Postcard

02.04.15

The Bro Code

James Palmer
Turning down an after-dinner invite to a brothel is always a social minefield. But the city’s Party Secretary, a 50-something man with baby-soft hands, had been gently fondling my thigh underneath the banquet table for the past 45 minutes, making me...

Culture

02.04.15

‘This is not that China Story’

James Carter & Michael Meyer
James Carter spent much of the 1990s researching the modern history of Harbin, China’s northernmost major city, in the region that is today known as dongbei, the northeast. That region is the subject of Michael Meyer’s forthcoming book, In Manchuria...

Caixin Media

02.03.15

Minsheng Bank President Resigns Amid Corruption Investigation

China Minsheng Banking Corp. said on January 31 that its president has resigned, shortly after people close to the matter said the Communist Party is investigating him for corruption.Minsheng said in a statement that Mao Xiaofeng had quit as...

Environment

01.28.15

China to Appoint Academic as New Environment Minister

from chinadialogue
The head of Beijing’s Tsinghua University is likely to be appointed to the top environmental job in in China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, according to reports, as the country’s leadership moves to defuse public anger about worsening air,...

Features

01.28.15

‘I Don’t Know Where Some Cadres Get Their Magical Powers’

Earlier this month, at the close of the Chinese Communist Party’s 5th Plenum, the official People’s Daily noted on its website that as this important agenda-setting meeting came to a close it was worth paying attention to the recent publication of a...

Caixin Media

01.27.15

China Boots Up an Internet Banking Industry

Premier Li Keqiang recently launched a new era for banking in China by ceremonially pressing the "confirm" button for a 35,000 yuan loan issued to a Shenzhen truck driver.Li's gesture on January 4 on behalf of Shenzhen Qianhai WeBank...

Environment

01.23.15

China’s Air Pollution: The Tipping Point

Michael Zhao
Last November, Beijing saw a stretch of solidly clear skies and the Chinese media coined a phrase to describe them: APEC blue. After the diplomats and businesspeople gathered in China’s capital for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum...

Media

01.22.15

Xi Jinping’s Pay Raise

Alexa Olesen
It just got slightly less difficult to be a clean Chinese official. State media reported on January 20 that Chinese civil servants had received their first pay raise in ten years, a move that includes a 60 percent bump for President Xi Jinping and...

Environment

01.21.15

‘New Measures Needed’ To Take China’s Cars Off the Roads

from chinadialogue
As air pollution once more soared to hazardous levels last week in Beijing, in Washington a panel of Chinese and other international experts explained some of the solutions to taking cars off the roads in the world’s most populous country, but there...

Caixin Media

01.20.15

Good Times Are Over for Local Governments

Two pieces of recent news have piqued the public's interest. First, local governments reported their latest debt figures to the Ministry of Finance. The numbers have not been made public, but sources say many officials reported large amounts in...

Viewpoint

01.16.15

The Plight of China’s Rights Lawyers

Frances Eve
As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s embattled civil society. Bookending...

Environment

01.16.15

Can the Potato Help Feed China, Cut Pollution, and Alleviate Drought?

from chinadialogue
The Ministry of Agriculture’s move to make potatoes an increasingly important staple in Chinese kitchens, including the propagation of recipes that rely on the humble tuber, at first glance might appear slightly odd and surprising.The potato has...

Viewpoint

01.15.15

Chinese Lawyers to Chinese Lawmakers: Let Us Defend Our Clients

Joshua Rosenzweig
Legal Opinion on Article 35 of the Ninth (Draft) Amendment to the Criminal Law: "We are a group of legal professionals who care about the rights of lawyers and reform of the judicial system and who have taken note of the draft for the Ninth...

Environment

01.15.15

China-Latin America Summit ‘A Missed Opportunity’ on Low-Carbon Energy

The first major meeting of Chinese and Latin American leaders agreed closer cooperation on trade, investment, and industry, but is more likely to usher in deals on oil and gas rather than renewable energy, analysts said in response to a summit that...

Media

01.13.15

This Culture Has Not Yet Been Rated

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
It all started with plunging necklines. After the sudden withdrawal and subsequent sanitizing of a popular Chinese show, viewers in China have renewed longstanding calls to strip government censors of their power, using one simple solution: a...

