Pence Pressures China on North Korea, Talks Russia Sanctions, Election Meddling

Deena Zaru
CNN
Vice President Mike Pence spoke forcefully about reining in North Korea’s nuclear program during his trip to Estonia on Sunday, saying that “all options are on the table” in countering the threat.

Amid NSA Ajit Doval’s Visit, Anti-War Sentiments Take Root in China

Hindu
National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval has commenced his visit to China, outside the glare of media, amid public calls by Chinese authorities seeking unilateral withdrawal of Indian troops engaged in a tense standoff with Chinese forces, from...

What If Trump Ordered a Nuclear Strike on China? I’d Comply, Says Admiral

New York Times
The commander of the United States Pacific Fleet was asked a hypothetical question during a talk on Thursday in Australia: If President Trump ordered a nuclear strike on China, would he comply? “The answer would be yes,” the commander, Adm. Scott H...

Britain and Australia Urge China to Do More on North Korea Threat

Reuters
Earlier this month North Korea, which has warned Australia could be the target of a strike, said it had conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts say could reach Alaska.

Why Justin Bieber Got Banned from Performing in China

New Yorker
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture issued an injunction against the twenty-three-year-old pop star, Justin Bieber, who was in the middle of a global tour, prohibiting him from performing in China. (On Monday, Bieber announced that he was...

Does North Korea Sanctions Bill Risk US-China Relationship?

James Griffiths
CNN
The US may target Chinese companies as part of new North Korea sanctions, an administration official said this week, even as diplomats are working with Beijing at the UN to reach a new international agreement.

Satellite Photos Reveal Underground Construction at Chinese Military Base

Joshua Berlinger
CNN
New satellite imagery of China's first overseas military base reveal it to be bigger and more secure than previously thought...

Anger at Plan to Let Chinese Police Patrol in Hong Kong

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
A Hong Kong government plan to lease part of a new high-speed rail station to China and allow Chinese police to enforce mainland laws has sparked new fears the city is losing its autonomy.

As India and China Face Off in the Mountains, a New Confrontation Is Growing in the Ocean

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
India-China ties, already weighed down by a Himalayan border dispute, are set for further pressure amid territorial concerns in the Indian Ocean. Beijing has been expanding its naval presence there, triggering worry from New Delhi.

Why is China Reinforcing its Border With North Korea?

James Griffiths, Serenitie Wang
CNN
China is further fortifying its border with North Korea, new reports show, amid continued tensions on the peninsula and concerns over potential US military action against Pyongyang.

Man Tipped as China's Future President Ousted as Xi Jinping Wields 'Iron Discipline'

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Sun Zhengcai rose from farming studies in Hertfordshire to Communist party elite. Many fear his downfall signals turbulent times in Beijing.

An ‘Alternative Future’ for the Korean Peninsula

Paul Haenle & Evans Revere from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Despite widespread international condemnation of North Korea’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, strategic distrust and misperceptions continue to impede deeper cooperation between the United States and China on the nuclear...

For China's Global Ambitions, ‘Iran Is at the Center of Everything’

Thomas Erdbrink
New York Times
When Zuao Ru Lin, a Beijing entrepreneur, first heard about business opportunities in eastern Iran, he was skeptical. But then he bought a map and began to envision the region without any borders, as one enormous market.

Sinica Podcast

07.24.17

Straight Talk on North Korea and China

Jeremy Goldkorn & Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
Lyle Goldstein, an associate professor and strategic researcher at the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, is an expert on Chinese and Russian security strategies. He is also an insightful commentator on what is going on...

China's ‘Belt and Road’ Opens up New Business in Africa—for Both the U.S. And China

Washington Post
There has been no shortage of headlines proclaiming China’s growing clout in a “new world order” in recent months. This speculation resurfaced after the July G-20 summit, at which the United States reconfirmed its withdrawal from the Paris climate...

China Warns India Not to Harbor Illusions in Border Stand-Off

Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina
Reuters
China’s defense ministry on Monday warned India not to harbor any illusions about the Chinese military’s ability to defend its territory, amid a festering border dispute.

Xi Jinping Picks War Games over Military Parade for Chinese Army's 90th Birthday Bash

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
China’s biggest annual war games, at Asia’s largest military training base, will be attended by President Xi Jinping on August 1 to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Former Political Star in China Is Under Party Investigation

New York Times
The Chinese Communist Party said on Monday that Sun Zhengcai, a high-flying politician who had been seen as a potential future premier, was under investigation over suspected “grave violations of discipline,” ending his career and raising the stakes...

Chinese Jets Intercept US Surveillance Plane: US Officials

Idrees Ali
Reuters
Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the East China Sea at the weekend, with one jet coming within about 300 feet (91 meters) of the American aircraft, U.S. officials said on Monday.

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-...

Liu Xiaobo: The Man Who Stayed

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In 1898, some of China’s most brilliant minds allied themselves with the Emperor Guangxu, a young ruler who was trying to assert himself by forcing through reforms to open up China’s political, economic, and educational systems. But opponents...

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...

The Passion of Liu Xiaobo

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
In the late 1960s Mao Zedong, China’s Great Helmsman, encouraged children and adolescents to confront their teachers and parents, root out “cow ghosts and snake spirits,” and otherwise “make revolution.” In practice, this meant closing China’s...

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.

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.”

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.

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...