’s Nuclear Option

Ana Swanson
Washington Post
As the Trump administration and their Chinese counterparts meet this week to hammer out agreements on trade, they are likely to use the same rationale—national security—to argue for very different goals.

China Is Being ‘Unusually Aggressive’ in Border Row

South China Morning Post
A top Indian diplomat said China is being unusually aggressive in a month-old border dispute with India that shows no sign of easing, media reports said yesterday.

‘Making China Great Again’: Beijing-Run Media Crows as U.S. Stumbles

Sophia Yan
CNBC
A Communist Party mouthpiece is crowing that malfunctioning U.S. leadership is making China “great again” on the eve of highly anticipated bilateral trade talks between the two countries.

Singapore Will Not ‘Roll over’ for China

Bhavan Jaipragas
South China Morning Post
Despite assertions from a former top diplomat, an ambassador-at-large says the Lion City will always speak up when its interests are at stake

U.S.-China Trade Rifts Resurface Even After Friendly Summit

The Associated Press
Associated Press
The Trump administration risks igniting a trade war by considering slapping tariffs on steel imports.

China Ready For ‘War’ With India, Holds Live-Fire Drills Near Border

Tom O'Connor...
Newsweek
The ruling Communist Party of China has issued a stern warning to neighboring India, with which it is engaged in a bitter border dispute that has recently seen Chinese live-fire drills and media speculation of extensive Indian military casualties...

China Is Crushing the U.S. in Renewable Energy

Sherisse Pham and Matt Rivers
CNN
China may be the planet's biggest polluter but it's also powering ahead of other countries on renewable energy...

China Is Increasingly Becoming Key For Israel’s High-Tech Industry

Ferry Biedermann
CNBC
Israel has laid out the welcoming mat to Chinese companies and investors who may face more troublesome regulations and scrutiny elsewhere.

Sinica Podcast

07.17.17

Jerome A. Cohen on Human Rights and Law in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Professor Jerome A. Cohen began studying the law of what was then called “Red China” in the early 1960s, at a time when the country was closed off, little understood, and much maligned in the West.Legal institutions were just developing at that time...

Liu Xiaobo’s Death Pushes China’s Censors into Overdrive

New York Times
It came as little surprise when, after the death of the dissident Liu Xiaobo last week, China’s vast army of censors kicked into overdrive as they scrubbed away the outpouring of grief on social media that followed.

Why China Censors Banned Winnie the Pooh

BBC
The blocking of Winnie the Pooh might seem like a bizarre move by the Chinese authorities but it is part of a struggle to restrict clever bloggers from getting around their country’s censorship.

China’s Top Graft Buster Attacks ‘Unhealthy’ Political Culture

Reuters
China’s top graft-buster launched a scathing attack on the ruling Communist Party’s members on Monday, writing that party political culture remained ‘unhealthy’ and governance weak even after five years of renewed effort to fight the problem.

Conversation

07.14.17

Liu Xiaobo, 1955-2017

Perry Link, Thomas Kellogg & more
When news this morning reached us that Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo had died, we invited all past contributors to the ChinaFile Conversation to reflect on his life and on his death. Liu died, still in state-custody, eight years into his 11-...

China Dispatches Troops to Djibouti to Set up Its First Overseas Base

NPR
China dispatched troops to set up its first military base overseas on Tuesday. After a ceremony in the southern port city of Zhanjiang, military personnel embarked on a voyage to the East African country of Djibouti to establish an outpost “...

China’s Quest to End Its Century of Shame

New York Times
At an ocean research center on Hainan Island off China’s southern coast, officials routinely usher visitors into a darkened screening room to watch a lavishly produced People’s Liberation Army video about China’s ambitions to reassert itself as a...

Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, Who Fought for Democracy in China, Dies in Police Custody

Wall Street Journal
Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, who embodied the hopes of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement long after the protests were crushed, died in detention on Thursday after a battle with liver cancer, according to a government statement. He...

China Is Trading More with North Korea but Buying Much Less Coal

CNN
A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period last year.

Excerpts

07.13.17

Liu Xiaobo’s Three Refusals: No Enemies, No Hatred, No Lies

Orville Schell & John Delury
In the spring of 1989, Liu Xiaobo was a thirty-four-year-old professor of literature and philosophy at Beijing Normal University with a keen interest in political ideas, who when demonstrations broke out, quickly became a habitué of Tiananmen...

Viewpoint

07.13.17

The Chinese Think Liu Xiaobo Was Asking For It

James Palmer from Foreign Policy
Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Chinese dissident writer, is dying of liver cancer. He’s been in prison since 2009, his “crime” being the publication of a charter calling for political reform. But he’s not a hero to his countrymen. Most...

