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.

“Adding to China’s ability to shape the message has been the relative abdication of the United States as the chief globa...
01/17/2020
Why Aren’t More Countries Confronting China over Xinjiang?

“Adding to China’s ability to shape the message has been the relative abdication of the United States as the chief global protector of human rights,” says Matt Schiavenza about the large number of countries shirking away from criticizing China on Xinjiang. READ: https://bit.ly/36VsgLn

China has justified its repressive actions in Xinjiang as a response to a series of terror attacks attributed to Uighurs. But the measures Chinese authorities have employed have attracted international condemnation. In July, the United Nations representatives of 22 mostly European countries released...

China has been adept at preventing national governments from speaking up against its repressive policies towards Uighurs...
01/16/2020
Why Aren’t More Countries Confronting China over Xinjiang?

China has been adept at preventing national governments from speaking up against its repressive policies towards Uighurs. Matthew Schiavenza examines part of a global effort by the Chinese Communist Party to suppress critical views on Xinjiang. READ: https://bit.ly/36VsgLn

China has justified its repressive actions in Xinjiang as a response to a series of terror attacks attributed to Uighurs. But the measures Chinese authorities have employed have attracted international condemnation. In July, the United Nations representatives of 22 mostly European countries released...

ChinaFile Presents: The Scientist and the Spy Mara Hvistendahl will be in NYC on Feb 4 to discuss her book. She tells a ...
01/13/2020
ChinaFile Presents: The Scientist and the Spy

ChinaFile Presents: The Scientist and the Spy

Mara Hvistendahl will be in NYC on Feb 4 to discuss her book. She tells a story of industrial espionage involving a Chinese-born scientist, crude US counterintelligence, racism, & corporate influence. TICKETS: https://bit.ly/35zCMXb

Hvistendahl will discuss science, espionage, paranoia and their role in U.S.-China relations—as well as the book itself—with Kaiser Kuo as part of a special live taping of SupChina’s Sinica Podcast.

In “China’s Urban Champions,” Kyle Jaros writes about how Chinese central and provincial governments, sometimes in conce...
01/13/2020

In “China’s Urban Champions,” Kyle Jaros writes about how Chinese central and provincial governments, sometimes in concert and other times at odds with each other, allocate support for economic development. WATCH VIDEO: https://bit.ly/2R31M3V

Sophie Richardson, Carl Minzner, Scott Kennedy, & David Schlesinger ponder what is ahead for China in 2020. https://bit....
01/12/2020
China: The Year Ahead

Sophie Richardson, Carl Minzner, Scott Kennedy, & David Schlesinger ponder what is ahead for China in 2020. https://bit.ly/303v32s

As 2019 drew to a close, ChinaFile asked contributors to write about their expectations for China in 2020.

An Iowa sheriff reads a message on his patrol car laptop: “SOUTH OF HERE WALKING WESTBOUND THERE IS AN ASIAN MALE WEARIN...
01/11/2020
ChinaFile Presents: The Scientist and the Spy

An Iowa sheriff reads a message on his patrol car laptop: “SOUTH OF HERE WALKING WESTBOUND THERE IS AN ASIAN MALE WEARING A SUIT WALKING THRU THE FARM FIELD. HE WAS DROPPED OFF HERE. NATURE OF INCIDENT: SUSPICIOUS.”

Tix to 2/4 book talk w/Mara Hvistendahl: https://bit.ly/35zCMXb

Hvistendahl will discuss science, espionage, paranoia and their role in U.S.-China relations—as well as the book itself—with Kaiser Kuo as part of a special live taping of SupChina’s Sinica Podcast.

