A New China Magazine for the New Chinese Year


A new online magazine, called ChinaFile, focusing solely on China launched February 5th. The intention of this magazine is to present more of China’s history and culture and of the rural parts of China that don’t receive much media attention. ChinaFile was founded by the Center on US-China Relations and in part by the Asia Society.

A unique aspect of ChinaFile is that it encompasses articles written for the press in the United States and in China. The New York Times has worked to translate English articles for the Chinese language version of China File. The two previous publications about China, The Far Eastern Economic Review and Asiaweek, were only published in English and both are currently closed. I predict that since ChinaFile encompasses English and Chinese publications it will be a more accurate reflection of China and its people today. This allows for less influence from language and culture barriers.

Since China’s recent rise as an economic superpower, its presence in the news has amplified around the world. However, the even greater increase in China news in the United States can be accredited to the competition between the two countries. There are many fears over China’s military power and our dependence on trade with China cannot be understated. In recent news, China has been the focus because of tensions with Japan and the celebratory Chinese New Year. Environmental issues are also an aspect of China news that is heavily reported on around the world. The news that is reported isn’t necessarily about the country itself; they are about issues that will affect the rest of the world like trade and air pollution.

Jonathan Landreth, a former reporter from Beijing who now works for ChinaFile, said “as China’s power grows, political and economic coverage of the country is important, but much is lost…our goal is really to raise the quality of the conversation about China.” 

Do you think ChinaFile will serve this purpose? Or will ChinaFile undermine the news stories that are most important to the rest of the world like military advancements and pollution issues? Is this type of news source a reflection of more cooperative U.S.-China relations? Should the news coverage on rural and urban parts of China be equal? How does this affect world views and opinions of China?






One Comment on “A New China Magazine for the New Chinese Year”

  1. Aashka Dave says:

    I think ChinaFile is a good indicator of improved relations between the US and China. Rather than serving as a distraction or barrier between the two countries, it has the potential to lead to greater cultural understanding, and consequently less strained relationships between the two countries. Moreover, by increasing cultural understanding, the magazine will be able to affect both how the world sees China, and how China sees the rest of the world.

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