Environment

01.31.14

Beijing Passes Law to Curb Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
China’s first legally binding regulations for reducing PM2.5 levels have been approved by Beijing’s municipal congress.Beijing’s annual average PM2.5 level currently stands at 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter, far exceeding the 35-micrograms national...

Environment

01.30.14

This Chinese Filmmaker Can’t Stop Talking Trash

Sun Yunfan
Documentary filmmaker and photographer Wang Jiuliang spent four years, between 2008 and 2011, documenting over 460 hazardous and mostly illegal landfill sites around Beijing.His award-winning film Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011) provoked intense...

Environment

01.21.14

Real-time Air Quality Data Due from 179 Chinese Cities

from chinadialogue
More than 170 cities in China have now joined a real-time air quality disclosure scheme, initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.Launched in 2012, more than sixty cities had started publishing data from their monitoring stations by the...

Books

01.16.14

Debating China

Nina Hachigian (Editor)
America and China are the two most powerful players in global affairs, and no relationship is more consequential. How they choose to cooperate and compete affects billions of lives. But U.S.-China relations are complex and often delicate, featuring a multitude of critical issues that America and China must navigate together. Missteps could spell catastrophe.In Debating China, Nina Hachigian pairs American and Chinese experts in collegial “letter exchanges” that illuminate this multi-dimensional and complex relationship. These fascinating conversations—written by highly respected scholars and former government officials from the U.S. and China—provide an invaluable dual perspective on such crucial issues as trade and investment, human rights, climate change, military dynamics, regional security in Asia, and the media, including the Internet. The engaging dialogue between American and Chinese experts gives readers an inside view of how both sides see the key challenges. Readers bear witness to the writers’ hopes and frustrations as they explore the politics, values, history, and strategic frameworks that inform their positions. This unique volume is perfect for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of U.S.-China relations today.—Oxford University Press{chop}{node, 4406, 4}

Environment

01.15.14

Why Low-Carbon Innovation Matters

Sam Geall from chinadialogue
It came as little surprise when Beijing’s environmental authorities reported in early January last year that the capital’s levels of PM2.5 (a measure of air pollution) were more than double the national standard. The past year saw no end to the smog...

Environment

01.08.14

The Drying Up of China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

from chinadialogue
When Jiang Minsheng moored his fishing boat on the eastern shore of Jiangxi’s Poyang Lake in November last year, he didn’t expect to it to be marooned. The fisherman’s village is on an island in the middle of the freshwater lake, once China’s...

Caixin Media

01.07.14

Chinese Firm Linked to CNPC Suspected of Fraud in Iraq

Just after the December 29 celebration of the Muslim holiday Ashura in southern Iraq, heads of the Iraqi subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) received a letter titled “Suspending all activities of Hermic.”The sender of the letter...

Environment

01.03.14

Predictions for China’s Environment in 2014

from chinadialogue
From dead pigs in the Shanghai river to toxic smog in major cities, 2013 was a year of dramatic environmental stories in China. We asked some of our contributors for their predictions on how these and other stories are likely to develop in the...

China May Raise Iran Oil Imports With New Contract: Sources

Chen Aizhu
Reuters
China may buy more Iranian oil this year as a state trader is negotiating a new light crude contract that could raise imports from Tehran to levels not seen since tough Western sanctions were imposed in 2012, running the risk of upsetting Washington.

Other

12.26.13

2013 Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, we want to take a moment to look back at some of the stories ChinaFile published in 2013. We hope you’ll find something that interests you to read—or watch—over the holidays.It’s hard to remember a recent year that didn...

China: Here Are Some Great Things About Toxic Air

Emily Rauhala
Time
China's state-run TV tries to put a positive spin on toxic haze. Nice try, guys, nice try...

Environment

12.05.13

Daoism, Confucianism, and the Environment

from chinadialogue
In September, an unusual environmental organization was launched in one of the most ancient and significant sites in China—the Songyang Academy, Dengfeng, Henan. Founded in the eleventh century AD, this was one of the four Confucian Academies of...

Caixin Media

12.02.13

How an Expectant Mother Died in Qingdao

One of the fifty-five people to die in an explosion on November 22 at a pipeline owned by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) in the eastern city of Qingdao was a twenty-three-year-old pregnant woman named Chen Na.Her husband, who...