“...KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu accused Tsai Ing-wen of making cynical use of the events in Hong Kong. ‘The pe...
01/10/2020
As Taiwan’s Election Nears, A Sense of Foreboding Grips Voters from Different Camps

“...KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu accused Tsai Ing-wen of making cynical use of the events in Hong Kong. ‘The people of Hong Kong are bleeding, and you use it as a blood transfusion for your campaign!’ he shouted.”
https://bit.ly/2FzZaVZ

On the evening of December 29, at a rally in front of Democratic Progressive Party headquarters in Taipei, hundreds of people are shouting in unison. They support Tsai Ing-wen, the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) candidate in Taiwan’s January 11 presidential elections, but they are shouting anot...

As Taiwan votes, Brian Hioe, Margaret Lewis, Lev Nachman, and Ming Sho-Ho discuss “What’s Next for Taiwan?” READ: https:...
01/10/2020
What’s Next for Taiwan?

As Taiwan votes, Brian Hioe, Margaret Lewis, Lev Nachman, and Ming Sho-Ho discuss “What’s Next for Taiwan?” READ: https://bit.ly/2FB7uEW

On January 11, Taiwanese will go to the polls. Their election pits the incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which favors greater distance from Beijing, against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomingtang, which favors warmer relations with the mainland. Many....

As they head to the polls, many Taiwanese worry about Beijing. “But how will the election affect the 23 million Taiwanes...
01/09/2020
What’s Next for Taiwan?

As they head to the polls, many Taiwanese worry about Beijing. “But how will the election affect the 23 million Taiwanese citizens? There is much more at stake for them this January than just relations with the People’s Republic of China,” says Lev Nachman. https://bit.ly/2FB7uEW

On January 11, Taiwanese will go to the polls. Their election pits the incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which favors greater distance from Beijing, against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomingtang, which favors warmer relations with the mainland. Many....

ChinaFile Postcard: “As Taiwan’s Election Nears, A Sense of Foreboding Grips Voters from Different Camps” by Anna Beth K...
01/09/2020

ChinaFile Postcard: “As Taiwan’s Election Nears, A Sense of Foreboding Grips Voters from Different Camps” by Anna Beth Keim https://bit.ly/2FzZaVZ

On Feb 4, ChinaFile will host Mara Hvistendahl who will launch her book “The Scientist & the Spy.” Kaiser Kuo will join ...
01/09/2020
ChinaFile Presents: The Scientist and the Spy

On Feb 4, ChinaFile will host Mara Hvistendahl who will launch her book “The Scientist & the Spy.” Kaiser Kuo will join to discuss science, espionage, paranoia, & their role in U.S.-China relations. The event will be live-taped for Sinica Podcast. TICKETS: https://bit.ly/37IFong

Hvistendahl will discuss science, espionage, paranoia and their role in U.S.-China relations—as well as the book itself—with Kaiser Kuo as part of a special live taping of SupChina’s Sinica Podcast.

On February 13, ChinaFile will host Jeffrey Wasserstrom for the launch of his new book “Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink.” ...
01/06/2020
ChinaFile Presents: Hong Kong on the Brink?

On February 13, ChinaFile will host Jeffrey Wasserstrom for the launch of his new book “Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink.” He will be joined by Jiayang Fan who recently reported on the Hong Kong protests. Susan Jakes will moderate. GET TICKETS: https://bit.ly/2ZXUaUE

As massive public protests continue to roil politics and society in Hong Kong, ChinaFile will host a discussion with historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom on the launch of his new book, Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink.

Jessica Batke takes stock of what we know (& what we don't know) about the Foreign NGO Law’s impact on international non...
01/03/2020

Jessica Batke takes stock of what we know (& what we don't know) about the Foreign NGO Law’s impact on international non-profits in China and examines the chilling effect the HK protests, the arrests of Kovrig & Spavor, & the trade war have had on NGOs. bit.ly/2Qjn8Ll

From The ChinaFile NGO Project: “Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Offices Now Serving as Professional Supervisory Units”https...
12/12/2019
Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Offices Now Serving as Professional Supervisory Units

From The ChinaFile NGO Project: “Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Offices Now Serving as Professional Supervisory Units”
https://bit.ly/35dlShU

The Ministry of Public Security’s 2019 list of eligible PSUs does not include the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office functional hierarchy (or xitong). This makes a total of seven xitongs that are currently sponsoring foreign NGOs at some level, despite not being included on the 2019 eligible PSU l...

