Postcard

05.05.16

If China Builds It, Will the Arab World Come?

Kyle Haddad-Fonda
In May 2016, the Emirates airline inaugurated its new direct service to the Chinese city of Yinchuan. Yinchuan joins Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou as destinations served by Emirates, meaning that a passenger who boards a plane in Dubai is now...

Green Space

05.04.16

Vaccine Scandal Rocks China

David O’Connor
China was rocked last month by another public health scandal, after Chinese police announced the discovery of a criminal organization selling millions of improperly stored vaccines in 24 provinces and municipalities. The affected vaccines have a...

Media

05.03.16

Scandal Highlights China’s Weak Environmental Enforcement

from chinadialogue
For many Chinese, the country’s soil pollution crisis has become increasingly acute in recent weeks after several hundred children fell ill from attending a school built close to a former fertilizer factory.Almost 500 students at the Changzhou...

Features

04.22.16

Drinking the Northwest Wind

Sharron Lovell, Tom Wang & more
Like so many of Mao’s pronouncements, it sounded simple. “The South has a lot of water; the North lacks water. So if it can be done, borrowing a little water and bringing it up might do the trick.” And thus, in 1952, the foundation was laid for what...

Environment

04.20.16

Book: ‘Black Dragon River’—Russia’s Wild Window into China

from chinadialogue
Russia’s Far East is supposedly a strategically important area for President Vladimir Putin’s administration, with the government repeatedly declaring that development of the remote territory is one of its top priorities. But, as any Russian expert...

Culture

04.19.16

A Newly Translated Book Revisits Japan and China’s Wartime History

Karen Ma
Award-winning screenwriter and author Geling Yan has written more than 20 novels and short story collections about China, many adapted to film or TV, including Coming Home and The Flowers of War, both of which became feature films directed by Zhang...

Caixin Media

04.18.16

Chinese Electric Vehicle Manufacturer BYD’s Image Hurt by Scandal Involving Dealer’s Suicide

China’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, BYD Auto Co., is under intense scrutiny following the death of a Nanjing auto dealer who accused the company of bilking a government subsidy program and a Caixin probe suggesting the charge may have...

Media

04.15.16

A ‘Lost’ Daughter Speaks, and All of China Listens

A woman in her mid-40s cradled a scrap of blue cloth checkered with red. “Have you seen this before?” she asked. “Do you recognize this pattern?”I held it up to the light and noticed the cotton edges had frayed and tattered over years. “We already...

Media

04.14.16

‘Taiwan Independence’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think

On February 23, all eyes were on Taiwan’s new Member of Parliament Freddy Lim as he took the podium at the Legislative Yuan for the first time. Lim is now best known as the heavy metal rock star who, following January 2016 elections on the self-...

Green Space

04.13.16

Chinese Love Affair with Cars, and Tesla

Michael Zhao
Chinese love their cars. With the emergence of a large middle class, and in spite of restrictions on daily car use in some cities, many Chinese households are choosing to keep a second and sometimes even a third automobile. The world’s most populous...

Caixin Media

04.12.16

Chinese Telecoms Gear Maker ZTE Fighting U.S. Export Ban

The second-largest maker of telecoms gear in China is scrambling to get off a U.S. export blacklist that threatens to dry up supplies of critical components.“The investigations are still in progress, and may result in criminal and civil liabilities...

Environment

04.08.16

China Pulls Emergency Stop on Coal Power Construction

from chinadialogue
China’s central government has ordered local authorities to delay or cancel construction of new coal-fired power plants, as regulators attempt to reduce a glut in capacity, just one year after decisions were delegated to the provinces.The National...

Viewpoint

04.06.16

Will China Ever Have Its Own Cinematic Superhero?

Anthony Kao
As Batman v Superman attempts to barnstorm cinema box offices worldwide, including in China—now the world’s No. 2 movie marketplace—I’ve been watching a different kind of hero movie: Jian Bing Man.This 2015 Chinese blockbuster isn’t exactly a...

Media

04.05.16

Chinese Censors Rush to Make ‘Panama Papers’ Disappear

David Wertime
On April 3, the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit International Committee of Investigative Journalists dropped what struck many as a bombshell: news that a leaked trove of 11.5 million previously secret files from Panama-based law firm Mossack...

