U.S. Reps, Dalai Lama Take Aim at China Sore Spot Tibet

Katy Daigle, Ashwini Bhatia 
Washington Post
As President Donald Trump appears to be warming to China, a bipartisan group from the U.S. House of Representatives took aim Wednesday at one of Beijing’s sore spots: Tibet.

North Korea Expected to Ask China for a Break at Summit

Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
North Korea is expected to press China to tone down its economic sanctions when its delegation attends an infrastructure and trade summit in Beijing on Sunday, observers said.

Conversation

05.09.17

Can China’s Approach to Internet Control Spread around the World?

Anne Henochowicz, Rogier Creemers & more
Earlier this month, citing concerns over “cyber sovereignty,” China’s Internet regulators announced new restrictions on the country’s already tightly controlled Internet—further curbing online news reporting and putting Party-appointed editors in...

Viewpoint

05.09.17

Beijing Is Weakening Hong Kong’s Rule of Law. How Far Will It Go?

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
“The American Chamber of Commerce has urged Hong Kong’s next government to reach out to international businesses still ‘unclear’ about what opportunities the city can offer under the one country, two systems policy.” —South China Morning Post, April...

Books

05.08.17

The Souls of China

Ian Johnson
From journalist Ian Johnson, a revelatory portrait of religion in China today—its history, the spiritual traditions of its Eastern and Western faiths, and the ways in which it is influencing China’s future.The Souls of China tells the story of one of the world’s great spiritual revivals. Following a century of violent anti-religious campaigns, China is now filled with new temples, churches, and mosques—as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty over what it means to be Chinese and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality a century ago and is searching for new guideposts.Johnson first visited China in 1984. In the 1990s, he helped run a charity to rebuild Daoist temples, and in 2001 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. While researching this book, he lived for extended periods with underground church members, rural Daoists, and Buddhist pilgrims. Along the way, he learned esoteric meditation techniques, visited a nonagenarian Confucian sage, and befriended government propagandists as they fashioned a remarkable embrace of traditional values. He has distilled these experiences into a cycle of festivals, births, deaths, detentions, and struggle—a great awakening of faith that is shaping the soul of the world’s newest superpower. —Pantheon{chop}

China Coast Guard’s New ‘Monster’ Ship Completes Maiden Patrol in South China Sea

Franz-Stefan Gady
Diplomat
The world’s largest coast guard vessel, the 12,000-ton China Coast Guard (CCG) cutter 3901, has successfully completed its first patrol in the South China Sea this month, according to Chinese government reports.

How Trump Gave China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Scheme a Boost

cary huang
South China Morning Post
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘Belt and Road’ trade development initiative, always ambitious, has been given a boost by American counterpart Donald Trump’s protectionist trade agenda and isolationist diplomacy.

China Pitch by Kushner Sister Renews Controversy over Visa Program for Wealthy

Michael Kranish
Washington Post
A much-criticized visa program that allows foreigners to win fast-track immigration in return for investing $500,000 in U.S. properties was extended in a bill signed by President Trump just one day before a sister of senior White House adviser Jared...

Syria Says up to 5,000 Chinese Uighurs Fighting in Militant Groups

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Up to 5,000 ethnic Uighurs from China's violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang are fighting in various militant groups in Syria, the Syrian ambassador to China said on Monday, adding that Beijing should be extremely concerned about it...

AP Exclusive: China Lawyer’s Family Says U.S. Helped Them Flee

Gerry Shih
Washington Post
Chen Guiqiu whose husband, prominent rights lawyer Xie Yang, is held on charge of inciting subversion made a harrowing flight from China with her daughters chased by Chinese security agents across Southeast Asia.

Caixin Media

05.05.17

Belt and Road: A Symphony in Need of a Strong Conductor

In just a few weeks, the Chinese president will host the Belt and Road summit—Xi Jinping’s landmark program to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Reactions to the project have been, understandably...

U.S. Investigates Work at Pacific Island Casino Project with Trump Ties

NEIL GOUGH, CAO LI
New York Times
Officials say contractors illegally hired Chinese workers in Saipan, part of an American commonwealth, to build a casino overseen by a former Trump protégé.

China Compiles Its Own ‘Wikipedia,’ but Public Can’t Edit It

LOUISE WATT
Seattle Times
It’ll be free. It’ll be uniquely Chinese. It’ll be an online encyclopedia to rival Wikipedia — but without the participation of the public. And don’t expect entries on “Tiananmen Square 1989” or “Falun Gong spiritual group” to come up in your...

After North Korea Criticism, China Says Wants to Be Good Neighbor

Reuters
China said on Thursday it wants to be good neighbors with North Korea, after the isolated country’s state news agency published a rare criticism of Chinese state media commentaries calling for tougher sanctions over the North’s nuclear program.

