Culture

09.27.16

The Perils of Translating a Classic Novel from the Chinese Page to the American Stage

Nick Frisch
Welcome to my dream,” says a Chinese monk pacing along the stage of the San Francisco Opera. So begins Dream of the Red Chamber, a new opera based on the classic Chinese novel of the same name. Its central story is a love triangle framed as Buddhist...

Media

09.23.16

In China, Organic Food Is Gaining Ground

Wan Li, a young Beijing professional in her late 20s, is at her desk when her cell phone rings. She picks up. “North entrance?” She confirms. “I’ll be right out.” An electric delivery scooter has just pulled up to Wan’s office with her order of...

Caixin Media

09.19.16

Chinese Spending Can Help Create Jobs in the United States

Trade does result in very real and serious job losses, while its benefits are spread more broadly over the entire U.S. economy. Yet many job losses are not a result of trade; they are actually driven by productivity gains related to rapid...

Environment

09.15.16

A Chinese Train Could Link South America’s Atlantic and Pacific Coasts by Rail for the First Time

from chinadialogue
Official bodies from Brazil and Peru have expressed concern about the social and environmental impacts of the proposed interoceanic railway, which will connect the coast of Peru and Brazil, cutting through 621 miles of pristine rainforest.In a...

Features

09.15.16

China’s Teflon Toxin Problem

Sharon Lerner from Intercept
Since the late 1970s, the chemical industry has been at the heart of China’s dazzling growth. And as regulations increase around the world, many toxic chemicals wind up coming to China just to die a slow death. Teflon—the slippery substance used in...

Media

09.14.16

The Chinese Democratic Experiment that Never Was

David Wertime
Protesters in southern China are up in arms. They feel that Beijing’s promises that they’d be able to vote for their own local leaders have been honored in the breach. They’re outraged at the show of force in the face of peaceful protest, and...

Features

09.13.16

The Destruction of Baishizhou

Eli MacKinnon
Early this spring, the Chinese character for “demolish” (“拆”) showed up in red spray paint on a strip of shops in Shenzhen’s Baishizhou neighborhood. Wang An, 41, has been selling women’s underwear from one of these shops for the last 10 years. “...

Viewpoint

09.08.16

Mao the Man, Mao the God

Sergey Radchenko
Mao Zedong was dying a slow, agonizing death. Diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in July 1974, he gradually lost control of his motor functions. His gait was unsure. He slurred his speech and panted heavily. The decline was...

Viewpoint

09.01.16

How to Deal With China’s Human Rights Abuses

Sophie Richardson
When world leaders touch down in early September in the city of Hangzhou for this year’s G20 leaders’ summit, which China will they see? The one of glossy skylines, enviable growth statistics, and perfectly choreographed diplomatic exchanges? Or the...

Environment

08.29.16

Environmental Law Blunted by Crippling Court Costs

from chinadialogue
Zhenhua Ltd. is a glass-making firm based in Dezhou, a city in China’s northeastern Shandong province. The factory sits amid a cluster of modern residential areas, so when the company failed to limit its emissions of polluted air and dust into the...

Media

08.25.16

China Analysts Should Talk to Each Other, Not at Each Other

Scott Kennedy
On August 12, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued its annual report card on China’s economy and gave the country mixed grades, finding that its “economic transition will continue to be complex, challenging, and potentially bumpy.” In...

Caixin Media

08.22.16

What’s Next for Uber and Didi in China?

New regulations and a blockbuster merger between the industry’s largest players are reshaping the business landscape for China’s car-hailing app companies.And the landscape is widening as car-hailing companies, including Didi Chuxing Technology Co...

Viewpoint

08.18.16

Zhao Ziyang’s Legacy

David Shambaugh
It is difficult to say with any certainty how China would have evolved had Zhao Ziyang not been overthrown in 1989. The ostensible cause of his purge was his refusal to endorse martial law and authorize the use of force to suppress the Tiananmen...

Media

08.17.16

How the Philippines Can Win in the South China Sea

The Philippine Islands has a problem. It has international law on its side in its quarrel with China over maritime territory, but no policeman walking his beat to enforce the law. That means that, despite an international court’s findings, the...

Viewpoint

08.11.16

The Future of China’s Legal System

Neysun A. Mahboubi, Carl Minzner & more
In early August, Beijing held show trials of four legal activists—a disheartening turn for those optimistic about legal reform in China. What are the prospects for the development of the rule of law in China under Communist Party Secretary Xi...

