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.

25 Years Later, Tiananmen Square Still Colors U.S.-China Relations

Tom Malinowski
U.S. State Department
Today, the United States is asking of the Chinese government what we have asked for 25 years: to provide the fullest possible accounting of the Tiananmen events and to stop retribution against those who wish to remember them.

Viewpoint

06.03.14

China’s Maritime Provocations

Susan Shirk
Last weekend I attended the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual gathering of Asian, European, and American defense and military officials and strategic experts in Singapore hosted by the London International Institute of Strategic Studies. China sent a...

Sinica Podcast

06.02.14

OMG, in Conversation With Jessica Beinecke

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn interview Jessica Beinecke, host of the VOA-funded OMG Meiyu, a Chinese show on English slang that has earned Jessica hundreds of thousands of followers in China. Now the owner of her own production company, Jessica is...

Reports

06.01.14

Decoding China’s Emerging “Great Power” Strategy in Asia

Christopher K. Johnson, Ernest Z. Bower, Victor D. Cha, Michael J. Green, Matthew P. Goodman
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
The course charted by China’s reemergence as a great power over the next few decades represents the primary strategic challenge for the U.S.-Japan security alliance and for the East Asian security landscape writ large. If China’s economic, military...

American Businesses in China Feel Heat of a Cyberdispute

Edward Wong
New York Times
Chinese officials are ramping up political and economic pressure on the United States following indictments against five members of the Chinese Army on charges of economic cyberespionage.

Obama Says the U.S. Will Lead the World for the Next 100 Years. China Disagrees.

Gu Jinglu
Washington Post
The Global Times, China’s state-run nationalist-leaning newspaper, later challenged that view, asking, “America wants to lead the world for another 100 years, but with what?”

China is Stealing a Strategic March on the US

David Pilling
Financial Times
Bit by bit Beijing is creating new facts, and with each incident, it throws down the gauntlet.

Books

05.22.14

Age of Ambition

Evan Osnos
From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy—or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don’t see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes.As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals—fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture—consider themselves “angry youth,” dedicated to resisting the West’s influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth?Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail. —Farrar, Straus, and Giroux {chop}

Media

05.08.14

The Chinese Are Coming! (And That’s OK)

On April 29, the United States Chamber of Commerce, a U.S. lobbying group, announced that Chinese investment in the United States surpassed U.S. investment in China for the first time. The news has been a long time in coming: Over the past decade,...

The China Challenge

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In 1890, an undistinguished U.S. Navy captain published a book that would influence generations of strategists. Alfred Thayer Mahan’s The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783 posited that great nations need potent, blue-water navies backed...

Media

05.06.14

Chinese to the World: Ignore Our GDP

The U.S.-based World Bank grabbed everybody’s attention by announcing that China was poised to displace the United States as the world’s largest economy based on purchasing power. But a survey of the Chinese web shows people at home aren’t buying it...

Conversation

04.30.14

Will China’s Economy Be #1 by Dec. 31? (And Does it Matter?)

William Adams, Damien Ma & more
On April 30, data released by the United Nations International Comparison Program showed China’s estimated 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rate was twenty percent higher than was estimated in 2005. What does this mean? China's...

Conversation

04.22.14

What Obama Should Say About China in Japan

Yuki Tatsumi, Ely Ratner & more
On Wednesday, Barack Obama will land in Tokyo beginning a week-long trip to four of China's neighbors—but not to China itself.In Obama’s stops in Tokyo, Seoul, Manila, and Kuala Lampur, the specter of China will loom large. This will be...

Sinica Podcast

04.21.14

American Football in China

David Moser from Sinica Podcast
This week we’re delighted to be joined by Christopher Beam, author of the passage quoted above, which we unceremoniously filched from his fantastic New Republic essay about his year with the Chongqing Dockers, one of the many new amateur football...

Sinica Podcast

04.14.14

Live at the Association for Asian Studies

Kaiser Kuo, Jeffrey Wasserstrom & more from Sinica Podcast
This week, Sinica presents a special live recording from the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) which convened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Regular listeners, please note that the audio quality here isn’t up to our usual...

Solving China’s Schools: An Interview with Jiang Xueqin

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In December, China stunned the world when the most widely used international education assessment revealed that Shanghai’s schools now outperform those of any other country—not only in math and science but also in reading. Some education experts...

