Sinica Podcast

11.10.12

Eighteenth Party Roundup

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, our hosts Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are joined by Gady Epstein from the Economist and we turn our attention to the Eighteenth Party Congress, which officially started in Beijing earlier this week. As China’s capital...

When Madison Met Handan – A Tale of Two Cities

Dinny McMahon and Carolyn Cui
Wall Street Journal
It’s unlikely that many of the 60 Chinese investors who visited Madison in September had heard of the Wisconsin state capital and home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers before agreeing to visit the U.S. Similarly the city of Handan, the Chinese...

The Five “Vermin” Threatening China

Geremie Barmé
China Story
In Yuan Peng’s 2012 repertoire of what are now popularly known as the ‘New Black Five Categories of People’ were identified as: rights lawyers, underground religious activities, dissidents, Internet leaders and vulnerable groups

The Problem with the Pivot

Robert Ross
Foreign Affairs
Ever since the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping opened up his country’s economy in the late 1970s, China has managed to grow in power, wealth, and military might while still maintaining cooperative and friendly relations with most of the world...

Reports

10.18.12

Cyber Detente Between the United States and China

Greg Austin and Franz-Stefan Gady
EastWest Institute
In May 2012, the United States and China agreed publicly for the first time to begin talks on military aspects of cybersecurity. The agenda and expectations for this process at the official level remain to be set. Through Track 2 processes some very...

The Pivot (Video)

Mike Chinoy
University of Southern California, U.S.-China Institute
The Obama administration has made Asia a top priority for U.S. foreign policy. The move has been dubbed "The Pivot," and it has the potential to be one of the most enduring legacies of the Obama presidency...

Huawei Fires Back at the U.S.

SIOBHAN GORMAN And JURO OSAWA
Wall Street Journal
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Inc. lashed out Monday at a scathing congressional report, calling allegations that it may be spying on Americans and violating U.S. laws "little more than an exercise in China-bashing."...

Ralls vs. CFIUS: What Are the Implications for Chinese Investment?

Daniel H. Rosen and Thilo Hanemann
Council on Foreign Relations
First, this was not a political move by the President to position himself as tough on China, as suggested by some. The timeline of the review through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Presidential...

Books

09.27.12

Restless Empire

Odd Arne Westad
As the twenty-first century dawns, China stands at a crossroads. The largest and most populous country on earth and currently the world’s second biggest economy, China has recently reclaimed its historic place at the center of global affairs after decades of internal chaos and disastrous foreign relations. But even as China tentatively reengages with the outside world, the contradictions of its development risks pushing it back into an era of insularity and instability—a regression that, as China’s recent history shows, would have serious implications for all other nations.In Restless Empire, award-winning historian Odd Arne Westad traces China’s complex foreign affairs over the past 250 years, identifying the forces that will determine the country’s path in the decades to come. Since the height of the Qing Empire in the eighteenth century, China’s interactions—and confrontations—with foreign powers have caused its worldview to fluctuate wildly between extremes of dominance and subjugation, emulation and defiance. From the invasion of Burma in the 1760s to the Boxer Rebellion in the early 20th century to the 2001 standoff over a downed U.S. spy plane, many of these encounters have left Chinese with a lingering sense of humiliation and resentment, and inflamed their notions of justice, hierarchy, and Chinese centrality in world affairs. Recently, China’s rising influence on the world stage has shown what the country stands to gain from international cooperation and openness. But as Westad shows, the nation’s success will ultimately hinge on its ability to engage with potential international partners while simultaneously safeguarding its own strength and stability. —Basic Books

The Chinese View of Obama and Romney

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
China has been pulled into the center ring of the U.S. Presidential campaign in recent weeks, with the candidates seeking to outdo each other on pledges to harden up on trade, currency, and security. In the Times...

In China, Panetta Says U.S. Focus on Asia Is No Threat

Thom Shanker and Ian Johnson
New York Times
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta declared on Wednesday that the United States was not trying to contain a risingChina, and he stressed that with patience and effort current tensions between the giant rivals on opposite sides of...

