The Separation Between Mosque and State

Alice Y. Su
Driving through the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province, in China’s northwest, minarets puncture the sky every few minutes. Many rise out of mosques that resemble Daoist temples, their details a blend of traditional Chinese and...

Pope Francis Targets Deal With China in Year of Mercy

Stephanie Kirchgaessner
Agreement on issue of Vatican’s right to appoint bishops in China would be biggest diplomatic feat of Francis’s papacy

China Targets Parents With Religion Rules in Xinjiang

Al Jazeera
Government denies committing abuses and says legal rights of Uighur people are protected as new laws are announced

To Beijing’s Dismay, Jailed Uighur Scholar Wins Human Rights Award

Simon Denyer and Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
A coalition of leading rights groups will bestow their annual award on Ilham Tohti, who is currently serving a life sentence in China

China's Other Muslims

By choosing assimilation, China’s Hui have become one of the world’s most successful Muslim minorities

China Seeks Tighter Grip in Wake of a Religious Revival

Ian Johnson
New York Times
Increased regulations on religion are the latest move by President Xi to strengthen the Communist Party’s control over society and combat foreign influences.

China Says Countering Dalai Lama is Top Ethnic Priority in Tibet

Michael Martina
Region's Communist Party boss vows to uproot the monk's "separatist and subversive" activities...

Depth of Field


African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...



More Than 100 Chinese Muslims Have Joined the Islamic State

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A July 20 report from New America, a think tank in Washington, DC, examined more than 4,000 registration records of fighters who joined the Islamic State between mid-2013 and mid-2014.

Depth of Field


Tornados and Drag Queens

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Being a photojournalist involves reacting to breaking news, a dedication to long-term projects, and everything in between. This month’s showcase of work by Chinese photographers published in Chinese media underscores this range of angles: from the...

Dalai Lama Shares Condolences For Orlando, Says U.S.-China Relations Is Important

Anna Wilding
Huffington Post
President Obama agrees that a meaningful and direct dialogue will help to lower tensions....

China Says Dalai Lama-Obama Meeting Will Damage Bilateral Ties

Megha Rajagopalan
The Tibetan, Buddhist spiritual leader is considered a dangerous separatist....

Xinjiang Residents Must Submit DNA Samples For Passports, Local Officials Say

Members of predominantly Muslim Uighur community are denied passport renewals and face discrimination, just in time for Ramadan....



If China Builds It, Will the Arab World Come?

Kyle Haddad-Fonda
In May 2016, the Emirates airline inaugurated its new direct service to the Chinese city of Yinchuan. Yinchuan joins Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou as destinations served by Emirates, meaning that a passenger who boards a plane in Dubai is now...

Ilham Tohti, Uighur Scholar Jailed in China, Is Nominated for Rights Award

Nick Cumming-Bruce
New York Times
He was chosen by the Martin Ennals Foundation for trying to promote dialogue in the troubled Xinjiang region of China.

Visa Rejection Flap Shows China Wants Tighter Grip On Muslim Far West

Ralph Jennings
Beijing has pressured India into canceling the visas for a pair of independence activists from Xinjiang.

China’s Leader Xi Jinping Reminds Party Members to Be ‘Unyielding Marxist Atheists’

Charlie Campbell
He tells cadres to beware of "overseas infiltrations via religious means."...

What a Semi-Naked Woman Posing by a Lake Says About China’s Relationship With Tibet

Hannah Beech
While professing reverence for Tibetan culture, Beijing is also swift to crack down on Tibetan freedom.

Depth of Field


Meet ‘Depth of Field’: The Month’s Best Chinese Photojournalism

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Welcome to ChinaFile’s inaugural “Depth of Field” column. In collaboration with Yuanjin Photo, an independent photo blog published by photographers Yan Cong and Ye Ming on the Chinese social media platform WeChat, we will highlight new and...

