Reports

05.06.13

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2013

Office of the Secretary of Defense
United States of America Department of Defense
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to pursue a long-term, comprehensive military modernization program designed to improve the capacity of its armed forces to fight and win short-duration, high-intensity regional military conflict...

A Sino-Japanese Clash In The East China Sea

Sheila A. Smith
Council on Foreign Relations
The United States, as a treaty ally of Japan but with vital strategic interests in fostering peaceful relations with China, has a major stake in averting a clash between the two forces and resolving the dispute, if possible. 

Steps To Improve U.S.-China Relations

Kurt Campbell
Financial Times
More crosscutting dialogues are in order, more effort needs to be directed at concrete steps, not just talk, and both sides must be more creative about how to get senior leaders more time together to engage on 21st-century challenges.&...

U.S. Eyes Pushback On China Hacking

Siobhan Gorman
Wall Street Journal
Current and former officials said the offensive shift turned on two developments: new intelligence showing the Chinese military directing cyberspying campaigns, and a sudden change in U.S. companies’ willingness to acknowledge Chinese...

Viewpoint

04.26.13

Sino-American Relations: Amour or Les Miserables?

Winston Lord
Winston Lord, former United States Ambassador to China, tells us he recently hacked into the temples of government, pecking at his first-generation iPad with just one finger—a clear sign that...

China To Send North Korea Envoy To Washington

Reuters
China will send its special envoy on North Korea to the United States next week for talks on maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, the foreign ministry said on Friday.   

The ‘Breaking of an Honorable Career’

Roderick MacFarquhar from New York Review of Books
1.In the 1950s, the late John King Fairbank, the dean of modern China studies at Harvard, used to tell us graduate students a joke about the allegation that a group of red-leaning foreign service officers and academics—the four Johns—had “lost”...

Kerry: China Must Do More To Resolve N. Korean Missile Crisis

Andrea Mitchell and Ian Johnson
NBC News
Kerry believes that the instability created by Pyongyang’s belligerence is enough to push China to intervene more thoroughly; if China does not, Kerry says the U.S. will open direct talks with North Korea.

Kerry In China To Seek Help In Korea Crisis

Michael R. Gordon
New York Times
Mr. Kerry suggested that the United States could remove some newly enhanced missile defenses in the region, though he did not specify which ones. Any eventual cutback would address Chinese concerns about the buildup of American weapons systems in...

What Kerry Should Tell China

Shen Dingli
Foreign Policy
On April 13, 2013, when John Kerry pays his first visit to China as the U.S. secretary of state, North Korea will be at the top of his agenda, with Iran’s nuclear program and cyberattacks also extremely important. 

Space Plays A Growing Role In U.S.-China Security Talks

Andrea Shalal-Esa
Reuters
Washington is keeping a watchful eye on China’s activities in space after an intelligence report last year raised concerns about China’s expanding ability to disrupt the most sensitive U.S. military and intelligence satellites. 

Missiles And Memorial Stones: Figuring Out North Korea And China

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
Some are speculating that China is trying to ensure that U.S.-North Korean relations remain terrible, as they are, therefore increasing its influence over the region, politically, economically and strategically. 

San Francisco Strengthens Ties With China Despite Washington Suspicion

Rory Carroll
Guardian
San Francisco’s courting of Chinese partnerships contrasts with Washington suspicion towards China. Last year the House Intelligence Committee urged U.S. firms to avoid partnering with Chinese telecom firms, to safeguard customer data. 

China ‘Shifts Position’ On North Korea

Malcolm Moore
Telegraph
Beijing appears to prefer the devil it knows, in the shape of the unpredictable Kim family regime, to the uncertainties, and perhaps American influence, that a reunification on the Korean peninsula could bring, but that seems to be changing.&...

How The American Military Dwarfs China’s In One Infographic

Geoffrey Ingersoll
Business Insider
An infographic from the U.S.C. U.S.-China Institute illustrates well just how outgunned China (and everyone, generally) is by the U.S., regarding firepower, nuclear warhead counts and even the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait...

Media

04.12.13

Leftist Hawks and Conspiracy Theorists: The People’s Liberation Army’s Online Presence

Is Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, turning into a new war zone? Dai Xu, a colonel in the Chinese Air Force and military strategist, thinks so.“A month ago, a pseudo-Japanese devil [derogatory term for pro-Japan Chinese] at Shanghai’s Fudan University...

Beijing Opposes U.S. Rule On Technology Imports

Reuters
The new provision following recent cyberattacks requires NASA, as well as the U.S. Justice and Commerce Departments, to seek approval from national law enforcement officials before buying information technology systems from China. 

