China Analysis Digest #32
China Analysis Digest is a weekly published list of new China-related analyses.
- Date range: September 30 - October 8, 2021
- Sources scanned: 86
- Content: 239 publications from 53 sources
- Download raw data (.csv)
The west sees China as a ‘threat’, not as a real place, with real people
Yangyang Cheng | The Guardian | October 5 | 989 words
Cheng’s personal reflection focuses on two interrelated problems with the way that China is studied, debated, and represented in the US (the same can be said of much of the Anglophone world): “the blinding whiteness” of the China study field, and the constant dehumanisation of the Chinese. Cheng writes:
My disappointment with the biases of my profession is not a personal grievance. The heart of the matter is not how much the west understands China but how much the west understands itself. The rise of China and its role in global capitalism have challenged the economic dominance of the west, and shattered the convenient notion that the market necessarily brings freedom. To create the impression that problems of political oppression or technological abuse are uniquely Chinese is to refuse knowledge of the complexity of governance, as well as of humanity. Instead of confronting the truth about oneself, it’s much easier to collapse everything into a false binary and project fears on to a faceless other. The west is not the only party guilty of this logic.
Sadly, the global Chinese diaspora to which Cheng, Yun, and I belong is now caught by a widening chasm.
Chinese State Capitalism: Diagnosis and Prognosis
Scott Kennedy and Jude Blanchette (eds) | Center for Strategic and International Studies | October 7 | 96 pages
The role of the CCP in China’s political economy has major ramifications for China and the world and is critical for understanding contemporary Chinese economics, politics, and society. This report, featuring 15 experts, looks at different facets of this topic. Despite the lack of consensus on “diagnosis” or “prognosis”, Blanchette notes that:
One area of consensus throughout this [report] is that the CCP wields expanding de facto and de jure power over nearly all areas of political and economic activity in China. It is this feature of China’s state capitalist system—the expansive and expanding role of the CCP—that poses the most significant challenges not only in how the workings and structure of China’s economy are understood, but also in how market economies can and should respond.
I recommend the first three chapters: Introduction (Jude Blanchette), Six Factors behind China’s Shift to “Grand Steerage” (Barry Naughton), and Some Facts about China’s State Capitalism (Andrew Batson).
China Pathfinder: Annual Scorecard
Daniel H. Rosen et al. | Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center and Rhodium Group | October 5 | 66 pages + interactive data
This new project examines China’s economy in six key areas that define open-market systems (trade, innovation, direct investment, portfolio flows, market competition, and the financial system). It then compares China’s scores against those of the United States and nine other leading open-market economies. I found the interactive data helpful for visualisation. The report findings paint a mixed picture:
The China Pathfinder scorecard will be updated quarterly, which hopefully will put recent developments (such as the crackdown on tech companies) into a broader framework to help us make sense of China’s economic trajectory.
Shooting down the “girlie guns”
Linda Jaivin | Inside Story | October 4 | 1266 words
Jaivin looks at Beijing’s crackdown on niangpao (a term that she translates as “girlie guns”, Yun translates as “effeminate men,” and I translate as “sissies”). She highlights the historical anxieties and the current political imperatives underpinning the crackdown. The funny thing, of course, is traditional gender expression and roles and the purported “crisis of masculinity” are not so straightforward as the Chinese government claims they are. Jaivin writes:
Traditional culture offers many different types of male archetypes…Jia Baoyu, the female company–loving young male protagonist of the great eighteenth-century novel Story of the Stone, is an archetypal “girlie gun.” Just as the early twentieth-century male player of female roles, Mei Lanfang, created some of the most exquisite archetypes of femininity in the Peking Opera, so did a later female player of male roles, Pei Yanling, give opera fans some of the most indelible performances of heroic masculinity.
The odd thing about the current masculinity panic is that by any measure, China today is militarily and economically stronger than at any other time in the last 150 years. And for all the pretty boy actors and singers testing the party with their sculpted eyebrows and designer clothes, there are plenty of muscular, hard-bodied action stars like Wu Jing of the wildly popular Wolf Warrior films.
