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...

Media

11.05.14

Tim Cook Coming Out Has Turned China Into a Nation of Fifth-Graders

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
"Let me be clear," wrote Apple CEO Tim Cook in a Bloomberg Businessweek article published on October 30. "I'm proud to be gay."Within an hour of the article's publication, Cook's first public announcement of his...

Caixin Media

11.04.14

Cai Jinyong: A Chinese Voice at the Top of the IFC

Three top executives serving in recent years at the World Bank and its emerging markets financing arm International Finance Corp. (IFC) have called China home.Economist Cai Jinyong became the fourth in October 2012, when he was named IFC's...

Media

10.29.14

Foot Spas, Steamed Buns, and Midday Drinking

It may not be Monty Python’s famous “Ministry of Silly Walks,” but it’s close.The Office of Forbidding Midday Alcohol Consumption, a local government initiative in China’s southern Henan province which seeks to reduce alcohol consumption at...

Media

10.29.14

A Talking Heads Video: China Strikes Back

Orville Schell
In the first episode of the new VICE News series Talking Heads, Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society, and publisher of ChinaFile, discusses his New York Review of Books essay, "China...

Media

10.27.14

What China’s Reading: ‘Broken Dreams, USA’

Zhou Xiaoping, a 33-year-old selfie-snapping blogger, has quickly become the new face of Chinese patriotism—or, some would say, nationalism. On October 15, Chinese President Xi Jinping held a forum in Beijing in which the president called for art to...

Caixin Media

10.27.14

Rise and Fall of a Coal Boomtown

Some 187 kilometers west of Taiyuan, capital of the northern province of Shanxi, the city of Luliang is located on the dry and gullied Loess Plateau in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River.The city, which covers 21,143 square kilometers...

Media

10.24.14

Hong Kong Documentary Explores the Roots of Dissent

La Frances Hui
To many observers, Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement”—thousands of students and other citizens in the streets demanding to choose their own political leaders—seemed to unfurl, fully formed, out of nowhere. Residents of the former colony were supposed...

Environment

10.23.14

Tesla-Unicom Deal Could Spark China’s Electric Vehicle Market

from chinadialogue
Electric vehicle firm Tesla’s major new deal with China Unicom to build EV charging infrastructure unites what is seemingly the only EV success story, pursuing a business model targeting elite customers, with China’s second largest mobile phone...

Media

10.23.14

Pandas Were Monsters

Alexa Olesen
"Rich Chinese are literally eating this exotic mammal into extinction," read a recent Global Post expose of the devastating trade in the pangolin, a scaly anteater that Chinese consider a delicacy. According to the Post, the adorable...

Environment

10.23.14

Tibetan Plateau Faces Massive ‘Ecosystem Shift’

from chinadialogue
Large areas of grasslands, alpine meadows, wetlands, and permafrost will disappear on the Tibetan plateau by 2050, with serious implications for environmental security in China and South Asia, a research paper published by scientists at the Kunming...

Media

10.23.14

Kenny G: The Newest ‘Foreign Force’ in Hong Kong

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
As pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong extend into their fourth week with no resolution in sight, pro-Beijing voices have increasingly accused “foreign forces” of wielding influence over Hong Kong protests and intervening in Chinese internal affairs...

Media

10.21.14

Chinese Doubt Their Own Soft Power Venture

On September 27, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong read aloud a letter written by President Xi Jinping at a ceremony in Beijing celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Confucius Institute (CI) program, an international chain of academic centers...

Viewpoint

10.21.14

‘We Can Only Trust Each Other and Keep the Road’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Snip. Snip. Snip. The officer’s face shows concentration as he cuts one yellow ribbon after another along a metal fence on Queensway in the Central district of Hong Kong. Next to him, other policemen have just finished dismantling the barricades...

Caixin Media

10.21.14

Revision of Securities Law Is Chance to Liberalize Market

China's securities law is to undergo a comprehensive revision almost a decade after the last major overhaul. Public consultation is due to start in the first half of next year, following recent comments from officials, scholars, and market...

Viewpoint

10.20.14

‘A Power Capable of Making Us Weep’

Hu Yong
This September, the editors of the online edition of the 21st Century Business Herald—a leading Chinese business newspaper based in Guangzhou and owned by Southern Media Group (Nanfang Baoye Jituan)—came under investigation on charges of extortion...

Environment

10.16.14

‘Paranoia’ and Public Opinion

Sam Geall from chinadialogue
When permits for Chinese researchers to grow genetically modified rice and corn expired this summer, there was concern. More so, given there was little indication that the Ministry of Agriculture would renew them.The certificates, issued in 2009,...

Environment

10.16.14

Chinese Environmentalists, in Their Own Words

Michael Zhao
Earlier this year, ChinaFile’s Environment Editor, Michael Zhao, teamed up with Phoenix Online to create a series of two-minute documentaries on the work, ideas, and aspirations of Chinese environmental advocates. The environmentalists, many of whom...

Media

10.15.14

Jiang Zemin Unplugged

Given the leadership styles of Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping, who have been China’s supreme leaders over the past twelve years, it is an almost shocking experience to look back at these two videos (the first of which circulated last week on social media...

Viewpoint

10.15.14

How China’s Leaders Will Rule on the Law

Carl Minzner
Last week, as the world watched the student demonstrations in Hong Kong, China’s Politburo announced the dates for the Communist Party’s annual plenary session would be from October 20-23. As in previous years, top leaders will gather in Beijing to...

Viewpoint

10.14.14

On Dealing with Chinese Censors

Joseph W. Esherick
It was a hot afternoon in June in the East China city of Jinan. I was returning to my hotel after an afternoon coffee, thinking of the conference I had come to attend and trying to escape the heat on the shady side of the street. My cell phone rang...

Caixin Media

10.14.14

Sounds of Distinction

Sheila Melvin
The Peking Opera star Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) is generally acknowledged to have been the greatest performer of female dan roles in the history of his art. He was also a renowned theatrical innovator whose performance style is carried on as the...

Media

10.10.14

China Bans Law-Breaking Actors From Movies and Television

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Amid an ongoing government campaign against drugs, prostitution, and other moral vices, a powerful government agency has reportedly issued new regulations banning actors with histories of drug use or prostitution from appearing in movies and...

Environment

10.09.14

Locals Attack Factory After Children Poisoned with Lead

from chinadialogue
Villagers from the township of Gangkou in Jiangxi province, southeast China, have smashed up a new lead recycling plant which was due to begin operating.Unconvinced by reassurances from the owners and local government that there would be no...

Viewpoint

10.08.14

‘We Do Not Want to Be Persuaded’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Over the past week, it has been hard to make sense of the threats and ultimatums the Hong Kong protesters have faced. On Sunday, the South China Morning Post splashed on its front page that Hong Kong had “hours to avoid tragedy.” University deans...

Caixin Media

10.06.14

Lost in Translation

Is selective translation of news articles from the foreign media more insidious than no translation at all? The debate was sparked by a garbled translation of the cover story of the Economist headlined "What Does China Want?"In a...