Should African Governments Welcome Or Be Wary of Chinese Infrastructure Investment?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China announced a U.S.$60 billion financing package for African states to build out new roads, airports, railways, and other needed infrastructure. While no one questions the need for infrastructure, there are legitimate concerns as to whether it...

Books

08.08.18

Poisonous Pandas

Matthew Kohrman, Gan Quan, Liu Wennan, Robert N. Proctor
Stanford University Press: A favorite icon for cigarette manufacturers across China since the mid-20th century has been the panda, with factories from Shanghai to Sichuan using cuddly cliché to market tobacco products. The proliferation of panda-branded cigarettes coincides with profound, yet poorly appreciated, shifts in the worldwide tobacco trade. Over the last 50 years, transnational tobacco companies and their allies have fueled a tripling of the world’s annual consumption of cigarettes. At the forefront is the China National Tobacco Corporation, now producing 40 percent of cigarettes sold globally. What’s enabled the manufacturing of cigarettes in China to flourish since the time of Mao and to prosper even amidst public health condemnation of smoking?In Poisonous Pandas, an interdisciplinary group of scholars comes together to tell that story. They offer novel portraits of people within the Chinese polity―government leaders, scientists, tax officials, artists, museum curators, and soldiers―who have experimentally revamped the country’s pre-Communist cigarette supply chain and fitfully expanded its political, economic, and cultural influence. These portraits cut against the grain of what contemporary tobacco-control experts typically study, opening a vital new window on tobacco―the single largest cause of preventable death worldwide today.{chop}Related Reading:“In China, Industry Push-Back Stubs out Anti-Smoking Gains,” Christian Shepherd, Reuters, May 31, 2018“China’s Ministry in Charge of Tobacco Control Had Ties to the Tobacco Industry. Not Anymore,” Sidney Leng, South China Morning Post, March 15, 2018“The End of China’s ‘Ashtray Diplomacy’,” Heather Timmons and Quartz, The Atlantic, December 30, 2013“The Political Mapping of China’s Tobacco Industry and Anti-Smoking Campaign,” Cheng Li, Brookings, May 30, 2012Author’s Recommendations:Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, Rob Nixon (Harvard University Press, 2013)Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?, Judith Butler (Verso; Reprint edition 2010)Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Giorgio Agamben, Translated by Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford University Press, 1998)

As ‘Health Attacks’ Persist, U.S. Pulls More Americans Out of China

Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. has evacuated at least three Americans from Beijing after they reported unusual health symptoms, in the latest evacuations since unexplained health incidents first affected U.S. diplomatic personnel stationed in Cuba in 2016.

Video

05.07.18

Ou Chen’s Good Run

Guo Rongfei from Arrow Factory Video
The number of Chinese racers has risen dramatically—a phenomenon that Chinese media call a “marathon fever.” Obed Tiony, a Kenyan studying at Shanghai University, works as an agent for some 300 runners from Kenya and its neighbor Ethiopia. Tiony’s...

Another Problem with China’s Coal: Mercury in Rice

Noelle Eckley Selin and Sae Yun Kwon
The Conversation
Mercury enters rice through local industrial activities and through burning coal.

China Confirms First Ever Human Case of H7N4 Bird Flu

Tom Phillips
Guardian
A 68-year-old patient from Jiangsu province, who has since recovered, developed symptoms on Christmas Day and was admitted to hospital

Flu Fears Spread in China Ahead of Lunar New Year Holiday

Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Chinese health authorities said the worst influenza season in recent years was straining the country’s resources and some experts warned that the Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of Chinese go on the road, could make things worse.

China Lifts Ban on Stinky Cheese

Tamar Lapin
New York Post
Authorities imposed the embargo in September because the stinky cheeses were made with strains of bacteria banned in China.

The Human Cost of China’s Economic Reforms

Robin Brant
BBC
Mr Yu is worried that millions of workers the Chinese government plans to lay off from failing state owned companies will be “abandoned” like he says he was 15 years ago.

Pregnant Chinese Woman ‘Commits Suicide’ after Family Refuse to Allow Her to Have a Caesarean Section

Laurie Chen
South China Morning Post
A heavily pregnant woman is reported to have committed suicide after her family repeatedly refused to let her have a caesarean section.

