Conversation

05.10.13

What’s China’s Game in the Middle East?

Rachel Beitarie, Massoud Hayoun & more
Rachel Beitarie:Xi Jinping’s four point proposal for a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement is interesting not so much for its content, as for its source. While China has maintained the appearance of being involved in Middle East politics for years,...

Reports

05.06.13

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2013

Office of the Secretary of Defense
United States of America Department of Defense
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to pursue a long-term, comprehensive military modernization program designed to improve the capacity of its armed forces to fight and win short-duration, high-intensity regional military conflict...

Mandiant: No Drop In Chinese Hacking Despite Talk

Paul Mozur and Josh Chin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
The only change, Mandiant’s Chief Security Officer said, has been a noticeable drop in cyber attacks from Unit 61398, a group within the People’s Liberation Army that Mandiant accused in February 2013.  

A Sino-Japanese Clash In The East China Sea

Sheila A. Smith
Council on Foreign Relations
The United States, as a treaty ally of Japan but with vital strategic interests in fostering peaceful relations with China, has a major stake in averting a clash between the two forces and resolving the dispute, if possible. 

China, Japan Island Spat Resurfaces

Yuka Hayashi
Wall Street Journal
Japan and China faced off anew over a group of disputed islands after visits to a controversial war shrine by Japanese politicians rankled Tokyo’s neighbors, raising concerns that tensions may be returning after a period of relative calm. 

Conversation

04.30.13

What’s Really at the Core of China’s “Core Interests”?

Shai Oster, Andrew J. Nathan & more
Shai Oster:It’s Pilates diplomacy—work on your core. China’s diplomats keep talking about China’s core interests and it’s a growing list. In 2011, China included its political system and social stability as core interests. This year, it has added a...

In China, U.S. Top Military Officer Defends U.S. Pivot To Asia

Terril Yue Jones
Reuters
“We seek to be a stabilizing influence in the region,” Dempsey said at a news conference at China’s Ministry of National Defense. “In fact, we believe it would be our absence that would be destabilizing in the region, not our presence.” 

Viewpoint

04.26.13

Sino-American Relations: Amour or Les Miserables?

Winston Lord
Winston Lord, former United States Ambassador to China, tells us he recently hacked into the temples of government, pecking at his first-generation iPad with just one finger—a clear sign that...

China To Send North Korea Envoy To Washington

Reuters
China will send its special envoy on North Korea to the United States next week for talks on maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, the foreign ministry said on Friday.   

China Gives Breakdown Of Its Military, Criticizes U.S.

Scott Neuman
NPR
For the first time ever Beijing outlined in broad strokes its People’s Liberation Army, which includes ground, air and naval forces. The defense white paper also took the U.S. to task for its shift to Asia, as well as the ongoing conflict in the...

Kerry: China Must Do More To Resolve N. Korean Missile Crisis

Andrea Mitchell and Ian Johnson
NBC News
Kerry believes that the instability created by Pyongyang’s belligerence is enough to push China to intervene more thoroughly; if China does not, Kerry says the U.S. will open direct talks with North Korea.

Kerry In China To Seek Help In Korea Crisis

Michael R. Gordon
New York Times
Mr. Kerry suggested that the United States could remove some newly enhanced missile defenses in the region, though he did not specify which ones. Any eventual cutback would address Chinese concerns about the buildup of American weapons systems in...

North Korean Leader Strains Ties With Chinese

Jane Perlez
New York Times
How far the alliance between the powerhouse China and the impoverished North Korea has soured is now debated openly in the Chinese news media. Few call it a serious rift, though a spirited debate is under way within the Chinese government over how...

Space Plays A Growing Role In U.S.-China Security Talks

Andrea Shalal-Esa
Reuters
Washington is keeping a watchful eye on China’s activities in space after an intelligence report last year raised concerns about China’s expanding ability to disrupt the most sensitive U.S. military and intelligence satellites. 

Missiles And Memorial Stones: Figuring Out North Korea And China

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
Some are speculating that China is trying to ensure that U.S.-North Korean relations remain terrible, as they are, therefore increasing its influence over the region, politically, economically and strategically. 