Caixin Media

04.05.16

No Point in Ramping Up Personal Debt to Help Property Market

Having banks and local governments deleverage and trim overcapacity are part and parcel with central government efforts to maintain stable growth by nurturing the supply side of the economy. But even as this is happening, the housing market has been...

Caixin Media

04.01.16

China’s Rural Youngsters Drop Out of School at Alarming Rate

Like many other teenagers in his village in the mountains of the northwestern province of Shaanxi, Chen Youliang decided to quit school early so he could follow in the footsteps of his migrant worker parents and find a job in a big city.Chen, who...

Environment

03.29.16

Xinjiang Ban on Glacier Tourism Ignores the Bigger Problem

from chinadialogue
The Xinjiang government has banned tourists from glaciers under the 13th Five-Year Plan in order to try and save the far northwestern province’s fast-disappearing ice caps. Home to China’s largest glaciers, the Xinjiang province has seen its...

Media

03.29.16

‘River Town’ the Movie

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
Not since Iron and Silk premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991 has a movie based on a memoir about teachers on the front lines of U.S.-China relations come to the big screen. Director Shirley Sun’s mostly-English-language film adaptation of...

Green Space

03.25.16

Facebook CEO Defies China Smog; Spoof Projects Nostril-Hair Air Filters

Michael Zhao
At least a few of Facebook’s 1.5 billion users now know that founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg ran several miles in some of Beijing’s most notorious smog on Friday March 18 while he was in the city attending a conference. Famously sharing his...

Viewpoint

03.24.16

Why China’s Economy Can’t Collapse

from Radio Free Asia
China’s economic outlook once again became the focus of attention for many last week. For one thing, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) listed the possibility of a hard landing for China’s economy as the topmost of the world’s top 10 risks. There...

Viewpoint

03.24.16

German President Joachim Gauck’s Speech at Tongji University in Shanghai

from Der Bundespräsident
On Wednesday, March 23, German President Joachim Gauck addressed an audience of university students in Shanghai. Among many views not typically aired in public in China, Gauck, a former Luterhan minister and anti-communist organizer, told the crowd...

Caixin Media

03.23.16

Fall of Shanghai’s Utilities Chief Unravels Web of Corruption

A graft probe into the head of a state-run utilities firm in Shanghai put investigators on the trail of two top local government officials, people with knowledge of the matter say.Feng Jun, the former general manager of State Grid Shanghai Electric...

Features

03.21.16

A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor

Several cadre leaders have been punished for breaking the law, and nearly all of them have said: There isn’t enough internal supervision and no one warned me; if there’d been someone there whispering in my ear, I wouldn’t have committed such grave...

Media

03.15.16

Taiwan’s New Direction

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In January, Taiwan’s voters handed the traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a landslide victory, giving it control of both the parliament and presidency for the first time ever. The victory came at the expense of the...

Green Space

03.14.16

Leonardo DiCaprio Wins Oscar and Green Chinese Hearts

Michael Zhao
The Oscars are a big deal among Chinese movie fans. So it was an especially big deal last month when Leonardo DiCaprio, whose fame in China is as big as the name of the film which held the box office crown there from 1997-2009—Titanic—became what...

Caixin Media

03.11.16

With GE Deal, Haier Fulfills an American Dream

A U.S.$5.4 billion deal for General Electric’s home appliance division is about to propel China’s largest appliance maker, Haier Group, into the long-dreamed-for high-end market in America.The sale, announced in mid-January but now awaiting...

Media

03.10.16

China’s Secret Weapon on Disputed Island: Beer and Badminton

Soldiers, ships, and military outposts are the usual tools of nations staking out their territory. But on disputed shoals in the South China Sea, Beijing may be deploying a new arsenal: soccer fields, pipelines, and tea shops.Woody Island is a...

Environment

03.10.16

How China’s 13th Five-Year Plan Addresses Energy and the Environment

Deborah Seligsohn & Angel Hsu
For the first time ever, a senior Chinese leader announced in his work report to the National People’s Congress—his most important formal speech of the year—that environmental violators and those who fail to report such violations will be “severely...

Media

03.04.16

China’s Coming Ideological Wars

Taisu Zhang
For most Chinese, the 1990s were a period of intense material pragmatism. Economic development was the paramount social and political concern, while the various state ideologies that had guided policy during the initial decades of the People’s...

