Kaiser Kuo, ChinaFile

Kaiser Kuo



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Past articles by Kaiser:

North Korea Diplomacy and U.S.-China Relations

Paul Haenle joined Kaiser Kuo to discuss next steps for DPRK diplomacy and tensions between the United States and China over trade, Taiwan, and the Belt and Road Initiative. Haenle shared his experience working as White House representative to the six-party talks in the Bush administration, and said China’s relations with North Korea reached a historic low in 2017 due to the leadership’s… → Read More

Kurt Campbell on U.S.-China Diplomacy

Kaiser talks to former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell about his career, his critique of engagement, and the fascinating events that happened on his watch—including the extrication of blind activist lawyer Chen Guangcheng and the attempted defection of Bo Xilai’s former police chief in Chongqing, Wang Lijun. → Read More

When American Pilots Fell out of the Chinese Sky

The distinctive shark-toothed fighter planes of the Flying Tigers streaked across the skies of China from 1941 to 1942, as American airmen racked up an impressive string of successes in defending China from Japanese forces. They are so recognizable that their story has obscured the equally fascinating stories of other American pilots who landed in China—or, in the case of the two stories on this… → Read More

Courts & Torts: Driving the Chinese Legal System

“Having read hundreds and hundreds of these cases, I have decided that I’m never going to drive in China.” That is what Benjamin Liebman, the director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia University, concluded after his extensive review of laws relating to traffic violations in Hubei Province. → Read More

Can Chinese Journalists Criticize the Party-State?

Outside observers typically view China’s media as utterly shackled by the bonds of censorship, unable to critique the government or speak truth to power in any meaningful sense. In part, this is true. Censorship and other pressures do create “no-go” zones for journalists in China, as well as gray zones that sometimes rapidly turn red. But the critical role of media in China is underappreciated.… → Read More

China’s Uighur Muslims, Under Pressure at Home and Abroad

By traveling not just to China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, where 10 to 15 million Uighurs live, but also to Syria, where some have fled and taken up arms with militant groups, Associated Press reporter Gerry Shih sought to answer the most politicized and consequential questions about the ethnic group. → Read More

‘China in Drag: Travels with a Cross-Dresser’

Michael Bristow, the Asia Pacific editor for the BBC World Service, has written a book called China in Drag: Travels with a Cross-Dresser, in which he recounts his time in China—his travels, his reporting, and his myriad experiences—through the prism of his relationship with his Chinese teacher. The Teacher—who insisted on anonymity—is a Beijinger. He’s a thoughtful and educated man, and also a… → Read More

North Korea Behind the Scenes

North Korea is a mystery to nearly everyone—even those who have dedicated their lives to studying the country, including Korean experts based in Seoul, national security experts in Washington or Beijing, and a variety of foreigners who have spent extended periods studying in or reporting from the North. → Read More

U.S.-China Relations After Six Months of Trump

Has the last half year of turbulent U.S.-China relations and Chinese politics passed you by? Confused you? Perhaps you’d like a clear recap in plain English? If yes, then this is the podcast episode for you. → Read More

Joan Kaufman on Foreign Nonprofits and Academia in China

Joan Kaufman is a fascinating figure: Her long and storied career in China started in the early 1980s, when she was what she calls a “cappuccino-and-croissant socialist from Berkeley.” Today, she is the director for academics at the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University and a lecturer in the department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. → Read More

Jerome A. Cohen on Human Rights and Law in China

Professor Jerome A. Cohen began studying the law of what was then called “Red China” in the early 1960s, at a time when the country was closed off, little understood, and much maligned in the West. → Read More

Top U.S. Diplomat David Rank on Why He Resigned to Protest Trump

David Rank became the leading diplomat for one of America’s most important embassies during the transition when Iowa governor Terry Branstad formally succeeded former Montana senator Max Baucus as U.S. Ambassador to China on May 24, 2017. He soon found himself in a moral quandary: Carry out what he believed to be a deeply misguided order from the President of the United States to withdraw from… → Read More

Islamophobia in China, Explained

Islamophobia isn’t a phenomenon limited to Trump’s America or the Europe of Brexit and Marine Le Pen. It has taken root in China, too—in a form that bears a striking resemblance to what we’ve seen in recent years in the West. The Chinese Party-state now faces a vexing conundrum: how to balance, on the one hand, its idea of China as a multiethnic state and to prevent overt anti-Muslim sentiment… → Read More

How Does Investigative Reporting Happen in China?

Li Xin is the Managing Director of Caixin Global, the English-language arm of China’s most authoritative financial news source, Caixin. For over 10 years, she has worked closely with the Editor-in-Chief of Caixin, Hu Shuli, whose famously fearless pursuit of investigative reporting has shaped the business landscape and pushed the boundaries of business reporting in a country known for its tight… → Read More

Kai-Fu Lee on Artificial Intelligence in China

Kai-Fu Lee is one of the most prominent figures in Chinese technology. He founded China’s noted early-stage venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures after launching and heading up Google’s China operations during their years of growth from 2005 to 2009. Born in Taiwan and educated at Columbia and Carnegie Mellon, Kai-Fu had an early career in Silicon Valley, including a stint as a principal… → Read More

Chinese Power in the Age of Donald Trump

When Joseph Nye, Jr., first used the phrase “soft power” in his 1990 book Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power, China did not factor much into his calculus of world order: It had relatively little military and economic power, and none of the softer “persuasive” or “attractive” abilities that Nye saw as key features of the → Read More

America’s Top Trade Negotiator in 2001 Looks at China Today

Charlene Barshefsky was a name you couldn’t avoid if you were in Beijing in the late 1990s. As the United States Trade Representative from 1997 to 2001, she led the American team that negotiated China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). On December 11, 2001, Ambassador Barshefsky’s efforts paid off, and, as a new member of the body that sets global rules for trade, China began the… → Read More

What It Takes to Be a Good China-Watcher

China-watching isn’t what it used to be. Not too long ago, the field of international China studies was dominated by a few male Westerners with an encyclopedic knowledge of China, but with surprisingly little experience living in the country or speaking Chinese. → Read More

Chris Buckley: The China Journalist’s China Journalist

Chris Buckley is a highly regarded and very resourceful correspondent based in Beijing for The New York Times. He has worked as a researcher and journalist in China since 1998, including a stint at Reuters, and is one of the few working China correspondents with a Ph.D. in China studies. Chris’ coverage has included politics, foreign policy, rural issues, human rights, the environment, and… → Read More

Big Daddy Dough: Hip-hop and Macroeconomics in China

By day, Andrew Dougherty is a macroeconomist who manages a China research team for Capital Group, one of the world’s largest actively managed mutual funds. By night, he is Big Daddy Dough, creator of an album of parody hip-hop songs that explain various facets of the contemporary Chinese political and economic situation, from fixed-asset investment to leadership succession. On a recent trip to… → Read More