Journeys Along the Seventh Ring

That's Beijing...
That’s
The story of Beijing’s Ring Roads is in many ways the story of Beijing’s urban development. The original ring (known confusingly as the Second Ring) was constructed in the early 1980s, at the behest of city planners, who, in embracing reform-minded...

Exclusive: China Ready to Cut Rates Again on Fears of Deflation — Sources

Kevin Yao
Reuters
Friday's surprise cut in rates, the first in more than two years, reflects a change of course by Beijing and the central bank, which had persisted with modest stimulus measures before finally deciding last week that a bold monetary policy step...

Media

11.20.14

The Invisible Candidate in Taiwan’s Elections

Almost 80 percent of Taiwan, an island of 23 million off the coast of China, is expected to head to the polls November 29 to vote in local elections with more than 11,000 seats up for grabs. Voters will choose candidates ranging from mayors in...

Leaders of U.S., Australia, Japan to Meet, With Eye on China

Rob Taylor
Wall Street Journal
The meeting risks antagonizing Beijing, which bristles at perceptions that its rise in the region is being challenged, but also comes as the U.S. and Japan are working to repair ties with China.

As Chinese Adoptees Return Home, a New Genre Tells Their Tales

Mei Fong
Wall Street Journal
"Ricki’s Promise” a documentary about a Seattle teen’s summer spent with her birth family in China, began showing on the U.S. film festival circuit this month. Next month, the U.S. cable network SundanceTV will premiere “One Child,” a fictional...

In China, Blunt Talk to Reporters on Access

Ravi Somaiya
New York Times
Mr. Xi’s comments come as several journalists for The New York Times and other news organizations have been forced to cover the country from outside its borders, after producing articles that were embarrassing for the Chinese leadership.

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...

Conversation

11.12.14

Xi Jinping’s Culture Wars

Stanley Rosen, Michael Berry & more
Given China’s tightening restrictions on film, TV, art, writing, and journalism, and the reverberations from President Xi Jinping’s recent speech on culture, we asked contributors why they think Beijing has decided to ramp up its involvement in the...

Media

11.12.14

“Having a Second Kid Isn’t as Simple as Adding Another Pair of Chopsticks”

Alexa Olesen
When China loosened its family planning rules a year ago in November, allowing more couples to have a second child, it was big news. It marked the biggest reform of China's strict family planning rules—which limited most urban couples to one...

Books

11.12.14

The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History

Rian Thum
For 250 years, the Turkic Muslims of Altishahr—the vast desert region to the northwest of Tibet—have led an uneasy existence under Chinese rule. Today they call themselves Uyghurs, and they have cultivated a sense of history and identity that challenges Beijing’s official national narrative. Rian Thum argues that the roots of this history run deeper than recent conflicts, to a time when manuscripts and pilgrimage dominated understandings of the past. Beyond broadening our knowledge of tensions between the Uyghurs and the Chinese government, this meditation on the very concept of history probes the limits of human interaction with the past.Uyghur historical practice emerged from the circulation of books and people during the Qing Dynasty, when crowds of pilgrims listened to history readings at the tombs of Islamic saints. Over time, amid long journeys and moving rituals, at oasis markets and desert shrines, ordinary readers adapted community-authored manuscripts to their own needs. In the process they created a window into a forgotten Islam, shaped by the veneration of local saints.Partly insulated from the rest of the Islamic world, the Uyghurs constructed a local history that is at once unique and assimilates elements of Semitic, Iranic, Turkic, and Indic traditions—the cultural imports of Silk Road travelers. Through both ethnographic and historical analysis, The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History offers a new understanding of Uyghur historical practices, detailing the remarkable means by which this people reckons with its past and confronts its nationalist aspirations in the present day. —Harvard University Press {chop}

What Brookings Experts Are Saying about Obama in Asia

Fred Dews
Brookings Institution
Experts recently joined together in a full-day conference to examine the economic, environmental, political, and security implications of President Obama's trip to China and his interactions with President Xi Jinping...

Obama’s Three-Day Visit to China: Charlie Rose

Bloomberg
Bloomberg
On “Charlie Rose,” a conversation about President Obama's three-day visit to China. The president arrived on Monday morning. We are joined by Edward Luce of the Financial Times, Orville Schell of the Asia Society and Chengi Li of the John L...

