China Court to Hear NGO Lawsuit Targeting Polluter’s Profits
An environmental group has filed a lawsuit for 30 million yuan (U.S.$4.8 million) to seek compensation from a Shandong chemical company for pumping out harmful substances—a legal action thought to be the first public interest litigation...
China Has Its Own Anti-Vaxxers—Blame the Internet
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...
Dark Days for Women in China?
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...
China’s Polluted Soil and Water Will Drive up World Food Prices
China’s push for more intense farming has kept its city dwellers well-fed and helped lift millions of rural workers out of poverty. But it has come at a cost. Ecosystems in what should be one of the country’s most fertile regions have...
China’s Real Inconvenient Truth: Its Class Divide
China is talking about its pollution problem, but its equally serious class problem remains obscured behind the haze.
China’s BIG Gamble in the TINY Comoros Islands
Comoros is a tiny archipelago nation off the east coast of Africa in the Indian ocean where a major Chinese experiment is underway. Chinese scientists and pharmaceutical have undertaken a radical experiment to test an unlicensed anti-...
After dark is when the pollution arrives on the outskirts of Shanghai. On a bright night, when moonlight refracts through the smog, you can see black clouds of soot pouring out of small workshop smokestacks silhouetted against the sky. In...
The People’s Republic of Chemicals
Maverick environmental writers William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs follow up their acclaimed Smogtown with a provocative examination of China’s ecological calamity already imperiling a warming planet. Toxic smog most people figured was...
Why Chinese Promote Confining New Mothers for a Month
HONG KONG—Giving birth is never easy, but for new Chinese mothers the month following a baby’s arrival is particularly fraught. Immediately after I became pregnant for the first time, I started to hear about zuoyuezi, or “sitting the month...
Can the Potato Help Feed China, Cut Pollution, and Alleviate Drought?
The Ministry of Agriculture’s move to make potatoes an increasingly important staple in Chinese kitchens, including the propagation of recipes that rely on the humble tuber, at first glance might appear slightly odd and surprising.
Baby Hatch Programs Struggle to Cope With Number of Infants With Birth Defects
Giving birth to her first baby granted Zheng Yuling no happiness, but instead brought pain and sadness. The seriously ill girl died hours after birth, and Zheng's husband, Chen Dafu, was arrested on suspicion he abandoned the newborn....
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...
Seeing China in 2014
In 2014, ChinaFile published great original work in photography. As always, we worked to look beyond stereotypical images of the country to find nuanced representations of the new and ChinaFile contributors’ commentary on it. Still, many...
The People’s Republic of Chemicals
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 smogs that periodically choke vast regions of...
“Having a Second Kid Isn’t as Simple as Adding Another Pair of Chopsticks”
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...