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 [...

Caixin Media

11.05.12

Scenes from a Leadership Transition

Jiang Zemin’s Lyrical MemoryCompiled by Caixin(Beijing)—A glance at off-hours correspondence between two veteran leaders has added a lighter dimension to the recent public appearances of former Politburo members in the run-up to the party’s 18th...

Caixin Media

11.05.12

Thanks, But No Thanks

On the last day of Zhao Xiang’s short life, her request to donate every organ possible to save the lives of others was brushed off by the president of Shenzhen Liulian Hospital.Zhao, her parents, and transplant specialists from the Shenzhen branch...

Viewpoint

11.05.12

The Big Enterprise

Orville Schell
In days of yore, when a new dynasty was established in China and a new emperor was enthroned, it was known as dashi, “The Big Enterprise,” and it usually involved mass social upheaval and civil war. The latter-day version of changing...

Media

11.02.12

Chinese Movie Mogul Promises New Party Leaders Will Open Market to Hollywood

Jonathan Landreth
A wise old cartoon turtle in Kung Fu Panda advises Po, the portly black and white star of the 2004 DreamWorks Animation blockbuster film, not to fret about honing his fighting skills, but rather to focus on the moment and do his...

Caixin Media

11.02.12

18 Reforms for the Party’s 18th Congress

China’s leadership handover comes at a critical moment for society and the economy, and changes are in order.The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party this month comes at a critical time described by economist Wu Jinglian as “a tipping...

Environment

11.02.12

Clampdown on Gold Dredging in China Sees Switch to Mongolia and Russia

from chinadialogue
The Heilongjiang basin, in northeast China, was attracting gold prospectors as early as the late Qing dynasty, which collapsed in 1912. Panning for gold is damaging for rivers and wetlands, but at the time the region was sparsely populated and only...

Postcard

10.30.12

Wenzhou’s Italian Uncles

Ilaria Maria Sala
0039 Ristorante Italia sits in the middle of West Jiangbin Street, one of many long and large stretches of concrete that cross Wenzhou east to west, parallel to the Oujiang River, running next to some of the city’s visible wealth—in the form of...

Viewpoint

10.29.12

Hollywood Film Summit Draws Chinese Movie Moguls

Jonathan Landreth
LOS ANGELES—Hollywood and Chinese movie makers and industry hangers-on will gather Tuesday at the third annual Asia Society U.S.-China Film Summit on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles.At a gala dinner Tuesday night, organizers...

Caixin Media

10.26.12

Below-Belt Blows in Kungfu Restaurant Battle

The crestfallen former chairman of fast-food restaurant giant Kungfu Catering Management Co. Ltd. is awaiting a verdict after a trial on corporate embezzlement charges apparently instigated by his former business partner’s wife.If Cai Dabiao is...

Media

10.26.12

Myanmar Envy

Bi Cheng
Chinese netizens’ reactions to tentative democratic reforms in neighboring Myanmar, including to the recent repeal of censorship rules for private publishers by the Southeast Asian nation’s reformist government, reflect just how closely it’s...

My First Trip

10.24.12

Struggling with Antonioni

Isabel Hilton
My first sight of Beijing was puzzling. It was October 1973, at the end of a very long flight, and the city seemed so dark I could hardly believe we had arrived. In those days, flights to China were not allowed to cross Soviet airspace—the two...

Caixin Media

10.19.12

Flying Splinters

Liu Futang expressed a sense of foreboding just before his recent arrest by posting a microblog entry that began, “If one day I’m invited out for tea, please don’t worry about me.”“Drink tea” is a euphemism in China for an unwanted interrogation by...

Postcard

10.19.12

Desperately Seeking City

Michael Meyer
At the world’s only International Sister City Museum, located in far northeast China, a guide leads a group of Harbin middle school students past displays for each of their hometown’s twenty-seven “twins.” “Our government’s friendship with these...

Caixin Media

10.19.12

Tapping into Crowd Power with Website Finance

Investing like an angel now costs no more than an average duck dinner in Beijing.The force driving China’s growing ranks of small-scale angel investors are crowdfunding websites, which offer individuals access to business financing pools for as...

Environment

10.19.12

Overfishing Pushes 80% of Chinese Fishermen Towards Bankruptcy

from chinadialogue
In mid-September, the fishing season got under way as usual in Ningbo, on China’s east coast, after the three-month season when fishing is forbidden. Over 2,000 steel-hulled boats headed out to sea. But, on board, there was little cause for optimism...

Environment

10.16.12

Chinese Boycott Airline China Southern After Mysterious Death of Dog

from chinadialogue
On the morning of October 10, a high-profile lawsuit against China Southern, one of China’s “big three” airlines, opened at Chaoyang People’s Court in Beijing. The plaintiffs? Zhao Nan and Chen Lei, a couple from Tianjin, north China, who blame the...

Caixin Media

10.12.12

Bo Xilai as a Catalyst for Political Reform

No matter how you look at it, the disciplinary process surrounding the case of Bo Xilai will have historic implications.Details of the crimes committed by Bo, his wife, Bogu Kailai, and his former right-hand man, Wang Lijun, reflect a level of...

Media

10.11.12

Netizens React to Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize

Ouyang Bin
Upon hearing the news that novelist Mo Yan was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, a flurry of messages about the fifty-seven-year-old Shandong native circulated on weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, expressing decidedly mixed opinions...

Environment

10.11.12

China’s New Leaders Must Respect Environmental Rights

from chinadialogue
China has achieved remarkable economic successes over the last three decades. For years, it has led the world in GDP growth. But widespread industrialization and urbanization, along with growth based on increased use of resources, mean the nation...

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...

Environment

10.09.12

Top Clothing Brands Linked to Water Pollution Scandal in China

from chinadialogue
China is the major hub of the international textile industry, exporting US$200 billion worth of textile and apparel products in 2010—accounting for 34 percent of global exports.It’s provided cheap T-shirts and other clothes to people around the...

Environment

10.02.12

Decline of Bees Forces China’s Apple Farmers to Pollinate by Hand

from chinadialogue
In the last fifty years, the global human population has nearly doubled, while the average calories consumed per person has increased by about 30 percent.To cope with the ever growing demand for food, more land has been brought into agricultural...