Reports

04.01.15

U.S.-China 21: The Future of U.S.-China Relations Under Xi Jinping

Kevin Rudd
Harvard University
We are, therefore, seeing the emergence of an asymmetric world in which the fulcrums of economic and military power are no longer co-located, but, in fact, are beginning to diverge significantly. Political power, through the agency of foreign policy...

Reports

03.31.15

Navigating Choppy Waters

Matthew P. Goodman, David A. Parker
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
China faces increasing economic headwinds that call into question not only its near-term growth outlook but the longer-term sustainability of its economic success. At a time of leadership transition in Beijing, global markets and policymakers alike...

Xi Meets with Kissinger, Calls for More Trust Between China, U.S.

Xinhua
Kissinger hailed the ongoing historic reform in China.

Books

03.16.15

The China Collectors

Shareen Blair Brysac and Karl E. Meyer
Thanks to Salem sea captains, Gilded Age millionaires, curators on horseback, and missionaries gone native, North American museums now possess the greatest collections of Chinese art outside of East Asia itself. How did it happen? The China Collectors is the first full account of a century-long treasure hunt in China from the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion to Mao Zedong's 1949 ascent.The principal gatherers are mostly little known and defy invention. They included "foreign devils" who braved desert sandstorms, bandits, and local warlords in acquiring significant works. Adventurous curators like Langdon Warner, a forebear of Indiana Jones, argued that the caves of Dunhuang were already threatened by vandals, thereby justifying the removal of frescoes and sculptures. Other Americans include George Kates, an alumnus of Harvard, Oxford, and Hollywood, who fell in love with Ming furniture. The Chinese were divided between dealers who profited from the artworks' removal, and scholars who sought to protect their country's patrimony. Duanfang, the greatest Chinese collector of his era, was beheaded in a coup and his splendid bronzes now adorn major museums. Others in this rich tapestry include Charles Lang Freer, an enlightened Detroit entrepreneur, two generations of Rockefellers, and Avery Brundage, the imperious Olympian, and Arthur Sackler, the grand acquisitor. No less important are two museum directors, Cleveland's Sherman Lee and Kansas City's Laurence Sickman, who challenged the East Coast's hegemony.Shareen Blair Brysac and Karl E. Meyer even-handedly consider whether ancient treasures were looted or salvaged, and whether it was morally acceptable to spirit hitherto inaccessible objects westward, where they could be studied and preserved by trained museum personnel. And how should the U.S. and Canada and their museums respond now that China has the means and will to reclaim its missing patrimony?—Palgrave Macmillan {chop}

Books

03.05.15

Has the American Media Misjudged China

William J. Holstein, Editor on behalf of The Overseas Press Club
Thirty-five years after China's opening to the world, some of the key assumptions that have guided coverage are being tested by the presidency of Xi Jinping. This book is must reading for anyone involved in U.S.-Chinese relations or for anyone who is just plain curious about how the assumptions that have guided American media coverage of China are now being challenged by the presidency of Xi Jinping. He has a very different vision of his country's future than the one often presented in some media accounts. —William J. Holstein  {chop}

Reports

03.04.15

A Vital Partnership

Asia Society
As the two largest global emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the United States share the challenge of transforming each of their current fossil fuel–based energy systems into clean twenty-first-century energy systems that remain cornerstones of...

The Pacific Power Index

Tea Leaf Nation Staff
Foreign Policy
The world's most important relationship isn't the superpower showdown most analysts would have you believe. It’s a constantly shifting, symbiotic relationship shaped by millions of people, not just officials in Washington and Beijing.

Alibaba Is Planning a Big Move to Win U.S. Business

Edwin Chan, Paul Carsten and John...
Business Insider
Anchored by Alipay, the dominant Chinese electronic payments system that works closely with Alibaba and is controlled by its executives, the world's largest Internet retailer is using the calling card of China's consumers to attract U.S...

Opinion: In Response to Sony Hack, U.S. Should Focus on China Not North Korea

Jason Healey
Christian Science Monitor
Mr. Obama’s punt is not a big surprise as there simply are no good options for responding to North Korea. How do you calibrate a “proportional response” when not countering a military attack but one that targets freedom of expression?