Panetta to Meet Xi Jinping on Extended Trip to China

David Alexander
Reuters
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's trip to China has been extended by a day and will include meetings with Vice President Xi Jinping, U.S. defense officials said on Monday...

U.S. Files W.T.O. Case Against China Over Cars

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The United States on Monday filed a broad trade case against China at the World Trade Organization, alleging unfair subsidies for exports of cars and auto parts.

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.

Caixin Media

09.07.12

Long Ride for Justice

Lea Cao had his first inkling that something was wrong when he got a long-distance phone call from relatives in southeastern China.His family members in Fuzhou phoned Cao in New York to say that his parents and brother had failed to arrive at the...

Romney’s Young ‘China’ Hand

Kenneth Rapoza
Forbes
Mitt Romney’s old China hand is more young than old, more Taiwan than China.Lanhee Chen, 34, is Romney’s policy wonk and one of Romney’s brains on China policy.  The California born policy director for the Romney campaign said that when it...

News Flash: Washington Source of All Beijing’s Problems

Elizabeth C. Economy
Council on Foreign Relations
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s swing through Asia has been marked by a revelation in Beijing: the source of all China’s problems with its neighbors is the United States. A Xinhua editorial paints the United States as a “sneaky trouble...

Remarks from Hillary Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

Hillary Clinton and Yang Jiechi
Council on Foreign Relations
As I have said before, our two nations are trying to do something that has never been done in history, which is to write a new answer to the question of what happens when an established power and a rising power meet. Both President Obama and I have...

Chinese Writer on Honest, Generous, “Foolish” Americans

David Wertime
I’ve already been in the U.S. for a long time. I regret that choice. We’ve been [fooled] by Western media the whole time, making us think that the U.S. is a modernized country. Harboring hopes of studying American modern science in order to serve my...

To Chinese, Obama and Romney Aren’t So Different

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s promise to get tough with China may fall on receptive ears in the U.S., but in China his vow has barely registered, much less caused alarm. Unlike in 2008, when the Chinese media and bloggers...

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...

News from the Dalai Lama

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
“I told President Obama the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party are missing a part of the brain, the part that contains common sense,” the Dalai Lama said to me during our conversation in London in mid-June.But it can be put back in. I am hopeful...

2011 Foreign Policy Speech by Paul Ryan

Michael Warren
Weekly Standard
Ryan also called for China to liberalize and become “integrated into the global order.” But, he said, Chinese leaders should not count on the decline of the United States as a great power. “We must demonstrate that planning for the post-American era...

The South China Sea: Troubled Waters

Economist
Long a zone of contention among a number of littoral states, the South China Sea is fast becoming the focus of one of the most serious bilateral disputes between America and China. Over the weekend China’s foreign ministry summoned an...

Reports

08.06.12

Chinese Leadership and Elite Responses to the U.S. Pacific Pivot

Michael D. Swaine
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
Over the past several years, the most significant overall U.S. foreign policy action of relevance to China has been the announcement and initial follow-through of the so-called Pacific pivot or “Rebalancing” of U.S. attention and resources to the...

Huawei: The Company That Spooked the World

Unattributed
Economist
BANBURY, a little English town best known for a walk-on part in a nursery rhyme and as the eponymous origin of a fruitcake, is an unlikely fulcrum for the balance of power in the world of telecoms. But the “Cyber Security Evaluation Centre” set up...

Out of School

08.03.12

The Rehabilitation of Pearl Buck

Peter Conn
In the summer of 1934, Pearl Buck boarded a ship in Shanghai that was bound for America. She was forty-two years old, and had lived for thirty-four of those years in China, mostly in cities along the Yangzi River. Pearl and her first husband, John...

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,...

Chinese Students Living in Fear in the USA

Laura Desinsa Jackson
Danwei
While there are certainly plenty of Chinese students overseas who are spoiled brats, often called ‘second generation rich’ and ‘second generation officials’ (fu erdai and guan erdai) who live off the fruits of their parents’ corruption or enterprise...

It's Time to Redefine the China Expert

Jan Kaesebier
Misrepresentations and misunderstandings of “China” is a complicated issue that won’t disappear overnight. The news media you have trusted doesn’t always give you an unbiased perspective, even though they have been trying their best. Even visiting...

