China Opposes Interference After Vatican Concern Over Bishop

CNA
Channel NewsAsia
China said on Tuesday it opposed outside interference in its internal affairs after the Vatican expressed concern about a Chinese bishop it said had been "removed"...

Sinica Podcast

06.23.17

Islamophobia in China, Explained

Kaiser Kuo, Alice Y. Su & more from Sinica Podcast
Islamophobia isn’t a phenomenon limited to Trump’s America or the Europe of Brexit and Marine Le Pen. It has taken root in China, too—in a form that bears a striking resemblance to what we’ve seen in recent years in the West. The Chinese Party-state...

Unless China Changes Tack, India Won’t Be the Only Country Opposing One Belt, One Road

Harsh V Pant
Quartz
India said about OBOR that “no country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

China’s Astounding Religious Revival

Roderick MacFarquhar from New York Review of Books
If there were just one Chinese in the world, he could be the lonely sage contemplating life and nature whom we come across on the misty mountains of Chinese scrolls. If there were two Chinese in the world, a man and a woman, lo, the family system is...

China Is Touting Its Protection of Human Rights in a Muslim-Majority Region Riven by Violence

Quartz
China put out a policy paper today on human rights in the Muslim-heavy Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the Chinese government has been cracking down extensively in recent years.

The Curious Rise of the ‘White Left’ as a Chinese Internet Insult

chenchen zhang
If you look at any thread about Trump, Islam or immigration on a Chinese social media platform these days, it’s impossible to avoid encountering the term baizuo (白左), or literally, the ‘white left’. It first emerged about two years ago, and yet has...

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.

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}

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.

Media

04.19.17

ChinaFile Presents: Ian Johnson on ‘The Souls of China’

Ian Johnson & Ian Buruma
On April 13, ChinaFile and The New York Review of Books co-hosted the launch of author Ian Johnson’s new book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao at the Asia Society’s New York headquarters. Johnson discussed the book with Ian...

China Names Areas in Region Disputed with India to Assert Claims

Reuters
China has issued standardized spellings of the names of six places in a region disputed with India, in what China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday was an assertion of sovereignty.

Dalai Lama’s Journey Provokes China, and Hints at His Heir

New York Times
It has been a hard journey for the 81-year-old Dalai Lama, perhaps his last over the mountain passes at the edge of China, to a town that has played a fateful role in his life, and in the history of Tibetan Buddhism.

As Atheist China Warms to the Vatican, Religious Persecution ‘Intensifies’

James Griffiths and Matt Rivers
CNN
According to a new report from U.S.-based NGO Freedom House, persecution of Chinese Christians and other faith groups has “intensified” in recent years.

Books

02.16.17

Chinese Theology

Chloë Starr
In this groundbreaking and authoritative study, Chloë Starr explores key writings of Chinese Christian intellectuals, from philosophical dialogues of the late imperial era to micro-blogs of pastors in the 21st century. Through a series of close textual readings, she sheds new light on such central issues in Chinese theology as Christian identity and the evolving question of how Christians should relate to society and state.Reading these texts in their socio-political and traditional literary contexts, Starr opens a new conversation about the nature of Chinese theology and the challenge it offers to a broad understanding of how theology is created and contextualized. Concentrating on those theologians who have engaged most actively with their cultural and political milieus, Starr argues throughout her readings, as she examines how Chinese literary traditions and reading patterns have shaped Chinese theology, that text is as important as context. —Yale University Press{chop}

China and Vatican Near Pivotal Deal on Bishops

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
Accord would help end decades of estrangement between Beijing and Catholic Church

Books

02.07.17

Shanghai Faithful

Jennifer Lin
Within the next decade, China could be home to more Christians than any other country in the world. Through the 150-year saga of a single family, this book vividly dramatizes the remarkable religious evolution of the world’s most populous nation. Shanghai Faithful is both a touching family memoir and a chronicle of the astonishing spread of Christianity in China. Five generations of the Lin family—buffeted by history’s crosscurrents and personal strife—bring to life an epoch that is still unfolding.A compelling cast—a poor fisherman, a doctor who treated opium addicts, an Ivy League-educated priest, and the charismatic preacher Watchman Nee—sets the book in motion. Veteran journalist Jennifer Lin takes readers from remote nineteenth-century mission outposts to the thriving house churches and cathedrals of today’s China. The Lin family—and the book’s central figure, the Reverend Lin Pu-chi—offer witness to China’s tumultuous past, up to and beyond the betrayals and madness of the Cultural Revolution, when the family’s resolute faith led to years of suffering. Forgiveness and redemption bring the story full circle. With its sweep of history and the intimacy of long-hidden family stories, Shanghai Faithful offers a fresh look at Christianity in China—past, present, and future. —Rowman & Littlefield{chop}

China, United States cannot afford conflict: Chinese foreign minister

Colin Packham
Reuters
There would be no winner from conflict between China and the United States, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned on Tuesday, seeking to dampen tension between the two nations that flared after the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. 