Media

03.01.16

Why China Isn’t Hosting Syrian Refugees

The civil war in Syria, now spanning almost half a decade, and the Islamic State’s territorial advances there have led to the world’s worst refugee crisis in decades. More than 4.7 million Syrians have left their homeland, pouring into neighboring...

Green Space

02.29.16

The Odd Shapes of PM2.5

Michael Zhao
A recent episode of “Approaching Science,” a CCTV documentary series, discussed the smog that’s been choking the mainland for the past few years. The show interviews scientists and laypeople to paint a comprehensive picture of the challenges that...

Caixin Media

02.29.16

Former Energy Official Says Police Tortured Him into Confessing

A former deputy director of National Energy Administration (NEA) on trial for taking bribes has pleaded not guilty because he says the charges are based on a false confession that was extracted via torture and intimidation, according to a person who...

Viewpoint

02.25.16

A Looming Crisis for China’s Legal System

Jerome A. Cohen
In China, politics continues to control law. The current leadership has rejected many of the universal legal values that China accepted—at least in principle—under communist rule in some earlier eras. Today, for example, to talk freely about...

Caixin Media

02.24.16

Regulators Leave Wealth Management Industry Unplugged

Financial market supervisors admit that gaping holes pockmark the regulatory fences they’ve built in recent years to control the wealth management industry and protect its investors.By occasionally introducing new rules and regulations, supervisors...

Media

02.22.16

Leave China, Study in America, Find Jesus

Shelly Cai was 18 years old when she left the southern Chinese metropolis of Nanjing to enroll in the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In August 2010, after a 13-hour flight from Shanghai to Chicago and a three-hour bus ride, Cai finally arrived in...

Environment

02.22.16

China’s Wind Power Overtakes the E.U.

from chinadialogue
China has overtaken Europe to become the world’s biggest producer of wind power after its domestic sector grew by 60 percent last year.Following a government-backed drive to build new wind farms, China’s installed capacity now totals 145.1 GW,...

Caixin Media

02.19.16

Central Bank Governor on Reforming the Exchange Rate, Adopting a Digital Currency

Recently Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, had an interview with Caixin and talked about the yuan exchange rate regime reform, macro-prudential policy framework, digital currency, and other topics...

Media

02.19.16

New Video Celebrates Chinese Missiles With Old-School Communist Pomp

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Trumpets sound and trombones blare as a warhead launches. Intercontinental ballistic missiles mounted on trucks parade down the center of a boulevard crowded with bystanders. “We are the glorious Rocket Force,” a mixed choir sings in a Soviet-...

Features

02.18.16

The Bamboo Bicycles of Chengdu

Sascha Matuszak
The shift in how Chinese prefer to get around means salespeople in China have to market bicycles as fashion accessories, rather than as reliable modes of transportation. This is where colorful custom-made fixed gear bicycles come in. Hipsters from...

Green Space

02.16.16

Gorging on Gadgets

Michael Zhao
Documentary filmmaker Sue Williams is finishing up her latest documentary about our beloved electronic gadgets, Death By Design. I was involved in the project and traveled with Williams to south China’s Guangdong province, to the the town of Guiyu,...

Media

02.11.16

Chinese Students Are Flooding U.S. Christian High Schools

It is no secret that Chinese students are pouring into the United States; over 300,000 of them attended U.S. colleges and universities in 2015 alone, and Chinese are filling up spots in U.S. secondary schools in search of a better education and an...

Media

02.04.16

Seeking Justice for China’s ‘Underage Prostitutes’

Four and a half years ago in a small village on the outskirts of the coastal city of Yingkou in northern China, a woman stopped a 12-year-old girl outside the child’s school and lured her into a car. “If you don’t come with me, I will beat you every...

Green Space

02.04.16

Rescuing China’s Abused Animals

Michael Zhao
We start with a heartwarming note, which I recently heard about in a New Year’s greeting from Animals Asia, a NGO started by Jill Robinson, originally from the U.K., in Chengdu to rescue Asian bears from their torture-chamber-like cages throughout...

Media

02.02.16

When Push Comes to Shove—Movies, China, and the World

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
The moviemaking dance the United States is doing with China is picking up pace. The Asian giant’s audience influence is soaring as estimates show that Chinese box office returns could overtake American ticket sales this year or next. Parity in...

