Sinica Podcast

02.26.11

Troubles and Ambitions in China

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Watch your rice, folks. That’s our takeaway from this week’s Sinica, which ruminates on troubles old and new in the Middle Kingdom. Up for discussion in particular are Chinese activities in Rwanda, dodgy rice, ongoing worker troubles at Apple...

The Secret Politburo Meeting Behind China’s New Democracy Crackdown

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
In an NYRblog post on February 17 (“Middle East Revolutions: The View from China”), I discussed Chinese government’s efforts to block news of the democracy uprisings spreading across the Middle East and speculated how China’s rulers might view those...

Sinica Podcast

02.18.11

Turmoil in Egypt and Groupon

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Welcome back to Sinica after our New Year’s break. And what could headline our first podcast of the New Year but Egypt, where an unexpected political uprising has raised obvious parallels for China-watchers worldwide. Moving beyond the politics of...

Middle East Revolutions: The View from China

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Chinese authorities have done what they can to block news of Egyptian people-power from spreading to China. Reports about Egypt in China’s state-run media have been brief and vacuous. On February 6, at the height of the protests, the People’s Daily...

The Worst Man-Made Catastrophe, Ever

Roderick MacFarquhar from New York Review of Books
When the first waves of Chinese graduate students arrived on American campuses in the early 1980s, they were excited at entering an unfettered learning environment. After the recent ravages of the Cultural Revolution, political science students had...

Reports

02.08.11

Beyond Symbolism? 

Lavina Lee
Cato Institute
The Obama administration has elevated nuclear disarmament to the center of its nuclear agenda through the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia and the release of the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). The administration also...

Reports

02.01.11

Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: The 2012 Election Reforms

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Support for the democratization of Hong Kong has been an element of U.S. foreign policy for over seventeen years. The democratization of Hong Kong is also enshrined in the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s quasi-constitution that was passed by China’s National...

Sinica Podcast

01.21.11

Hu Jintao and the Washington Summit

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
As part of our ongoing efforts to secure the hottest scoops for you, our Sinica team originally planned to storm Hu Jintao’s flight to Washington and record a live podcast with everyone’s favorite chairman during his flight across the Pacific. Sadly...

China: From Famine to Oslo

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Each year around the “sensitive” anniversary of the Beijing massacre of June 4, 1989, Ding Zilin, a seventy-four-year-old retired professor of philosophy, is accompanied by a group of plainclothes police whenever she leaves her apartment to go buy...

Reports

01.01.11

Promises Unfulfilled: An Assessment of China’s National Human Rights Action Plan

Sara Segal-Williams
Human Rights Watch
In 2009, the Chinese government unveiled the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP), the first of its kind in China. However, two years on, deficiencies in the action plan and government failures to adequately implement some of its key...

Reports

01.01.11

Equity and Public Governance in Health System Reform: Challenges and Opportunities for China

Hana Brixi, Yan Mu, Beatrice Targa and David Hipgrave
Sara Segal-Williams
World Bank
Achieving the objective of China's current health system reform, namely equitable improvements in health outcomes, will be difficult not least because of the continuously growing income disparities in the country. The analysis in this paper...

Finding the Facts About Mao’s Victims

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Yang Jisheng is an editor of Annals of the Yellow Emperor, one of the few reform-oriented political magazines in China. Before that, the seventy-year-old native of Hubei province was a national correspondent with the government-run Xinhua news...

Sinica Podcast

12.17.10

China and India

Kaiser Kuo, Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt & more from Sinica Podcast
Asia’s rising colossi share a great deal besides rich cultures, great culinary traditions, billion-plus populations, and a long border. But relations haven’t always been smooth. Have a recent round of border talks, followed up by Premier Wen Jiabao’...

At the Nobel Ceremony: Liu Xiaobo’s Empty Chair

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
On December 10, I attended the award ceremony in Oslo, Norway, for the Nobel Peace Prize, which the government of China had a few days earlier declared to be a “farce.” The recipient was a friend of mine, the Chinese scholar and essayist Liu Xiaobo...

Sinica Podcast

12.10.10

The Wikileaks Revelations, Part III

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
As Interpol deepens its investigation into Mr. Assange’s use of birth control and financial service companies feel the wrath of script-kiddies worldwide, our own crew of Internet vigilantes sifts through the remains of the Wikileaks data-dump in...

Unveiling Hidden China

Christian Caryl from New York Review of Books
Napoleon famously described China as a sleeping giant that would shake the world when it finally awoke. Well, now the giant is up and about, and the rest of us can’t help but notice. 2010, indeed, could well end up being remembered as the year when...

Sinica Podcast

12.04.10

The Wikileaks Revelations, Part II

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser’s despair on learning that last week’s Sinica episode had been lost in a freak weather accident turned quickly to plotting. “We’ll simply have to make up for it somehow,” he mused. Which is how today’s special show came about: a better,...

