China Enshrines ‘Xi Jinping Thought.’ What Does That Mean?

New York Times
Restoring China to greatness is a central message of “Xi Jinping Thought,” and a goal that has already guided policies to build up the military.

Viewpoint

10.21.17

The Ayes Have It

Geremie R. Barmé
On April 1, 1969, delegates to the Ninth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party convened in the Great Hall of the People on the western flank of Tiananmen Square. The hall had been constructed as one of the Ten Grand Edifices 十大建築 hastily...

Viewpoint

10.20.17

Mao Wished He Could Upend the World Order. Does Xi?

Sergey Radchenko
In his October 18 speech opening the 19th Party Congress, Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping cautiously embraced the future. Eyeing thousands of Party delegates, Xi spoke for three-and-a-half hours about turning China into a “great modern...

Xi Jinping's Leninist Quest for a Dynasty Inspires Congressional Love-In

Guardian
While the explosion of sycophancy over China’s president may seem almost comical, his reign will have ramifications far beyond the country’s borders

Why China’s Xi Jinping is Unlikely to Anoint a Successor

South China Morning Post
Hu Chunhua and Chen Miner unlikely to win promotion to Communist Party’s top decision-making body

Dark Horses, Sure Bets: Who Could Rule China in the Next five Years (and Beyond)

CNN
In the world's most populous nation, seven men sit atop 1.4 billion people.

China’s Party Congress Brings Crackdown on Critics, Nightclubs and Airbnb

New York Times
President Xi Jinping is sending a stern message to China and the world: I am in charge, and nothing can stand in my way.

China’s Reform Hopefuls Watch for Names. Only One May Matter.

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
A decade ago, this city in southeastern China had a reputation as one of the country’s grimmest, with smoggy skies, chronic traffic jams and streams so foul that they had to be paved over to contain the stench.

Xi Jinping: China's President ‘to Get Own Political Theory’

BBC
It will be known as “Xi Jinping Thought” and has 14 principles, the agency says.

Viewpoint

10.19.17

Could Xi Jinping Stay in Power After He Retires? Here’s How Deng Xiaoping Did It

Julian B. Gewirtz
It was the worst kept secret in Chinese politics. From 1978 until his death in 1997, Deng Xiaoping was Beijing’s ultimate decider, even though he never held any of the top official titles in this period: not general secretary of the Chinese...

How Xi’s Redefinition of Deng Xiaoping’s Guiding Principle Could Change China’s Policy Course for Decades to Come

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
President Xi Jinping on Wednesday redefined the “principal contradiction” faced by Chinese people, signalling a shift in the country’s development focus for the years, if not decades, ahead from unbridled economic growth to better quality expansion...

China Vows to Scrap Secret Interrogations of Communist Party Members

Reuters
China’s ruling Communist Party will scrap the practice of secretive interrogations known as “shuanggui”, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday, part of broader reforms of its anti-corruption architecture.

Xi Jinping Opens China's Party Congress, His Hold Tighter Than Ever

Chris Buckley
New York Times
When Xi Jinping strode out in the Great Hall of the People five years ago as China’s new leader, his tight smile barely hid the atmosphere of smoldering crisis.

Viewpoint

10.17.17

Stein Ringen: ‘The Truth About China’

Stein Ringen
Democracies have found it difficult to deal with the great dictatorships. So now with China. The first difficulty is to recognize just what we are up against, and to avoid wishful thinking.In his first five years, Xi Jinping has reshaped the Chinese...

A Dazzling Spectacle of China's Totalitarianism

Stein Ringen
Washington Post
When the Congress of the Chinese Communist Party convenes in Beijing on Wednesday, the world will be served up a dazzling spectacle of power and procedure.

Delegates to Party Congress Highly Representative: Report

Xinhua
Xinhua
The presidium of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its first meeting on Tuesday afternoon, approving a report on the examination of delegates’ qualifications by the delegate credentials committee.

Viewpoint

10.16.17

Why Do We Keep Writing About Chinese Politics As if We Know More Than We Do?

Jessica Batke & Oliver Melton
In the coming weeks, every major Western newspaper and many top China analysts will be making strong claims about Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s political position in the wake of the 19th Party Congress. These reports will build off years of tea-leaf...

