Media

07.27.12

Could CCTV's Naming of Flood Victims Signal a Turn Toward Transparency?

Amy Qin
In the face of mounting criticism from online commentators and state media, Beijing city officials have finally raised the official death toll of the devastating floodwaters that hit the city last weekend from thirty-six to seventy-seven. The...

Caixin Media

07.27.12

LDK Solar Owes Twenty Suppliers 600 Million Yuan

Debt-ridden Jiangxi LDK Solar has defaulted on at least 600 million yuan in unpaid bills for raw materials and equipment, twenty suppliers say.“Starting from late last year, LDK Solar was delinquent on 15 million yuan to our company,” Liu Qingfeng,...

Caixin Media

07.26.12

Mass Medal Preparedness

China’s Olympic training system demands its athletes give their all—and not expect much in return.It’s a structured, planned, and government-funded system specifically designed to churn out winners.While other countries around the world build...

Caixin Media

07.26.12

Buried Under Water

Ding Zhijian, a 34-year-old editor at a children’s literature publishing company, was on his way home after meeting a colleague when a horrific rainstorm hit Beijing.Earlier that day, his wife had asked Ding not to leave the house. It was the...

Media

07.24.12

Propaganda Chief Leaves a Legacy of Control

Amy Qin
Monday’s top story was the torrential rains and flooding that thrashed Beijing over the weekend and left at least thirty-seven people dead. Only one non-flood related news item made the cut for the front page of the Beijing Daily, the local Party-...

Environment

07.24.12

Guangzhou’s Rubbish Charge Struggle

from chinadialogue
Like many of China’s rapidly growing cities, Guangzhou is under siege from landfill. The southern city produces about 18,000 tons of household waste every day, 14,000 tons of which needs to be disposed of after sorting and recycling. That is as much...

Caixin Media

07.19.12

Vineyards Pop Corks on Chinese Wine Investors

Wine-tasting party conversations among investors in China are increasingly sounding like sour grapes.Some well-heeled wine investors have been anxiously debating whether a price bubble for investment-grade wine is getting ready to burst. Others...

Caixin Media

07.19.12

More than Medals for China’s Olympic Stars

China’s best athletes have not only broken records but they’ve hauled in increasingly sizeable cash bonuses from central and local governments for their champion, medal-winning performances at Olympic events.Between 1984, when China re-entered the...

Environment

07.18.12

China’s Overseas Food Footprint

from chinadialogue
For the last three decades, China’s factories have turned out goods for export markets, while Chinese citizens have paid the environmental price of industrialization in the pollution of their air and water and in the contamination of their land. But...

Environment

07.18.12

Shifang: A Crisis of Local Rule

from chinadialogue
China has been engrossed in the mass protests in Shifang, Sichuan province, where on the morning of July 2, locals and police clashed during demonstrations against a planned molybdenum and copper refinery. The next day, the government announced a...

Caixin Media

07.18.12

Financial Reform Has Only Begun

The Chinese economy’s rapid growth over the past thirty years has fundamentally changed global economic structures. But our achievements have come at a price: We have run up against hard limits in many areas, including factor investment costs and...

Out of School

07.15.12

France’s Baccalauréat Sparks Debate on Chinese Education

Bi Cheng
What does one gain by working?Are all beliefs contrary to reason?Comment on an excerpt of Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise Do we have a duty to seek the truth?Would we be freer without the state?Explicate an excerpt of Émile by Jean-...

Environment

07.11.12

Why Big Dams Don’t Work

from chinadialogue
The record of Africa’s large dams is one of widespread environmental destruction to the continent’s major river systems, upon which millions of people depend for their livelihoods; forcible resettlement and human rights abuses; corruption and cost...

Caixin Media

07.11.12

Economic Ties that Bind

Labor leader Wayne Swan has his finger on the pulse of the Australian economy as the nation’s deputy prime minister and treasurer, which means he’s well-equipped to explain factors defining the increasingly robust relationship between China and...

Caixin Media

07.11.12

Railroaded into a Fast-Train Technology Trap

The professional dreams of a team of locomotive designers and rail systems engineers sped along steel tracks through the countryside of northeastern China.The year was 2003, and high-speed track testing was under way between the cities of Shenyang...

