Media

01.08.13

Online and Off, Social Media Users Go to War for Freedom of Press in China

When Mr. Tuo Zhen, the propaganda chief of Guangdong province, rewrote and replaced the New Year’s editorial of the Southern Weekend newspaper without the consent of its editors, he probably did not think it would make much of a splash. Indeed, Mr...

Environment

01.07.13

Taxi Drivers in China Have Highest PM2.5 Air Pollutant Exposure

from chinadialogue
A study conducted by Greenpeace has revealed that taxi drivers suffer the greatest levels of exposure to PM2.5 air pollution: three times that of the average person, and five times the world standard.The study, carried out by Greenpeace in...

Environment

01.07.13

Car-Driving Officials in China Urged to Get on a Bus

from chinadialogue
China’s new leadership has asked government officials to travel simply and, in normal circumstances, not to close roads to ease their journeys. In a recent visit to the Qianhai area of Shenzhen, south China, incoming president Xi Jinping made sure...

Media

01.07.13

“Help Me Pay This Bill”: A Short But Incisive Send-Up of Chinese Corruption

It is a social media classic, a send-up of the corruption and profligacy that so often enrage Web users in China. A very short story variously titled “I Did Not Eat For Free” and “Help Me Pay This Bill” has been making the rounds for months on Sina...

Caixin Media

01.04.13

Twisted Tongues

China’s cultural progress in the year 2012 can be summed up with eight words: weibo (microblog), diaosi (commoners), yuanfangti (a Yuanfang-like inquiry), shejian (tip of the tongue), yangsheng (keeping fit), shisanchai (thirteen hairpins, from a...

Caixin Media

01.04.13

Why Are Entrepreneurs So Uneasy?

I’m often asked whether it’s more difficult for a Chinese company to survive now than it was in the 1980s, when I started my business. The two eras are indeed different. Many entrepreneurs with whom I shared the stage at awards ceremonies have since...

Media

01.03.13

How a Run-Down Government Building Became the Hottest Item on China’s Social Web

It is perhaps a sign of the times in China that an image of nothing more than a ramshackle county government building could echo so widely. Since its posting on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, hours before New Year’s Eve, the image (see below) has been...

Environment

01.02.13

China’s New “Middle Class” Environmental Protests

from chinadialogue
China’s urban residents (or the new “middle class”) protest on the streets only very rarely. Discontent is expressed almost exclusively online, via angry typing. But this has changed over the last five years—protests have come offline and on to the...

My First Trip

12.31.12

After Ping Pong, Before Kissinger

Robert Keatley
My first trip to China apparently began in Montreal.It was April 1971, and the American ping-pong team had just been invited to China, opening the public part of the complex diplomacy that eventually brought Richard Nixon to Beijing and direct...

Caixin Media

12.28.12

Desperate Cash Infusions Driving Blood Trade

The tumor was growing, and the family of cancer patient Xia Jianqing was growing desperate.Doctors at a military hospital in Beijing had warned Xia’s family that he would die without the blood needed for a lifesaving operation. But the hospital had...

Caixin Media

12.28.12

Uncertain Future for Architectural Treasures

Nestled between mountains and a winding river in a scenic corner of Shanxi province is Zhongyang County, the home of an exquisite Confucian temple built during the Ming dynasty.The colorful wooden temple graced this idyllic valley for hundreds of...

Media

12.24.12

The Most Popular Chinese Web Searches of 2012

What did China search for in 2012? It wasn’t the hotly disputed Diaoyu Islands or the widely-watched London Olympics.On Baidu.com, China’s homegrown search engine commanding about eighty-three percent of the Chinese search market, the most popular...

Out of School

12.24.12

Politics and the Chinese Language

Perry Link
The awarding of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature to the Chinese novelist Mo Yan has given rise to energetic debate, both within China’s borders and beyond. Earlier this month, ChinaFile ran an essay by Chinese literature scholar Charles Laughlin...