Reports

04.09.13

Toward a New Phase of U.S.-China Museum Collaborations

Melissa Chiu and Orville Schell
Orville Schell
Asia Society
The 2012 U.S.-China Museum Directors Forum, organized by Asia Society and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, brought together 17 Chinese and 15 American museum leaders for a two-day dialogue to assess common...

Tibet: The CIA’s Cancelled War

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
For much of the past century, U.S. relations with Tibet have been characterized by kowtowing to the Chinese and hollow good wishes for the Dalai Lama. As early as 1908, William Rockhill, a U.S. diplomat, advised the Thirteenth Dalai Lama that “close...

The Dragon Eating The Eagle’s Lunch in Africa?

Alemayehu G Mariam
Ethiomedia
For the past decade, the U.S. has been nonchalant and complacent about China’s “invasion” and lightning-fast penetration of Africa, but the U.S. is finally reading the memo. 

Will the Chinese Be Supreme?

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
During the turbulent Maoist era from the 1950s to 1970s, China clashed militarily with some of its most important neighbors—India, Vietnam, the Soviet Union—and embarked on disastrous interventions in Indonesia and Africa. But by the 1980s, Deng...

Sinica Podcast

03.29.13

Xi Jinping Goes to Russia

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
Xi Jinping’s trip to Moscow earlier this week, his first journey abroad as China’s new Head of State, has raised interesting questions about China’s ambitions in Asia, and coupled with Washington’s “pivot to Asia” is resurrecting the specter of a...

Xi Stresses Positive U.S. Ties In Lew Meeting Amid Tensions

Michael Forsythe and Kasia Klimasinska
Bloomberg
Recently appointed U.S. Treasury Secretary discussed exchange rate, intellectual property, cybersecurity, and North Korea in his first meeting with Xi Jinping and the rest of the newly appointed Chinese leadership.

Xi Pivots To Moscow

John Garnaut
Foreign Policy
Will Xi’s late March 2013 trip to Vladimir Putin’s Russia -- a bastion of authoritarian state capitalism -- symbolically define China’s path ahead, like Deng’s 1979 U.S. tour? 

Media

03.15.13

CNBC Quarrel About China’s Housing Market Bubbles Over on Chinese Internet

Ouyang Bin & Luo Xiaoyuan
China’s real estate prices continue to skyrocket despite government efforts to rein them in to prevent a dangerous housing bubble. On March 5, American television network CNBC invited two analysts to debate the state of the sector. But when Peter...

Meet China’s New Foreign Policy Team

Willy Lam
Foreign Policy
Personnel changes for State Councilor, Foreign Minister-designate, and ambassador to the U.S. suggest that China wants to improve the optics of its relationship with the United States, if not the substance. 

The Brutality Cascade

David Brooks
New York Times
 As China's economic and defense tactics appear to become more and more successful, David Brooks expects other countries' policies will start to resemble them, whether or not they run counter to our principles. ...

Media

03.08.13

“Shanghai Calling” Translates Funny

Jonathan Landreth
Director Daniel Hsia and producer Janet Yang were motivated to make Shanghai Calling, their first feature film together, by the shared feeling that no matter how much more important relations between the United States and China grew, they always...

Why John Kerry Must Listen to China’s Social Web

Anka Lee and David Wertime
Atlantic
Familiarity with citizen voices abroad, and the ability to leverage grassroots sentiment to amplify diplomatic impact, is a vital prerequisite for Washington’s unique brand of engagement.

U.N. Resolution To Aim At North Korean Banks and Diplomats

Rick Gladstone
New York Times
The United States and China introduced a resolution that would tighten inspections of suspect ship and air cargo and subject the country’s diplomats to invasive scrutiny and increased risk of expulsion. 

Seized Chinese Weapons Raise Concerns On Iran

Robert F. Worth and C.J. Chivers
New York Times
The Chinese missiles were part of a larger shipment interdicted by American and Yemeni forces in January 2013, allegedly intended for Houthi rebels in northwestern Yemen.   

Conversation

03.06.13

Are Proposed Sanctions on North Korea a Hopeful Sign for U.S.-China Relations?

Orville Schell, Susan Shirk & more
Orville Schell:What may end up being most significant about the new draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council to impose stricter sanctions on North Korea, which China seems willing to sign, may not be what it amounts to in terms of...

The Cold War Meets Taiwan

James R. Holmes
Diplomat
James R. Holmes looks at the applicability of a Cold War analogy in regards to U.S.-China and China-Taiwan relations. 

Secretary Of State John Kerry On China

Elizabeth Economy
Council on Foreign Relations
At Secretary of State Kerry's confirmation hearing he stressed more on coordination rather than confrontation in foreign relations, especially when it came to China. ...