Environment

07.10.12

Restoring Eco-balance

from chinadialogue
In the late 1970s, China was swept by a wave of economic growth, and with it a wholesale attack on nature. Grain was planted on grasslands and profits extracted from rivers. Land was reclaimed from lakes and seas and forests were felled for arable...

My First Trip

07.09.12

Busman’s Holiday

Arthur Waldron
The train from the old Kowloon station rumbled as it passed the Chinese border fence on its way to Canton and came to a lurching halt. It was a late summer day in 1981; I was thirty-two years old and now, as I reflected with deep satisfaction, no...

Caixin Media

07.06.12

Land of Vanishing Lakes

The last lakes in Hubei province are shrinking so fast that no one knows whether new government regulations—the latest leg of a sixteen-year-old environmental scramble—can reverse the disappearing act.The province has been losing its once-bountiful...

Caixin Media

07.06.12

Fighting the Filth

Has the division of spoils from China’s rapid economic growth become a one-sided affair? The answer is less abstract when one considers the state of the nation’s environment.Waterways are barricaded by garbage, mountains gouged with dusty pits, and...

Caixin Media

07.06.12

Powering Down Coal-Fired Economic Expansion

Slowing nationwide power demand and coal consumption, twin barometers for economic growth, suggest the Chinese economy may be sailing into the doldrums while at the same time changing its course.Electricity use in May rose a relatively mild 5.2...

Media

07.05.12

Powerless Media=Powerless Citizens, Says China Youth Daily Editorial

Amy Qin
Tapping into widespread public frustration with corruption among government officials, advocates of press freedom in China seem to have found an effective tool with which to ally citizens to the journalistic cause. In a July 3 editorial published in...

Environment

07.04.12

Dirty Truth about China’s Incinerators

from chinadialogue
Xie Yong could be called a pioneer. He is one of very few to date to sue a Chinese government agency over its unlawful refusal of requested data. His crusade for change has little to do with civic altruism, however. Xie’s struggle is personal in...

Media

07.03.12

Project Harmony: The Chorus behind China’s Voice

Amy Qin
With a population of more than 1.3 billion people, can there really be such thing as a single “voice of China”? According to the Chinese government, the answer is, without question, yes. Not only does there exist a “China's voice” or a “Chinese...

Culture

07.02.12

Novelist Chan Koonchung on China’s ‘Lack of Trust’

Ilaria Maria Sala
“I started to think about this book in 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympics,” says Chan Koonchung of his dystopian novel Shengshi: Zhongguo 2013 (The Fat Years). “2008 was the beginning of a new chapter for China, which is when I realized I had a...

Caixin Media

07.02.12

Deal Puts Saab in Green Technology Driver’s Seat

The dark clouds over bankrupt Swedish car maker Saab have finally cleared.Saab Automobile AB’s liquidator signed an agreement in mid-June with National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS) to sell the company’s main assets to the Sino-Japanese...

Media

06.30.12

Bloomberg Unearths Xi Jinping’s Family Fortune

Amy Qin
A recent Bloomberg report detailing the millionaire assets of the extended family of Xi Jinping, China’s presumptive next leader, has drawn praise from the community of China media observers for its thorough investigative work and fact-...

Caixin Media

06.29.12

Barclay’s Diamond Offers an Optimistic Vision

A calm, confident Robert Diamond discussed financial restructuring in Europe and economic options for the Chinese government during a June 14 interview—thirteen days before the British bank where he serves as CEO, Barclays Group, was fined for...

Caixin Media

06.29.12

Shale Gas Race

The shale gas revolution in the United States has led to a debate in China over shale gas development. But can the United States really achieve energy self-sufficiency? And if it can, what are the implications for China?Ever since the Nixon era,...

Environment

06.29.12

The Double Life of Dali Lake

from chinadialogue
Every spring, migratory birds start arriving at Dali Lake in Inner Mongolia just as the fish-breeding season gets under way. This has been the time—at least until recently—when herders living around the lake have heard the sounds of firecrackers...

Caixin Media

06.27.12

Cash for China’s Homegrown Smartphone

Xiaomi Mobile Internet Co. has raised US$216 million, its CEO says, raising the total value of the upstart, homegrown Chinese smartphone maker to US$4 billion.If Lei Jun’s claim is accurate, his two-year-old company’s value is close to the market...

