Media

02.06.14

Beijing’s State Secrets Law—Still Broad, Still Opaque

Beijing may be whittling back its widely reviled state secrets laws—but given their opacity, it’s hard to say for sure. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signed a regulation, announced February 2, that would prohibit Chinese government organs from “using...

Environment

02.05.14

China’s Future Energy Security Will Depend on Water

from chinadialogue
When we think about water use we think about the water we drink, but we also need water to grow food, generate electricity, make our clothes, and extract minerals. In short, water drives the economy. In China, ninety-seven percent of electricity...

Viewpoint

02.04.14

In Slickness and in Wealth

Leta Hong Fincher
Under the harsh glare of a studio spotlight, bride-to-be Tong turns her face until it is almost completely in shadow. Tong is posing for a three-day session of wedding photographs at Shanghai’s premier Princess Studio, where couples spend between 3,...

Media

02.03.14

‘Chicken Fart Decade’: GDP Vs. Smog

Chinese media have debated why January saw pollution so extreme it closed schools and airports, chased away foreign tourists, and even prompted a ban on Lunar New Year’s fireworks. It’s likely that a substantial portion of this smog is caused by...

Environment

01.31.14

Beijing Passes Law to Curb Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
China’s first legally binding regulations for reducing PM2.5 levels have been approved by Beijing’s municipal congress.Beijing’s annual average PM2.5 level currently stands at 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter, far exceeding the 35-micrograms national...

Media

01.31.14

Closing Time? China’s Social Media Crackdown Has Hit Weibo Hard

Findings by East China Normal University (ECNU), a research university in Shanghai, commissioned by respected U.K. outlet The Telegraph and released January 30, lodges concrete data behind what frequent users and analysts of Chinese social media...

Environment

01.30.14

This Chinese Filmmaker Can’t Stop Talking Trash

Sun Yunfan
Documentary filmmaker and photographer Wang Jiuliang spent four years, between 2008 and 2011, documenting over 460 hazardous and mostly illegal landfill sites around Beijing.His award-winning film Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011) provoked intense...

Environment

01.29.14

Banned Toxins Found in Kids’ Clothes Made in China

from chinadialogue
Toxic chemicals have been found in children’s clothes sold by Burberry, Adidas, Disney, and nine other brands, according to a report published by the campaign group Greenpeace. These chemicals can be ingested via hand-to-mouth contact, and then...

Media

01.28.14

Why China’s Li Na Won’t Thank Her Homeland

After winning the Australian Open on January 25, Li Na set off a media blitz in her native China, where the thirty-one-year-old tennis star made the front page of most major papers. Much discussion surrounded Li’s post-victory speech, where she once...

Caixin Media

01.27.14

Time for Overhaul of China’s Land Market

The expected launch of land reform is dividing opinions. At a work meeting this month, the Minister of Land and Resources, Jiang Daming, said the central government would limit land supply in cities with more than five million residents. His words...

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...

Media

01.23.14

Carpe Coin: Crowdfunding Could Change Chinese Politics

Crowdfunding, which allows web users to contribute small sums of money to fund collective projects like concerts and films, is taking off in China—and just how far it will go is more than a business question. By allowing netizens to vote with their...

Media

01.23.14

Out of the Dark Room

Sharron Lovell
Photographers document China’s breakneck development in fractions of a second every single day. Yet the work of Chinese photojournalists remains largely unseen outside their homeland. Of the thousands of images of the country illustrating the pages...

Caixin Media

01.21.14

How a PLA General Built a Web of Corruption to Amass a Fortune

More than twenty policemen lined up at the gate of a massive mansion in a village in the central province of Henan at midnight on January 12, 2013, loading heavy crates onto two military trucks.Hours later—loaded with twenty crates of expensive...

Environment

01.21.14

Real-time Air Quality Data Due from 179 Chinese Cities

from chinadialogue
More than 170 cities in China have now joined a real-time air quality disclosure scheme, initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.Launched in 2012, more than sixty cities had started publishing data from their monitoring stations by the...

