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Commentaries by Philip Cunningham

Philip Cunningham

Independent scholar

Philip J. Cunningham has worked in television and film in China and Japan since 1986. His latest book, “Tiananmen Moon: 25th Anniversary Edition,” was published in 2014.
  • Feb 13 , 2019

    Chinese science is coming of age and so is Chinese science fiction. Liu Cixin’s newest film, “Wandering Earth,” leads audiences to inescapable conclusion that science transcends borders, even as humans lock themselves into familiar man-made groupings.

  • Jan 31 , 2019

    The arrest of Meng Wanzhou has not only shaken up Huawei, it has shaken confidence in the ability of the US and China to settle the differences between them in a civil and constructive manner.

  • Dec 11 , 2018

    A chorus of anti-China voices is rising across the US, a mix of disappointed ideologues, disgruntled stakeholders, unyielding populists, and those who enjoy a good fight and want to join the pack. But the tenor of the times is such that many of the same academics, and diplomats who once could be counted on to bridge the diplomatic gap have cut the conversation short and battened down the hatches.

  • Nov 01 , 2018

    Abe’s dash to Beijing had a faint air of desperation about it, akin to flirting with someone you have no strong intentions of getting serious with to win back the attention of the one whose undivided attention you seek.

  • Sep 13 , 2018

    While the American box office celebrates “Crazy Rich Asians”, those seeking an edgier, deeper look into the lives of the insanely rich should look no further than “Mr Billionaire”.

  • Aug 21 , 2018

    China is on track to be the world’s box-office heavyweight champ, but what does this really mean? Philip Cunningham reflects on the hullabaloo of the Chinese box office, film regulation and some of China’s top box office hits.

  • Jul 27 , 2018

    Tencent and Alibaba now compete face-to-face in almost every arena, if only to check – if not match and exceed – the formidable influence of the other. Philip Cunningham discusses the many endeavors where the two companies and their founders, Jack Ma and Pony Ma, contend for influence: from gaming to e-commerce to investment.

  • Jun 13 , 2018

    China’s diplomatic forays into Southeast Asia are periodic and predictable. Yet Premier Li Keqiang may have his work cut out for him in upcoming forays to the region. Shifts in diplomatic outlook on the part of both the U.S. and China are changing the rules as tensions arise and polarize the region.

  • Jul 28 , 2017

    Wang Jianlin’s plan to purchase Dick Clark Productions for one billion dollars was blocked by currency controls. The well-documented difficulty of moving dollars out of China in the past year reflects policy designed to slow the rampant purchase of real estate abroad. It is one thing to stem the trend of affluent individuals gobbling up houses in Vancouver and Los Angeles, but quite another to block a company as powerful as Wanda Dalian from moving its cash around.

  • Oct 28 , 2016

    Jack Ma made his fortune in online retail, while Wang Jianlin got rich in real estate. Now, both turn their gaze to Hollywood. Their battle for influence is one of those larger-than-life sized conflicts, perfect for reality TV, if not the silver screen.

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