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)

Want to See Your Baby? in China, It Can Cost You

Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
Despite almost universal health insurance, China's healthcare system is still plagued with gaps...

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 Disputes Trump’s Claim of Flood of Chinese Fentanyl into US

South China Morning Post
Beijing says there is not enough evidence to support allegations that most of the illicit drug involved in the epidemic is made on its soil.

SoftBank Partners with China’s Ofo to Bring Its Dock-Less Bikes to Japan

Jon Russell
TechCrunch
A month after committing to help WeWork enter Japan, SoftBank is lending a hand to another global unicorn with its sights set on the country. Today, it announced a tie-in that will bring Ofo’s dock-less bike rental service to Japanese soil.

China’s High-Tech Tool to Fight Toilet Paper Bandits

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
The toilet paper thieves of the Temple of Heaven Park were an elusive bunch.

China Bird Flu Deaths Surge in What Could Be the Worst Season Ever

Reuters
As many as 79 people died from H7N9 bird flu in China last month, the government said, stoking worries that the spread of the virus this season could be the worst on record.

China’s Growing Obesity Problem

Benjamin Shobert
Forbes
A recent study published shows that China can now lay claim to having a greater percentage of obese men and women than in the United States.

Don’t Blame the Weather For China’s Smog

Junfeng Zhang
Fortune
China’s air quality has been particularly bad so far this winter. Severe smog or haze episodes have occurred one after another with short breaks in between,

How to Ride an Escalator: China Says You’re Doing It Wrong

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
Experts have recently warned that the practice is a danger to public safety

With Fertility Rate in China Low, Some Press to Legalize Births Outside Marriage

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Underlying the debate over reproductive rights is China’s low fertility rate of 1.05 children per woman, revealed in the mini-census last year

In China, It’s Always Greener on the Other Side

Matthew Kahn
Salon
China is making the difficult transition to cleaner energy, but their efforts will help mitigate climate change

China Officials Stuff Cotton Gauze into Air Monitoring Equipment to Falsify Results

Neil Connor
Telegraph
The environmental officials had also tampered with computers to alter the results of pollution monitoring in the northern city of Xi’an

HIV is Growing So Fast Among Chinese Youth that a University Sells Test Kits in Vending Machines

Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
The kits, which cost less than $5, are sold alongside snacks and drinks in the machines at China’s Southwest Petroleum University in Sichuan Province

Forget Those 18 Olympic Medals, Most Chinese Can’t Swim

Hannah Gardner
USA Today
Drowning is now the #1 killer of Chinese children under the age of 14, topping traffic accidents and infectious disease

China’s Maternal Mortality Rate Rises 30% in First Half

Li Rongde and Liu Jiaying
Increase in women older than 35 getting pregnant after easing of the One-Child Policy may have led to spike in deaths

Chengguan, Widely Despised Officers in China, Find Refuge and a Kind Ear

Karoline Kan
New York Times
China’s first Psychological Crisis Center for Chengguan opened in Nanjing this week

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

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...

China, Sweltering, Doles Out Subsidies for High Heat

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The government appears to be trying to raise consciousness of the heat subsidies.

Polluted Skies Heighten Challenge for Chinese Government

EDWARD WONG
New York Times
Red has been considered the color of prosperity and good fortune in China for centuries, and it is also the color of the Communist Party.

China Building World's Biggest Animal Cloning Factory

CBS News
The world's biggest animal cloning center is scheduled to open in the Chinese port city of Tianjin next year...

China's Blast of Fresh Air Quiets Calls for Beijing Mayor's Head

Bloomberg
A cold front that swept choking smog from northern China couldn’t have come sooner for Beijing’s mayor.

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...

Sinica Podcast

08.24.15

The Tianjin Explosion

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Insurance scam? Industrial accident? Political machinations? After August excursions to lands of clean air and English-language media, the Sinica team is back this week with a show covering the astonishing explosions that gutted the Binhai economic...

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...

If China Wants More Children, It Needs to Get out of the Nation’s Bedrooms

Isabel Hilton
Guardian
The social and economic impacts are well documented: the world’s most rapidly ageing population, a growing labour shortage, a heavy and unfunded pension burden, an unknown number of undocumented “illegal” children and a gender imbalance of...

Episode 36 – Sim Chi Yin

Sharron Lovell & Sim Chi Yin
Multimedia Week
Sharron Lovell speaks with Sim Chi Yin about crossing the lines between journalism and advocacy. Chi Yin recently published her four year story following a Chinese gold miner suffering with the lung disease silicosis, caused by years of inhaling...

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

05.28.15

Chinese Posters Warn of the Dangers of Smog

from chinadialogue
{slideshow, 16211, 4}An exhibition of smog-inspired posters is touring the polluted cities of northern and eastern China this month to draw attention to the impending environmental disaster.Created by a group of Chinese designers, the 300 posters...

Dying to Breathe

Sim Chi Yin
National Geographic
This is the unseen cost of gold mining in China—the world’s top gold producer. In China, silicosis is considered a form of pneumoconiosis, which affects an estimated six million workers who toil in gold, coal, or silver mines or in stone-cutting...