Is Xi a Threat to Foreign Businesses in China?

Peter Martin and Keith Zhai
Bloomberg
In a speech at this year’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Xi Jinping said choosing protectionism was akin to “locking yourself in a dark room.” But his rhetoric doesn’t square with reality, multinationals say.

China Stands at ‘a New Historic Starting Point,’ Communist Party Says

Huileng Tan
CNBC
China is boasting of its growing economic and political development as the country comes to a standstill for the once-every-five-years Communist Party Congress.

Conversation

10.16.17

What to Watch at China’s Party Congress

Ho-fung Hung, Taisu Zhang & more
The Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress, a hugely important political meeting usually held once every five years, will begin on October 18 in Beijing. Like many events involving China’s ruling party, the most important decisions and...

Xi Jinping Has More Clout Than Donald Trump. The World Should Be Wary

Economist
American presidents have a habit of describing their Chinese counterparts in terms of awe. A fawning Richard Nixon said to Mao Zedong that the chairman’s writings had “changed the world”. To Jimmy Carter, Deng Xiaoping was a string of flattering...

China Targets Pollution on Eve of Xi Jinping’s Second Term

Tom Hancock and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
A wave of environmental inspections in China has led to the closure of tens of thousands of businesses producing commodities from industrial chemicals to cement and rubber, pushing up prices and disrupting some global supply chains.

The Communist Party Ghostwriters Who Wrote the Book on Xi Jinping

Jun Mai
South China Morning Post
The call came in 2015. He Yiting, a vice-chairman of the training ground for top Communist Party cadres, was given a mission that would take the next two years of his life.

China's Xi Looks Set to Keep Right-Hand Man on Despite Age

Benjamin Kang Lim, Ben Blanchard, and...
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to retain his right-hand man, the graft-buster Wang Qishan, in a senior position at a key Communist Party Congress this month even though he has reached retirement age, according to a majority of people with...

China Names New Leaders of Anti-Corruption Agencies at Financial Regulators

South China Morning Post
China’s Communist Party has named new top officials to lead anti-corruption agencies at the country’s banking and insurance regulators as it makes final preparations for a twice-a-decade party congress later this month.

Chinese Village Where Xi Jinping Fled Is Now a Monument to His Power

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Almost 50 years after Xi Jinping first trudged into this village as a cold, bewildered teenager, hundreds of political pilgrims retrace his footsteps every day. They follow a well-trod course designed to show how the seven years that the young Mr...

China Congress: Military Facelift a Sign of Bigger Changes

Cheng Li
BBC
Of the many noteworthy developments that have characterised Chinese President Xi Jinping's first five-year term, none stands out as much as military reform, and this reveals a great deal about the coming political trajectory in China, writes...

Does Chinese Leader Xi Jinping Plan to Hang on to Power for More Than 10 Years?

Choi Chi-yuk Viola Zhou
South China Morning Post
The leader of China’s Communist Party, Xi Jinping, will begin a second five-year term this month. Many observers say it’s unlikely to be his last.

What We Know about China’s 19th Party Congress and the Possible Economic Fallout

Sara Hsu
Forbes
On October 18, China will hold its 19th National Party Congress, which will provide broad indications for economic policy in the coming years. While it has been projected that there will be significant changes among the top party members, President...

The Curious Career Paths of China's Public-Sector Bosses

Tom Mitchell
Financial Times
The official heroes of China’s state-sector reform program range from dedicated anti-graft investigators, who have purged dozens of allegedly corrupt executives over recent years, to strategically minded administrators determined to create a stable...

Tillerson Masters the Art of Comity in Talks with China Leaders

Nick Wadhams
Bloomberg
Rex Tillerson made a show of harmony with Chinese leaders during a whirlwind visit to Beijing, skipping over tensions around trade and North Korea to emphasize the personal bond between the countries’ presidents.

Sinica Podcast

09.22.17

North Korea Behind the Scenes

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
North Korea is a mystery to nearly everyone—even those who have dedicated their lives to studying the country, including Korean experts based in Seoul, national security experts in Washington or Beijing, and a variety of foreigners who have spent...

Conversation

09.21.17

What Will China Do if the U.S. Attacks North Korea?

