China Energy Group Bonds Crash after Detention Report

Lucy Hornby and Archie Zhang
Financial Times
Bonds of mysterious Chinese energy firm CEFC crashed on Thursday amid reports that its chairman Ye Jianming had been detained, complicating its deal to buy a $9bn stake in Russian oil company Rosneft.

How the West Got China Wrong

The Economist
Economist
Last weekend China stepped from autocracy into dictatorship. That was when Xi Jinping, already the world’s most powerful man, let it be known that he will change China’s constitution so that he can rule as president for as long as he chooses—and...

Why China Is Censoring Winnie the Pooh—and the Letter ‘N’

Natasha Bach
Fortune
Chinese President Xi Jinping has had a fruitful five plus years in his current position.

Viewpoint

03.01.18

Maybe the Law Does Actually Matter to Xi Jinping

Taisu Zhang
The February 25 announcement that the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.) has proposed a constitutional amendment that would remove term limits on the office of the presidency is arguably the most significant Chinese political and legal development in...

Sinica Podcast

03.01.18

Can Chinese Journalists Criticize the Party-State?

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Outside observers typically view China’s media as utterly shackled by the bonds of censorship, unable to critique the government or speak truth to power in any meaningful sense. In part, this is true. Censorship and other pressures do create “no-go...

China’s Media Is Struggling to Overcome Its Racial Stereotypes of Africa

Dani Madrid-Morales
Quartz
For most Chinese people, the Spring Festival is a time to honor family ties, friendships and acquaintances.

China’s New Economic Guru Is Trying to Stop a Trade War

Daniel Shane
CNN
As trade tensions escalate between the US and China, one of President Xi Jinping’s most trusted advisers is paying a visit to Washington.

China: Big Data Fuels Crackdown in Minority Region

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Chinese authorities are building and deploying a predictive policing program based on big data analysis in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said today. The program aggregates data about people – often without their knowledge – and flags those it deems...

Xi’s Power Grab Gives a Short-Term Boost with Long-Term Ramifications

David Dollar
Brookings Institution
China’s stock market and currency rallied Monday on news that the country would revise its constitution to abolish term limits for the president.

Conversation

02.25.18

Xi Won’t Go

Richard McGregor, Taisu Zhang & more
In a surprise Sunday move, Beijing announced that the Communist Party leadership wants to abolish the two-term limit for China’s president and vice president, potentially paving the way for China’s 64-year-old President Xi Jinping to stay in power...

China Probes Report of Possible North Korea Sanctions Breach at Sea

Reuters Staff
Reuters
China said on Thursday it is investigating a Japanese report that a Chinese ship may have carried out a ship-to-ship transfer with a North Korean vessel in breach of U.N. sanctions.

As China Puts Pressure on Taiwan, Signs of a U.S. Pushback

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
As China ratchets up pressure on Taiwan, the self-governing island it claims as its territory, the United States is cautiously starting to push back.

China Hands out Free TVs to Beam Propaganda into Poorest Regions

Neil Connor
Telegraph
China is distributing 300,000 television sets to some of its poorest regions as Beijing seeks to spread its propaganda into some of the country's most hard to reach households...

Battleground Malaysia: China Extends Crackdown on Uygurs across Borders

James M. Dorsey
South China Morning Post
Malaysia has emerged as the latest battleground pitting Chinese efforts to export its security notions against principles of the rule of law.

Terracotta Theft: Chinese Anger over Stolen Warrior Thumb

BBC
BBC
Chinese authorities have demanded “severe punishment” for a man who allegedly stole the thumb of a terracotta warrior statue on display in the US, Chinese state media report.

“Ignore the Missiles”: Duterte Says China’s South China Sea Militarization Is No Problem

Steve Mollman
Quartz
Generally speaking, a sovereign nation dislikes it when a foreign power establishes new military bases within striking range of its capital. But when it comes to China doing just that to the Philippines in the South China Sea, Rodrigo Duterte, it...

Chinese Warships Enter East Indian Ocean Amid Maldives Tensions

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Eleven Chinese warships sailed into the East Indian Ocean this month, a Chinese news portal said, amid a constitutional crisis in the tiny tropical island chain of the Maldives now under a state of emergency.

Viewpoint

02.15.18

A Clash of Cyber Civilizations

Geoffrey Hoffman
There has been little need for the term “cyber sovereignty” among democratic states: the Internet, by its nature, operates under an aegis of freedom and cooperation. However, as the international system slips away from American unipolarity, a...

Chinese Envoy Says It’s ‘Dangerous’ for U.S. to Confront Beijing

Keith Zhai
Bloomberg
China’s ambassador to the U.S. warned the Trump administration against adopting a confrontational approach to the world’s second-biggest economy.

Maldives Crisis Could Stir Trouble between China and India

Mujib Mashal
New York Times
As the Maldives’ autocratic president, Abdulla Yameen, cracks down on opposition to consolidate power ahead of another election, analysts and diplomats warn that the small nation’s troubles could provoke a larger crisis that draws in China and India...

