Viewpoint

02.21.24

“When It All Comes down to It, China Has No Real ‘New Year’”

Li Chengpeng & Geremie R. Barmé
I’ve written all of this because friends urged me to offer some reflections on the year gone by and jot down a few thoughts for the upcoming year. But I didn’t want to waste my time looking up data points. Anyway, I don’t see that there was all that...

Conversation

02.16.24

It’s Grim out There: China’s Economy in the Year of the Dragon

Anne Stevenson-Yang, Zongyuan Zoe Liu & more
Some observers have been predicting an economic collapse in China for decades. Others have long predicted that China would be stuck in a middle-income trap or some other type of economic stagnation. Might some of these predictions come true this...

Conversation

02.05.24

What Will Newly Increased Party Control Mean for China’s Universities?

Sun Peidong, Daniel A. Bell & more
In January, Radio Free Asia reported that the Chinese Communist Party is “taking a direct role in the running of universities across the country” by merging the presidents’ offices with their Party committees. Ideological controls on universities...

Viewpoint

02.02.24

New Security Measures Curtailing the Study of China Alarm Educators

Jordyn Haime
Late last year, The New York Times reported on a new state-level bill in Florida that was creating unintended consequences for prospective Chinese graduate students. The bill restricts universities from accepting grants from or participating in...

“It’s Too Convenient to Say That Xi Jinping Is a Second Mao”

Nick Frisch & Chun Han Wong
The Chinese Communist Party, an organization of over ninety million members, remains opaque to many outsiders, even within China. Wall Street Journal reporter Chun Han Wong spent years in Beijing documenting social, political, and economic changes...

Viewpoint

01.22.24

Beijing Is Pouring Resources into Its UN Human Rights Review—All to Prevent Any Real Review from Taking Place

Sophie Richardson & Rana Siu Inboden
On January 23, a large delegation of Chinese officials will appear at the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) to try to defend the indefensible. For the first time since 2018, China will undergo a Universal Periodic Review (UPR), in which UN...

Conversation

01.20.24

Managing the Taiwan Election Aftermath

Ryan Hass, Yu-Jie Chen & more
Lai Ching-te is now president-elect of Taiwan, after a hard-fought race in which Beijing made its preference for his opponents clear. Lai is an outspoken advocate for Taiwan’s sovereignty, though he has said he wants to keep the status quo with...

Conversation

12.21.23

What Does It Really Mean for Europe to ‘De-Risk’ Its Relationship with China?

Thomas König, Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova & more from Mercator Institute for China Studies
At the core of many EU Commission and member states’ recent discussions of China is the concept of “de-risking.” Distinct from “decoupling,” the concept focuses on mitigating risks and limiting strategic dependencies in Europe’s relationship with...

Viewpoint

12.20.23

Hong Kong Finds Its Voice at the UN—And Uses It to Cheerlead for Beijing

Anouk Wear
Last May, in a meeting room at the United Nations in Geneva, I sat and listened as a delegate from my hometown of Hong Kong called me a liar. I was there as a representative from the civil society organization Hong Kong Watch, participating in a...

Viewpoint

12.20.23

Debating Whether China Is Getting Stronger or Weaker Won’t Make U.S. Policy More Sound

Ali Wyne
Does the United States have more to fear from a powerful China that continues to strengthen or from a powerful China that begins to decline? While the question takes into account the economic, military, and diplomatic strides China has made over the...

Viewpoint

12.15.23

Does America Have an End Game on China?

Zack Cooper from Foreign Policy
This fall, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan noted that the Biden administration is “often asked about the end state of U.S. competition with China.” He argued that “we do not expect a transformative end state like the one that resulted...

Viewpoint

12.12.23

No One Is Talking About the Plight of Uyghurs with Disabilities in Detention. The World Owes Them More.

Rayhan Asat
In 2016, Chinese authorities began rounding up Uyghur intellectuals. Among those detained was Ababekri Muhtar, the founder of Misranim, a popular social media site used by Uyghurs to debate with and learn from each other. Muhtar relies on a...

Viewpoint

12.07.23

China’s Vision for World Order

Johanna M. Costigan
In October, in front of leaders from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, Xi Jinping stood triumphant in a celebratory keynote address celebrating the tenth birthday of his Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The speech,...

