Environment

09.03.15

The Yellow River: A History of China’s Water Crisis

from chinadialogue
During the hot, dry month of August 1992, the farmers of Baishan village in Hebei province and Panyang village in Henan came to blows. Residents from each village hurled insults and rudimentary explosives at the other across the Zhang River—the...

Sinica Podcast

08.24.15

The Tianjin Explosion

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Insurance scam? Industrial accident? Political machinations? After August excursions to lands of clean air and English-language media, the Sinica team is back this week with a show covering the astonishing explosions that gutted the Binhai economic...

Media

08.17.15

4 Questions Chinese Want Answered After Deadly Tianjin Blast

David Wertime
Around 11:30 p.m., Beijing time, on Wednesday, at least two fearsome blasts in quick succession rocked the large northeastern Chinese port city of Tianjin. Originating at or near a hazardous materials warehouse near the city’s downtown, the...

Military Sends Chemical Specialists to Blast Site, Death Toll Rises to 50

Xinhua
So far more than 1,000 firefighters, 151 fire engines and a drone have been dispatched to the blast site.

P&G Tripped Up by Its Assumptions About Diapers in China

Serena Ng and Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
Pampers diapers fall behind after aiming too low at the growing middle class.

Environment

08.12.15

Beijing’s Air Quality May Finally Be Improving ... But it Still Ain’t Great

Michael Zhao
In February, a Chinese celebrity journalist named Chai Jing released a video on the Internet about the damage air pollution was causing her country. During the week it was online (before Chinese censors pulled it down), people viewed the video 200...

At Sea in the City

Economist
When building cities in China, someone forgot the drains.

Media

08.05.15

Beijing’s Ban on Smoking Is Actually (Sort of) Working

They rarely trash hotel rooms or boast about drugs, but Chinese rock stars could at least be counted on to smoke. Now even that’s starting to change in the face of a smoking ban in China’s capital that shows little sign of burning out, almost two...

For China’s Gay Men, Beijing Park Offers Haven

Harvard Zhang
Los Angeles Times
Though illegal, Chinese media regularly report on gay home weddings and gay couples getting marriage certificates in the U.S. 

The Ad That Cracked China’s Infertility Taboo

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
The country's infertility rates are rising rapidly among couples of child-bearing age, reaching 12.5 percent in 2012, compared with 3 percent in 1992, according to a government study. There are about 40 million infertile couples in...

If China Wants More Children, It Needs to Get out of the Nation’s Bedrooms

Isabel Hilton
Guardian
The social and economic impacts are well documented: the world’s most rapidly ageing population, a growing labour shortage, a heavy and unfunded pension burden, an unknown number of undocumented “illegal” children and a gender imbalance of...

This Instagram Account Offers a New Perspective on China

Time
Some photographs show the surprisingly mundane moments in the life of regular Chinese, such as Albertazzi’s image of a group of men playing cards in their swim shorts on a hot summer afternoon in Beijing; others are images from long-term documentary...

Media

07.02.15

On the Border

Sim Chi Yin
Minutes after we turned off the main road and into the Tumen Economic Development Zone, we spotted a group of workers weeding along an access road.From afar, all we could make out in the gentle early morning light was that they were women in...

At Least Eleven People Killed in a Bus Crash in China

Ryan Ramgobin
Independent
Eleven people died in a bus crash after the vehicle fell off a highway bridge in north-eastern China.

GSK’s Viiv Arm Agrees China Tie-up to Produce HIV Drugs

Andrew Ward
Financial Times
GlaxoSmithKline signs a deal to manufacture cut-price HIV drugs in China as the UK group rebuilds its presence after a corruption scandal.

A Scientific Ethical Divide Between China and West

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Experts worry that medical researchers in China are stepping over ethical boundaries.

Episode 36 – Sim Chi Yin

Sharron Lovell & Sim Chi Yin
Multimedia Week
Sharron Lovell speaks with Sim Chi Yin about crossing the lines between journalism and advocacy. Chi Yin recently published her four year story following a Chinese gold miner suffering with the lung disease silicosis, caused by years of inhaling...