Shen Dingli, Bonnie S. Glaser & more
During a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, U.S. President Donald Trump warned that if North Korea threatened the United States or its allies, he would “totally destroy” the nation. As tensions continue to rise between...

Media

09.18.17

Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century

Richard McGregor, Susan Shirk & more
The following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society in New York on September 7, 2017, and named for a new book by Richard McGregor, the former Beijing Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, “ChinaFile Presents: ‘Asia’s...

China to Amend Party Constitution at October Congress

Reuters
China’s ruling Communist Party is expected to amend its constitution at a key party congress next month, state media said on Monday, in a sign that President Xi Jinping aims to enshrine his guiding ideological doctrine in the charter.

Conversation

09.15.17

Bannon Says the U.S. Is at ‘Economic War with China.’ Is He Right?

Paul Haenle, Jacqueline N. Deal & more
Steve Bannon, whose controversial views on China remain hugely influential in the White House, is visiting Hong Kong this week to speak at a China investment conference. In August, before he left his White House position as chief strategist, Bannon...

How Strongmen Co-Opted Democracy

Kishore Mahbubani
New York Times
A wave of strongmen rulers has been elected, many of whom have clear non-Western identities. This list includes Shinzo Abe of Japan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Narendra Modi of India, Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, as well as China’s Xi Jinping.

Lacking a Point Person on China, U.S. Risks Aggravating Tensions

Mark Landler
New York Times
The National Security Council is conducting a review of the White House’s China policy — taking into account Mr. Trump’s populist trade agenda and differences over how to curb the rogue government in North Korea. Aside from Mr. Trump himself, it...

Conversation

09.06.17

China’s Communist Party Is About to Meet. Here’s What You Should Know.

Matthias Stepan, Victor Shih & more
The Chinese Communist Party will hold its 19th Party Congress on October 18, marking the end of the first term of General Secretary Xi Jinping. In a leadership reshuffle, Xi is expected to promote allies to the Party’s key decision-making body, the...

Did Kim Jong-Un Kill His Uncle and Brother over ‘Coup Plot Involving China’?

Telegraph
Sources told the newspaper that Kim Jong-Un’s uncle, Mr. Jang Song Thaek, proposed a plot to overthrow Mr. Kim, with Beijing's assistance, and to replace him with his oldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam.

Steve Bannon Says U.S. In Economic War with China

NBC News
The United States is in an economic war with China, U.S President Donald Trump's chief political strategist has said, warning Washington is losing the fight but is about to hit China hard over unfair trade practices.

Conversation

08.10.17

Should China Support the U.S. in a War with North Korea?

Ryan Hass, Susan Shirk & more
On August 9, U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that if it does not stop threatening the United States, it will be “met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” Just hours later, the...

As Trump Unnerves Asia, China Sees an Opening

New York Times
With America’s Asian allies unnerved by President Trump’s threat to bring “fire and fury” to North Korea, China sees a chance to capitalize on the fear and confusion and emerge as the sober-minded power in the region, according to analysts who study...

Trump Is Signaling He’s about to Lash out at China — Here’s What Beijing Is Thinking

CNBC
China is bracing for a clash with the U.S. when President Donald Trump announces potentially aggressive trade measures against Beijing.

Books

08.01.17

Globalization against Democracy

Guoguang Wu
Globalization has reconfigured both the external institutional framework and the intrinsic operating mechanisms of capitalism. The global triumph of capitalism implies the embracing of the market by the state in all its variants, and that global capitalism is not confined to the shell of nation-state democracy. Guoguang Wu provides a theoretical framework of global capitalism for specialists in political economy, political science, economics, and international relations, for graduate and undergraduate courses on globalization, capitalism, development, and democracy, as well as for the public who are interested in globalization. Wu examines the new institutional features of global capitalism and how they re-frame movements of capital, labor, and consumption. He explores how globalization has created a chain of connection in which capital depends on effective authoritarianism, while democracy depends on capital. Ultimately, he argues that the emerging state-market nexus has fundamentally shaken the existing institutional systems, harming democracy in the process. —Cambridge University Press{chop}

Sinica Podcast

07.24.17

Straight Talk on North Korea and China

Jeremy Goldkorn & Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
Lyle Goldstein, an associate professor and strategic researcher at the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, is an expert on Chinese and Russian security strategies. He is also an insightful commentator on what is going on...

