Books

06.10.15

China’s Millennials

Eric Fish
In 1989, students marched on Tiananmen Square demanding democratic reform. The Communist Party responded with a massacre, but it was jolted into restructuring the economy and overhauling the education of its young citizens. A generation later, Chinese youth are a world apart from those who converged at Tiananmen. Brought up with lofty expectations, they’ve been accustomed to unprecedented opportunities on the back of China’s economic boom. But today, China’s growth is slowing and its demographics rapidly shifting, with the boom years giving way to a painful hangover.Immersed in this transition, Eric Fish, a millennial himself, profiles youth from around the country and how they are navigating the education system, the workplace, divisive social issues, and a resurgence in activism. Based on interviews with scholars, journalists, and hundreds of young Chinese, his engrossing book challenges the idea that today’s youth have been pacified by material comforts and nationalism. Following rural Henan students struggling to get into college, a computer prodigy who sparked a nationwide patriotic uproar, and young social activists grappling with authorities, Fish deftly captures youthful struggle, disillusionment, and rebellion in a system that is scrambling to keep them in line—and, increasingly, scrambling to adapt when its youth refuse to conform.—Rowman & Littlefield{chop}

Caixin Media

06.09.15

China’s Cabinet Unveils Plan to Improve Rural Schools

The State Council has released a plan for improving the quality of education in rural areas over the next five years—a move the cabinet says is aimed at improving the quality of teaching at primary and secondary schools in the country’s less-...

China Is Exporting its Tiananmen Censorship, and We Are All Victims

Foreign Policy
Twenty six years after the killing of student protesters, the code of silence is spreading worldwide.

Media

06.02.15

Chinese Netizens to Fiorina: You’re Right, We Don’t Innovate

David Wertime
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a declared Republican candidate for U.S. president, evidently has strong opinions about the capacities of Chinese people. “Yeah, the Chinese can take a test,” Fiorina told an Iowa-based video blog...

Will China Close Its Doors?

New York Times
The draft “Foreign NGO Management Law” is part of a package of legislation that includes strict laws on national security and antiterrorism.

Environment

05.28.15

Chinese Posters Warn of the Dangers of Smog

from chinadialogue
{slideshow, 16211, 4}An exhibition of smog-inspired posters is touring the polluted cities of northern and eastern China this month to draw attention to the impending environmental disaster.Created by a group of Chinese designers, the 300 posters...

China Warned Over ‘Insane’ Plans for New Nuclear Power Plants

Emma Graham-Harrison
Guardian
He Zuoxiu, a leading scientist, says China is not investing enough in safety controls after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Q. and A.: Luo Yufeng, a.k.a. Sister Feng, on Life as a Manicurist in New York

Vanessa Piao
New York Times
Sister Feng, whose real name is Luo Yufeng, is an Internet celebrity with more than 4.7 million followers on Sina Weibo

Chinese Professors Among 6 Charged with Economic Espionage

Kevin Johnson
USA Today
U.S. federal prosecutors allege Beijing sponsored economic espionage in the alleged theft of sensitive American made radio frequency filters.

Why Hong Kong is Clamping Down on Creative Writing

Madeleine Thien
Guardian
The decision to close City University’s MFA program is plainly intended to limit free expression.

Environment

05.19.15

Dredging For Disaster

from Foreign Policy
Tensions are rising in the South China Sea. On May 16, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Beijing for talks which will likely focus on the territorial disputes. But China’s controversial effort to assert its sovereignty in the South China...

The Worrying Rise of Anti-China Discourse in the US

Chen Dingding
Diplomat
Forget U.S. patrols in the South China Sea. This is the real threat to U.S.-China relations.

Sinica Podcast

05.18.15

Leonard Bernstein and China

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are delighted to host Alexander Bernstein, son of Leonard Berstein and director of the Bernstein Family Foundation, who is now in China on part of a cultural tour. Accompanied by Alison Friedman of...

Conversation

05.14.15

The Future of NGOs in China

Isabel Hilton, Carl Minzner & more
Last week, China’s National People’s Congress released the second draft of a new law on “Managing Foreign NGOs.” Many foreign non-profits in China have operated in a legal gray area over the years. The law [full English translation here] establishes...

Wang Qishan Highlights Party Discipline in Anti-Corruption Effort

Xinhua
Wang pledged to enhance institutional innovation and let discipline take the lead in the anti-graft campaign.

China Focus: Cross-Strait Economic Forum Held in Shanghai

Xinhua
The forum could invite a wider spectrum of people to cover major issues of cross-Strait development. 

