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...

Environment

05.30.12

We’re All Farmers Now

from chinadialogue
At a monthly “friends of farming” dinner held by Green Heartland, an NGO based in Chengdu, west China, Chen Xia quietly reads an ode to the land against light background music. It’s a simple thanksgiving ceremony the hosts conduct before leaving the...

Media

05.29.12

Patriots or Traitors?

Amy Qin
In Chinese, to be patriotic is to ai guo, literally “to love [one’s] country.” But what does it really mean to love your country? Does it mean unconditional support for your country’s government, warts and all? Or is there more room for nuance—can...

Caixin Media

05.28.12

Rail Builders Shift Interest to Overseas Mines

After a three-year wait, China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd. (CRCC) recently won permission to launch a major copper mining project in Ecuador.The production agreement signed April 25 by Ecuador’s government and Corriente Resources, a Canadian...

Caixin Media

05.25.12

Hard Lesson for China Concept-Stock Investors

Imagine discovering on your first day as a new CEO that your employer is merely a shell that may be destined for a shameful delisting on the Nasdaq Stock Market.That’s what happened recently to ChinaCast Education Corp. CEO Feng Yiyi, who is now...

Caixin Media

05.25.12

Policeman Burned for Dealing With the Devil

On March 17, the Chenzhou Public Security Bureau announced Huang Bailian had been removed as head of the police department’s drug squad.Huang offered a simple explanation for his sacking: “This is retaliation.”Three years earlier Huang, who is forty...

Media

05.25.12

Can CCTV Become the Next Al Jazeera?

Amy Qin
In a recent piece published in the Columbia Journalism Review, Sambuddha Mitra Mustafi assesses the early stages of China's multibillion dollar efforts to expand its domestic media empire onto the global stage. Just this year, CCTV launched two...

Environment

05.24.12

Unplugging from China

from chinadialogue
Apparent preparations by US energy giant AES Corporation to withdraw from China have raised eyebrows lately. Earlier this year, it emerged that the firm—one of the world’s biggest independent power generators—had engaged an investment bank to sell...

Media

05.24.12

TV Show Catches Flak for its Criticism of Contestants Who Have Lived Abroad

Bo Wang
The gameshow Fei Ni Mo Shu (Only You) has a pretty straightforward premise: a contestant steps onto a stage next to the host and introduces him/herself to a panel of twelve bosses of major companies who sit in highly extravagant throne-like chairs...

Media

05.24.12

Under the WeiboScope

Amy Qin
With more than 300 million registered users, the popular microblogging service Sina Weibo—sometimes called the Chinese Twitter—can offer unique insights into the quotidian musings of Chinese netizens. One way to sort through the barrage of...

Caixin Media

05.23.12

Identity Crisis Rattles Volvo’s Chinese Owner

New models bearing the Chinese-owned Volvo badge shared a luxury spotlight at the Beijing International Auto Show in April with perennial stars Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus.But behind the diamond-studded presentation was confusion over the legal...

China’s Carbon Market Challenge

Wang Tao
chinadialogue
A big question mark still hangs over the accuracy of China’s energy data, in particular its data on coal, use of which is highly decentralised. Without industry-level figures, the ability of local governments to produce reliable energy statistics is...

Ruihua Popsicles Possibly Tainted, Production Halted

Yan Shuang
Global Times
Ruihua Old Popsicle, which sells around 50,000 units per day for 1 yuan each, mostly in tourist sites, contains bacteria 1,767 times higher than that stipulated in the national standards for cold beverages, according to the Beijing News.

Viewpoint

05.20.12

Chen Guangcheng: A Hopeful Breakthrough?

Orville Schell
The arrival of the celebrated Chinese rights activist, Chen Guangcheng in the U.S. after years of prison and house arrest, raises the larger question of what the whole incident will come to mean in terms of the status of dissidents in China and in U...

Media

05.18.12

Hong Kong Movie Star Now a Motivational Speaker

Bo Wang
Nicholas Tse—the famous young Hong Kong singer, actor, and musician—is known for portraying irresponsible young rebels. People think that's what he's like in real life. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology invited Tse to be a...

Media

05.18.12

Drunken Brit Assaults Chinese Woman in Beijing

Bo Wang
A drunken foreigner was caught sexually assaulting a Chinese woman in Beijing near the Xuanwumen subway station. Pedestrians stopped him and it ended in a fight. This video shows the initial confrontation with the foreigner and then jumps to the...

Environment

05.18.12

Europe Can Do Better

from chinadialogue
Since 2005, the European Union and China have sought to develop dialogue and cooperation in the area of climate-change policy. This has taken place primarily within the framework of the EU-China Partnership on Climate Change, agreed at the 2005 EU-...