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...

Few Signs of Construction at Yujiapu, China's Manhattan Replica

Ian Williams
NBC News
Complete with its own Rockefeller Center and Twin Towers, Yujiapu been billed as the world's largest financial center in the making. But this Manhattan still has a long way to go...

Shanghai-Hong Kong Link to Start in a Week as China Opens

Eduard Gismatullin and Kana Nishizawa
Bloomberg
The program allowing a net 23.5 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) of daily cross-border purchases will begin on November 17, regulators said in a joint statement today after weeks of investor speculation on the start date.

Frosty Meeting at APEC Could Be Start of Thaw Between China and Japan

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The meeting between President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan lasted only 25 minutes, less than half the time usually given to formal encounters between the leaders of two nations.

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.

Sinica Podcast

11.07.14

David Walker on China in the Australian Mind

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
{vertical_photo_right}This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are delighted to be joined by Professor David Walker, Chair of the Australian Studies department at Peking University and historian with a special focus on Australian immigration policies...

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi Set to Visit China next Month, Her Party Says

Patrick Boehler
South China Morning Post
"We asked for some of her time … but she said she might be going to China and needed some free time in December," Han Thar Myint, of the National League for Democracy's Central Executive Committee, told the South China Morning Post...

Britain Soft on China over Hong Kong Crisis, Says Chris Patten

Reuters
Guardian
Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong before the 1997 handover, said China’s actions were “spit in the face” of the 1984 Joint Declaration on the conditions under which Hong Kong would be handed over.

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}

China Celebrates Successful Moon Probe

Tom Phillips
Telegraph
The mission to the Moon was “another step forward for China's ambition that could eventually land a Chinese citizen there,” Xinhua, China’s official news agency, said. It was “the world's first mission to the Moon and back for some 40...

China Officials “Buy Corpses to Meet Cremation Quota”

BBC
BBC
Two officials in Guangdong province have been arrested after they allegedly bought corpses from grave robbers to have them cremated, Chinese media say.

Plenum Didn’t Decide on Zhou Graft Case ‘As He Is No Longer State Leader’

Teddy Ng and Andrea Chen
South China Morning Post
The Party's anti-graft watchdog announced three months ago that it was investigating Zhou—making him the first serving or former member of the elite Politburo Standing Committee to be probed—but there has been no word since on progress in the...

Conversation

10.31.14

What Should Obama and Xi Say to Each Other at APEC?

Chen Weihua, Hugh White & more
Next week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing (November 5-11) between Presidents Xi Jinping, Barack Obama, and other leaders from around the world, is billed as the Chinese capital's highest-profile international event...

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.

It’s Time to Give China Some Time

William Pesek
Bloomberg
There’s also evidence the country may be approaching something of a Henry Ford moment, when a manufacturing-based economy matures to point where workers can afford to buy the products they're making...

China to Ban Extralegal Administration with Power List

Xinhua
Xinhua
The new policy hopes to curb problems in administration and law enforcement such as failure in strictly observing or enforcing the law, putting their power above law, bending law for personal gains and power-for-money trades, Xi Jinping said.

China Says It Will Be Good Host to Japan During APEC

Reuters
Voice of America
A one-on-one meeting would be a symbolic breakthrough in ties between the world's second- and third-biggest economies, which have turned frigid in the past two years over a territorial row...

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...

600-Year-Old Chinese Book Found in California

Lian Zi
China Daily
The manuscript of a unique volume of the Yongle Encyclopedia (Yongle Dadian), a 16th century Chinese encyclopedia, was uncovered by a Chinese archivist at the Huntington Library in southern California.

China’s Crackdown on Dissent Shows How Nervous Its Leaders Are

The Washington Post Editorial Board
Washington Post
The legal assault on a critic of Mao gives a flavor of the current climate. Tie Liu is the pen name of Huang Zerong, 81, who has collected and published memoirs of people who were purged by Chinese dictator Mao Zedong in the 1950s and 1960s.