Violence in protest movements is supposed to alienate historically more moderate groups of protesters--women, older folk...
12/11/2019
Is Violence in Hong Kong’s Protests Turning off Moderates?

Violence in protest movements is supposed to alienate historically more moderate groups of protesters--women, older folks and people of self-perceived higher class. This isn't happening in Hong Kong.

As protests in Hong Kong have become more violent, have the demographics of the protesters changed? The level of violence employed by protesters as well as the police force has escalated to new heights ever since July 21, when alleged triad members attacked protesters in the Yuen Long station of Hon...

A China in the World Podcast: “Are China and Russia Getting Too Close for Comfort?” Paul Haenle, Dmitri Trenin, Alex Gab...
12/11/2019
Are China and Russia Getting Too Close for Comfort?

A China in the World Podcast: “Are China and Russia Getting Too Close for Comfort?” Paul Haenle, Dmitri Trenin, Alex Gabuev, and Eugene Rumer discuss.
https://bit.ly/36AJqxB

Discussion of U.S.-China-Russia relations often focuses on how American policy is driving Moscow and Beijing closer together. This analysis, however, ignores important factors limiting cooperation between China and Russia and preventing the two countries from forming an alliance.

This week’s ChinaFile Conversation: “What Does Beijing Want from the Pacific Islands?” https://bit.ly/2E7HTCBWith contri...
12/09/2019

This week’s ChinaFile Conversation: “What Does Beijing Want from the Pacific Islands?” https://bit.ly/2E7HTCB

With contributions from Michael Cole, Michael Chase, Derek Grossman, Natasha Kassam, James Bowen, & Denghua Zhang.

From The China NGO Project: "Chinese Government Says it Will Sanction U.S. NGOs in Hong Kong" https://bit.ly/2sKWUbk
12/04/2019

From The China NGO Project: "Chinese Government Says it Will Sanction U.S. NGOs in Hong Kong" https://bit.ly/2sKWUbk

Thomas Kellogg of the Georgetown Center for Asian Law on the intensifying situation in Hong Kong: “I think it’s a mistak...
11/14/2019

Thomas Kellogg of the Georgetown Center for Asian Law on the intensifying situation in Hong Kong: “I think it’s a mistake for pro-democracy protesters to abandon the moral high ground of non-violent, peaceful protest.” https://bit.ly/2qOngIp

This week’s ChinaFile Conversation: “How Should Universities Respond to China’s Growing Presence on Their Campuses?” htt...
11/05/2019
How Should Universities Respond to China’s Growing Presence on Their Campuses?

This week’s ChinaFile Conversation: “How Should Universities Respond to China’s Growing Presence on Their Campuses?” https://bit.ly/2PQsMVA

How should universities encourage respectful dialogue on contentious issues involving China, while at the same time fostering an environment free of intimidation, harassment, and violence? And how should university administrators and governments involve themselves in this process?

10/31/2019

In her book, Maria Adele Carrai chronicled the shifting meanings of “sovereignty” throughout modern Chinese history. WATCH FULL VIDEO: https://bit.ly/36nnp5W

“‘I never thought she’d be so brave,’ said feminist scholar and activist Lü Pin. When she saw Li appear on the screen in...
10/27/2019
‘If We Give up on Our Husbands Today, Tomorrow Our Children Will Be Ashamed of Us’

“‘I never thought she’d be so brave,’ said feminist scholar and activist Lü Pin. When she saw Li appear on the screen in Victoria Park, she thought, she’s really going for broke!”
https://bit.ly/2qxeKgR

This is a story about fear and the attempt to conquer fear. The wives of some of the lawyers who disappeared in China’s “709” crackdown have suffered house arrest, threats, and suppression. In their search to find their husbands, they hope no longer to be mere “political dissidents,” and i...