Caixin Media

12.24.12

U.S.-China Auditing Spat Turns Ugly

The latest twist in a long-running dispute between Beijing and Washington securities regulators over Chinese audits is threatening to boot Chinese companies from America stock exchanges.The plot thickened on December 3, when the U.S. Securities and...

Environment

12.21.12

China’s Environment in 2012

from chinadialogue
From mass protests to trade wars, shale-gas drilling to hazardous cosmetics, it’s been a topsy turvy twelve months for China’s environment. Here’s a quick refresher of the year that was.JanuaryThe year got off to a bang – literally. The customary...

Caixin Media

12.21.12

When I Met Xi Jinping

I was informed in late November that the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) had invited me to a whole-day meeting in Beijing to discuss my impressions of the 18th National Party Congress and give advice to the Chinese government...

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...

Media

12.17.12

Media Effort to Emphasize Newtown Tragedy Backfires in Blogosphere

Tragedy can strike anywhere. Mere hours before the horrific shooting at an American school in Newtown, Connecticut that left twenty-eight people dead, including twenty children, a horrific school attack also happened in China. At an elementary...

Earthbound China

12.17.12

Unlikely Harvest

Leah Thompson
A little over month ago, I found myself traveling to rural Anhui province. Coal+Ice, the documentary photography exhibition I had produced for Asia Society, had been invited to exhibit at the Yixian International Photography Festival. Logistically,...

Caixin Media

12.16.12

In Bo Xilai’s City, a Legacy of Backstabbing

A deathbed plea brought an unexpected guest to Li Zhuang’s home one day last March, setting in motion a legal process that soon may clear the Beijing lawyer’s name, throw out a number of convictions, and close a sordid chapter of the Bo Xilai story...

Caixin Media

12.16.12

Mobile Phones Souring Africa’s Image of China

Every day, about a dozen mobile phone wholesalers field orders and manufacturer offers from offices inside a nondescript, five-story building on Luthuli Avenue in downtown Nairobi.The building doesn’t look like a hub for global commerce, nor does it...

Media

12.12.12

The “Chinese Dream” Means One Thing to its Leaders, and Another to its People

Since China unveiled the new Politburo Standing Committee at the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the country’s Web users have been paying close attention to the new elite group of leaders who will set the country’s agenda for...

Culture

12.11.12

Sheng Keyi on Mo Yan: “Literature Supersedes Politics and Everything Else”

In a recent conversation at the Asia Society, novelist Sheng Keyi said she felt the critism of Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize was unjustified. The controversy, she said, arises from Mo Yan’s politics rather than his literature, “and I think to critique him on...

Culture

12.11.12

Yu Jie: Awarding Mo Yan the Nobel Prize Was a “Huge Mistake”

Ouyang Bin
Mo Yan accepted his Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm on December 10.The 57-year-old novelist often writes stories based on memories of his village childhood, and his work and his political views have triggered wide debate. In...

Out of School

12.11.12

What Mo Yan’s Detractors Get Wrong

Charles Laughlin
When Chinese novelist Mo Yan accepted the Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this week, the relationship between literature and politics attracted much attention. The award is often given to writers who forcefully oppose political repression. When...

Media

12.09.12

New Leaders’ Common Touch Gives Netizens “Great Hope”

Glad-handing with the locals. Kissing babies. Eating fast food. These are tried and true ways that American politicians seek to advertise their common touch; but when China’s new leaders employ these methods, it is greeted as a pleasant surprise,...

Environment

12.07.12

Environmentalist Liu Futang Found Guilty of “Illegal Business Activities”

from chinadialogue
Well-known Chinese environmentalist Liu Futang has been convicted of carrying out “illegal business activities,” given a three-year suspended prison sentence, and fined 17,000 yuan.Liu Futang, named best citizen journalist in chinadialogue’s 2012...

Caixin Media

12.07.12

Who Pays When a Wealth Product Fails?

A crowd of angry investors packed a Shanghai branch of Huaxia Bank on December 3 after they heard that the money wasn’t there for the first of four repayments for a 119 million-yuan wealth management plan. They demanded their money back from Huaxia...

