ChinaFile

ChinaFile An online magazine of original and selectively syndicated reporting and commentary on China. http://www.chinafile.com/

ChinaFile is an online magazine publishing, showcasing, and contributing to the best reporting and commentary on China published by Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations. We seek to both meet and expand the appetites of expert and non-expert audiences who want to better understand China and to provide them with a visually stimulating, well-designed platform on which they can encounter voices and topics that tend to be out of the reach of general English-speaking readers. Founded in 2011, ChinaFile places a premium on skillful storytelling, sensitivity to the news, and careful research, our original stories will pick-apart major issues that will be easily understood by a wide range of readers. In the fast-paced world of online news, our team sifts through and presents a highly curated list of stories from both mainstream and more esoteric sources of China reporting. ChinaFile also publishes original reporting, opinion pieces, book reviews, interviews, photo essays, videos and translations of stories originally published in Chinese. The ties between the U.S. and China have increased over the past several decades and the need has never been greater for deepened understanding of current events in the world’s most populous country and it's second largest economy.

In our latest Conversation, contributors explore declassified White House documents on U.S. policy toward China in the i...
07/09/2019
The Other Tiananmen Papers

In our latest Conversation, contributors explore declassified White House documents on U.S. policy toward China in the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen. Their comments and the documents themselves are now up on ChinaFile

In the wake of the lethal use of force by China’s military against demonstrators in Tiananmen Square and citizens of Beijing on June 4, 1989, the United States and other governments were confronted with a series of vexing moral and policy questions. What to say publicly and how to say it? What to ...

Depth of Field | Ye Ming, Yan Cong, & David Barreda take us on “The Journey of a Bra” https://bit.ly/2YoBsUk
07/01/2019

Depth of Field | Ye Ming, Yan Cong, & David Barreda take us on “The Journey of a Bra” https://bit.ly/2YoBsUk

‘What I’m Always Doing Is Escaping, Escaping, Escaping’ | Liu Xia talks about life in exile w/ Ai Weiwei and Perry Linkb...
06/27/2019

‘What I’m Always Doing Is Escaping, Escaping, Escaping’ | Liu Xia talks about life in exile w/ Ai Weiwei and Perry Link
bit.ly/2REmSp4

06/24/2019
China, Trade and Power

In his book, Stewart Paterson argues that certain aspects of China’s accession to WTO planted the seed for today’s economic confrontation between China & the West. FULL VIDEO: https://bit.ly/2xdoc9k

Our latest Conversation, with Helen Siu, Ho-fung Hung, David Schlesinger, Tom Kellogg and Sebastian Veg.
06/19/2019
Hong Kong in Protest

Our latest Conversation, with Helen Siu, Ho-fung Hung, David Schlesinger, Tom Kellogg and Sebastian Veg.

On June 16, an estimated 2 million people took to the streets to protest the Hong Kong government’s handling of a proposed extradition bill. This followed two massive demonstrations against the bill earlier in the month, including one where police used pepper spray and tear gas against protesters....

Writes Jerome Cohen, "China’s extradition prospects will improve only after its Communist Party and government radically...
06/19/2019
What Does the Pause of Hong Kong’s Extradition Bill Mean?

Writes Jerome Cohen, "China’s extradition prospects will improve only after its Communist Party and government radically reform the country’s criminal process in practice as well as theory. To say this monumental task is unlikely to be achieved under the Xi Jinping regime is an understatement."

The Hong Kong people’s historic mass protests during the past 10 days have demonstrated their awareness that the now suspended extradition bill proposed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam represented a threat to Hong Kong’s promised “high degree of autonomy.” The bill’s passage would have depri...

Asia Society New York
06/18/2019
Asia Society New York

Asia Society New York

Missed it? Nicholas Kristof of the The New York Times, author Zha Jianying, and Asia Society's Orville Schell reflected on their experiences at Tiananmen and discussed erasures of history with ChinaFile editor Susan Jakes.

Watch the complete program online: https://asi.as/YbgKuu

06/14/2019

Hi there, Mengwen Cao @mengwencao taking over @ChinaFile this week.