China Official Says Dalai Lama 'Making a Fool' of Buddhism

Ben Blanchard, Rupam Jain and Abhishek...
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader suggested he may not reincarnate, or reincarnate as something inappropriate.

Life in Purgatory: Buddhism Is Growing in China, But Remains in Legal Limbo

Siqi Yang
There are an estimated 245 million Buddhists in China, but the religion faces severe legal and political hurdles.

Exclusive: China Urges Diplomats and U.N. to Boycott Dalai Lama in Geneva

Stephanie Nebehay
Inviting Dalai Lama to the aforementioned event violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.

Why Does China Have Women-Only Mosques?

The old capital of the Song Dynasty is home to women-only mosques with female prayer leaders.



Leave China, Study in America, Find Jesus

Shelly Cai was 18 years old when she left the southern Chinese metropolis of Nanjing to enroll in the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In August 2010, after a 13-hour flight from Shanghai to Chicago and a three-hour bus ride, Cai finally arrived in...



Chinese Students Are Flooding U.S. Christian High Schools

It is no secret that Chinese students are pouring into the United States; over 300,000 of them attended U.S. colleges and universities in 2015 alone, and Chinese are filling up spots in U.S. secondary schools in search of a better education and an...

5 Things to Know About the Chinese New Year

Nash Jenkins
China’s biggest and most ceremonious holiday is a chance to honor one’s ancestors and prepare for the good fortune to come.

Invisible Bridges

Peter Hessler, photo by Davide...
New Yorker
Over the past two centuries, there have been periodic tensions between Russia and China, including some serious border conflicts, and historically Russia has usually held the upper hand. But nowadays, at the personal level, Monteleone notices a...

How China's Celebration of the Year of the Monkey Breaks Down by the Numbers

Jonathan Kaiman
Los Angeles Times
Here’s a further look at the celebrations and some more related numbers.

Chinese Stock Plunge Forces a Trading Halt, and Global Markets Shudder

Keith Bradsher and Amie Tsang
New York Times
The aftershocks carried over to Europe and the United States, where markets fell sharply once again.

Schoolgirl's Death Sparks Riots, Clashes in China's Gansu

Lin Jing
Radio Free Asia
The 13-year-old is believed to have jumped from the top of a tall building after being accused of shoplifting, drawing around 1,000 locals.

China’s Database of ‘Living Buddhas’ Is the Latest Attempt to Control Tibetan Affairs

Hannah Beech
The Chinese government’s self-declared right to choose living Buddhas extends to the Dalai Lama.

China Denounces Dalai Lama's 'Sympathy' for Islamic State

Sui-Lee Wee and Ben Blanchard
"By saying, 'listen, understand and respect' them, it exposes, in his very bones, his sympathy or endorsement for IS."...

China Stick to Right to Decide Reincarnation of Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama and China's officially atheist Communist Party have repeatedly tussled over who has final authority on the issue of reincarnation...

China Bars Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada (and Rights Advocate)

New York Times
A Chinese who moved to Canada as a kid, the charismatic Lin is a practitioner of Falun Gong, the spiritual movement China calls an “evil cult.”



The China Africa Relationship: Crossroads or Cliff?

Cobus van Staden, Eric Olander & more
As we approach the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Johannesburg, we try better to understand the main issues that surely will arise when Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma meet on December 4...

China Aims to Build Its Own Secure Smartphones

Wall Street Journal
State-owned and private tech firms team up to cut cord to U.S. suppliers.



China Censors Online Outcry After ISIS Execution

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On November 18, the Islamic State (IS) released photos of what it claimed were two executed hostages. The photos, appearing in the terrorist group’s English-language magazine Dabiq, depict two men with bloodied faces, the word “executed” emblazoned...



Is China a Credible Partner in Fighting Terror?

Andrew Small, Chen Weihua & more
In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said, “China is also a victim of terrorism. The fight against the ‘East Turkestan Islamic Movement’… should become an important part of the international fight against...