Taiwan Casts Nervous Eye as Mainland Chinese Aircraft Carrier Liaoning Sails Near

Lawrence Chung
South China Morning Post
Taiwan’s military is closely watching as a convoy accompanying mainland China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, sailed into the Taiwan Strait after leaving Hong Kong where it took part in the handover celebrations.

China Sends Troops to Djibouti, Establishes First Overseas Military Base

Brad Lendon and Steve George
CNN
China has dispatched troops to Djibouti in advance of formally establishing the country's first overseas military base...

Fugitive Chinese Tycoon ‘Snoops on Middle Eastern Royal Families’ in Leaked Phone Messages

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
Recordings of what appear to be phone voice messages left by fugitive Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui requesting information about powerful royal family members in the Middle East and other international public figures have emerged online.

Diplomats Fear Beijing Is Stalling on Allowing Liu Xiaobo out of China

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Diplomats in Beijing say time is running out for the ailing Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo to go overseas for treatment and fear China’s top leaders are deliberately stalling the process until it is no longer safe for medics to move him.

China Says ‘China Responsibility Theory’ on North Korea Has to Stop

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China hit back on Tuesday in unusually strong terms at repeated calls from the United States to put more pressure on North Korea, urging a halt to what it called the “China responsibility theory,” and saying all parties needed to pull their weight.

India, China Can Handle Border Differences, Senior Indian Official Says

Reuters
India and China can manage the differences that are likely to arise from time to time over their contested border, India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Tuesday, commenting on recent tension sparked by Chinese road-building.

US, India and Japan Begin Naval Exercises, as China Looks On

Steve George and Huizhong Wu
CNN
A rising Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean has prompted the largest naval exercise the region has seen in more than two decades. The United States, Japan and India have deployed front-line warships, submarines, and aircraft as part of the tri-...

Liu Xiaobo: German Anger at China over Hospital Videos

BBC
Germany has issued a sharp rebuke to China after videos of Western doctors visiting ailing Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in hospital were posted online.

Modi’s India Beats Xi’s China

Panos Mourdoukoutas
Forbes
India has been on the radar of different international agencies in recent days and has been getting high marks for its reforms and growth prospects—beating China.

China Envoy Says North Korea Trade Growth Picture ‘Distorted’

CNBC
China’s ambassador to the United States has said reports of trade growth between his country and North Korea, in spite of international efforts to press Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs, give “a distorted picture.”

Books

07.10.17

Destined for War

Graham Allison
China and the United States are headed toward a war neither wants. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred 16 times. War broke out in 12 of them. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries “great again,” the 17th case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war.In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the 21st century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past—and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today. —Houghton Mifflin Harcourt{chop}

Haley Says China May Face Trade Sanctions If It Continues To “Hold Hands” with N. Korea

Kathryn Watson
CBS News
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the U.S. is going to “push hard” against China amid threats from North Korea, and that China needs to do more when it comes to the country that just days ago test-launched an intercontinental...

China Attacks Tycoon Guo for Client Leaks at HNA Group: Xinhua

Reuters
Exiled Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui is suspected of obtaining confidential client data of aviation-to-financial services conglomerate HNA from air traffic control and airline staff, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing Chinese police.

Take a Tour of China’s First Aircraft Carrier, a Secondhand Soviet-Era Ship Now in Hong Kong

Zheping Huang
Quartz
China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was open to the public for the first time this past weekend. The event took place in Hong Kong as part of the 20th anniversary marking the city’s handover to Chinese rule.

Viewpoint

07.09.17

Why Won’t China Help With North Korea? Remember 1956

Sergey Radchenko
President Donald J. Trump’s short-lived honeymoon with Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping is over. On June 29, the U.S. imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank, a Chinese shipping company, and two Chinese nationals, all accused of helping...

War Games Could Inflame What They Aim to Prevent: Conflict with China

Stuart Rollo
Guardian
Australia is sleepwalking along a path of military expansion and confrontation in line with U.S. security priorities, instead of setting our own security policies

How China Misread Donald Trump

Paul Gewirtz
Politico
Trump’s view of China is quickly turning sour. The reason for his dwindling patience is Beijing’s failure to rein in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program.

At the Movies in China, Some Propaganda With Your Popcorn

Amy Qin
New York Times
Chinese cinemas have been ordered to play one of four government-issued videos before every movie screening.

Liu Xiaobo Vigil: Doctors Tell Chinese Nobel Laureate’s Family to Prepare for His Death

Mimi Lau
South China Morning Post
Family and friends of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo are keeping vigil after doctors warned that the dissident’s condition had worsened.