Media

01.17.14

You’ve Got Mail: Chinese Communist Party Received Almost Two Million Complaints in 2013

In 2013, China’s Communist Party disciplinary organs received an eye-popping 1.95 million citizen complaints about officials. This is a 49.2 percent jump from 2012, according to a January 13 report from state-run website China News Online—but...

Environment

01.15.14

Why Low-Carbon Innovation Matters

Sam Geall from chinadialogue
It came as little surprise when Beijing’s environmental authorities reported in early January last year that the capital’s levels of PM2.5 (a measure of air pollution) were more than double the national standard. The past year saw no end to the smog...

Viewpoint

01.14.14

Xi, Mao, and China’s Search for a Usable Past

Paul Gewirtz
Since its founding, the United States has had understandable pride in its great achievements, but also has had to reckon with its complex moral history—beginning but hardly ending with the fact that our original Constitution accepted the evil of...

Caixin Media

01.13.14

Leading the Battle for Reform

The turn of the year brought news that President Xi Jinping will take the helm of the new leading group for overall reform.This group is a key part of China’s reform drive. As soon as its formation was announced at the Third Plenum of the Communist...

Media

01.10.14

Shaq in China: A Love Story

At seven-foot-one, roughly 350 pounds, and with a smile that’s been featured on everything from cereal boxes to CD album covers, Shaquille O’Neal isn’t particularly hard to recognize. And yet there I stood at the airport arrival gate in Chongqing, a...

Environment

01.08.14

The Drying Up of China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

from chinadialogue
When Jiang Minsheng moored his fishing boat on the eastern shore of Jiangxi’s Poyang Lake in November last year, he didn’t expect to it to be marooned. The fisherman’s village is on an island in the middle of the freshwater lake, once China’s...

Caixin Media

01.08.14

How Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone Works

At a conference table surrounded by bookshelves in his Shanghai office, the city’s party boss Han Zheng recently polished the image of a commercial crown jewel—the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone—during an exclusive interview with Caixin.Han...

Media

01.07.14

Grand Theft China: Tase Corrupt Officials in New Online Game

Official corruption in China is a serious matter: In January 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping openly vowed to tackle it, and a 2013 Pew study found that fifty-three percent of Chinese consider it a “very big problem.” But fighting bribery,...

Caixin Media

01.07.14

Chinese Firm Linked to CNPC Suspected of Fraud in Iraq

Just after the December 29 celebration of the Muslim holiday Ashura in southern Iraq, heads of the Iraqi subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) received a letter titled “Suspending all activities of Hermic.”The sender of the letter...

Media

01.03.14

Coming to Chinese Headlines in 2014

Chinese people have spent another year breathing dirty air, fretting about food safety, poking fun at corrupt officials, and complaining about tightening censorship—but as a discerning consumer of international news, you probably knew that already...

Media

01.03.14

2013, According to the Chinese Communist Party

What did the year in foreign policy look like in Chinese official circles? Divining the thoughts and motives of China’s leadership is a famously abstruse exercise even for Chinese citizens, who are often left to parse bland quotes or keep their ears...

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...

Caixin Media

12.30.13

The Rise and Fall of a Local Official Obsessed

A November 27 statement by the Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog confirmed that the Deputy Governor of Hubei Province, Guo Youming, was being investigated for graft.Three days later, Guo was removed from his post, becoming the thirteenth...

Environment

12.23.13

Project to Save South China Tigers in South Africa Lost in Wilderness

from chinadialogue
The Laohu Valley Reserve sits on a rolling plain about 200 kilometers from Bloemfontein, South Africa’s judicial capital. In September 2003, two South China tigers were sent to the reserve from a Chinese zoo. What began as an effort to save the...

Viewpoint

12.20.13

‘Community Corrections’ and the Road Ahead for Re-Education Through Labor

Robert Williams
Chinese and foreign observers welcomed the recent announcement that the Chinese government will “abolish”—not merely reform—the administrative punishment system known as re-education through labor (RTL). The proclamation, part of a sixty-point...

