The Demise of Watchdog Journalism in China

Helen Gao
New York Times
As unfettered capitalism reached a fever pitch in China in the early 2000s, a boom in investigative journalism was hailed as the most salient example of growing citizen power.

The Rise of Populism and Implications for China

Paul Haenle & Thomas Carothers from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
The rise of populism in Europe and the United States has had a pronounced impact on domestic politics and foreign policy, as seen in Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. In China, leaders are unsettled by the nationalist and anti-globalization...

Books

04.27.18

The China Mission

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan
W. W. Norton & Company: As World War II came to an end, General George Marshall was renowned as the architect of Allied victory. Set to retire, he instead accepted what he thought was a final mission―this time not to win a war, but to stop one. Across the Pacific, conflict between Chinese Nationalists and Communists threatened to suck in the United States and escalate into revolution. His assignment was to broker a peace, build a Chinese democracy, and prevent a Communist takeover, all while staving off World War III.{node, 46371}In his 13 months in China, Marshall journeyed across battle-scarred landscapes, grappled with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and plotted and argued with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his brilliant wife, often over card games or cocktails. The results at first seemed miraculous. But as they started to come apart, Marshall was faced with a wrenching choice. Its consequences would define the rest of his career, as the secretary of state who launched the Marshall Plan and set the standard for American leadership, and the shape of the Cold War and the U.S.-China relationship for decades to come. It would also help spark one of the darkest turns in American civic life, as Marshall and the mission became a first prominent target of McCarthyism, and the question of “who lost China” roiled American politics.The China Mission traces this neglected turning point and forgotten interlude in a heroic career―a story of not just diplomatic wrangling and guerrilla warfare, but also intricate spycraft and charismatic personalities. Drawing on eyewitness accounts both personal and official, it offers a richly detailed, gripping, close-up, and often surprising view of the central figures of the time―from Marshall, Mao, and Chiang to Eisenhower, Truman, and MacArthur―as they stood face-to-face and struggled to make history, with consequences and lessons that echo today.{chop}

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Meets Chinese President Xi Jinping for Informal Summit

Manveena Suri and Ben Westcott
CNN
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the beginning of his informal two-day relation-building summit in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

U.S. Considers Tightening Grip on China Ties to Corporate America

Koh Gui Qing
Reuters
Any broad effort to sever relationships between Chinese and American tech companies - even temporarily - could have dramatic effects across the industry.

China Tells Donald Trump: We Can Help Make America’s Infrastructure Great Again

Catherine Wong
South China Morning Post
China has offered to take part in US President Donald Trump’s US$1.5 trillion plan to repair and upgrade America’s infrastructure, saying it would complement Beijing’s own Belt and Road Initiative.

Exclusive: Chip Wars - China Closing in on Second $19 Billion Semiconductor Fund: Sources

Kane Wu, Julie Zhu, Cate Cadell
Reuters
China’s state-backed semiconductor fund is near to closing a 120 billion yuan ($18.98 billion) investment round for a second fund to support the domestic chip sector and help cut reliance on imports amid a bruising trade standoff with the United...

China Is Tightening Its Grip On Cryptocurrency To Promote Rather Than Purge It

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
China also sees advantages in allowing crypto to develop in a manageable way...

When Modi and Xi Meet, Indian Elections Will Set the Tone

Jeffrey Gettleman
New York Times
When the leaders of the world’s two most populous nations meet on Friday in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India will be pushing to get less from President Xi Jinping of China.

Conversation

04.25.18

Does China Want the Koreas to Reconcile?

Bo Zhiyue, Zhang Baohui & more
This Friday, April 27, the South Korean and North Korean leaders will meet in the demilitarized zone dividing their estranged countries to discuss improving relations and possibly even formally ending the Korean War, which has continued in the form...

China Is Fueling a New ‘Resource Curse’ — and Riots around the World

Renard Sexton
Washington Post
During the past 15 years, China’s demand for primary commodities has triggered a dramatic increase in natural resource extraction in the developing world.

China Fears Kim Is Moving out of Its Orbit as South Korea, US Talks Loom

Katie Hunt and Tim Schwarz
CNN
China and North Korea boast an alliance forged in blood -- more than 130,000 Chinese troops, including the son of Mao Zedong, died defending the North during the Korean War -- but the relationship has always been an uneasy one.

