News roundup: Why do China and the U.S. disagree on nuclear policy? Plus the new Silk Road and tourists in Russia



China brings its version of economic development to the Caucasus with a real estate project in Georgia’s capital

“We are Chinese, so we build like in China,” says Scott Mi, head of the private state-backed firm behind the massive property development known as the Tbilisi Sea New City. Georgia is a critical link connecting China to Europe in the “new Silk Road” project of President Xi Jinping. / The New York Times

Remote spending:

  • China plans to spend $140 billion by 2020 to move poor citizens from isolated inland regions to more developed parts of the country / Reuters


  • China’s aviation ambitions are resting on a long-delayed passenger jet model from a state-owned firm / Bloomberg
  • Opinion: China has an ecosystem for innovation that is creating companies to challenge established multinational firms / Quartz
  • China sees a garlic price bubble following a poor harvest and surging interest from speculators / Financial Times
  • Rising wages and slowing demand may force Chinese factories to raise prices / Bloomberg
  • China’s detention of 18 Australian casino company employees prompts some foreign business consultants to advise staying out of the country altogether / WSJ



A report finds nuclear policy is interpreted differently by the U.S. and China, with ‘deterrence’ a tricky term

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s new report notes that Washington distinguishes between nuclear deterrence and “nuclear compellence,” or the “idea that using a threat can force a rival to take action it does not wish to,” and China does not. In another difference, the U.S. nuclear arsenal serves as a guarantee of security to allies, whereas the “lean but effective” stock of weapons in China is kept only to deter nuclear attacks. / CNBC

A show of compellence?

  • China expected to unveil a stealth fighter jet at an aerospace exhibition this week / CNN


  • Opinion: Xi Jinping’s strongman rule will test the Western assumption that economic openness and prosperity would make China more democratic / Financial Times
  • China says no change to the situation at the disputed Scarborough Shoal after the Philippines reports a decreased Chinese presence in the area / Reuters
  • Beijing and the Vatican are said to reach a compromise on the appointment of bishops in China / WSJ
  • Beijing offers support on tourism and agriculture to Taiwanese towns that oppose the island’s ruling government / Reuters


Elena Fragoso/

Chinese visitors flock to Russia to learn about Communist history as leaders push ‘red tourism’

Russia is expected to be the No. 16 tourist destination for Chinese this year, ahead of the U.K., with more than 1.1 million visitors, representing a 16 percent increase over 2015. / WSJ


  • Beijing’s Forbidden City brings virtual reality to an exhibit of a famed porcelain site’s archaeology / WSJ
  • An online novelist in China makes some of the highest earnings of any writer in the world as his stories get adapted into a video game, movie and television show / NYT
  • Artists flock to a tiny town an hour outside Beijing in search of lower rent, following the lead of art schools and famous artists pouring more resources into that location / NYT
  • A popular television show in Shanghai is canceled after two guests admit neglecting to report rapes, and they along with the show itself receive media condemnation / BBC
  • After a scandal over counterfeit sanitary pads, social media users criticize the government’s quality-control efforts / What’s on Weibo
  • China plans to spend $140 billion by 2020 to move poor citizens from remote inland regions to more developed parts of the country / Reuters
The editors

Jeremy Goldkorn, Anthony Tao, Lucas Niewenhuis, Jia Guo, and Jiayun Feng.