China Repeats West’s Mistakes in Pakistan

Mihir Sharma
Bloomberg
When President Xi Jinping announced in 2015 that China would pump $46 billion worth of investments into Pakistan, the recipients of his largesse seemed less surprised than one might have expected.

Outrage as Hong Kong Democracy Campaigners Urge U.S. to Get Tough with Beijing

Ng Kang-chung
South China Morning Post
The central government has accused Hong Kong’s highest-profile democracy campaigners of involvement in foreign meddling in China’s internal affairs by addressing a U.S. congressional panel on Wednesday night.

China Tells U.S. and North Korea to ‘Stop Irritating Each Other’

Ben Blanchard
Independent
China has called on all parties in the Korean standoff to stay calm and “stop irritating each other” a day after North Korea said the United States was pushing the region to the brink of nuclear war.

Viewpoint

05.03.17

Thinking about War with China

Chas W. Freeman
Let’s not kid ourselves. The armed forces of the United States and China are now very far along in planning and practicing how to go to war with each other. Neither has any idea when or why it might have to engage the other on the battlefield but...

As U.S. And China Find Common Ground on North Korea, Is Russia the Wild Card?

JAMES PEARSON
Reuters
When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Lunar New Year greetings this year, the first card went to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ahead of leaders from China and other allies of the isolated country, according to its official news agency.

Trump’s Pick for Ambassador to China Says He Will Work with Beijing on North Korea

Anne Gearan
Washington Post
President Trump’s choice to be ambassador to China pledged Tuesday to leverage a personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping to persuade China that it is risking its own security if it fails to prevent a nuclear crisis with North Korea.

How Not to Lose Asia to China

Foreign Policy
This week, the foreign ministers of the 10 countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are coming to Washington for an annual U.S.-ASEAN dialogue.

Depth of Field

05.01.17

From the Inside Looking Out

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Each March, Beijing hosts the “Two Sessions,” massive meetings of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Members of the two bodies of the nation’s legislature meet for a week in the Great Hall of...

Asian Nations Pulled into China’s Orbit as Trump Puts America First

Manuel Mogato, Martin Petty
Reuters
Across Asia, more and more countries are being pulled into Beijing’s orbit, with the timid stance adopted by Southeast Asian nations on the South China Sea at a weekend summit a clear sign this fundamental geostrategic shift is gathering momentum.

Trump Warns North Korea on Missile Tests, Says ‘We’ll See’ If Military Action Is Needed

NBC News
President Donald Trump declared that neither the U.S. nor China would be “happy” if North Korea tested more missiles, and said “we’ll see” if military action would be needed to curb the country’s nuclear ambitions.

Pals Donald Trump and Xi Jinping Still Split on North Korea

BENNY AVNI
Daily Beast
Even President Trump’s newfound and well-advertised friendship with Xi Jinping may not be enough to overcome the sharp differences between the United States’ and China’s goals on North Korea.

China Focus: What to Expect from Belt and Road Forum

Xinhua
The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for mid-May is a high-profile international meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative, a China-proposed trade and infrastructure plan connecting Asia with Europe and Africa.

Anbang, Chinese Company with Global Reach, Faces New Scrutiny

New York Times
Wu Xiaohui, the Chinese tycoon who was in failed talks with President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to buy into a skyscraper project in Manhattan, is fighting allegations of financial chicanery and has threatened to sue a Chinese magazine that...

Holiday Hush as Chinese Tourists Shun South Korean Resort Island amid THAAD Missile Shield Row

liu zhen
South China Morning Post
During the May Day holiday, the Jeju Cruise Terminal in South Korea used to be packed with thousands of passengers from the ports of Shanghai, Tianjin and Qingdao disembarking from large cruise liners and boarding their tourist buses.

Should the Chinese Government Be in American Classrooms?

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Since their beginning in 2005, Confucius Institutes (CIs) have been set up to teach Chinese language classes in more than 100 American colleges and universities, including large and substantial institutions like Rutgers University, the State...

Philippines’ Duterte Says Helpless against China

Channel NewsAsia
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday (Apr 27) there was no point protesting Chinese artificial island building in disputed areas of the South China Sea because it could not be stopped.

China Tried to Hack Group Linked to Controversial Missile Defense System, U.S. Cybersecurity Firm Says

Joshua Berlinger, Juliet Perry
A cybersecurity firm in the United States believes state-sponsored Chinese hackers were trying to infiltrate an organization with connections to a U.S.-built missile system in South Korea that Beijing firmly opposes.

The U.N.’s Role in China’s African Development Agenda

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China’s embrace of multilateral diplomacy in Africa is a relatively new phenomenon. For years, Beijing rejected the Western aid model, preferring instead to work bilaterally with African governments where they often employed aid (or infrastructure)...