China’s All-Seeing Social Control Network Brings an End to Fugitives’ Festive Fun

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
With most of China getting into the swing of the Lunar New Year holiday, two crime suspects in the southern city of Guangzhou could have been forgiven for thinking the local police force was taking a break too.

Harry Harris, Trump’s Pick for Australia Envoy, Slams Beijing’s Asia Ambitions

Ben Westcott
CNN
China is seeking to “undermine” the international order in the Asia Pacific, Adm. Harry Harris, US President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Australia, said in Washington on Wednesday.

Conversation

02.15.18

Is American Policy toward China Due for a ‘Reckoning’?

Charles Edel, Elizabeth Economy & more
Former diplomats Kurt M. Campbell and Ely Ratner argue that United States policy toward China, in administrations of both parties, has relied in the past on a mistaken confidence in America’s ability to “mold China to the United States’ liking.”...

China and Russia Are Catching up with Military Power of US and West, Say Leading Defence Experts

Kim Sengupta
Independent
China and Russia are challenging the military supremacy of America and its allies and the West can no longer rely on the strategic advantage it has enjoyed until now, a leading think tank states in its annual report.

“Shameless” and “Two-Faced”: China’s Astonishing Rebuke of Its Former Internet Czar

Zheping Huang
Quartz
China’s former internet czar was expelled from the Communist Party and will be prosecuted for corruption, the party’s top graft-busting agency said yesterday (Feb. 13).

‘You Are Our Lucky Star’: Chinese Media in Overdrive on Xi Jinping’s New Year Tour

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Xi Jinping has flown into one of rural China’s most deprived corners to champion his war on extreme poverty before the country’s week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

Sinica Podcast

02.14.18

China’s Rise and America’s Myopia

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
China, as we say at the beginning of each Sinica Podcast episode, is a nation that is reshaping the world. But what does that reshaping really look like, and how does—and should—the world react to China’s role in globalization?

The ‘Globalisation’ of China's Military Power

Jonathan Marcus
BBC
China’s modernization of its armed forces is proceeding faster than many analysts expected.

Former Chongqing Party Chief Charged with Bribery in China

Edward White
Financial Times
A former top Chinese official once tipped as a potential successor to Xi Jinping has been charged with corruption, state media reported on Tuesday.

Britain to Test China by Sailing Ship in Disputed Sea

Jamie Smyth and Tom Hancock
Financial Times
Anti-submarine frigate to sail through contested waters of South China Sea.

China to Select Theaters Nationwide to Show Propaganda Films

AP
CNBC
The state will boost the box office of these propaganda movies with group sales, discounted tickets and other financial backing.

How China Is Getting Serious About Financial Risk

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
Chinese leaders pledged to make controlling financial risk a top priority. Their challenge is to do so without derailing the economy.

Trump Taps Harry Harris, Known for Being Tough on China, as Australia Envoy

Jaqueline Williams
New York Times
Trump announces plans to nominate a vocal critic of China as ambassador to Australia.

Catholics Warn of Church Schism If Vatican Makes a Deal with China

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Influential Catholics expressed shock and disappointment about the Vatican's potential deal with Beijing...

Where China’s Leaders Go in Africa May Surprise You

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Over the past 10 years Chinese leaders have made 79 official visits to 43 different African countries, according to new data from the Beijing-based consultancy Development Reimagined. Where the senior leadership goes offers some fascinating insights...

An Indian-Russian Supersonic Missile Could Be a Problem for China

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India and Russia, has developed what it calls the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile. The namesake rocket may now be exported globally — a potentially concerning development for the world’s second-...

Germany’s Daimler Issues ‘Full Apology’ to China over Dalai Lama

BBC
Daimler has issued a second emphatic apology to China after its subsidiary, Mercedes Benz, quoted the Dalai Lama in an Instagram post on Monday.

China Loves Trump

Benjamin Carlson
Atlantic
In January of last year, around the time of the presidential inauguration, as jitters about the relationship between Donald Trump and China mounted, I regularly joined the mob of reporters at the Chinese foreign ministry’s daily briefings in Beijing.

China Is Placing Underwater Sensors in the Pacific near Guam

Anthony Kuhn
NPR
China’s official People’s Daily newspaper reported in December that Chinese scientists had lowered acoustic sensors into the Mariana Trench, at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

China Tries to Charm Tech-Savvy Taiwanese Youth as Political Ties Fray

Brenda Goh and Jess Macy Yu
Reuters
A start-up incubator on the outskirts of Shanghai is laying out sweeteners for budding entrepreneurs: Free office space, subsidized housing rent, tax breaks and in some cases, cash of up to 200,000 yuan ($31,211.47).

China Detains Executive Close to Family of Former Prime Minister

David Barboza and Michael Forsythe
New York Times
The authorities in China have detained a wealthy investor who went into business with relatives of the previous prime minister, a sign that the anticorruption campaign initiated five years ago by President Xi Jinping may again be closing in on a...

Sinica Podcast

02.06.18

China’s Uighur Muslims, Under Pressure at Home and Abroad

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
By traveling not just to China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, where 10 to 15 million Uighurs live, but also to Syria, where some have fled and taken up arms with militant groups, Associated Press reporter Gerry Shih sought to answer the most...