Viewpoint

08.28.17

China Is Risking the Lives of Political Prisoners by Denying Them Medical Care

Frances Eve
Dissident activist Chen Xi entered Xingyi Prison in Guangxi in January 2012 to serve a 10-year sentence. The previous month, he had been convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” for writing articles about human rights and democracy. This...

Chinese Blogger Sorry after Essay Slamming Beijingers’ ‘Fake’ Lives Goes Viral and Is Censored

Eva Li
South China Morning Post
Widely-read blog criticized by state media after it lists complaints about soaring property prices, crowded subways and lack of human warmth in the capital

India’s Air Pollution Rivals China’s as World’s Deadliest

Geeta Anand
New York Times
India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world, a new study of global air pollution shows. 

Depth of Field

01.17.17

House Calls on the Tibetan Plateau, Children of Divorce, Celebrity Secrets

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
In the final galleries of 2016, the publishing juggernaut Tencent again shows its leadership in the documentary photography space, but iFeng’s choice to publish a personal photo gallery by Zhou Xin is also worth a good look, especially since...

China Reports First Two Human Deaths from Bird Flu This Winter

Reuters
Two people in China's Anhui province have died from H7N9 bird flu, the first fatalities in China among this winter's cases...

Students in China Were Made to Take Exams Outdoors in Toxic Smog

Kevin Lui
Time
Widely circulated photos of the students, sitting at desks while blanketed in choking pollution, starkly dramatize the Chinese "airpocalypse"...

Smog Refugees Flee Chinese Cities as ‘Airpocalypse’ Blights Half a Billion

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Thousands head to pollution-free regions as haze descends on the country’s northern industrial heartland

Features

12.15.16

‘Caught in Quicksand’: Gay and HIV-Positive in China

Fan Fei, Jieqian Zhang & more
China is a country with giant cities, huge skyscrapers, and the world’s second largest economy. But underneath its modern looking facade, the country is still very traditional; this is especially true of attitudes toward homosexuality.China’s...

The 80-Year-Old Runway Model Reshaping China’s Views on Aging

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Last year, at 79, Mr. Wang walked the runway for the first time, his physique at his age causing a national sensation

Risk of Vanishing: More than 1,300 Elderly Go Missing in China Every Day

Chen Mengwei
China Daily
Online app helps find 100 lost seniors as research shows growing dementia threat

China Grapples With HIV Cases Among Gay Men, but Stigma Runs Deep

Fanfan Wang
Wall Street Journal
Surge in infections worries health authorities and prompts soul-searching in a conservative society

China Tops WHO List for Deadly Outdoor Air Pollution

Adam Vaughan
Guardian
More than 1 million people died from dirty air in one year

Media

09.23.16

In China, Organic Food Is Gaining Ground

Wan Li, a young Beijing professional in her late 20s, is at her desk when her cell phone rings. She picks up. “North entrance?” She confirms. “I’ll be right out.” An electric delivery scooter has just pulled up to Wan’s office with her order of...

China Will Resume Imports of U.S. Beef After a Ban Long Seen as Political

Hannah Beech
Time
For an American industry that relies increasingly on global demand, the news is welcome

Gay Pride: China Activists Fight ‘Conversion Therapy’

Benjamin Haas
Hong Kong Free Press
Coming out was never going to be easy, but Yu never thought it would see him committed

Caixin Media

07.19.16

Killer Knotweed Exposes Dangers of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Amid rising public concerns about side-effects of traditional Chinese medicines, or TCM, following the death of a young woman who died of liver failure last year, a government-backed medical association has started compiling a database of substances...

Environment

07.19.16

Schoolkids Suffer Toxic Air at Recycled Rubber Athletic Tracks

Michael Zhao
Chinese are known for recycling, and recycling everything. The industry is even responsible for making billionaires, like China’s “wastepaper queen” Zhang Yin.Yet when factories recycle irresponsibly, the consequences can be dire. Reports...

China and India Burdened by Untreated Mental Disorders

Benedict Carey
New York Times
Less than 10 percent of people in India and China with a mental disorder received effective treatment.