US-China Trade War: Not about Trade, Not about Trump. Here’s What It Is About

Tom Holland
South China Morning Post
Perhaps we should stop talking about US President Donald Trump’s US-China trade war.

The Corrections Needed in the U.S.-China Relationship

Paul Haenle & Stephen Hadley from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Stephen Hadley, former national security advisor to President George W. Bush, argues that the United States took false comfort in China’s hide-and-bide strategy and failed to recognize that China would increasingly assert itself as it became more...

Trade Wars Don’t Faze This U.S.-China Investor

Matthew A. Winkler
Bloomberg
The best-performing worldwide mutual fund relies on Chinese and American companies. That's not about to change...

China Challenged Australian Warships in South China Sea, Reports Say

Ben Westcott and Jamie Tarabay
CNN
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asserted the right of the Australian navy to travel the South China Sea, after local media reported three Australian warships were challenged by the Chinese navy earlier this month.

US Grain Ships Diverted at Sea Hours after China Imposes Grain Tariff

Lily Kuo
Guardian
Five ships carrying tonnes of sorghum change course after Beijing imposes rule requiring 178% deposit.

China Envoy Says China Will Retaliate If U.S. Insists on Trade War: Xinhua

Reuters
China’s ambassador to the United States urged the United States to abandon a cold war and zero-sum mentality.

Viewpoint

04.19.18

Trump’s Incredibly Risky Taiwan Policy

J. Stapleton Roy
So-called friends of Taiwan in the United States are putting the island at risk as never before. The Taiwan Travel Act, passed unanimously by both houses of Congress, and signed by President Trump on March 16, 2018 without reservations, could...

China’s Economic Numbers Have a Credibility Problem

Enda Curran
Bloomberg
China’s gross domestic product grew 6.8 percent in the first quarter, smack on its pace in the preceding quarter, which was unchanged from the quarter before that.

The Chinese Communist Party Is Setting Up Cells at Universities Across America

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Foreign Policy
It’s a strategy to tighten ideological control. And it’s happening around the world.

China Wages War on Apps Offering News and Jokes

The Economist
Economist
At the end of last year Bytedance, one of China’s most talked-about technology firms, seemed to have the world at its feet.

Exclusive: China Looks to Speed up Chip Plans as U.S. Trade Tensions Boil - Sources

Elias Glenn, Cate Cadell
Reuters
China is looking to accelerate plans to develop its domestic semiconductor market amid a fierce trade stand-off with the United States and a U.S. ban on sales to Chinese phone maker ZTE that has underscored the country’s reliance on imported chips.

Pakistan Shuns US for Chinese High-Tech Weapons

Kiran Stacey
Financial Times
In the last few months of the Obama administration, the US state department made an announcement which caused a new breach in Washington’s tumultuous relationship with Pakistan.

A Glimpse of Life along China’s Border with North Korea

Laura Mallonee
Wired
When Elijah Hurwitz checked into the Hilton Garden Inn in Dandong, China, he knew his room would have an extraordinary view: The hotel sits near the banks of the Yalu River overlooking North Korea. Out the window, a caravan of trucks with North...

Chinese President Xi Jinping Will Visit Pyongyang ‘Soon,’ Official Says

Will Ripley and Ben Westcott
CNN
Chinese President Xi Jinping is preparing to visit the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, an official with knowledge of the discussions told CNN Wednesday.

Taiwan Accuses China of ‘Sabre Rattling’ as Naval Drill Begins

BBC
BBC
China is conducting live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid growing tension in the region.

Conversation

04.18.18

A Ban on Gay Content, Stopped in Its Tracks

Siodhbhra Parkin, Steven Jiang & more
On April 13, China’s major microblogging platform Sina Weibo announced that, in order to create “a sunny and harmonious” environment, it would remove videos and comics “with pornographic implications, promoting bloody violence, or related to...

Viewpoint

04.16.18

Has Xi Jinping Changed China? Not Really

Teng Biao
Xi Jinping has had an eventful early spring. After he abolished presidential term limits and was unanimously elected—if it can be called an election—to serve another term in that post, Xi got the world’s attention again by holding a meeting with Kim...

