Features

09.08.17

A Drag Queen for the Dearly Departed

Ian Johnson & Tomoko Kikuchi
In the good old days, about three thousand years ago, people really knew how to mourn the dead. That was back in the Zhou dynasty, when there was no laughing in the dead person’s house, no sighing while eating, and no singing while walking down a...

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 Risks Wasting $490 Billion on New Coal Plant, Say Campaigners

AFP
Guardian
Carbon Tracker says many plants running at overcapacity but China reluctant to wean itself off coal, fearing unemployment and unrest

China Land Reform Opens Door to Corporate Farming

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Move to bring capital into large-scale agriculture keeps bar on individual ownership

Living in China’s Expanding Deserts

Josh Haner, Edward Wong, Derek Watkins...
New York Times
People on the edges of the country’s vast seas of sand are being displaced by climate change

Green Space

05.11.16

The Dark Side of Country Life

Michael Zhao
The last time we peeked at Lei Hu’s photo blog, Lei was giving us a cheery look at a China that we rarely get to see: the countryside and its beauty. But there’s a dark side to country life in China, as well, and a new blog post from Lei explores...

China Sees Childhood Obesity 'Explosion' in Rural Provinces

Sarah Whitten
CNBC
The study cites three major reasons for the uptick in childhood obesity: cultural background, poor diet and and a lack of physical activity.

Green Space

02.16.16

Gorging on Gadgets

Michael Zhao
Documentary filmmaker Sue Williams is finishing up her latest documentary about our beloved electronic gadgets, Death By Design. I was involved in the project and traveled with Williams to south China’s Guangdong province, to the the town of Guiyu,...

China’s Mountain Hermits Seek a Highway to Heaven

Tom Hancock
Agence France-Presse
His unheated hut is half way up a mountain with no electricity, and his diet consists mostly of cabbage. But Master Hou says he has found a recipe for joy. "There is no happier way for a person to live on this earth," he declared,...

Earthbound China

12.15.14

A Map of China’s Back-to-the-Land Efforts

Leah Thompson
In our short film “Down to the Countryside,” Sun Yunfan and I follow Ou Ning, an artist and curator who moved from Beijing to the village of Bishan in rural Anhui province in 2013, where he experiments with preserving and revitalizing local heritage...

Unrest in China Leaves 22 Dead Following Xinjiang Attack

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
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 merchants at a wholesale food market near the border with Kyrgyzstan. 

Excerpts

05.29.13

Every Thousand Years

Dan Washburn
There are no guardrails on the road to Qixin. And there is only one other way to the top of the mountain—a four-hour hike. It was February, and the ice and snow from Guizhou’s winter storms had recently melted, leaving the famously treacherous cliff...

Interview with Chen Guangcheng

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
The Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng arrived in the United States last month following top-level negotiations between US and Chinese officials. Several weeks earlier, Chen had dramatically escaped from house arrest in his village in northeast...

My First Trip

01.22.11

Finding the Truth about Rural China

Edward Friedman
In May 1978, at age 40, accompanied by three colleagues who had already been to China, I made my first trip to the PRC. I was a critical and independent member of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the American Civil Liberties Union. I...