Environment

08.11.16

China-Led Development Bank Careful to Cooperate with Critics

from chinadialogue
The Asian Infrastructure Development Bank (AIIB) unveiled its initial batch of projects at its first annual meeting in Beijing in June, giving the go-ahead to investments totaling U.S.$509 million (3.4 billion yuan) and providing an important...

Caixin Media

08.09.16

China's New 'Bad Loan' Managers: Savvy Saviors or Riskier than Ever?

As China's economy slows and defaults rise, 'bad loan' managers say they spot an opportunity to pick up bargains, because lenders are eager to shed toxic debt that might otherwise poison the broader financial system. Yet questions...

Media

08.08.16

How Chinese Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Their Military Again

Every evening, as regular and obstreperous as a rooster, the People’s Liberation Army (P.L.A.) soldiers sing from the barracks outside my Beijing home, a chorus of teenage troops reminding the neighborhood when it’s dinner time:“Unity is strength,...

Caixin Media

08.02.16

Revival, Resistance for National Pension Push

Bridging the “regional divide” that separates affluent and less affluent areas is a main goal as the central government revives a stalled effort to form a nationwide pension system.The State Council, China’s cabinet, laid the groundwork for a...

Caixin Media

07.27.16

New Territory For Financial Oversight Reform

An intense battle for control of China’s largest, publicly traded developer China Vanke Co. has exposed flaws in the nation’s financial supervision system that demand urgent attention.Vanke management and Baoneng Group, a property and insurance...

Viewpoint

07.26.16

Sex Workers and Condoms

Charmain Mohamed & Shen Tingting
China has long taken a punitive approach to sex work, but sex workers in China have recently experienced the harshest crackdown in a decade. The “strike hard” campaigns which began in Beijing and Dongguan in 2010 and 2014 respectively, ultimately...

Media

07.21.16

More Than 100 Chinese Muslims Have Joined the Islamic State

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A July 20 report from New America, a think tank in Washington, DC, examined more than 4,000 registration records of fighters who joined the Islamic State between mid-2013 and mid-2014.

Environment

07.21.16

Chengdu’s Pollution Is Complicated by Taxi Apps

from chinadialogue
Research carried out by Peking University’s Statistical Science Centre and Guanghua School of Management found that Chengdu suffers from air pollution 88 percent of the time—even worse than Beijing at 76 percent.

Caixin Media

07.19.16

Killer Knotweed Exposes Dangers of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Amid rising public concerns about side-effects of traditional Chinese medicines, or TCM, following the death of a young woman who died of liver failure last year, a government-backed medical association has started compiling a database of substances...

Environment

07.19.16

Schoolkids Suffer Toxic Air at Recycled Rubber Athletic Tracks

Michael Zhao
Chinese are known for recycling, and recycling everything. The industry is even responsible for making billionaires, like China’s “wastepaper queen” Zhang Yin.Yet when factories recycle irresponsibly, the consequences can be dire. Reports...

Caixin Media

07.14.16

Business Strategies for China’s Brewing Crisis

Not a single, modern-day entrepreneur or investor in China has had to experience a substantial and painful economic slowdown, let alone a recession. The reason is simple: Since the nation’s reform and opening campaign began in 1978, China has never...

Environment

07.14.16

South China Faces Worst Floods in Decades

from chinadialogue
It’s like someone poked a hole in the sky, the rain just keeps pouring down, you can’t breathe,” said Mrs Wu from Donghu, a district in Wuhan a city in central China with over 10 million residents. Mrs Wu lives in Chunshuli, an affluent neighborhood...

Viewpoint

07.14.16

China’s Failure in the South China Sea

Orville Schell
By reiterating its policy of “no acceptance, no participation, no recognition, and no implementation,” China has painted itself into a difficult corner and diminished the chances of resolving the myriad maritime disputes—involving Vietnam, Brunei,...

Features

07.12.16

You Ask How Deeply I Love You

Anna Beth Keim
“Back when I was a soldier on Kinmen, around 1975, the water demons still sometimes killed people,” Xu Shifu (Master Xu) said. The laugh-lines at the corners of his eyes were not visible now, even in the white fluorescent light shining down from the...

Viewpoint

07.07.16

The South China Sea Needs ASEAN More Than Ever

Yanmei Xie
A ruling from The Hague next week on maritime disputes in the South China Sea is likely to exacerbate frictions between China and the U.S. Both would be better off respecting the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)...