The Chinese Media Reciprocity Act and Censorship of Foreign Journalists in China (Pt. 2)

Elizabeth Lynch
China Law & Policy
Putting aside the shrill rhetoric surrounding the Chinese Media Reciprocity Act and the fact that it only deals with the harassment of a small segment of U.S. journalists in China (the VOA and RFA reporters), the Act does draw attention to an...

What is Wrong With the Chinese Media Reciprocity Act (Pt. 1 of 3)

Elizabeth Lynch
China Law & Policy
The Chinese Media Reciprocity Act attempts to combat China’s restrictive visa policies for U.S. government-employed journalists. In reality, the impact of the Chinese Media Reciprocity Act is anything but reciprocal.  The U.S. has two...

China Commentary Says U.S. Uniform Row Olympic "Blasphemy"

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
An uproar over the U.S. Olympic team's made-in-China uniforms is a blasphemy on the Olympic spirit which is supposed to separate sports from politics and a show of pure ignorance to boot, China's official Xinhua news agency said on Monday...

The China Bashing Syndrome

Unattributed
Economist
IT IS a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a major American political party’s presidential nomination must be in want of a more assertive policy on China. Bill Clinton upbraided George Bush senior for “coddling dictators”; Mr...

Sinica Podcast

07.13.12

Sino-American Perceptions

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo is joined by two guests from the Committee of 100, an organization formed over twenty years ago by I.M. Pei and other prominent Chinese-Americans to address issues in the Sino-American relationship. The Committee...

Books

07.10.12

China’s Wings

Gregory Crouch
From the acclaimed author of Enduring Patagonia comes a dazzling tale of aerial adventure set against the roiling backdrop of war in Asia. The incredible real-life saga of the flying band of brothers who opened the skies over China in the years leading up to World War II—and boldly safeguarded them during that conflict—China’s Wings is one of the most exhilarating untold chapters in the annals of flight. Drawing on meticulous research, primary sources, and extensive personal interviews with participants, Gregory Crouch offers harrowing accounts of brutal bombing runs and heroic evacuations, as the fight to keep one airline flying becomes part of the larger struggle for China’s survival. He plunges us into a world of perilous night flights, emergency water landings, and the constant threat of predatory Japanese warplanes. When Japanese forces capture Burma and blockade China’s only overland supply route, Bond and his pilots must battle shortages of airplanes, personnel, and spare parts to airlift supplies over an untried five-hundred-mile-long aerial gauntlet high above the Himalayas—the infamous “Hump”—pioneering one of the most celebrated endeavors in aviation history.A hero’s-eye view of history in the grand tradition of Lynne Olson’s Citizens of London, China’s Wings takes readers on a mesmerizing journey to a time and place that reshaped the modern world.  —Bantam

A World War II Story That China Would Like You to Hear

Conor Friedersdorf
Atlantic
On May 6, 1944, U.S. army pilot Glen Beneda of the Flying Tigers was shot at by Japanese fighters while flying a combat mission over China. His plane caught fire, he ejected, and minutes later he landed in a rice paddy, frightening a group of...

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...

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...

Reports

06.25.12

U.S.-China Public Perceptions Opinion Survey 2012

Committee of 100
The re-establishment of U.S.-China relations in 1971 marked a strategic step that ended China’s isolation and transformed the global balance of power. Since that historic milestone, the United States as an established superpower and China as an...

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...

Reports

06.04.12

Asia in the Balance

Thomas G. Mahnken, Thomas Donnelly, Dan Blumenthal, Gary J. Schmitt, Michael Mazza, Andrew Shearer
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Since the end of World War II, the United States has developed a characteristic approach to protecting its interests in Asia. In peace and in war, the U.S. position in Asia has rested on a set of alliances, ground and air forces deployed on allied...

Viewpoint

05.30.12

The Sweet and the Sour in China-U.S. Relations

Winston Lord
At this very hour, one early May, just shy of a half century ago, I married a girl from Shanghai and we launched our joint adventure.Ever since, Bette Bao and I have practiced the precept of Adam Smith—division of labor. She manages our finances and...