Environment

11.27.13

Life in the Shadow of the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the second in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong (Lancang) River. Part one is an analysis of how China’s resettlement policies are playing out on the ground. Part two, below,...

Environment

11.21.13

Displaced by the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the first in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong River.From far away, Kang Lianghong and his wife look like little white dots, zig-zagging their way down the steep hillside...

Books

10.28.13

In Line Behind a Billion People

Damien Ma, William Adams
Nearly everything you know about China is wrong! Yes, within a decade, China will have the world’s largest economy. But that is the least important thing to know about China. In this enlightening book, two of the world’s leading China experts turn the conventional wisdom on its head, showing why China’s economic growth will constrain rather than empower it. Pioneering political analyst Damien Ma and global economist Bill Adams reveal why, having thirty-five years of ferocious economic growth, China’s future will be shaped by the same fundamental reality that has shaped it for millennia: scarcity.{node, 4231}Ma and Adams drill deep into Chinese society, illuminating all the scarcities that will limit its power and progress. Beyond scarcities of natural resources and public goods, they illuminate China’s persistent poverties of individual freedoms, cultural appeal, and ideological legitimacy—and the corrosive loss of values and beliefs amongst a growing middle class shackled by a parochial and inflexible political system. Everyone knows “the 21st century is China’s to lose”—but, as with so many things that “everyone knows,” that’s just wrong. Ma and Adams get beyond cheerleading and fearmongering to tell the complex truth about China today. This is a truth you need to hear—whether you’re an investor, business decision-maker, policymaker, or citizen. —Pearson{chop}

Excerpts

10.28.13

Stark Choices for China’s Leaders

Damien Ma & William Adams
One Beijing morning in early November 2012, seven men in dark suits strode onto the stage of the Great Hall of the People. China’s newly elected Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Xi Jinping stood at the center of the ensemble, flanked on each...

Conversation

10.22.13

Why’s China’s Smog Crisis Still Burning So Hot?

Alex Wang, Isabel Hilton & more
Alex Wang:On Sunday, the start of the winter heating season in northern China brought the “airpocalypse” back with a vengeance.Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province and home to 11 million people, registered fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution...

Hebei Calls a Provincial Meeting to Address Atmospheric Pollution

Zhou Yingjiu
China Environmental News
In an effort to reduce pollution, a conference in Hebei province has vowed to cut coal consumption by 40 million tons by 2017, relative to 2012.

Beijing Toughens Pollution Rules to Clean Up Air

Xinhua
In a five-year clean air action plan (2013-2017), the Beijing municipal government said 1,200 polluting companies will be ordered to upgrade or close parts or all of their facilities in the coming years to 2016. 

Caixin Media

09.04.13

China’s Shale Gas Development Goals Just Pipe Dreams

China wants to reap the benefits of a shale gas revolution similar to the one in the United States, but there are many obstacles to this happening, experts say.In the first half of 2013, fifty-six shale gas wells were in the exploratory phase in the...

Chad Pushes Back Against China’s National Oil Company

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The Chadian government shut most or all oil operations run by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) over allegations of an oil spill, poor worker safety, and violations of other environmental regulations. CNPC, not surprisingly, denied the...

Can China Clean Up Fast Enough?

Economist
China is going through an industrial-powered growth spurt and the urge to get rich outweighs the desire for clean air. However, China is beginning to clean up its act.

China Likely to Become World’s Largest Oil Importer

BBC
China is likely to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest oil importer as early as next year.The switch comes as the U.S. continues to boost domestic energy supply while China’s energy demand remains robust.

Caixin Media

08.05.13

County in Shaanxi in a Deep Hole as Mining Bubble Pops

A financial crisis triggered by falling coal prices is brewing in Shenmu County, in the northwestern province of Shaanxi.Construction projects have been halted, universal health care has run into payment problems and many private bankers have...

Books

08.05.13

China Threat?