Xi Jinping Picks War Games over Military Parade for Chinese Army’s 90th Birthday Bash

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
China’s biggest annual war games, at Asia’s largest military training base, will be attended by President Xi Jinping on August 1 to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Former Political Star in China Is Under Party Investigation

New York Times
The Chinese Communist Party said on Monday that Sun Zhengcai, a high-flying politician who had been seen as a potential future premier, was under investigation over suspected “grave violations of discipline,” ending his career and raising the stakes...

U.S.-China Economic Dialogue Ends in a Tiff

Nikkei Asian Review
Negotiators involved in the first U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue here on Wednesday failed to produce concrete results. The U.S. later issued a statement saying China acknowledged a shared objective to reduce the U.S.’s bilateral trade...

U.S.-China Trade Rifts Resurface Even After Friendly Summit

The Associated Press
Associated Press
The Trump administration risks igniting a trade war by considering slapping tariffs on steel imports.

Why China Censors Banned Winnie the Pooh

BBC
The blocking of Winnie the Pooh might seem like a bizarre move by the Chinese authorities but it is part of a struggle to restrict clever bloggers from getting around their country’s censorship.

China’s Top Graft Buster Attacks ‘Unhealthy’ Political Culture

Reuters
China’s top graft-buster launched a scathing attack on the ruling Communist Party’s members on Monday, writing that party political culture remained ‘unhealthy’ and governance weak even after five years of renewed effort to fight the problem.

China Is Trading More with North Korea but Buying Much Less Coal

CNN
A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period last year.

How China Misread Donald Trump

Paul Gewirtz
Politico
Trump’s view of China is quickly turning sour. The reason for his dwindling patience is Beijing’s failure to rein in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program.

Germany’s Football Diplomacy Delights Beaming Xi Jinping as Chinese President and Angela Merkel Watch Kids’ Match in Berlin

James Porteous
South China Morning Post
China’s president remains a massive football fan, but it seems clear that youth development and commitment to training, rather than sky-high transfer fees and foreign takeovers, is the way to his heart.

Books

07.06.17

China’s Asian Dream

Tom Miller
“China,” Napoleon once remarked, “is a sleeping lion. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” In 2014, President Xi Jinping triumphantly declared that the lion had awoken. Under his leadership, China is pursuing a dream to restore its historical position as the dominant power in Asia.From the Mekong River Basin to the Central Asian steppe, China is flexing its economic muscles for strategic ends. By setting up new regional financial institutions, Beijing is challenging the post-World War II order established under the watchful eye of Washington. And by funding and building roads, railways, ports, and power lines—a New Silk Road across Eurasia and through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean—China aims to draw its neighbors ever tighter into its embrace.Combining a geopolitical overview with on-the-ground reportage from a dozen countries, China’s Asian Dream offers a fresh perspective on one of the most important questions of our time: what does China’s rise mean for the future of Asia. —Zed Books{chop}

Ahead of Fractious G20, Germany and China Pledge New Cooperation

Thomas Escritt and Michelle Martin
Reuters
Ties between China and Germany are about to enter a new phase as the Chinese president met the German chancellor before a G20 summit that is expected to highlight their differences with the United States on a host of issues.

Conversation

06.30.17

What Does Xi Jinping Intend for Hong Kong?

Alvin Y.H. Cheung, Kevin Carrico & more
Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong on Thursday to mark the 20th anniversary of the July 1, 1997 return of the territory to China from the United Kingdom. Since the handover, many Hong Kongers have chafed under...

Chinese Ways of Empire, Then and Now

Yi-Zheng Lian
New York Times
In 30 more years, Hong Kong will fully revert to the mainland. Much could happen between now and 2047, and the tea leaves are already out there waiting to be read: There are many old — even ancient — historical precedents showing how the Chinese...

China's Xi Sees 'Challenges' in Hong Kong as Beijing Dismisses Any UK Role

Greg Torode, Venus Wu
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping, visiting Hong Kong for the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule, said on Friday the city's "one country, two systems" formula faces "new challenges" as pro-democracy campaigners ramped...