China to Push Cultural 'Blending' in Xinjiang Stability Push

Megha Rajagopalan and Ben Blanchard
China will push the study of Mandarin and the "blending" of different races as part of a new stability push in the troubled far western region of Xinjiang...

Human Rights: What Is China Accused of?

Camila Ruz
China's human rights record has been criticised for years...

In a Region Disturbed by Ethnic Tensions, China Keeps Tight Lid on a Massacre

New York Times
Armed with only knives, the assailants struck at the coal mine in the dead of night.

Dalai Lama: China More Concerned About Future Dalai Lamas Than I Am

Mick Krever
"I have no concern," he told Amanpour in London, adding that it is "possible" he would be the last Dalai Lama...



Meet China’s Salman Rushdie

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On a warm late afternoon in June, I sat with Perhat Tursun as he slowly exhaled a puff of smoke from a blue cigarette with shiny gold trim. Arrayed on the pale lace tablecloth before us was an assortment of nuts, sunflower seeds, and wine. The...

China’s Latest Ally in Its Crackdown on Religion: The Pope

Zheping Huang
This week, Chinese president Xi Jinping and Pope Francis missed each other on their back-to-back visits to the United States.

China Micromanages Tibet, Floods It With Money to Woo Locals

Nearly 6,500 civil servants have been dispatched to manage hefty budgets and shape Tibet's modernization...



‘God’s United Front’ and the Battle Over China’s Crosses

This article first appear in Chinese on September 2 in Hong Kong-based outlet The Initium Media. Foreign Policy translates with permission, with edits for brevity and clarity.On the evening of August 16, nearly one hundred pastors, ministers, and...

I’m with the Banned: China Blocks Bon Jovi Gigs

Jennifer Duggan
U.S. group were due to perform first China shows next week, but previous use of Dalai Lama image may have prompted officia intervention.

Inside the Quiet Lives of China’s Disappearing Tibetan Nomads

Rachel Lowry, photos by Kevin Frayer
As settlements see an influx of Tibetans, the transition is difficult for these nomad-turned-villagers.

Suspect in Bangkok Bombing Has Chinese Passport, Thailand Says

Thomas Fuller
New York Times
The bombing was connected to the grievances of Uighurs who say they are oppressed by ethnic Han.

Who Loses Most from Chaos in China—And Some Possible Silver Linings

Washington Post
The panic may weaken demand for U.S. exports. But that could make some goods cheaper for consumers.

Tibet’s Road Ahead

Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
Tibetans complain that they live, essentially, as second-class citizens in their own land. Their language, culture and faith are all under pressure. They attend substandard schools and, if they manage to get an education, lack the same job...

Confucius Says, Xi Does

Since he came to power in 2012, Mr Xi has sought to elevate Confucius—whom Mao vilified—as the grand progenitor of Chinese culture.

China Cracks Down on Hong Kong Evangelists

Juliana Liu
A 2014 survey of more than 1,000 Protestant churches in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Church Renewal Movement gives some insight into their activities.



China: The Best and the Worst Place to Be a Muslim Woman

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A woman’s solitary voice, earthy and low, rises above the seated worshipers. More than 100 women stand, bow, and touch their foreheads to the floor as a female imam leads evening prayers at a women-only mosque during the first week of Islam’s holy...

Chinese Tourists Warned over Turkey Uighur Protests

China advised citizens against travelling to Turkey after it said several tourists were attacked in protests over the Chinese government's treatment of Uighur Muslims...

China Concerned Over Turkish Religious Complaints

The Associated Press
Washington Post
China expressed displeasure with Turkey’s complaints about restrictions on worship and fasting by Uighur Muslims during Ramadan.

'Ghost Fleet' Depicts War Between China, U.S.

Tom Risen
USA Today
Peter Singer and August Cole expand their research as analysts into the realm of imagination about a future that could find the U.S. at war with China.