‘Daily Show’ Clip Mocking Kim Jong-un Gets 2.8 million Chinese Views

Max Fisher
Washington Post
The voraciousness with which Chinese viewers are watching the segment suggests that their appetite for such coverage, for publicly criticizing an ally that has become something of an embarrassment, far exceeds what they’re getting from state media...

China’s Xi Signals Limited Shift Away From North Korea

Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
The current situation, in which North Korea has threatened the US and its ally South Korea with nuclear strikes, is “a golden opportunity for the US and China to work together and build mutual trust.”  

Korea Crisis: How Much Influence Does China Have?

Martin Patience
BBC
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to North Korea to change course, saying it has "gone too far." In this video, Martin Patience reports China’s options as Pyongyang’s rhetoric gets more volatile. 

China ‘Shifts Position’ On North Korea

Malcolm Moore
Telegraph
Beijing appears to prefer the devil it knows, in the shape of the unpredictable Kim family regime, to the uncertainties, and perhaps American influence, that a reunification on the Korean peninsula could bring, but that seems to be changing.&...

How The American Military Dwarfs China’s In One Infographic

Geoffrey Ingersoll
Business Insider
An infographic from the U.S.C. U.S.-China Institute illustrates well just how outgunned China (and everyone, generally) is by the U.S., regarding firepower, nuclear warhead counts and even the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait...

Media

04.12.13

Leftist Hawks and Conspiracy Theorists: The People’s Liberation Army’s Online Presence

Is Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, turning into a new war zone? Dai Xu, a colonel in the Chinese Air Force and military strategist, thinks so.“A month ago, a pseudo-Japanese devil [derogatory term for pro-Japan Chinese] at Shanghai’s Fudan University...

Can N. Korea Learn From Coca Cola? (China Did)

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
“The military-first regime derives support from the public perception that it is feared and respected around the world. So international ridicule may well put the regime under more pressure to carry through on at least some of its rhetoric.”&...

Yongbyon Restart: North Korea Ramps Up Nuclear Tension

Mark Fitzpatrick
BBC
 Until now, Pyongyang had clung to the transparent fiction that it only had a peaceful rationale.The new element in the announcement is North Korea's acknowledgement that the uranium enrichment is for weapons use. 

Infographics

04.09.13

China, North Korea, and Nuclear Arms

Ouyang Bin, David M. Barreda & more
As tensions again escalate on the Korean Peninsula, ChinaFile examines more than a decade of developments in North Korea’s nuclear armaments program. We begin our timeline in late 2002, when China first joined diplomatic discussions, paving the...

Conversation

04.09.13

Is China Doing All It Can to Rein in Kim Jong-un?

Winston Lord, Susan Shirk & more
Winston Lord:No. 

Reports

04.08.13

Dangerous Waters: China-Japan Relations on the Rocks

International Crisis Group
The world’s second and third largest economies are engaged in a standoff over the sovereignty of five islets and three rocks in the East China Sea, known as the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku in Japanese. Tensions erupted in September 2012 when...

Viewpoint

04.05.13

Christopher Hill on North Korea’s Provocations

Ouyang Bin
The first months of 2013 have seen a rapid intensification of combative rhetoric and action from North Korea. In the sixteen months since Kim Jong-un assumed leadership of the country, North Korea has run through the whole litany of provocations his...

Media

04.02.13

Singing a Note of Caution About New First Lady Peng Liyuan

Xi Jinping, the newly appointed Chinese President, unfolded his presidency with a grand foreign tour to Russia, Tanzania, South Africa, and the Republic of the Congo. While this series of state visits unequivocally underscored China’s diplomatic...

Conversation

03.26.13

Can China Transform Africa?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Isabel Hilton & more
Jeremy Goldkorn:The question is all wrong. China is already transforming Africa, the question is how China is transforming Africa, not whether it can. From the “China shops”—small stores selling cheap clothing, bags, and kitchenware—that have become...

China Hacker’s Angst Opens A Window Onto Cyber-Espionage

Tommy Yang
Los Angeles Times
A P.L.A. hacker’s blog is discovered, providing a rare peek into the secretive hacking establishment of the Chinese military, in what is believed to be by far the world’s largest institutionalized hacking operation. 

New Chinese Leader Shores Up Military Support

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Since taking the top party post, Mr. Xi has made a closer relationship with the military with greater speed and sureness than his recent predecessors.  