10 Years of U.S.-China Trade Relations

Paul Haenle, Yukon Huang & more from Carnegie China
Trade ties between the U.S. and China have undergone significant changes since the launch of the China in the World podcast 10 years ago. This episode helps shed light on the evolution of U.S.-China trade relations over that time.

Viewpoint

11.07.23

China-Saudi RMB Settlement Will Insulate the Oil Trade from U.S. Sanctions

Christopher Vassallo
In recent years, Beijing has made efforts to facilitate the settlement of China-Saudi oil trade in renminbi (RMB) rather than in U.S. dollars, a move that would steel China’s trade from financial sanctions and disrupt the global market for oil.

Media

11.01.23

ChinaFile Presents: China Reporting in Exile

Annie Jieping Zhang, Li Yuan & more
ChinaFile and The New York Review of Books co-hosted a panel discussion with Chinese journalists working from abroad. Participants included reporter, editor, and digital media entrepreneur Annie Jieping Zhang, New York Times columnist Li Yuan,...

Conversation

10.24.23

Are Staying in the U.S. or Returning to China Mutually Exclusive?

Wendy Zhou, Zizhu Zhang & more
The past several years have seen declines in both the number of Chinese students studying in the U.S. and U.S. students studying China. We asked Chinese students studying, or who have recently completed their studies, in the U.S. why they chose to...

Conversation

10.24.23

What Is the Future for International Students in China?

Jack Allen, Matthew Barocas & more
In the last several years, an under-appreciated element of China’s retreat from the global stage has been diminished educational exchange, and particularly that exchange’s impact on students. During the height of the pandemic, tens of thousands of...

What’s Behind China’s Laws to Protect Privacy?

Samm Sacks & Mark Jia
In his article “Authoritarian Privacy” for the University of Chicago Law Review, Mark Jia writes: “Privacy laws are traditionally associated with democracy. Yet autocracies increasingly have them.” In this ChinaFile Q&A, Jia and Samm Sacks...

The Global Times Translated My Op-Ed. Here’s What They Changed.

Dan Murphy
On May 25, 2023, The New York Times published my guest essay “Like It or Not, America Needs Chinese Scientists,” on American higher education’s engagement with China in the STEM fields. The article was subsequently translated by the Chinese State-...

Features

09.28.23

Holding Sway

Jessica Batke
In most parts of the world, the United Front Work Department is known—if at all—as a secretive Chinese Communist Party organ conducting influence operations abroad. But in Gonghe Village, the local UFWD ponied up nearly one million renminbi in 2022...

Viewpoint

09.06.23

Three Years in, Hong Kong’s National Security Law Has Entrenched a New Status Quo

Thomas Kellogg & Charlotte Yeung
On March 20, 2023, a Hong Kong court sentenced three people to prison for sedition. Police had arrested them in January, during and after a raid on a book fair in Mong Kok, for the purported crime of selling self-published books about the city’s...

What’s Behind the Youth Unemployment Statistics Beijing Just Decided to Stop Publishing?

Jessica Batke & Eli Friedman
This week, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced it would cease collecting data on youth unemployment. The news came after nearly a decade of poor job prospects for Chinese people ages 16-24, often reported on by international media as...

Viewpoint

07.24.23

Xi Jinping’s Three Balancing Acts

Neil Thomas from Foreign Policy
Xi Jinping has ruled China for over a decade, but the way he rules it is changing. Xi faces domestic and international environments that are markedly worse than when he took office in 2012. The economy is struggling, confidence is faltering, debt is...

The War in Ukraine and China-Russia Relations

Paul Haenle, Amy Chew & more from Carnegie China
After more than one year of conflict, the Russia-Ukraine War continues to drag on. In May, China’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs, Li Hui, traveled throughout European capitals to discuss the potential for a “political settlement” of...

Features

07.10.23

For Beijing, Putting People Back to Work May Prove a Tough Job

Eva Xiao
In a small Chinese town where unemployment has run high during the COVID-19 pandemic, the local government has embraced a surprising remedy to joblessness: public toilets. Fugong Village, in Guangdong province, usually sees nearly half of its small...

‘What Kind of Wish Is This?’