From The China NGO Project: "Two More Foreign NGOs De-Register Their China Representative Offices" https://bit.ly/2MEldi...
10/26/2019
Two More Foreign NGOs De-Register Their China Representative Offices

From The China NGO Project: "Two More Foreign NGOs De-Register Their China Representative Offices" https://bit.ly/2MEldio

Two South Korean NGOs shuttered their representative offices in China in recent months, according to information on the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) website. This makes for a total of nine foreign NGOs that registered a representative office in China after the Foreign NGO Law went into effect i...

Mia Shuang Li on Chinese Communist Party efforts to shape discourse on English-language social media platforms: “Beijing...
10/25/2019
Can China’s Government Advance Its Case on Twitter?

Mia Shuang Li on Chinese Communist Party efforts to shape discourse on English-language social media platforms: “Beijing only took action when narratives it disliked gathered such momentum on overseas platforms that they began to filter through and influence domestic politics.”
https://bit.ly/32Mjdup

How successful have Chinese officials been at their use of English-language social media? Has the Chinese Party-state’s use of Facebook and Twitter been good or bad for Chinese soft power?

In “Rebranding China,” Xiaoyu Pu writes about how the Chinese Communist Party tries to project different images of China...
10/25/2019

In “Rebranding China,” Xiaoyu Pu writes about how the Chinese Communist Party tries to project different images of China to different audiences. WATCH FULL VIDEO: https://bit.ly/2MJXVYM

This week’s ChinaFile Conversation: “Can China’s Government Advance Its Case on Twitter?” https://bit.ly/32Mjdup
10/25/2019

This week’s ChinaFile Conversation: “Can China’s Government Advance Its Case on Twitter?” https://bit.ly/32Mjdup

From The China NGO Project: “Zhejiang PSB Issues Certificate, Hong Kong Youth Visit Hubei”https://bit.ly/2BHB9KP
10/25/2019

From The China NGO Project: “Zhejiang PSB Issues Certificate, Hong Kong Youth Visit Hubei”
https://bit.ly/2BHB9KP

This week’s ChinaFile Conversation is about Chinese officials on Twitter & the swarms of accounts that attempt to manipu...
10/25/2019
Can China’s Government Advance Its Case on Twitter?

This week’s ChinaFile Conversation is about Chinese officials on Twitter & the swarms of accounts that attempt to manipulate chatter on Facebook & Twitter about Hong Kong in the Chinese Communist Party’s favor. https://bit.ly/32Mjdup

How successful have Chinese officials been at their use of English-language social media? Has the Chinese Party-state’s use of Facebook and Twitter been good or bad for Chinese soft power?

“The divergence between the United States and Europe is not driven by different technical interpretations, but instead c...
10/22/2019
The Future of Huawei in Europe

“The divergence between the United States and Europe is not driven by different technical interpretations, but instead comes from fundamentally distinct views about the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party,” says Samm Sacks in our recent ChinaFile Conversation https://bit.ly/2MReWz6

On October 9, the European Commission and the European Agency for Cybersecurity released their long-awaited risk assessment of the region’s 5G network. Written with input from all 28 European Union members, the report warned about a 5G supplier from a “hostile” country, or a country “where t...

From pioneering legal affairs journalist, Jiang Xue, this the story of the wives of Chinese rights lawyers,who remade th...
10/21/2019
‘If We Give up on Our Husbands Today, Tomorrow Our Children Will Be Ashamed of Us’

From pioneering legal affairs journalist, Jiang Xue, this the story of the wives of Chinese rights lawyers,who remade themselves and each other as activists in the aftermath of their husbands' arrests.

This is a story about fear and the attempt to conquer fear. The wives of some of the lawyers who disappeared in China’s “709” crackdown have suffered house arrest, threats, and suppression. In their search to find their husbands, they hope no longer to be mere “political dissidents,” and i...

