• (ChinaFile)

    Despite Government Assurances, Medical Workers in Hubei Say They Lack Supplies

    Tracy Wen Liu

    Amid quickly changing news about the trajectory of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, on February 20, the Chinese government body overseeing the response to the epidemic announced that medical supplies adequate to combating the spread of the disease were now “generally guaranteed.” China Daily tweeted the news with the headline, “Shortage of Medical Supplies in Hubei Ends.” I have spent the past month trying to organize shipments of donations of medical gear to hospitals in Hubei... Read full story>>

  • Ali for ChinaFile

    ‘They Feel Like They Can’t Go Home’

    For Hui Students of Islam in China and Abroad, Growing Restrictions and Rising Fear

    Ali & Muyi Xiao

    In September 2014, while waiting for access to photograph Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, a Chinese photographer who calls himself “Ali” came upon a large group of students from his home country at a local restaurant. He knew that many young Chinese people study in countries like the U.S. and Australia, but he wondered why they’d choose to study in Jordan. The students explained that they were Hui, members of a group of roughly 10.5 million Chinese Muslims the People’s Republic of China... Read full story>>

  • Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

    American Company Sold DNA Analysis Equipment to Security Officials in Xinjiang, Documents Show

    Jessica Batke & Mareike Ohlberg

    In 2015, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau announced it planned to purchase equipment from the U.S.-based biotechnology company Promega for the purpose of analyzing DNA and adding it to a national database, according to Chinese government procurement documents. Read full story>>

  • Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

    Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear

    An Essay by Xu Zhangrun, Translated and Annotated by Geremie R. Barmé

    Xu Zhangrun & Geremie R. Barmé

    Overnight, the country found itself in the grip of a devastating crisis; fear was stalking the land. The authorities proved themselves to be at a loss and the cost of their behavior was soon visited upon the common people. Before long, the coronavirus was reaching around the globe and the country found itself becoming rapidly isolated from the world. It was as though the China of the Open Door and Reform policies for more than three decades was being destroyed in front of our eyes. It seemed as... Read full story>>

  • Getty Images

    Public Anger Over Coronavirus Is Mounting. Will It Matter?

    A ChinaFile Conversation

    Daniel Mattingly, Chenjian Li & more via ChinaFile Conversation

    The coronavirus outbreak that exploded three weeks ago in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has prompted the most severe government actions in three decades. Cities are closed down, transport links broken, and tens of millions of people effectively quarantined. The death of whistleblowing doctor Li Wenliang, one of several healthcare workers who attempted to draw attention to the virus at the start of the year, has prompted online rage, while economic growth forecasts have been slashed. At a... Read full story>>

  • Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

    How Much Could a New Virus Damage Beijing’s Legitimacy?

    Taisu Zhang

    A month into the coronavirus epidemic that has swept across China, the details of the Chinese government’s political and administrative response remain highly ambiguous. What has been unmistakable, however, is the volume and intensity of social anxiety, much of which has been channeled into open skepticism of governmental activity. Even a cursory glance at Weibo will reveal an enormous amount of criticism, both veiled and direct, at the official response. Compared to other political challenges... Read full story>>

  • Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

    What a Picture of China’s One-Child Policy Leaves Out

    Three Views of Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang’s ‘One Child Nation’

    Jie Li, Susan Greenhalgh & more

    Brainwashed? Reflections on Propaganda in One Child NationBy Jie LiOne Child Nation, a documentary distributed by Amazon Studios which was shortlisted for an Academy Award, is becoming one of the most influential films about China in the United States. Marketed as “the truth beyond the propaganda,” the film’s opening credits juxtapose luminous jars of aborted and abandoned fetuses against a military parade of robotic marching soldiers. Equating propaganda with lies, violence, and farce, One... Read full story>>

  • Kevin Frayer—Getty Images

    A Better China Strategy for International Civil Society

    Bertram Lang

    Much of the European and American debate about China’s Foreign NGO Law has revolved around the trade-offs and opportunities associated with continuing activities in mainland China. However, the issues internationally operating NGOs face are far bigger than that. Chinese investors are influential in virtually every country and region of the Global South, the Chinese government has a pivotal role in climate diplomacy, and China’s influence is growing in the UN system and wherever else the rules... Read full story>>

Recent Stories

Conversation

12.30.19

What’s Next for Taiwan?

Brian Hioe, Evan Dawley & more
On January 11, Taiwanese will go to the polls. Their election pits the incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which favors greater distance from Beijing, against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomingtang,...
12.03.19

Chinese Government Says it Will Sanction U.S. NGOs in Hong Kong

The Chinese government plans to sanction at least five U.S. NGOs with offices in Hong Kong, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesperson told reporters at a press conference on December 2. Hua Chunying described the move as a response to the U.S...