Green Space

05.04.16

Vaccine Scandal Rocks China

David O’Connor
China was rocked last month by another public health scandal, after Chinese police announced the discovery of a criminal organization selling millions of improperly stored vaccines in 24 provinces and municipalities. The affected vaccines have a...

Media

05.03.16

Scandal Highlights China’s Weak Environmental Enforcement

from chinadialogue
For many Chinese, the country’s soil pollution crisis has become increasingly acute in recent weeks after several hundred children fell ill from attending a school built close to a former fertilizer factory.Almost 500 students at the Changzhou...

Putting China’s Coal Consumption Into Context

Qi Ye
Brookings Institution
Few issues are more likely to provoke interest about China.

Photo Gallery

12.01.15

Life After Death

Sim Chi Yin
A family mourns the loss of a husband and father, who died after a decade-long fight against silicosis contracted while working in China’s gold mines. He was one of an estimated 6 million workers in China who have some form of pneumoconiosis, the...

China Bends Vow, Using Prisoners’ Organs for Transplants

DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW
New York Times
A senior Chinese health official said last year that China would stop using prisoners’ organs for transplants as of Jan. 1, 2015.

China's Napoleon Complex

Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore
Foreign Affairs
With Deng’s political reforms in the 1980s and 1990s came increased discrimination based on appearance.

Environment

11.11.15

China’s Bottled Water Industry to Exploit Tibetan Plateau

from chinadialogue
Tibet wants to bottle up much more of the region’s water resources, despite shrinking glaciers and the impact that exploitation of precious resources would have on neighboring countries.This week, the Tibet Autonomous Region’s government released a...

China Decries Shenyang Pollution Called 'Worst Ever' by Activists

BBC
On Sunday pollution readings were about 50 times higher than that considered safe by the World Health Organization.

China's First Innovative Drug Approved NDA in the U.S.

Shan Juan
China Daily
This is the first truly innovative drug manufactured in China that passes the audits of FDA and it is about to enter the NDA progress.

Sinica Podcast

10.21.15

Tu Youyou and the Nobel Prize

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, hosts Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn, and David Moser speak with Christina Larson and Ian Johnson about Tu Youyou, the scientist who recently shared a Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery of the anti-malaria compound...

Media

10.07.15

An International Victory, Forged in China’s Tumultuous Past

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On October 5, a share of this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine went to 84-year-old Chinese pharmacologist Tu Youyou for her discovery, decades ago, of the anti-malarial drug artemisinin. Tu and her team made the discovery during the Cultural...

Environment

09.17.15

Beijing Welcomes World’s First Smog-Eating Tower

from chinadialogue
Beijingers enjoyed a rare breath of fresh air this week. The city’s smog levels fell to their lowest levels in recent years, as authorities scrambled to shut down factories and curb car use so that China’s Second World War victory military parade...

Can the Chinese Government Get Its People to Like G.M.O.s?

New Yorker
Genetically modified food faces zealous public opposition and is largely banned from the marketplace.

Environment

08.12.15

Beijing’s Air Quality May Finally Be Improving ... But it Still Ain’t Great

Michael Zhao
In February, a Chinese celebrity journalist named Chai Jing released a video on the Internet about the damage air pollution was causing her country. During the week it was online (before Chinese censors pulled it down), people viewed the video 200...

Media

08.05.15

Beijing’s Ban on Smoking Is Actually (Sort of) Working

They rarely trash hotel rooms or boast about drugs, but Chinese rock stars could at least be counted on to smoke. Now even that’s starting to change in the face of a smoking ban in China’s capital that shows little sign of burning out, almost two...

China’s Annual Dog-Eating Festival Prompts Social Media Firestorm

Lindsey Bever and Nick Kirkpatrick
Washington Post
At a solstice festival in China 10,000 canines are said to be beaten, killed and cooked for human consumption.

Video

06.10.15

A Miner’s China Dream

Sim Chi Yin
Over the four years I have known him, He Quangui, a gold miner from Shaanxi, has told me many times he wants to travel with me back to Beijing. It’s not just me he wants to visit. He dreams of going to the Chinese leadership’s compound, Zhongnanhai...

