Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Hong Kong Documentary Explores the Roots of Dissent

A Q&A with Director Matthew Torne

La Frances Hui

To many observers, Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement”—thousands of students and other citizens in the streets demanding to choose their own political leaders—seemed to unfurl, fully formed, out of nowhere. Residents of the former colony were supposed to care more about commerce than politics. The heart of the city was supposed to reside in the heights of its sparkling, climate-defying office towers, not in its sweaty streets. And, after 1997, China’s leaders expected Hong Kong’s orderly, industrious residents freed from colonial rule to run ever more joyously into the welcoming arms of their motherland, as the first half of the “One Country, Two Systems” equation inexorably eclipsed the...


Zhang Duan/Xinhua/Zuma Press

Pandas Were Monsters

Tea Leaf Nation & Alexa Olesen

“Rich Chinese are literally eating this exotic mammal into extinction,” read a recent Global Post expose of the devastating trade in the pangolin, a scaly anteater that Chinese consider a delicacy. According to the Post, the adorable animals (which one columnist described as “a four-legged pine cone”) had become the most heavily trafficked mammal in the world, in large part because Chinese like to eat them. Other news reports have raised alarms over rare bears, tigers, and salamanders...


Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images

Are China’s Economic Reforms Coming Fast Enough?

A ChinaFile Conversation

Daniel H. Rosen, David Hoffman & more

Economic data show a slowdown in China. At least two opposing views of what’s next for the world’s largest economy have just been published: one skeptical, from David Hoffman at...


ejo1224/Instagram (Fairuse)

Kenny G: The Newest ‘Foreign Force’ in Hong Kong

Tea Leaf Nation & Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

As pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong extend into their fourth week with no resolution in sight, pro-Beijing voices have increasingly accused “foreign forces” of wielding influence over Hong Kong protests and intervening in Chinese internal affairs. While such accusations have seldom named explicit targets, one such alleged foreign force has just taken a specific, and surprising, form—smooth jazz sax.On October 22, California-based jazz artist Kenny G...


Tesla-Unicom Deal Could Spark China’s Electric Vehicle Market

chinadialogue

Electric vehicle firm Tesla’s major new deal with China Unicom to build EV charging infrastructure unites what is seemingly the only EV success story, pursuing a business model targeting elite customers, with China’s second largest mobile phone operator. In August, they agreed to build a network of EV charging piles at 400 Unicom stores in 120 cities, including extra-fast superchargers in 20 Chinese cities, offering free charging to Tesla ...


Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

‘We Can Only Trust Each Other and Keep the Road’

A Dispatch from Hong Kong

Ilaria Maria Sala

Snip. Snip. Snip. The officer’s face shows concentration as he cuts one yellow ribbon after another along a metal fence on Queensway in the Central district of Hong Kong. Next to him, other policemen have just finished dismantling the barricades that had blocked this major artery for more than two weeks and they are now busy disposing of the bamboo poles, security barriers, chairs, plastic cling film, umbrellas, and wooden boards that protesters had piled up in the street to block cars.The officer, in his blue overalls, takes pains not to overlook even the smallest remnant. Snip. Snip. He cuts away the last resisting strand of acrylic yellow ribbon. He looks frustrated. These...


Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Revision of Securities Law Is Chance to Liberalize Market

By Hu Shuli

Caixin

China’s securities law is to undergo a comprehensive revision almost a decade after the last major overhaul. Public consultation is due to start in the first half of next year, following recent comments from officials, scholars, and market participants. The first national law of its kind was introduced in 1999—almost a decade after the establishment of the country’s first bourse, the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 1990—and sought to create greater uniformity in the rapidly expanding securities market. The law, which protects investor rights in shares and bonds, has undergone amendments major and minor over the years. Yet too much...

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Recent Stories

Conversation

10.17.14

Rule of Law—Why Now?