China Said to Probe U.S. Claims of North Korea Role in Sony Hack

Keith Zhai and Ting Shi
Bloomberg
The dispute between the U.S. and North Korea is escalating after hackers forced Sony to pull a comedy movie about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, exposed Hollywood secrets, and destroyed company data.

China’s Double-Edged Pact

Martin Adams
New York Times
Whether China is a climate hero or a climate villain is a matter of polarized debate. At one extreme, the world’s biggest carbon-emitter is portrayed as a wasteful bogeyman that obstructs efforts to halt global warming and “steals” clean-tech jobs...

Patent Fiction

The Economist
Economist
“What has long been predicted has now become a reality: China is leading the world in innovation.” So declares a press release promoting a new report by Thomson Reuters, a research firm, called “China’s IQ (Innovation Quotient).”

Reports

12.03.14

Warring State: China’s Cybersecurity Strategy

Amy Chang
Center for a New American Security
Research Associate Amy Chang explores the political, economic, and military objectives of China’s cybersecurity apparatus; reveals drivers and intentions of Chinese activity in cyberspace; and analyzes the development of Beijing’s cybersecurity...

Caixin Media

12.02.14

Clearing the Air With a Sino-U.S. Climate Pact

A long-anticipated, Sino-U.S. agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions was announced on November 12 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing.The deal marked a surprise turn toward compromise for the world's largest...

Leader Asserts China’s Growing Importance on Global Stage

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Sounding confident after a burst of high-profile diplomacy, President Xi Jinping told Communist Party officials in a major address here over the weekend that China would be nice to its neighbors in Asia but that he would run an active foreign policy...

China Detains an American Who Assists North Koreans

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The aid worker, Peter Hahn, who is 73 and escaped from the North many years ago, is suspected of embezzlement and possession of fraudulent receipts, said the lawyer, Zhang Peihong.

Environment

11.18.14

Four Reasons Why the U.S.-China Climate Statement Matters

from chinadialogue
The joint U.S.-China statement on climate change is both inspiring and historic. The two parties have sought common ground, set aside their differences, and put global interests first—as responsible great powers should.The agreement will have four...

First China-Made Plane Coming To U.S. Skies

Gordon G. Chang
Forbes
“This purchase marks the first time for any Chinese-made planes to enter an advanced market, and the U.S. has the highest standards, so this testifies to the achievement of Chinese aircraft manufacturing,” said Li Xianzhe of Avicopter to the South...

Media

11.14.14

Why Is Beijing Downplaying the Supposedly Huge Climate Change Deal?

Alexa Olesen
The United States has been using some frothy language to describe its joint statement with China on forestalling climate change. In a breathless New York Times editorial, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry referred to it as "something of great...

Obama’s Focus in China Is on Leader, Not Public

Mark Landler
New York Times
The White House has also changed its approach to the Chinese news media. In 2009, Mr. Obama gave an interview to Southern Weekly, a newspaper based in Guangdong Province that is known for pushing the limits of China’s censorship rules. The...

China’s ‘New Type’ of Ties Fails to Sway Obama

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Nearly three years ago, Xi Jinping was still China’s vice president and only the heir apparent to the Communist Party leadership. But even during that visit he spoke expansively of forging a “new type of great power relations” with the United States.

Viewpoint

11.08.14

Obama’s Chance to Get China Right

Paul Gewirtz
With much of his domestic agenda now stymied by the Republican sweep of Congress, President Obama’s room for maneuver remains greatest in foreign affairs. Yet with much of the Middle East in flames, an angry Vladimir Putin threatening Russian...

