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...

Reports

05.01.11

An American Open Door?

Daniel H. Rosen and Thilo Hanemann
Asia Society
Over the past decade, China’s unprecedented surge of economic dynamism and development has radically altered the global landscape and affected a host of international relationships. One of the most significant trends that will influence how the...

My First Trip

04.16.11

The First American Official to Visit China since 1949

Winston Lord
Certainly, the single most dramatic event that I've been involved in had to do with the opening to China in the early 1970s. In my entire career the question of relations with China has been the most important, including not only the work I did...

Sinica Podcast

03.11.11

The Exercise of Power

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In the last week, power and pageantry have engulfed Beijing as China has convened its Twin Congresses: the annual meeting of the country’s two highest decision-making councils. As the Communist Party has seized the opportunity to celebrate its grip...

Reports

02.03.11

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities

Ronald O'Rourke
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The question of how the United States should respond to China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, has emerged as a key issue in U.S. defense planning. This issue is of particular importance to the U.S. Navy,...

Sinica Podcast

01.21.11

Hu Jintao and the Washington Summit

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
As part of our ongoing efforts to secure the hottest scoops for you, our Sinica team originally planned to storm Hu Jintao’s flight to Washington and record a live podcast with everyone’s favorite chairman during his flight across the Pacific. Sadly...

Sinica Podcast

12.17.10

China and India

Kaiser Kuo, Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt & more from Sinica Podcast
Asia’s rising colossi share a great deal besides rich cultures, great culinary traditions, billion-plus populations, and a long border. But relations haven’t always been smooth. Have a recent round of border talks, followed up by Premier Wen Jiabao’...

Reports

12.14.10

Sino-U.S. Competition and U.S. Security

Dan Blumenthal
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Assessments of the military competition between China and the U.S. are badly needed but mostly missing. Such assessments should consider the political objectives of the competitors, their military doctrines, and alliance politics, in addition to...

Sinica Podcast

10.29.10

When Media Attacks

Gady Epstein, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, we find out what happens when the media attacks and China is caught in the crossfire. Specifically, recent weeks have brought us two prominent cases of bad press for China as the country gets caught in loaded battles fought by...

Beijing’s Bluster, America’s Quiet: The Disturbing Case of Xue Feng

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Quiet diplomacy, as it’s called, has served for years as the principle guiding U.S. relations with China: the theory is that it is far better to engage the Chinese government quietly, behind the scenes, rather than through more robust public...

Reports

09.21.10

China’s Steel Industry and Its Impact on the United States: Issues for Congress

Rachel Tang
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China’s steel industry has grown significantly since the mid-1990s. China is now the world’s largest steelmaker and steel consumer. The majority of Chinese steel has been used to meet domestic demand in China. However, as its steel production...

Sinica Podcast

08.20.10

China’s Troubled Waters

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Are Chinese-American maritime relations running aground? The recent sinking of the South Korean corvette the Cheonan, most likely by China’s unruly client state North Korea, has led to the U.S.S. George Washington participating in naval exercises...

Reports

08.01.10

Chess on the High Seas: Dangerous Times for U.S.-China Relations

Michael Mazza
Sara Segal-Williams
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The Obama administration’s hopes that its warmer approach to Beijing would yield a more fruitful Sino-American relationship have been disappointed. Rather than adopting a more cooperative bearing, Beijing has become increasingly assertive over the...

Reports

07.06.10

U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The United States suspended military contacts with China and imposed sanctions on arms sales in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. In 1993, the Clinton Administration re-engaged with the top PRC leadership, including China's military...

Reports

05.21.10

Navigating Climate Change: An Agenda for U.S.-Chinese Cooperation

Jacqueline McLaren Miller and Piin-Fen Kok
EastWest Institute
This paper focuses on two areas that pose the biggest obstacles to progress in bilateral and multilateral efforts to address climate change concerns: the trade-off between emission caps and development goals; and technology transfer and intellectual...

Reports

05.04.10

Manufacturing Discord

Daniel Ikenson
Cato Institute
Frictions in the U.S.-China relationship are nothing new, but they have intensified in recent months. This paper examines the U.S.-China economic relationship and some of its high-profile sources of friction, distills the substance from the hype,...

