Conversation

11.30.17

The Beijing Migrants Crackdown

Jeremiah Jenne, Lucy Hornby & more
After a fire in a Beijing apartment building catering to migrant workers killed at least 19 people on November 18, the city government launched a 40-day campaign to demolish the capital’s “unsafe” buildings. Many Beijing residents view the campaign...

Xi Jinping Makes China’s Toilets a Number Two Priority

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Chinese urged to ‘Advance the Toilet Revolution Steadily’ and do away with squalid communal facilities as a national imperative.

Environment

08.02.17

Crowded Beijing Revives Old Plan for New Overflow City

from chinadialogue
On April 1, 2017—April Fool’s Day—the government made a surprise announcement that a satellite city bigger than New York would be built from scratch on the outskirts of Beijing. Official news site Xinhua described Xiong’an New District as the “plan...

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. 

Bike-Sharing Revolution Aims to Put China Back on Two Wheels

Top Phillips
Guardian
From Shanghai to Sichuan, schemes are being rolled out to slash congestion, cut air pollution – and spin a profit

Caixin Media

12.15.16

Attempts to ‘Clean Up Beijing’ Target Low-Cost Migrant Homes

Li Yi, a young computer engineer working in Beijing, said authorities forced him out of his apartment in a village in Haidian district in November, days after his power supply was cut off even though he had paid the bills.Li (not his real name) is...

China’s Other Car Problem

Economist
A lack of parking spots worries Chinese car-owners--and fixing it will be hard

China’s Urbanites Embrace Sacrifice to Ride Property Frenzy

Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo
Reuters
There are signs mortgages are crimping household spending, in an economy increasingly reliant on domestic consumption

Features

09.13.16

The Destruction of Baishizhou

Eli MacKinnon
Early this spring, the Chinese character for “demolish” (“拆”) showed up in red spray paint on a strip of shops in Shenzhen’s Baishizhou neighborhood. Wang An, 41, has been selling women’s underwear from one of these shops for the last 10 years. “...

Environment

07.21.16

Chengdu’s Pollution Is Complicated by Taxi Apps

from chinadialogue
Research carried out by Peking University’s Statistical Science Centre and Guanghua School of Management found that Chengdu suffers from air pollution 88 percent of the time—even worse than Beijing at 76 percent.

China Aims to Move Beijing Government Out of City’s Crowded Core

Ian Johnson
New York Times
Officials finalize plans to move Beijing’s municipal government, including tens of thousands of civil servants to Tongzhou.

Environment

01.21.15

‘New Measures Needed’ To Take China’s Cars Off the Roads

from chinadialogue
As air pollution once more soared to hazardous levels last week in Beijing, in Washington a panel of Chinese and other international experts explained some of the solutions to taking cars off the roads in the world’s most populous country, but there...

Infographics

01.09.15

Think Renting in Your City is Bad? Try Beijing

David M. Barreda from Sohu
Compared with the numbers of a few years ago, first and second tier cities in China have an oversupply of stock on the housing market. Additionally, restrictions on multiple-home purchases are easing and “expected to be eased completely,” according...

The End of China’s Hated Hukou System is Less Ground-breaking Than It Seems

Richard Macauley
Quartz
The new rules only make it easier for formerly rural hukou holders to move to small, backwater cities, not the vibrant mega-cities along China’s eastern coast where the vast majority of migrants are.

Environment

01.03.14

Predictions for China’s Environment in 2014

from chinadialogue
From dead pigs in the Shanghai river to toxic smog in major cities, 2013 was a year of dramatic environmental stories in China. We asked some of our contributors for their predictions on how these and other stories are likely to develop in the...

Excerpts

04.05.13

Living Underground

Ana Fuentes
They are called rats, and they have become a symbol of Beijing’s red-hot real estate market. Because of soaring housing costs, there are at least a million people living underground, only able to afford a rented room in the basements of skyscrapers...

Environment

02.20.13

Air Quality in China: A Snapshot

Nearly five weeks ago, Beijing experienced its worst day of air quality on record: Levels of PM2.5—small particulates that can cause lung, cardiovascular, and respiratory disease—soared to more than thirty times the level considered safe by the...

One Author’s Plea for a Gentler China

Murong Xuecun
There is one clear advantage to living in mainland China: It’s always easy to separate theory and reality. We have some rights in theory, but in reality, they do not exist. Income has increased in theory, but once you get to the market, you’ll see...

Media

05.11.12

Ferrari Stunt Scars 600-Year-Old Monument

Netizens are outraged after a 60-second stunt by car manufacturer Ferrari leaves a 600 year-old historical site marred with skid marks.From Youku

Reports

05.03.12

Sustainable Low Carbon City Development in China

Axel Baeumler, Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, and Shomik Mehndiratta
World Bank
By embarking on a low-carbon growth path, China’s cities can help reach the country’s targets for reducing the energy and carbon intensity of its economy, and become more livable, efficient, competitive, and ultimately sustainable. Cities contribute...

Reports

06.30.10

Breaking the Ice on Environmental Open Information

Ma Jun, Wang Jingjing, Ruan Qingyuan, Shen Sunan, Wu Wei, Alex Wang, Hu Yuanqiong, Michael Zhang & Zhang Xiya
Natural Resources Defense Council
On May 1, 2008, the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information and the Ministry of Environmental  Protection Measures on Open Environmental Information (trial) entered into effect. These regulations stand...

Books

04.01.10

Between Heaven and Modernity

Peter Carroll
Combining social, political, and cultural history, this book examines the contestation over space, history, and power in the late Qing and Republican-era reconstruction of the ancient capital of Suzhou as a modern city. Located fifty miles west of Shanghai, Suzhou has been celebrated throughout Asia as a cynosure of Chinese urbanity and economic plenty for a thousand years. With the city's 1895 opening as a treaty port, businessmen and state officials began to draw on Western urban planning in order to bolster Chinese political and economic power against Japanese encroachment. As a result, both Suzhou as a whole and individual components of the cityscape developed new significance according to a calculus of commerce and nationalism. Japanese monks and travelers, Chinese officials, local people, and others competed to claim Suzhou’s streets, state institutions, historic monuments, and temples, and thereby to define the course of Suzhou’s and greater China’s modernity.  —Stanford University Press

AsiaWorld

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
To stand somewhere in the center of an East Asian metropolis, Seoul, say, or Guangzhou, is to face an odd cultural conundrum. Little of what you see, apart from the writing on billboards, can be described as traditionally Asian. There are the faux-...