In light of the pride month, I am sharing "Here We Are", my multimedia project exploring Chinese queer identity.

Growing up as a first generation American in a traditional Asian household, Dilys struggles to find balance between her two culture identities and convince her religious mother to believe her queerness.

According to a 2016 UN report, only about 5% of LGBTQ people in China are completely open about their identity due to huge family and societal pressures. The project is to amplify the voice of this community. Here we are in spite of everything.

You can view the whole project here: mengwencao.com/hereweare

#lgbt #Pride #queer #qtpoc #comingout #AsianQueer #ChinaFileCulture #ChinaFile #ChineseStorytellers

In April we asked people who grew up in China after 1989 to send us stories about how they first learned about the Tiana...
06/03/2019
How I Learned About Tiananmen

In April we asked people who grew up in China after 1989 to send us stories about how they first learned about the Tiananmen Square protests and the massacre that ended them. Here are a few of the stories we received

In April, ChinaFile put out a call for young people who grew up in China to describe how they first learned about the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre, and how they felt about it. Here is a selection of the responses we received, including several from authors who requested their posts be publ...

From Isaac Stone Fish, what you should read before June 4th
06/03/2019
Six Questions and Four Articles About Tiananmen Square

From Isaac Stone Fish, what you should read before June 4th

Why can’t we banish history from our memories? The author Ling Zhijun titled his 2008 exploration of Mao Zedong’s disastrous people’s communes “History No Longer Lingers,” and it sometimes feels counterintuitive that we cannot forget past tragedies and concentrate on a better future. But i...

On May 29, the Communist Party newspaper the People’s Daily warned of the United States’ “uncomfortable” dependence on C...
05/31/2019
What Exactly Is the Story with China’s Rare Earths?

On May 29, the Communist Party newspaper the People’s Daily warned of the United States’ “uncomfortable” dependence on Chinese rare earths. “Will rare earths become a counter weapon for China . . ? The answer is no mystery,” it wrote

Deng Xiaoping reportedly said that while the Middle East has oil, China has rare earths. On May 29, Communist Party newspaper the People’s Daily warned of the United States’ “uncomfortable” dependence on Chinese rare earths: “Will rare earths become a counter weapon for China . . ? The ans...

Confused by dueling trade war claims? This might help
05/30/2019
What Are We Getting Wrong about the Trade War?

Confused by dueling trade war claims? This might help

Since the collapse of trade talks in mid-May, voices from both sides have warned of the economic havoc their side can unleash while boasting of their economy’s resilience. Academics in China speak about weaponizing the country’s foreign exchange reserves by selling off some of the roughly U.S.$1...

"That September evening in 2009, when the heat of summer still lingered in the air, I sat in front of my computer and en...
05/30/2019
Four Is Forbidden

"That September evening in 2009, when the heat of summer still lingered in the air, I sat in front of my computer and entered into the search bar the string of numbers that had haunted me since middle school."

Liusi. Six-four. The two-syllable word, spoken nonchalantly by our teacher, was a stone cast into the tranquil pond of a classroom. From each ripple rose a gasp, a murmur, or a perplexed face, with only one or two enunciating the question on many of our minds, “What is six-four?” It was the summ...

Writes Perry Link: "We remember June Fourth because, if we didn’t remember it, it could not be in our heads any other wa...
05/28/2019
Why We Remember June Fourth

Writes Perry Link: "We remember June Fourth because, if we didn’t remember it, it could not be in our heads any other way. Could we possibly have imagined it? No."

Some people recently asked, “Why must you remember June Fourth? Thirty years have gone by. It is history. Get over it. Move on.” A simple question, but there are many answers. No single answer is adequate, and all of the answers together still leave the question hanging in mid-air, asking for mo...