The email form of this post is clipped due to length. Click on “View entire message” at the bottom to see it in full. You can also view it online.
Reading the China Dream:
- Youthology on Language Polarization
- Liu Yu and Murong Xuecun on Public Intellectuals
- Yang Kuisong, "Facing up to China's Revolution"
Made in China Journal:
China Media Project:
- Shaming China’s “Buddhist Beauties”
- Curbing China’s Script Murder Craze
- Checking In on Fact-Checking in China
War on the Rocks:
Internationale Politik Quarterly:
- A Made-in-China Financial Crisis?
- The China Sleepwalking Syndrome
- The Neglected Sources of China's Economic Resilience
- China and the future of the Antarctic mining ban
- Chinese warplanes overhead Taiwan (or maybe not)
- In defence of AUKUS
- Is China’s “age of ambition” over?
- The scope to negotiate with China on the CPTPP
- China’s declining Pacific aid presence
East Asia Forum:
- China’s geostrategic engagement in a new Afghanistan
- Hong Kong and the future of Chinese-language journalism
- Gauging the Mexican view of US-China rivalry
- Fallout from Evergrande crisis will reach far beyond China
- ASPI’s decades: China’s cyberpower
- China military watch
- Building resilience to economic coercion in Indo-Pacific island states
- At This Niche Clinic, No Stares, Smirks, or Stigma
- How an Iconic Shoe Brand Finally Became Cool
- Between China and Africa, a ‘Digital Silk Road’
- How a New Generation Is Closing the Gap Between China and Africa
- How a Forgotten Religion Shaped China
- Hammered by Blackouts, China’s Rust Belt Grinds Down
- Who Will Care for China’s Aging Population? The Elderly.
China Digital Times:
- New Accounts Describe Torture, Forced Labor Facing Xinjiang Detainees
- Translation: Chang Ping on the Hong Kong Alliance and the Fight to Save Historical Memory
- Better Living through Algorithm Regulation: Less Exploitation and Profit-Seeking, More “Mainstream Values” and “Positive Energy”
- LinkedIn Censors More Journalist Profiles in China, Suggests Self-Censorship as Solution
- New Editorial Guidelines Leash RTHK to National Security Law
- Biden’s new China trade policy looks a lot like Trump’s
- Why Evergrande suspended its shares
- A Chinese city sent vice cops to crack down on murder mystery games
- What you need to know about China’s power crunch
Politico China Watcher:
- ‘Two Lists’ too far: the U.S.-China diplomatic stalemate
- China’s crypto ban fuels new U.S. wedge issue
Politico China Direct:
- Zurich and/or Rome — EU hardens tone — Live from Lithuania
- Talks galore — Beyond Merkel — Hostage diplomacy
The Wire China:
- Desmond Shum on the Cost of Doing Business in China
- The Party Politics Driving Xi Jinping
- The Evergrande Cliff
- Ping An and the Wen Family
- China’s Shell Game
- U.S. troops in Taiwan: Biden administration reveals small training group present ‘for at least a year’
- Haus of Lily: Beijing Drag House
- How China will achieve carbon neutrality: The role of the emissions trading scheme and other reforms
- Hunan county implores local women to stay and marry as rural bachelor crisis worsens
- Mainland China invasion? Taiwan residents aren’t worried
- Xi Jinping and Joe Biden to meet later this year
- No more graveyard loans: Beijing wants everybody to quit bingeing on debt
- Prada takes over a grocery store in Shanghai
- The 1740 Batavia massacre of ethnic Chinese in Java
- Explaining China’s surge in warplane activity in the Taiwanese ‘air defense zone’
- Drones fall from the sky during failed performance in Zhengzhou
- Beijing Lights: Aunt Wang on cats and contentment
- Patriotic films dominate China’s National Day holiday as industry faces pileup of unreleased titles
- Biden’s trade chief presses China to fulfill Trump agreement pledges, signals little change in tariffs