Out of School

06.25.12

Review: “The Revolutionary”

Jeffrey Wasserstrom
The Revolutionary, a new documentary that has begun showing on university campuses and at cultural centers, looks at the life of Sidney Rittenberg, a ninety-year-old man who has had an extraordinary variety of experiences. Born into a well-to-do...

Media

06.23.12

Self-Censorship at the South China Morning Post?

Amy Qin
According to an article published on June 19 in the Asia Sentinel, an internal squabble at the Hong Kong-based English language newspaper the South China Morning Post has led some to raise questions regarding the journalistic ethics of the long-...

Caixin Media

06.21.12

Economist Sees Room for Slashing Taxes

Increasing government spending would be a disservice to society rather than a benefit if Beijing wants to create a consumption-led economy, one economist says in a recent research report.“The so-called ‘structural optimization,’ which refers to...

Caixin Media

06.20.12

China’s Food Fright

There’s no denying that the gastronomic horizons of Chinese cuisines sometimes verge on the infinite. But on factors of food quality, there’s little subtlety or nuance for safety standards.In the past five years, the number of public food and drug...

Media

06.18.12

Happiness with Chinese Characteristics

Yiyang Cao, Sun Yunfan & more
On April 2, 2012, the United Nations released the first World Happiness Report on the occasion of its first General Assembly on “Happiness and Wellbeing: Defining a New Economic Paradigm.” It ranked China the 112th happiest country out of 156. As an...

Caixin Media

06.18.12

Recurring Dreams for the Rule of Law

On the Beijing campus of the China University of Political Science and Law stands a dramatic monument inscribed with the words of legal expert and former university president Jiang Ping: “Rule of Law for Everyone.”Jiang’s words carry special weight...

Environment

06.14.12

Rio and China’s Global Future

from chinadialogue
We have a common predicament, and solving it requires humanity to work together. But state actors are, to a large degree, controlled by the confrontational logic of international politics. The dualities and contradictions common in sustainable...

Caixin Media

06.14.12

Private Economy’s Original Sin

Whether measured in terms of gross domestic product, tax contributions or job creation, statistics prove that the private economy plays a crucial role in China.In some well-developed parts of the country the private sector, when factoring in...

Caixin Media

06.14.12

Uproar over Aborted Fetus Photo

{vertical_photo_right}A Shaanxi Province woman provoked an uproar with an online posting of a photo showing her with her seven-month-old fetus after what she said was a forced abortion.The gruesome photo was reposted across the Internet in China,...

Environment

06.11.12

The Diplomacy of Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
On June 5, World Environment Day, China’s environment ministry published its annual “state of the environment” report as normal. But this year, the launch attracted unusual levels of attention thanks to a statement from vice minister Wu...

Viewpoint

06.11.12

Dirty Air and Succession Jitters Clouding Beijing’s Judgment

Stephen Oliver & Susan Shirk
Last week the Chinese government accused the U.S. Embassy and consulates of illegally interfering in China’s domestic affairs by publishing online hourly air-quality information collected from their own monitoring equipment. (While the critiques...

Media

06.11.12

A Great Massacre, a Great Earthquake, and a Great Famine

Hu Yong
The head of the Gansu branch of People’s Daily, Lin Zhibo, provoked the ire of many netizens for remarks he made regarding the Great Famine on his Weibo account. Lin claimed that in many of the villages in Anhui and Henan (the two provinces that...

Media

06.11.12

Did A CCTV Anchor’s Outburst Even Matter?

Hu Yong
Yang Rui, a host on China Central Television's (CCTV) English-language channel, called on the Public Security Bureau via Sina Weibo on May 16 to “clean out foreign trash, wipe out foreign snake heads (human smugglers), root out foreign spies,...

Environment

06.08.12

In Ecuador, Home Truths for China

from chinadialogue
“We need to make contact with the Chinese media as urgently as possible.” I was on my university campus in New York when I received this call for help from an Ecuadorean NGO on March 5.Some 4,000 kilometers south, in Quito, the Chinese embassy was...

Media

06.08.12

Students Tear Up Books Before Big Exam

He Jianan & Sara Segal-Williams
The gaokao, China’s annual National Higher Education Entrance Examination, is known for being extremely difficult and a stressful rite of passage for Chinese students. Due to the society’s traditional emphasis on education, many Chinese people still...

