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...

Caixin Media

09.28.12

Bo Xilai Ousted from Communist Party

The Communist Party has expelled Bo Xilai, the former party chief of Chongqing, who’s been embroiled in corruption allegations since early this year.The Politburo made the decision on September 28, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Bo will next...

Caixin Media

09.28.12

Living on Dangerous Ground

Fractures had long plagued the rocky mountainside next to Huang Daihong’s home. When an earthquake jolted Luozehe County in Yunnan province, Huang watched a large black boulder release a shower of stones that instantly killed her neighbor.The...

Caixin Media

09.26.12

After Panjin Killing, Public Deserves to Know

There is growing public skepticism about the veracity of a government report detailing a demolition-related incident in Panjin, Liaoning province, during which a police officer killed a villager for allegedly threatening his life.Questions revolve...

My First Trip

09.24.12

Witnessing the Cultural Revolution at its Dawn

John Hawkins
To this day, I am not sure why the Chinese government approved my request to visit the PRC in the summer of 1966.On a hot and humid early August Sunday, a fellow student from the University of Hawaii and I walked across the border in Hong Kong at Lo...

Culture

09.24.12

Wrapped Up: An Interview with Lin Tianmiao

Sun Yunfan
Lin Tianmiao was born in Taiyuan, Shanxi in 1961 to an artistic family. Her father was a traditional painter and her mother a dancer. In the 1980s, she married video artist Wang Gongxin, moved to New York, and became a textile designer. It wasn’t...

Media

09.24.12

Law Professor He Weifang on Why Wang Lijun’s Trial Scared Him

Amy Qin
Today, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua announced that Wang Lijun, the former Chongqing police chief, has been found guilty by a court in Chengdu of four criminal charges, including defection, abuse of power, taking bribes, and bending the law...

Environment

09.20.12

Desertification in Tibet’s Wetlands Threatens the Yellow River

from chinadialogue
The “kidneys” of the Tibetan plateau are failing.The Zoige Wetland National Nature Reserve, which sits on the northeastern fringe of western China’s Qinghai-Tibet plateau, contains the largest alpine peat wetlands in the world. It is also the...

Caixin Media

09.20.12

Hit TV Show Sings Song of Media Model Success

A reality-talent TV songfest popular in more than forty countries around the world has become an instant hit in China, underpinning enthusiasm for an experimental business model linked to media sector reform.The Voice of China’s debut show in July...

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...

Caixin Media

09.17.12

How a Protest in Beijing Stuck to the Script

On the afternoon of September 16, rows of policemen and security personnel in black T-shirts lined Beijing’s Liangmaqiao Road near the Japanese embassy during protests over the Diaoyu Islands controversy. Security guards were visible everywhere,...

Caixin Media

09.16.12

No Excuse for the Excuses Officials Hand Us

Putting the right spin on one’s words is a science, and civil servants with fiduciary responsibility have to master this subject. It helps to shift blame to someone else; a child, a spouse, or a convenient foreigner will do.Several weeks ago Yang...

Media

09.16.12

What Microblogs Aren’t Telling You About China

Amy Qin
In China, where notions of freedom of speech and freedom of expression are seen by the government as secondary to the all-important ideal of social stability, there is little space, if any, for truly open and unmediated public conversation...

Caixin Media

09.14.12

Why War is Not a Possibility

There won’t be a war in East Asia.The United States has five military alliances in the western Pacific. Its allies are South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore. And American battleships are busy patrolling the seas.Without a go-...

Caixin Media

09.14.12

Moneyless Pensions Yield No Gold for the Old

SHENYANG—Morning breezes turn chilly in late August, signaling fall’s approach in the Tiexi factory district.For the unemployed men and women standing on sidewalks between a labor bureau office and a park every day at 6 a.m., the change of seasons...

Caixin Media

09.07.12

Local Governments Bet Big on New Investment

They’re still hung over from a 4 trillion yuan spending spree initiated by the central government nearly four years ago, but local governments across China are pressing ahead anyway with huge new investment plans.In late August, for example, the...

Caixin Media

09.07.12

Despite Regulations, Bus Travel Still Risky

Thirty-six people died recently on a Shaanxi province highway when a double-decker bus slammed into a fuel tanker.The crash underscored ongoing demands for beefing up traffic law enforcement and improving the design of these often-crowded overnight...

Caixin Media

09.07.12

Long Ride for Justice

Lea Cao had his first inkling that something was wrong when he got a long-distance phone call from relatives in southeastern China.His family members in Fuzhou phoned Cao in New York to say that his parents and brother had failed to arrive at the...

Media

09.06.12

Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech

Peony Lui & Sun Yunfan
Something big is about to happen in China. After ruling the country for a decade, China’s current leadership, helmed by President Hu Jintao, will transfer power to a new group of leaders. The process will be opaque, the date of the transition is a...

Media

09.06.12

Tangled in the Party Line

Amy Qin
Netizens on China’s popular microblogging service Sina Weibo are in a fit of pique over remarks made by a PLA major general about the importance of Chinese TV commentators holding “unconditionally” to the Party line. Zhang Zhaozhong, a major general...

