Chinese Dreamers

Sharron Lovell & Tom Wang

A dream, in the truest sense, is a solo act. It can’t be created by committee or replicated en masse. Try as you might, you can’t compel your neighbor to conjure up the reverie that you envision. And therein lies the latent, uncertain energy in the concept of the “Chinese Dream.” As the new central motto of Chinese politics, introduced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, it is an expression of the Communist Party’s attempt to acknowledge the aspirations of its people. At the same time, wittingly or not, it is a provocative invitation to the public imagination.In a country that has long defined its interests in collective terms, people are no longer waiting for their goals and...

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Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images

A Chinese Town’s Imported Cambodian Brides

Caixin

It is a hot and sticky midsummer day in a small village along the Chang River in the eastern province of Jiangxi. The most popular spot is in front of the local grocery where a few women are playing mahjong as children chase each other around. Sitting separately are two young women, whispering. With darker complexions, deeper eye sockets, and thicker lips, they look different from the locals. One of them wears a pair of high-heeled shoes, a short T-shirt and tight jeans, out of place with the more traditional local environment. The other woman is pregnant and is playing with her big-screen smartphone. “They are our Cambodian brides,” says one local woman. “Every...

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Green Electronics: A U.S.-China Maker Challenge

Making It in China and the U.S.

A Q&A on the Green Electronics Maker Challenge with Founder Emily Parker

Jonathan Landreth & Emily Parker

Emily Parker is a creator of Green Electronics: A U.S.-China Maker Challenge. The Green Electronics Challenge was an unprecedented collaboration between the New America Foundation, Arizona State University, Slate Magazine, China’s Tsinghua University, and hackerspaces in the U.S. and China. The U.S. and China are both big e-waste producers. U.S. and Chinese organizers addressed this shared challenge by inviting the community of inventors who today call themselves makers to redefine the concept of waste. The Green Electronics Challenge asked people to use old electronics to make something new. The...

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William West/AFP/Getty Images

Simon Leys Remembered

A ChinaFile Conversation

Isabel Hilton, Perry Link & more

Isabel Hilton: When I heard the news of the death of Pierre Ryckmans, better known by his pen name, Simon Leys, I began to hunt in my bookshelves for the now yellowing and grimy copies of Chinese Shadows and The Chairman’s New Clothes: Mao and the Cultural Revolution, both published in English translation in 1977. I took them down with the pleasure of encountering an old friend and the guilt of realizing how many years have passed since we first talked. Chinese Shadows was based on...

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Yan Cong

The Bard in Beijing

How Shakespeare Made it in China

Sheila Melvin

At the end of a rollicking production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream—directed by Tim Robbins and staged in China in June by the Los Angeles-based Actors’ Gang—the director and actors returned to the stage for a dialogue with the Beijing audience.The questions ran the normal gamut from accents to costumes to staging, and then one woman asked which Shakespeare the Gang planned to perform next. The affable Robbins turned the question around, asking what she would like to see.“Macbeth,” came the answer. ...

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(AFP/Getty Images)

China Grows An Interest in Organic Foods

A Q&A with Chang Tianle of the Beijing Farmers’ Market

Michael Zhao

Late last month, news broke that a major Chinese supplier of American fast food brands was peddling meat that violated food safety standards.How do such scandals affect the way people in China feed themselves and their families? Chang Tianle, a former researcher and China Program Officer for the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy who now runs food cooperatives for organic farmers in Beijing talked to ChinaFile’s Michael Zhao.Michael Zhao: What was your reaction to the news?Chang Tianle:...

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Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

How Tianjin’s Top Cop Built Web of Corruption Over 40 Years

Caixin

The fall of the public security chief, Wu Changshun, of the northern port city of Tianjin has rocked the local public security system and shed light on the graft network cultivated by Wu over 40 years. The Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC) said in a statement on July 20 that Wu, chief of the Tianjin Public Security Bureau and vice chairman of the city’s political advisory body, was being investigated for “serious discipline violations.” The phrase usually means corruption. Wu, 60, is a veteran Tianjin police officer. He has spent 44 years in the public security system and was the head of the city’s public security bureau for 11 years...

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Recent Stories

Blog

07.31.14

Zhou Yongkang’s Downfall

SEBASTIAN VEG, RODERICK MACFARQUHAR & more

On July 29, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Chinese Communisty Party announced it was investigating ex-security czar Zhou Yongkang “on suspicion of grave violations of discipline.” Zhou, who retired from the Politburo Standing Committee in 2012, is the...