Books

04.24.12

China: Fragile Superpower

Susan L. Shirk
Once a sleeping giant, China today is the world's fastest growing economy—the leading manufacturer of cell phones, laptop computers, and digital cameras—a dramatic turn-around that alarms many Westerners. But in China: Fragile Superpower, Susan L. Shirk opens up the black box of Chinese politics and finds that the real danger lies elsewhere—not in China's astonishing growth, but in the deep insecurity of its leaders. China's leaders face a troubling paradox: the more developed and prosperous the country becomes, the more insecure and threatened they feel.Shirk, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for China, knows many of today's Chinese rulers personally and has studied them for three decades. She offers invaluable insight into how they think—and what they fear. In this revealing book, readers see the world through the eyes of men like President Hu Jintao and former President Jiang Zemin. We discover a fragile communist regime desperate to survive in a society turned upside down by miraculous economic growth and a stunning new openness to the greater world. Indeed, ever since the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, Chinese leaders have been afraid of its own citizens, and this fear motivates many of their decisions when dealing with the U.S. and other nations. In particular, the fervent nationalism of the Chinese people, combined with their passionate resentment of Japan and attachment to Taiwan, have made relations with this country a minefield. —Oxford University Press

Books

03.28.12

What the U.S. Can Learn from China

Ann Lee
Mainstream media and the U.S. government regularly target China as a threat. Rather than viewing China’s power, influence, and contributions to the global economy in a negative light, Ann Lee asks: What can America learn from its competition? Why did China suffer so little from the global economic meltdown? What accounts for China’s extraordinary growth, despite one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world? How does the Chinese political system avoid partisan rancor but achieve genuine public accountability? From education to governance to foreign aid, Lee details the policies and practices that have made China a global power and then isolates the ways the United States can use China’s enduring principles to foster much-needed change at home.This is no whitewash. Lee is fully aware of China’s shortcomings, particularly in the area of human rights. She has relatives who suffered during the Cultural Revolution. But by overemphasizing our differences with China, the United States stands to miss a vital opportunity. Filled with sharp insights and thorough research, What the U.S. Can Learn from China is Lee’s rallying cry for a new approach at a time when learning from one another is the key to surviving and thriving.  —Berrett-Koehler

The Chinese Are Coming!

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
The day after the Russian parliamentary elections in early December, the Chinese publication Global Times, an English-language newspaper and website managed by People’s Daily, the official organ of the Communist Party official, ran an editorial on...

Books

02.16.12

Grounds of Judgment

Pär Kristoffer Cassel
Perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, the nineteenth century encounter between East Asia and the Western world has been narrated as a legal encounter. Commercial treaties—negotiated by diplomats and focused on trade—framed the relationships among Tokugawa-Meiji Japan, Qing China, Choson Korea, and Western countries including Britain, France, and the United States. These treaties created a new legal order, very different than the colonial relationships that the West forged with other parts of the globe, which developed in dialogue with local precedents, local understandings of power, and local institutions. They established the rules by which foreign sojourners worked in East Asia, granting them near complete immunity from local laws and jurisdiction. The laws of extraterritoriality looked similar on paper but had very different trajectories in different East Asian countries.Par Cassel's first book explores extraterritoriality and the ways in which Western power operated in Japan and China from the 1820s to the 1920s. In Japan, the treaties established in the 1850s were abolished after drastic regime change a decade later and replaced by European-style reciprocal agreements by the turn of the century. In China, extraterritoriality stood for a hundred years, with treaties governing nearly one hundred treaty ports, extensive Christian missionary activity, foreign controlled railroads and mines, and other foreign interests, and of such complexity that even international lawyers couldn't easily interpret them.Extraterritoriality provided the springboard for foreign domination and has left Asia with a legacy of suspicion towards international law and organizations. The issue of unequal treaties has had a lasting effect on relations between East Asia and the West. Drawing on primary sources in Chinese, Japanese, Manchu, and several European languages, Cassel has written the first book to deal with exterritoriality in Sino-Japanese relations before 1895 and the triangular relationship between China, Japan, and the West. Grounds of Judgment is a groundbreaking history of Asian engagement with the outside world and within the region, with broader applications to understanding international history, law, and politics.  —Oxford University Press

Sinica Podcast

02.10.12

The Allure of the Southwest

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn take a closer look at the beautiful city of Chongqing in a forthright discussion that delves into the myriad attractions of this beautiful and occasionally mysterious Chinese city, famous recently...

