China’s Economy Grows Strongly, Yet Central Bank Eases Policy

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
China’s economy firmly hit its growth target last year, but this is China, where figures are sometimes doubted and where economists look for signs of strain underneath the numbers.

Asian Shares Mixed as Investors Eye Trump’s Inauguration

Aza Wee Sile
CNBC
Asian markets were a mixed bag on Friday after China’s latest set of economic data suggest the economy is recovering, even as risk sentiment sours ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration

Can Donald Trump Break Beijing’s ‘One China’ Obsession?

Chow Chung-yan
South China Morning Post
Through force and diplomacy, many renowned figures have tried to divide the country, and all have failed. Still, the new U.S. president seems to want the issue back on the table and, if so, he has a steep, historic hill to climb

Punches, Kicks and the ‘Dangling Chair’: Detainee Tells of Torture in China

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Perched unsteadily on a stack of plastic stools in an isolated room, Xie Yang, a Chinese lawyer, was encircled day and night by interrogators

Here’s How China Will Test Trump With North Korean Nukes

Gordon G. Chang
Daily Beast
China is demanding South Korea not defend itself from North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons, which Beijing has helped Pyongyang develop

How China’s Liberals Are Feeling the Trump Effect

Wang Lixiong
Washington Post
With the presidential election of Donald Trump, a man whose grasp of both democratic concepts and ethical norms is questionable, we have been forced to ask some hard new questions

A Communist Party Man at Davos

Atlantic
Xi Jinping tries to charm the capitalist elite

Trump Inauguration: Taiwan Delegation Could ‘Disturb Sino-U.S. Relations’

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Taiwanese delegation will attend new president’s swearing-in, prompting Beijing to warn it could ‘disturb or undermine Sino-U.S. relations’

Sinica Podcast

01.19.17

The State of Journalism in China—Ed Wong’s Exit Interview

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
Edward Wong became a reporter for The New York Times in 1999. He covered the Iraq war from Baghdad from 2003 to 2007, and then moved to Beijing in 2008. He has written about a wide range of subjects in China for the Times, and became its Beijing...

Media

01.19.17

The U.S. Media’s Unfortunate Obsession with One Beijing Rag

David Wertime
On January 11, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson raised eyebrows in Washington when he said, “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that first the...

U.S. Commerce Nominee Ross Calls China ‘Most Protectionist’ Country

David Lawder
Reuters
Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for commerce secretary, voiced sharp criticism of China’s trade practices on Wednesday

China Is America’s “Vendor,” and Needs to Treat Its Biggest Customer Better, Trump’s Commerce Pick Says

Heather Timmons
Quartz
China loomed large in the US senate’s confirmation hearing today of Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary.

Donald Trump and China’s Year of the Hawk

Melinda Liu
Politico
A brash new U.S. president is on a collision course with a Chinese leader bent on consolidating power. ...

In China, Pollution Fears Are Both Literal and Metaphorical

Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Benjamin Van...
NPR
Last month, as China encountered some of its worst pollution yet, artists in Chengdu did something bold: They put smog-filtering cotton masks over the faces of statues representing ordinary urbanites that dot a centrally located shopping street.

China Builds World’s Biggest Solar Farm in Journey to Become Green Superpower

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Vast plant in Qinghai province is part of China’s determination to transform itself from climate change villain to a green energy colossus

How Donald Trump Could Give China a Real Boost in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the U.S. president-elect has said nothing about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable...

Viewpoint

01.19.17

Do We Want to Live in China’s World?

Robert Daly
Each weekday morning, I cross D.C.’s National Mall and pass a sign on Constitution Avenue bearing an epigram by the U.S. architect Daniel Burnham: Make No Little Plans. And every morning, these words make me think not of Burnham’s 20th century...

Conversation

01.18.17

U.S.-China Flashpoints in the Age of Trump

Zha Daojiong, Isaac Stone Fish & more
Over the past year, Donald Trump has vowed to “utterly destroy” ISIS, considered lifting sanctions on Russia, promised to cancel the Paris climate agreement and “dismantle” the Iran nuclear deal. But many of his most inflammatory statements are...

China’s Top Economic Official Braces for Possible Trade War

Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Liu He has struggled to overcome resistance to a program of measured economic liberalization and more open markets that he argues is critical to China’s long-term economic health

First Freight Train from China to Britain Arrives in London

Ritvik Carvalho
Reuters
The first China-to-Britain freight train arrived in London on Wednesday after a 7,500-mile journey, marking a milestone in China’s push to build commercial links across Europe and Asia.

Taiwan Carries out Drills amid Rising Fears of Chinese Invasion

Nicola Smith and Tom Phillips
Guardian
The island’s armed forces test combat readiness, amid deteriorating relations between Beijing and Taipei

An ‘Old Friend of China’ Prepares to Bridge Differences at a Fraught Time

Rob Schmitz and Clay Masters
NPR
Branstad’s relationship with China goes back to 1985, when he was in his first term as governor and a young agricultural official from Hebei Province named Xi Jinping visited Iowa.