China Says ‘Reasonable Concerns’ Must Be Factored into Trump Travel Bans

South China Morning Post
China is building diplomatic role in Middle East, and has close ties with Iran and Sudan, two of Trump’s seven proscribed countries

China Says Hopes Mongolia Learned Lesson after Dalai Lama Visit

Reuters
China said on Tuesday it hopes Mongolia has learned a lesson and will keep a promise not to invite the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama again after his visit in November led to a chill in relations.

Sinica Podcast

01.19.17

The State of Journalism in China—Ed Wong’s Exit Interview

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
Edward Wong became a reporter for The New York Times in 1999. He covered the Iraq war from Baghdad from 2003 to 2007, and then moved to Beijing in 2008. He has written about a wide range of subjects in China for the Times, and became its Beijing...

Sinica Podcast

01.13.17

Can the Vatican and China Get Along?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
Ian Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has lived in Beijing and Taiwan for more than half of the past 30 years, writing for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and other publications. He has...

Xinjiang Attack: Four 'Terrorists' and One Bystander Killed, Says China

Reuters
Guardian
Assailants shot dead after driving up to regional Communist party headquarters and setting off bomb, according to official media, in flare-up in Uighur region

In China’s Tiny Catholic Community, Hopes Rise for Beijing- Vatican Ties

Rob Schmitz
NPR
Beijing and the Vatican seem to want to come to an agreement, though who has the last word in appointing bishops is still a point of contention

Tibetan Leader Urges Trump to Confront China on Rights

Sanjeev Miglani
Reuters
The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile said he was encouraged by Trump’s tough stand on China

Popular Chinese Muslim Website Down After Posting Letter Critical of Xi

Christian Shepherd
Reuters
Users of China Muslim Net say they have been unable to access the website since Saturday

Two Movies China Desperately Wants to Hide

Jeff Jacoby
Boston Globe
In China, prisoners of conscience are literally being butchered. These films take a look inside China's organ harvesting market. ...

China and the Church: The “Outlaw” Do-It-Yourself Bishop

Carrie Grace
BBC
Mr. Dong is a thorn in the side of both the Vatican and the Chinese state. This 58-year-old laborer from a village in northern China calls himself a bishop

Michael Flynn, a Top Trump Adviser, Ties China and North Korea to Islamists

Edward Wong
New York Times
Flynn believes China and N. Korea are allied with militant Islamists bent on imposing their religious ideology worldwide

China’s Approach to the Middle East Looks Familiar

Massoud Hayoun
Diplomat
Despite repudiating American foreign policy, China now borrows heavily from U.S.-style Middle Eastern diplomacy

China is Confiscating the Passports of Citizens in its Muslim-Heavy Region

Echo Huang
Quartz
China is requiring all residents in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to turn in their passports to help the government “maintain social order”

Dalai Lama Says He Will Visit Trump in Move Bound to Anger China

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
"I think there are some problems to go to United States, so I will go to see the new president," the Dalai Lama told reporters, without elaborating...

Depth of Field

11.08.16

Dongbei’s Last Match Factory, Capital Straphangers, Retracing the Long March...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
In October, several publications marked the 80th Anniversary of the Chinese Communists’ Long March. We have chosen two stories that revisited this event and that were standouts, visually. Elsewhere, photographers followed stories both large and...

China Mayor Probed After ‘Minority Women Use Witchcraft to Ensnare Men’ Comments

Neil Connor
Telegraph
A top official apparently veered from a seemingly positive agenda to highlight concerns about the minority, which is known in China for being superstitious

A Plea to Britain: Don’t Forget Tibet in Your Dealings With China

Lobsang Sangay
Guardian
Britain has a fine history of upholding the democratic values of Tibet. It must do once again as it negotiates business and trade ties with Beijing

Features

10.21.16

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
Guardian
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

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

Depth of Field

09.12.16

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...

Media

07.21.16

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

07.01.16

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

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

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

Postcard

05.05.16

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

Depth of Field

04.03.16

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...
Reuters
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
Time
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
Reuters
Inviting Dalai Lama to the aforementioned event violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.

Why Does China Have Women-Only Mosques?

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