- The end of China’s runaway growth
- FIBA Women’s Asia Cup instant classic: Japan beats China to claim 5th straight title
- Megatron offends ‘vile humans’ at Universal Studio’s Beijing theme park
- The forbidden dance of the hutuktu
- Hidden debt and ‘major implementation challenges’ on China’s Belt and Road
- Cross-dressing star banned from Chinese TikTok for ‘vulgar’ content
- Labor unrest and how China balances repression and responsiveness
- The inside story of the Peace Corps in China
Congressional Research Service:
- R42784| U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas: Background and Issues for Congress
European Council on Foreign Relations:
Center for Strategic and International Studies:
- Chinese State Capitalism
- First Takes: Our Initial Reactions to USTR Tai’s CSIS Speech on China Policy
Center for Advanced China Research:
- Taiwan + Power shortages + Winter Olympics
- EU-China Opinion Pool: Germany's China policy after the election
- Common prosperity did not fall from the sky
- Intellectual property rights + Energy consumption + Transport sector
- Franco-German tandem on China + AUKUS + Trade and Technology Council
- COSCO takes stake in Hamburg Port terminal
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:
- Beijing’s Global Ambitions for Central Bank Digital Currencies Are Growing Clearer
- India’s Fog of Misunderstanding Surrounding Nepal–China Relations
- Merkel’s Mixed Legacy on China
Center for Security and Emerging Technology:
- Robot Hacking Games
- AI Education in China and the United States
- Education in China and the United States
Center for New American Security:
Chicago Council on Global Affairs:
- World in brief: Arctic Circle Assembly
- What COP26 needs to achieve
- Asia: Making your rival an ally
- China: Young minds lead the way
Australia-China Relations Institute:
- Perspectives | National sovereignty, Australia and the PRC: More similarities than differences
- Perspectives | PRC power shortages, coal and Australia
Observer Research Foundation:
- AUKUS, strategic autonomy, and the future of the Indo-Pacific: A French perspective
- Can SMIC lead China’s semiconductor self-reliance dream?
- Oz’s choice—AUKUS and the break with Paris
- Tony Abbott warns China could ‘lash out’ at Taiwan soon
- Taiwan: how the ‘porcupine doctrine’ might help deter armed conflict with China
- Why Taiwan remains calm in the face of unprecedented military pressure from China
- Vietnam’s Hidden Debts to China Expose its Political Risks
- China-US Meeting in Zurich Paves the Way for a Biden-Xi Virtual Summit
- CIA Creates Working Group on China as Threats Keep Rising
- Tianjin Port Congestion Disrupts China-Mongolia Supply Chain
- What’s Behind China’s Latest Mega Hydro-Engineering Project?
- What Do Taiwanese Think of China’s Record-Setting Incursions Into Taiwan’s ADIZ?
- China’s Top Disciplinary Body Moves Against Ex-Security Officials Fu Zhenghua, Sun Lijun
- China Is Manufacturing Vaccines in Africa. The Quad Should Too.
- What Happened To China’s BRI Projects in Malaysia?
- Wendy Cutler on China, Taiwan, and the CPTPP
- Biden’s US Trade Representative Outlines Approach to China
- China Unbound: How China’s Rise Impacts the World
- What Does Meng Wanzhou’s Release Mean for China-US Relations?
- Is Another ‘Friction Point’ Emerging Along the India-China Border?
- How Does China’s Military View India?
- China, US Hold Military Talks Amid Strained Ties
- Shortages, Shipping, Shutdowns Hit Asian Factory Output
- China’s AUKUS Response Highlights Beijing’s Bunker Mentality
- The Global Gateway: Response to China or Solution for a European Problem?
- Could Evergrande’s Contagion Wreck Cambodia’s Property Sector?