Environment

06.24.15

High Off the Hog

Stefani Kim
Hongshaorou—“red braised” pork belly, a classic Chinese dish—is cooked with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce until the squares of fatty meat are so tender they dissolve in the mouth. Once a luxury, this succulent delicacy was known to be a favorite...

100,000 Tons of Smuggled Meat, Some From 1970s, Seized Across China

Crystal Tse
New York Times
Smuggled frozen meat has been seized across China, some of it more than 40 years old and valued at up to $483 million. ...

China’s Annual Dog-Eating Festival Prompts Social Media Firestorm

Lindsey Bever and Nick Kirkpatrick
Washington Post
At a solstice festival in China 10,000 canines are said to be beaten, killed and cooked for human consumption.

Video

06.10.15

A Miner’s China Dream

Sim Chi Yin
Over the four years I have known him, He Quangui, a gold miner from Shaanxi, has told me many times he wants to travel with me back to Beijing. It’s not just me he wants to visit. He dreams of going to the Chinese leadership’s compound, Zhongnanhai...

China Issues White Paper on Human Rights

Xinhua
China has made "tremendous achievements" on the "the correct path of human rights development that suits its national conditions."...

Caixin Media

06.04.15

China Uses Drones to Monitor Pollution Problems from Above

China’s environmental regulators want to increase the use of drones watching pollution levels, supplementing the existing monitoring system.In the central city of Wuhan, drones were sent to urban areas to inspect emissions from chimneys that are...

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

Dying to Breathe

Sim Chi Yin
National Geographic
This is the unseen cost of gold mining in China—the world’s top gold producer. In China, silicosis is considered a form of pneumoconiosis, which affects an estimated six million workers who toil in gold, coal, or silver mines or in stone-cutting...

Dying to Breathe—A Short Film Shows China’s True Cost of Gold

Sim Chi Yin
National Geographic
This is the unseen cost of gold mining in China—the world’s top gold producer. In China, silicosis is considered a form of pneumoconiosis, which affects an estimated six million workers who toil in gold, coal, or silver mines or in stone-cutting...

U.S. Military Proposes Challenge to China Sea Claims

Adam Entous, Gordon Lubold, and Julian...
Wall Street Journal
Moves would send Navy planes, ships near artificial islands built by China in contested waters.

Fatal Police Shooting Under Investigation: Ministry

Xinhua
There are clear rules on the carrying and use of fire arms by police officers, and it will take time to confirm whether police had opened fire legally in the case.

Environment

05.08.15

It’s Time to Fix China’s Food Safety Conundrum

from chinadialogue
Food safety scandals have become so common in China that people are losing confidence in what they eat. The government has consistently emphasised the need for better regulation of the food industry, and it’s established an inter-ministerial...

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...

An American Hero in China

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
One night in September, three hundred people crowded into the basement auditorium of an office tower in Beijing to hear a discussion between two of China’s most popular writers. One was Liu Yu, a thirty-eight-year-old political scientist and blogger...

China Shocks World by Genetically Engineering Human Embryos

Sarah Knapton
Telegraph
Critics warn China's the ‘Wild West’ of genetic research, on its way to desiging children. ...

China’s New Ad Ban?

Amy Tennery
Reuters
China is considering a ban on advertisements for infant milk formula in a bid to tackle low levels of breast feeding.

‘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.

Reports

04.01.15

Can Fracking Green China’s Growth?

Ilmi Granoff, Sam Pickard, Julian Doczi, Roger Calow, Zhenbo Hou, & Vanessa D’Alançon
Overseas Development Institute
This paper analyses the best available technical, scientific, and engineering literature on the risks and opportunities posed by shale gas, and also what policy environment could maximise the opportunity and minimise the risk. It also analyses China...

Environment

03.26.15

China Court to Hear NGO Lawsuit Targeting Polluter’s Profits

from chinadialogue
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 for air...

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...

China’s ‘Comfort Women’

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Thousands of Chinese women were forced into sex slavery during the second world war. Here is one survivor’s story. 