U.S. Media Misquote China-related Reports, Causing Concerns

Xinhua
Well-known U.S. newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have raised the eyebrows of many Chinese recently in their two questionable reports on sensitive China-related topics. 

What China’s Hackers Get Wrong About Washington

Ezra Klein
Washington Post
Chinese hackers believe the most pervasive of of all Washington legends: that everything that happens in D.C. fits into somebody’s plan. Because in China, it would be like that. Not in our nation’s capital. 

In Cyberspace, New Cold War

David E. Sanger
New York Times
The early 2013 cyberattacks and the U.S. government’s response illustrate how different the cyber-cold war between the U.S. and China is from the more familiar superpower conflicts of past decades.  

Books

02.25.13

Star Spangled Security

Harold Brown with Joyce Winslow
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Harold Brown served during the hottest part of the Cold War when the Soviet Union presented an existential threat to America. In Star Spangled Security, Dr. Brown, one of the most respected wise men of American foreign policy, gives an insider’s view of U.S. national security strategy during the Carter administration, relates lessons learned, and bridges them to current challenges facing America.Brown describes his part in the SALT negotiations, the normalization of relations with China, the Camp David Accords, the development of a new generation of ballistic missiles, and more. Drawing on his earlier years as the director of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, as director of defense research and engineering, as Air Force secretary, and as president of Caltech, Brown uses his hard-won wisdom, especially during the painful Iran hostage crisis, to offer specific recommendations and key questions to ponder as America copes with challenges in a turbulent world.Highly readable, Star Spangled Security is for anyone wishing to better understand the debates about defense and its budget, its effect on the entire economy, and America’s relationship with allies during conflict and peace. Brown’s access to the leading forces in national security over sixty years spans ten presidents, giving the reader entrée into the inner circle of decision makers.Since leaving public office, Brown has served on the boards of directors of a dozen corporations. His unique economic, military, research, university, and government experience—at the top of all institutions he served—makes his a voice well worth heeding. —Brookings Institution Press

Media

02.22.13

Complaints, Nationalism, and Spoofs

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
This week, United States government and American media charges of Chinese cyberattacks have led to a variety of responses from netizens across China. On February 19, a CNN camera crew tried to shoot video of the twelve-story military-owned building...

China, Its Hackers, And The American Media

Matt Schiavenza
Atlantic
While the story presented fresh evidence of Chinese hacking, the aftermath presents more questions than answers about U.S.-China relations, as well as the connection between U.S. media and Chinese government.

Does China Have An Army Of Hackers?

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The accumulated evidence should retire the old notion that China’s most sophisticated hackers are just patriots freelancing from their parents’ basements.

China Says Army Is Not Behind Attacks In Report

David Barboza
New York Times
Geng Yansheng, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, says “The claim by the Mandiant company that the Chinese military engages in Internet espionage has no foundation in fact.”

What Do We Make Of The Chinese Hacking?

James Fallows
Atlantic
Is this recent hacking really something new? Or merely our "threat inflation,"* cued both to the impending sequestration menace and February 2013 SOTU mentions of new efforts in cyber-security?...

U.S.: Hacking Attacks Are Constant Topic Of Talks With China

Anita Kumar and Tom Lasseter
McClatchy
Obama administration officials acknowledged that China’s involvement in cyber-attacks is a near-constant subject of conversation between the nations’ officials but that there have been few signs that China is willing to stop the attacks.

Media

02.20.13

On China’s Twitter, Discussion of Hacking Attacks Proceeds Unblocked

As The New York Times reported yesterday evening, U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant has just released a deeply troubling report called “Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units.” The report alleges wide-spread hacking sponsored by the...

U.S. Security Group Suspects P.L.A. Behind Hacking Attacks

Reuters
Reuters
A secretive Chinese military unit is believed to be behind a series of hacking attacks, prompting a strong denial by China and accusations that it was in fact the victim of U.S. hacking.

China Denies It Is World’s Biggest Trader Despite Data Showing It Passed U.S. Last Year

The Associated Press
Washington Post
Official Chinese and American trade data indicate China passed the United States last year in total imports and exports by a margin of $3.866 trillion to $3.822 trillion.

Conversation

02.20.13

Cyber Attacks—What’s the Best Response?

James Fallows, Xiao Qiang & more
With regular ChinaFile Conversation contributor Elizabeth Economy on the road, we turned to her colleague Adam Segal, Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Segal said that “the time for...

China Won’t Cut Its Cyberspying

Greg Austin
New York Times
Some Obama advisers have recommended harsh action to send a clear signal to China to change its ways. But even if the Americans retaliate, China is unlikely to respond as they might hope. 