Caixin Media

06.08.12

Road Show Media Bandits Squeeze IPO Hopefuls

Buying media silence is a common first step toward an initial public offering in China that siphons billions of yuan every year from companies seeking investors in Shanghai and Shenzhen.The phenomenon has been documented by the China Securities...

Environment

06.07.12

What’s Coming Out of China’s Taps

from chinadialogue
China’s urbanites use a lot of water. Every day, more than 4,000 water-treatment plants supply 60 million tons of water to 400 million people living in Chinese cities. Despite the impressive figures, the water industry is grappling with widespread...

Media

06.07.12

An Absent Presence

Sun Yunfan
In Chan Koonchung’s dystopian science fiction novel The Fat Years, set in China in 2013, the whole month of Feburary 2011 has disappeared from people’s memory. In reality, the month that is closest to being spirited away is the month of June 1989...

Media

06.06.12

In the News: Fact vs. Rumor

Amy Qin
China-focused news editors have had numerous causes for celebration in the past few months. The various scandals surrounding the dethronement of Bo Xilai, the dramatic nighttime escape of blind activist Chen Guancheng, and the upcoming Party...

Postcard

06.06.12

The Lesser Wall

Michael Meyer
There is no such place as Manchuria, but the word still resonates like a bell struck a century before. The region is now more prosaically called dongbei—the northeast—yet its contemporary toponyms sing of its imperial past, when it was the homeland...

Environment

06.05.12

Hot Air?

Michael Zhao
It has been a busy season for U.S. diplomatic activity in China. Given the tensions aroused by U.S. involvement in the Bo Xilai scandal and the flight of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng, perhaps it should come as no surprise that even relatively...

Culture

06.05.12

The Thinker

from Chutzpah!
The SunHe could still recall his feelings the first time he saw the Siyun Mountain Observatory thirty-four years ago, when the ambulance crossed the mountain ridge and the main peak appeared in the distance, its domed telescope roofs reflecting the...

Culture

06.04.12

But Some of Us Are Looking at the Stars

from Chutzpah!
The wild nature of a realist The moment that someone decides to write, if it’s truly miraculous, is often likened to a “flash of inspiration.” Haruki Murakami’s description of such a moment is a classic example, and whether true or not, it has a...

Media

06.04.12

Food Paradise or Hell: A New Documentary Sparks Debate

Sun Yunfan & Qiaoyi Zhuang
A seven-part documentary on China’s food culture, “A Bite of China” (which translated literally means “China on the Tip of the Tongue”) premiered on the main channel of China Central Television (CCTV-1) on May 14, 2012 and became an instant...

Environment

06.02.12

A Fallacy of Steel and Glass

from chinadialogue
Among its many environmental challenges, China faces an enormous increase in energy consumption by buildings over the coming decades. Bricks and mortar already account for 25% of China’s total primary energy consumption, but are currently consuming...

Media

06.02.12

On Weibo: Cultural Revolution Suicides

Amy Qin
As people across China took part in the June 1 Children’s Day campaigns to, among other things, remember the millions of “left-behind” children in the countryside, some netizens on Weibo spent the time reflecting on another, seemingly bygone, era...

Media

05.31.12

Godwin’s Law with Chinese Characteristics

Hu Yong
This winter writer-blogger-race car-driver Han Han found himself facing charges of plagiarism from celebrated fraud-buster Fang Zhouzi. Both Han and Fang have huge followings among China’s microbloggers. And their personal disagreement soon...

Media

05.31.12

Zuckerberg’s CCTV Cameo

Bo Wang & Kennett Werner
Chinese social media outlets lit up after sharp-eyed viewers caught Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg making a cameo appearance on Chinese Police, a documentary series produced by China Central Television (CCTV). Just a few second long, the footage shows...

Caixin Media

05.31.12

Heading Deep for the First Time

On May 9, China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s (CNOOC) first deepwater drilling platform began operating in the South China Sea. The world-class vessel is stationed in the Liwan 6-1-1 field, about 320 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong, in waters...

Viewpoint

05.30.12

The Sweet and the Sour in China-U.S. Relations

Winston Lord
At this very hour, one early May, just shy of a half century ago, I married a girl from Shanghai and we launched our joint adventure.Ever since, Bette Bao and I have practiced the precept of Adam Smith—division of labor. She manages our finances and...