Environment

09.06.12

Sinking Shanghai “Not Prepared to Admit” Climate Change Threat

from chinadialogue
It’s been a brutal summer for much of urban China. From the once-in-sixty-years storm that lashed Beijing in July, killing seventy-nine people and costing US$1.6 million, to the typhoon floods that triggered mass evacuations in Jingdezhen city, the...

Environment

09.06.12

Chinese Fear Price Hikes After Electricity Reforms

from chinadialogue
This summer, Chinese people have been thinking twice before turning on their air conditioners.In July, tiered electricity pricing came into effect across China, except in the far western regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. This means the people who...

Caixin Media

09.05.12

Making a Killing on Herbal Medicine

Mushroom gatherers converge and crawl on hillsides in Qinghai province every March while foraging for wild caterpillar fungus.Theirs is not a garden-variety morel hunt. Caterpillar fungus is a hard-to-find parasite that infects and mummifies a host...

Media

08.31.12

“Naked Official” Streaks to U.S.

Amy Qin
On Monday, the People’s Daily confirmed rumors that Wang Guoqiang, a senior official of Fengcheng city, Liaoning province, fled China in April to the United States. Though Wang has been absent since April, his case was only uncovered last Sunday,...

Caixin Media

08.31.12

In Guangdong, Tea Oil Greases Official Palms

In the financial documents for a Guangdong province grower and processor of tea seed oil is a list of key shareholders who also happen to be the relatives of local government officials.Off the record, Guangdong Xindadi Biotechnology Co. Ltd. and its...

Caixin Media

08.31.12

Tall Order in Ordos

A desert city infamously littered with new but vacant apartment buildings and idle construction sites is getting no relief in the parched climate for local government budgets.Ordos, where local leaders have been trying for years to build a thriving...

Out of School

08.30.12

Refresher Course: The Silk Road

Valerie Hansen
The “Silk Road” was a stretch of shifting, unmarked paths across massive expanses of deserts and mountains—not a real road at any point or time. Archeologists have found few ancient Silk Road bridges, gates, or paving stones like those along Rome’s...

Environment

08.30.12

Milk Price War Puts Squeeze on China’s Dairy Farmers

from chinadialogue
China’s dairy industry has been in a precarious state since 2008, the year of the Sanlu milk-powder scandal, when babies across the country were poisoned by melamine-tainted infant formula. This incident revealed to the world the flaws in China’s...

Media

08.30.12

Chinese “Traitors” and the Foreign Press

Hu Yong
{vertical_photo_right}On June 2nd, local family planning officials forced Feng Jianmei, a twenty-two-year-old Shaanxi woman pregnant with her second daughter, to undergo an abortion, as a consequence of China’s One Child...

Environment

08.28.12

China’s South-North Water Transfer is “Irrational”

from chinadialogue
Ruth Matthews, executive director of the Water Footprint Network, tells Tom Levitt how food has come to dominate our water use and why China may need to re-think its South-North water transfer project.Tom Levitt: What do you mean by our water...

Caixin Media

08.25.12

Revamping the Landscape of Forex Flow

Capital flows out of China may be accelerating, a phenomenon commonly associated with waning confidence in a nation’s economy. But the foreign exchange regulator says the change is a step in the right direction.In the first six months of the year,...

Caixin Media

08.25.12

Gu Kailai: Getting Away with Murder?

Closer Look: Nearly Getting Away with MurderBy Zhang JianjingShortly after Bogu Kailai received a death sentence with a two-year reprieve, four former high-ranking Chongqing police officers were sentenced to jail terms ranging from five to eleven...

Culture

08.21.12

As Beautiful As Little Cats

Agnès Varda from Leap
Leap Editor's Note: In 1957, the filmmaker Agnès Varda assumed the role of photographer during a two-month journey around both urban and rural China with a delegation of French dignitaries. In 2012, her photographs from that trip appeared in “...

Environment

08.20.12

Tibetans Fight Tourism on Holy Lakes

from chinadialogue
Mining, dam construction, sand excavation, poaching, and grassland degradation are seriously damaging the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, the world’s most fragile ecosystem. But without a second thought, the tourism industry has joined their ranks. The only...

Caixin Media

08.18.12

Economist Lin Yifu on State-Sustained Growth

Standing up to a wave of pessimism about China’s prospects for continuing high-level economic growth is no easy task.But economist Lin Yifu, who recently retired as a senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank, is holding his ground...

Media

08.16.12

The People’s Daily Said What?

Bi Cheng
In the course of its dramatic growth, China often churns out unprecedented numbers. But few of them have been more controversial than the recently released National Revival Index, a formula devised to measure China’s economic and social development...

Caixin Media

08.16.12

Rise Of The Online Titans

China’s titans of online retailing have unsheathed their marketing swords for a war in cyberspace that industry watchers say will decide the future of everyday shopping habits for nearly a billion consumers.Dozens of retail companies have staked out...