Caixin Media

12.07.12

China’s Dream Team

Stephen S. Roach
The country’s recent leadership transition was widely depicted as a triumph for conservative hardliners and a setback for the cause of reform—a characterization that has deepened the gloominess that pervades Western perceptions of China.In fact,...

Media

12.04.12

“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” Hits the Road

Jonathan Landreth
Debut filmmaker Alison Klayman has been on a global tour with her documentary—Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry—a film about one of China’s most provocative artists and activists, which this week, was named one of fifteen films put on a short list to be...

My First Trip

12.03.12

A China Frontier: Once the Border of Borders

Orville Schell
In 1961, when I first arrived in Hong Kong as an aspiring young China scholar, there was something deeply seductive about the way this small British enclave of capitalism clung like a barnacle to the enormity of China’s socialist revolution. Because...

Caixin Media

12.03.12

When Hope Dies

A nationwide uproar paralleled the investigation that led to the identification of five street children who suffocated in a large rubbish bin in the city of Bijie, Guizhou province.Officials learned the victims were the sons of three brothers. The...

Caixin Media

12.03.12

Toxic Effects and Environmental Nondisclosure

High-profile talk emphasizing environmental action at the Communist Party’s 18th national congress attracted a lot of attention. News from the November proceedings spurred industry demands for more information and pushed stock prices higher for...

Media

12.01.12

Chinese AIDS Activist Endures “Degradation” in New York, Determined to Finish What She Started

Chinese people translate “New Yorker” into “New York Ke” to designate people living in New York City, including Chinese immigrants. But in Chinese, “ke” means “visitor” or “guest.” It has been a sad word in Chinese literature and poems for thousands...

Out of School

11.30.12

Heirs of Fairness?

Taisu Zhang
An unusual debate on what may seem an arcane topic—China’s imperial civil service examinations—recently took place on the op-ed page of the The New York Times. The argument centered on the question of whether or not China during the past 1000 years...

Environment

11.28.12

Russia’s Siberian Dams Power “Electric Boilers” in Beijing

from chinadialogue
The underdeveloped, sparsely populated Eastern Siberia region that shares a 4,000-kilometer border with China has vast resources to offer its heavily populated and fast-developing neighbor. Hydroelectricity is key among them.A major new...

Media

11.27.12

Spotted on Weibo: Chinese Leaders Share a Human Moment

An active Beijing-based micro-blogger named Dongdong Wang recently tweeted this image on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter: {vertical_photo_right}At first glance, it doesn’t look like much: Outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao (left) and outgoing...

Environment

11.27.12

Millions Await News of Test-tube Panda Taotao’s “Return” to the Wild

from chinadialogue
On October 11, at the age of two years and two months, giant panda Taotao went home.This was China’s second attempt to introduce a giant panda born through artificial insemination into the wild. Unlike last time, however, Taotao was born and raised...

Culture

11.27.12

Remember to Tell the Truth

Maya E. Rudolph
The recording of memory brings history to life and creates a legacy of its own. In 2010, documentary filmmaker Wu Wenguang launched the Memory Project to try to shine a light on the long-shrouded memories of one of modern China’s most traumatic...

Caixin Media

11.26.12

When Tradition is Flattened by Policy

A “tomb-flattening policy” in Henan province has sparked intense controversy, with millions of tombs reportedly destroyed by local authorities in a quest to turn graveyards into farmland.The policy can be seen as a historical extension of land-...

Caixin Media

11.23.12

Asset Transparency Urged to Fight Government Graft

Calls for government officials to disclose personal and family assets are growing louder in China, mainly in reaction to the rising number of corruption cases affecting officialdom.And some officials are listening. A local Communist Party official...

Culture

11.21.12

A New Tower of Babel

Sheila Melvin
Xu Bing, the renowned Chinese artist whose many laurels include a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award and an appointment as vice president of China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, has long demonstrated a fascination with the written word.His...

Media

11.21.12

Official Online Poll: Chinese Want Democracy

With China’s new leadership now set, Chinese Web users have turned their attention to answering the key question: “What’s next?” In concert with the 18th Party Congress, the website of Communist Party-sanctioned Peoples’s Daily hosted an...