One-Time Potential Rival to China’s Xi Pleads Guilty to Corruption

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
A purged Communist Party politician once regarded as a future Chinese leader stood trial on corruption charges in a case seen as part of an effort by President Xi Jinping to neutralize potential political rivals.

China Wary after Trump’s U-Turn Could See US Rejoining TPP

Wendy Wu, Keegan Elmer
South China Morning Post
Chinese analysts have said they are wary about the possibility that the United States will rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but shrugged off the immediate need to make policy changes.

China’s Trade Surplus with U.S. Soars in First Quarter but March Exports Falter

Elias Glenn, Stella Qiu
Reuters
China’s trade surplus with the United States surged nearly 20 percent in the first quarter, with some analysts speculating exporters were rushing out shipments to get ahead of threatened tariffs that are spurring fears of a full-blown trade war.

U.S. Considered Blacklisting Two Chinese Banks over North Korea Ties

Christian Berthelsen
Bloomberg
U.S. officials alarmed by public displays of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile technology last summer considered taking the provocative step of blacklisting two of China’s biggest banks from the U.S. financial system for doing business with North...

Putin’s Fourth Term

Paul Haenle & Alexander Gabuev from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Vladimir Putin was elected to his fourth term as president of Russia on March 18, 2018. His continued leadership has important implications for the international community, including China.

Conversation

04.11.18

China’s Communist Party Takes (Even More) Control of the Media

Stanley Rosen, Chris Fenton & more
China’s Communist Party made moves last month to solidify and formalize its (already substantial) control over the country’s media. China’s main state-run broadcasters are to be consolidated into a massive new “Voice of China” under the management...

U.S. Stocks Surge after China’s Xi Eases Trade Fears

David Hodari and Allison Prang
Wall Street Journal
U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday, with the Dow gaining more than 400 points, as remarks from Chinese President Xi Jinping soothed concerns about a trade war that have roiled markets in recent weeks.

China’s Vast Intercontinental Building Plan Is Gaining Momentum

Faseeh Mangi
Bloomberg
China’s massive build program to recreate trade routes stretching from Asia to Africa and Europe is gaining momentum.

What China Gained From Hosting Kim Jong Un

Oriana Skylar Mastro
Foreign Affairs
In late March, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who had not stepped foot outside the hermit kingdom since taking power in 2011, traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time.

Duterte Banks on China Ties to Repair War-Torn Philippine City

Ditas B Lopez and Andreo Calonzo
Bloomberg
China will have a chance to showcase warmer ties with the Philippines if it wins a contract to rebuild a city ravaged by Islamic State-inspired terrorists last year, a cabinet member said.

China Installed Military Jamming Equipment on Spratly Islands, U.S. Says

Michael R. Gordon and Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
China has installed equipment on two of its fortified outposts in the Spratly Islands capable of jamming communications and radar systems, a significant step in its creeping militarization of the South China Sea, U.S. officials say.

Xi Says China to Lower Trade Barriers as Beijing Files Wto Complaint against U.S.

Scott Neuman
NPR
China’s President Xi Jinping says his country will “significantly lower” import tariffs on automobiles as part of a broader move to open up its economy amid a major trade dispute with the U.S.

China-Africa Relations in the Xi Jinping Era

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
For much of the past 20 years, China’s strategy in Africa could be summarized in two words: invest and extract. Today, that is no longer the case. China’s agenda in Africa, and throughout much of the global south, has broadened significantly in...

Hopes Are High for China to Announce Market Access Reforms on Tuesday

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Xi’s speech to announce market reforms could help heal U.S.-China trade frictions.

Tensions Rise over Taiwan Strait as U.S. and China Harden Positions

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Fears grow that Taiwan will suffer the consequences of Trump-China spat.

Europe Caught in the Middle as Trump Threatens China

Jack Ewing
New York Times
Europe in dilemma as conflict escalates between its two biggest trading partners.

China Is Studying Yuan Devaluation as a Tool in Trade Spat

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
China evaluates impact of currency depreciation among trade tensions.

Viewpoint

04.06.18

I Thought Studying Journalism outside of China Would Open Doors. Now I’m Not So Sure.

