Media

10.21.14

Chinese Doubt Their Own Soft Power Venture

On September 27, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong read aloud a letter written by President Xi Jinping at a ceremony in Beijing celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Confucius Institute (CI) program, an international chain of academic centers...

Viewpoint

10.21.14

‘We Can Only Trust Each Other and Keep the Road’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Snip. Snip. Snip. The officer’s face shows concentration as he cuts one yellow ribbon after another along a metal fence on Queensway in the Central district of Hong Kong. Next to him, other policemen have just finished dismantling the barricades...

Caixin Media

10.21.14

Revision of Securities Law Is Chance to Liberalize Market

China's securities law is to undergo a comprehensive revision almost a decade after the last major overhaul. Public consultation is due to start in the first half of next year, following recent comments from officials, scholars, and market...

Viewpoint

10.20.14

‘A Power Capable of Making Us Weep’

Hu Yong
This September, the editors of the online edition of the 21st Century Business Herald—a leading Chinese business newspaper based in Guangzhou and owned by Southern Media Group (Nanfang Baoye Jituan)—came under investigation on charges of extortion...

Environment

10.16.14

‘Paranoia’ and Public Opinion

Sam Geall from chinadialogue
When permits for Chinese researchers to grow genetically modified rice and corn expired this summer, there was concern. More so, given there was little indication that the Ministry of Agriculture would renew them.The certificates, issued in 2009,...

Environment

10.16.14

Chinese Environmentalists, in Their Own Words

Michael Zhao
Earlier this year, ChinaFile’s Environment Editor, Michael Zhao, teamed up with Phoenix Online to create a series of two-minute documentaries on the work, ideas, and aspirations of Chinese environmental advocates. The environmentalists, many of whom...

Media

10.15.14

Jiang Zemin Unplugged

Given the leadership styles of Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping, who have been China’s supreme leaders over the past twelve years, it is an almost shocking experience to look back at these two videos (the first of which circulated last week on social media...

Viewpoint

10.15.14

How China’s Leaders Will Rule on the Law

Carl Minzner
Last week, as the world watched the student demonstrations in Hong Kong, China’s Politburo announced the dates for the Communist Party’s annual plenary session would be from October 20-23. As in previous years, top leaders will gather in Beijing to...

Viewpoint

10.14.14

On Dealing with Chinese Censors

Joseph W. Esherick
It was a hot afternoon in June in the East China city of Jinan. I was returning to my hotel after an afternoon coffee, thinking of the conference I had come to attend and trying to escape the heat on the shady side of the street. My cell phone rang...

Caixin Media

10.14.14

Sounds of Distinction

Sheila Melvin
The Peking Opera star Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) is generally acknowledged to have been the greatest performer of female dan roles in the history of his art. He was also a renowned theatrical innovator whose performance style is carried on as the...

Media

10.10.14

China Bans Law-Breaking Actors From Movies and Television

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Amid an ongoing government campaign against drugs, prostitution, and other moral vices, a powerful government agency has reportedly issued new regulations banning actors with histories of drug use or prostitution from appearing in movies and...

Environment

10.09.14

Locals Attack Factory After Children Poisoned with Lead

from chinadialogue
Villagers from the township of Gangkou in Jiangxi province, southeast China, have smashed up a new lead recycling plant which was due to begin operating.Unconvinced by reassurances from the owners and local government that there would be no...

Viewpoint

10.08.14

‘We Do Not Want to Be Persuaded’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Over the past week, it has been hard to make sense of the threats and ultimatums the Hong Kong protesters have faced. On Sunday, the South China Morning Post splashed on its front page that Hong Kong had “hours to avoid tragedy.” University deans...

Caixin Media

10.06.14

Lost in Translation

Is selective translation of news articles from the foreign media more insidious than no translation at all? The debate was sparked by a garbled translation of the cover story of the Economist headlined "What Does China Want?"In a...

Media

10.03.14

Under Different Umbrellas

Zhang Xiaoran
“Dozens of mainlanders were taken away by the police because they openly supported Occupy Central and at least ten of them have been detained…They are in Jiangxi, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, etc,” Hong Kong-based blogger and...