The Chinese Government Finally Admitted That Its Economic Data Was Made Up

Zheping Huang
Quartz
For many who have long believed that China’s economic growth figures seemed too good—and tidy—to be true, they now have official confirmation of that skepticism.

In Davos, Xi Makes Case for Chinese Leadership Role

Noah Barkin and Elizabeth Piper
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a vigorous defense of free trade at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday in a speech that underscored Beijing’s desire to play a greater global role

New U.S.-China Rivalry Risks Lethal Confrontation

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Provocations by President-elect Trump over trade and territory could escalate into armed conflict

China’s Oil Collapse Is Unintentionally Helping OPEC

Bloomberg
OPEC’s campaign to prop up oil prices is getting unlikely support from its biggest customer.

Welcome to an Emerging Asia: India and China Stop Feigning Friendship while Russia Plays All Sides

Harsh V Pant
Quartz
After a few timid signs of warming, Sino-Indian relations seem to be headed for the freezer.

Trump Warming to Reality of Climate Change, Says Senior Chinese Official

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Beijing’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, talks down fears that joint leadership shown by China and the US will be reversed under new president

One China Policy “Nonnegotiable,” China Tells US

Xinhua
China on Saturday told the United States that one China policy is the political foundation of bilateral ties and “is nonnegotiable.”

China’s Xi Set for Star Turn at Davos Gathering

Tom Mitchell and Charles Clover
Financial Times
President aims to show he is one of the few responsible adults left on the global stage

China Overseas Investment Spree Set to Run Out of Steam

Lingling Wei
Wall Street Journal
A government think tank predicts China’s direct investment overseas, after years of robust gains, is likely to decline in 2017

Sinica Podcast

01.13.17

Can the Vatican and China Get Along?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
Ian Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has lived in Beijing and Taiwan for more than half of the past 30 years, writing for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and other publications. He has...

Ambassador to China Shares Lessons Learned with the Next Administration

NPR
Democrat Max Baucus, the U.S. ambassador to China since 2014, is preparing to hand over the post to his successor. He discusses the future of the U.S.-China relationship.

South China Sea: China Media Warn US over ‘Confrontation’

BBC
Blocking China from islands it has built in contested waters would lead to “devastating confrontation,” Chinese state media have warned.

Tillerson Channels Reagan on South China Sea

James Kraska
Lawfare Blog
Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson said that perhaps the United States should deny China access to its artificial islands in the South China Sea.

Trump Nominee’s Proposal to Block China From Islands Sets Off Alarms

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
If carried out, Tillerson’s proposal to bar Beijing from some South China Sea islands would likely trigger military battle, experts say

China Launches New Electronic Intelligence Naval Ship

CNBC
China’s Navy has launched a new electronic reconnaissance ship as Beijing’s new assertiveness to territorial claims in the South China Sea fuels tensions.

Japan And China Are Competing To Win Over The Philippines

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing away the United States in favor of its geopolitical rival China. But the man in office still likes Japan.

Obama Takes Parting Shot at China with WTO Aluminium Case

Shawn Donnan
Financial Times
U.S. is challenging Beijing’s financing of its industries with low-cost loans

China Banks Extend Record 12.65 Trillion Yuan in Loans in 2016 as Debt Worries Mount

Sue-Lin Wong and Lusha Zhang
Reuters
China’s banks extended a record 12.56 trillion yuan ($1.82 trillion) of loans in 2016 as the government encouraged more credit-fueled stimulus to meet its economic growth target

Hong Kong Human Rights Situation ‘Worst Since Handover to China’

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Amnesty International report says rule of law, freedom of speech, and trust in government all deteriorated in 2016

China Wants to Be a Climate Change Watchdog, but Can It Lead by Example?

Edward Wong
New York Times
Like some other nations, China, the world’s biggest polluter, has refused to accept international monitoring of its emissions and says it will provide data to outside observers.

Books

01.11.17

Taiwan’s China Dilemma

Syaru Shirley Lin
China and Taiwan share one of the world’s most complex international relationships. Although similar cultures and economic interests have promoted an explosion of economic ties between them since the late 1980s, these ties have not led to an improved political relationship, let alone progress toward the unification that both governments once claimed to seek. In addition, Taiwan’s recent Sunflower Movement succeeded in obstructing deeper economic ties with China. Why has Taiwan’s policy toward China been so inconsistent?Taiwan’s China Dilemma explains the divergence between the development of economic and political relations across the Taiwan Strait through the interplay of national identity and economic interests. Using primary sources, opinion surveys, and interviews with Taiwanese opinion leaders, Syaru Shirley Lin paints a vivid picture of one of the most unsettled and dangerous relationships in the contemporary world, and illustrates the growing backlash against economic liberalization and regional economic integration around the world. —Stanford University Press{chop}

