Depth of Field

02.16.17

Riding into the New Year

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
As preparations for the Chinese New Year got underway, Liang Yingfei set up a roadside studio and asked migrants traveling home by motorbike to stop for a quick photograph. While in Cambodia for the Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, Jia...

Chinese People Are Buying All Kinds of Desperate Remedies to Protect Themselves from Smog

Charlie Campbell
Time
Air purifiers, meanwhile, are becoming cheaper and more efficient. Chinese tech firm Xiaomi leads the way with its Mi Air Purifier Pro, boasting a dual-fan, dual-motor system with ”high-precision laser sensor.” 

India’s Air Pollution Rivals China’s as World’s Deadliest

Geeta Anand
New York Times
India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world, a new study of global air pollution shows. 

China Accused of Undermining Drive to Cut Steel Capacity

Charles Clover and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
China’s cuts in steel capacity last year primarily targeted mills that were already idle, doing little to reduce the exports that have fueled trade tensions or address the blight of toxic smog, a study has found. ...

‘We Had to Sue’: The Five Lawyers Taking on China’s Authorities over Smog

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
In an unprecedented legal case, a group of Chinese lawyers have charged the governments of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei with failing to protect their citizens from air pollution, which is linked to a third of all deaths in the country

How China’s Insatiable Demand for Timber Threatens Congo’s Rainforests

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this episode, award-winning Shanghai-based environmental journalist Shi Yi joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the emerging crisis over the illegal trade of Congolese bloodwood. She recently reported on how surging demand in China is fueling...

Reports

02.07.17

U.S. Policy Toward China

Orville Schell and Susan L. Shirk
Asia Society
The Task Force on U.S.-China Policy generated the following report and set of recommendations to assist the 45th U.S. presidential administration in formulating a China strategy that will protect and further U.S. national interests. This report...

As Trump Stresses ‘America First,’ China Plays the World Leader

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China is calmly mapping out global leadership aspirations from trade to climate change, drawing distinctions between President Xi Jinping’s steady hand and new U.S. President Donald Trump

A U.S.-China Role Switch: Who’s the Globalist Now?

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Xi Jinping sees a window as Donald Trump stirs masses with slogans

Sinica Podcast

01.19.17

The State of Journalism in China—Ed Wong’s Exit Interview

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
Edward Wong became a reporter for The New York Times in 1999. He covered the Iraq war from Baghdad from 2003 to 2007, and then moved to Beijing in 2008. He has written about a wide range of subjects in China for the Times, and became its Beijing...

In China, Pollution Fears Are Both Literal and Metaphorical

Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Benjamin Van...
NPR
Last month, as China encountered some of its worst pollution yet, artists in Chengdu did something bold: They put smog-filtering cotton masks over the faces of statues representing ordinary urbanites that dot a centrally located shopping street.

China Builds World’s Biggest Solar Farm in Journey to Become Green Superpower

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Vast plant in Qinghai province is part of China’s determination to transform itself from climate change villain to a green energy colossus

Film Review: ‘Plastic China’

Dennis Harvey
Variety
Life in one Chinese town is entirely dedicated to recycling of First World waste in Jiu-liang Wang’s documentary.

China Cancels 103 Coal Plants, Mindful of Smog and Wasted Capacity

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
China is canceling plans to build more than 100 coal-fired power plants, seeking to rein in runaway, wasteful investment in the sector while moving the country away from one of the dirtiest forms of electricity generation

Trump Warming to Reality of Climate Change, Says Senior Chinese Official

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Beijing’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, talks down fears that joint leadership shown by China and the US will be reversed under new president

China Wants to Be a Climate Change Watchdog, but Can It Lead by Example?

Edward Wong
New York Times
Like some other nations, China, the world’s biggest polluter, has refused to accept international monitoring of its emissions and says it will provide data to outside observers.

Conversation

01.10.17

Can Beijing’s Ivory Ban Save the Elephants?

Eric Olander, Peter J. Li & more
On New Year’s Eve, Beijing announced it will ban the ivory trade in China, potentially shutting down the world’s biggest ivory market. Why did Beijing decide to curb the ivory trade? Will it put enough muscle behind it to enforce the decision? What...

Don’t Blame the Weather For China’s Smog

Junfeng Zhang
Fortune
China’s air quality has been particularly bad so far this winter. Severe smog or haze episodes have occurred one after another with short breaks in between,

China’s Neighbors Are Getting a Whiff of Its Terrible Pollution

Echo Huang
Quartz
Turns out China isn’t the only country choking on its smog. In the first week of 2017, more than half of Chinese cities suffered from air pollution, and 31 of them issued a red alert, which requires measures like limiting car usage and closing...