Environment

10.02.14

China ‘Not Ready to be a World Leader’ on Climate Change

from chinadialogue
The U.N. Climate Summit 2014 in New York last week passed, as expected, with public statements of intent but no sign of firm commitments to reducing climate emissions.If a deal is to be reached in Paris next year, at the latest “last hope” climate...

Viewpoint

10.01.14

‘The City Feels New’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Down on the streets occupied by the striking students, the city feels new: roads normally accessible only on wheels look like familiar strangers when suddenly you can walk down them. Big, immovable concrete partitions still separate the lanes, and...

Media

10.01.14

Media Portrays Hong Kong Protests as Either Inspiring or Dangerous

Rachel Lu
The second and third days of mass protests to demand broader democracy in Hong Kong ended with none of the violence and confrontation seen on September 28. Thousands of protesters continued to gather on the streets of the city’s busiest shopping and...

Media

10.01.14

They Can Take Our Freedom, But They Will Never Take Our Instagram

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
When thousands of Hong Kong protesters clashed with police on Sunday, September 28, many residents of the city immediately took to the photo-sharing platform Instagram. There, they uploaded images of police violence and demonstrations that shocked...

Viewpoint

09.29.14

The Day that China Came to Hong Kong

Mark L. Clifford
Hong Kong’s massive protests should have surprised no one. A bitter debate over political reform split the city. Beijing’s high-handed diktats deepened the anger. Before the protests, the question was whether or not the vast majority of this city of...

Viewpoint

09.29.14

‘Against My Fear, I See That You Hope’

Denise Y. Ho
A week ago today I sat together with you outside the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s library, a teacher among other teachers, a university member beside students, 13,000 strong. The weeks before had felt quiet: at the three previous all-student...

Media

09.29.14

In China, the Most Censored Day of the Year

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Censors on Weibo, China’s massive Twitter-like microblogging platform, just had their biggest day of the year. And once again, it was events in the special administrative region of Hong Kong, not the Chinese mainland, that triggered it.Student-led...

Viewpoint

09.26.14

‘The China-U.S. Relationship is Basically Good’

Wu Jianmin
A few days ago, I was in Washington, D.C. for a conference. While there, I met some American friends. We had an interesting discussion about what seems to me to be a debate going on in the U.S. about China-U.S. relations: One side believes the China...

Environment

09.25.14

New York Climate Summit Fails to Bridge Rich-Poor Divide

from chinadialogue
India reiterated its need to develop, China listed the steps it was taking and the United States repeated that all countries should control greenhouse-gas emissions.Despite notable advances in many areas, the special climate summit convened by...

Media

09.25.14

An Internet Where Nobody Says Anything

David Wertime
Here is what a court in Urumqi, the capital of China’s western Xinjiang region, concludes Ilham Tohti, a balding, thick-set, 44-year-old professor, did: “Using ‘Uighur Online’ as a platform, and taking advantage of his role as a university professor...

Viewpoint

09.25.14

How Bad Does the Air Pollution Have to Be Before You’d Wear a Face Mask?

Stephanie Ho
“Mommy, why don’t I wear a face mask?” asked my nine-year-old daughter Maggie nearly every day during the first few weeks of school. Two of her expat classmates had been in Beijing less than a year, but it seemed as if they wore theirs all the time...

Culture

09.23.14

Contact Lenses

Vera Tollmann
Will we all become “Chinese?” International New York Times correspondent Didi Kirsten Tatlow ironically asked recently. The question plays both on our fears over China’s economic power and on reflections on the NSA files released by Edward Snowden...

Caixin Media

09.22.14

Nudging China Toward Governance Reform

Three recent items of news deserve attention. First, revisions to the budget law were passed late last month. Second, in a speech this month marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the National People's Congress, Party General Secretary...

Viewpoint

09.19.14

“Daddy’s ‘Friends’ Are Actually Plainclothes Cops”

Zeng Jinyan
[Updated March 18, 2015] The essay that follows was written by Zeng Jinyan, whose former partner, Hu Jia, has been prominently involved in activism around environmental issues, AIDS, and human rights in China over the past decade and a half and is a...