Taiwan Scrambles Jets, Navy as China Aircraft Carrier Enters Taiwan Strait

Reuters
Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships on Wednesday as a group of Chinese warships, led by its sole aircraft carrier, sailed through the Taiwan Strait

China Delegation Reportedly Open to Meeting Trump’s Team at Davos

Gemma Acton
CNBC
China’s President Xi Jinping’s delegation to the World Economic Forum to be held in Davos next week is open to a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump’s team

China, Fanning Patriotism, Adds Six Years to War with Japan in History Books

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
For generations, the “Eight-Year War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression” has been ingrained in the minds of Chinese schoolchildren. Now the war is getting a new name, and an extended time frame.

China’s Money, China’s Blue Helmets for Africa

Deutsche Welle
It’s not just about raw materials anymore. China’s expanding influence in Africa poses risks to European interests, but it offers opportunities as well.

2016 China-Africa Year in Review

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
After years of relatively trouble-free development, 2016 marked a turning point in the China-Africa relationship, amid turbulent changes in the global economic and political order. China increased its deployment of combat troops to the continent,...

Against China’s Objections, Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Meet with Taiwanese President

Amy B Wang
Washington Post
Against the objections of Chinese officials, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Texas on Sunday during her much-scrutinized overseas trip. 

China Battles to Control Growing Online Nationalism

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
When Taiwan last year elected a president eager to reduce the island’s reliance on China, tens of thousands of Chinese netizens attacked Taiwanese websites in a co-ordinated action that was as much a surprise to Beijing as it was to its targets...

China’s New Silk Road Is Getting Muddy

Joshua Eisenman and Devin T. Stewart
Foreign Policy
With the future of U.S.-China relations an open question for the incoming Donald Trump administration, many have focused on whether the president-elect’s promise to withdraw from negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will enhance...

Viewpoint

01.06.17

No, Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement Is Not Anti-Mainland

Sebastian Veg
In a November 29 essay, “The Anti-Mainland Bigotry of Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement,” published in Foreign Policy, Taisu Zhang tries to make the case that Beijing’s hardline attitude toward Hong Kong is traceable to what he calls the “bigotry of...

Cambodia Wants China as Its Neighborhood Bully

Tanner Greer
Foreign Policy
In the closing months of 2016, all of Southeast Asia seemed to be pivoting toward China. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was hailed as a “visionary leader” by fellow Malaysian politicians for “tilting to China.”

Taiwan Tries to Keep Central American Allies Away from China

Ben Bland and James Fredrick
Financial Times
Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen heads to four Central American countries this weekend in an effort to stop more of the self-governing island’s remaining diplomatic allies defecting to China. 

The Unpredictability of U.S.-China Relations Under Trump

Paul Haenle & Chen Dingding from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
As U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration approaches, uncertainty looms over the future of U.S.-China policy. In part one of this two-part podcast, Paul Haenle speaks with Chen Dingding, an International Relations professor at Jinan...

China, Seeking to Stop Weakening of Currency, Issues Restrictions

Neil Gough
New York Times
China’s financial regulators appear to have grown increasingly concerned in recent weeks about the pace of the renminbi’s depreciation

Apple Removes New York Times App in China

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Company says it will not offer news site in app store because it has been told by Beijing it is in ‘violation of local regulations’

History Shows Beijing Won’t Budge an Inch on Taiwan

Patricia Kim
Foreign Policy
Trump might want to use the island as a bargaining chip—but for China, it’s a matter of principle

How Chinese Entrepreneurs Can Help Trump ‘Make America Great Again’

Edward Tse
South China Morning Post
Edward Tse says Chinese investment and job creation are just what the US economy needs to sharpen its edge, not isolationism and trade wars

Books

01.04.17

The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom
This lavishly illustrated volume explores the history of China during a period of dramatic shifts and surprising transformations, from the founding of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) through to the present day.The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China promises to be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this rising superpower on the verge of what promises to be the “Chinese century,” introducing readers to important but often overlooked events in China’s past, such as the bloody Taiping Civil War (1850-1864), which had a death toll far higher than the roughly contemporaneous American Civil War. It also helps readers see more familiar landmarks in Chinese history in new ways, such as the Opium War (1839-1842), the Boxer Uprising of 1900, the rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, and the Tiananmen protests and Beijing Massacre of 1989.This is one of the first major efforts—and in many ways the most ambitious to date—to come to terms with the broad sweep of modern Chinese history, taking readers from the origins of modern China right up through the dramatic events of the last few years (the Beijing Games, the financial crisis, and China’s rise to global economic pre-eminence) which have so fundamentally altered Western views of China and China’s place in the world. —Oxford University Press{chop}