Sinica Podcast

02.03.12

Running Dogs and Locusts

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Ongoing tension between Hong Kong and mainland citizens erupted into open flames on February 1, when a Hong Kong group raised more than HKD 100,000 to publish a full-page anti-China advertisement in the Apple Daily comparing mainlanders to parasitic...

Out of School

12.20.11

The “United States of China,” 100 Years Later

Stephen Platt
On September 29, 1910, a young Chinese cook in Berkeley named George Fong bought himself a .38 caliber revolver. The next day he hiked up into the hills behind the fraternity house where he worked at the University of California, found a secluded...

My First Trip

11.26.11

The Opening Stage of China

Robert A. Scalapino
At the outset of the 1960s, the newly installed Kennedy administration attempted an opening to Beijing. In early 1961, with Secretary of State Dean Rusk in command, an offer was made to exchange journalists, as I had proposed. I had talked with Rusk...

Sinica Podcast

11.25.11

Occupy Sinica

Jeremy Goldkorn & Michael Anti from Sinica Podcast
Earlier this week, The New York Times published an editorial by prominent Chinese academic Yan Xuetong claiming that China would defeat the United States on the grounds of moral superiority. While the American bafflement over this piece has died...

Reports

11.03.11

Foreign Direct Investment, Corruption and Democracy

Aparna Mathur, Kartikeya Singh
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
How do factors such as corruption perception and the level of democracy influence foreign direct investment to developing economies? The authors of this paper suggest that less corrupt countries and less democratic countries receive more foreign...

Reports

09.30.11

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Wayne M. Morrison
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past three decades. Total U.S.-China trade rose from $2 billion in 1979 to $457 billion in 2010. Because U.S. imports from China have risen much more rapidly than U.S. exports to China,...

Reports

09.21.11

China’s Assertive Behavior

Michael D. Swaine and M. Taylor Fravel
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
The authors of this essay examine Chinese assertiveness concerning U.S. political and military behavior along China’s maritime periphery. This topic inevitably also concerns Chinese behavior toward Japan, South Korea, and some ASEAN nations, given...

Reports

08.30.11

Asian Alliances in the 21st Century

Dan Blumenthal, Michael Mazza, Randall Schriver, Mark Stokes, L.C. Russell Hsiao
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Asia will become the epicenter of geopolitical activity in the 21st century and the budding U.S.-China security rivalry, conditioned by deep economic interdependence, will shape the region’s future. Perhaps the greatest benefactor of American policy...

Sinica Podcast

08.12.11

The Schadenfreude Podcast

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Last week must have felt good for embattled Chinese patriots. Not only did the United States lose its coveted triple-A rating from Standard and Poor’s, but months after unrest in the Middle East sparked renewed speculation about political...

Reports

06.28.11

The United States and China: Macroeconomic Imbalances and Economic Diplomacy

Philip I. Levy
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The United States and China are now the two largest economies in the world. The relationship between the two countries is multifaceted and goes well beyond economic relations, but questions of macroeconomic imbalances have remained at the heart of...

Reports

05.27.11

Fighting Spam to Build Trust

Karl Frederick Rauscher and Zhou Yonglin
EastWest Institute
The EastWest Institute and the Internet Society of China convened a team of China-U.S. experts for an ongoing bilateral dialogue on cybersecurity issues. This report, the first from the team, represents the first effort by Chinese and U.S. experts...

My First Trip

05.14.11

Let the Devil Take the Hindmost

Lois Snow
China became part of my life when I met and married Edgar Snow. I had read Red Star Over China long before I knew the author but the years that followed were largely devoted to my acting career in New York. China was rather remote from Broadway...