Why China’s New Aircraft Carrier Is Significant

CHRISTOPHER BODEEN
ABC
China on Wednesday launched the navy’s second aircraft carrier, its first to be entirely homebuilt.

China Is Crushing South Korea’s Tourism Industry

Alec Macfarlane
CNN
Pro tip for countries looking to keep their tourism numbers up: Don’t annoy China. That’s the lesson South Korea is learning the hard way. The country suffered a 40% plunge in Chinese visitors last month, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.

The North Korea Rhetoric Is Angry -- but Is Conflict Closer?

Joshua Berlinger, Brad Lendon
CNN
U.S. warships and submarines are on the move. North Korea has carried out its largest ever live-fire drill. Washington and Pyongyang are trading inflammatory rhetoric on a weekly basis.

U.S., Russia and China: A Tale of Big Egos, Profound Mistrust and Foolish Nationalism

Joseph Camilleri, La Trobe University
ABC
Mr Trump’s first 100 days as President have dramatically demonstrated this failure. For all the rhetoric about “making America great again”, Mr Trump is rapidly discovering the US has limited capacity to impose its will on the rest of world.

China Finds U.S. Businesswoman Guilty of Stealing State Secrets, Orders Deportation

Newsweek
A Chinese court on Tuesday sentenced a U.S. citizen to three-years and six-months in prison for espionage but then ordered she be deported, her lawyer said, in a case that has added to U.S.-China tension.

Hong Kong Charges Pro-Independence Activists over China Protest

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Hong Kong police have charged two former pro-independence politicians over scuffles in the legislature, amid a widening crackdown on dissenting voices in the former British colony.

Books

04.25.17

China’s Hegemony

Ji-Young Lee
Many have viewed the tribute system as China’s tool for projecting its power and influence in East Asia, treating other actors as passive recipients of Chinese domination. China's Hegemony sheds new light on this system and shows that the international order of Asia’s past was not as Sinocentric as conventional wisdom suggests. Instead, throughout the early modern period, Chinese hegemony was accepted, defied, and challenged by its East Asian neighbors at different times, depending on these leaders’ strategies for legitimacy among their populations. This book demonstrates that Chinese hegemony and hierarchy were not just an outcome of China’s military power or Confucian culture but were constructed while interacting with other, less powerful actors’ domestic political needs, especially in conjunction with internal power struggles.Focusing on China-Korea-Japan dynamics of East Asian international politics during the Ming and High Qing periods, Ji-Young Lee draws on extensive research of East Asian language sources, including records written by Chinese and Korean tributary envoys. She offers fascinating and rich details of war and peace in Asian international relations, addressing questions such as: why Japan invaded Korea and fought a major war against the Sino-Korean coalition in the late sixteenth century; why Korea attempted to strike at the Ming empire militarily in the late fourteenth century; and how Japan created a miniature tributary order posing as the center of Asia in lieu of the Qing empire in the seventeenth century. By exploring these questions, Lee’s in-depth study speaks directly to general international relations literature and concludes that hegemony in Asia was a domestic, as well as an international, phenomenon with profound implications for the contemporary era. —Columbia University Press{chop}

Conversation

04.25.17

What's the Best Way for Trump to Persuade China to Up the Pressure on North Korea?

Michael Swaine, Bruce Klingner & more
China’s President Xi Jinping called U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday morning urging American restraint in reaction to North Korea. Tensions between the United States and North Korea have risen to new levels ever since Pyongyang’s April 16...

Sinica Podcast

04.24.17

Chris Buckley: The China Journalist’s China Journalist

Chris Buckley, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Chris Buckley is a highly regarded and very resourceful correspondent based in Beijing for The New York Times. He has worked as a researcher and journalist in China since 1998, including a stint at Reuters, and is one of the few working China...

Xi, Trump Discuss Ties, Korean Peninsula Situation over Phone

Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Monday discussed bilateral ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula on phone, pledging close contact by various means to promptly exchange views on major issues of common...

China’s Leader Urges Restraint on North Korea in Call With Trump

CHRIS BUCKLEY
New York Times
China’s president, Xi Jinping, has urged President Trump to show restraint toward North Korea despite signs that the North may be preparing a nuclear test. Mr. Xi made the appeal in a phone call with Mr. Trump on Monday that reflected growing alarm...

China Is Sending the U.S. a New Message about North Korea

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
Beijing appears to be sending fresh signals about its view on North Korea, in order to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to take less aggressive action against the rogue nuclear state, several political analysts say.

China Is Squeezing North Korea - but Not Too Hard

Jethro Mullen
CNN
China wields huge influence over the North Korean economy, accounting for more than 80% of its smaller neighbor’s foreign trade and serving as its main gateway to the rest of the world.