Environment

09.19.14

Here’s How This Giant Chinese Forest Disappeared

Michael Zhao
In early August, Greenpeace China’s forest campaigner Wu Hao wrote a piece in the environmental section of the newspaper Southern Weekly about China’s astonishing rate of deforestation. He posted dramatic before and after satellite images of forests...

Media

09.18.14

‘What’s So Wrong with Splitting up?’

David Wertime
It reads like an Orwellian threat to all Scots: "The English government needs to immediately commence political thought education, and Scotland needs to be ruled by someone patriotic. Strike hard against separatist forces! Let every department...

Viewpoint

09.18.14

More Exploitation, More Happiness

Kevin Slaten
It was one of the deadliest industrial disasters in recent Chinese history. On August 2, a massive metal dust explosion killed 75 workers and injured another 186 at a factory in Kunshan, in Jiangsu province, that supplied wheels to General Motors...

Caixin Media

09.16.14

Grappling with Ammonia in China’s Haze

Chicken farmers and auto designers follow different career paths, but soon both may be changing how they do their jobs as part of a campaign to clean up China's polluted air.Emissions from poultry waste and auto engines alike can contain...

Media

09.12.14

A New Definition of Chinese Patriotism

Rachel Lu
China’s ruling Communist Party has a message for Chinese citizens: You are for us, or you are against us.That’s the takeaway from a widely discussed September 10 opinion piece in pro-party tabloid Global Times, in which Chen Xiankui, a professor at...

Viewpoint

09.10.14

China’s Tough New Internet Rules Explained

Hu Yong
On August 7, the State Internet Information Office issued a new set of guidelines entitled “Provisional Regulations for the Development and Management of Instant Messaging Tools and Public Information Services.” These regulations require that...

Environment

09.10.14

The Dark Side of the Boom

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
Just over a year ago, in July 2013, a report published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, put the health impacts of air pollution in China into an unusually clear framework: residents of south China, the report said...

Media

09.10.14

iPhone 6: Designed in California, Leaked in China

David Wertime
China’s cyberspace is bursting with anticipation for the iPhone 6—never mind that it promises to cost more than most citizens make in a month. Apple, the U.S.-based company that designs and sells the iPhone, had scheduled a major announcement about...

Caixin Media

09.08.14

Gaokao, China’s National College Exam, to Carry Less Weight

The Ministry of Education announced reforms on September 4 that will lessen the weight that the gaokao, the country's national college entrance exam, carries for university enrollment. The changes are to come into effect by 2020.The...

Culture

09.04.14

‘Transformers 4’ May Pander to China, But America Still Wins

Ying Zhu
Hollywood made news this summer with the China triumph of Transformers: Age of Extinction, which broke all previous Chinese box office records. The Chinese box office even outsold the North American box office. But jubilation over the film’s...

Environment

09.04.14

Alibaba Founder Shoots Himself in the Foot with UK Hunting Trip

from chinadialogue
Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce platform Alibaba and chairman of The Nature Conservancy’s China Program, has drawn hostile fire from environmentalists after a British newspaper recently reported he hunted stags in Scotland in 2012. What’s more, Ma...

Caixin Media

09.03.14

Beijing Must Address Claims of Anti-Foreign Bias

Once mocked as a “toothless tiger,” China’s anti-monopoly law is finally demonstrating some bite, six years after it took effect.The three agencies responsible for enforcing it—the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of...

Viewpoint

09.02.14

The Danger of China’s ‘Chosen Trauma’

Harry W.S. Lee
When we see young Chinese people at a state event collectively chant, “Do not forget national humiliation and realize the Chinese dream!” we may be tempted to dismiss it as yet another piece of CCP propaganda. But we may also find ourselves...

Media

09.02.14

Anti-Vice Click-Bait Spawns Popular Govt. Social Media Feed

Alexa Olesen
The Chinese government institution with the biggest social media following goes to...the nationwide anti-vice campaign called "Strike the four blacks, Eliminate the four harms." Da Sihei, Chu Sihai in Mandarin, the four blacks and four...

