Features

10.26.17

A Brooklyn Gospel Choir Goes to China

Jocelyn Ford & Yuyang Liu
Pastor Frank Haye was quietly nervous as he paced the lawn around the temporary stage at one of China’s biggest rock festivals.It was the last day of concerts by rock, electronic, and metal bands, and in a few hours, his Brooklyn gospel choir would...

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...

Features

07.05.17

China is Driving a Boom in Brazilian Mining, but at What Cost?

Milton Leal
In the middle of northern Brazil’s Amazon jungle, Chinese-made digging equipment rasps at the bottom of a giant iron ore mine. Here in the municipality of Canaã dos Carajás in the Serra dos Carajás in Brazil’s Pará state, some 1,600 miles northwest...

Features

04.03.17

Boxing For Survival in a Chinese Fight Club

Robert Foyle Hunwick
“I was supposed to be fighting some IT guy,” Bo Junhui groaned afterward. Instead, the 18-year-old student was up against someone a year older, ten pounds heavier, and a lot hungrier. Xia Tian has never worked behind a desk; he’d spent the last few...

Features

02.04.17

Why’s Beijing So Worried About Western Values Infecting China’s Youth?

Eric Fish
In early December, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the country’s universities to “adhere to the correct political orientation.” Speaking at a conference on ideology and politics in China’s colleges, he stressed that schools must uphold the...

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...

Features

12.02.16

How Do You Stand up to China? Ask Mongolia

Sergey Radchenko
The day before the Dalai Lama’s November 18 trip to Mongolia, Beijing issued a “strong demand” to its neighbor to cancel the visit of the “anti-Chinese separatist” or face (unstated) consequences. The Dalai Lama would be making his ninth visit to...

Features

11.18.16

Chinese and American City-Dwellers Differ on Trump Win

Frances Hisgen
City-dwellers in China and the United States are among the greatest beneficiaries of the international trade deals President-elect Trump says he’s against, but the two groups responded differently to the outcome of the U.S. election, and the...

Features

11.15.16

For Chinese Orphan with a Disability, Life in the U.S. Brought the Strength to Help a Friend Left Behind

Ming Canaday
According to my caretakers at the orphanage, Chunchun arrived a few years before I did, when she was a baby. They estimate that I was around three or four years old at the time of my arrival, howling and screaming at the top of my lungs. I had been...

Features

11.11.16

Watching A Chinese Professor Watching American Democracy

Isaac Stone Fish
On the morning of Election Day, I joined He Haibo, a legal scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, as he spent several hours observing a polling station in the upscale Graham and Parks public elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “If I...

Features

10.21.16

The Separation Between Mosque and State

Alice Y. Su
Driving through the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province, in China’s northwest, minarets puncture the sky every few minutes. Many rise out of mosques that resemble Daoist temples, their details a blend of traditional Chinese and...

Features

10.19.16

Why Newly Elected Hong Kong Legislators Cursed and Protested—At Their Own Swearing-In

Suzanne Sataline
There’s a bit of a nanny state in the city of Hong Kong. The government is quick to issue advice and admonitions about all matter of hazards—high ocean waves, food waste, incense burning during the annual grave-sweeping festival. One night in late...

Features

09.15.16

China’s Teflon Toxin Problem

Sharon Lerner from Intercept
Since the late 1970s, the chemical industry has been at the heart of China’s dazzling growth. And as regulations increase around the world, many toxic chemicals wind up coming to China just to die a slow death. Teflon—the slippery substance used in...

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. “...

Features

07.12.16

You Ask How Deeply I Love You

Anna Beth Keim
“Back when I was a soldier on Kinmen, around 1975, the water demons still sometimes killed people,” Xu Shifu (Master Xu) said. The laugh-lines at the corners of his eyes were not visible now, even in the white fluorescent light shining down from the...

Features

07.01.16

The Rockets’ Red Glare

Kathleen McLaughlin & Noy Thrupkaew from Slate
The vast majority of the world’s fireworks come from China. And sometimes they explode early, with deadly consequences.

Features

04.22.16

Drinking the Northwest Wind

Sharron Lovell, Tom Wang & more
Like so many of Mao’s pronouncements, it sounded simple. “The South has a lot of water; the North lacks water. So if it can be done, borrowing a little water and bringing it up might do the trick.” And thus, in 1952, the foundation was laid for what...

Features

03.21.16

A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor

Several cadre leaders have been punished for breaking the law, and nearly all of them have said: There isn’t enough internal supervision and no one warned me; if there’d been someone there whispering in my ear, I wouldn’t have committed such grave...

Features

02.18.16

The Bamboo Bicycles of Chengdu

Sascha Matuszak
The shift in how Chinese prefer to get around means salespeople in China have to market bicycles as fashion accessories, rather than as reliable modes of transportation. This is where colorful custom-made fixed gear bicycles come in. Hipsters from...