Books

04.01.14

The Contest of the Century

Geoff Dyer
From the former Financial Times Beijing bureau chief, a balanced and far-seeing analysis of the emerging competition between China and the United States that will dominate twenty-first-century world affairs—an inside account of Beijing’s quest for influence and an explanation of how America can come out on top. The structure of global politics is shifting rapidly. After decades of rising, China has entered a new and critical phase where it seeks to turn its economic heft into global power. In this deeply informed book, Geoff Dyer makes a lucid and convincing argument that China and the United States are now embarking on a great power–style competition that will dominate the century. This contest will take place in every arena: from control of the seas, where China’s new navy is trying to ease the United States out of Asia and reassert its traditional leadership, to rewriting the rules of the global economy, with attempts to turn the renminbi into the predominant international currency, toppling the dominance of the U.S. dollar. And by investing billions to send its media groups overseas, Beijing hopes to shift the global debate about democracy and individual rights. Eyeing the high ground of international politics, China is taking the first steps in an ambitious global agenda. Yet Dyer explains how China will struggle to unseat the United States. China’s new ambitions are provoking intense anxiety, especially in Asia, while America’s global influence has deep roots. If Washington can adjust to a world in which it is no longer dominant but still immensely powerful, it can withstand China’s challenge. With keen insight based on a deep local knowledge—offering the reader visions of coastal Chinese beauty pageants and secret submarine bases, lockstep Beijing military parades and the neon media screens of Xinhua exported to New York City’s Times Square—The Contest of the Century is essential reading at a time of great uncertainty about America’s future, a road map for retaining a central role in the world.  —Knopf {chop}

Reports

04.01.14

High Tech: The Next Wave of Chinese Investment in America

Thilo Hanemann and Daniel H. Rosen
Asia Society
In this report, we explore the advent of Chinese investment in U.S. high-tech sectors in order to provide an objective starting point for debate about this nascent trend. We use a unique dataset on Chinese FDI transactions in the United States to...

Media

03.26.14

A Wrinkle to Those Hot Chinese Tech IPOs

Investors, ready your wallets. In the past week, Sina Weibo, China’s massive microblogging platform with 280 million users, and Alibaba, the operator of China’s largest online marketplace which generated $1.84 billion in revenue in the fourth...

Books

03.19.14

Unbalanced

Stephen Roach
The Chinese and U.S. economies have been locked in an uncomfortable embrace since the late 1970s. Although the relationship initially arose out of mutual benefits, in recent years it has taken on the trappings of an unstable codependence, with the two largest economies in the world losing their sense of self, increasing the risk of their turning on one another in a destructive fashion.In Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China Stephen Roach lays bare the pitfalls of the current China-U.S. economic relationship. He highlights the conflicts at the center of current tensions, including disputes over trade policies and intellectual property rights, sharp contrasts in leadership styles, the role of the Internet, the recent dispute over cyberhacking, and more.A firsthand witness to the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, Roach likely knows more about the U.S.-China economic relationship than any other Westerner. Here he discusses:Why America saving too little and China saving too much creates mounting problems for bothHow China is planning to re-boot its economic growth model by moving from an external export-led model to one of internal consumerism with a new focus on service industriesHow America shows a disturbing lack of strategy, preferring a short-term reactive approach over a more coherent Chinese-style planning frameworkThe way out: what America could do to turn its own economic fate around and position itself for a healthy economic and political relationship with ChinaIn the wake of the 2008 crisis, both unbalanced economies face urgent and mutually beneficial rebalancings. Unbalanced concludes with a recipe for resolving the escalating tensions of codependence. Roach argues that the Next China offers much for the Next America—and vice versa.—Yale University Press{chop}

A Parting Shot at U.S. Ambassador, Inspired by Mao

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
Following departing United States ambassador Gary F. Locke's farewell news conference in Beijing, China News Service published a scathing review of his tenure.

Departing U.S. Envoy to China Praises Growing Economic Ties

Edward Wong
New York Times
Locke praised the growing economic ties between the two nations but said China needed to make progress in establishing the rule of law and government transparency, and in respecting freedom of expression and human rights.

U.S. Ambassador Urges China to Respect Human Rights

Christopher Bodeen
ABC
At his final news conference as ambassador, Gary Locke said that Washington is "very concerned" about the case of a minority scholar charged with separatism and a recent increase in the arrests of activists and...