Photographer Xu Song @kuntasong spent the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016 photographing people at outdoor swimming pools...
05/17/2019

Photographer Xu Song @kuntasong spent the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016 photographing people at outdoor swimming pools in Beijing with his phone. Like the water that spills through his subjects, Xu’s photographs both clarify and obscure them, playing with surface and depth, forcing us to see the strangeness in familiar scenes and gestures, and daring us to wonder what might remain submerged. Tap the link in bio to read more. Tap the link in bio to read more.
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Qingnianhu Park, Beijing, July 25, 2014.
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#summer #swimmingpools #nap #china #beijing #haveagoodday #photography

Surface Tension
05/17/2019
Surface Tension

Surface Tension

“I never realized that so many Chinese people have tattoos,” says photographer Xu Song, who spent the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016 photographing people at outdoor swimming pools in Beijing with his phone. “When the clothes come off, the secrets come out.” For Xu, pools provide “a summer...

Latest Conversation looks at the roots of popular fear of Islam in China today, and how it is connected to the actions o...
05/15/2019
Islamophobia in China

Latest Conversation looks at the roots of popular fear of Islam in China today, and how it is connected to the actions of the Chinese government in Xinjiang. with Ian Johnson, Kevin Carrico, Humar Isaac-Wang, Frankie Huang, Kelly Hammond and Kecheng Fang.

Roughly 20 million Muslims live in China today; many of them live in the northwest region of Xinjiang, where the government is incarcerating an estimated one million Uighur Muslims. In recent weeks, news reports have emerged of the razing of mosques and other religious buildings across the region. I...

In search of an affordable alternative to Chinese education, a growing number of Chinese parents are moving their childr...
05/14/2019

In search of an affordable alternative to Chinese education, a growing number of Chinese parents are moving their children to international schools in Thailand.
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Chinese parents watch as their children participate in NIS’ International Day celebration, January 26, 2019. Parents were invited to participate in the events, and they prepared snacks
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#china #thailand #chiangmai #education #school #parenting #documentaryphotography

05/14/2019
asiasociety.org

We're hiring! ChinaFile has a job opening for a part-time researcher working with our Senior Editor Jessica Batke. Strong Mandarin reading/writing skills required as well as native-level proficiency in English.

Great to have this Ian Johnson essay from The New York Review of Books
05/10/2019
A Specter Is Haunting Xi’s China: ‘Mr. Democracy’

Great to have this Ian Johnson essay from The New York Review of Books

Something strange is happening in Xi Jinping’s China. This is supposed to be the perfect dictatorship, the most sustained period of authoritarianism since the Cultural Revolution ended more than 40 years ago, a period of such damning disappointment that all but the regime’s most acquiescent apol...

Zhang Taisu on why he does not celebrate the legacy of May Fourth--but can't quite condemn it either.
05/08/2019
This Year, I Couldn’t Avoid May Fourth

Zhang Taisu on why he does not celebrate the legacy of May Fourth--but can't quite condemn it either.

The one hundredth anniversary of the 1919 May Fourth Movement came and went last week much as one would have expected: in a series of tightly controlled commemorative events, Chinese Communist Party leaders claimed the movement as part of its own spiritual founding, characterizing it as a moment of....

Our latest Conversation is up.
04/30/2019
If the U.S. and China Make a Trade Deal, Then What?

Our latest Conversation is up.

The U.S.-China trade war has always been about more than just trade. Among other issues, it represents a move towards the decoupling of the two economies. Sometime within the next few weeks, Washington and Beijing may call a truce on the trade war. A potential deal could include steps to balance the...

This week on the China Africa Podcast, Colonel Chris Wyatt, Director of African Studies at the U.S. Army War College, jo...
04/30/2019
A Conservative American View on U.S.-China-Africa Relations

This week on the China Africa Podcast, Colonel Chris Wyatt, Director of African Studies at the U.S. Army War College, joins Eric and Cobus to discuss a conservative U.S. foreign policy outlook regarding Africa and his views on Chinese engagement on the continent.

Colonel Wyatt is a professional military officer with more than 36 years of experience in security, international development, and education in Africa, Europe, Southwest Asia, and North America. He was also the lead military advisor to the U.S. ambassador to the African Union and served as the U.S. Africa Command Liaison Officer to the African Union.

His background in Africa includes operations in Uganda, Central African Republic, and South Sudan, among many others.