Germany’s Football Diplomacy Delights Beaming Xi Jinping as Chinese President and Angela Merkel Watch Kids’ Match in Berlin

James Porteous
South China Morning Post
China’s president remains a massive football fan, but it seems clear that youth development and commitment to training, rather than sky-high transfer fees and foreign takeovers, is the way to his heart.

Books

07.06.17

China’s Asian Dream

Tom Miller
“China,” Napoleon once remarked, “is a sleeping lion. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” In 2014, President Xi Jinping triumphantly declared that the lion had awoken. Under his leadership, China is pursuing a dream to restore its historical position as the dominant power in Asia.From the Mekong River Basin to the Central Asian steppe, China is flexing its economic muscles for strategic ends. By setting up new regional financial institutions, Beijing is challenging the post-World War II order established under the watchful eye of Washington. And by funding and building roads, railways, ports, and power lines—a New Silk Road across Eurasia and through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean—China aims to draw its neighbors ever tighter into its embrace.Combining a geopolitical overview with on-the-ground reportage from a dozen countries, China’s Asian Dream offers a fresh perspective on one of the most important questions of our time: what does China’s rise mean for the future of Asia. —Zed Books{chop}

Ahead of Fractious G20, Germany and China Pledge New Cooperation

Thomas Escritt and Michelle Martin
Reuters
Ties between China and Germany are about to enter a new phase as the Chinese president met the German chancellor before a G20 summit that is expected to highlight their differences with the United States on a host of issues.

US, China Divided over How to Deal with New North Korean ICBM Threat

Ben Wescott and Stella Kim
CNN
A paradigm-changing North Korean missile test has left the United States and China split over how to deal with the aggressive rogue state.

China Says It Has Invited Foreign Physicians to Treat Imprisoned Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo

Time
The judicial bureau for the northeastern city of Shenyang said Wednesday in an online statement that Liu’s family members made a request for foreign experts and Liu’s medical team agreed. Liu, China’s best-known political prisoner, is being treated...

Chinese Media Says India Needs to Be Taught a 'Bitter Lesson' over Its Border Dispute

Joseph Hincks
Time
An editorial that ran in China's Global Times Tuesday has ramped up the rhetoric in an ongoing military dispute along a portion of the Sino-Indian border...

Conversation

06.30.17

What Does Xi Jinping Intend for Hong Kong?

Alvin Y.H. Cheung, Kevin Carrico & more
Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong on Thursday to mark the 20th anniversary of the July 1, 1997 return of the territory to China from the United Kingdom. Since the handover, many Hong Kongers have chafed under...

Chinese Ways of Empire, Then and Now

Yi-Zheng Lian
New York Times
In 30 more years, Hong Kong will fully revert to the mainland. Much could happen between now and 2047, and the tea leaves are already out there waiting to be read: There are many old — even ancient — historical precedents showing how the Chinese...

China's Xi Sees 'Challenges' in Hong Kong as Beijing Dismisses Any UK Role

Greg Torode, Venus Wu
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping, visiting Hong Kong for the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule, said on Friday the city's "one country, two systems" formula faces "new challenges" as pro-democracy campaigners ramped...

Pakistan Pivots to China Amid Fresh Concerns over US Ties with India

Pamela Constable
Washington Post
The words from Pakistan’s top foreign policy adviser could not have been clearer. At a news conference welcoming China’s foreign minister to the Pakistani capital this week, Sartaj Aziz declared, “Pakistan’s relations with China are the cornerstone...

US-China Honeymoon Over: Washington Sanctions Chinese Bank and Sells Arms to Taiwan

Tom Phillips, Oliver Holmes
Guardian
Relations between the world’s two largest economies look to be entering a new phase of turbulence after the US punctured Chinese celebrations of the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return by unveiling sanctions against a Chinese bank linked to North...

Sinica Podcast

06.28.17

Top U.S. Diplomat David Rank on Why He Resigned to Protest Trump

Kaiser Kuo & David Rank from Sinica Podcast
David Rank became the leading diplomat for one of America’s most important embassies during the transition when Iowa governor Terry Branstad formally succeeded former Montana senator Max Baucus as U.S. Ambassador to China on May 24, 2017. He soon...

Indian Bunker in Sikkim Removed by China: Sources

PTI
China has removed an old bunker of the Indian Army located at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan in Sikkim after the Indian side refused to accede to its request.

Trump Is China’s Chump

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
Beijing is now quietly encouraging everyone in the neighborhood to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, China’s free-trade competitor to TPP.