Features

01.13.16

Those Taiwanese Blues

Anna Beth Keim
“Brainwashed slave!”“Running dog of the Kuomintang!”These are the sentiments 27-year-old Lin Yu-hsiang expects to find on his Facebook page as a result of his campaigning work for the Kuomintang (KMT), or Nationalist Party, ahead of Saturday’s...

Features

01.12.16

Which U.S. President Said What About China?

David M. Barreda
In the past 34 State of the Union addresses, U.S. Presidents have referred to China 29 times. Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned China three times in his State of the Union address. We have selected 10 quotes and challenge you to see...

Features

10.27.15

Rich Man, Pu’er Man

Christina Larson
“These men always have machetes,” shouts the driver. Through trees along an unpaved road, he spots a ramshackle hut, slows down, and warns his passengers: this is a checkpoint. It’s the only way to enforce rules in this part of the jungle, at the...

Features

09.14.15

Sino-Russian Trade After a Year of Sanctions

Alexander Gabuev from Carnegie Moscow Center
After a year of intense flirtation, the Sino-Russian relationship is beginning to look like a one-sided love affair. Indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China last week—his first since the United States and European Union enacted...

Features

09.02.15

Parading the People’s Republic

Geremie R. Barmé from China Heritage Quarterly
In light of the September 3, 2015, mega military parade held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing both to mark the seventieth anniversary of the end of Second Sino-Japanese War in 1945 and to acclaim the achievements of Xi Jinping, China’s Chairman of...

Features

08.20.15

Is China About to Plunge the World Into Recession?

David Wertime
On Aug. 18, China’s stock market plummeted by a vertigo-inducing 6.2 percent in one day of trading, part of a months-long decline that’s erased over $3 trillion worth of market value from the country’s equity markets. That followed last week’s...

Features

07.01.15

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Protests Were More Than Just a Student Movement

Samson Yuen & Edmund Cheng
For almost three months in late 2014, what came to be known as the Umbrella Movement amplified Hong Kong’s bitter struggle for the democracy its people were promised when China assumed control of the territory from Britain in 1997. Originally a...

Features

06.16.15

Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Mao Era?

Andrew G. Walder, Roderick MacFarquhar & more
Following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society New York on May 21, 2015, “ChinaFile Presents: Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Politics of the Mao Era?” The evening convened the scholars Roderick MacFarquhar and...

Features

05.06.15

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Yaqiu Wang
On the morning of March 16, 48-year-old Huang Shunfang went to her local hospital located in Fanghu Township in the central Chinese province of Henan. Her doctor diagnosed her with gastritis, gave her a dose of antacids through an IV, and sent her...

Features

04.28.15

Where Do We Draw the Line on Balancing China?

from Foreign Policy
Is it time for the United States to get serious about balancing China? According to Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis, the answer is an emphatic yes. In a new Council on Foreign Relations report, they portray China as steadily seeking to increase...

Features

04.02.15

Frank Talk About Hong Kong’s Future from Margaret Ng

Margaret Ng, Ira Belkin & more
Following is the transcript of a recent ChinaFile Breakfast with Margaret Ng, the former Hong Kong legislator in discussion with Ira Belkin of New York University Law School and Orville Schell, ChinaFile Publisher and Arthur Ross Director of the...

Features

02.04.15

The City of Urumqi Prohibition on Wearing Items That Mask the Face or Robe the Body

A Proclamation from the Standing Committee of the Urumqi People’s CongressThe “Regulation banning the wearing of items that mask the face or robe the body in public places in the city of Urumqi,” which was passed at the 21st Meeting of the 15th...

Features

01.28.15

‘I Don’t Know Where Some Cadres Get Their Magical Powers’

Earlier this month, at the close of the Chinese Communist Party’s 5th Plenum, the official People’s Daily noted on its website that as this important agenda-setting meeting came to a close it was worth paying attention to the recent publication of a...

Features

12.10.14

Why Beijing’s Troubles Could Get a Lot Worse

from Barron’s
Few foreigners know China as intimately as Anne Stevenson-Yang does. She has spent the bulk of her professional life there since first arriving in 1985, working as a journalist, magazine publisher, and software executive, with stints in between...

Features

12.05.14

China’s Fallen Mighty [Updated]

Ouyang Bin, Zhang Mengqi & more
Political infighting and purges have been hallmarks of the Chinese Communist Party since its earliest days but came to a peak during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, damaging the country and paralyzing the Party itself. When Mao died in 1976, it...

Features

11.06.14

No Women Need Apply

Lijia Zhang
“Applicants limited to male.” 23-year-old job-hunter Huang Rong (not her real name) noticed this line in a job announcement only after she had heard nothing from the recruiter and gone back to check the advertisement online. She had graduated from...