China Confirms Detention of Hong Kong Bookseller Snatched from Train

Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
China confirmed it was holding Swedish citizen Gui Minhai and that he would be dealt with according to Chinese law, as Stockholm stepped up criticism of Beijing for its “brutal” treatment of the Hong Kong bookseller.

Philippines’ Duterte Reneges on China Deal, Bans Foreign Research Ships

Manuel Mogato
Reuters
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has banned all foreign scientific research off the country’s Pacific coast and told the navy to chase away unauthorised vessels, despite earlier allowing Chinese oceanographers to operate there.

Photos Show Beijing’s Militarisation of South China Sea in New Detail

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Beijing has been accused of building “island fortresses” in the South China Sea after a newspaper in the Philippines obtained aerial photographs offering what experts called the most detailed glimpse yet of China’s militarisation of the waterway.

With Everyone Focused on Russia, China Is Quietly Expanding Its Influence across Europe

Rick Noack
Washington Post
Two new studies suggest that European leaders appear to too willing to overlook China’s authoritarian ambitions.

Mystery of Suspected China-CIA Spy Draws Lawmaker Scrutiny

Josh Meyer
Politico
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and other senior members of Congress are asking why the FBI took more than five years to arrest former CIA China hand Jerry Chun Shing Lee after it first became suspicious of him.

Conversation

02.05.18

Is the Belt and Road Anti-Democratic?

Nadège Rolland, Tim Summers & more
During her visit to Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan January 31-February 2, Prime Minister Theresa May attempted to improve her country’s trade relations with China—an increasingly important partner for the post-Brexit United Kingdom. And yet, May was...

Who Killed More: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao?

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In these pages nearly seven years ago, Timothy Snyder asked the provocative question: Who killed more, Hitler or Stalin? As useful as that exercise in moral rigor was, some think the question itself might have been slightly off. Instead, it should...

China’s Plans for Creating New International Courts Are Raising Fears of Bias

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Multi-jurisdictional dealings between Chinese entities and their emerging market counterparts can pose immense regulatory challenges, especially in the realms of financing and execution.

Britain’s May Discusses Trade Barriers with China’s Xi

Erika Kinetz and Christopher Bodeen
Washington Post
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday she discussed with Chinese President Xi Jinping the importance of removing barriers to commerce, especially for British food, drink and financial services, as the two countries move toward a future...

Media

02.02.18

Chinese Civil Society in 2018: What’s Ahead?

Wang Yongmei, Anthony Saich & more
The impetus for this event is it’s about a year since the new Foreign NGO Law was implemented in China. There was also another law implemented in 2016, the Charity Law, that governs how domestic NGOs function in China. But there’s a lot more going...

Conversation

02.01.18

Should Pacific Island Nations Be Wary of Chinese Influence?

Jenny Hayward-Jones, Graeme Smith & more
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s three-day visit to China, from January 31 to February 2, has amplified ongoing debates in Europe about the costs and benefits of engagement with China and of Chinese investment. Attention to China’s role in...

Viewpoint

01.31.18

The U.K. Needs to Rethink Its Engagement with China

Paul Irwin Crookes & Kyle Jaros
As British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives in Beijing today, where is the U.K.’s relationship with China heading? Despite a complex history, U.K.-China relations have remained a relative bright spot in China’s engagement with the West in recent...

Theresa May Pledges to Raise Hong Kong and Human Rights with China

Tom Phillips and Jessica Elgot
Guardian
Theresa May has insisted she will raise human rights and Hong Kong’s political situation with China’s leaders this week, amid criticism of Britain’s “pusillanimous” response to Beijing’s increasingly hard line.

CIA Chief Says China ‘as Big a Threat to US’ as Russia

BBC
Chinese efforts to exert covert influence over the West are just as concerning as Russian subversion, the director of the CIA has said.

Trump Alarms China with ‘Cold War’ Rhetoric in State of Union Address

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China raised alarms Wednesday over what it called President Trump’s “outdated Cold War mentality” after an address that described Beijing as a global rival and set an increasing tough line against China’s economic and military reach.

Vatican, Eager for China Ties, Asks ‘Underground’ Bishops to Step Aside

Ian Johnson
New York Times
The decision in December came amid what observers describe as an extraordinary effort by the Vatican to advance negotiations to restore ties with Beijing after a nearly 70-year schism among Catholics in the world’s most populous nation.

China’s Retired Anti-Graft Tsar Wang Qishan Holds on to Top Legislature Spot to Stay in the Political Game

Jun Mai
South China Morning Post
Wang is set to take on the vice-presidency but his power will depend on what Xi Jinping needs him to do, analyst says.

Taiwan Retaliates Against Chinese Airlines, Hampering Lunar New Year Travel

Chris Horton
New York Times
Tens of thousands of Taiwanese working in China are at risk of being unable to return home for the Lunar New Year in mid-February as a result of an escalating battle over airspace in the Taiwan Strait.