Reports

05.01.10

What to Do About China? 

Doug Bandow
Cato Institute
The United States is the world’s dominant power, and America will remain influential for decades to come. But China is poised to eventually force Washington to share its leadership position. Such a change would be uncomfortable for American...

Sinica Podcast

04.26.10

A Tom Friedman Exclusive

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
As you’re probably aware, earlier this month Hu Jintao hotfooted it to Washington to attend a nuclear security summit and discuss potential United Nations sanctions against Iran.While the rest of the Internet was sleeping on this story, we at Sinica...

Books

04.01.10

China’s New Nationalism

Peter Gries
Three American missiles hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and what Americans view as an appalling and tragic mistake, many Chinese see as a "barbaric" and intentional "criminal act," the latest in a long series of Western aggressions against China. In this book, Peter Hays Gries explores the roles of perception and sentiment in the growth of popular nationalism in China. At a time when the direction of China's foreign and domestic policies have profound ramifications worldwide, Gries offers a rare, in-depth look at the nature of China's new nationalism, particularly as it involves Sino-American and Sino-Japanese relations—two bilateral relations that carry extraordinary implications for peace and stability in the twenty-first century. Through recent Chinese books and magazines, movies, television shows, posters, and cartoons, Gries traces the emergence of this new nationalism. Anti-Western sentiment, once created and encouraged by China's ruling PRC, has been taken up independently by a new generation of Chinese. Deeply rooted in narratives about past "humiliations" at the hands of the West and impassioned notions of Chinese identity, popular nationalism is now undermining the Communist Party's monopoly on political discourse, threatening the regime's stability. As readable as it is closely researched and reasoned, this timely book analyzes the impact that popular nationalism will have on twenty-first century China and the world.  —University of California Press

Copenhagen: China’s Oppressive Climate

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
As the UN’s Climate Change Conference opens in Copenhagen this week, much attention will focus on China and the United States, who are, by a wide margin, the world’s two leading emitters of greenhouse gases. The success of the conference will depend...

Reports

11.20.09

China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is vitally important, touching on a wide range of areas including, among others, economic policy, security, foreign relations, and human rights. U.S. interests with...

China: The Fragile Superpower

Christian Caryl from New York Review of Books
Some China watchers believe that China’s dramatically rising prosperity will inevitably make the country more open and democratic. President Barack Obama’s highly-scripted trip this week provided little to support that claim. As The Washington Post...

Reports

11.01.09

A Roadmap for U.S.-China Collaboration on Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Asia Society
The United States and China are the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters. Collaboration between the two nations, therefore, offers the greatest opportunity for achieving meaningful reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. The time is...

Obama’s Bad Bargain with Beijing

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
As the echoes of China’s spectacular military parade on October 1 were subsiding, officials in the Obama administration, in quieter settings in Washington, D.C., were telling representatives of the Dalai Lama that the president was not going to meet...

Reports

07.13.09

Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications

Thomas Lum, Hannah Fischer
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Human rights has been a principal area of U.S. concern in its relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), particularly since the violent government crackdown on the Tiananmen democracy movement in 1989. Some policy makers contend that the U...

Reports

03.04.09

China’s Fight Against Climate Change

Sara Segal-Williams
Natural Resources Defense Council
On March 4, 2009, Barbara Finamore, Senior Attorney and China Program Director of the National Resources Defense Council, testified before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in the United States House of Representatives...

Reports

02.13.09

The Pivotal Relationship: How Obama Should Engage China

Liu Xuecheng Robert Oxnam
EastWest Institute
Providing their respective hopes and expectations on what they would like to see in the Obama administration’s China policy are Liu Xuecheng and Robert Oxnam, who both envision opportunities for reframing the China-U.S. relationship in a way that...

Reports

01.01.09

A Roadmap for US-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change

Asia Society
The world faces no greater challenge in the 21st century than arresting the rapidly increasing accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that cause climate change. The two largest producers of these gases are the United States and China...

Reports

08.24.08

Energy Interests and Alliances: China, America and Africa

Angelica Austin, Danila Bochkarev, and Willem van der Geest
EastWest Institute
According to conventional wisdom, the United States and China are locked in a high-stakes competition for energy resources around the world, particularly in Africa. Against the backdrop of highly volatile oil prices, mounting concerns about global...