Viewpoint

08.28.14

China’s Nicaraguan Canal

Carlos F. Chamorro
While Nicaragua was once a central concern—indeed, almost an obsession—of Washington, as Sandinistas and Contras seemed to be battling for the soul of the Western Hemisphere, in more recent times our small and quite impoverished country has slipped...

Media

08.27.14

A ‘School Bus and a Ferrari’

Communication between China and the United States can often resemble ships passing in the night—or planes passing through international airspace. But when it comes to this particularly fraught bilateral relationship, perhaps metaphors are best...

Culture

08.27.14

Standing Up for Indie Film in China

Jonathan Landreth
In July, Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth in the action-packed series of Hollywood films about trucks turning into giant robots to save the world, became the first film to sell more than $300 million in tickets at China’s box office...

Culture

08.26.14

Healthy Words

Alec Ash
In 1902, Lu Xun translated Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon into Chinese from the Japanese edition. Science fiction, he wrote in the preface, was “as rare as unicorn horns, which shows in a way the intellectual poverty of our time.” Not any...

Caixin Media

08.25.14

His Start in Oil Fuelled Zhou’s Rise to Top Cop

Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the Communist Party's supreme decision-making body, has been the highest ranking Party cadre to be a target of a corruption investigation.The Party's graft fighters...

Environment

08.21.14

Who Will Feed China’s Pigs?

from chinadialogue
He's been called China’s richest chicken farmer, but Liu Yonghao has come a long way from his days breeding birds in rural Sichuan province.As the billionaire founder of the New Hope Group, China’s largest producer of animal feed, Liu’s rise...

Caixin Media

08.19.14

A Chinese Town’s Imported Cambodian Brides

It is a hot and sticky midsummer day in a small village along the Chang River in the eastern province of Jiangxi. The most popular spot is in front of the local grocery where a few women are playing mahjong as children chase each other around...

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...

Environment

08.13.14

Can a Pollution-Tracking App Kickstart Transparency?

from chinadialogue
It seems counter-intuitive that publicly available data needs grassroots activists to make it accessible. Yet, in a sea of regulations and information, official environmental information can be difficult to parse.The risk of information overload...

Environment

08.12.14

China Grows An Interest in Organic Foods

Michael Zhao
Late last month, news broke that a major Chinese supplier of American fast food brands was peddling meat that violated food safety standards.How do such scandals affect the way people in China feed themselves and their families? Chang Tianle, a...

Caixin Media

08.12.14

How Tianjin’s Top Cop Built Web of Corruption Over 40 Years

The fall of the public security chief, Wu Changshun, of the northern port city of Tianjin has rocked the local public security system and shed light on the graft network cultivated by Wu over 40 years.The Central Discipline Inspection Commission (...

Culture

08.11.14

The Bard in Beijing

Sheila Melvin
At the end of a rollicking production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream—directed by Tim Robbins and staged in China in June by the Los Angeles-based Actors’ Gang—the director and actors returned to the stage for a dialogue with the...

Environment

08.07.14

What to Do About China’s Polluted Farmland?

While the extent of China's soil pollution crisis is becoming clearer, the consensus on what to do next is still lacking.The results of the state soil survey earlier this year were damning: 16.1% of sampling points nationwide were in breach of...

Media

08.07.14

Beards and Muslim Headscarves Banned From Buses In One Xinjiang City

A city in China’s remote western Xinjiang region has temporarily banned men with beards and women with Muslim headscarves from taking public buses. The extreme security measure—to be implemented for the duration of a sports competition slated to...

Media

08.06.14

The Bizarre Fixation on a 23-Year-Old Woman

On August 4, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake viciously struck Ludian County, a township in the southwest province of Yunnan, with a death toll surpassing 400. The news swiftly hit Chinese headlines, and images of the devastation circulated widely on...

Viewpoint

08.05.14

Equal in Inequality?

Marc Blecher
For the past several months, readers around the world have been buying, discussing, and even occasionally reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century, French economist Thomas Piketty’s magisterial analysis of the relationship between capitalist...