New Report Could Offer Clues to Hillary Clinton’s China Policy

Zachary Keck
Diplomat
The report could offer clues into what U.S.-China policy might look like if Hillary Clinton is elected president in 2016.

Viewpoint

03.06.14

Can America Win in a New Era of Competition with China?

Geoff Dyer
Beijing was in a state of heightened anxiety and had been for weeks. Each day in the run-up to the National Day parade, the security measures seemed to get a little bit tighter. Our apartment building had a distant view of Jianguomen, which is the...

Conversation

03.02.14

A Racist Farewell to Outgoing U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke

Kaiser Kuo, Hyeon-Ju Rho & more
Reacting to departing U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke’s February 27 farewell news conference in Beijing, the state-run China News Service published a critique by Wang Ping that called Ambassador Locke a “banana.”Kaiser Kuo:Banana or Twinkie for “white-on...

Viewpoint

02.27.14

Why Frank Underwood is Great for China’s Soft Power

Ying Zhu
In depicting U.S. politics as just as vicious, if not more, sociopathic than its Chinese counterpart, House of Cards delivered a sweet Valentine’s Day gift to the Chinese government. The show handed the Chinese state an instant victory when the...

Conversation

02.27.14

How Responsible Are Americans for China’s Pollution Problem?

David Vance Wagner, Alex Wang & more
David Vance Wagner: China’s latest “airpocalypse” has again sent air pollution in Beijing soaring to hazardous levels for days straight. Though the Chinese government has made admirable progress recently at confronting the long-term air pollution...

Media

02.26.14

China, LinkedIn Would Like to Add You to Its Network

LinkedIn is now aiming its bow for the rocky shoals that have claimed Facebook, Twitter, Google, and even eBay: the Chinese market. On February 24, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner announced the launch of LinkedIn’s Chinese-language site, still in beta,...

Conversation

02.19.14

China in ‘House of Cards’

Steven Jiang, Donald Clarke & more
China figures heavily in the second season of the Netflix series House of Cards, but how accurately does the show portray U.S.-China relations? Steven Jiang, a journalist for CNN in Beijing, binged-watched all thirteen recently-released web-only...

Media

02.19.14

Chinese Netizens (Still) Love ‘House of Cards’

“Everyone in China who works on this level pays who they need to pay.” Mild spoiler alert: These are the words of the fictitious Xander Feng, an influential Chinese billionaire on the Netflix series "House of Cards," a show that follows...

No, China Did Not Win the Global Battle for Supremacy

Daniel Rosen
Foreign Policy
Eric X. Li enumerates the defects of a U.S.-centric international system that he perceives to be crumbling, praises the deftness and strength he sees in China's statecraft, and predicts a coming period of international volatility as...

Chinese Official Made Job Plea to JP Morgan Chase Chief

Jessica Sliver-Greenberg and Ben Protess
New York Times
The episode underscores the dual forces driving JPMorgan and other Wall Street banks to hire the family and friends of China’s ruling elite. The banks sought to build good will with Chinese officials, who, in turn, expected favors from the banks...

Books

01.16.14

Debating China

Nina Hachigian (Editor)
America and China are the two most powerful players in global affairs, and no relationship is more consequential. How they choose to cooperate and compete affects billions of lives. But U.S.-China relations are complex and often delicate, featuring a multitude of critical issues that America and China must navigate together. Missteps could spell catastrophe.In Debating China, Nina Hachigian pairs American and Chinese experts in collegial “letter exchanges” that illuminate this multi-dimensional and complex relationship. These fascinating conversations—written by highly respected scholars and former government officials from the U.S. and China—provide an invaluable dual perspective on such crucial issues as trade and investment, human rights, climate change, military dynamics, regional security in Asia, and the media, including the Internet. The engaging dialogue between American and Chinese experts gives readers an inside view of how both sides see the key challenges. Readers bear witness to the writers’ hopes and frustrations as they explore the politics, values, history, and strategic frameworks that inform their positions. This unique volume is perfect for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of U.S.-China relations today.—Oxford University Press{chop}{node, 4406, 4}

Media

01.10.14

Shaq in China: A Love Story

At seven-foot-one, roughly 350 pounds, and with a smile that’s been featured on everything from cereal boxes to CD album covers, Shaquille O’Neal isn’t particularly hard to recognize. And yet there I stood at the airport arrival gate in Chongqing, a...