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Near Three Gorges Dam, the Exodus Continues

Walls inside Zhang Haomin’s home in Zhenxi Township, in Chongqing, started cracking in 2008, around the time the reservoir behind the new Three Gorges Dam neared capacity.“Early on, the cracks were small,” said Zhang, whose home is about three...

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Demography and Destiny

China is facing a demographic reckoning that is approaching a nightmare.For thirty years, the government has been obsessed with keeping population growth down, often resorting to late-term abortions and other brutal measures. The panic now is that...

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Message in a Bottle for Spirits Maker Moutai

A glass of Feitian Moutai packs a wallop, which is one reason why the 106-proof baijiu is a hit among influential government officials.They also like Feitian Moutai because a single bottle, thanks to special arrangements between state agencies and...

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Era Ends for China’s Legendary Stock Picker

Investors who closely followed the stock picks of one of China’s most successful brokers are wandering in the wilderness—and wondering what will happen next to their unemployed luminary Wang Yawei.In April, and without warning, Wang resigned from...

Media

05.17.12

Villagers Loot Spilled Watermelons From Truck After Car Crash

Qiaoyi Zhuang
Two trucks collided on the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Expressway in Yueyang, Hunan Province. While local firemen worked to rescue the drivers stuck in their vehicles, people from a nearby village arrived on the scene to loot watermelons that had fallen...

Media

05.16.12

IV Drips Sustain Students Studying for College Entrance Examination

He Jianan
The Xiaogan No.1 High School in China's Hubei Province allegedly hooked students up to intravenous drips filled with amino acids to sustain them while studying for the country's notoriously difficult national college entrance exams:A photo...

Media

05.16.12

Du Fu Is Very Busy

Qiaoyi Zhuang
The 1300th birthday anniversary of the great Chinese poet Du Fu will be celebrated this year. An illustration of Du Fu in Chinese literature textbooks has recently been the inspiration for a spat of creative graffiti and videos. In them, he has been...

Environment

05.14.12

Keeping an Eye on China’s Bankers

from chinadialogue
Last August, a major pollution story broke in China: 5,000 tonnes of toxic chromium tailings had been dumped near a Yunnan reservoir, contaminating water supplies and killing livestock. Worse revelations were to come. The company behind the incident...

Media

05.11.12

Children Travel on Zip-line Across Abyss To and From School

All 3,369 inhabitants of Hongde Village in Guizhou province, including dozens of school children, must either somehow cross the gorge, or take a detour by walking for several hours, in order to get out of their village. In 2002, a...

Media

05.11.12

Ferrari Stunt Scars 600-Year-Old Monument

Netizens are outraged after a 60-second stunt by car manufacturer Ferrari leaves a 600 year-old historical site marred with skid marks.From Youku

Media

05.11.12

Hospital Staff Forced to Kowtow for Forgiveness at Patient’s Funeral

After a patient died allegedly from medical malpractice in Shaanxi province, the hospital’s president and more than 40 staff members put on heavy mourning garments and attended the patient’s funeral, where the president gave a tearful self-criticism...

Earthbound China

05.11.12

From Protester to Village Head

Zhang Jieping
In September 2011, residents of the village of Wukan in Guangdong province began protesting the illegal seizure and sale of their land by local Party cadres. The protestors demanded fair compensation for the land that had been taken, but officials...

Caixin Media

05.09.12

Along the Xiang, It’s Toxic from the Tap

Water flowing from the Xiang River into the faucets of Hunan Province homes has been dangerous for decades. The central government first classified the river’s water as toxic in the 1980s. But the river was being called the most polluted in China as...

Out of School

05.04.12

In the Journals: Journal of Asian Studies, February 2012

Maura Cunningham
The February 2012 issue of the Journal of Asian Studies opens with a trio of short articles exploring major trends in China-related publishing over the past decade. The essays, which differ widely in topic, are connected by a concern with how...

Caixin Media

05.04.12

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan

Sheila Melvin
On a balmy, moonlit evening in the autumn of 2010, I took my son out to Yuanmingyuan to wander among the ruins. The 150th anniversary of the destruction of “The Garden of Perfect Brightness”—often called the Old Summer Palace—was approaching and I...

Caixin Media

05.04.12

Chinese Firms Try Scoring with Spanish Soccer

When NBA journeyman Damon Jones signed a shoe deal with sporting goods maker Li Ning in 2006, he became the first in a long line of American basketball players to win a sponsorship from a Chinese company.Today, China’s Peak Sport Products leads...