Media

01.13.15

‘Where’s Our Unity March?’ China Wants to Know

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian & Rachel Lu
The January 7 terrorist attack on satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead has mostly inspired unity in the West, but the massive march held in its aftermath is spurring controversy, and even some disdain, in China. While the...

Caixin Media

01.12.15

China Turning Gray Over Pension Reform Stress

About 8,000 teachers in the northeastern city of Zhaodong stayed home for three days in November to protest an experimental pension scheme they called tantamount to a pay cut.The teachers claimed they'd been illegally forced to participate in...

Environment

01.09.15

China’s Polluters Hit with Biggest-Ever Fines

from chinadialogue
Two days before a new environmental law came into effect, six polluting companies in Jiangsu were ordered by the province’s highest court to pay 160 million yuan ($26 million) in restoration costs for illegally dumping almost 25,000 tons of chemical...

Caixin Media

01.09.15

Baby Hatch Programs Struggle to Cope With Number of Infants With Birth Defects

Giving birth to her first baby granted Zheng Yuling no happiness, but instead brought pain and sadness. The seriously ill girl died hours after birth, and Zheng's husband, Chen Dafu, was arrested on suspicion he abandoned the newborn.Their baby...

Media

01.08.15

What Will Happen to Uber in China?

Ride-sharing app Uber has expanded around the world at a blistering pace, launching in a new city every one or two days. At first glance, China would appear the ideal fit for the Silicon Valley startup. Most urban residents in the world’s second-...

Environment

01.07.15

A Post-Mortem on Jack Ma’s Hunting Trip

from chinadialogue
In 2014, just before the U.S. IPO of his company Alibaba, Jack Ma became caught up in a debate sparked by a hunting trip he took to the U.K.. My colleagues and I at chinadialogue had an idea: rise above that debate and look at the facts.The U.K...

Caixin Media

01.06.15

In Praise of Hu Feng

Sheila Melvin
Hu Feng (1902-85) is a name that most students of P.R.C. history have undoubtedly encountered at one time or another. I remember reading it for the first time years ago in Jonathan Spence's "The Search for Modern China." It stuck in...

Caixin Media

12.30.14

Nephew of Disgraced Official Ling Jihua Involved in Tangled Web of Businesses

The investigations into Ling Jihua, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and his two brothers, Ling Zhengce and Ling Wancheng, have shed light on a powerful family that had a grip on both government resources...

China in 2014 Through the Eyes of a Human Rights Advocate

Yaxue Cao from China Change
This time last year, volunteers and I were busy writing and translating articles to prepare for the New Citizens Movement trials. Many Chinese voices were speaking out forcefully against these trials: law professors, rights lawyers, liberal...

Caixin Media

12.22.14

Wild Stock Market Is Detrimental to Reform Efforts

Chinese leaders' pledge to strengthen risk control at last week's Central Economic Work Conference could not be more timely, given the frenzied exuberance in the stock market.In a statement released after three days of meetings, the...

Culture

12.19.14

‘One Day the People Will Speak Out for Me’

Sheila Melvin
The ongoing exhibition “@Large: Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz” is both revelatory and heart-wrenching, a stunning and sobering work by an artist who understands firsthand the fragility and pricelessness of freedom.Detained without warning or charge for 81...

Media

12.18.14

Hong Kong, the Resilient City

David Wertime
The tents have folded. After 75 days of camping on the street, braving police crackdowns, occasional civilian attacks, and the city’s (admittedly mild) winter chill, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters have cleared out. As promised, police moved in...

Viewpoint

12.16.14

Why Marx Still Matters: The Ideological Drivers of Chinese Politics

Rogier Creemers
In days of greater political brouhaha, “to go and see Marx” used to be a slang expression among Chinese Communists, to refer to death. More recently, a considerable number of commentators have pronounced the expiry of Marxism itself. China’s reform...

Earthbound China

12.15.14

A Map of China’s Back-to-the-Land Efforts

Leah Thompson
In our short film “Down to the Countryside,” Sun Yunfan and I follow Ou Ning, an artist and curator who moved from Beijing to the village of Bishan in rural Anhui province in 2013, where he experiments with preserving and revitalizing local heritage...

Caixin Media

12.15.14

China, Russia Near Deal for Wide-Body Aircraft

Russian and Chinese aircraft manufacturers are preparing to cooperate to help China meet soaring demand for new jumbo jets without kowtowing to industry heavyweights Airbus and Boeing.Aviation industry officials on the sidelines of the recent Zhuhai...

