Willem Wernsen

Willem Wernsen, born in 1954 in Amersfoort, Netherlands, is a freelance photographer who focuses on social documentary. He is a member of the Dutch Professional Photographers Association. Before turning to photography, he worked as a butcher and later a market superintendent in his hometown. He has published three books of photography: Beautiful People (2003); Timeless (2011); and Behind the Great Wall (2014), a photojournal of his 5-week trip to China in 1999.

His series "Chinese Factory Workers" was on display at the international FotoFestival Naarden in the Netherlands in 2013. A year later, he participated as a member of the Dutch Naarden delegation to Photoville in NewYork. In November 2014, he was invited to participate in the fifth Jinan International Photography Biennial at the Art Gallery of Shandong Art Museum in Jinan, China. In December 2014, his "Chinese Factory Workers" series was included in the exposition "Faces of China" on the occasion of the international photo festival Brugge Foto 14 in Bruges, Belgium.

Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy

In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Lhasa, leaving the People's Republic of China with a crisis on its Tibetan frontier. Sulmaan Wasif Khan tells the story of the PRC's response to that crisis and, in doing so, brings to life an extraordinary cast of characters: Chinese diplomats appalled by sky burials, Guomindang spies working with Tibetans in Nepal, traders carrying salt across the Himalayas, and Tibetan Muslims rioting in Lhasa. 

What Chinese policymakers confronted in Tibet, Khan argues, was not a "third world" but a "fourth world" problem: Beijing was dealing with peoples whose ways were defined by statelessness. As it sought to tighten control over the restive borderlands, Mao's China moved from a lighter hand to a harder, heavier imperial structure. That change triggered long-lasting shifts in Chinese foreign policy. Moving from capital cities to far-flung mountain villages, from top diplomats to nomads crossing disputed boundaries in search of pasture, this book shows Cold War China as it has never been seen before and reveals the deep influence of the Tibetan crisis on the political fabric of present-day China. —The University of North Carolina Press

Frank Talk About Hong Kong’s Future from Margaret Ng

Following is the transcript of a recent ChinaFile Breakfast with Margaret Ng, the former Hong Kong legislator in discussion with Ira Belkin of New York University Law School and Orville Schell, ChinaFile Publisher and Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society. Full-length video of the discussion at Asia Society in New York is available below.

‘Obama Is Sitting Alone at a Bar Drinking a Consolation Beer’

Chinese Netizens Rejoicing in U.S. Failure to Stymie China’s New Investment Bank

Danish and Chinese netizens have just shared in a collective guffaw at America’s expense. The online lampoonery came after Denmark announced on March 28 its intent to join the Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank (AIIB), a China-led initiative aiming to provide loans and investment to developing nations in Asia. But the Obama administration’s opposition to the bank—U.S. officials, seeming to fear that Beijing’s initiative would reduce U.S.

The Politics of Banning Ivory in China

A China in Africa Podcast

In February 2015, China announced a one-year ban on ivory imports. While many conservation groups such as the Environmental Investigation Agency denounced Beijing’s policy as “ineffective,” the San Francisco-based group WildAid said the ban is an important step in the right direction and part of a broader Chinese policy shift towards more progressive wildlife protection laws.