Angeli Datt
The writer Hao Qun, who publishes under the pen name Murong Xuecun, has spent the past two decades exploring Chinese society through his literature. After studying at Beijing’s prestigious China University of Politics and Law, he worked in the...

Conversation

06.16.23

The Stakes of Antony Blinken’s Visit to Beijing

Evan Medeiros, Sheena Greitens & more
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China on June 18, after repeated delays of high-level meetings and amid ongoing tensions between the two countries. In November, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping...

The U.S. May Be Overstating China’s Technological Prowess

Johanna M. Costigan & Jeffrey Ding
China’s technological prowess is frequently invoked by U.S. policymakers hoping to get votes, attention, or enough bipartisan support to pass a bill. Competition with China was a central motivating factor in federal legislation like the CHIPS and...

Covering Tiananmen

Mike Chinoy
The Tiananmen Square crisis in 1989 was a turning point for China. Weeks of student-led demonstrations turned into the largest protest for political reform in the history of the People’s Republic. The bloody military crackdown that crushed the...

Viewpoint

05.22.23

‘They Are Men Who Acted out of Conscience’

from Bu Mingbai Podcast
Last month, a Chinese court sentenced the civil rights activists and lawyers Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi to fourteen and twelve years in prison for “subverting state power,” a charge arising from an informal gathering of fellow activists the two had...

‘Beijing’s Global Media Offensive’

Abby Seiff & Joshua Kurlantzick
Over the past several years, there has been an active debate about Chinese influence overseas. Amidst allegations that Beijing has influenced foreign elections and politicians, state newswire Xinhua has expanded into one of the largest news agencies...

Features

05.12.23

Investing in Tourism in Xinjiang, Beijing Seeks New Ways to Control the Region’s Culture

Eva Xiao
In a county where authorities ran multiple internment camps in China’s northwest Xinjiang region, the local government has commissioned a new set of buildings for a very different demographic: tourists. These sites and services, which were...

10 Years of The North Korea Challenge

Paul Haenle, Jia Qingguo & more from Carnegie China
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the China in the World Podcast, Carnegie China is launching a series of lookback episodes, using clips from previous interviews to put current international issues in context. This episode looks back on the...

Appeasement at the Cineplex

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
Although Beijing and Hollywood inhabit political and cultural universes that have little in common, they are similar in one important respect: both have expended vast amounts of energy, time, and capital confecting imaginary universes. The Chinese...

Conversation

04.05.23

As Macron Arrives in Beijing, What’s Next for Europe and China?

Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova, Frans-Paul van der Putten & more
One year after the EU-China Summit of April 2022—famously described as a “dialogue of the deaf” by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell—relations between Europe and China remain tense and further complicated by China’s ongoing stance towards Russia...

For China’s Urban Residents, the Party-State Is Closer than Ever

Jessica Batke & Taisu Zhang
In a recent working paper, scholars Yutian An and Taisu Zhang argue that local urban governments in China emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic with far more muscle and clout than they have ever had before. Unlike in the past several decades, the sub-...

Conversation

03.22.23

Xi Jinping Goes to Moscow

Ryan Hass & Philipp Ivanov
On Wednesday, Xi Jinping returned to Beijing from Moscow following a three-day state visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. While the pair have met dozens of times in the past decade, this week’s talks have drawn unprecedented...

‘A Stone Is Most Precious Where It Belongs’

Jessica Batke & Gulchehra Hoja
Gulchehra Hoja is a longtime broadcaster with Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) Uyghur Service. She grew up in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and was a successful TV personality and journalist with Chinese state media there. She...

‘It Is Especially Scary to See Students’

Jue Jiang
As in many other aspects of public life in China under Xi Jinping, the space for independent inquiry and discussion within the academy has shrunk significantly in recent years. The Xi administration has released a slew of guidelines and communiques...

The Future of China’s Climate Policy

Kate Logan & Li Shuo
With China accounting for more than a quarter of annual global greenhouse gas emissions, the future pathway of China’s emissions will play a central role in determining the extent to which the world can meet the Paris Agreement’s climate change...

Document 9, 10 Years Later

Jessica Batke
Ten years ago, in April 2013, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) promulgated a critical directive: its “Communiqué on the Current State of the Ideological Sphere.” The document, issued by the CCP’s General Office and not intended for public...