Environment

05.21.15

China’s Role in Illegal Trade of Toxic E-Waste Rising Sharply

from chinadialogue
Discarded smartphones and other gadgets are poisoning the environment and people in developing countries, where most of the world’s electronic waste (e-waste) is being dumped illegally and now involves criminal gangs, the UN’s environment arm warned...

Reports

03.02.15

China’s Long March To Safe Drinking Water

Hongqiao Liu
China Water Risk
China’s central government set ambitious goals to safeguard water quality in 2011, at the outset of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). Those goals targeted improvements from source-to-tap, earmarking a budget of nearly RMB 700 billion (U.S.$112...

Media

02.05.15

Why Chinese Promote Confining New Mothers for a Month

Rachel Lu
HONG KONG—Giving birth is never easy, but for new Chinese mothers the month following a baby’s arrival is particularly fraught. Immediately after I became pregnant for the first time, I started to hear about zuoyuezi, or “sitting the month.” It’s a...

Vets Battle to save Stricken Panda in Shaanxi

Huang Zhiling
China Daily
Vets are racing to treat a 5-year-old panda diagnosed with canine distemper at the Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue and Breeding Research Center.

China Reports Sharp Rise in HIV Cases

Patti Waldmeir
Financial Times
China had nearly half a million people living with the virus or disease by the end of August last year, with 70,000 of them newly diagnosed in the first eight months of 2014, official statistics showed.

Environment

01.16.15

Can the Potato Help Feed China, Cut Pollution, and Alleviate Drought?

from chinadialogue
The Ministry of Agriculture’s move to make potatoes an increasingly important staple in Chinese kitchens, including the propagation of recipes that rely on the humble tuber, at first glance might appear slightly odd and surprising.The potato has...

Eating Alone in China

Fan Jiayang
New Yorker
The first time I ate at a restaurant by myself, I live-tweeted the experience. “Hot-potting alone!” I enthused, posting a photo I’d taken of a burbling electric pot, ringed by plates of enoki mushrooms, plump squares of tofu, and green-bean-infused...

Here’s Where All Those Cheap Santa Hats and Plastic Snowmen Come from

Heather Timmons
Quartz
The Chinese city of Yiwu, about 250 kilometers from Shanghai, is often referred to as China’s “Christmas village” thanks to the massive amount of holiday-related merchandise made there. Xinhua, China’s state-news agency, claims that 60% of the world...

In China, Expectant Dads Line Up to Experience Labor Pains

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
He described the treatment as creating a three-part sensation: hot steel balls dropping on his stomach and then a hook being gouged into him, followed by the ripping of his innards. “I treated her to a French dinner after,” says Mr. Li.

China: Inside an Internet Gaming Disorder Rehab Center

Massoud Hayoun
Al Jazeera
There are about 113,000 Internet cafes and bars in China, according to official figures. Lower-end establishments are typically a sole means of accessing the Web for China’s migrant labor population and the poor—or at 24-hour locations, a place to...

Environmental Filmmakers Have Rare Impact in China

Louise Watt
Associated Press
One clip shows a girl swatting flies from a younger child among piles of trash. Another has children blowing up used medical gloves like balloons. The footage is on the computer screen of Wang Jiuliang as he edits his second film about waste harming...

Shunyi Foreign Foster Parent of 11 Disappears, Critically Ill Child at Hospital

Michael Wester
Beijinger
The Legal Daily reported Thursday that the girl, called Phoebe, is one of 11 ethnic Chinese foster children the man has been raising in various apartments around Beijing, most recently at Capital Paradise in Shunyi.

China Media: Public Smoking Ban

BBC
BBC
Papers welcome a proposed nation-wide ban on public smoking, while urging officials to tackle pollution problems. China has sought public opinion on its plans to prohibit tobacco advertising and ban smoking in public places, the Xinhua News Agency...

In Step to Lower Carbon Emissions, China Will Place a Limit on Coal Use in 2020

Edward Wong
New York Times
In theory, coal consumption might increase beyond 2020, but some researchers say economic trends show the rate of growth in coal use slowing in coming years and peaking about 2020.