China is Demanding Cleaner Shipping—So Should the Rest of the World

Barbara A. Finamore from chinadialogue
Last year, in response to growing awareness of severe air pollution problems in China’s coastal cities, the Chinese government adopted a ground-breaking program to cut pollution from ships. At its core is a commitment to reduce the sulfur content of...

Resettling China’s 'Ecological Migrants'

Edward Wong and Josh Haner
New York Times
These are the people the government has relocated from lands distressed by climate change, industrialization, and poor policies to hastily built villages

Living in China’s Expanding Deserts

Josh Haner, Edward Wong, Derek Watkins...
New York Times
People on the edges of the country’s vast seas of sand are being displaced by climate change



Will Chinese Money Transform Pakistan?

from chinadialogue
The development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has spurred debate in all quarters. Some perceive it as a form of neo-colonialism and criticize Pakistan’s government for promoting unethical business practices at the cost of ordinary...



Green Growth Could Boost China’s Economy Six-Fold

from chinadialogue
China’s economy could grow six-fold by 2050 with renewable energy accounting for 69 percent of national electricity supply if it transforms its energy system and increases efficiency across the industrial, transport, construction, and electricity...

China Returns to Pedal Power

Adam Minter
With roads becoming less navigable by the day, citizens, entrepreneurs and the government are looking for alternatives. The solution: bring back the bike

Death Toll from East China Residential Building Collapse Rises to 22

The latest survivor is a young girl, pulled from the rubble protected by the bodies of her parents, who were killed in the collapse.

America’s Best Idea May Now Be China’s Too, as It Expands It’s National Park System

Jessica Meyers
Los Angeles Times
With U.S. guidance, China is launching a pilot project that spans nine provinces

Typhoon Megi: Deadly Storm Batters Taiwan and Mainland China

At least 5 have been killed, hundreds injured

China Tops WHO List for Deadly Outdoor Air Pollution

Adam Vaughan
More than 1 million people died from dirty air in one year



In China, Organic Food Is Gaining Ground

Wan Li, a young Beijing professional in her late 20s, is at her desk when her cell phone rings. She picks up. “North entrance?” She confirms. “I’ll be right out.” An electric delivery scooter has just pulled up to Wan’s office with her order of...

China’s Coal Cap Will Bite

David Fickling
Can the shift to more domestic output be met without blanketing China's cities in smog?...

Meet Pizza, the World’s Saddest Polar Bear

Echo Huang Yinyin
Pizza is just one of thousands of “wild” animals languishing in China's malls...

US and China Release Fossil Fuel Subsidy Peer Reviews

Karl Mathiesen
With public assessment of their subsidies, China and the US take a big step on transparency, but inch forward on reform



A Chinese Train Could Link South America’s Atlantic and Pacific Coasts by Rail for the First Time

from chinadialogue
Official bodies from Brazil and Peru have expressed concern about the social and environmental impacts of the proposed interoceanic railway, which will connect the coast of Peru and Brazil, cutting through 621 miles of pristine rainforest.In a...



China’s Teflon Toxin Problem

Sharon Lerner from Intercept
Since the late 1970s, the chemical industry has been at the heart of China’s dazzling growth. And as regulations increase around the world, many toxic chemicals wind up coming to China just to die a slow death. Teflon—the slippery substance used in...

Depth of Field


African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...

China Rethinks Its Alliance With Reeling Venezuela

Kejal Vyas
Wall Street Journal
Concerns prompted emergency meetings between the Chinese envoy and state companies.

Volkswagen in Talks to Make Electric Cars in China

Rose Yu
Wall Street Journal
The German car maker has signed a memorandum of cooperation with China Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co.

Giant Pandas Are No Longer Endangered in China

Public Radio International
The improvement came from the hard work of controlling poaching and replanting bamboo forests.

G20 A Success For China, But Hard Issues Kicked Down the Road

Ben Blanchard
Scratch beneath the surface, and the gathering of the world's most powerful leaders was not all plain sailing...



What Can We Expect from China at the G20?

Sophie Richardson, Joanna Lewis & more
On September 4-5, heads of the world’s major economies will meet in the southeastern city of Hangzhou for the G20 summit. The meeting represents “the most significant gathering of world leaders in China’s history,” according to The New York Times...



Environmental Law Blunted by Crippling Court Costs

from chinadialogue
Zhenhua Ltd. is a glass-making firm based in Dezhou, a city in China’s northeastern Shandong province. The factory sits amid a cluster of modern residential areas, so when the company failed to limit its emissions of polluted air and dust into the...



The Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography

In 2014, ChinaFile and the Magnum Foundation founded the Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography to support photographers working to address pressing social issues impacting China and its relations with the world that have not received...

China’s Coal Towns Are Literally Sinking

Scott Cendrowski
Hundreds of thousands are being moved from regions made unsafe from coal companies.

China Pledges to Cut Size of Its Massive Fishing Fleet Due to Serious Threat to Nation’s Fish Stocks

Stephen Chen
South China Morning Post
The government said there were practically “no fish” in the coastal East China Sea.

Historic Flooding Costs China $44.7 Billion So Far This Year

Wade Shepard
’Ruthless’ urbanization takes its toll.

China Sets Up South China Sea Environment Protection Fund

Ben Blanchard
The funds would initially be spent on exploring the world's deepest underwater sinkhole...



Chengdu’s Pollution Is Complicated by Taxi Apps

from chinadialogue
Research carried out by Peking University’s Statistical Science Centre and Guanghua School of Management found that Chengdu suffers from air pollution 88 percent of the time—even worse than Beijing at 76 percent.

China Floods: At Least 75 Dead or Missing

Authorities have mobilized troops and heavy equipment across China.



Schoolkids Suffer Toxic Air at Recycled Rubber Athletic Tracks

Michael Zhao
Chinese are known for recycling, and recycling everything. The industry is even responsible for making billionaires, like China’s “wastepaper queen” Zhang Yin.Yet when factories recycle irresponsibly, the consequences can be dire. Reports...



South China Faces Worst Floods in Decades

from chinadialogue
It’s like someone poked a hole in the sky, the rain just keeps pouring down, you can’t breathe,” said Mrs Wu from Donghu, a district in Wuhan a city in central China with over 10 million residents. Mrs Wu lives in Chunshuli, an affluent neighborhood...

Greenpeace Warns Over China’s Excess Power Capacity

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Overcapacity is dogging swathes of Chinese industry, including steel and petrochemicals, stifling profitability and damaging the environment.

China, Sweltering, Doles Out Subsidies for High Heat

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The government appears to be trying to raise consciousness of the heat subsidies.



You Ask How Deeply I Love You

Anna Beth Keim
“Back when I was a soldier on Kinmen, around 1975, the water demons still sometimes killed people,” Xu Shifu (Master Xu) said. The laugh-lines at the corners of his eyes were not visible now, even in the white fluorescent light shining down from the...



China’s Claims in the South China Sea Rejected

Andrew S. Erickson, Peter Dutton & more
On Tuesday in the Hague, the Permanent Court of Arbitration rejected China’s claims that a scattering of rocks and reefs in the contested South China Sea qualify as Exclusive Economic Zones for China. The court found in favor of the Philippines’...

Russia Stalls China’s $1 Billion Hydropower Loan for Mongolia

Michael Kohn
The Kremlin said the hydropower project in northern Mongolia could threaten Lake Baikal 580 kilometers downstream.

China to Pillory, or Praise, Cities Based on Water Pollution

Edward Wong
New York Times
Water and soil pollution have received less attention than foul air but are just as hazardous, if not more so.

China’s Devastating Floods Can Be Traced Back to Corruption and Overbuilding

Zheping Huang
Scandals are not uncommon in China’s flood-control projects.



China-Backed Hydropower Project Could Disturb a Sensitive Siberian Ecosystem

from Rivers without Boundaries
Lake Baikal contains 20 percent of the world’s freshwater resources and affects the regional climate of North Asia and the Arctic Basin. The lake is home to 2,500 aquatic species and local communities in Mongolia and Russia revere the lake as the “...

‘Unprecedented’: Trash From China Swamps Hong Kong Beaches

James Griffiths
Mountains of garbage are meters high at a popular beach....

Torrential Rain Wreaks Havoc in Central, Eastern China but Yangtze Flood Risks Diminish

Li Jing
South China Morning Post
El Nino reaches Central China, flood controll efforts reach a critical state....

Depth of Field


Tornados and Drag Queens

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Being a photojournalist involves reacting to breaking news, a dedication to long-term projects, and everything in between. This month’s showcase of work by Chinese photographers published in Chinese media underscores this range of angles: from the...

Namibia’s Chinese Ivory Smugglers

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Namibia is the rare country in Africa that seems to be holding its own against ivory poachers. Whereas in most other southern African countries the elephant population is being decimated, in Namibia, according to the government, the number of...

What China’s Successful Reforestation Program Means for the Rest of the World

Elizabeth Shockman
Public Radio International
China, as it turns out, is looking elsewhere to get the lumber it needs.

