Rumors Swirl as China's Xi Vanishes

Jamil Anderlini
Financial Times
Over the last week Mr Xi has cancelled at least four scheduled meetings with visiting dignitaries, including a Russian delegation, the prime minister of Singapore and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last Wednesday, and the prime minister of...

Obama's DNC Speech and China

Austin Ramzy
Time
In his speech Thursday to the Democratic National Convention, President Obama’s mentions of China added up to just a couple dozen words, but they underscored a new and significant role the Asian power is playing in the 2012 campaign.

China's Long History of Defying the Doomsayers

Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Stephen Platt
Atlantic
Thirty-six years after "Great Helmsman" Mao Zedong died of a heart attack, leaving his country briefly rudderless during a time of crisis and uncertainty, the Chinese ship of state is still sailing. But is it still seaworthy? Observers are...

China's Greatest Challenge: Not America, But Itself

Anka Lee
Diplomat
As China’s international profile continues to rise in tandem with its economic and political significance, one might conclude that the Chinese public is likely to expect Xi Jinping to carry a higher profile on the international stage. As the leader...

A Diplomatic Incident in China

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The Japanese ambassador to Beijing, Uichiro Niwa, and his wife were riding in their limo this week when an unknown Chinese man approached and tore the mini-flag off the hood. There is some debate about whether the limo was blocked...

China Leadership Monitor--Issue 38

Alice Miller et al.
Hoover Institution
Includes articles on Bo Xilai and the PLA, the Pacific PIvot, Economic Uncertaintly Its Effect on Politics, and China's Top Future Leaders to watch.

Interview: Kenneth Lieberthal on Strategic Distrust

YOICHI KATO
Asahi Shimbun
The United States and China have a relatively successful relationship, but their distrust of each other's long-term intentions has reached a potentially dangerous level, says Kenneth Lieberthal, an experienced China expert based in Washington...

Olympic Uniforms, Congressional Fashion Statements, and the WTO

Donald Clarke
Chinese Law Prof Blog
Many bloggers have already written about the posturing of certain of our elected representatives on the issue of China-made clothing for US Olympic athletes, using various permutations of the word “idiot” (e.g., Daniel Drezner, “idiocies...

Growing China Clout Sparks Concern in Taiwan Media

Austin Ramzy
Time
Taiwan regulators have put strict conditions on a bid by a China-friendly media group to purchase the island’s second largest cable TV system as concerns grow that China’s commercial clout is already undermining freedom of the press in one of Asia’s...

China's Military Moment

Jim Holmes
Foreign Policy
Beguiled by undersea oil and gas deposits and the weakness of fellow claimants to the Paracel Islands, China launched a naval offensive to seize the disputed archipelago. To justify its actions, Beijing pointed to history -- notably Ming Dynasty Adm...

Chinese Maker of Olympic Uniforms Baffled by Backlash

David Pierson
Los Angeles Times
If Horatio Alger had spoken Mandarin he would have loved the rags-to-riches tale of garment maker Li Guilian. Chinese President Hu Jintao and fellow Politburo members are loyal customers of her firm,...

Reports

07.24.12

Stirring Up the South China Sea (II) 

International Crisis Group
The South China Sea dispute between China and some of its South East Asian neighbours - Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei - has reached an impasse. Increasingly assertive positions among claimants have pushed regional tensions to new...

Stirring up the South China Sea: Regional Responses

Unattributed
International Crisis Group
The South China Sea dispute between China and some of its South East Asian neighbours – Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei – has reached an impasse. Increasingly assertive positions among claimants have pushed regional tensions to new...

Why China Will Back Assad—Until It Won't

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
In vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria for the third time, China and Russia have tested Western diplomats’ capacity for creative contempt. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already described their veto as “...

Why China Props Up the Rogue State Next Door

ANDREI LANKOV
Foreign Policy
For those who worry about North Korea, the past few months can best be described as a time of quiet despair. Since North Korea reneged on the "Leap Day" food aid deal in March by announcing the test of a long-range rocket (the test later...

Asian Leaders at Regional Meeting Fail to Resolve Disputes Over South China Sea

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Disputes in the strategically important South China Sea proved so contentious here that an annual regional gathering has ended without even a basic diplomatic communiqué, which appeared to have been blocked by China.

Hillary Clinton’s Last Tour As Rock Star

Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
(With a blow-by-blow of the Cheng Guangcheng negotiations.) On May 3, the day after an artful deal to end the diplomatic crisis over Chen Guangcheng, China’s now-famous dissident, unraveled spectacularly, Hillary Rodham Clinton followed a scrum of...

Chinese Company in Kickback Scandal in the Philippines

Andrew Higgins
Washington Post
After a tense showdown over a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, the closest U.S. ally in Southeast Asia and a rising China now face a new source of potential friction over the alleged corrupt practices of a well-connected Chinese corporation.

Explaining the U.S. Healthcare Debate in China

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The farther away one stands from the Obamacare cases, the more curious they look against the portrait we usually imagine of ourselves. By now, America’s declining place in rankings of global health is so well known at home that it has lost its...

Got a Dream and an Idea, Go to China

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
America is not the only great power struggling with how to handle the future of foreigners in its midst. As the Supreme Court indicated in its mixed decision Monday on Arizona’s immigration-enforcement law, the question of how we regard those who...

North Korea Tests China's Patience

Jane Perlez
New York Times
As Kim Jong-un, the young leader of North Korea, consolidates his grip on power, China is showing signs of increasing frustration at the bellicose behavior of its longtime ally.

Chinese Ambassador Dismisses Fears over Confucius Institutes

Tania Branigan
Guardian
China's ambassador to Britain has accused critics of its overseas language and culture training centres of "cold war thinking", after an LSE professor questioned whether universities should host the Confucius Institutes.

Fallows on Bad Air and Soft Power

James Fallows
Atlantic
This is another fascinating installment in the exercise of Chinese "soft power." For my Big Theory on the nature of Chinese soft power, see this essay and this book. For a few previous installments in the Soft-Power Watch, see this, this,...

Environment

06.05.12

Hot Air?

Michael Zhao
It has been a busy season for U.S. diplomatic activity in China. Given the tensions aroused by U.S. involvement in the Bo Xilai scandal and the flight of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng, perhaps it should come as no surprise that even relatively...

China Tells U.S. to Stop Reporting China's Bad Air

Alexa Olsen
Associated Press
China told foreign embassies Tuesday to stop publishing their own reports on air quality in the country, escalating its objections to a popular U.S. Embassy Twitter feed that tracks pollution in smoggy Beijing. Only the Chinese government is...

Kissinger and China

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
It is hard to fit Henry Kissinger’s latest book, On China, into any conventional frame or genre. Partly that is because the somewhat self-deprecatory title conceals what is, in fact, an ambitious goal: to make sense of China’s diplomacy and foreign...

Kissinger & the Emperor

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
From the moment when they first began to keep historical records, the Chinese showed a fascination with the complexities of diplomacy, with the give-and-take of interstate negotiation, the balancing of force and bluff, the variable powers of human...

Rules of the Game

John Gittings from New York Review of Books
On September 18, 1931, a very small bomb caused a very minor explosion on the South Manchurian Railway just north of Mukden, a railway controlled by the Japanese and crucial to their economic domination of Manchuria. The explosion was denounced as...