Environment

07.06.16

China-Backed Hydropower Project Could Disturb a Sensitive Siberian Ecosystem

from Rivers without Boundaries
Lake Baikal contains 20 percent of the world’s freshwater resources and affects the regional climate of North Asia and the Arctic Basin. The lake is home to 2,500 aquatic species and local communities in Mongolia and Russia revere the lake as the “...

Features

07.01.16

The Rockets’ Red Glare

Kathleen McLaughlin & Noy Thrupkaew from Slate
The vast majority of the world’s fireworks come from China. And sometimes they explode early, with deadly consequences.

Caixin Media

06.30.16

Chinese Investment in Euro Soccer Soars to Meet President’s Goals

Chinese companies are buying soccer teams across Europe, echoing the Beijing government’s ambitious plan to turn the nation into a soccer powerhouse.The powerhouse plan, which has backing from President Xi Jinping, has led to nine deals inked by...

Culture

06.29.16

Using Free Sex to Expose Sexual Abuse in China

Jonathan Landreth
Nanfu Wang hoped that a woman called Ye Haiyan (“Hooligan Sparrow”), who had offered free sex on the Internet to draw attention to the plight of poor women selling their bodies to support their children, would lead her to the prostitutes she wanted...

Caixin Media

06.24.16

China Has a Plan to Clean Up Its Soil But No Way to Pay For It

The 231-clause, 13,000-Chinese character action plan for Soil Pollution Prevention and Control was released May 31 by the State Council, China’s cabinet, after undergoing some 50 draft revisions over the previous three years.The final version was...

Media

06.22.16

‘Wukan,’ Once a Byword For Chinese Democracy, Now Censored

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A fishing village in southern Guangdong province, once a standard-bearer for small-time democracy in China, has now become a political disaster—and the most-censored term on Chinese social media.In September 2011, amid protests over land sales in...

Caixin Media

06.21.16

Mother’s Fight to Exonerate Executed Son Highlights Gaping Holes in Justice System

More than two decades after a young man in the northern province of Hebei was executed for the alleged rape and murder of a woman, his mother is anxiously awaiting a retrial to clear his name.Zhang Huanzhi’s only son, Nie Shubin, was executed in...

Environment

06.16.16

Can Cement Clean Up Its Act?

from chinadialogue
Cement is the most widely used substance on the planet after water. It is also one of the most polluting—producing between 5-8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than twice that attributed to aviation. Cement’s carbon footprint...

Caixin Media

06.15.16

Middle Class Chinese Flock to International High Schools, Eyeing College Abroad

A decade earlier, less than 4 percent of graduates from a popular high school in Beijing, known for high quality teachers who groomed students for elite universities, left to study abroad each year.The majority chose to pursue their higher studies...

Environment

06.09.16

Namibia’s Secret Ivory Business

Shi Yi from chinadialogue
Many locals and wildlife conservation institutions I talked to didn’t even know about the existence of the ivory black market in Okahandja.It was a quiet evening in Zambezi, until a herdsman heard a gunshot in the wilderness. By the time the police...

Caixin Media

06.06.16

Uncertain Future for China’s Market Status Bid

It’s been 15 years since China joined the World Trade Organization, and yet China is still waiting for the WTO to grant it market economy status. During this period, some Chinese businesses have expanded overseas while others have been accused of...

Caixin Media

06.03.16

Bearing Witness to the China Story

Sheila Melvin
In 1993, Fritz Hoffmann was a young American photojournalist ready for a new adventure. He had honed his picture-making skills while hitchhiking across the Pacific Northwest, harvesting crabs in Alaska, and working at newspapers in West Virginia and...

Media

05.31.16

Will China’s ‘Taobao Villages’ Spur a Rural Revolution?

from chinadialogue
The province of Shanxi, in northern China, is famous for coal mining, and the industry’s impact is etched across the landscape. But the province’s southern counties, which lie near the Yellow River, are known for a very different commodity—red dates...

Viewpoint

05.26.16

China and the End of Reform

Thomas Kellogg
Is the Chinese Communist Party putting an end to the decades-long process of China’s opening to the outside world? Is the era of liberal reform over? Consider the latest piece of evidence: on April 28, the Standing Committee of the National People’s...

Environment

05.26.16

Beijing Calls South China Sea Island Reclamation a ‘Green Project’

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Sand, cement, and Chinese military facilities now sit on top of some of the South China Sea’s once-thriving reefs; China has built over half a dozen new artificial islands in a bid to bolster its territorial claims in the hotly disputed region. Such...

Viewpoint

05.26.16

Why Does Japan’s Wartime Ghost Keep Reemerging?