“Converting the Converters: Advocates in China Make the Case for LGBT-Affirming Mental Health Care” by Darius Longarino ...
10/21/2019
Converting the Converters

“Converting the Converters: Advocates in China Make the Case for LGBT-Affirming Mental Health Care” by Darius Longarino https://bit.ly/2P8vOE6

Chinese LGBT advocates have set out to convince China’s mental health field that being professionally competent means being LGBT-affirming (and for the already LGBT-friendly counselors, that mere friendliness is not enough—they also need to have well-developed counseling skills).

"Conversion therapy" and other forms of "treatment" for LGBTQ patients still pervade China's mental health profession. B...
10/18/2019
Converting the Converters

"Conversion therapy" and other forms of "treatment" for LGBTQ patients still pervade China's mental health profession. But a growing network of activists, scholars and therapists is now working to end such practices. Yale's Darius Longarino explores their successes and what they're up against.

Basing their work on this research, Chinese LGBT advocates have set out to convince China’s mental health field that being professionally competent means being LGBT-affirming (and for the already LGBT-friendly counselors, that mere friendliness is not enough—they also need to have well-developed...

“What Just Happened with the NBA in China?” https://bit.ly/2B0JZD3
10/12/2019
What Just Happened with the NBA in China?

“What Just Happened with the NBA in China?” https://bit.ly/2B0JZD3

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted—and then quickly deleted—a post supporting the protests in Hong Kong. The tweet generated an immediate outcry. The Chinese Basketball Association announced it was suspending cooperation with the Rockets. The NBA issued a statement in English su...

“The Public Security Bureau of Xinjiang Autonomous Region recently held a training course on the management of foreign N...
10/09/2019

“The Public Security Bureau of Xinjiang Autonomous Region recently held a training course on the management of foreign NGOs in the region. Police from Foreign NGO Management Offices at various local-level PSBs took part in the training.” From The China NGO Project https://bit.ly/35gEm1q

“The best long-term outcome for U.S.-China relations may be one in which inexorably intensifying competition coexists wi...
10/09/2019
Beyond Hawks and Doves

“The best long-term outcome for U.S.-China relations may be one in which inexorably intensifying competition coexists with occasionally fruitful cooperation. It is not the most inspiring result, to be sure, but it is preferable to unconstrained antagonism.” #ICYMI https://bit.ly/2Vvalq3

Two recent documents—as well as the critiques they have elicited—furnish the basis for a more nuanced debate on U.S. policy towards China. First, on July 4, a group of roughly 100 figures from the policy, military, business, and academic communities published an open letter arguing that “there...

10/08/2019
The Shanghai Free Taxi

NPR's Frank Langfitt, author of "The Shanghai Free Taxi" drove through the pulsing metropolis offering free rides. The stories of those who stepped in depict a China in throes of dramatic change. WATCH FULL BOOK VIDEO: https://bit.ly/31ZVhTL

From the ChinaFile archives: “Which European Companies Are Working in Xinjiang?”https://bit.ly/33fCjbR
10/08/2019
Which European Companies Are Working in Xinjiang?

From the ChinaFile archives: “Which European Companies Are Working in Xinjiang?”
https://bit.ly/33fCjbR

Foreign companies continue to conduct business in Xinjiang despite widespread evidence of human rights abuse. This list identifies 68 European companies with ties to Xinjiang ranging from building infrastructure and investing in joint ventures to selling cars and running retail shops. The companies....

From the China NGO Project: “This Foundation Has Carried Out More Activities Than Any Other Foreign NGO in China”https:/...
10/07/2019
This Foundation Has Carried Out More Activities Than Any Other Foreign NGO in China

From the China NGO Project: “This Foundation Has Carried Out More Activities Than Any Other Foreign NGO in China”
https://bit.ly/2Mpd54f

Grace Charity Foundation has filed for far more temporary activities than any other foreign NGO. Since the Foreign NGO Law went into effect in January 2017, more than 600 foreign NGOs have carried out 2,056 temporary activities in China as of September 13, 2019. The majority of organizations that do...

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