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...

Environment

03.11.15

China’s Polluted Soil and Water Will Drive up World Food Prices

from chinadialogue
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 already been...

Media

03.09.15

China’s Real Inconvenient Truth: Its Class Divide

Rachel Lu
China is talking about its pollution problem, but its equally serious class problem remains obscured behind the haze. Smog leapt to the forefront of Chinese national discourse after the February 28 release of "Under the Dome," a 103-minute...

China’s Real Inconvenient Truth: Its Class Divide

Rachel Lu
Foreign Policy
Solving China's air and water pollution will require addressing the gap between rich urbanites and rural peasants...

China’s BIG Gamble in the TINY Comoros Islands

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
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-malarial herbal...

Environment

03.04.15

Clearing Skies

Adam Minter from Sierra Club
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 case you...

Reports

03.02.15

China’s Long March To Safe Drinking Water

Hongqiao Liu
China Water Risk
China’s central government set ambitious goals to safeguard water quality in 2011, at the outset of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). Those goals targeted improvements from source-to-tap, earmarking a budget of nearly RMB 700 billion (U.S.$112...

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."...

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...

Books

02.10.15

The People’s Republic of Chemicals

William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs
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 obsolete needlessly kills as many as died in the 9/11 attacks every day, while sometimes Grand Canyon-sized drifts of industrial particles aloft on the winds rain down ozone and waterway-poisoning mercury in America.In vivid, gonzo prose blending first-person reportage with exhaustive research and a sense of karma, Kelly and Jacobs describe China’s ancient love affair with coal, Bill Clinton’s blunders cutting free-trade deals enabling the U.S. to "export" manufacturing emissions to Asia in a shift that pilloried the West's middle class, Communist Party manipulation of eco-statistics, the horror of cancer villages, the deception of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and spellbinding peasant revolts against cancer-spreading plants involving thousands in mostly-censored melées. Ending with China’s monumental coal-bases decried by climatologists as a global warming dagger, The People's Republic of Chemicals names names and emphasizes humanity over bloodless statistics in a classic sure to ruffle feathers as an indictment of money as the real green that not even Al Gore can deny.   —Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book  {chop}

Media

02.05.15

Why Chinese Promote Confining New Mothers for a Month

Rachel Lu
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.” It’s a...

Vets Battle to save Stricken Panda in Shaanxi

Huang Zhiling
China Daily
Vets are racing to treat a 5-year-old panda diagnosed with canine distemper at the Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue and Breeding Research Center.

China Reports Sharp Rise in HIV Cases

Patti Waldmeir
Financial Times
China had nearly half a million people living with the virus or disease by the end of August last year, with 70,000 of them newly diagnosed in the first eight months of 2014, official statistics showed.

Environment

01.16.15

Can the Potato Help Feed China, Cut Pollution, and Alleviate Drought?

from chinadialogue
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.The potato has...

Eating Alone in China

Fan Jiayang
New Yorker
The first time I ate at a restaurant by myself, I live-tweeted the experience. “Hot-potting alone!” I enthused, posting a photo I’d taken of a burbling electric pot, ringed by plates of enoki mushrooms, plump squares of tofu, and green-bean-infused...

Caixin Media

01.09.15

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.Their baby...

China Might Be Killing Off a Pikachu-Like Animal For No Reason

Kayla Ruble
Vice News
The animated yellow rodent-like character, Pikachu, from the Pokémon video game and TV franchise, is not a total work of fiction. In fact, many believe the creature is based off of a small mousey animal found in China known as a pika.

Stampede Highlights China’s Reliance on Outsourcing Security

James T. Areddy
Wall Street Journal
A week after the tragedy, authorities have yet to provide an official explanation for what went wrong.

Falling Through the Cracks of China’s Health-Care System

Qiyan Li and Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
China says 95% of its 1.34 billion people are covered by medical insurance. That should have included Zhao Guomei, whose struggle with a rare but treatable disease shows how the system is failing for millions of China’s workers.