China Lifts Travel Ban on Feminist Activist

Emily Feng
Financial Times
A Chinese feminist activist who was banned from leaving mainland China for a decade has been given back her travel documents and allowed to travel. Wu Rongrong will fly to Hong Kong on Sunday, where she will begin a post-graduate degree in law.

China's Path out of Poverty Can Never Be Repeated at Scale by a Country Again

Zheping Huang, Tripti Lahiri
Quartz
Since China began its market reforms in the late 1970s, it has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, slashing the rate from nearly 90% in 1981 to under 2%, as measured by the World Bank’s latest spending benchmark.

Conversation

09.21.17

What Will China Do if the U.S. Attacks North Korea?

Shen Dingli & Bonnie S. Glaser
During a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, U.S. President Donald Trump warned that if North Korea threatened the United States or its allies, he would “totally destroy” the nation. As tensions continue to rise between...

China to Trump: That Speech on North Korea Was Really Unhelpful

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China rebuked President Trump on Wednesday after he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary, a warning that may have undermined the chances of peace but also gave Beijing an easy opportunity to seize the moral high ground.

Trump's Threats Loom as China Weighs Opening to Wall Street, Tesla

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
Coincidence or not, China appears set to ease restrictions on foreign automakers and banks amid sustained pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to open up its economy.

China's Pollution Crackdown Shakes up Iron Ore Traders

Neil Hume
Financial Times
Over the summer, price differentials between high and low grade iron ore have intensified amid a government-led crackdown on pollution and outdated steelmaking capacity. That has caught many traders on the hop and left some nursing nasty losses from...

Where the Wild Things Are: China's Art Dreamers at the Guggenheim

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The signature work at “Art and China After 1989,” a highly anticipated show that takes over the Guggenheim on Oct. 6, is a simple table with a see-through dome shaped like the back of a tortoise. On the tabletop hundreds of insects and reptiles —...

Lankov: Russia, China Nearing N. Korea Limit

CNN
North Korea watcher Andrei Lankov tells CNN both Russia and China are coming close to their own red line concerning North Korea.

Why China Won’t Pressure North Korea as Much as Trump Wants

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
At the center of the North Korean nuclear crisis is a pivotal question: How much is China really willing to pressure and punish its longtime ally in Pyongyang? Recent conversations in Beijing and Washington suggest that Chinese leaders have decided...

China Is Retaliating against a US University for Inviting the Dalai Lama to Speak at Graduation

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
Beijing has a lesson for overseas universities: Don’t invite speakers who oppose the Communist Party to big events.

Fugitive Tycoon Guo Wengui Assailed by Businessman Who Says He Was Framed for Crimes

South China Morning Post
China’s highest profile fugitive, exiled billionaire Guo Wengui, is under attack from a former business partner who claims Guo got him framed for crimes he says he did not commit.

Africa Needs Infrastructure, China Wants to Build It. So What’s the Problem?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Every week seemingly brings a new announcement of a Chinese-financed mega project somewhere in Africa. Last week’s announcement of a $5.8 billion power station in Nigeria that will be financed and built by Chinese state-owned companies is typical of...

Media

09.18.17

Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century

Richard McGregor, Susan Shirk & more
The following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society in New York on September 7, 2017, and named for a new book by Richard McGregor, the former Beijing Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, “ChinaFile Presents: ‘Asia’s...

China’s State Media Blasts US Handling of North Korea Crisis

Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
China has shown its deepening frustration over the North Korean missile test crisis, with a commentary in the state-run People’s Daily blaming the United States for hindering efforts to resolve the issue.

China to Amend Party Constitution at October Congress

Reuters
China’s ruling Communist Party is expected to amend its constitution at a key party congress next month, state media said on Monday, in a sign that President Xi Jinping aims to enshrine his guiding ideological doctrine in the charter.

China and India Water ‘Dispute’ after Border Stand-Off

Navin Singh Khadka
BBC
China and India may have defused a potential border conflict but the stand-off seems to have led to dispute over another contentious issue: water.