Friso M.S. Stevens
The ritual offerings made by Japanese Cabinet members and lawmakers at the Yasukuni Shrine in April once again brought Japan’s troubled wartime past back into the spotlight. An all-too familiar routine followed, with Beijing urging Japan to “make a...

Viewpoint

05.25.16

Hong Kong’s International Law Problem

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
In the years leading up to Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, Beijing was keen to reassure the world that nothing significant would change in the territory. Business elites and local politicians alike busied themselves with...

Caixin Media

05.25.16

Search Giant Baidu Shuts Online Literature Forums to Stamp Out Piracy

Internet giant Baidu said May 23, it would gradually take down discussion forums on literature from its popular online bulletin board service to remove content suspected of infringing upon intellectual property rights.China’s biggest search engine...

Viewpoint

05.24.16

“It’s Time for Us To Set a New Political Agenda for Hong Kong”

Jonathan Landreth, Susan Jakes & more
Last month, midway through a whirlwind tour of United States universities, Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong took a break for a crab cake and mac-and-cheese lunch at a Manhattan brasserie. Wong, 19, came to international prominence during the...

Media

05.20.16

The Chinese Trolls Who Pump Out 488 Million Fake Social Media Posts

David Wertime
They are the most hated group in Chinese cyberspace. They are, to hear their ideological opponents tell it, “fiercely ignorant,” keen to “insert themselves in everything,” and preen as if they were “spokesmen for the country.” Westerners bemoan...

Environment

05.19.16

Clear as Mud: How Poor Data is Thwarting Water Clean-Up

from chinadialogue
China’s central and local governments have barely made a start in trying to clean up the country’s heavily polluted water, despite fast-approaching deadlines for improvements and the launch of a comprehensive “ten point plan” over a year ago.Behind...

Media

05.19.16

Backward Thinking about Orientalism and Chinese Characters

David Moser
For those of us who teach and research the Chinese language, it is often difficult to describe how the Chinese characters function in conveying meaning and sound, and it’s always a particular challenge to explain how the writing system differs from...

Media

05.18.16

My Uncle Was a Red Guard in the Cultural Revolution—He Isn’t Sorry

Lishui is the nickname for my uncle, a farmer who has lived all his life in the suburbs of Tianjin, a big city in northeastern China. Whenever people talk about Lishui, my mother’s older brother, they always say: “Lishui is a nice guy, honest,...

Green Space

05.18.16

Time Traveling Through Dramatic Urbanization in China Over Decades

Michael Zhao
Twenty-six years ago, only 26 percent of the Chinese population lived in urban areas. Since then, China’s urbanization rate has risen to almost 56 percent, meaning hundreds of millions of people have packed themselves into the country’s 662 cities...

Caixin Media

05.17.16

Government Forces Big Pharma to Swallow a Bitter Pill

China’s latest round of healthcare market controls could be a bitter pill for multinational pharmaceutical companies that now, after years of what some call easy profits, are adapting to a tougher business climate.The National Health and Family...

Environment

05.13.16

Why China's Nuclear Exports May Struggle to Find a Market

from chinadialogue
China’s nuclear power industry has eyed up a big push to export its technologies as countries around the world consider low-carbon alternatives to coal.But despite an increasingly clearer field for Chinese nuclear exports—mainly because of the woes...

Media

05.12.16

The End of China’s Economic Miracle? A Discussion with ‘Financial Times’ Writers

George Soros, Jamil Anderlini & more
On April 20, 2016, a panel of Financial Times correspondents and editors with China experience, joined by financier and occasional FT columnist George Soros, discussed rural-to-urban migration, wage growth, real estate ups and downs, the increasing...

Media

05.12.16

Chinese Is Not a Backward Language

Thomas S. Mullaney
Even in the age of China’s social media boom, and billion-dollar valuations for Beijing-based IT start-ups, prejudice against the Chinese language is alive and well. One would be forgiven for thinking that by 2016, the 20th century’s widespread...

Green Space

05.11.16

The Dark Side of Country Life

Michael Zhao
The last time we peeked at Lei Hu’s photo blog, Lei was giving us a cheery look at a China that we rarely get to see: the countryside and its beauty. But there’s a dark side to country life in China, as well, and a new blog post from Lei explores...

Caixin Media

05.09.16

Yao Ming’s Biggest Game: Hoops Reform in China

Retired basketball superstar and Shanghai Sharks team owner Yao Ming is finding efforts to reform China’s professional sports environment a lot tougher than a slam dunk.The former Houston Rockets center, who hung up his high tops in 2011, is trying...