Books

12.17.13

Ping-Pong Diplomacy

Nicholas Griffin
The spring of 1971 heralded the greatest geopolitical realignment in a generation. After twenty-two years of antagonism, China and the United States suddenly moved toward a détente—achieved not by politicians but by Ping-Pong players. The Western press delighted in the absurdity of the moment and branded it “Ping-Pong Diplomacy.” But for the Chinese, Ping-Pong was always political, a strategic cog in Mao Zedong’s foreign policy. Nicholas Griffin proves that the organized game, from its first breath, was tied to Communism thanks to its founder, Ivor Montagu, son of a wealthy English baron and spy for the Soviet Union. Ping-Pong Diplomacy traces a crucial inter­section of sports and society. Griffin tells the strange and tragic story of how the game was manipulated at the highest levels; how the Chinese government helped cover up the death of 36 million peasants by holding the World Table Tennis Championships during the Great Famine; how championship players were driven to their deaths during the Cultural Revolution; and, finally, how the survivors were reconvened in 1971 and ordered to reach out to their American counterparts. Through a cast of eccentric characters, from spies to hippies and Ping-Pong-obsessed generals to atom-bomb survivors, Griffin explores how a neglected sport was used to help realign the balance of worldwide power.  —Scribner{chop}

Media

12.06.13

China’s Viral, Nationalist Screed Against Western Encroachment

“You are nothing without your motherland.” It’s a trite phrase, one that seems unlikely to stir the blood of even the most dyed-in-the-wool nationalist—but it has found recent currency in China. An essay with that title has been making the rounds on...

Biden Urges Restraint by China in Airspace Dispute

Mark Landler
New York Times
Chinese leaders pushed back at visiting Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday over what they assert is their right to control a wide swath of airspace in the bitterly contested East China Sea. But the Chinese also indicated that they had...

Media

12.04.13

Chinese Chortle at U.S. Request to Scrap Controversial Air Defense Zone

The United States wants China to pull back from its gambit to try to rewrite the East China Sea’s status quo, but the Chinese are having none of it. On December 2, the U.S. State Department said China’s newly-declared air defense identification zone...

Conversation

11.27.13

Why’s the U.S. Flying Bombers Over the East China Sea?

Chen Weihua, James Fallows & more
Chen Weihua:The Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is not a Chinese invention. The United States, Japan and some 20 other countries declared such zones in their airspace long time ago.China’s announcement of its first ADIZ in the East China Sea...

Media

11.25.13

Chinese Netizens Applaud Beijing’s Aggressive New Defense Zone

Beijing has just thrown down the latest gauntlet in a long-simmering territorial dispute with Tokyo—and China’s citizens are cheering. On November 23, China’s Ministry of Defense released a map showing the “Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone,”...

Conversation

11.24.13

What Should the Next U.S. Ambassador to China Tackle First?

Mary Kay Magistad & Robert Kapp
Mary Kay Magistad: Gary Locke succeeded in a way that few U.S. ambassadors to China have—in improving public perceptions of U.S. culture.  Locke’s down-to-earth approachability and lack of ostentation certainly helped. So did the...

Media

11.22.13

Farewell, Everyman: Chinese React to Ambassador Locke’s Departure

Chinese are waving goodbye to the frustratingly normal U.S. Ambassador to Beijing, Gary Locke, who announced on November 20 that he will be leaving his post in early 2014. Over 300,000 netizens discussed Locke’s resignation on Sina Weibo, the...

Culture

11.19.13

Why You Should Read Pearl Buck’s ‘New’ Novel

Sheila Melvin
When I first heard that The Eternal Wonder, a new novel by Pearl Buck, was scheduled for publication by Open Road Media on October 22 of this year, I assumed the announcement was either a mistake or a joke.Buck, of course, is the author of The Good...

Sinica Podcast

11.19.13

Partners and Rivals

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
Few will dispute that the Sino-American relationship constitutes the most important bilateral relationship of our time, shedding a sort of lunar influence on international politics which helps shape not only the dynamic of global tensions, but also...

How Jimmy Kimmel’s Joke Became an Issue for the White House

Washington Post
Earlier this week, Kimmel aired a segment of his Kids Table, where he asks small children to address complex issues. When asked how the U.S. could solve the $1.3 trillion trade imbalance, one 6-year-old answered “Kill everyone in China.”...

