• Hugo Hu—Getty Images

    What Impact Would a U.S. Debt Default Have on China?

    Arthur R. Kroeber

    The big political drama in Washington in the next few months will be the fight over the federal debt ceiling. The worst-case scenario is that Congress refuses to raise the ceiling and the U.S. Treasury defaults on its debt. Since U.S. treasury debt powers the entire world financial system, the result could be a massive global economic crisis. If that happens, how well would the world’s second-biggest economy, China, survive the crash? And would a U.S. default give China an opening to create a... Read full story>>

  • Goh Chai Hin—AFP/Getty Images

    Planting the Flag in Mosques and Monasteries

    Jessica Batke

    Over the last few years, the Chinese Communist Party has physically remade places of religious worship in western China to its liking. This includes not only the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, but also other areas with mosques or Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries. Eight Chinese government procurement notices, issued between 2018 and 2021, show local officials seeking to sinify religious sites in Gansu, Qinghai, and Sichuan provinces, as well as in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region... Read full story>>

  • Rungroj Yongrit—AFP/Getty Images

    Xi Jinping’s Charm Offensive in Southeast Asia

    A China in the World Podcast

    Paul Haenle & Hoang Thi Ha via Carnegie China

    Following the 20th Party Congress, China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping engaged in a flurry of high-level diplomatic meetings with heads of state from dozens of countries in East and Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In this episode of the China in the World podcast, Paul Haenle speaks with Hoang Thi Ha, Senior Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, about Xi’s recent diplomacy, China-ASEAN relations, U.S.-China competition in Southeast Asia, and environmental issues in the Mekong... Read full story>>

  • The Class of ’77

    A Q&A with Jaime FlorCruz

    Susan Jakes

    In August 1971, Jaime FlorCruz arrived in Beijing for a short trip to learn about Maoist China. Just days later, the Filipino college student learned he had been put on a blacklist by then President Ferdinand Marcos. Facing certain arrest and likely execution should he return, FlorCruz remained in China as an exile. He worked on a farm, learned Chinese, and was admitted to the prestigious Peking University as part of the first cohort accepted by nationwide exam in more than a decade. His... Read full story>>

  • Athit Perawongmetha—AFP/Getty Images

    How Well Is China Advancing Its Interests in Southeast Asia?

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Gregory B. Poling, Sharon Seah & more via ChinaFile Conversation

    Xi Jinping traveled to Southeast Asia last month to attend the G20 summit in Bali before moving on to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ meeting in Bangkok. The meetings came on the heels of Premier Li Keqiang’s appearance at the ASEAN summit, where he repeatedly underscored the “shared future” of Southeast Asia and China. But what does that shared future look like? For 13 years, China has been Southeast Asia’s largest trading partner. Chinese roads, Chinese... Read full story>>

  • Kena Betancur—AFP/Getty Images

    In China’s Diaspora, Visions of a Different Homeland

    Yangyang Cheng

    At the beginning, there were songs. It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving. In the storied New England town, over a hundred of us had gathered for the candlelight vigil. After a fire claimed at least ten lives in a locked-down building in Urumchi, and thousands across China took to the streets to protest against the government’s draconian zero-COVID policy, solidarity rallies have blossomed in the diaspora. Many are organized by overseas Chinese students. I came to the one held on the campus where... Read full story>>

  • Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

    China in Protest

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Guobin Yang, Taisu Zhang & more via ChinaFile Conversation

    Over the weekend, large demonstrations broke out in cities across China. The protests followed news, spread rapidly across Chinese and international social media, that a fire in an apartment building in Xinjiang’s capital of Urumchi on Friday had turned deadly, claiming at least 10 lives, possibly as a result of the region’s COVID lockdowns. Throngs of residents took to the streets in anger, where the singing of “The Internationale” and China’s national anthem mingled with calls to end the zero... Read full story>>

  • Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images

    U.S.-China Relations after the U.S. Midterms

    A China in the World Podcast

    Paul Haenle, Yun Sun & more via Carnegie China

    Amid the war in Ukraine, the Biden administration has maintained focus on China and enjoyed robust bipartisan support for pursuing a tough approach to Beijing. Recent U.S. export controls on semiconductors and related chip manufacturing equipment have raised the stakes of U.S.-China competition, and many in China now feel as though the United States is seeking to slow China’s rise. Beijing, for its part, is not backing down from U.S. pressure. Unprecedented military drills around Taiwan after U... Read full story>>

Recent Stories

Excerpts

11.22.22

The Appliances Are Listening

Aynne Kokas
Americans’ addiction to low-cost consumer products, particularly connected (or “smart”) devices, has led to a world where data security takes a back seat to affordability. Consumer products have razor-thin profit margins, making everything from...

Viewpoint

11.01.22

In Tibet, Officials’ Pursuit of Zero-COVID Sent Tens of Thousands into Mass ‘Isolation’ Facilities

Robert Barnett
The general attitude in Lhasa since early September has been marked by concern and discontent. Its focus has been primarily on the mass transfer by city officials of thousands of citizens to isolation camps, and on the ways in which officials have...

