- The China Project, an independent media organization renowned for its impactful coverage of Chinese politics and society, announced on Tuesday that it will shut down due to a lack of funding brought on by 'politically motivated attacks.'1
- According to its editor-in-chief Jeremy Goldkorn, the publication — first launched in 2016 as a newsletter under the former name SupChina — had become a 'news and business intelligence company focused on helping a global audience understand China.'2
- However, Goldkorn said that the organization, which sought to produce 'balanced' reporting on China and US-China-themed topics, has been accused by both countries of pursuing hidden agendas on behalf of their governments.3
- Defending itself against these allegations caused The China Project's legal expenditures to increase substantially, and made it harder for the company 'to attract sponsors, advertisers, and investors.'4
- Although its subscription-based services grew steadily, the news outlet failed to reach the point where those earnings could support the operation independently.4
- The China Project published more than 1.8K pieces a year during the course of its nearly eight-year lifespan. Apart from creating the corporate records database known as ChinaEdge, it had also organized events, such as the highly regarded NextChina conference.5
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by South china morning post. With ever rising tensions between Washington and Beijing reaching crisis, it is unsurprising that this publication — seeking to provide a moderate gateway to western readers to understand China's business, technology, politics, and culture — has become unsustainable. Potential US funders cannot risk any allegation of association with the Chinese government, while patrons in China don't want to hear about human rights violations against Uygurs, or other stains on the nation's reputation on the world stage. There's no space for The China Project in today's geopolitical reality.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by New York Times. Despite concerns being raised that the decline of US-China relations is perpetual, many challenge whether Beijing is a genuine existential threat to Washington. China's nuclear capacity remains smaller than Washington's, even in the wake of recent expansion, and even if it had the technological sophistication to do so, there would be little reason for the country to want to destroy or significantly undermine Washington or its model of governance. The loss of The China Project is a further symptom of threat inflation but, considering that demonstrative competitiveness between these two nations is unlikely to result in concrete action on a large scale, its mission of moderate reporting on relations certainly remains in demand.