Viewpoint

12.11.14

Here Is Xi’s China: Get Used To It

Arthur R. Kroeber from China Economic Quarterly
The prevailing mood among China-watchers in 2014 was one of anxiety and skepticism. The year began in the shadow of Chinese assertiveness in the East and South China Seas. Economic concerns quickly took over: by February the property market seemed...

Caixin Media

12.11.14

Sacked Deputy Reform Commissioner Gets Life in Jail for Graft

A former deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has been sentenced to life in prison for taking 35.6 million yuan (U.S.$5.8 million) in bribes between 2002 and 2012, according to a microblog post from a Langfang court...

Features

12.10.14

Why Beijing’s Troubles Could Get a Lot Worse

from Barron’s
Few foreigners know China as intimately as Anne Stevenson-Yang does. She has spent the bulk of her professional life there since first arriving in 1985, working as a journalist, magazine publisher, and software executive, with stints in between...

Caixin Media

12.09.14

With New Fund, China Hits a Silk Road Stride

China's ambitious plan to expand trade links westward into Central Asia in the spirit of the ancient Silk Road is taking shape now that the government has decided to shift foreign currency into a special fund.The State Council will tap the...

Media

12.08.14

Happy Friday, Zhou Yongkang

Alexa Olesen
Eight minutes after midnight on Friday, the axe fell on Zhou Yongkang: a terse news release from state-run Xinhua news agency said that China’s former security czar Zhou had been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party, his case handed over to...

Media

12.08.14

On First Annual Constitution Day, China’s Most Censored Word Was ‘Constitution’

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On December 4, China’s first annual Constitution Day, Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily posted the complete text of the Chinese constitution to its Weibo microblogging account, accompanied by the upbeat hashtag: “Let’s all read the...

Environment

12.05.14

The Great Lake in Danger

Wilfredo Miranda Aburto & Carlos Herrera from Confidencial
Southwest of the Maderas volcano, where the Rivas coast is a line fading into the distance, Lake Cocibolca’s inmensity is on prominent display: breezes softly comb stretches of water that are seemingly endless. Sonar has marked this as the deepest...

Environment

12.05.14

A Catastrophe for Nicaragua’s Great Lake

Carlos F. Chamorro from Confidencial
Eighty years old, with more than a dozen books on national geography and natural resources to his name, he is the most authoritative voice in the country on environmental issues. Jaime Incer Barquero, former Minister of the Environment and Natural...

Media

12.05.14

Repeat After Me: Taiwan’s Recent Elections Had Nothing to Do With Hong Kong

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
If China was in fact the invisible candidate in Taiwan’s local elections, it just lost in a landslide. On November 28, voters on the self-governing island, which mainland China considers a renegade province, selected candidates for over 11,000...

Features

12.05.14

China’s Fallen Mighty [Updated]

Ouyang Bin, Zhang Mengqi & more
Political infighting and purges have been hallmarks of the Chinese Communist Party since its earliest days but came to a peak during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, damaging the country and paralyzing the Party itself. When Mao died in 1976, it...

Environment

12.04.14

Indian Critics of Tibet’s First Dam ‘Exaggerating’ Dangers

from chinadialogue
Tibet’s first major dam, the Zangmu hydropower station, started generating electricity at the end of November. This prompted complaints from Indian media that Chinese dam building on the Yarlung Zangbo River could reduce water flow and cause...

Caixin Media

12.02.14

Clearing the Air With a Sino-U.S. Climate Pact

A long-anticipated, Sino-U.S. agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions was announced on November 12 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing.The deal marked a surprise turn toward compromise for the world's largest...

Environment

11.26.14

The People’s Republic of Chemicals

from chinadialogue
The name of China is almost obscured by a grey smudge on the title page of The People’s Republic of Chemicals, and this image proves to be apt.  This book examines the crisis caused by toxic&...

Viewpoint

11.26.14

Three Views of Local Consciousness in Hong Kong

Ho-fung Hung
Hong Kong has been in turmoil. The 2003 demonstration in which more than half a million demonstrators successfully forestalled the Article 23 anti-subversion legislation, as well as the 2012 rally of 130,000 and the threat of general student strikes...