Culture

12.19.13

Chinese Literature Online

Michel Hockx
In July of last year, Brixton, U.K.-based novelist Zelda Rhiando won the inaugural Kidwell-e Ebook Award. The award was billed as “the world’s first international e-book award.” It may have been the first time that e-writers in English from all over...

Media

12.19.13

Chinese Admiral to U.S. Navy: ‘We Will Block You’

On December 5, the U.S. missile-carrying cruiser Cowpens almost collided with a Chinese ship in international waters. The Cowpens was observing the maiden voyage of China’s new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, when a vessel accompanying it cut across...

Environment

12.18.13

Fines Won’t Solve China’s Smog Problem

from chinadialogue
Eight municipal governments in northeast Liaoning province have together received 54.2 million yuan (U.S.$8.9 million) in fines for failing to reach air quality standards—the first time a provincial government has imposed financial penalties on...

Caixin Media

12.17.13

Are Changes to China’s Family-Planning Rules Too Little, Too Late?

Among the sixty areas covered in the Communist Party’s “decision” document released after the third plenum of the Eighteenth Central Committee, the most popular among ordinary people is a revision to the family planning policy to allow some couples...

Environment

12.12.13

China’s Coal Industry at a Crossroads

from chinadialogue
Times are getting rough for Wang Guangchun, a ten-year veteran sales manager of a state-owned coal company.“During the golden era of the past, clients came to find me,” Wang said. “Starting last year, we had to go looking for them.”Wang is employed...

Media

12.11.13

Pollution Has ‘Five Surprising Benefits,’ says State TV, but Chinese Unamused

Polluted air is a fact of life for many Chinese citizens, and it’s currently smothering parts of the country—but that’s not all bad, according to one state media outlet’s widely-ridiculed attempt at positive spin. A recent bout of noxious smog has...

Caixin Media

12.09.13

Traditional Chinese Medicine Struggling to Find Cure for Regulatory Woes in the U.S.

In November, the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Fuzheng Huayu Tablets passed the second phase of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) clinical testing.Before this, only one TCM drug had cleared the second of the three phases needed for...

Media

12.06.13

China’s Viral, Nationalist Screed Against Western Encroachment

“You are nothing without your motherland.” It’s a trite phrase, one that seems unlikely to stir the blood of even the most dyed-in-the-wool nationalist—but it has found recent currency in China. An essay with that title has been making the rounds on...

Environment

12.05.13

Daoism, Confucianism, and the Environment

from chinadialogue
In September, an unusual environmental organization was launched in one of the most ancient and significant sites in China—the Songyang Academy, Dengfeng, Henan. Founded in the eleventh century AD, this was one of the four Confucian Academies of...

Media

12.04.13

Chinese Chortle at U.S. Request to Scrap Controversial Air Defense Zone

The United States wants China to pull back from its gambit to try to rewrite the East China Sea’s status quo, but the Chinese are having none of it. On December 2, the U.S. State Department said China’s newly-declared air defense identification zone...

Caixin Media

12.02.13

How an Expectant Mother Died in Qingdao

One of the fifty-five people to die in an explosion on November 22 at a pipeline owned by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) in the eastern city of Qingdao was a twenty-three-year-old pregnant woman named Chen Na.Her husband, who...

Environment

11.27.13

Life in the Shadow of the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the second in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong (Lancang) River. Part one is an analysis of how China’s resettlement policies are playing out on the ground. Part two, below,...

Media

11.27.13

China’s Favorite Villainess

Many U.S. viewers identify with serial killer Morgan Dexter of Dexter, inveterate womanizer Don Draper of Mad Men, or family man turned meth kingpin Walter White of Breaking Bad—however morally bankrupt they may be. Now, China has its own anti-hero...

Media

11.25.13

Former Committee to Protect Journalists Honoree Says Bloomberg Chief Should Not Chair Press Freedom Dinner

Emily Brill
A prominent Hong Kong-based journalist has called on Daniel Doctoroff, Chief Executive Officer of Bloomberg L.P., to step down from his role as chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) annual International Press Freedom Awards dinner...