Seized Chinese Weapons Raise Concerns On Iran

Robert F. Worth and C.J. Chivers
New York Times
The Chinese missiles were part of a larger shipment interdicted by American and Yemeni forces in January 2013, allegedly intended for Houthi rebels in northwestern Yemen.   

Conversation

03.06.13

Are Proposed Sanctions on North Korea a Hopeful Sign for U.S.-China Relations?

Orville Schell, Susan Shirk & more
Orville Schell:What may end up being most significant about the new draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council to impose stricter sanctions on North Korea, which China seems willing to sign, may not be what it amounts to in terms of...

The Cold War Meets Taiwan

James R. Holmes
Diplomat
James R. Holmes looks at the applicability of a Cold War analogy in regards to U.S.-China and China-Taiwan relations. 

Cyber Menace: Digital Spying Burdens German-Chinese Relations

Ralph Neukirch, Jörg Schmitt, Gregor...
Spiegel Online
European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company’s (EADS) firewalls have been exposed to attacks by hackers for years, but now company officials say there was “a more conspicuous” attack a few months ago.  

Reports

02.27.13

China’s Central Asia Problem

International Crisis Group
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, China and its Central Asian neighbors have developed a close relationship, initially economic but increasingly also political and security. Energy, precious metals, and other natural resources flow into China...

In Cyberspace, New Cold War

David E. Sanger
New York Times
The early 2013 cyberattacks and the U.S. government’s response illustrate how different the cyber-cold war between the U.S. and China is from the more familiar superpower conflicts of past decades.  

Books

02.25.13

Star Spangled Security

Harold Brown with Joyce Winslow
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Harold Brown served during the hottest part of the Cold War when the Soviet Union presented an existential threat to America. In Star Spangled Security, Dr. Brown, one of the most respected wise men of American foreign policy, gives an insider’s view of U.S. national security strategy during the Carter administration, relates lessons learned, and bridges them to current challenges facing America.Brown describes his part in the SALT negotiations, the normalization of relations with China, the Camp David Accords, the development of a new generation of ballistic missiles, and more. Drawing on his earlier years as the director of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, as director of defense research and engineering, as Air Force secretary, and as president of Caltech, Brown uses his hard-won wisdom, especially during the painful Iran hostage crisis, to offer specific recommendations and key questions to ponder as America copes with challenges in a turbulent world.Highly readable, Star Spangled Security is for anyone wishing to better understand the debates about defense and its budget, its effect on the entire economy, and America’s relationship with allies during conflict and peace. Brown’s access to the leading forces in national security over sixty years spans ten presidents, giving the reader entrée into the inner circle of decision makers.Since leaving public office, Brown has served on the boards of directors of a dozen corporations. His unique economic, military, research, university, and government experience—at the top of all institutions he served—makes his a voice well worth heeding. —Brookings Institution Press

Does China Have An Army Of Hackers?

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The accumulated evidence should retire the old notion that China’s most sophisticated hackers are just patriots freelancing from their parents’ basements.

China Says Army Is Not Behind Attacks In Report

David Barboza
New York Times
Geng Yansheng, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, says “The claim by the Mandiant company that the Chinese military engages in Internet espionage has no foundation in fact.”

A Look At Mandiant, Allegations On China Hacking

The Associated Press
Associated Press
An introduction to Mandiant, the details of its recent report on alleged government-affiliated Chinese hacking, why the report is significant, and potential backlash from the report.

Media

02.20.13

On China’s Twitter, Discussion of Hacking Attacks Proceeds Unblocked

As The New York Times reported yesterday evening, U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant has just released a deeply troubling report called “Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units.” The report alleges wide-spread hacking sponsored by the...

China Considered Drone Strike On Foreign Soil In Hunt For Drug Lord

Ernest Kao
South China Morning Post
Liu Yuejin said one of the plans to end the manhunt for drug lord Naw Kham was to strafe a hideout in Myanmar using an unmanned aircraft.

U.S. Security Group Suspects P.L.A. Behind Hacking Attacks

Reuters
Reuters
A secretive Chinese military unit is believed to be behind a series of hacking attacks, prompting a strong denial by China and accusations that it was in fact the victim of U.S. hacking.