China to Plow $361 Billion into Renewable Fuel by 2020

Josephine Mason
Reuters
China will plow 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country's energy agency said on Thursday, as the world's largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner...

China’s Electric Vehicle Strategy Paved With Potholes

Anjani Trivedi
Wall Street Journal
By the numbers, China looks like it’s on the way to dominating the global electric car industry. But

China’s Largest Freshwater Lake Is Shrinking

Dominique Mosbergen
Huffington Post
China’s largest freshwater lake is under serious threat, and it seems no one can agree on how to save it. Poyang Lake can swell to over 1,700 square miles, an area larger than Rhode Island. But photographs released by China’s state-run Xinhua News...

China Gets Tough on Smog Offenders

Joshua Berlinger
CNN
China has slapped millions of dollars worth of fines on alleged offenders for violating anti-pollution rules, according to state media.

China Smog: Millions Start New Year Shrouded by Health Alerts and Travel Chaos

Guardian
Millions in China rang in the New Year shrouded in a thick blanket of toxic smog, causing road closures and flight cancellations as 24 cities issued alerts that will last through much of the week. On the first day of 2017 in Beijing, concentrations...

Conversation

12.30.16

Rex Tillerson at State: What Will He Mean for U.S.-China Relations?

Barbara A. Finamore, Shen Dingli & more
On December 13, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced the selection of ExxonMobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. We asked ChinaFile contributors to respond to the choice with a specific focus on how Tillerson...

Bike-Sharing Revolution Aims to Put China Back on Two Wheels

Top Phillips
Guardian
From Shanghai to Sichuan, schemes are being rolled out to slash congestion, cut air pollution – and spin a profit

China Replaces Anti-Pollution Charges with Beefed Up ‘Green’ Tax

Wu Gang
China will start collecting environment protection taxes in 2018 to strengthen enforcement that authorities said local governments had interfered with

Students in China Were Made to Take Exams Outdoors in Toxic Smog

Kevin Lui
Time
Widely circulated photos of the students, sitting at desks while blanketed in choking pollution, starkly dramatize the Chinese "airpocalypse"...

Smog Refugees Flee Chinese Cities as ‘Airpocalypse’ Blights Half a Billion

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Thousands head to pollution-free regions as haze descends on the country’s northern industrial heartland

Step Inside China’s Hellish, Illicit Steel Factories

Laura Mallonee
Wired
Kevin Frayer's photographs of illegal Chinese steel factories look like postcards from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution ...

China Rises to Challenge of Battling Climate Change

Wang Tao & Yang Fuqiang from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
With the U.S. leadership role in the fight against climate change now being called into question, China has found itself in the unique position of being a global leader of the cause. In this podcast, nonresident Carnegie-Tsinghua scholar Wang Tao...

China Chokes on Smog So Bad that Planes Can't Land

John Bacon
USA Today
Major cities across northern China choked Monday under a blanket of smog so thick that industries were ordered shut down and air and ground traffic was disrupted

China Has Made Strides in Addressing Air Pollution, Environmentalists Say

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
Ma Jun, the director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, says transparency is up and pollution is down

Viewpoint

12.15.16

The Missing Topic in Trump’s Tough Talk on China

Melissa Chan
President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric suggests he will push China on many issues, not just one. Some observers have held on to the hope that his phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, his burst of anti-China tweets, and his most recent...

Environment

12.13.16

Chinese Consumers Adopt Greener Lifestyle

from chinadialogue
For the last two years, Helen Ni has hosted low-carbon technology workshops for local kids and their parents. The informal gatherings take place at her ground-floor apartment in the Shanghai suburb of Minhang, close to Jiaotong University, one of...

China to Set Date to Close Ivory Factories

Karl Mathiesen and Naomi Larsson
Guardian
Preparation is under way in China to bring in a ban on their domestic ivory trade, following a promise made with the US earlier this year

China Riot Police Seal Off City Center After Smog Protestors Put Masks on Statues

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Clampdown in Chengdu after protesters place masks on statues in anger at air pollution choking the city

Going Green in China, Where Climate Change Isn’t Considered a Hoax

Matthew Kahn
Salon
Chinese leaders want to improve the quality of life in their nation's cities...

Does One Man in China Control the Fate of Africa’s Elephants?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In the powerful new Netflix documentary The Ivory Game, Elephant Action League Executive Director Andrea Crosta ominously warned that the entire fate of Africa’s elephants is in the hands of a single man, Chinese President Xi Jinping. Only President...

China is Outsourcing Its Pollution

Kara Sherwin
Foreign Policy
Beijing's diplomacy is increasingly green, but its international trade is getting ever more coal-black...