Sinica Podcast

12.03.10

The Wikileaks Revelations

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In the first of what will likely be many podcasts discussing some of the latest China-related revelations contained in the recent Wikileaks data-dump, our discussion today turns towards North Korea and Chinese diplomatic overtures suggesting that...

Reports

12.01.10

Can China’s Rural Elderly Count on Support from Adult Children? Implications of Rural to Urban Migration

John Giles, Dewen Wang, and Changbao Zhao
World Bank
Support from the family continues to be an important source of support for the rural elderly, particularly the rural elderly over seventy years of age. Decline in likelihood of co-residence with, or in close proximity to, adult children raises the...

A Hero of Our Time

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
On October 8, Liu Xiaobo became the first Chinese to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and one of only three winners ever to receive it while in prison. The Oslo committee had already received a warning from Beijing not to give Liu the prize because he...

Sinica Podcast

10.22.10

Recent Considerations on China

Kaiser Kuo, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
As backdrop for this podcast, Sinica would like to remind our gentle listeners that the word quisling comes from Norway, that barbarous queen of northern Europe whose parliament has recently been condemned internationally for its involvement in a...

Rumblings of Reform in Beijing?

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Over the past six weeks, China’s thin class of the politically aware has been gripped by a faint hope that maybe, against all odds, some sort of political opening might be in the cards this year. Monday’s conclusion of a key Communist Party meeting...

‘A Turning Point in the Long Struggle’: Chinese Citizens Defend Liu Xiaobo

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
It would be hard to overstate how much the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo on October 8 has meant to China’s community of dissidents, bloggers, and activists. Not only has it lifted their spirits tremendously; many also view it as a...

Jailed for Words: Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
On October 8, Liu Xiaobo became the first Chinese to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and one of only three winners ever to receive it while in prison. The Oslo committee had already received a warning from Beijing not to give Liu the prize because he...

Beijing’s Bluster, America’s Quiet: The Disturbing Case of Xue Feng

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Quiet diplomacy, as it’s called, has served for years as the principle guiding U.S. relations with China: the theory is that it is far better to engage the Chinese government quietly, behind the scenes, rather than through more robust public...

The Party: Impenetrable, All Powerful

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In the next few weeks, an event will take place in Beijing on a par with anything dreamed up by a conspiracy theorist. A group of roughly three hundred men and women will meet at an undisclosed time and location to set policies for a sixth of...

Reports

09.23.10

China’s Sovereign Wealth Fund: Developments and Policy Implications

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China’s ruling executive body, the State Council, established the China Investment Corporation (CIC), a sovereign wealth fund, in September 2007 to invest $200 billion of China’s then $1.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. As with other...

Reports

09.21.10

China’s Steel Industry and Its Impact on the United States: Issues for Congress

Rachel Tang
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China’s steel industry has grown significantly since the mid-1990s. China is now the world’s largest steelmaker and steel consumer. The majority of Chinese steel has been used to meet domestic demand in China. However, as its steel production...

Sinica Podcast

09.10.10

Showdown in Shenzhen

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
On September 6, Shenzhen celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its founding as a special economic zone (SEZ). And while the city feted itself at the highest levels of power, its celebrations were marred by an unexpected development: in a speech...

Reports

09.08.10

Winds From the East: How the People’s Republic of China Seeks to Influence the Media in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Douglas Farah and Andy Mosher
Center for International Media Assistance
The People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) is using various components of public diplomacy to influence the media in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. China’s primary purposes appear to be to present China as a reliable friend and partner, as...

What’s Next for Foundations in China?

David Livdahl, Jenny Sheng, Henry Li,...
China Business Review

Sinica Podcast

08.20.10

China’s Troubled Waters

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Are Chinese-American maritime relations running aground? The recent sinking of the South Korean corvette the Cheonan, most likely by China’s unruly client state North Korea, has led to the U.S.S. George Washington participating in naval exercises...

Waiting for WikiLeaks: Beijing’s Seven Secrets

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
While people in the U.S. and elsewhere have been reacting to the release by WikiLeaks of classified U.S. documents on the Afghan War, Chinese bloggers have been discussing the event in parallel with another in their own country. On July 21 in...

Reports

08.01.10

Chess on the High Seas: Dangerous Times for U.S.-China Relations

Michael Mazza
Sara Segal-Williams
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The Obama administration’s hopes that its warmer approach to Beijing would yield a more fruitful Sino-American relationship have been disappointed. Rather than adopting a more cooperative bearing, Beijing has become increasingly assertive over the...

Reports

07.14.10

China and the United States - A Comparison of Green Energy Programs and Policies

Richard J. Campbell
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China has experienced tremendous economic growth over the last three decades, with an annual average increase in gross domestic product of 9.8 percent during that period. This has led to an increasing demand for energy, spurring China to add an...