China Communist Party Youth Twitter Account Prompts Abuse

BBC
Setting up a Twitter account may seem a fairly obvious thing for a political party to do, but the step has not so far worked out too well for China’s Communist Party.

Conversation

09.15.17

Bannon Says the U.S. Is at ‘Economic War with China.’ Is He Right?

Paul Haenle, Jacqueline N. Deal & more
Steve Bannon, whose controversial views on China remain hugely influential in the White House, is visiting Hong Kong this week to speak at a China investment conference. In August, before he left his White House position as chief strategist, Bannon...

North Korea Fires Second Ballistic Missile over Japan

BBC
BBC
The missile reached an altitude of about 770km, travelling 3,700km — higher and further than one fired over Japan late last month — before landing in the sea off Hokkaido, South Korea's military says...

Chinese Academics Prod Beijing to Consider North Korea Contingencies

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Chinese academics are publicly broaching the idea that China and the United States should share plans on how to deal with a potential conflict on the Korean Peninsula, a sign some say of how North Korea’s weapons test may be making Beijing more open...

China Used to Harvest Organs from Prisoners. Under Pressure, That Practice Is Finally Ending.

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
After years of denials, China now acknowledges that history and has declared that the practice no longer occurs — largely thanks to the perseverance of a health official who, with the quiet backing of an American transplant surgeon, turned the...

Viewpoint

09.15.17

The Unprecedented Reach of China’s Surveillance State

Stanley Lubman
The Chinese Party-state is building a social credit system for collecting information about all of its citizens by police, courts, and other institutions. This enables the government to reach into society to a degree unprecedented in history...

How Strongmen Co-Opted Democracy

Kishore Mahbubani
New York Times
A wave of strongmen rulers has been elected, many of whom have clear non-Western identities. This list includes Shinzo Abe of Japan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Narendra Modi of India, Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, as well as China’s Xi Jinping.

Viewpoint

09.15.17

There Is Only One China, And There Is Only One Taiwan

Richard Bernstein
One of Beijing’s least favorite people is Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who won a landslide election victory 18 months ago on a platform calling for more separation from China—a coded way of rejecting one of the mainland’s most sacred principles...

China's New Campaign to Instill Official Historical Narrative in Xinjiang

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
Yu Zhengsheng, the party’s fourth-ranking official who is in charge of religion and ethnic minorities, presided at a high-level meeting in Beijing this week to address “several historical issues” regarding the restive region, Xinhua reported.

China 'Feminist Five' Activist Handed 10-Year Travel Ban

Yuan Yang and Emily Feng
Financial Times
One of China’s “Feminist Five” group of women who were arrested for campaigning against sexual harassment has been barred from leaving the country for a decade, in the latest example of Beijing’s ever-tightening grip on civil society.

After Toiling in Rural China, ProtéGé of Xi Jinping Joins Party's Top Tiers

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Guizhou is one of China’s poorest provinces, yet its villages of rice paddies, buffalos and mud-brick homes have long been a proving ground for rising stars in the Chinese Communist Party. The former president, Hu Jintao, once ran this mountainous...

What Would China Do If North Korea and the United States Go to War?

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
The US should sit down with China before pursuing a discussion with North Korea on how to solve the Korean peninsula’s nuclear crisis, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told the South China Morning Post on Tuesday.

Smuggling Operations at Sea Targeted in Latest UN Sanctions against North Korea

Liu Zhen
South China Morning Post
The UN has called on member states to use “new tools” to clamp down on smuggling activities at sea under the latest sanctions against North Korea following its nuclear test last week.

China and Russia Warn the U.S. Not to Seek North Korean Regime Change

Ting Shi and David Tweed
Bloomberg
In supporting a watered-down version of North Korea sanctions, China and Russia had a stern warning for the U.S.: Don’t try to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime.

China Jails Muslim Man for 2 Years over Islam WeChat Groups

South China Morning Post
A member of a Muslim minority group has been sentenced to two years in a Chinese prison after forming online discussions groups to teach Islam.

