ChinaFile Conversation

The ChinaFile Conversation is a regular, real-time discussion of China news, from a group of the world’s leading China experts.

Last Updated: March 22, 2022

Conversation

12.16.22

How Well Is China Advancing Its Interests in Southeast Asia?

Gregory B. Poling, Sharon Seah & more
Xi Jinping traveled to Southeast Asia last month to attend the G20 summit in Bali before moving on to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ meeting in Bangkok. The meetings came on the heels of Premier Li Keqiang’s...

Conversation

12.02.22

Jiang Zemin, 1926-2022

Julia Lovell, Ian Johnson & more
Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin died on Wednesday at the age of 96, shortly after anger about the zero-COVID policy had boiled over into a wave of protest last weekend. Jiang took the country through the boom years of the 1990s, a time now...

Conversation

11.29.22

China in Protest

Guobin Yang, Taisu Zhang & more
Over the weekend, large demonstrations broke out in cities across China. The protests followed news, spread rapidly across Chinese and international social media, that a fire in an apartment building in Xinjiang’s capital of Urumchi on Friday had...

Conversation

11.11.22

The Beginning of the End for Zero-COVID?

Taylor Loeb, Johanna M. Costigan & more
At the end of October, videos began circulating on social media of workers at an iPhone plant in the city of Zhengzhou fleeing factory grounds to escape a quarantine lockdown of some 200,000 employees. Whether the workers wanted to escape the...

Conversation

09.09.22

Could China’s Very Hot Summer Revive Action on Climate Change?

Ilaria Mazzocco, Lauri Myllyvirta & more
For more than two months, China—along with the rest of the globe—has been struggling with extreme heat and severe droughts. Hundreds of cities are facing temperatures in the 90s and higher, and Beijing last month issued its first nationwide drought...

Conversation

08.02.22

Pelosi in Taiwan

Brian Hioe, Lev Nachman & more
On the evening of August 2, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, landed in Taipei to begin an official visit. The trip, the first by a U.S. official of comparable rank in 25 years, came amid debate about how Beijing would...

Conversation

07.26.22

Can a New U.S. Law Prevent Uyghur Forced Labor?

John Foote, Darren Byler & more
Last month, the U.S. began enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Signed into law late last year, the UFLPA bans imports of goods made in Xinjiang unless the importer can offer “clear and convincing evidence” that no forced labor was...

Conversation

06.16.22

China’s Record Urban Youth Unemployment

Qin Chen, Alison Sile Chen & more
China has recorded its highest level of unemployment among urban youth since the country began tracking it in 2018. In March, 16 percent of Chinese city-dwellers aged 16 to 24 were unemployed, compared to 13.6 percent a year earlier. In May, that...

Conversation

05.19.22

Is Beijing Changing Tack on Big Tech?

Rui Ma, Ruihan Huang & more
In recent weeks, news has emerged that China may be slowing its Big Tech regulations. On Tuesday, the CPPCC held a special meeting on the digital economy, with Vice Premier Liu He highlighting the need “to support the platform economy.” This...

Conversation

04.29.22

Shanghai’s Lockdown

Kenton Thibaut, Guobin Yang & more
In late March, China started its largest lockdown in more than two years, with most of Shanghai’s 26 million residents confined to their homes in an effort to battle the rapid spread of Omicron. As of mid-April, 45 cities across the country were...

Conversation

04.14.22

Europe’s China Policy Has Taken a Sharp Turn. Where Will It Go Next?

Rogier Creemers, Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova & more
In their first such meeting in nearly two years, representatives of the European Union and Chinese government met on April 1 for a virtual summit. The conversations took place against the backdrop of not only unprecedented unity among the members of...

Conversation

04.07.22

What Does Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Mean for China-Russia Relations?

Yun Sun, Philipp Ivanov & more
As Russia piles up casualties in Ukraine while its economy collapses at home, the democratic world appears—at least for now—more united than ever. Russian firms are scrambling to adjust to the country’s status as an international pariah, while big...

The Future of NGOs in China

Isabel Hilton, Carl Minzner, Teng Biao...