“Wang Xiaobo seemed to have come out of nowhere, and he left nearly as quickly, dying of a heart attack in 1997, at age 44. In just a few years he wrote an avalanche of novels, stories, essays and newspaper articles, many of them published posthumously.” My review of his most significant

For a decade now, China has made the countries of central and eastern Europe one of its diplomatic focal points. Today, however, Europe has become one of China’s biggest foreign-policy headaches. In part, the current situation is a result of economic miscalculations by both sides, which overestima

Apologies for this late posting of an op-ed I wrote on March 10, 2022, arguing that people calling for China to play a broker’s role in the Russia-Ukraine war miss an important point: Under Xi Jinping, China has tried to win more allies not by joining the international order but by courting ro

We’re a few days into the new Chinese lunar year, the Year of the Tiger, but it might better be called the Year of Politics. That’s because 2022 is shaping up to be a critical point in the now-decade-long-rule of Xi Jinping. That makes it a perfect chance to step back and take a wide-ang

As part of my project on memory and history in China, I’m revisiting a magazine that I wrote about in an two-part series for The New York Review of Books in 2014 (part 1 here and part 2 here on the NYRB website, both reprinted without a paywall by the Asia Society’s ChinaFile website her

Ever since the 1980s, I’ve been interested in Chinese Medicine as a Chinese cultural practices that is still widely in use today. This probably stems from my having roomed with Nigel Wiseman, who was just starting out on what would become a career as one of the most prolific translators of Chi

In my first piece for Foreign Affairs since joining the Council on Foreign Relations, I look at diplomatic ties between the two countries that I know best: Germany and China.  I speculate that the end of the Angela Merkel era will mean a (slightly) more forceful German foreign policy, especiall

Is the deal to sell nuclear subs to Australia a foreign-policy meisterstroke or another example of America’s overreliance on the military to deal with a rising China? My take via the Council on Foreign Relations.

“In some ways, Afghanistan under the Taliban is China’s perfect partner: dysfunctional, dependent, and happy with whatever China can do for it:” In this Q&A with the Council on Foreign Relation’s website, I answer questions from the editors on China’s hopes and

One common way of looking at China's success at the Olympics is as metaphor for its rise--with the conclusion being that its rise to the top of the medals tables (just like its rise in its global standing) is tainted by too much state interference--that it's done so by a brutal sports machine.

How does rural China recall the past decades of change? One answer is the pathbreaking 2010 book by Liang Hong, China in Liang Village (中国在梁庄), which recounts the history of Liang’s native town, a village near Zhengzhou in central Henan province.

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