IRA BELKIN, DONALD CLARKE & more

In a recent essay, “How China’s Leaders Will Rule on the Law,” Carl Minzner looks at the question of why China’s leaders have announced they will emphasize rule of law at the upcoming Chinese Communist Party plenum slated to take place in Beijing October 20-23. Why have...

Viewpoint

10.20.14

‘A Power Capable of Making Us Weep’

HU YONG

This September, the editors of the online edition of the 21st Century Business Herald—a leading Chinese business newspaper based in Guangzhou and owned by Southern Media Group (Nanfang Baoye Jituan)—came under investigation on charges of extortion. The case, which the...

Sinica Podcast

10.17.14

China Daddy Issues

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

We’ve all heard about the difficulty of finding good schools in China, and know first hand about the food and air safety problems. But what about the terrors of pedestrian crossings, the dilemmas of how much trust you should inculcate in your kids, or how much abject poverty...

Environment

10.16.14

Chinese Environmentalists, in Their Own Words

MICHAEL ZHAO

Earlier this year, ChinaFile’s Environment Editor, Michael Zhao, teamed up with Phoenix Online to create a series of two-minute documentaries on the work, ideas, and aspirations of Chinese environmental advocates. The environmentalists, many of whom work in relative obscurity...

Books

Books

10.21.14

Hou Hsiao-hsien

RICHARD I. SUCHENSKI, EDITOR

For younger critics and audiences, Taiwanese cinema enjoys a special status, comparable with that of Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave for earlier generations, a cinema that was and is in the midst of introducing an innovative sensibility and a fresh perspective. Hou...

Books

10.15.14

China’s Super Consumers

SAVIO CHAN AND MICHAEL ZAKKOUR

China has transformed itself from a feudal economy in the 19th century, to Mao and Communism in the 20th century, to the largest consumer market in the world by the early 21st century. China's Super Consumers explores the extraordinary birth of...

Reports

Reports

10.01.14

Avoiding the Blind Alley: China’s Economic Overhaul...

Asia Society

President Xi Jinping announced a sweeping overhaul for China’s economy in November 2013, with pledges to make market forces decisive, treat homegrown and foreign investors with the same laws and regulations, and change the mission statement of the government. The reform program...

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...

Photography and Video

Photo Gallery

09.28.14

Traces

IAN TEH

One in five people in the world get their water from great Asian rivers linked to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau in northwestern China. Here, beneath a gently undulating landscape, spring the headwaters of the Yellow River, which sweep three thousands miles across China on their way...

Video

09.18.14

Collecting Insanity

JOSHUA FRANK

Every country has a past it likes to celebrate and another it would rather forget. In China, where history still falls under the tight control of government-run museums and officially approved textbooks, the omissions appear especially stark. An unusual museum dedicated largely...

Video

08.12.14

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...

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

China’s Alibaba Reportedly Eyeing 37 Percent Stake in Lionsgate

The New York Post reported on Friday that the chairman of Lionsgate is looking to unload his influential stake in the mini-studio, with Ma in line......

Hollywood Reporter

Ministry Said to Propose Local Governments Issuing Bonds to Cover Debts

Outstanding central and local government debt totaled 20.7 trillion yuan at the end of June last year, data from the National Audit Office show.... ...

Caixin

A Chance to Introduce Social and Environmental Protections

Instead of opposing its creation, the U.S. should consider joining the bank as a means of guaranteeing that it matches world-class financing strength with......

New York Times

Presumed Guilty in China’s War on Corruption, Targets Suffer Abuses

One beating left Wang Guanglong, a midlevel official from China’s Fujian Province, partly deaf, according to his later testimony.... ...

New York Times

Thomas Sauvin’s Beijing Silvermine

Thomas Sauvin estimates that he has sifted through more than half a million images, taken by ordinary citizens, between 1985 and the early aughts, that......

New Yorker

Unrest in China Leaves 22 Dead Following Xinjiang Attack

A new ethnic clash in the restive region of Xinjiang, on China’s central Asian frontier, saw 22 people killed after Uighur assailants attacked Han Chinese......

Financial Times

Publications