Reports

06.30.08

Tibet: Problems, Prospects, and U.S. Policy

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
On March 10, 2008, a series of demonstrations began in Lhasa and other Tibetan regions of China to mark the 49th anniversary of an unsuccessful Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. The demonstrations appeared to begin peacefully with small...

Reports

04.01.07

U.S.-China Relations

Carla A. Hills, Dennis C. Blair, Frank Sampson Jannuzi
He Jianan
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations established an Independent Task Force to take stock of the changes under way in China today and to evaluate what these changes mean for China and for the US-China relationship. Based on its careful assessment of the...

Reports

03.01.07

Will India Be a Better Strategic Partner Than China?

Dan Blumenthal
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The Joint Declaration signed on July 18, 2005, by President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been heralded in some quarters as the equivalent of President Richard Nixon’s opening to China. The opening to China under...

Reports

01.04.07

China’s Trade with the United States and the World

Thomas Lum, Dick K. Nanto
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
As imports from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have surged in recent years, posing a threat to some U.S. industries and manufacturing employment, Congress has begun to focus on not only access to the Chinese market and intellectual property...

Reports

11.30.06

America and Japan Approach a Rising China

Dan Blumenthal
Sara Segal-Williams
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
America’s post-Cold War China policy was premised on the hope that multidimensional engagement with Beijing would result in a strong, rich, peaceful, and democratic China. Almost two decades later, America’s attitude toward China reflects the fear...

Reports

12.09.05

East Asian Summit: Issues for Congress

Bruce Vaughn
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Fundamental shifts underway in Asia could constrain the U.S. role in the multilateral affairs of Asia. The centrality of the United States is now being challenged by renewed regionalism in Asia and by China’s rising influence. While the United...

Reports

04.15.05

European Union’s Arms Embargo on China: Implications and Options for U.S. Policy

Kristin Archick, Richard Grimmett, Shirley Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The European Union (EU) is considering lifting its arms embargo on China, which was imposed in response to the June 1989 Tiananmen Crackdown. France, Germany, and other EU members claim that the embargo hinders the development of a “strategic...

Reports

03.07.05

Nonmarket Nonsense: U.S. Antidumping Policy toward China

Daniel Ikenson
Cato Institute
In stark contrast to its broader restraint in the face of anti-China protectionist pressure, the Bush administration has adopted an unabashedly bellicose approach to antidumping matters. The administration should take a hard look at its antidumping...

Reports

05.20.04

China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues for the 108th Congress

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
During the George W. Bush Administration, U.S. and People’s Republic of China (PRC) foreign policy calculations have undergone several changes. The Bush Administration assumed office in January 2001 viewing China as a U.S. ”strategic competitor.”...

Reports

08.06.03

China and the World Trade Organization

Wayne M. Morrison
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
After many years of difficult negotiations, China, on December 11, 2001, become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the international agency that administers multilateral trade rules. Under the terms of its WTO membership, China agreed...

Reports

02.05.03

The China-Taiwan Military Balance

Ivan Eland
Cato Institute
China’s economy is four times the size of Taiwan’s and apparently growing at a faster rate; that economic disparity between China and Taiwan could eventually lead to a military disparity as well. Nonetheless, even an informal U.S. security guarantee...

Reports

01.31.03

China-U.S. Relations

Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, U.S. and PRC foreign policy calculations appear to be changing. The Administration of George W. Bush assumed office in January 2001 viewing China as a U.S. “strategic...

Reports

04.24.00

China’s Long March to a Market Economy

Mark A. Groombridge
Cato Institute
The U.S. Congress is in the historic position of being able to help pro-reform leaders in China move their country in a market-oriented direction. A vote to grant China permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status will bolster the position of...

Reports

07.19.99

Trade and the Transformation of China

Dan Griswold, Ned Graham, Robert Kapp, and Nicholas Lardy
Cato Institute
Congress will soon consider whether to revoke normal trade relations (NTR) with China and then, possibly in the fall, whether to make NTR permanent as part of China’s anticipated entry into the World Trade Organization. The consequences of...