Environment

12.06.16

The World’s Saddest Polar Bear

from chinadialogue
Pizza, “the world’s saddest polar bear,” is to be granted at least a temporary reprieve from the display case in which he lives in the Grandview shopping mall in Guangzhou, southern China. This follows a global outcry, a one-million-signature...

Through Climate Change Denial, We’re Ceding Global Leadership to China

Daniel Gardner
Los Angeles Times
Remember when China was the climate change outcast? What a difference a few years — and an election — can make

Media

12.02.16

Trump on China

In the run-up to and during his race toward the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump made frequent statements about China, its people, and the government in Beijing, in remarks that ranged from effusive praise to outright attack, and which...

Despite Climate Change Vow, China Pushes to Dig More Coal

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Desperate to deliver coal before power stations run out, China mobilizes trains and half-mile lines of trucks

Author’s Vision of a Future Beijing Looks to China’s Present

Karoline Kan and Javier Hernandez
New York Times
Meet Hao Jingfang, author of "Folding Beijing,” the science-fiction novelette that beat out Stephen King to win a Hugo Award. ...

China Risks Wasting $490 Billion on New Coal Plant, Say Campaigners

AFP
Guardian
Carbon Tracker says many plants running at overcapacity but China reluctant to wean itself off coal, fearing unemployment and unrest

Viewpoint

11.22.16

Making China Great Again

Ann Carlson & Alex Wang
China loomed large in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He accused the country of stealing American jobs and manipulating its currency for trade advantage. He famously tweeted that global warming was a concept created by the Chinese to “make U.S...

Conversation

11.21.16

Will China Take the Lead on Climate Change?

Sam Geall, Barbara A. Finamore & more
At a time when the world is looking to China and the United States, the leading emitters of greenhouse gasses, to cooperate under the terms of the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015, will China now take the lead in fighting climate change?

As Trump Tweets about SNL and Hamilton, China’s Xi Embraces a New, Powerful Role

Zheping Huang and Heather Timmons
Quartz
Trump’s talk of increasing trade barriers and disdain for global organizations and agreements could create a more isolationist US, leaving China to fill the gap

China is No Longer Ruining Their Livelihoods, but These Filipino Fishermen are Not Entirely Grateful

Ana Santos
Los Angeles Times
“We cannot forget China’s aggression towards us. They bumped our boats, they fired their water cannons on us"...

Smog May be Easing, but in Parts of China Water Quality Worsens

David Stanway and Sue-Lin Wong
Reuters
Despite commitments to crack down on polluters, the quality of water in China's rivers, lakes and reservoirs in several regions has deteriorated significantly...

China Tells Trump Climate Change is Not a Hoax

Jasper Scherer
Washington Post
Trump’s Twitter claim that China created the “concept of global warming” to undermine U.S. manufacturing has elicited a response from the Chinese government

Electing Donald Trump: The View from China

Paul Haenle & Zhao Hai from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Donald Trump’s election in the 2016 U.S. presidential race ushers in a period of considerable uncertainty in regard to the future of U.S. policies in the Asia-Pacific and vis-à-vis its relationship with China. In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with...

Environment

11.16.16

The Future of Public Interest Litigation in China

from chinadialogue
China has seen a rapid growth in environmental public interest legal challenges since January 2015, when a revised version of the Environmental Protection Law (EPL) came into effect. Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed by both NGOs and public...

China’s Arctic Ambitions Take Shape in Remote Iceland Valley

Dorothee Thiesing and Jill Lawless
Washington Post
In a valley near the Arctic Circle where the wind whips the coarse yellow grass, China and Iceland are preparing to look to the sky — and a shared future

Environment

11.11.16

Trump Presidency May Spell Disaster for Climate

from chinadialogue
The election of Donald Trump may prove a disaster for the climate and especially for climate change negotiations if he sticks to the threats made during his campaign. But it may provide the developing world—especially China—with an opportunity to...

Trump Win Opens Way for China to Take Climate Leadership Role

Reuters
CNBC
Trump's election is likely to end the U.S. leadership role in the fight against global warming, and may lead to the emergence of an unlikely champion: China...

Conversation

11.09.16

How Should Trump Deal with China, and How Should China Deal with Trump?

James Holmes, David Dollar & more
Donald J. Trump, president-elect of the United States, spent much of his antagonistic campaign blaming China for many of America’s economic ills, and repeatedly making thinly veiled threats of a U.S. trade war with Beijing. How should Trump engage...

Depth of Field

11.08.16

Dongbei’s Last Match Factory, Capital Straphangers, Retracing the Long March...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
In October, several publications marked the 80th Anniversary of the Chinese Communists’ Long March. We have chosen two stories that revisited this event and that were standouts, visually. Elsewhere, photographers followed stories both large and...