Conversation

11.11.22

The Beginning of the End for Zero-COVID?

Taylor Loeb, Johanna M. Costigan & more
At the end of October, videos began circulating on social media of workers at an iPhone plant in the city of Zhengzhou fleeing factory grounds to escape a quarantine lockdown of some 200,000 employees. Whether the workers wanted to escape the...

China’s Next Act

Susan Jakes & Scott Moore
While discussions of U.S.-China relations tend to revolve around trade and national security, more focus ought to be given to issues of environmental sustainability, including health, and to emerging technology, argues the University of Pennsylvania...

Media

11.07.22

ChinaFile Presents: Nury Turkel, No Escape

Nury Turkel & Jessica Batke
In his recent book, No Escape: The True Story of China’s Genocide of the Uyghurs, attorney and activist Nury Turkel tells his personal story—his birth in a re-education camp in China, his journey to the United States, and his career working to end...

How to Become a Better Firefighter in Gansu? Read ‘1984,’ ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ and ‘The Complete Book of Jewish Wisdom’

Jeffrey Sequeira
On April 23, 2022, the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) marked World Book Day with a meeting in Beijing to “study and implement the important instructions of Party General Secretary Xi Jinping and...

Explore the Site

The New York Review of Books China Archive

from New York Review of Books
Welcome to the New York Review of Books China Archive, a collaborative project of ChinaFile.org and The New York Review of Books. In the archive you will find a compilation of full-length essays and book reviews on China dating from the Review'...

Photography & Video

Photo Gallery

07.24.19

‘I Love HK but Hate It at the Same Time’

Todd R. Darling
A central issue many of the Hong Kong people in my portraits are wrestling with is how to define an identity and being challenged in that pursuit by cultural, social, or political pressures. There is a lot of frustration and anger over the recent...

Books

Books

03.12.20

China and Intervention at the UN Security Council

Courtney J. Fung
Oxford University Press: What explains China’s response to intervention at the UN Security Council? China and Intervention at the UN Security Council argues that status is an overlooked determinant in understanding its decisions, even in the apex cases that are shadowed by a public discourse calling for foreign-imposed regime change in Sudan, Libya, and Syria. It posits that China reconciles its status dilemma as it weighs decisions to intervene, seeking recognition from both its intervention peer groups of great powers and developing states. Understanding the impact and scope of conditions of status answers why China has taken certain positions regarding intervention and how these positions were justified. Foreign policy behavior that complies with status, and related social factors like self-image and identity, means that China can select policy options bearing material costs. China and Intervention at the UN Security Council draws on an extensive collection of data, including over two hundred interviews with UN officials and Chinese foreign policy elites, participant observation at UN Headquarters, and a dataset of Chinese-language analysis regarding foreign-imposed regime change and intervention. The book concludes with new perspectives on the malleability of China’s core interests, insights about the application of status for cooperation, and the implications of the status dilemma for rising powers.{chop}

Books

03.24.20

Vernacular Industrialism in China

Eugenia Lean
Columbia University Press: In early 20th-century China, Chen Diexian (1879-1940) was a maverick entrepreneur—at once a prolific man of letters, captain of industry, magazine editor, and cosmetics magnate. He tinkered with chemistry in his private studio, used local cuttlefish to source magnesium carbonate, and published manufacturing tips in how-to columns. In a rapidly changing society, Chen copied foreign technologies and translated manufacturing processes from abroad to produce adaptations of global commodities that bested foreign brands. Engaging in the worlds of journalism, industry, and commerce, he drew on literati practices associated with late-imperial elites but deployed them in novel ways within a culture of educated tinkering that generated industrial innovation.Through the lens of Chen’s career, Eugenia Lean explores how unlikely individuals devised unconventional, homegrown approaches to industry and science in early 20th-century China. She contends that Chen’s activities exemplify “vernacular industrialism,” the pursuit of industry and science outside of conventional venues, often involving ad hoc forms of knowledge and material work. Lean shows how vernacular industrialists accessed worldwide circuits of law and science and experimented with local and global processes of manufacturing to navigate, innovate, and compete in global capitalism. In doing so, they presaged the approach that has helped fuel China’s economic ascent in the 21st century. Rather than conventional narratives that depict China as belatedly borrowing from Western technology, Vernacular Industrialism in China offers a new understanding of industrialization, going beyond material factors to show the central role of culture and knowledge production in technological and industrial change.{chop}

Reports

Reports

01.12.21

Precarious Progress

Darius Longarino
Darius Longarino
OutRight Action International
Whether state decisionmakers in the coming years and decades will pursue policies to protect the equal rights for LGBT people will come down to a mix of ideology, pragmatism, and public pressure. LGBT advocates are striving to turn that calculus in...

Reports

02.01.21

Hong Kong’s National Security Law

Lydia Wong and Thomas Kellogg
Lydia Wong & Thomas Kellogg
The Center for Asian Law at Georgetown University
The National Security Law (NSL) constitutes one of the greatest threats to human rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong since the 1997 handover. This report analyzes the key elements of the NSL, and attempts to gauge the new law’s impact on human...