Evan Osnos: 'Simply Put, ChinaFile is Indispensable'

ChinaFile, a new website project by Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society, officially launches today.

From the recent appointment of a group of new leaders atop the world’s most populous nation, to an unprecedented newspaper strike at its most progressive newspaper, to the worst smoggy “airpocalypse” Beijing has ever seen, headlines from China, from north to south, are grabbing people’s attention from east to west like never before.

On Tuesday, ChinaFile.com, the new website of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society, unveils a wealth of resources in English for the aspiring China Hand. Original news analysis and cultural reporting — in text, photography and video — will complement content curated from around the Internet to broaden anybody’s understanding of China and dispel the mystery surrounding the world’s fastest growing superpower.

The brainchild of journalist and historian Orville Schell, ChinaFile kicks off tonight by opening the doors of the Asia Society for a public conversation with six New York Times veterans who helped shape the English-speaking world’s understanding of China over the last six decades.

Tune in tonight to the free live webcast at 6:30pm ET.

"Simply put, ChinaFile is indispensable,” Evan Osnos, The New Yorker magazine’s China correspondent and an early ChinaFile reader, said. “In an age when China is no longer a mystery, ChinaFile will be the leading source for those who distinguish between information and deep knowledge."

While in Beta mode, ChinaFile’s work already has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic and the The New York Review of Books among other publications. ChinaFile also translates and archives outstanding content from a growing list of partner publications in China and around the world, such as The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, Caixin, The Hong Kong Economic Journal, the websites China Dialogue, Tea Leaf Nation and CNPolitics and the bilingual arts and literature magazines, LEAP and Chutzpah.

ChinaFile’s special features include:

  • The ChinaFile Conversation: Twice weekly, leading journalists, scholars and diplomats discuss and debate the news of the day in real-time.
  • Recommended Reading: A curated list of daily of China news links from around the Internet.
  • Original Reporting: Long form reporting in print and photography, media and cultural criticism, social media analysis, info-graphics and translations.
  • Original Short Documentary Film: Recent offerings include films on the women imams of Muslim China and air-pollution-tracking kite flyers in Beijing.
  • Books: A growing library of short video interviews with authors of new books on China.
  • NGO Reports: A searchable database of China-related reports from dozens of advocacy and research institutions
  • China Air Daily: A daily photographic snapshot of air quality around China and in major U.S. cities.
  • The New York Review of Books China Archive: Five decades of easily searchable full-length book reviews and essays from the Review.