Media

11.19.12

A Conservative Commentator Calls Out Chinese Liberals, and Liberals Shout Back

Speech on the Chinese Internet, it seems, is beginning to thaw once more following the country’s leadership transition. After months of speculation, new Chinese leader Xi Jinping was announced on November 16 at the close of the 18th Party Congress,...

Caixin Media

11.17.12

Political Reform: The Way to Go

Sections of the 18th National Party Congress report that have justifiably generated the most attention are references to political reform.Anyone who did not harbor unrealistic hopes about the congress and its outcome can read the report and find...

Caixin Media

11.17.12

As 18th Congress Ends, a Peek into the Process

Over the past twenty years, economist Zhang Zhuoyuan has witnessed and actively participated in building the nation’s economic policy.He participated in the drafting of reports at each of the Communist Party’s three previous national congresses,...

Viewpoint

11.15.12

Age of China’s New Leaders May Have Been Key to Their Selection

Susan Shirk
Earlier this week, before the new Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) and Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party were announced, I argued that the Party faces the difficult problem of how to allocate power in the absence of an open and legitimate...

Environment

11.15.12

An Insight into the Green Vocabulary of the Chinese Communist Party

from chinadialogue
After years of neglect, the environment is gradually gaining more attention from China’s leaders. The most noticeable manifestation of this is in their vocabulary.Six months ago, Hu Jintao, speaking at the opening of a study session for provincial...

Environment

11.15.12

China’s Low-Carbon Zones Lack Motivation, Guidance, and Ideas

from chinadialogue
None of China’s so-called low-carbon industrial zones currently live up to the name. That’s the conclusion to draw from the work of the U.S. Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), which this year released a guide for the development of green...

Viewpoint

11.14.12

The Future of Legal Reform

Carl Minzner
Carl Minzner, Professor of Law at Fordham University, talks here about the ways China’s legal reforms have ebbed and flowed, speeding up in the early 2000s, but then slowing down again after legal activists began to take the government at its word,...

Viewpoint

11.14.12

Change in Historical Context

Peter C. Perdue
China’s Communist Party has only ruled the country since 1949. But China has a long history of contentious transfers of power among its ruler. In these videos, Yale historian, Peter C. Perdue, an expert on China's last dynasty, the Qing, puts...

Viewpoint

11.14.12

Are You Happier Than You Were Ten Years Ago?

J. Michael Evans
“Many Chinese feel that they have not participated in the economic benefits of an economy that has been growing very rapidly,” says Michael Evans, a vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group and head of growth markets for the Wall Street...

Viewpoint

11.13.12

China’s Next Leaders: A Guide to What’s at Stake

Susan Shirk
Just a little more than a week after the American presidential election, China will choose its own leaders in its own highly secretive way entirely inside the Communist Party. What’s at stake for China—and for the rest of the world—is not just who...

Caixin Media

11.12.12

Weighing Risks Amid a Wealth Management Boom

Is China’s wealth management business a booming profit volcano for investors, or just another smoke-and-mirrors pyramid scheme?It’s a question dividing the nation’s bankers and banking regulators as investors of all kinds pour cash into bank-...

Viewpoint

11.09.12

Pragmatism and Patience

Hamid Biglari
Hamid Bilgari, Vice Chairman of Citicorp, the strategic arm of Citigroup, is a leader in international investment banking. Bilgari says that pragmatism and patience are the dominant qualities exhibited by cultures facing major change, such as...

Viewpoint

11.08.12

Who is Xi Jinping?

Orville Schell
In an era of great change and economic uncertainty around the world, one might expect a leadership transition at the top of one of the world’s rising powers to shine a light on that country’s prospective next leaders so the public might form an...

Viewpoint

11.07.12

Peering Inside the ‘Black Box’

Orville Schell
Just hours after the United States voted for its next president, China, too, is preparing for a leadership change—although much less is known about that process, which begins Thursday with the start of the 18th National Congress of the Communist...

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 [...