December 13th, 2013
08:05 AM ET

Cutting through China's haze

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy touched down in Hong Kong Thursday, only to be met by a thick layer of smog that has been choking the city.

McCarthy tells me 50% of Hong Kong’s haze stems from maritime pollution.

Her stop in Hong Kong comes after visits to both Shanghai and Beijing to discuss U.S.-China cooperation on air quality and other environmental issues.

Click on to hear the EPA Administrator cut through the haze of China's pollution crisis - addressing everything from air monitoring to emission standards... and why managing pollution in China is in the interest of the United States.

June 14th, 2013
09:15 AM ET

Support for Snowden in Hong Kong

The rally to support NSA leaker Edward Snowden is scheduled for this weekend in Hong Kong.

And Hong Kong legislator Albert Ho will be there. On News Stream, he tells me why the Snowden case matters to the people of Hong Kong:

"Our right to privacy may have been systematically violated by the NSA. We are entitled to seek the truth."

The rally is set for Saturday, June 15 at 3pm in Hong Kong. Organizers plan to march to the U.S. Consulate.

May 3rd, 2013
05:17 PM ET

The hard sell for Huawei smartphones

At company headquarters in Shenzhen, I talked to Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group – the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor.

Huawei says its market priority is China, followed by Europe and Japan. But - when it comes to smartphones - it’s not ruling out the U.S. market despite security concerns and the recent back and forth about Huawei’s commitment there.

"Gradually, step by step, more and more people will trust Huawei," says Yu. "I think with a brand, the most important thing is trust."

He hopes to build that trust with products like the $500 Ascend P2 which is billed as the “world’s fastest 4G LTE smartphone.”

Watch the video above to see a walk-through of Huawei's flagship smartphones and to hear Yu's sales pitch to Huawei-wary American consumers.

March 21st, 2013
01:30 PM ET

"Rules of the road" for U.S.-China cyberspies

Cyber espionage was on the agenda in Beijing this week as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Hacking also came up when Lew met China's new president Xi Jinping on Tuesday.

But how big is the threat? Why is China engaging in hack attacks directed at the US? And, as hacking is allegedly happening by both the US and China, how bad is it going to get?

For insight into U.S.-China cyberwarfare, I talked to Christopher Johnson, a senior adviser at the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He points out that not all the attacks from China are state-sponsored, as there are so-called patriotic hackers and industrial cyber-spies at work as well.

As for any meaningful dialogue between the US and China to set up rules to regulate cyber-warfare, Johnson is optimistic.

"What we're looking for between the two sides in these negotations is a genaral set of rules on the road," he says.

"For example, things like critical infrastructure are red lines for both sides and therefore off the table."

So go ahead and try to hack into my network - just don't hack the hospital.

March 14th, 2013
01:47 PM ET

Pressing issues for President Xi

You can officially call him "Mister President" now.

Xi Jinping has taken the title from Hu Jintao, completing the country's leadership transition. It comes four months after Xi became General Secretary of the Communist Party.

Political commentator and columnist Frank Ching says, "I think Xi Jinping knows that the main problems of China are domestic. When he first became the party leader back in November, he came out and met the international press. He gave a speech and said not a word about foreign policy. It was all domestic. So I think that's where the emphasis is going to be."

The question is where to start.

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Filed under: China
January 14th, 2013
02:18 PM ET

Off-the-charts pollution in China

China's capital has adopted emergency response measures to deal with record smog.

People in Beijing say the air tastes like coal dust and car fumes.

According to state media, the city will remain covered in gray until Wednesday, when the wind will sweep in to the rescue and blow the smog away.

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Filed under: China • Weather
November 15th, 2012
02:40 PM ET

China's "effective second fiddle?"

China just had its own November of change.

Earlier Thursday in Beijing, an elite group of seven men were named to the Politburo Standing Committee - the top decision-making body of the Chinese Communist Party.

A lot has been reported already on Xi Jinping, the new General-Secretary of the Party and the presumed next President of China. But what about Li Keqiang, the man destined to be China's next Prime Minister?

Today on News Stream, I spoke to Victor Gao - a former top official in the Chinese Foreign Ministry (and English interpreter for the late Deng Xiaoping) about Li and the prospects for reform in China. Gao said the leader has some powerful patrons but must learn to be an "effective second fiddle" to Xi Jinping. As for change, the Standing Committee as a group must come up with solutions for new problems.

Achieving both stability and solutions in an ever-dynamic and demanding China. It will be delicate dance for China's new leadership.

November 14th, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Will there really be change in China?

On Thursday, the curtain will lift on China's new leaders. That's when we expect to see Xi Jinping emerge as the Communist Party chief.

But don't expect any big changes. At least not in the next five years.

Willy Lam is a China scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He says, "Xi Jinping is a good guy. He’s a consensus candidate. He’s also willing to work with different factions so that’s why he was chosen. However, he is not a visionary or charismatic figure. So particularly in his first term, when he hasn’t yet consolidated his power base, he will toe the line given to him."

For more about factions and the roadblocks to reform, watch the whole interview below.

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Filed under: China
November 13th, 2012
02:16 PM ET

"It's the party's business"

That rare once-in-a-decade leadership transition, or the 18th Party Congress, is still taking place in Beijing.

It's a major political moment in the world's most populous country. But what do the people of China make of it?

I posed the question to social commentator and author Lijia Zhang, and her answer is one big collective shrug:

"Many ordinary people don't feel so excited or joyful about what's happening. It's the party's business and has nothing to do with us."

Click on for the full interview.

November 9th, 2012
07:12 AM ET

The resurgence of Jiang Zemin

I spoke to CSIS Senior Adviser Chris Johnson about how China's leadership transition will affect the U.S.- China relationship.

But I was particularly intrigued by his final thoughts of the lingering presence of Jiang Zemin and what is says about governance in China.

Commenting on the power the ex-leader of China still wields, Johnson says:

"He has a considerable amount of influence as we're about to see a week from today when the new leadership lineup is rolled out. All indications are that several people who have close ties to Jiang Zemin will be promoted into the Politburo Standing Committee."

"There's been substantial rumor (when I was in Beijing last week I heard a lot about this) he's playing a huge role behind the scenes... interestingly, not just in personnel but also on policy. He's been pushing for a more reformist tone to Hu Jintao's Work Report that was delivered yesterday, and dressing up his involvement in the personnel process as a criticism of the lack of reform and movement especially in the economic space during the last 10 years of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao's leadership."

"So I think we're going to continue to see Jiang's influence felt strongly. It's sign the system still has a lot of work to do in terms of its political maturation - that an 86-year old who effectively hasn't been in office for 10 years has that much power and influence over the new lineup."

If you have a moment, please watch the full clip below:

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