Books

11.05.14

China 1945

Richard Bernstein
A riveting account of the watershed moment in America’s dealings with China that forever altered the course of East-West relations.As 1945 opened, America was on surprisingly congenial terms with China’s Communist rebels—their soldiers treated their American counterparts as heroes, rescuing airmen shot down over enemy territory. Chinese leaders talked of a future in which American money and technology would help lift China out of poverty. Mao Zedong himself held friendly meetings with U.S. emissaries, vowing to them his intention of establishing an American-style democracy in China.By year’s end, however, cordiality had been replaced by chilly hostility and distrust. Chinese Communist soldiers were setting ambushes for American marines in north China; Communist newspapers were portraying the United States as an implacable imperialist enemy; civil war in China was erupting. The pattern was set for a quarter century of almost total Sino-American mistrust, with the devastating wars in Korea and Vietnam among the consequences.Richard Bernstein here tells the incredible story of that year’s sea change, brilliantly analyzing its many components, from ferocious infighting among U.S. diplomats, military leaders, and opinion makers to the complex relations between Mao and his patron, Stalin.On the American side, we meet experienced “China hands” John Paton Davies and John Stewart Service, whose efforts at negotiation made them prey to accusations of Communist sympathy; FDR’s special ambassador Patrick J. Hurley, a decorated general and self-proclaimed cowboy; and Time journalist, Henry Luce, whose editorials helped turn the tide of American public opinion. On the Chinese side, Bernstein reveals the ascendant Mao and his intractable counterpart, Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek; and the indispensable Zhou Enlai.A tour de force of narrative history, China 1945 examines the first episode in which American power and good intentions came face-to-face with a powerful Asian revolutionary movement, and challenges familiar assumptions about the origins of modern Sino-American relations. —Knopf {chop}

Manual on How to Spot a Spy Circulates in an Increasingly Wary China

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Or an American spy. Or a “hostile foreign force.” So says the “China Folk Counterespionage Manual,” a “how to spot a spy” guide circulating on the Internet.

China Quietly Gives Global News Awards

David Bandurski
China Media Project
Although the WMS was, according to Chinese state media, “co-launched by Xinhua News Agency and other major media organizations around the world,” the event has always been solidly China’s prerogative.

Media

10.29.14

A Talking Heads Video: China Strikes Back

Orville Schell
In the first episode of the new VICE News series Talking Heads, Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society, and publisher of ChinaFile, discusses his New York Review of Books essay, "China...

A Chance to Introduce Social and Environmental Protections

David Dollar, Hugh White, Oliver Rui,...
New York Times
Instead of opposing its creation, the U.S. should consider joining the bank as a means of guaranteeing that it matches world-class financing strength with world-class environmental practices.

China, U.S. Working to Ensure Positive Results from Obama's Upcoming China Visit: Senior Chinese Official

Xinhua
Xinhua
Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi saluted "new and positive progress" that has been made in various aspects of the China-U.S. ties since last year's summit held by Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in California.

Hong Kong’s Leader Blames Foreigners for Fanning Protests

Frederik Balfour, Chong Pooi Koon and...
Bloomberg
“There is obviously participation by people, organizations from outside of Hong Kong,” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in an interview on Asia Television Ltd.

The U.S. Is No Role Model in Hong Kong’s Democracy Fight

Heather Timmons
Quartz
C.Y. Leung explains the protests that continue to paralyze parts of Hong Kong, after thwarting a police crackdown over the weekend: they are being supported by “external forces."

U.S. Taiwan Policy Threatens a Face-Off With China

Paul Wolfowitz
Wall Street Journal
Taiwan celebrates its National Day on Friday commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising, which eventually brought down the Qing Dynasty and led in 1912 to the creation of the Republic of China—today more commonly known as Taiwan.

Getting Real About China

Wesley K. Clark
New York Times
China’s harsh suppression of political dissent, from Hong Kong to Xinjiang, and its close ties to Russia, Iran and North Korea, have finally laid to rest the dream many Western leaders have had since the 1990s.

China Strikes Back!

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
When Deng Xiaoping arrived at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington in January 1979, his country was just emerging from a long revolutionary deep freeze. No one knew much about this 5-foot-tall Chinese leader. He had suddenly reappeared on the...

Viewpoint

09.26.14

‘The China-U.S. Relationship is Basically Good’

Wu Jianmin
A few days ago, I was in Washington, D.C. for a conference. While there, I met some American friends. We had an interesting discussion about what seems to me to be a debate going on in the U.S. about China-U.S. relations: One side believes the China...