Sinica Podcast

09.11.17

China’s Tightening Grip on Cyberspace

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Adam Segal returns to Sinica to comment on China’s recent cybersecurity law—where it came from, how it changed as it was being drafted, and how it may shape the flow of information in China in the future. Other issues discussed include the...

Next Stop for the Steve Bannon Insurgency: China

Mark Landler
New York Times
Stephen K. Bannon plans to travel to Hong Kong to deliver a keynote address at an investor conference, where he will articulate his call for a much tougher American policy toward China.

Pro-Independence from China Posters Appearing on Hong Kong Campuses Stoke New Tension

Pak Yiu, Christine Chan
Reuters
Thirteen Hong Kong universities and academic institutions accused the Chinese-ruled city’s leader of undermining freedom of expression amid a row over pro-independence banners appearing on campuses.

Tillerson Is Working with China and Russia — Very, Very Quietly

David Ignatius
Washington Post
The Tillerson approach focuses on personal diplomacy, in direct contacts with Chinese and Russian leaders, and through private channels to North Korea. His core strategic assumption is that if the United States can subtly manage its relations with...

China and Pakistan Team up for Swipe at Trump's Afghanistan Plans

Stuart Lau
South China Morning Post
The air forces of China and Pakistan teamed up for joint training exercises, state media reported on Friday as the foreign ministers from the two countries present a united front in Beijing against Washington’s new military policy in Afghanistan.

Lacking a Point Person on China, U.S. Risks Aggravating Tensions

Mark Landler
New York Times
The National Security Council is conducting a review of the White House’s China policy — taking into account Mr. Trump’s populist trade agenda and differences over how to curb the rogue government in North Korea. Aside from Mr. Trump himself, it...

Sweeping Change in China's Military Points to More Firepower for Xi

Philip Wen and Benjamin Kang Lim
Reuters
China’s military is preparing a sweeping leadership reshuffle, dropping top generals, including two that sources say are under investigation for corruption. The changes would make room for President Xi Jinping to install trusted allies in key...

China Will Back Fresh U.N. Measures on North Korea over Nuclear Tests

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
China’s foreign minister said Thursday that Beijing would support further U.N.-imposed “measures” against North Korea following its largest nuclear test, but stopped short of saying whether China would back crippling economic sanctions such as halts...

Wanted Chinese Tycoon Seeks US Political Asylum

Gerry Shih
Associated Press
Chinese real estate tycoon Guo Wengui, one of the Communist Party’s most wanted exiles, has applied for political asylum in the United States.

Conversation

09.06.17

China’s Communist Party Is About to Meet. Here’s What You Should Know.

Matthias Stepan, Victor Shih & more
The Chinese Communist Party will hold its 19th Party Congress on October 18, marking the end of the first term of General Secretary Xi Jinping. In a leadership reshuffle, Xi is expected to promote allies to the Party’s key decision-making body, the...

South Korea Calls for Cutting North Korea's Oil Supplies but Russia Is Reluctant

Michelle Ye Hee Lee
Washington Post
Amid escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-In sought Russian backing Wednesday for calls to block critical crude oil supplies to the North Korean regime after its latest nuclear test.

Chinese Premier to Discuss Economy with Int'l Institution Chiefs

Xinhua
Xinhua
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will hold a roundtable meeting with leaders of six major international economic and financial institutions in Beijing next Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Wednesday.

Bad News, World: China Can’t Solve the North Korea Problem

Max Fisher
New York Times
After each North Korean provocation, a soothing mantra echoes through the halls of government and think tanks in the United States.

China Brushes off Vietnam Protests over South China Sea Drills

Reuters
Reuters
China on Wednesday dismissed Vietnamese condemnation of its military live-fire exercises in the disputed South China Sea, saying it was acting within its sovereign rights.

North Korea Nuclear Test Puts Pressure on China and Undercuts Xi

Jane Perlez
New York Times
It was supposed to be Xi Jinping’s moment to bask in global prestige, as the Chinese president hosted the leaders of some of the world’s most dynamic economies at a summit meeting just weeks before a Communist Party leadership conference.