Caixin Media

02.01.16

Tough Times call for Tougher Reform Push

Beijing has has done a good job in terms of industrializing the country but will face unprecedented challenges when dealing with a service-driven economy.

Media

01.29.16

‘The New Yorker’ on China

Jiayang Fan, Peter Hessler & more
Following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society New York on December 17, 2015, “ChinaFile Presents: The New Yorker On China.” (The full video appears above.) The evening, introduced by Asia Society President Josette Sheeran...

Media

01.29.16

‘I Don't Want to Think About Activating Change’

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In 2012, The New York Times published a groundbreaking investigative report showing that the family of Wen Jiabao, China’s then-prime minister, possessed wealth in excess of $2.7 billion. In response, the Chinese government blocked the Times’...

Viewpoint

01.28.16

The Trouble with Hong Kong’s Chief Executives

Denise Y. Ho & Alyssa King
On January 14, the trial of Sir Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s former chief executive who served from 2005 to 2012, was set for January 3 of 2017. This past December, Tsang pleaded not guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, charges on which...

Green Space

01.27.16

Kunming’s Stinky Lake, Beijing’s Saving Winds

Michael Zhao
Lake Dian in Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province, suffered greatly when, in the 1950s, Chairman Mao Zedong called on the Chinese people to “conquer nature” and reclaim land by filling lakes with soil.Nowadays, Dianchi, as it’s...

Caixin Media

01.26.16

How Serial Killers Terrorized China’s Disorganized Elder Care Industry

The 45-year-old caregiver was calm on the witness stand, but her words were jarring. He Tiandai admitted during her murder trial that she killed a 70-year-old woman she cared for by poisoning her soup with sleeping pills and pesticide, injecting her...

Green Space

01.22.16

Sea Level Rise In Pictures, Cancer Villages Near Beijing

Michael Zhao
I think a big part of the reason why citizens of the world have not rallied to deal with climate change is the lack of a certain deadline that would warrant our immediate response to the grave consequences of our warming planet. There is no...

Viewpoint

01.21.16

After a Landslide Election, Now Comes the Hard Part for Taiwan's President

William Kazer
Taiwan elected its first woman president on Saturday in a landslide victory that brought a nominally pro-independence party back to power after eight years in opposition.Tsai Ing-wen led her Democratic Progressive Party to a thumping victory,...

Caixin Media

01.19.16

Why China Doesn’t Publish Fatal Train Crash Data

Disputes between the two agencies running the trains in China over how to classify and publish details on fatal railroad incidents has kept reports on some fatal accidents last year from surfacing, people close to the matter say. Several employees...

Environment

01.19.16

Is Industrial Farming a Tech-Fix or Dead End for Tackling Climate Change?

from chinadialogue
Researchers estimate that between 44 and 57 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) come from the global food system. Agriculture and deforestation caused by agriculture account for 26-33 percent of total emissions, making it a major...

Postcard

01.18.16

A People’s Friendship

James Palmer
It takes a brave man to jump off a moving train for the sake of a sale, but the clothes hawkers had the easy courage of men who did this on the regular. I watched as they leapt off the front carriage as the train chugged into a station with no stop...

Viewpoint

01.15.16

China’s New Development Bank Needs Better Human Rights Protections

Nicholas Bequelin
On January 16, the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will meet in Beijing to formally launch its operations.A symbol of China’s growing clout on the international scene, the AIIB attracted 57 founding members,...

Green Space

01.14.16

Waking the Green Tiger

This documentary—available in full on ChinaFile throughout January courtesy of filmmaker Gary Marcuse—follows a group of environmental activists trying to prevent the construction of dams on the Nu (Salween) and the Upper Yangtze (Jinsha) rivers in...

Features

01.13.16

Those Taiwanese Blues

Anna Beth Keim
“Brainwashed slave!”“Running dog of the Kuomintang!”These are the sentiments 27-year-old Lin Yu-hsiang expects to find on his Facebook page as a result of his campaigning work for the Kuomintang (KMT), or Nationalist Party, ahead of Saturday’s...

Features

01.12.16

Which U.S. President Said What About China?

David M. Barreda
In the past 34 State of the Union addresses, U.S. Presidents have referred to China 29 times. Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned China three times in his State of the Union address. We have selected 10 quotes and challenge you to see...