Books

09.24.14

A Chinaman’s Chance

Eric Liu
From Tony Hsieh to Amy Chua to Jeremy Lin, Chinese Americans are now arriving at the highest levels of American business, civic life, and culture. But what makes this story of immigrant ascent unique is that Chinese Americans are emerging at just the same moment when China has emerged—and indeed may displace America—at the center of the global scene. What does it mean to be Chinese American in this moment? And how does exploring that question alter our notions of just what an American is and will be? In many ways, Chinese Americans today are exemplars of the American Dream: during a crowded century and a half, this community has gone from indentured servitude, second-class status and outright exclusion to economic and social integration and achievement. But this narrative obscures too much: the Chinese Americans still left behind, the erosion of the American Dream in general, the emergence—perhaps—of a Chinese Dream, and how other Americans will look at their countrymen of Chinese descent if China and America ever become adversaries. As Chinese Americans reconcile competing beliefs about what constitutes success, virtue, power, and purpose, they hold a mirror up to their country in a time of deep flux. In searching, often personal essays that range from the meaning of Confucius to the role of Chinese Americans in shaping how we read the Constitution to why he hates the hyphen in "Chinese-American," Eric Liu pieces together a sense of the Chinese American identity in these auspicious years for both countries. He considers his own public career in American media and government; his daughter's efforts to hold and release aspects of her Chinese inheritance; and the still-recent history that made anyone Chinese in America seem foreign and disloyal until proven otherwise. Provocative, often playful but always thoughtful, Liu breaks down his vast subject into bite-sized chunks, along the way providing insights into universal matters: identity, nationalism, family, and more. —PublicAffairs {chop}

Ebola Crisis in West Africa: Fair to Compare U.S. and China Aid?

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
When the ebola crisis first struck West Africa, China was among the only major powers to not only keep its personnel in the affected countries but to also send tens of millions of dollars in badly needed aid. The U.S., by contrast, was visibly...

U.S. Treasury Warns China Over Antimonopoly Efforts

Laurie Burkitt and Bob Davis
Wall Street Journal
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew Issues Antimonopoly Warning in Letter to Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang

Books

09.11.14

Powerful Patriots

Jessica Chen Weiss
Why has the Chinese government sometimes allowed and sometimes repressed nationalist, anti-foreign protests? What have been the international consequences of these choices? Anti-American demonstrations were permitted in 1999 but repressed in 2001 during two crises in U.S.-China relations. Anti-Japanese protests were tolerated in 1985, 2005, and 2012 but banned in 1990 and 1996. Protests over Taiwan, the issue of greatest concern to Chinese nationalists, have never been allowed. To explain this variation in China's response to nationalist mobilization, Powerful Patriots argues that Chinese and other authoritarian leaders weigh both diplomatic and domestic incentives to allow and repress nationalist protests. Autocrats may not face electoral constraints, but anti-foreign protests provide an alternative mechanism by which authoritarian leaders can reveal their vulnerability to public pressure. Because nationalist protests are costly to repress and may turn against the government, allowing protests demonstrates resolve and increases the domestic cost of diplomatic concessions. Repressing protests, by contrast, sends a credible signal of reassurance, facilitating diplomatic flexibility and signaling a willingness to spend domestic political capital for the sake of international cooperation. To illustrate the logic, the book traces the effect of domestic and diplomatic factors in China's management of nationalist protest in the post-Mao era (1978-2012) and the consequences for China's foreign relations.—Oxford University Press {chop}

Culture

09.04.14

‘Transformers 4’ May Pander to China, But America Still Wins

Ying Zhu
Hollywood made news this summer with the China triumph of Transformers: Age of Extinction, which broke all previous Chinese box office records. The Chinese box office even outsold the North American box office. But jubilation over the film’s...

Media

08.27.14

A ‘School Bus and a Ferrari’

Communication between China and the United States can often resemble ships passing in the night—or planes passing through international airspace. But when it comes to this particularly fraught bilateral relationship, perhaps metaphors are best...

Environment

08.21.14

Who Will Feed China’s Pigs?

from chinadialogue
He's been called China’s richest chicken farmer, but Liu Yonghao has come a long way from his days breeding birds in rural Sichuan province.As the billionaire founder of the New Hope Group, China’s largest producer of animal feed, Liu’s rise...

China & the U.S.: “Complementary Rivals” in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
There is a persistent meme within the international media that China’s rise in Africa represents a “new scramble” for resources on the continent or a new form of colonialism. Beijing-based China-Africa analyst and attorney Kai Xue says, contrary to...