Lionel Vairon
From the long-term threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and China, to the disappearance of the African elephant due to Chinese demand for ivory, each week brings a new round of critique and denunciation of the risks China poses to the stability of the entire planet. While critics raise a certain number of fundamental questions that bear asking about this nascent superpower, the answers put forth are usually based on ideological or economic considerations. Lionel Vairon systematically challenges these views in this first English language edition of China Threat?With an incisive review of China’s economic strategy, deployment of resources, national defence, political reform, ethnicity and religion, terrorism, and developments in human rights, Vairon amply demonstrates that China poses no threat to the world. On the contrary, China Threat? shows that China’s peaceful rise should be a matter of positive news across the globe.  —CN Times Books {chop}

Reports

08.01.13

Recharging China’s Electric Vehicle Policy

Wang Tao
Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Electric vehicles offer China an opportunity to reduce its reliance on foreign oil, improve air quality by curbing emissions from the burgeoning transportation sector, and enjoy the future economic benefits of being a global pioneer in an emerging...

Myanmar-China Gas Pipeline Goes Into Operation

Global Post
As well as diversifying China's sources of fuel, by supplying energy to the vast and less developed west the Myanmar-China gas pipeline could help Beijing's attempts to promote economic growth there...

Reports

07.23.13

Thirsty Coal 2: Shenhua’s Water Grab

Greenpeace
This investigation report is a follow-up to the 2012 Greenpeace and the China Academy of Sciences joint study: “Thirsty Coal: A Water Crisis Exacerbated By China’s New Mega Coal Bases.” In this report, we focus on the most controversial part of...

China Pushes Europe to Lower Hurdles to Solar Deal

Ethan Bilby
Reuters
A European Commission document dated July 12 said China wants any solar agreement to expire by the end of 2014, that the so-called certain parts of the panels should be excluded from tariffs and that any cap on Chinese exports should be...

After Protest, China Cancels Plans for Uranium Plant

Gerry Mullany
New York Times
The protest in Jiangmen was the latest display of growing public disquiet about environmental hazards, which could frustrate China’s ambitious plans for nuclear power and technology. 

China Mine Runoff Pollutes Water for 30,000, China Daily Says

Bloomberg
Officials in southern China shut 112 illegal mines after polluted runoff entered the local water supply, killing fish and making the water unusable for about 30,000 people, China Daily newspaper said.

Environment

07.03.13

Understanding China’s Domestic Agenda Can End U.N. Climate Gridlock

from chinadialogue
Li Shuo of Greenpeace China has recently argued on chinadialogue that U.N. climate talks can drive more ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in China, the world’s largest emitter. This optimism goes against much of the conventional wisdom...

Conversation

05.23.13

China and the Other Asian Giant: Where are Relations with India Headed?

Michael Kulma, Mark Frazier & more
Mike Kulma:Earlier this week at an Asia Society forum on U.S.-China economic relations, Dr. Henry Kissinger remarked that when the U.S. first started down the path of normalizing relations with China in the early 1970s, the economic relationship and...

Conversation

05.16.13

China: What’s Going Right?

Michael Zhao, James Fallows & more
Michael Zhao:On a recent trip to China, meeting mostly with former colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, I got a dose of optimism and hope for one aspect of the motherland. In terms of science, or laying down a solid foundation for better...

Conversation

05.10.13

What’s China’s Game in the Middle East?

Rachel Beitarie, Massoud Hayoun & more
Rachel Beitarie:Xi Jinping’s four point proposal for a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement is interesting not so much for its content, as for its source. While China has maintained the appearance of being involved in Middle East politics for years,...

San Francisco Strengthens Ties With China Despite Washington Suspicion

Rory Carroll
Guardian
San Francisco’s courting of Chinese partnerships contrasts with Washington suspicion towards China. Last year the House Intelligence Committee urged U.S. firms to avoid partnering with Chinese telecom firms, to safeguard customer data. 

China’s Massive Water Problem

Scott Moore
New York Times
This Spring 2013 China is expected to finish the first phase of its gigantic South-North Water Transfer Project, though the project highlights the limits of engineering solutions to problems of basic environmental scarcity.&...

As China’s Xi Jinping Visits, Africa Asks: What Are We Getting Out Of This?

Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
Chinese trade with African countries was nearly $200 billion in 2012. But after years of embracing China, some Africans say that China is taking more than it gives back and replicating colonial patterns. 

The Dragon Eating The Eagle’s Lunch in Africa?

Alemayehu G Mariam
Ethiomedia
For the past decade, the U.S. has been nonchalant and complacent about China’s “invasion” and lightning-fast penetration of Africa, but the U.S. is finally reading the memo. 