Reports

07.06.10

U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The United States suspended military contacts with China and imposed sanctions on arms sales in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. In 1993, the Clinton Administration re-engaged with the top PRC leadership, including China's military...

Reports

07.01.10

“Justice, Justice”: The July 2009 Protests in Xinjiang, China

Amnesty International
On July 5, 2009, thousands of Chinese of Uighur ethnicity demonstrated in Urumqi, the regional capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). In the aftermath of the Urumqi protests, the authorities detained more than 1,400 people. In this...

Reports

07.01.10

“I Saw It With My Own Eyes”

Sara Segal-Williams
Human Rights Watch
More than two years after protests—the largest and most sustained in decades—erupted across the Tibetan plateau in March 2008, the Chinese government has yet to explain the circumstances that led to dozens of clashes between protesters and police...

The Message from the Glaciers

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
It was not so long ago that the parts of the globe covered permanently with ice and snow, the Arctic, Antarctic, and Greater Himalayas (“the abode of the snows” in Sanskrit), were viewed as distant, frigid climes of little consequence. Only the most...

Reports

05.26.10

Democratic Reforms in Taiwan: Issues for Congress

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Taiwan, which its government formally calls the Republic of China (ROC), is a success story for U.S. interests in the promotion of universal freedoms and democracy. Taiwan’s people and their leaders transformed politics from rule imposed from the...

Talking About Tibet: An Open Dialogue Between Chinese Citizens and the Dalai Lama

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Following is an English translation of an Internet dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Chinese citizens that took place on May 21. The exchange was organized by Wang Lixiong, a Chinese intellectual known for his writing on Tibet and for theorizing...

Reports

05.21.10

Navigating Climate Change: An Agenda for U.S.-Chinese Cooperation

Jacqueline McLaren Miller and Piin-Fen Kok
EastWest Institute
This paper focuses on two areas that pose the biggest obstacles to progress in bilateral and multilateral efforts to address climate change concerns: the trade-off between emission caps and development goals; and technology transfer and intellectual...

Sinica Podcast

05.21.10

Mao’s Legacy and Foreign Self-Censorship

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Notice your friends holding something back? In this Sinica podcast, we talk about the self-censoring phenomenon that’s taken root among the foreign community in China, and discuss a surprising case which demonstrates exactly the opposite: how one of...

China’s Crackdown on Nonprofit Groups Prompts New Fears Among Activists

Keith B. Richburg
Washington Post
The Chinese government in the past several weeks has intensified a subtle but steady tightening over the country's freewheeling civil society sector, with some nonprofit groups saying they are feeling increasingly harassed, targeted by tax...

Sinica Podcast

05.07.10

Dimensions of China’s Soft Power

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The Beijing Olympics, the Shanghai Expo, the hundreds of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms, and Beijing’s new English-language satellite news networks are all part of a grand Chinese soft power push: an effort to win the world through...

Reports

05.01.10

What to Do About China? 

Doug Bandow
Cato Institute
The United States is the world’s dominant power, and America will remain influential for decades to come. But China is poised to eventually force Washington to share its leadership position. Such a change would be uncomfortable for American...

Sinica Podcast

04.26.10

A Tom Friedman Exclusive

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
As you’re probably aware, earlier this month Hu Jintao hotfooted it to Washington to attend a nuclear security summit and discuss potential United Nations sanctions against Iran.While the rest of the Internet was sleeping on this story, we at Sinica...

Sinica Podcast

04.23.10

The Eulogy and the Aftershocks

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Coming twenty-one years after the death of former Party Secretary Hu Yaobang, Premier Wen Jiabao’s surprise eulogy to his former mentor last week was the subject of much discussion among China-watchers worldwide. In today’s episode of Sinica, we...

Reports

04.21.10

What’s the Difference?—Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
There is a large and growing difference between the official trade statistics released by the United States and the People’s Republic of China. According to the United States, the 2009 bilateral trade deficit with China was $226.8 billion. According...

Reports

04.15.10

East Asian Regional Architecture: New Economic and Security Arrangements and U.S. Policy

Dick K. Nanto
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The global financial crisis, the end of the Cold War, the rise of China, globalization, free trade agreements, the war on terror, and an institutional approach to keeping the peace are causing dramatic shifts in relationships among countries in East...

Sinica Podcast

04.09.10

Iran and the Vaccination Scandal

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Welcome back to the Sinica Podcast, a roundtable on current affairs in China featuring China-watchers from a wide range of backgrounds. In this week’s installment, host Kaiser Kuo talks about China’s delicate maneuvering in the Middle East, as well...