- The US Cooperates With Russia in Space. Why Not China?
- Taiwan’s CPTPP Bid Will Test the Resolve of the Indo-Pacific
- Biden’s Vague Muddle of a Trade Policy for China
- The Real Reasons Behind China’s Energy Crisis
- China’s Economic Coercion Is More Bark Than Bite
- New Bond Can’t Take On Beijing’s Supervillains
- Belt and Road Meets Build Back Better
- Inside the Seedy, Cutthroat Underbelly of China’s Wealthy Elite
- Biden Team Fears North Korean Sanctions Aren’t Biting
- Can the United States Rival China in Latin America?
- China has a zero-Covid policy. Can it pull off a spectacular Winter Olympics?
- China's vaccine diplomacy in Southeast Asia is working, but can it keep up the good work?
- With China’s increasing assertiveness, India’s active role in the Indian Ocean matters more than ever
- Chinese academic: Less exports, more wealth redistribution needed in China
- China’s central bank digital currency has huge potential, but be careful of overregulation
- CPTPP: How China’s membership could be a win-win
- High debts, big money: Can Evergrande continue its high life by living on the edge?
- Parents and teachers brace themselves for China's new school year under the 'double reduction' policy
- The conspiracy theories behind China's power cuts
- China's crackdown on pretty boys and temple temptresses: Why are Chinese women feeling targeted?
- China's power outages: Are local governments' energy conservation efforts going overboard?
National People's Congress Observer:
What's on Weibo:
- Chinese Student Forced to Undergo “Fake Surgery” and Borrow Money While Lying on the Operating Table
- China’s Bubble Operation Olympics: What is the “Closed Loop Management System”?
- ‘Anti-Square Dancing Device’ Goes Viral on Chinese Social Media
- Senior ex-diplomat suggests fine-tuning China's nuclear weapons policy
- Does Chinese funding really account for more than 70% of all coal plants built today?
Tracking People's Daily:
- Part III: Xi Thought Q&A Series: The Full Collection
- Li Keqiang's National Day Address - Xi's Qiushi Article on 'Continuing Red Blood' - Charges against Sun Lijun & Yin Jiaxu -
- Politburo Session on Biosecurity - China-EU Strategic Dialogue - Shanghai's High-Tech Goals - Medical Security System During 14-FYP - NDRC on Power Cuts - Hailing China's COVID-19 Strategy
Takshashila PLA Insight:
- China-India Brief; Zhuhai Air Show; Taiwan; US Military and the PLA; PLA's New Joint Doctrine; PLA AF Agile Combat Employment; PLA Promotions
Beijing to Britain:
- Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at Conservative Party Conference A bonus brief
- Ambassador's speech, Taiwan Straits, Xinjiang supply chains A briefing
Hong Kong Free Press:
- Why did Hong Kong need 8,000 police to help it celebrate National Day?
- ‘Hostage diplomacy’ in the Two Michaels case shows China’s legal system is a sham
- Chang Ya-chung’s Rise and Eric Chu’s Cross-Strait Vision
- Does Eric Chu’s New Leadership Role Depend on the ‘China factor’?
- Now That the Race is Over, What Kind of Chair will Chu be?
- Is the KMT’s Future Brighter under Eric Chu?
- What Strategy will the KMT Take Next? What Are the Odds of Reform Under Chu?
- Every Journey Begins with a Single Step: Taiwan’s National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights
- 用好红色资源 赓续红色血脉 努力创造无愧于历史和人民的新业绩
- 用好红色资源 赓续红色血脉 努力创造无愧于历史和人民的新业绩
- 飞遍沙海荒山 播出绿水青山
- 用好红色资源 赓续红色血脉
- 烈士纪念日向人民英雄敬献花篮仪式在京隆重举行 习近平李克强栗战书汪洋王沪宁赵乐际韩正王岐山出席
Thanks to Katharina Ni for the magic (codes) that makes this series possible.