Sinica Podcast

08.08.14

In Memory of Jenkai Kuo

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Jeremy and David welcome back Kaiser to remember the life and lessons of his father, Jenkai Kuo (Guo Jingkai) (郭倞闓). He was an upstanding man who spent much of his life dedicated to his passions, none more important than his...

The War of Words in China

ANDREW JACOBS
New York Times
These are challenging days for foreigners in China, who in the past year or so have increasingly found themselves caught up in a war of words that paint Westerners as conscripts in the army of “hostile foreign forces” seeking to thwart China’s rise.

Caixin Media

07.22.14

Stability the Watchword for Progress in China

Chinese diplomacy has had a busy few months, with numerous visits abroad by leaders and a constant stream of foreign leaders coming to the country.Amid the flurry of activity, two meetings were particularly noteworthy: the sixth U.S.-China Strategic...

Media

07.21.14

Everybody Hates Rui

He may be widely reviled in his home country, but oh, what a resume: The son of an author and screenwriter; a graduate of the prestigious China Foreign Affairs University; a Yale World Fellow; and state-run China Central Television (CCTV)’s best-...

Unprecedented: Chinese Company Beats Obama in Court

Wall Street Journal
In an unprecedented development on Tuesday,Chinese-owned Ralls Corp. proved the naysayers wrong, securing a court victory over the president that could shake up the way the U.S. reviews foreign acquisitions with national security concerns.

President Xi Welcomes Obama to Visit China for APEC Summit

Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that he welcomes and expects talks with Barack Obama when the U.S. president visits China to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November.

Kerry Presses China to Abide by Maritime Laws to Ease Tensions

Jane Perlez
New York Times
In a closed-door session at a high-level gathering of Chinese and American officials here on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry urged China to follow maritime law in nearby seas to reduce regional tensions.

Media

07.08.14

Changing the Chinese Embassy’s Address to Liu Xiaobo Plaza Is a Silly Idea

I rarely agree with the Chinese Embassy in Washington, but an amendment making its way through Congress has made me unlikely bedfellows with Beijing’s Washington diplomats.Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) has sponsored an amendment to rename the...

China’s Rise and Asian Tensions Send U.S. Relations Into Downward Spiral

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Hundreds of rocky islands, islets, sandbanks, reefs and cays lie scattered across Asia’s eastern waters, unimportant-looking to the naked eye but significant enough to spark what may be the most worrying deterioration in U.S.-China relations in...

What You Need to Know About the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

Richard C. Bush III, David Dollar,...
Since 2009, the Strategic and Economic Dialogue has offered a platform for both countries to address bilateral, regional and global challenges and opportunities, and this year’s meeting comes at a critical time to stabilize the U.S.-China...

U.S. Pushes China to Give Ground on Technology Trade Deal

Krista Hughes
Reuters
The United States on Monday urged China to give ground on a deal to eliminate duties on billions of dollars of technology products and said it would use talks in Beijing later this week to push to restart negotiations.

China Thinks It Can Defeat America in Battle

David Axe
Week
China is wrong — and for one major reason. It apparently disregards the decisive power of America's nuclear-powered submarines.

Conversation

07.01.14

The Debate Over Confucius Institutes PART II

Gregory B. Lee, Michael Hill & more
Last week, ChinaFile published a discussion on the debate over Confucius Institutes–Chinese language and culture programs affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education—and their role on university campuses. The topic, and several of the...

U.S. Navy Official Says China Military Relations Have Improved ‘Modestly’

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
Relations between the U.S. and Chinese militaries have improved “modestly” in the past year, a senior U.S. Navy official said, despite discord over territorial tensions and strategic issues in the Asian-Pacific region.

Terrorism: U.S. and China’s Common Enemy in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
While U.S. and Chinese interests often have divergent interests in Africa, they do share at least one common enemy: terrorism. Chinese nationals have been kidnapped and held for ransom in a number of African countries, including South Sudan, Egypt,...

Iowa Signs Historical Cooperation Agreement With China

Lynn Hicks
Des Moines Register
Iowa’s economic ties with China deepened Thursday as the state signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Commerce of the world’s second-largest economy.

China Under-Reports Defence Spending, Says US

BBC
China has under-reported its 2014 defense spending by about 20%, according to an annual report put out by the US defense department.