Q. and A.: Francis Fukuyama on China's Political Development

New York Times
Stanford historian argues an effective political system has to balance state capacity against rule of law and democracy.

Environment

04.30.15

‘Blue Sky’ App Gets China’s Public Thinking About Pollution Solutions

from chinadialogue
The Blue Sky Map app, which was officially launched April 28 by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), enables the public to check up on air and water quality and local sources of pollution, and scrutinize emissions from 9,000...

China Rethinks Safety Net for Its Banking System

Neil Gough
New York Times
New deposit insurance could shake the public’s faith in the long-held belief in failsafe government bailouts.

Bat-Winged Dinosaur Fossil Discovered in China

Lori Grisham
USA Today
The new dinosaur is named Yi qi (pronounced "ee chee") and means "strange wing" in Mandarin...

Environment

04.24.15

Fracking May be Needed in China to Wean it Off Coal

from chinadialogue
Fracking of China’s huge shale gas reserves will only have a modest impact on the environment if anti-pollution controls—many of them new—are enforced rigorously, says a new report from the U.K.-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI).The ODI...

A Bittersweet Reprieve for Chinese Woman Who Killed Abusive Husband

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
The verdict left lawyers and activists doubtful of the Chinese legal system’s ability to protect women. 

Cities in China’s North Resist Tapping Water Piped From South

Te-ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
Huge project transferring water from Yangtze River to drier regions runs into budgetary constraints.

Chinese Cultural Diplomacy in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The Chinese government has spent billions of dollars in Africa on public diplomacy initiatives that are intended to improve the country’s image. Central to that strategy is the growing network of Confucius Institutes (CIs) spread across the...

China Releases 5 Women’s Rights Activists Detained for Weeks

Edward Wong
New York Times
Police released five female activists detained after campaigning against sexual harassment on public transport.

‘Masturbation Will Lead to Homosexuality’: China’s LGBT Sex-Ed Problem in Chinese

Cole Delbyck
Nation
In a country where sex and sexuality remain taboo topics of discussion, such misinformation remains common.

Why Chinese Students Find it Hard to Make Friends on US Campuses

Ray Kwong
Hong Kong Economic Journal
Chinese students complain that American students are misinformed, prejudiced and offensive on Chinese current events.

China Appears to Attack GitHub by Diverting Web Traffic

Paul Mozur
New York Times
In recent attacks on sites that try to help Internet users in China circumvent censorship, the Great Firewall appears to have been used as a weapon.

How ‘Old Friend’ Lee Kuan Yew Influenced China

Chun Han Wong and Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
“Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was an old friend of the Chinese people,” Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote to Singapore President Tony Tan.

Media

03.20.15

China Has Its Own Anti-Vaxxers—Blame the Internet

Alexa Olesen
While health officials in the United States and parts of Europe wrestle with a growing anti-vaccination, or “anti-vaxxer” movement, China is dealing with a less organized but similarly serious fear of immunizations. Social media reveals traces of...

Chinese High School Students Riot Over Mass Food Poisoning

Wei Ling
Radio Free Asia
Thousands of disgruntled students smashed up their high school campus in Guizhou in the early hours of March 20 .

Conversation

03.18.15

Dark Days for Women in China?

Rebecca E. Karl, Leta Hong Fincher & more
With China’s recent criminal detention of five feminist activists, gender inequality in China is back in the spotlight. What does a crackdown on Chinese women fighting for equal representation say about the current state of the nation’s political...

U.S. Students Losing Interest in China as Dream Jobs Prove Elusive

Alexandra Harney
Reuters
Waning interest worries those who view having Americans who speak Chinese as a matter of national interest.

China Celebrates International Women’s Day By Arresting Women’s Rights Activists

Matthew Sheehan
Huffington Post
Many women’s rights groups activists who also work on LGBT issues have gone into hiding.

Henan Delegates Protest Inequality in University Admissions

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Henan people say big cities are given preferential consideration for education funds and places in universities.

Environment

03.05.15

Beijing Says Panda Population Up 17%, But Experts Doubtful

from chinadialogue
China's claims that its population of wild giant pandas rose around 17% in just over a decade are being disputed by some experts, who point out that the latest census was over a much wider area than the previous one.The giant panda, a global...

Media

03.04.15

The Other China

Michael Meyer & Ian Buruma
Writers Michael Meyer and Ian Buruma engage in a discussion co-sponsored by The New York Review of Books centered on Meyer’s new book, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, which combines immersion...