Shen Lu
Six years ago as I was about to begin my undergraduate career at The University of Iowa majoring in journalism, a fellow Chinese student who’d switched her major from communications studies to business ruthlessly doubted my choice. “How on earth...

White House Sends Mixed Message on China Trade Thaw

Shawn Donnan, Michael Hunter and Ben...
Financial Times
Markets rally but questions remain over US willingness to talk to Beijing.

If There’s a U.S.-China Trade War, China May Have Some ‘Unconventional Weapons’

Neil Irwin
New York Times
There are ways to make life harder for American companies in China that need not be formal, or widely publicized.

Why China Could Get Hurt More from a Trade War in the Tech Sector

Saheli Roy Choudhury
CNBC
China could lose more than the U.S. from trade tensions now spilling into the technology sector, according to Gavin Parry from Parry Global Group.

Facial Recognition in China Is Big Business as Local Governments Boost Surveillance

Rob Schmitz
NPR
Dozens of cameras meet visitors to the Beijing headquarters of SenseTime, China’s largest artificial intelligence company. One of them determines whether the door will open for you; another tracks your movements.

US Take Note: Chinese, Russian Militaries Are Closer Than You Think, China’s Defence Minister Says

Kinling Lo
South China Morning Post
The United States should be aware of the close military ties between Beijing and Moscow, China’s defence minister said during a visit to Russia, which has been facing international isolation over the killing of a former spy in Britain.

China Strikes Back at the U.S. With Plans for Its Own Tariffs

Keith Bradsher and Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
China hit back at the United States on Wednesday with proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of American soybeans, cars, chemicals and other goods, in a move likely to stoke fears that the countries’ escalating confrontation could become an all-out...

China Strikes Back at the U.S. With Plans for Its Own Tariffs

Keith Bradsher and Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
China hit back at the United States on Wednesday with proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of American soybeans, cars, chemicals and other goods, in a move likely to stoke fears that the countries’ escalating confrontation could become an all-out...

China Announces It’s Imposing New Tariffs on 128 Us Products

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
China implements additional tariffs as retaliation against increased U.S. import taxes.

Three Takeaways from Kim Jong Un’s Trip to China

Rush Doshi
Washington Post
What to learn from the secret meeting between Xi and Kim?

What’s Made Indonesian Students Forget the China Taboo?

Aisyan Llewellyn
South China Morning Post
Not that long ago, having a Chinese book was strictly prohibited in Indonesia. But now the country’s young people are attending Chinese universities by the thousands.

Viewpoint

03.31.18

Nixon in China, Trump in Pyongyang

Sergey Radchenko
On March 25, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Beijing in an armored train for talks with Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping, the first known time he traveled outside his country since his father and predecessor died in...

Books

03.29.18

Patriot Number One

Lauren Hilgers
Crown Publishing Group: In 2014, in a snow-covered house in Flushing, Queens, a village revolutionary from Southern China considered his options. Zhuang Liehong was the son of a fisherman, the former owner of a small tea shop, and the spark that had sent his village into an uproar—pitting residents against a corrupt local government. Under the alias Patriot Number One, he had stoked a series of pro-democracy protests, hoping to change his home for the better. Instead, sensing an impending crackdown, Zhuang and his wife, Little Yan, left their infant son with relatives and traveled to America. With few contacts and only a shaky grasp of English, they had to start from scratch.In Patriot Number One, Hilgers follows this dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing’s Chinese community relies on for survival. As the irrepressibly opinionated Zhuang and the more pragmatic Little Yan pursue legal status and struggle to reunite with their son, we also meet others piecing together a new life in Flushing. Tang, a democracy activist who was caught up in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, is still dedicated to his cause after more than a decade in exile. Karen, a college graduate whose mother imagined a bold American life for her, works part-time in a nail salon as she attends vocational school and refuses to look backward.With a novelist’s eye for character and detail, Hilgers captures the joys and indignities of building a life in a new country—and the stubborn allure of the American dream.{chop}

Conversation

03.28.18

Kim Jong-un Visits Beijing

Sung-Yoon Lee, Ankit Panda & more
After two days of rumors, on Wednesday March 28, the official news agencies of China and North Korea announced that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un had just completed a visit to Beijing. The “unofficial visit,” as Xinhua put it, was Kim’s first...