Zhou Xiaoping, Director of History

Josh Rudolph
China Digital Times
Since nationalistic blogger Zhou Xiaoping’s “positive energy” won accolades from Xi Jinping at the Beijing Forum on Literature in Art last week, he has been the subject of much netizen scrutiny, and some have taken him to task for his blatant...

Media

10.21.14

Chinese Doubt Their Own Soft Power Venture

On September 27, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong read aloud a letter written by President Xi Jinping at a ceremony in Beijing celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Confucius Institute (CI) program, an international chain of academic centers...

Books

10.21.14

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Richard I. Suchenski, Editor
For younger critics and audiences, Taiwanese cinema enjoys a special status, comparable with that of Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave for earlier generations, a cinema that was and is in the midst of introducing an innovative sensibility and a fresh perspective. Hou Hsiao-hsien is the most important Taiwanese filmmaker working today, and his sensuous, richly nuanced films reflect everything that is vigorous and genuine in contemporary film culture. By combining multiple forms of tradition with a uniquely cinematic approach to space and time, Hou has created a body of work that, through its stylistic originality and historical gravity, opens up new possibilities for the medium. This new volume includes contributions by Olivier Assayas, Peggy Chiao, Chung Mong-hong, Jean-Michel Frodon, Hasumi Shigehiko, Ichiyama Shōzō, Jia Zhang-ke, Kent Jones, Koreeda Hirokazu, Jean Ma, Ni Zhen, Abé Mark Nornes, James Quandt, Richard I. Suchenski, James Udden, and Wen Tien-hsiang, as well as conversations with Hou Hsiao-hsien and some of his most important collaborators over the decades.  —Columbia University Press {chop}

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...

Unrest in China Leaves 22 Dead Following Xinjiang Attack

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
A new ethnic clash in the restive region of Xinjiang, on China’s central Asian frontier, saw 22 people killed after Uighur assailants attacked Han Chinese merchants at a wholesale food market near the border with Kyrgyzstan. 

Why China May Avoid a U.S.-Style Property Crash

Esther Fung
Wall Street Journal
“China has clear signs of ‘froth,’ if not a bubble, in housing,” says Goldman Sachs. It looks reminiscent of the bubbles in Japan in the early 1990s and the U.S. from 2006 to 2010, it says—and finds China might turn out differently.

Conversation

10.17.14

Rule of Law—Why Now?

Ira Belkin, Donald Clarke & more
In a recent essay, “How China’s Leaders Will Rule on the Law,” Carl Minzner looks at the question of why China’s leaders have announced they will emphasize rule of law at the upcoming Chinese Communist Party plenum slated to take place in Beijing...

The Dalai Lama Forces China to Overplay its Hand in South Africa

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Pretoria’s apparent refusal to grant Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama a visa to attend a summit of Nobel peace laureates has sparked outrage in South Africa. Critics allege the government is bowing to China, undermining South African...

Books

10.15.14

China’s Super Consumers

Savio Chan and Michael Zakkour
China has transformed itself from a feudal economy in the 19th century, to Mao and Communism in the 20th century, to the largest consumer market in the world by the early 21st century. China's Super Consumers explores the extraordinary birth of consumerism in China and explains who these super consumers are. China's Super Consumers offers an in-depth explanation of what's inside the minds of Chinese consumers and explores what they buy, where they buy, how they buy, and most importantly why they buy.The book is filled with real-world stories of the foreign and domestic companies, leading brands, and top executives who have succeeded in selling to this burgeoning marketplace. This remarkable book also takes you inside the boardrooms of the people who understand Chinese consumers and have had success in the Chinese market.A hands-on resource for succeeding in the Chinese marketplaceFilled with real-world stories of companies who have made an impact in ChinaDiscover what the Chinese consumer wants and how to deliver the goodsThis book is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants a clear understanding of how China's Super Consumers are changing the world and how to sell to them. —Wiley {chop}

Cultural Reflection Can Improve Modern Governance

Xinhua
Xinhua
During the latest in a series of collective studies among the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Xi said the CPC should follow successful examples in Chinese history to learn from their merits and avoid shortcomings.