Media

11.25.13

Chinese Netizens Applaud Beijing’s Aggressive New Defense Zone

Beijing has just thrown down the latest gauntlet in a long-simmering territorial dispute with Tokyo—and China’s citizens are cheering. On November 23, China’s Ministry of Defense released a map showing the “Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone,”...

Caixin Media

11.25.13

Chinese State Oil Scandal Has Links to Iraq

A legal storm that started with China’s largest state-owned oil company has expanded to include Iraq and led to the detention of more people.Mi Xiaodong, a former mid-level official at China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) was detained by...

Media

11.22.13

Farewell, Everyman: Chinese React to Ambassador Locke’s Departure

Chinese are waving goodbye to the frustratingly normal U.S. Ambassador to Beijing, Gary Locke, who announced on November 20 that he will be leaving his post in early 2014. Over 300,000 netizens discussed Locke’s resignation on Sina Weibo, the...

Culture

11.22.13

A Homecoming

Sun Yunfan & Shen Wei
Shot in big cities and small towns across China in recent years, Shen Wei’s photographic project “Chinese Sentiment” is a personal journey to recapture bygone Chinese life in both private and public space. Born and raised in Shanghai, Shen Wei...

Media

11.21.13

For Cash-Strapped Parents, Two Babies Are Too Many

Call it reproduction with Chinese capitalist characteristics. On November 15, authorities announced that the country’s One-Child Policy would be loosened, adding couples in which one spouse is an only child to the list of families allowed to have...

Environment

11.21.13

Displaced by the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the first in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong River.From far away, Kang Lianghong and his wife look like little white dots, zig-zagging their way down the steep hillside...

Culture

11.19.13

Why You Should Read Pearl Buck’s ‘New’ Novel

Sheila Melvin
When I first heard that The Eternal Wonder, a new novel by Pearl Buck, was scheduled for publication by Open Road Media on October 22 of this year, I assumed the announcement was either a mistake or a joke.Buck, of course, is the author of The Good...

Viewpoint

11.18.13

Xi Jinping Refills an Old Prescription

Orville Schell
The reforms called for by the Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party Congress have been, like so much else in China over the past few decades, part of an ongoing Chinese quest for national unity, wealth, and power. But, for those of us steeped in...

Caixin Media

11.18.13

What Do Investigative Reporters Do?

With the recent Chen Yongzhou scandal, many have called for an “investigation” into the investigative reporting business.I apply the term “investigative reporters” to those that often wade into the deeper, uncharted waters of the media’s realm. I...

Media

11.14.13

Westerners Aren’t the Only Ones Flummoxed by China’s Reform Plans

After the Third Plenum, a high-level meeting to discuss China’s future, ended on November 12, Beijing released a major document likely to affect many of its 1.3 billion citizens’ lives for years. Western media responded to the 5,000-plus character...

Environment

11.12.13

China’s Urban Dilemma

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
After nearly three decades of rapid urbanization, China’s official and unofficial city dwellers outnumber its farmers. More than 400 million people have already moved into cities in the past thirty years, and in 2011 China crossed the threshold of a...

Culture

11.11.13

All He Needs is a Miracle

Debra Bruno
Courtesy of the USF Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History A portrait of Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci by You Wenhui; painted at the time of Ricci’s death in Beijing, 1610. It now hangs at the Jesuit residence in Rome. It is the...

Caixin Media

11.11.13

How Ambition Buried an Official Known As ‘The Digger’

Cranes and bulldozers were quieter in the ancient city of Nanjing on October 16.News broke that day that the city’s fifty-seven-year-old mayor, Ji Jianye, was being investigated for “suspected serious discipline violations,” the Communist Party’s...

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...

Viewpoint

11.08.13

China, One Year Later

J. Stapleton Roy, Susan Shirk & more
In November 2012, seven men were appointed to the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s supreme governing body. At the time, economic headwinds, nationalist protests, and the Bo Xilai scandal presented huge challenges for the regime. Would the...