Caixin Media

05.02.12

Garish Flowers of War

The Flowers of War begins December 13, 1937, with young convent girls fleeing for their lives through a besieged Nanjing shrouded in mist. The first words heard are those of the lead girl Shujuan: “Everybody was running that day but no one could...

Caixin Media

05.02.12

Yearning for the Yuan

London is forging ahead with plans for yuan-based financial services by developing an infrastructure and banking services that match its ambitions for the Chinese currency.On April 18, the city welcomed the first yuan-denominated bond issuance...

Culture

05.01.12

China Through An Independent Lens

La Frances Hui
Chinese documentaries have gained global attention in the past decade or so, thanks partly to the creative originality of young filmmakers and partly to a rapidly changing China that fascinates viewers from around the world. Wang Bing’s nine-hour...

Caixin Media

04.25.12

Watery Grave for Yangtze River Fish

(Beijing)—Fishermen along the banks of the mighty Yangtze River have long spoken of emptier nets and longer waits for a catch.On April 2, an unusual auction held in a downstream city in Jiangsu Province added weight to their bleak reports: A single...

Caixin Media

04.24.12

China’s Tax Burden: A Mysterious Lead Sinker

(Beijing)—In much of the world, admiration and envy are common reactions to China’s consistently high GDP growth rates. But closer to home, the Chinese public’s admiration of their own economic miracle is shadowed by tax increases that...

Culture

04.21.12

A Gift from Bill Gates

from Chutzpah!
My name is Thousands (“Yiqianji”) and I’ve worked in all sorts of jobs. Most recently, I’ve been spending my time at home writing, and in my spare time, help my mother out picking vegetables. (With the recession, a good job’s hard to find.) Every...

Culture

04.21.12

A Pension Plan, a Story by Ha Jin

from Chutzpah!
It was said that Mr. Sheng suffered from a kind of senile dementia caused by some infarction in his brain. I was sure it was neither Parkinson’s nor Alzheimer’s, because I had learned quite a bit about both during my training to be a health aide. He...

Caixin Media

04.19.12

Strategic Reserves

(Beijing)—In an odd twist for China’s powerful banks, the biggest state-owned lenders last year started running low on the foreign currency needed for loans to enterprises investing overseas.“Some commercial banks suspended U.S. dollar loans” after...

Earthbound China

04.18.12

What Wukan Means

Ou Ning
It began, in the early stages, as a secret mobilization. Then came the protests, marches of ever-larger numbers, direct confrontation, occupations, blockades, anarchy, media exposure, a case of accidental death, the involvement of higher levels of...

Caixin Media

04.18.12

Unscathed by Scandals, Official Promoted

{vertical_photo_right}(Beijing)—Although sacked once for the coverup of the 2003 SARS epidemic and a second time for blocking media coverage of the 2008 Shanxi mudslides, Meng Xuenong’s career has always bounced back.According to the website of the...

Culture

04.09.12

What Gu Dexin Left

Philip Tinari
Last Saturday the museum I direct in Beijing opened a show by China’s most important contemporary artist you’ve never heard of, Gu Dexin. The opening however had one major difference from the star-studded affairs that have become commonplace in the...

Caixin Media

04.09.12

Dalian Businessman Who Built an Empire Vanishes

(Dalian)—The sudden disappearance of a self-made billionaire in the coastal city of Dalian has unnerved not only bank executives concerned about loans they made to his companies, but also government officials who have lent generous support to the...

Culture

04.06.12

Three Poems by Han Dong

from Chutzpah!
Foggy It’s foggy, or smoky Perhaps it’s smog No one’s surprised by that You can look straight into the sun, floating Like the moon in ashen clouds No one’s surprised by that This morning is no different from other mornings Yesterday and...

Caixin Media

04.06.12

China: The Worst Place To Retire

China is facing a crisis over providing for the elderly as its population ages and the supply of labor diminishes.The Beijing News reported in late March that state-run homes for the elderly in the capital are overcrowded. One had 7,000 applicants...

Caixin Media

04.01.12

China’s African Challenge

Roughly 1 million Chinese nationals are working or doing business in Africa, from Egypt’s Mediterranean shore to the Cape of Good Hope.Theirs are the faces behind China’s soaring direct investment in Africa, which, according to the Ministry of...

Caixin Media

03.29.12

Give Wenzhou What It Needs

The development of China's private economy requires financial support, especially private financial support. Wenzhou is the home of the private economy. With 99.5 percent of companies falling into the category of small and micro enterprises,...

Culture

03.27.12

Wu Fei: An Authentic Voice

Sun Yunfan
Wu Fei is a Beijing-born composer, vocalist, and guzheng (Chinese zither) player. Her music career tracks a journey from East to West and back again. Born into a musical family, she started playing guzheng as a child. After graduating from the China...