Although Colonel Wyatt is an active duty officer in the United States military, his comments in this week’s podcast represent his personal views and no

Colonel Chris Wyatt, Director of African Studies at the U.S. Army War College, joins Eric and Cobus to discuss a conservative U.S. foreign policy outlook regarding Africa and his views on Chinese engagement on the continent.

Is 2019 the beginning of the end of BRI? Or are reports of its death premature?
04/30/2019
Is This the End of Belt and Road, or Just the Beginning?

Is 2019 the beginning of the end of BRI? Or are reports of its death premature?

On April 25-27, China’s government will host the leaders of dozens of countries to celebrate the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the signature foreign policy program of Xi Jinping. Since its founding in October 2013, the BRI now covers more than 150 countries and encompasses billions of dollars of...

On May 9th in New York City, we'll be cohosting with Overseas Press Club of America a half-day long symposium looking ba...
04/29/2019
Tiananmen Square Thirty Years Later: Is the Past a Portent of an Even More Authoritarian Future? - OPC

On May 9th in New York City, we'll be cohosting with Overseas Press Club of America a half-day long symposium looking back at China in the spring of 1989 and exploring the political legacy of what took place there. OPC has assembled an outstanding group of panelists.

Tickets are still available. Please join us.

Thirty years ago, as of June 4, the Chinese leadership made a crucial decision—it sent in the tanks to crush students demonstrating for greater democratic rights, killing thousands. Come listen to the stories of those students who survived and how they have fought a 30-year shadow war against the ...

The photographer Michael Wolf  spent decades photographing mainland China and Hong Kong. His empathy was voracious and i...
04/26/2019

The photographer Michael Wolf spent decades photographing mainland China and Hong Kong. His empathy was voracious and infectious. We will miss seeing the world through his eyes. Thanks to @brucesilverstein for letting us remember him with these images.

Many Chinese parents want alternatives to high pressure world of China's public schooling, but options in China are expe...
04/26/2019
Chiang Mai’s Chinese Transfer Students

Many Chinese parents want alternatives to high pressure world of China's public schooling, but options in China are expensive and limited. So, report Wu Hao and Ye Ming, a growing number of families are relocating to Thailand and enrolling their kids in international schools.

On a chilly winter Friday in early 2013, seven-year-old Zou Yanhu came home from school, looking dejected. Yanhu was a first-grader attending a public primary school in Chengdu, Sichuan’s sprawling capital city. His weekend homework was to write eight textbook essays from memory and complete two e...

A lot of what we think we know about social credit in China is incomplete. Shazeda Ahmed explains what we're we're missi...
04/22/2019
The Messy Truth About Social Credit

A lot of what we think we know about social credit in China is incomplete. Shazeda Ahmed explains what we're we're missing and why there's still much cause for concern, in this essay first published in Logic Magazine.

Almost every day, I receive an email from Google Alerts about a new article on China’s “social credit system.” It is rare that I encounter an article that does not contain several factual errors and gross mischaracterizations. The social credit system is routinely described as issuing “citiz...

"Among the many defenses that the Chinese government has advanced in recent months... is that it is helping to free Uigh...
04/19/2019
‘I Have Revised My Idea of What a Uighur Heroine Should Be’

"Among the many defenses that the Chinese government has advanced in recent months... is that it is helping to free Uighur women from “religious extremism," writes Zubayra Shamseden."

Such arguments are belied especially vividly when one considers stories of Uighur women like me, who have deep connections to our culture and have pursued successful professional careers in a way that builds on our traditions and experiences as members of the Uighur community."

The Chinese government would have you believe a good Uighur woman is one who knows how to apply false eyelashes and cook dumplings. She is neither too modest nor too forward. She is “good at singing and dancing.” Since leaving China, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what it means to be a...

Hear former Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton's thoughts on a recent crisis in US-China Relations on this epis...
04/16/2019
Susan Thornton on a Crisis in U.S.-China Relations

Hear former Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton's thoughts on a recent crisis in US-China Relations on this episode of the China in the World Podcast

Over three years into Trump’s presidency, U.S.-China trade and economic issues remain unresolved while security concerns are creeping into the bilateral agenda. Thornton contends that Washington and Beijing should quickly agree on an initial trade agreement that ensures China’s further reform an...

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