Infographics

08.19.14

Landed

CAIXIN

Chinese are the largest foreign buyers of U.S. real estate, spending around $22 billion in total in from April 2013 to March 2014, about a quarter of the United States’ total sales to foreigners, according to a July 8 report by the National Association of Realtors. Overseas...

Environment

08.07.14

What to Do About China’s Polluted Farmland?

CHINADIALOGUE & CAIXIN

While the extent of China's soil pollution crisis is becoming clearer, the consensus on what to do next is still lacking.The results of the state soil survey earlier this year were damning: 16.1% of sampling points nationwide were in breach of soil quality standards, with...

Media

08.06.14

The Bizarre Fixation on a 23-Year-Old Woman

TEA LEAF NATION

On August 4, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake viciously struck Ludian County, a township in the southwest province of Yunnan, with a death toll surpassing 400. The news swiftly hit Chinese headlines, and images of the devastation circulated widely on Weibo, China’s massive...

Viewpoint

08.05.14

Equal in Inequality?

MARC BLECHER

For the past several months, readers around the world have been buying, discussing, and even occasionally reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century, French economist Thomas Piketty’s magisterial analysis of the relationship between capitalist development and inequality in...

Books

Books

08.06.14

China’s Second Continent

HOWARD W. FRENCH

An exciting, hugely revealing account of China’s burgeoning presence in Africa—a developing empire already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people.             A prizewinning foreign...

Books

07.15.14

The Forbidden Game

DAN WASHBURN

In China, just because something is banned, doesn't mean it can't boom. Statistically, zero percent of the Chinese population plays golf, still known as the "rich man’s game" and considered taboo. Yet China is in the midst of a golf boom—hundreds of new courses have...

Reports

Reports

06.01.14

Decoding China’s Emerging “Great Power” Strategy...

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

The course charted by China’s reemergence as a great power over the next few decades represents the primary strategic challenge for the U.S.-Japan security alliance and for the East Asian security landscape writ large. If China’s economic, military, and geopolitical influence...

Reports

04.01.14

Distribution of Metals in Soils From Uncultivated Land...

Greenpeace

Contamination of soil with a number of toxic metals, including cadmium and lead, is known to be an existing problem for many parts of Hunan province, China. High levels of these metals have also been reported for rice grown in many parts of the province. This study investigated...

Photography and Video

Video

05.28.14

Staying Afloat

LYNN ZHANG & SHIRLEY HAN YING

If you drive south from Beijing on the highways that cut across the North China Plain, some of the first things you notice are the invisible rivers. The road arcs upward above the cornfields and a sign insists you are crossing, “The Hancun River Bridge,” “The Liuli River...

ChinaFile Presents

Media

05.15.14

Evan Osnos: China’s ‘Age of Ambition’

EVAN OSNOS & ORVILLE SCHELL

New Yorker correspondent Evan Osnos discusses his new book, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, with Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations. 

Media

05.22.13

On “Strange Stones,” a Discussion with Peter...

PETER HESSLER, MICHAEL MEYER & more

On May 21st at the Asia Society in New York City, Peter Hessler, author of the recently published Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West, discussed his book and a decade of writing about China and elsewhere with author, Michael Meyer and Susan Jakes, Editor of ChinaFile....

Media

05.01.13

The Wall Street Journal: Covering China Past and...

THE EDITORS

The Wall Street Journal was one of the first American publications to set up a bureau in Beijing. Since its establishment, scores of the Journal’s correspondents have traveled in and out of the country to cover China’s economic and political development. On April 30th, 2013,...

Around the web

Apple Stores User Data in China.

What does it mean for cybersecurity? ...

The Christian Science Monitor

China Tells Citizens to Walk, Bike, and Snitch in “United Struggle” to Breathe Easier

The environmental ministry has published a set of guidelines for citizens, which encourage them not only to reduce their personal environmental imprint, but ...

Quartz

China Denounces Pet Dogs As Filthy Imports from West

In a recent People’s Daily op-ed, pet dogs are referred to as a “crude and ludicrious imitation… of a Western lifestyle” and a blight on “social ...

NBC News

China Will Ban All Coal Use In Beijing By 2020

Beijing’s Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural g...

Business Insider

In Twist, China Stock Market is Haven Amid Storm

When you think of safe-haven investments, Chinese stocks don’t normally come to mind....

USA Today

‘Transformers’ in China: The Hidden Cost of a $300 Million Hit

The record $317 million that Paramount’s new Transformers grossed in China in 31 days is impressive, but the struggle the studio has endured to coll...

The Hollywood Reporter