All Eyes Will Be On China This Week

Jeremy Gaunt
Business Insider
China's economy, the second largest in the world, gets a spot check this week with a barrage of data due that should indicate how successful Beijing has been in supporting growth...

Viewpoint

10.14.14

On Dealing with Chinese Censors

Joseph W. Esherick
It was a hot afternoon in June in the East China city of Jinan. I was returning to my hotel after an afternoon coffee, thinking of the conference I had come to attend and trying to escape the heat on the shady side of the street. My cell phone rang...

Caixin Media

10.14.14

Sounds of Distinction

Sheila Melvin
The Peking Opera star Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) is generally acknowledged to have been the greatest performer of female dan roles in the history of his art. He was also a renowned theatrical innovator whose performance style is carried on as the...

China Detains Scholar, Bans Books in Crackdown on Moderate Voices

Sui-Lee Wee and Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
China has detained prominent scholar Guo Yushan, who helped blind dissident Chen Guangcheng flee to the United States two years ago and has banned books by eight writers in a crackdown on dissent.

Once a Symbol of Power, Farming Now an Economic Drag in China

Ian Johnson
New York Times
Frustrated by how little they earn, the ablest farmers have migrated to cities, hollowing out this rural district in the Chinese heartland.

Taiwan Leader: China Should Try Democracy—Starting with Hong Kong

Ralph Jennings
Los Angeles Times
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's comments reflect popular local support for the tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents who launched democracy protests on Sept. 27 in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory...

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.

Protests in Hong Kong: Three Things to Know

Barbara Demick
Council on Foreign Relations
Former Los Angeles Times Beijing bureau chief Barbara Demick tells us the Hong Kong protests are Not Tiananmen, show Broken Promises and reveal Hong Konger's Basic Complaints...

A Cinematic Context for Hong Kong’s Turmoil

Edward Wong
New York Times
Hong Kong’s film industry, commercial and broad-based as it is, has always provided a mirror of the territory’s political anxieties, and a record of its complex history.

Hong Kong Protests

Stephen Colbert, Louise Lim
Colbert Report
"The People's Republic of Amnesia" author Louisa Lim talks with Stephen Colbert about the growing civil unrest in Hong Kong and China's efforts to contain it. ...

Out of Tiananmen’s Shadow

John Delury
Foreign Affairs
Similarities to the protest and crackdown at Tiananmen Square have indeed been striking -- and unnerving, given the outcome of that beautiful and terrible spring.

Great Job on the Railroad. Now Go Back to China.

Edward Rothstein
New York Times
The narrative at the New-York Historical Society’s vigorous and imaginative new exhibition is not just of China’s impact on United States history or of the experiences and suffering of Chinese immigrants. It is how Chinese-American identity came to...

Hong Kong Isn’t the Only Protest Chinese Leaders Are Worried About

Christina Larson, Dexter Roberts, Bruce...
Businessweek
Hong Kong’s democracy movement could jeopardize one of China’s main goals: weiwen, or maintenance of stability. For more than a decade the government has been defusing labor unrest.

What China Promised Hong Kong

Chris Patten
Washington Post
The peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong, with their umbrellas and trash bags, will not be swept off the streets like garbage or bullied into submission by tear gas and pepper spray.

In Hong Kong Protests, Both Sides Are Wondering How This Will End

William Wan
Washington Post
As many thousands of Hong Kong residents kept up their occupation of the streets Wednesday night, leaders on both sides began strategizing with an eye toward the endgame.

Full Text of the Chinese Communist Party’s Message to Hong Kong

Nikhil Sonnad
Quartz
"Cherish Positive Growth: Defend Hong Kong’s Prosperity and Stability," People’s Daily, October 1, 2014, translated by Quartz...

China is Hong Kong’s Future – Not its Enemy

Martin Jacques
Guardian
Protesters cry democracy but most are driven by dislocation and resentment at mainlanders’ success.

Conversation

10.01.14

Is This the End of Hong Kong As We Know It?

Nicholas Bequelin, Sebastian Veg & more
Over the past week, tens of thousands of Hong Kong people have occupied the streets of their semi-autonomous city to advocate for the democratic elections slated to launch in 2017. The pro-democracy protestors have blocked major roads in the...