Why Xi Jinping Is Planning a Historic Move to Rename China’s Army Corps

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
Army corps in China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are likely to have their unit numbers changed for the first time in their history as part of President Xi Jinping’s efforts to reshape the world’s biggest army, military sources said.

Made-In-China Aircraft Carrier Is Readied for Launch

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
China was making final preparations to launch its first domestically built aircraft carrier as it marked the 68th anniversary of the founding of the PLA Navy on Sunday.

China Reveals New Dongfeng Missiles

Hong Soon-do
Huffington Post
China has been staging its armed demonstrations recently, which seems to be aimed at suppressing rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

US Official: With Eye on North Korea, China Puts Bombers on ‘High Alert’

Ryan Browne, Elise Labott
CNN
China put cruise missile-capable bombers ‘on high alert’ this week as the United States sees evidence the Chinese military is preparing to respond to a potential situation in North Korea, a US defense official told CNN.

Why Trump’s Plan to Use China against North Korea Is Probably Doomed

Zeeshan Aleem
Vox
President Trump believes the road to disarming North Korea runs through China, its biggest and most powerful ally. The problem is that Beijing doesn’t seem willing to do much of anything to rein Pyongyang in.

China Needs Its Friend the Philippines More Than the Philippines Needs China

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
If China can choreograph its own relations with all four Southeast Asian nations that dispute its aggressive, decade-old expansion in the same 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea, it can easily ignore threats from the United States, the world court or...

Why India Can’t Afford to Miss out on China’s Belt and Road Plan

K.S. Venkatachalam
South China Morning Post
India-China relations has been plagued by a low level of trust due to unresolved territorial disputes.

Books

04.21.17

A New Deal for China’s Workers?

Cynthia Estlund
China’s labor landscape is changing, and it is transforming the global economy in ways that we cannot afford to ignore. Once-silent workers have found their voice, organizing momentous protests, such as the 2010 Honda strikes, and demanding a better deal. China’s leaders have responded not only with repression but with reforms. Are China’s workers on the verge of a breakthrough in industrial relations and labor law reminiscent of the American New Deal?In A New Deal for China’s Workers? Cynthia Estlund views this changing landscape through the comparative lens of America’s twentieth-century experience with industrial unrest. China’s leaders hope to replicate the widely shared prosperity, political legitimacy, and stability that flowed from America’s New Deal, but they are irrevocably opposed to the independent trade unions and mass mobilization that were central to bringing it about. Estlund argues that the specter of an independent labor movement, seen as an existential threat to China’s one-party regime, is both driving and constraining every facet of its response to restless workers.China’s leaders draw on an increasingly sophisticated toolkit in their effort to contain worker activism. The result is a surprising mix of repression and concession, confrontation and cooptation, flaws and functionality, rigidity and pragmatism. If China’s laborers achieve a New Deal, it will be a New Deal with Chinese characteristics, very unlike what workers in the West achieved in the last century. Estlund’s sharp observations and crisp comparative analysis make China’s labor unrest and reform legible to Western readers. —Harvard University Press{chop}

Why China’s New Cargo Space Ship Is So Important

Namrata Goswami
Diplomat
China’s first indigenously built Tianzhou cargo ship, which is being launched between April 20 and 24, is a major accomplishment.

China Criticizes North Korea, Praises US on Nuclear Issue

Brad Lendon
CNN
China may be getting fed up with continued nuclear bluster from long-time ally North Korea and tilting toward the United States.

Viewpoint

04.20.17

A Taiwanese Man’s Detention in Guangdong Threatens a Key Pillar of Cross-Straits Relations

Jerome A. Cohen & Yu-Jie Chen
Update: On March 26, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office announced that Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che had been formally arrested on charges of “subverting state power.” Jerome Cohen has added a new comment to this essay. To skip to that...

China Left as Observer as Tensions Rise on Korean Peninsula

Christopher Bodeen
Washington Post
China’s foreign minister recently likened the U.S. and North Korea to two speeding trains hurtling toward each other, an analogy that would seem to place China in the role of helpless bystander. And indeed, while tensions have risen, Beijing has...

South Korea Tells Trump It’s Actually Never Been a Part of China

Bloomberg
South Korea’s government wants to know whether Chinese President Xi Jinping gave alternative facts on the nation’s history to Donald Trump.

Recreating China’s Imagined Empire

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
China’s influence in the world has become a persistent theme of these early days of the Donald Trump era. During his campaign, Trump portrayed China (not entirely incorrectly) as the leading malefactor in the politics of international trade—holding...

China Hits ‘Provocative’ US on North Korea after Saying USS Carl Vinson Was Headed to the Peninsula

News.com.au
China has avoided directly criticising the United States for lying about the course of its nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, but warned that such actions might compromise regional peace.