Conversation

02.20.13

Cyber Attacks—What’s the Best Response?

James Fallows, Xiao Qiang & more
With regular ChinaFile Conversation contributor Elizabeth Economy on the road, we turned to her colleague Adam Segal, Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Segal said that “the time for...

Nuclear Test Sparks Chinese Radiation Fears

Li Qiyan
Wall Street Journal
Chinese authorities are moving to tamp down public worries about radiation less than a week after North Korea set off a nuclear test not far from their common border.

China Muscles U.S. in the Pacific

John Garnaut
Age
Within two decades the United States will be forced out of the western Pacific, says a senior Chinese military officer, amid concerns that increasingly militarised great-power rivalry could lead to war.

Media

02.15.13

Free Coffee for North Korea?

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
What should China do to persuade its moody ally North Korea to comply with international restrictions on its nuclear ambitions?“Free conference rooms, free coffee, free soft drinks and dessert,” was the surprising and quickly viral Internet...

Vows of Change in China Belie Private Warning

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Xi Jinping told party insiders during a visit to Guangdong Province in December, China must still heed the “deeply profound” lessons of the former Soviet Union.

A War Between China and Japan: What it Could Cost You

Online MBA
Global economists are keeping their eyes glued to the Asia-Pacific region, where a bitter feud is brewing between two of the world’s most powerful nations over a small collectivity of islands in the East China Sea. The Chinese government argues that...

North Korea, China Do Their Usual Dance

Joseph Bosco
Christian Science Monitor
North Korea and China have done it again—call it the Pyongyang-Beijing two-step. Though Beijing registered ‘firm opposition’ to North Korea’s nuclear weapons test, it is unlikely to exercise its unique leverage on North Korea to encourage change.

American Policy Towards China: Getting Beyond the Friend-Or-Foe Fallacy

Ely Ratner and Steven Weber
New America
It is not widely accepted that any meaningful relationship can be boiled down to a single index that quantifies where it is at any moment and whether it is “better’’ or “worse” than a week or a month ago.

Rebuilding a Relationship, an Interview with Japan’s Ambassador to China

Huang Shan and Takehiro Masutomo
Japan's new envoy to Beijing, Masato Kitera, says his country will never escalate tensions with China, and points out the two countries have a range of issues they cooperate on.

North Korea Nuclear Test Irks Ally China

David Pierson and Ken Dilanian
Los Angeles Times
The test, held during a major Chinese holiday, is seen as a slap in the face to Beijing. But experts say China has more to lose by downgrading its bumpy ties.

Conversation

02.13.13

North Korea: How Much More Will China Take and How Should the U.S. Respond?

Winston Lord, Tai Ming Cheung & more
China is increasingly frustrated with North Korea and may even see more clearly that its actions only serve to increase allied unity, stimulate Japanese militarism and accelerate missile defense. For all these reasons the U.S. should lean on Beijing...

Not a Shred of Face: China Reacts to North Korean Nuke Test

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
Is Kim Jong Eun deliberately trying to insult China? That was the question on the minds of some Chinese following a nuclear test in North Korea that left even the Hermit Kingdom’s closest ally feeling flustered.

North Korea’s Nuclear Test: Are You Listening America?

Economist
EARS shut to the impending chorus of international condemnation, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on February 12th. It said the detonation was of a “smaller and light” atomic bomb that was different from its previous two, and that it had...

Nuclear Test Poses Big Challenge to China’s New Leader

Jane Perlez
New York Times
North Korea's nuclear test in defiance of China’s warnings leaves that country’s new leader, Xi Jinping, with a choice: Does he upset North Korea just a bit by agreeing to stepped up United Nations sanctions, or does he rattle the regime by...

Japan Protests to China After Radar Pointed At Vessel

Kiyoshi Takenaka
Reuters
A Chinese vessel pointed a type of radar normally used to help guide missiles at a Japanese navy ship near disputed East China Sea islets, prompting the Japanese government to lodge a protest with China, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said.

China’s String of Fake Pearls (Blog)

Daniel W. Drezner
Foreign Policy
For the past few years, a low level theme that occasionally pops into my news feed is the idea of greater Sino-Pakistani cooperation.  Now this has a certain amount of realpolitik sense to it.  The United States and Pakistan are...