Changing Faces

Economist
Xi Jinping’s first foreign visits since his inauguration and new appointments in foreign policy-related positions hint at the direction of the new administration’s foreign policy plans and goals.

Nuclear Test Sparks Chinese Radiation Fears

Li Qiyan
Wall Street Journal
Chinese authorities are moving to tamp down public worries about radiation less than a week after North Korea set off a nuclear test not far from their common border.

Environment

02.14.13

A Progress Report on U.S.-China Energy & Climate Change Cooperation

Leah Thompson
In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama committed to confronting climate change, stating, “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it...

North Korea Nuclear Test Irks Ally China

David Pierson and Ken Dilanian
Los Angeles Times
The test, held during a major Chinese holiday, is seen as a slap in the face to Beijing. But experts say China has more to lose by downgrading its bumpy ties.

Conversation

02.06.13

Airpocalypse Now: China’s Tipping Point?

Alex Wang, Orville Schell & more
The recent run of air pollution in China, we now know, has been worse than the air quality in airport smoking lounges. At its worst, Beijing air quality has approached levels only seen in the United States during wildfires.All of the comparisons to...

Worse Than Poisoned Water: Dwindling Water, in China’s North

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
When 39 tons of the toxic chemical aniline spilled from a factory in Changzhi in China’s Shanxi province at the end of December, polluting drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people downstream along the Zhuozhang River and dangerously...

One Nation Under Smog: Rules for Beijing Living

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The following will sound like a joke, but I’m sorry to say it’s not: the filters for our air purifying machines are so expensive that we get ours under the table. 

Exposing the ‘Hazardous’ Pollution of Beijing

Jennifer Duggan
Al Jazeera
Cityscapes are part of a daily collection of photos of seven cities, four in China and three in the United States published on the website China Air Daily.

Breathing in Beijing: Coping with China’s Smog

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Were the Chinese cement industry a country, it would be the sixth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world.

Cold in China Kills 180,000 Cattle, Threatens Power

Calum McLeod
USA Today
A severly cold winter is causing blizzards in the north, threatening electricity supplies in the south where the government is unused to dealing with such temperatures. 

Mongolia Finds China Can Be Too Close for Comfort

Charles Hutzler
Associated Press
In a global rush to get rich off China, Mongolia works to ensure that Chinese investment doesn't become Chinese dominance...

Opinion: How Cities Can Save China

Henry Paulson
New York Times
Working on urbanization will foster solutions to the challenges the world faces from China's pressure on ecosystems, resources and commodities. ...

Environment

11.28.12

Russia’s Siberian Dams Power “Electric Boilers” in Beijing

from chinadialogue
The underdeveloped, sparsely populated Eastern Siberia region that shares a 4,000-kilometer border with China has vast resources to offer its heavily populated and fast-developing neighbor. Hydroelectricity is key among them.A major new...

Will China's New Leaders Change Tibet policy?

Martin Patience
BBC
Xi Zhongxun, father of China's new president, Xi Jinping, was a former leader known for a more conciliatory approach to Tibetans...

China WIll Build the Tallest Building in the World in Just 90 Days

Jesus Diaz
Gizmodo
Sky City and its 2,749 feet distributed over 220 floors will grow in just 90 days in Changsha city, at the rate of five floors per day.

As Wen Jiabao Departs, China’s Dam Plans to Accelerate

David Stanway
Reuters
Dam building slowed considerably under Wen, who personally intervened to block hydropower projects and avoid the potential for protest from local populations. Projects such as the $59 billion Three Gorges Dam have been the focus of criticism over...

Environment

11.15.12

China’s Low-Carbon Zones Lack Motivation, Guidance, and Ideas

from chinadialogue
None of China’s so-called low-carbon industrial zones currently live up to the name. That’s the conclusion to draw from the work of the U.S. Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), which this year released a guide for the development of green...

A Third Day of Protests in China Against Refinery Reach Third Day

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Hundreds protesting a petrochemical plant's expansion plans, swarmed Ningbo port tossing water bottles at riot police officers...

Against Backdrop of Dispute with China, Japan Shows Off Navy

Associated Press
Associated Press
Japan’s navy marked 60th year with major exercise, showing off maritime strength amid territorial dispute with China.