Features

08.14.14

Making It in China and the U.S.

Jonathan Landreth & Emily Parker
Emily Parker is a creator of Green Electronics: A U.S.-China Maker Challenge. The Green Electronics Challenge was an unprecedented collaboration between the New America Foundation, Arizona State University, Slate Magazine, China’s Tsinghua...

Features

06.03.14

Voices from Tiananmen

This Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of the deadly suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen protests on June 4. It has been a quarter of a century of enormous change in China, but one key fact of life in that country has not changed: its leaders...

Features

05.31.14

Resources on the Tiananmen Square Protests: 25 Years Later

This June 4 marks 25 years since the military crackdown on student protestors in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing, following months of demonstrations. This resource page includes links to our recently published pieces and to our archived...

Features

05.29.14

Why Defenders of Killer Whales Are Worried About China

Leah Thompson
Late last year, the circus came to Hengqin. Trained elephants from Thailand, Russian jugglers and monkies, Kazakh horses, Bengal tigers, and Cuban acrobats descended on the once-sleepy island near Macau for China’s “First International Circus...

Features

05.27.14

China’s Experiment with Deliberative Democracy

Rebecca Liao
Chinese pro-democracy protests begun in the late spring of 1989 led to the brutal military suppression on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 25 years ago this June 4. Around the world, discussions of the events of that spring have been well underway for...

Features

03.21.14

Punching a Hole in the Great Firewall

Jeff South
In January, when the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published its exposé of the use of offshore tax havens by Chinese politicians and business moguls, the Chinese government blocked access to the consortium’s website and to...

Features

02.14.14

It’s Hard to Say ‘I Love You’ in Chinese

Roseann Lake
“We didn’t say ‘I love you,’” said Dr. Kaiping Peng, Associate Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. I’d ventured over to his China office on the campus of Beijing’s mighty Tsinghua University to talk to him...

Features

01.26.14

For Freedom, Justice, and Love

from China Change
Following is legal activist Xu Zhiyong’s closing statement at the end of his trial in Beijing on January 22, 2014. According to his lawyer, Xu was only able to read “about ten minutes of it before the presiding judge stopped him, saying it was...

Features

11.08.13

Document 9: A ChinaFile Translation

This weekend, China’s leaders gather in Beijing for meetings widely expected to determine the shape of China’s economy, as well as the nation’s progress, over the next decade. What exactly the outcome of this Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party...

Features

10.25.13

Bo Xilai May Have Gotten Off Easy

Ouyang Bin, Zhang Mengqi & more
On October 25, the Shandong High People’s Court rejected the appeal of Bo Xilai, the former Party Secretary of Chongqing who on September 22 was convicted of bribe-taking, embezzlement, and abuse of power and sentenced to life in prison.At the end...

Features

07.24.13

Carried Off

Charlie Custer
In March 2011, Rose Candis had the worst lunch of her life. Sitting at a restaurant in Shaoguan, a small city in South China, the American mother tried hard not to vomit while her traveling companion translated what the man they were eating with had...

Features

07.23.13

Discrimination in China’s Schools

In a new report titled As Long As They Let Us Stay in Class: Barriers to Education for Persons with Disabilities in China, the New York-based non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) outlines systemic discrimination...

Features

06.06.13

Bad Medicine

Kathleen McLaughlin
In 1967, as the United States sank into war in the jungles of Vietnam and China descended into the cataclysm of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese soldiers secretly fighting alongside the North Vietnamese also battled swarms of malarial mosquitoes...

Features

12.18.12

College Graduates Compete for Jobs Sweeping Streets

from Tablet
Tong Peng spent six months discovering his bachelor’s degree was “worthless” before deciding to apply for a job as a street sweeper.He graduated from college in Harbin in June, 2012, not expecting to find it so tough to find work with a college...

Features

11.06.12

Fragments of Cai Yang’s Life

Chen Ming
The man suspected of smashing the skull of fifty-one-year-old Li Jianli, the owner of a Japanese automobile, has been arrested by police in Xi’an; he is twenty-one-year-old plasterer Cai Yang.Cai Yang came to Xi’an from his hometown of Nanyang [...

Features

10.11.12

Will Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize Finally Mean Better Book Sales Abroad?

Jonathan Landreth
Literature in translation in the United States has wide but shallow roots, making English language stars out of the likes of Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Haruki Murakami, but leaving most of China’s writers struggling to take hold. Now, veteran...

Features

09.18.12

A Mosque of Their Own

Kathleen McLaughlin
The women of Sangpo know well they are the guardians of a 300-year-old custom that sets them apart in Islam and they are increasingly mindful that economic development could be that tradition’s undoing.Sangpo, a dusty hamlet about two hours from the...