Caixin Media

11.24.14

At Factory Waste Ponds, Fumes Choke Fantasies

Deep in the Tengger Desert, near a community of cattle herders about 700 kilometers west of Beijing, pipes from a complex of coal processing and chemical factories once spewed slimy wastewater into six ponds.The "evaporation ponds" were...

Viewpoint

11.21.14

What Will Make the U.S.-China Climate Deal Work

Mark Hertsgaard
Nearly everyone agrees that the U.S.-China climate announcement is a big deal, but most observers have overlooked what truly makes it a game-changer: if the world’s two climate change superpowers limit their greenhouse gas emissions, it will have...

Viewpoint

11.21.14

“Getting Pantsed” by the “Central People’s Court”

Hu Yong
In December of last year CCTV producer Wang Qinglei wrote a post on his Weibo account criticizing the Chinese government’s campaign-style attacks on prominent social media figures and arguing the media had also been drawn in and was “sidestepping...

Media

11.20.14

The Invisible Candidate in Taiwan’s Elections

Almost 80 percent of Taiwan, an island of 23 million off the coast of China, is expected to head to the polls November 29 to vote in local elections with more than 11,000 seats up for grabs. Voters will choose candidates ranging from mayors in...

Environment

11.18.14

Four Reasons Why the U.S.-China Climate Statement Matters

from chinadialogue
The joint U.S.-China statement on climate change is both inspiring and historic. The two parties have sought common ground, set aside their differences, and put global interests first—as responsible great powers should.The agreement will have four...

Caixin Media

11.17.14

Visa and MasterCard Confront China’s Stacked Deck

Visa and MasterCard executives eager to expand in China were thrilled recently when Premier Li Keqiang seemed to suggest that a door would open to them for bank card yuan business in the country.But they had read Li wrong: The premier's...

Viewpoint

11.14.14

The Domestic Politics of the U.S.-China Climate Change Announcement

Ann Carlson & Alex Wang
The news from Beijing this week that the U.S. and China are committing to ambitious goals on climate change is, we think, monumental. No two countries are more important to tackling the problem than the largest carbon emitter over the past two...

Media

11.14.14

Why Is Beijing Downplaying the Supposedly Huge Climate Change Deal?

Alexa Olesen
The United States has been using some frothy language to describe its joint statement with China on forestalling climate change. In a breathless New York Times editorial, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry referred to it as "something of great...

Media

11.12.14

“Having a Second Kid Isn’t as Simple as Adding Another Pair of Chopsticks”

Alexa Olesen
When China loosened its family planning rules a year ago in November, allowing more couples to have a second child, it was big news. It marked the biggest reform of China's strict family planning rules—which limited most urban couples to one...

Environment

11.11.14

China Reforms National Parks to Improve Environmental Protection

from chinadialogue
China’s central government is reforming the way major tourist attractions are run. It plans to create a unified national parks management system in a bid to halt environmental damage within its protected areas. The new, unified system will cut...

Caixin Media

11.10.14

Popular Mental Health Treatment Has No Benefits, Experts Say

A widely used and expensive mental illness treatment that many patients have turned to for help is in the spotlight due to suggestions it offers little help.A college student name Xiaolei and his father travelled more than 500 kilometers from the...

Viewpoint

11.08.14

Obama’s Chance to Get China Right

Paul Gewirtz
With much of his domestic agenda now stymied by the Republican sweep of Congress, President Obama’s room for maneuver remains greatest in foreign affairs. Yet with much of the Middle East in flames, an angry Vladimir Putin threatening Russian...

Culture

11.07.14

‘The Training Wheels Are Coming Off,’ But That’s Not Necessarily A Good Thing

Jonathan Landreth
Making a movie is a wild ride no matter where you are in the world, a process fraught with ego and pride; wobblier, riskier, yet potentially more lucrative, the bigger and faster it gets.With U.S. gross sales of movie tickets basically flat, up just...

Environment

11.07.14

China’s EIA Industry Rife with Fraud

from chinadialogue
A farce played out at an environmental impact assessment (EIA) firm in the southern city of Shenzhen when inspectors called round in early October, this year.The firm had applied to renew its license to carry out EIAs—reports that are supposed to...

Features

11.06.14

No Women Need Apply

Lijia Zhang
“Applicants limited to male.” 23-year-old job-hunter Huang Rong (not her real name) noticed this line in a job announcement only after she had heard nothing from the recruiter and gone back to check the advertisement online. She had graduated from...