Caixin Media


China Has a Plan to Clean Up Its Soil But No Way to Pay For It

The 231-clause, 13,000-Chinese character action plan for Soil Pollution Prevention and Control was released May 31 by the State Council, China’s cabinet, after undergoing some 50 draft revisions over the previous three years.The final version was...

China Vows to Replace ‘Poisonous’ Running Tracks at Schools

Owen Guo
New York Times
The Ministry of Education said it would inspect synthetic rubber tracks in schools across China during the summer break.

A ‘Black and Smelly’ Job: The Search for China’s Most Polluted Rivers

Tom Phillips
China gives anyone with a smartphone a chance to orchestrate a much needed clean-up....



Tibetan Environmentalists in China

Liu Jianqiang
This book weaves together the life stories of five extraordinary contemporary Tibetans involved in environmental protection (as well as a host of secondary characters): Tashi Dorje, a well-known and celebrated environmentalist; Karma Samdrup, a philanthropist, businessman, and environmentalist; Rinchen Samdrup, Karma’s brother, another extraordinary environmentalist; Gendun, a painter, historian, and researcher from Amdo; and Musuo, a Tibetan from the Dechin area of northwest Yunnan who founded the Khawakarpo Culture Society.In the politically fraught and ever-worsening situation for Tibetans within China today, it is often said that the only possible path for a better solution will be through a change in the way that the majority Chinese society thinks about and understands Tibetans, their aspirations, histories, and desires. This book provides the first such account by drawing readers in with beautiful narrative prose and fascinating stories, and then using their attention to demystify Tibetans, cultivating in the reader a sense of empathy as well as facts upon which to rebuild an intercultural understanding. It is the first work that seriously aims to let the Chinese public understand Tibetans as both products of an admirable culture and as complex individuals negotiating religious ideals, economic change, and sociopolitical constraints. In short it opens up a whole new way of understanding Tibet. —Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books {chop}

China Prosecutors Win Landmark Lawsuit Against Environmental Department

Brenda Goh
First public interest case vs. government department producing dyes with inappropriate safeguards....

China’s Last Wild River Carries Conflicting Environmental Hopes

Edward Wong
New York Times
With global temperatures rising, can China afford to protect its rivers and forgo an alternative to the coal-fired plants responsible for much of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions?

China Orders 255 Shanghai Industrial Facilities to Shut for G20

Meng Meng and Chen Aizhu
The document, issued by the Shanghai Environment Protection Bureau, has ordered a wide range of companies to shut down for 14 days ahead of the G20 meet in Hangzhou.

China Climate Goals Trigger Launch of New Derivatives

Kathy Chen
China’s clean energy pledges are prompting a supply of new financing tools to fund the estimated $6.53 trillion needed to switch from heavy, polluting industries to clean projects.



Can Cement Clean Up Its Act?

from chinadialogue
Cement is the most widely used substance on the planet after water. It is also one of the most polluting—producing between 5-8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than twice that attributed to aviation. Cement’s carbon footprint...



Namibia’s Secret Ivory Business

Shi Yi from chinadialogue
Many locals and wildlife conservation institutions I talked to didn’t even know about the existence of the ivory black market in Okahandja.It was a quiet evening in Zambezi, until a herdsman heard a gunshot in the wilderness. By the time the police...

Animal Advocates Call for End to Dog Meat Festival in China

Shaojie Huang
New York Times
Festival proponents defend the practice as an expression of cultural heritage and argue that eating dogs is no different from eating cows or turkeys.

China Says Important Glacier Is Melting Due To Climate Change

Ben Blanchard
China promises greenhouse gas emmissions will “peak around 2030,” while mountains melt....

Depth of Field


Families, Weddings, and Beekeepers

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This month’s Depth of Field column brings the stories of Chinese adoption; the marriage ceremony of Hu Mingliang and Sun Wenlin, a gay couple who filed the first civil rights marriage lawsuit to be accepted by a Chinese court (they lost); beekeepers...



Beijing Calls South China Sea Island Reclamation a ‘Green Project’

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Sand, cement, and Chinese military facilities now sit on top of some of the South China Sea’s once-thriving reefs; China has built over half a dozen new artificial islands in a bid to bolster its territorial claims in the hotly disputed region. Such...



Clear as Mud: How Poor Data is Thwarting Water Clean-Up

from chinadialogue
China’s central and local governments have barely made a start in trying to clean up the country’s heavily polluted water, despite fast-approaching deadlines for improvements and the launch of a comprehensive “ten point plan” over a year ago.Behind...