Leaders of China and India Seek Stable Ties after Border Spat

Iain Marlow and Ting Shi
Bloomberg
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held their first talks since defusing a border stand-off, with both leaders calling for stable ties between the two Asian giants.

China Subverting UN Efforts to Protect Human Rights, Says Pressure Group

South China Morning Post
A human rights group said in a report on Tuesday that China has tried to intimidate, blacklist and suppress the voices of rights advocates who operate within the UN system, calling on Beijing to stop such pressure and urging UN agencies to resist.

Beijing’s Bold New Censorship

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Authoritarians, in China and elsewhere, normally have preferred to dress their authoritarianism up in pretty clothes. Lenin called the version of dictatorship he invented in 1921 “democratic centralism,” but it became clear, especially after Stalin...

Reports

09.01.17

The Costs of International Advocacy

Human Rights Watch
Even as it engages with U.N. human rights institutions, China has worked consistently and often aggressively to silence criticism of its human rights record before U.N. bodies and has taken actions aimed at weakening some of the central mechanisms...

CPC Expected to Convene 19th National Congress on Oct. 18

Xinhua
One of China's most important political events, the key five-yearly congress will decide the new leadership line-up...

China's HNA Group Sues Exiled Chinese Businessman

Julie Steinberg and Carolyn Cui
Wall Street Journal
One of China’s most acquisitive companies is suing an exiled Chinese businessman for allegedly spreading what it says are falsehoods that have hurt the conglomerate’s reputation and financial interests.

Young People in China Have Started a Fashion Movement Built around Nationalism and Racial Purity

Kevin Carrico
Quartz
The Han Clothing Movement, a youth-based grassroots nationalist movement built around China’s majority Han ethnic group, has emerged over the past 15 years in urban China. It imagines the numerically and culturally dominant Han—nearly 92% of China’s...

Who Blinked in the China-India Military Standoff?

Simon Denyer and Annie Gowen
Washington Post
For weeks, China’s Foreign Ministry had been vehement in its denunciations of India and insistence that New Delhi unconditionally withdraw troops that had trespassed into Chinese territory. Don’t underestimate us, China repeatedly insisted, we are...

China Can Squeeze Its Neighbors When It Wants. Ask South Korea

Jethro Mullen
CNN
South Korean businesses have been suffering since early this year after the country angered the Chinese government with the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system. The victims include companies in tourism and retail, but also Hyundai (HYMTF),...

Alibaba and Tencent Are Showing How Companies Can Get around Beijing's Crackdown on Foreign Deals

Sophia Yan
CNBC
The firms, among China’s most important tech giants, are overseeing the merger of two companies they back. Chinese delivery firm 58 Suyun is combining with Hong Kong logistics company GoGoVan — both have raised funds from Alibaba, and Tencent backs...

Sinica Podcast

08.30.17

U.S.-China Relations After Six Months of Trump

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Has the last half year of turbulent U.S.-China relations and Chinese politics passed you by? Confused you? Perhaps you’d like a clear recap in plain English? If yes, then this is the podcast episode for you.

Conversation

08.29.17

Is the United States Still the Predominant Power in the Pacific?

Dennis J. Blasko, James Holmes & more
In late August, a U.S. destroyer collided with an oil tanker—the fourth such accident for the U.S. Navy in Asia since January. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has increased troop commitments in Afghanistan, threatened to strike North Korea with “...

China Says North Korea Tensions Have Reached 'Tipping Point'

Agence France Presse
South China Morning Post
China warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached a “tipping point” after North Korea on Tuesday fired a ballistic missile over Japan, but said the United States and South Korea are partly to blame. 

New Silk Road: Japan to Counteract China in Kazakhstan with New Asia-Europe Rail Deal

Wade Shepard
Forbes
Japan continues standing in the ring with China, exchanging blow for blow as the Asian rivals both compete and cooperate with each other in the creation of the trans-Eurasian mega-project that has been...