Media

11.07.13

Chinese State Media: U.S. Bullying ‘Obsolete’

Stop being a bully, and start respecting the rule of the global village. That’s the takeaway from a November 1 editorial in Chinese state media, which castigates the United States in the wake of revelations that the NSA has tapped the phones of...

Media

11.05.13

China and Hollywood by the Numbers

Jonathan Landreth
Consider this: Hollywood studios now make more money selling movie tickets in China than in any other market outside North America. Wanda, China’s largest real estate developer, bought AMC, the second-largest movie theater chain in the United States...

Culture

11.01.13

The Sound of China’s Future

Jonathan Campbell
It’s high noon in March and the cluttered patio of Maria’s Taco Xpress, the Austin, Texas institution, is gloriously sunny. First time visitor Gan Baishui is moments away from his band’s American debut, but the composer and musician from a fourth-...

Books

10.31.13

The China Choice

Hugh White
China is rising. But how should the West—and the United States in particular—respond? This could be the key geopolitical question of the twenty-first century, according to strategic expert Hugh White, with huge implications for the future security and prosperity of the West as a whole. The China Choice confronts this fundamental question, considering the options for the Asian century ahead.As China’s economy grows to become the world’s largest, the U.S. has three choices: it can compete, share power, or concede leadership in Asia. The choice is momentous—as significant for the future as any the U.S. has ever faced. China is already more formidable than any country the U.S. has faced before—and if America does not want to find itself facing China as an enemy, it must accept it as an equal partner. Weighing the huge difficulties of accepting China as an equal with the immense cost and risks of making it an enemy, in the end the choice is simple, even if it is not easy. The U.S. simply must share power with China in Asia. The alternative is too terrible to contemplate.  —Oxford University Press{chop}

Who Will Win Control of the South China Sea?

New York Times
To understand how Second Thomas Shoal could become contested ground is to enter into a morass of competing historical, territorial and even moral claims in an area where defining what is true or fair may be no easier than it has proved to...

Seeing Its Own Money at Risk, China Rails at U.S.

Mark Landler
New York Times
China has become shrill in its criticism of the fiscal train wreck in the United States, arguing that the answer to a potential government default is to begin creating a “de-Americanized world.” 

Media

10.18.13

Cross-Culture Fail Watch: “Blacklist” Bungles One-Child Policy

Chinese Internet users have a message for the screenwriters of The Blacklist: You’ve got a lot to learn about our country.The third episode of The Blacklist, a new NBC television drama in which the FBI and a former fugitive team up to fight...

Media

10.17.13

Journalist’s Call for ‘de-Americanized World’ Provokes Alarm in U.S., Fart Jokes in China

As fears mounted this week about a possible (and now, it seems, averted) U.S. government default, the U.S. press stumbled upon an October 13 editorial in Xinhua, China’s largest news agency, calling for a “de-Americanized...

Conversation

10.16.13

Uncomfortable Bedfellows: How Much Does China Need America Now?

Bill Bishop, David Schlesinger & more
Bill Bishop:The D.C. dysfunction puts China in a difficult place. Any financial markets turmoil that occurs because of a failure of Congress to do its job could harm China’s economy, and especially its exports. The accumulation of massive foreign-...

Calm Down, Washington: China Doesn’t Really Want to ‘De-Americanize’

Max Fisher
Washington Post
We can calm down on the threat to "de-Americanize". The fact that China is so rightly panicked about the possibility of a U.S. default just goes to show that Beijing knows it is, and will long continue to be, reliant on a U.S.-...

China to United States: Don’t Default, For Our Sake

Dan Kedmey
Time
One day after Republican House Speaker John Boehner promised to “stand and fight” over the budget, Chinese officials pleaded with America’s deadlocked Congressmen to stand down, because otherwise China, the U.S.’s biggest creditor, will be...

Reports

10.10.13

Congressional-Executive Commission on China: 2013 Annual Report

United States Congress
The Commission notes China’s lack of progress in guaranteeing Chinese citizens’ freedom of expression, assembly, and religion; restraining the power of the Chinese Communist Party; and establishing the rule of law under the new leadership of...

Conversation

10.08.13

Obama’s Canceled Trip to Asia: How Much Did It Matter?

Winston Lord, Susan Shirk & more
Last week as the U.S. Federal Government shut down, President Obama canceled his planned trip to Indonesia and Brunei, where he was to have attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bali. Some foreign policy analysts have argued...