Viewpoint

09.28.19

A Birthday Letter to the People’s Republic

Yangyang Cheng
Dear People’s Republic, Or should I call you, China? I am writing to you on the eve of your 70th birthday. 70, what an age. “For a man to live to 70 has been rare since ancient times,” the poet Du Fu wrote in the eighth century. You have outlived...

Viewpoint

10.18.19

Converting the Converters

Darius Longarino
Chinese LGBT advocates have set out to convince China’s mental health field that being professionally competent means being LGBT-affirming (and for the already LGBT-friendly counselors, that mere friendliness is not enough—they also need to have...

Postcard

08.28.19

Thwarted at Home, Can China’s Feminists Rebuild a Movement Abroad?

Shen Lu & Mengwen Cao
A small number of China’s feminist movement’s influential thinkers and organizers have relocated overseas, in search of an environment more hospitable to their activism. Today, though their numbers are relatively small, they have succeeded in...

Photography & Video

Depth of Field

12.31.19

‘Nowhere to Dock’

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
In 2019, Depth of Field showcased stories covering a range of topics: Shi Yangkun’s nostaglic exploration of China’s last collective villages, Zhu Lingyu’s careful and artisitic portrayal of survivors of sexual violence, and cities seen through the...

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...

Depth of Field

07.01.19

The Journey of a Bra

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Many of the photo stories in this edition of Depth of Field cover issues relating to women and gender, including a piece on women from Madagascar married to men in rural Zhejiang province, artistic photo collaborations with women and men who have...

Books

Books

02.24.20

Fateful Triangle

Tanvi Madan
Brookings Institution Press: In this Asian century, scholars, officials, and journalists are increasingly focused on the fate of the rivalry between China and India. They see the U.S.’s relationships with the two Asian giants as now intertwined, after having followed separate paths during the Cold War.In Fateful Triangle, Tanvi Madan argues that China’s influence on the U.S.-India relationship is neither a recent nor a momentary phenomenon. Drawing on documents from India and the United States, she shows that American and Indian perceptions of and policy toward China significantly shaped U.S.-India relations in three crucial decades, from 1949 to 1979. Fateful Triangle updates our understanding of the diplomatic history of U.S.-India relations, highlighting China’s central role in it; reassesses the origins and practice of Indian foreign policy and nonalignment; and provides historical context for the interactions between the three countries.Madan’s assessment of this formative period in the triangular relationship is of more than historic interest. A key question today is whether the United States and India can, or should, develop ever-closer ties as a way of countering China’s desire to be the dominant power in the broader Asian region. Fateful Triangle argues that history shows such a partnership is neither inevitable nor impossible. A desire to offset China brought the two countries closer together in the past, and could do so again. A look to history, however, also shows that shared perceptions of an external threat from China are necessary, but insufficient, to bring India and the United States into a close and sustained alignment. That requires agreement on the nature and urgency of the threat, as well as how to approach the threat strategically, economically, and ideologically.With its long view, Fateful Triangle offers insights for both present and future policymakers as they tackle a fateful, and evolving, triangle that has regional and global implications.{chop}

Books

02.18.20

Vigil

Jeffrey Wasserstrom
Columbia Global Reports: The rise of Hong Kong is the story of a miraculous post-war boom, when Chinese refugees flocked to a small British colony, and, in less than 50 years, transformed it into one of the great financial centers of the world. The unraveling of Hong Kong, on the other hand, shatters the grand illusion of China ever having the intention of allowing democratic norms to take root inside its borders. Hong Kong’s people were subjects of the British Empire for more than a hundred years, and now seem destined to remain the subordinates of today’s greatest rising power.But although we are witnessing the death of Hong Kong as we know it, this is also the story of the biggest challenge to China’s authoritarianism in 30 years. Activists who are passionately committed to defending the special qualities of a home they love are fighting against Beijing’s crafty efforts to bring the city into its fold—of making it a centerpiece of its “Greater Bay Area” megalopolis.Jeffrey Wasserstrom draws on his many visits to the city, and knowledge of the history of repression and resistance, to help us understand the deep roots and the broad significance of the events we see unfolding day by day in Hong Kong. The result is a riveting tale of tragedy but also heroism—one of the great David-versus-Goliath battles of our time, pitting determined street protesters against the intransigence of Xi Jinping, the most ambitious leader of China since the days of Mao.{chop}

Reports

Reports

09.01.17

The Costs of International Advocacy

Human Rights Watch
Even as it engages with U.N. human rights institutions, China has worked consistently and often aggressively to silence criticism of its human rights record before U.N. bodies and has taken actions aimed at weakening some of the central mechanisms...

Reports

05.24.17

China’s Social Credit System: A Big-Data Enabled Approach to Market Regulation with Broad Implications for Doing Business in China

Mirjam Meissner
Mirjam Meissner
Mercator Institute for China Studies
Under the catchphrase “Social Credit System,” China is currently implementing a new and highly innovative approach to monitoring, rating, and regulating the behavior of market participants. The Social Credit System will have significant impact on...

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