Conversation

02.15.13

U.S.-China Tensions: What Must Kerry Do?

Dorinda Elliott, Elizabeth Economy & more
Dorinda Elliott:On a recent trip to China, I heard a lot of scary talk of potential war over the disputed Diaoyu Islands—this from both senior intellectual types and also just regular people, from an elderly calligraphy expert to a middle-aged...

Infographics

02.14.13

Who Supplies Apple? (It’s Not Just China)

Last month, Apple Inc. released its updated list of suppliers. This report says it includes “the major manufacturing locations of suppliers who provide raw materials and components or perform final assembly on Apple.” ChinaFile used this data to...

Environment

02.14.13

A Progress Report on U.S.-China Energy & Climate Change Cooperation

Leah Thompson
In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama committed to confronting climate change, stating, “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it...

Media

02.11.13

Covering China: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

On February 5, 2013, ChinaFile celebrated its official launch by bringing together a panel of former and current New York Times correspondents, whose collective China experience spans the course of half a century, to discuss their coverage of China...

Caixin Media

02.04.13

Defining the Chinese Dream

A new phase of Sino-American relations is poised to begin now that Xi Jinping has been confirmed as China’s next leader and Barack Obama re-elected U.S. president.In both countries, the debate about foreign policy options has been robust,...

Rally Cry for the U.S. to Catch Up to the Chinese in Africa

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
In this episode of the China in Africa Podcast, hosts Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden focus on Delaware Senator Chris Coons' warning that unless the United States places a greater emphasis on Africa, it will be too late to catch up to the...

Media

12.17.12

Media Effort to Emphasize Newtown Tragedy Backfires in Blogosphere

Tragedy can strike anywhere. Mere hours before the horrific shooting at an American school in Newtown, Connecticut that left twenty-eight people dead, including twenty children, a horrific school attack also happened in China. At an elementary...

Who Was Monica Liang?

Alex Campbell and John Russell
Indianapolis Star
A Chicago lawyer who has lured millions in Chinese investment said he was impressed by Liang's ability to build relationships...

Books

12.12.12

China’s Search for Security

Andrew J. Nathan, Andrew Scobell
Despite its impressive size and population, economic vitality, and drive to upgrade its military capabilities, China remains a vulnerable nation surrounded by powerful rivals and potential foes. The key to understanding China’s foreign policy is to grasp these geostrategic challenges, which persist even as the country comes to dominate its neighbors. Andrew J. Nathan and Andrew Scobell analyze China’s security concerns on four fronts: at home, with its immediate neighbors, in surrounding regional systems, and in the world beyond Asia. By illuminating the issues driving Chinese policy, they offer new perspective on China’s rise and a strategy for balancing Chinese and American interests in Asia. Though rooted in the present, Nathan and Scobell’s study makes ample use of the past, reaching back into history to contextualize the people and institutions shaping Chinese strategy. They examine Chinese views of the United States; explain why China is so concerned about Japan; and uncover China’s interests in such trouble spots as North Korea, Iran, and the Sudan. The authors probe recent troubles in Tibet and Xinjiang and establish links to forces beyond China’s borders. They consider the tactics deployed by both sides of mainland China and Taiwan’s complicated relationship, as Taiwan seeks to maintain autonomy while China tries to move toward unification, and they evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of China’s three main power resources—economic power, military power, and soft power. The book concludes with recommendations for the United States as it seeks to manage China’s rise. Chinese policymakers understand that the nation’s prosperity, stability, and security depend on cooperation with the U.S, and if handled wisely, relations between the two countries could produce mutually beneficial outcomes in Asia and throughout the world. —Columbia University Press

Books

12.04.12

Tangled Titans

David Shambaugh (editor)
Tangled Titans offers a current and comprehensive assessment of the most important relationship in international affairs—that between the United States and China. How the relationship evolves will have a defining impact on the future of world politics, the Asian region, and the citizens of many nations. In this definitive book, leading experts provide an in-depth exploration of the historical, domestic, bilateral, regional, global, and future contexts of this complex relationship. The contributors argue that the relationship is a unique combination of deep interdependence, limited cooperation, and increasing competition. Never in modern history have two great powers been so deeply intertwined—yet so suspicious and potentially antagonistic toward each other. Exploring this cooperative and competitive dynamic, the contributors offer a wealth of detail on contemporary Sino-American relations unavailable elsewhere. Students will find Tangled Titans essential reading to understand the current dynamics and future direction of relations between the world’s two most important powers.—Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

The U.S.-China Reset

Minxin Pei
New York Times
The leaders of the U.S. and China may not want to say it out loud, but they would privately admit that U.S.-China relations are in trouble.