Conversation

03.03.23

Xi Jinping Says He Wants to Spread China’s Wealth More Equitably. How Likely Is That to Actually Happen?

David Bulman, Wei Cui & more
On the eve of the “Two Sessions,” Xi Jinping’s leadership position is now secure as he embarks on a third term. But China faces severe headwinds in reviving the economy, boosting employment, and managing local government debt. In past crises, China’...

Conversation

03.03.23

As China’s Leaders Gather in Beijing, Here’s What to Watch

Qiheng Chen, Michelle Mengsu Chang & more
As delegates gather in Beijing for the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the annual meetings known as the “Two Sessions” that set the tone and direction of China’s governance and policy, we asked...

Conversation

02.28.23

U.S.-China Trade Stayed Robust in 2022. Will That Last?

Wendy Cutler, Gerard DiPippo & more
Trade figures for 2022 released earlier this month show U.S.-China goods trade hit a record high of $690.6 billion, despite ongoing tensions. How should we interpret these latest figures? Do these numbers obscure medium and long term trends? Or will...

Viewpoint

02.27.23

How Much Does U.S.-China Tension Threaten Decarbonization?

Scott Moore
A striking contradiction has emerged between Beijing’s growing geopolitical isolation on one hand, and its apparent continued commitment to tackling global climate change on the other. The big question, for China and for the world, is whether...

Viewpoint

02.24.23

Touting ‘Ethnic Fusion,’ China’s New Top Official for Minority Affairs Envisions a Country Free of Cultural Difference

Aaron Glasserman
Pan’s election to the Central Committee suggests that the Xi administration’s hard turn toward assimilationism will likely continue and perhaps intensify. Pan is the second Han official in a row to head the Ethnic Affairs Commission, which for...

10 Years of U.S.-China Diplomacy

Paul Haenle, Yan Xuetong & more from Carnegie China
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the China in the World podcast, in this podcast episode Carnegie China is looking back on 10 years of U.S.-China diplomacy following the postponement of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned visit to...

‘I Wonder How the Protesters Felt When They Heard Their Own Voices’

Yangyang Cheng
On Sunday, February 5, after a polar vortex brought the coldest weekend in decades to the region, scores of people gathered in the heart of Boston to commemorate the third anniversary of the passing of Dr. Li Wenliang, the young Chinese...

Straying off Course

John Delury & Susan Jakes
On the evening of Friday February 3, about one day after news broke that a large balloon from China was surveilling the skies over Montana, ChinaFile’s Susan Jakes spoke with historian John Delury, whose recently published book, Agents of Subversion...

Viewpoint

01.31.23

Where Does Xi Jinping Go from Here?

Neil Thomas
Popular narratives about Chinese leader Xi Jinping are in flux. Just a few months ago, he was widely seen as an unassailable force. But unusually widespread protests in late November, followed by a complete reversal of his zero-COVID policy, have...

Xi Jinping’s Charm Offensive in Southeast Asia

Paul Haenle & Hoang Thi Ha from Carnegie China
Following the 20th Party Congress, China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping engaged in a flurry of high-level diplomatic meetings with heads of state from dozens of countries in East and Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In this episode of the...

The Class of ’77

Susan Jakes
In August 1971, Jaime FlorCruz arrived in Beijing for a short trip to learn about Maoist China. Just days later, the Filipino college student learned he had been put on a blacklist by then President Ferdinand Marcos. Facing certain arrest and likely...

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...

Planting the Flag in Mosques and Monasteries

Jessica Batke
Over the last few years, the Chinese Communist Party has physically remade places of religious worship in western China to its liking. This includes not only the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, but also other areas with mosques or Tibetan...

Viewpoint

12.12.22

In China’s Diaspora, Visions of a Different Homeland

Yangyang Cheng
At the beginning, there were songs. It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving. In the storied New England town, over a hundred of us had gathered for the candlelight vigil. After a fire claimed at least ten lives in a locked-down building in Urumchi, and...

U.S.-China Relations after the U.S. Midterms

Paul Haenle, Yun Sun & more from Carnegie China
Amid the war in Ukraine, the Biden administration has maintained focus on China and enjoyed robust bipartisan support for pursuing a tough approach to Beijing. Recent U.S. export controls on semiconductors and related chip manufacturing equipment...

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...