Dying to Breathe—A Short Film Shows China’s True Cost of Gold

Sim Chi Yin
National Geographic
This is the unseen cost of gold mining in China—the world’s top gold producer. In China, silicosis is considered a form of pneumoconiosis, which affects an estimated six million workers who toil in gold, coal, or silver mines or in stone-cutting...

China Criminal Gang Floods Market with 100 Metric Tons of Toxic Tofu

Adam Jourdan
Reuters
The gang added industrial bleaching agent rongalite to make dried tofu sticks brighter and chewier, the Shanghai Daily reported on Monday, citing official media in Shandong province.

China Ramps Up Efforts to Combat Ebola

Christina Larson
Science
Already about 200 medical workers and advisers from China are now stationed in the three West African countries fighting Ebola outbreaks: Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. George Gao, deputy director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease...

Get Rich or Die Trying: The Chinese Herbal Medicine "Death Sentence" in Uganda

James Wan
Think Africa Press
200,000 Ugandans have signed up to a company believing it will cure all their illnesses and help them make a fortune. But it is more likely to do the opposite.

Reports

02.01.14

Food Safety in China: A Mapping of Problems, Governance and Research

Jennifer Holdaway and Lewis Husain
The Social Science Research Council
Food safety has become an issue of great concern in China over the last few years. Media reporting has tended to focus on extreme cases of poisoning from food additives or contamination by heavy metals, but food safety encompasses a wide range of...

Caixin Media

04.20.13

Bird Flu’s Latest Talons Force Fresh Defense

A surprise attack by a new strain of the bird flu virus has forced Chinese authorities into the trenches for a two-pronged defense against unseen enemies.The primary threat is the deadly virus that scientists identified as a new strain of H7N9. It...

Reports

04.01.13

Enter the Dragon and the Elephant

Yanzhong Huang
Luo Xiaoyuan
Council on Foreign Relations
Among the emerging powers, China and India have long been critical to successfully addressing global health problems. Historically, infectious diseases that originated in either country have altered epidemiological patterns worldwide. The first...

Caixin Media

03.02.13

Poison Eaters of Gansu Province

Barely any rainfall on a bone-dry landscape has always made crop farming in the province of Gansu a rough gamble between the sky and local irrigation policies. But now, farmers reap only sorrow from fields that experts say are severely contaminated...

Eye-Stinging Bejiing Air Risks Lifelong Harm to Babies

Daryl Loo and Natasha Khan
Bloomberg
Air quality in the Chinese capital deteriorated beyond World Health Organization safe limits every day last month as smoke from coal-powered generators, factory emissions, car fumes, and dust amassed over the city of 20 million people.

Conversation

02.06.13

Airpocalypse Now: China’s Tipping Point?

Alex Wang, Orville Schell & more
The recent run of air pollution in China, we now know, has been worse than the air quality in airport smoking lounges. At its worst, Beijing air quality has approached levels only seen in the United States during wildfires.All of the comparisons to...

Caixin Media

12.28.12

Desperate Cash Infusions Driving Blood Trade

The tumor was growing, and the family of cancer patient Xia Jianqing was growing desperate.Doctors at a military hospital in Beijing had warned Xia’s family that he would die without the blood needed for a lifesaving operation. But the hospital had...

Chinese AIDS Patients Topple Gate of Government Office

Gillian Wong
Associated Press
About 300 AIDS patients and their relatives tore down the main gate of a government office in central China during a protest Monday over unmet demands for financial assistance.

Time for China to Abandon Its Population Control Policy

Yanzhong Huang
Council on Foreign Relations
Last week, the government of the Philippines announced plans to allocate nearly $12 million towards contraceptive supplies for community clinics. Yesterday, the London Summit on Family Planning brought together government leaders, representatives...

Environment

07.04.12

Dirty Truth about China’s Incinerators

from chinadialogue
Xie Yong could be called a pioneer. He is one of very few to date to sue a Chinese government agency over its unlawful refusal of requested data. His crusade for change has little to do with civic altruism, however. Xie’s struggle is personal in...

Epidemic of TB Fueled by Deficient Treatment

Kanoko Matsuyama
Bloomberg
One third of new cases and one half of people with previously treated TB in 2007 had a form of the disease that didn’t respond to medicine, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine today. At 5.7 percent, the presence of...

Reports

10.01.10

Measuring Health Workforce Inequalities

Sudhir Anand
Luo Xiaoyuan
World Health Organization
Measuring health workforce inequalities: methods and application to China and India is for users and producers of quantitative data in support of decision-making for health policy and practice, including statistical analysts, researchers, health...

Reports

12.31.03

Health Policy and Systems Research in China

Qingyue Meng, Shi Guang, Yang Hongwei, Miguel A. González-Block, Erik Blas
Luo Xiaoyuan
World Health Organization
This document, prepared by the China Network for Health Economics, WHO, TDR, and the Alliance - HPSR, is a product of the Health Policy Forum held in May 2004 in Beijing, with the participation of high-level policy-makers from central and provincial...