Conversation

03.03.15

Why Has This Environmental Documentary Gone Viral on China’s Internet?

Angel Hsu, Michael Zhao & more
[Updated: March 6,  2015] Our friends at Foreign Policy hit the nail on the head by headlining writer Yiqin Fu's Monday story "China's National Conversation about Pollution Has Finally Begun." What happened? Well, in the...

Travels with My Censor

New Yorker
China’s reading public has begun to discover nonfiction books about China by foreigners.

Chinese Babies Should be Trained to Play Football—President Xi

BBC
BBC
Beijing has approved the country's "football reform plan," and says being good at soccer is the "ardent wish of the whole nation."...

Civic Groups’ Freedom, and Followers, Are Vanishing

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Accepted activities are narrowing, sparking fear that openness in the political landscape may disappear.

China’s Feminists Stand up Against ‘Misogynistic’ TV Gala

Simon Denyer and Xu Yangjingjing
Washington Post
The most widely watched television show on earth was peppered with jokes at the expense of women.

China Starts Massive Promotion of Xi Jinping’s Political Theory the ‘Four Comprehensives’

Mandy Zuo and Agence France Presse
South China Morning Post
Xi has created a slogan and formulated principles to guide his style of government.

Sobering News Out of China, Part 4 Million

Atlantic
Chronicles of a country walling itself off.

The China-Russia NGO Crackdown

Julia Famularo
Diplomat
Authorities in both countries apparently aim to cripple NGOs with foreign patrons or partners.

Chinese Studies at the University of Botswana

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
It’s long been said that while China may have an Africa policy, Africans do not have a China policy. In particular, too many Africans do not understand the language, culture, and politics of their new number one trading partner. The University of...

Ringing In the Lunar New Year, Whatever It’s Called

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Because Han Chinese culture developed in regions where herders and goats prevailed, many think the zodiac talisman must be a goat.

Soft Recruits Hinder China’s Military Modernization

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Many of China's army conscripts have been raised as spoiled children of the one-child policy and need toughening up, a RAND report says. ...

Conversation

02.12.15

Is Mao Still Dead?

Rebecca E. Karl, Michael Schoenhals & more
It has long been standard operating procedure for China’s leaders to pay tribute to Mao. Even as the People’s Republic he wrought has embraced capitalist behavior with ever more heated ardor, the party he founded has remained firmly in power and his...

China’s Internet Censorship Anthem Is Revealed, Then Deleted

Paul Mozur
New York Times
Cyberspace Administration employees Sang lines like, “An Internet power: Tell the world that the Chinese Dream is uplifting China.”

China’s Wealthy Parents Are Fed Up With State-Run Education

Helen Gao
Foreign Policy
Forget rote memorization and pressure-packed tests—Western, alternative learning is the new rage.

Parent Meddling Makes for Unmerry Marriages in China

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
"Parental matchmaking is robustly correlated with lower marital harmony,” says a new World Bank report...

China Tells Schools to Suppress Western Ideas, With One Big Exception

Dan Levin
New York Times
Some teachers and students reject the idea that foreign pedagogy and textbooks pose a threat to the government.

China Says No Room for ‘Western Values’ in University Education

Agence France-Presse
Education minister says books which ‘smear socialism’ will be banned.

Conversation

01.29.15

Is China’s Internet Becoming an Intranet?

George Chen, Charlie Smith & more
With Astrill and several other free and paid-subscription virtual private networks (VPNs) that make leaping China’s Great Firewall possible now harder to use themselves after government interference "gummed" them up, the world wide web...

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,...

Study Examines How Overseas Chinese Students Respond to Criticism of Their Country

Elizabeth Redden
Inside Higher Ed
Do conversations between domestic and foreign students result in mutual understanding and friendly feelings?

American Film On A Tibetan Migrant Finds Unlikely Success In China

Frank Langfitt
NPR
Journalist Jocelyn Ford spent years documenting the life of Zanta, a Tibetan migrant who fled her poor, mountain village to build a life for herself and her son in Beijing.

Inside a Chinese Test-Prep Factory

Brook Larmer
New York Times
One minute later, at precisely 11:45, the stillness was shattered. Thousands of teenagers swarmed out of the towering front gate of Maotanchang High School. Many of them wore identical black-and-white Windbreakers emblazoned with the slogan, in...

Other

12.30.14

A Look Back at 2014

It’s hard to believe, but ChinaFile is almost two years old. It’s been an exciting year for us, and, as ever, an eventful year for China. It was a year of muscular leadership from Xi Jinping, who has now been in office just over two years and who...