Books

04.01.10

Socialist Insecurity

Mark Frazier
Over the past two decades, China has rapidly increased its spending on its public pension programs, to the point that pension funding is one of the government's largest expenditures. Despite this, only about fifty million citizens—one-third of the country's population above the age of sixty—receive pensions. Combined with the growing and increasingly violent unrest over inequalities brought about by China's reform model, the escalating costs of an aging society have brought the Chinese political leadership to a critical juncture in its economic and social policies.In Socialist Insecurity, Mark W. Frazier explores pension policy in the People's Republic of China, arguing that the government's push to expand pension and health insurance coverage to urban residents and rural migrants has not reduced, but rather reproduced, economic inequalities. He explains this apparent paradox by analyzing the decisions of the political actors responsible for pension reform: urban officials and state-owned enterprise managers. Frazier shows that China's highly decentralized pension administration both encourages the "grabbing hand" of local officials to collect large amounts of pension and other social insurance revenue and compels redistribution of these revenues to urban pensioners, a crucial political constituency.More broadly, Socialist Insecurity shows that the inequalities of welfare policy put China in the same quandary as other large uneven developers—countries that have succeeded in achieving rapid growth but with growing economic inequalities. While most explanations of the formation and expansion of welfare states are derived from experience in today's mature welfare systems, developing countries such as China, Frazier argues, provide new terrain to explore how welfare programs evolve, who drives the process, and who sees the greatest benefit.  —Cornell University Press

Books

04.01.10

Chinese Politics

Stanley Rosen
Written by a team of leading China scholars, this text interrogates the dynamics of state power and legitimation in 21st-century China. Despite the continuing economic successes and rising international prestige of China there has been increasing social protests over corruption, land seizures, environmental concerns, and homeowner movements. Such political contestation presents an opportunity to explore the changes occurring in China today—what are the goals of political contestation, how are Chinese Communist Party leaders legitimizing their rule, who are the specific actors involved in contesting state legitimacy today and what are the implications of changing state-society relations for the future viability of the People’s Republic?  —Routledge

Books

04.01.10

Between Heaven and Modernity

Peter Carroll
Combining social, political, and cultural history, this book examines the contestation over space, history, and power in the late Qing and Republican-era reconstruction of the ancient capital of Suzhou as a modern city. Located fifty miles west of Shanghai, Suzhou has been celebrated throughout Asia as a cynosure of Chinese urbanity and economic plenty for a thousand years. With the city's 1895 opening as a treaty port, businessmen and state officials began to draw on Western urban planning in order to bolster Chinese political and economic power against Japanese encroachment. As a result, both Suzhou as a whole and individual components of the cityscape developed new significance according to a calculus of commerce and nationalism. Japanese monks and travelers, Chinese officials, local people, and others competed to claim Suzhou’s streets, state institutions, historic monuments, and temples, and thereby to define the course of Suzhou’s and greater China’s modernity.  —Stanford University Press

Books

04.01.10

China’s New Nationalism

Peter Gries
Three American missiles hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and what Americans view as an appalling and tragic mistake, many Chinese see as a "barbaric" and intentional "criminal act," the latest in a long series of Western aggressions against China. In this book, Peter Hays Gries explores the roles of perception and sentiment in the growth of popular nationalism in China. At a time when the direction of China's foreign and domestic policies have profound ramifications worldwide, Gries offers a rare, in-depth look at the nature of China's new nationalism, particularly as it involves Sino-American and Sino-Japanese relations—two bilateral relations that carry extraordinary implications for peace and stability in the twenty-first century. Through recent Chinese books and magazines, movies, television shows, posters, and cartoons, Gries traces the emergence of this new nationalism. Anti-Western sentiment, once created and encouraged by China's ruling PRC, has been taken up independently by a new generation of Chinese. Deeply rooted in narratives about past "humiliations" at the hands of the West and impassioned notions of Chinese identity, popular nationalism is now undermining the Communist Party's monopoly on political discourse, threatening the regime's stability. As readable as it is closely researched and reasoned, this timely book analyzes the impact that popular nationalism will have on twenty-first century China and the world.  —University of California Press

Reports

02.17.10

The Iran Nuclear Issue: The View from Beijing

International Crisis Group
The revelation in 2009 of nuclear facilities near Qom intensified international criticism of Iran’s opaque nuclear development. As Western countries prepare to pursue tougher sanctions at the U.N., China’s acquiescence as a permanent Security...

Locked Out: Beijing’s Border Abuse Exposed

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
On February 12, Chinese human rights campaigner Feng Zhenghu was allowed to return to Shanghai after a 92-day stay in diplomatic limbo at the Tokyo Narita airport. Having left China last April to visit family in Japan, Feng, who is a Chinese citizen...

Reports

02.04.10

The 2009 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings and U.S. Trade Policy in Asia

Michael F. Martin
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Congress and the Executive Branch have historically identified the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) as potentially important in the promotion of liberalized international trade and investment in Asia, and possibly the rest of the world...