Sinica Podcast

04.26.13

Healthcare in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The state of healthcare in China is in many ways better than it was in the era of the barefoot doctors, with average life expectancy in the country now trailing the United States by only three years and morbidity rates far lower too. But while even...

China Cooperating With International Organizations On H7N9

Xinhua
Premier Li Keqiang said China is cooperating closely with WHO and other international organizations on the H7N9 avian flu. The government attaches great importance to public health and has been working to effectively prevent and control...

As Cancer Rates Rise In China, Trust Remains Low

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
At the top of the list of reasons China may be facing a cancer crisis is the crucial issue of mistrust between patient and doctor. The lack of trust, reflected in regular accounts in the Chinese news media, is rooted in a perception that...

No Poultry Contact In Some Chinese Bird Flu Cases

Stephanie Nebehay and Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
W.H.O. spokesman Gregory Hartl confirmed that “there are people who have no history of contact with poultry”, after a top Chinese scientist was quoted as saying this applied to about 40 percent of those infected. 

Caixin Media

04.20.13

Bird Flu’s Latest Talons Force Fresh Defense

A surprise attack by a new strain of the bird flu virus has forced Chinese authorities into the trenches for a two-pronged defense against unseen enemies.The primary threat is the deadly virus that scientists identified as a new strain of H7N9. It...

Why Leave Job In Beijing? To Breathe

Laurie Burkitt and Brian Spegele
Wall Street Journal
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China says air pollution is a key challenge facing companies here, and is an underlying reason why many expatriate workers choose to leave. 

Human Infection With Influenza A (H7N9) Virus In China

World Health Organization
At 2:00 PM 9 April 2013 there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission. W.H.O. does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be...

PLA Officer Calls H7N9 Virus A U.S. ‘Bio-Psychological Weapon’

Patrick Boehler
South China Morning Post
A senior military official has caused an outrage among netizens for calling the current avian flu outbreak in mainland China an American conspiracy and belittling a string of deaths from the virus.   

China Escalates Its Response To Outbreak Of Avian Flu

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Chinese officials escalated their response, advising people to avoid live poultry, sending virologists to chicken farms across the country and slaughtering more than 20,000 birds at a wholesale market in Shanghai.  

New Bird Flu Strain Spreads In China As Fourth Dies

Simeon Bennett
Bloomberg
The extent of the outbreak, the source of infection and the mode of transmission are being investigated, and it’s too early to tell whether the cases may signal a pandemic, according to the W.H.O. 

Novel Bird Flu Kills Two In China

Declan Butler
Nature
Scientists stress that it is much too early to do a full risk assessment of the potential pandemic threat. But the initial analysis of viral sequences is “worrisome” because they show several features that are suggestive of adaptation to humans...

China Moves To Tackle Autism With First Study

Nick Compton
South China Morning Post
National health authorities have embarked on an ambitious, three-year, 32-million-yuan project to determine the prevalence of autism in China and charter new protocols for diagnoses and treatment. 

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.&...

Conversation

04.03.13

Bird Flu Fears: Should We Trust Beijing This Time?

David Wertime, Yanzhong Huang & more
David Wertime:A new strain of avian flu called H7N9 has infected at least seven humans and killed three in provinces near the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai, with the first death occurring on March 4. Meanwhile, in the last month, about 16,000 pigs...

Reports

04.01.13

Enter the Dragon and the Elephant

Yanzhong Huang
Luo Xiaoyuan
Council on Foreign Relations
Among the emerging powers, China and India have long been critical to successfully addressing global health problems. Historically, infectious diseases that originated in either country have altered epidemiological patterns worldwide. The first...

The Myth Of The Superbaby

Will Oremus
Slate
The technique of preimplantation genetic testing, discussed in a March 2013 article in Vice magazine, is unlikely to be used to create hyperintelligent babies, but it will have an expanding role in avoiding disease likelihood in children.

As Pollution Worsens In China, Solutions Succumb To Infighting

Edward Wong
New York Times
As some officials push for tighter restrictions on pollutants, SOEs have been putting profits ahead of health in working to outflank new rules, according to government data and interviews with people involved in policy negotiations. 

Environment

03.18.13

Baby Milk Restrictions Cause Outrage in Mainland China

from chinadialogue
The Hong Kong government’s recent listing of baby formula as a “reserved commodity” and a 1.8kg per person per day export limit has sparked widespread criticism—as well as becoming a hot topic at China’s annual session of parliament [the Lianghui,...

Backed By Profit-Hungry Investors, New Approach To Farming Takes Root

Ma Yuan, Zheng Fei, Liu Ran, and Rong...
Investors in the country betting big on the organic concept have poured money into food producers and distributors, especially as food scandals make citizens more and more wary of familiar produce. 

Was S.A.R.S. Fallout A Lesson For China In Global Citizenship?

Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
The Chinese government’s views on transparency, in regards to issues of interational health, have changed drastically since the S.A.R.S. outbreak ten years ago, but some areas have yet to improve.

Media

03.12.13

Pig Carcasses in Shanghai River Spawn Dark Humor on Chinese Internet

The Huangpu River usually appears in glamor shots of Shanghai, serving as scenic backdrop to the colonial splendor of the Bund or the modern marvel of the Pudong skyline. But of late, a more grim and distasteful association has emerged. As of March...

Thousands Of Dead Pigs Found In River Flowing Into Shanghai

Edward Wong
New York Times
More than 3,300 dead pigs have been found in a major river that flows through Shanghai, igniting fears among city residents of contaminated tap water, according to official reports in March 2013. 

Choking To Death: Health Consequences Of Air Pollution in China

Yanzhong Huang
Council on Foreign Relations
 The number of lung cancer-caused mortality in China has increased by 465 percent in the past three decades, due to severe air pollution. 

Caixin Media

03.02.13

Poison Eaters of Gansu Province

Barely any rainfall on a bone-dry landscape has always made crop farming in the province of Gansu a rough gamble between the sky and local irrigation policies. But now, farmers reap only sorrow from fields that experts say are severely contaminated...

Media

02.22.13

China’s State-Run Media Shares Powerful Map of “Cancer Villages” Creeping Inland

It appears that Chinese environmental activism is going further mainstream. The Sina micro-blogging account of Global Times, a well-known Communist Party mouthpiece, has just shared news about the horrific proliferation of “cancer villages” in China...

SF Minister Spreads Gospel Of Sex In China

Don Lattin
San Francisco Chronicle
In March 2013, Rev. Ted McIlvenna will lead a delegation of 10 sex experts to China to help an emerging class of financially independent Chinese women achieve female sexual empowerment.

Books

02.19.13

Every Grain of Rice

Fuchsia Dunlop
Fuchsia Dunlop trained as a chef in China’s leading Sichuan cooking school and possesses the rare ability to write recipes for authentic Chinese food that you can make at home. Following her two seminal volumes on Sichuan and Hunan cooking, Every Grain of Rice is inspired by the vibrant everyday cooking of southern China, in which vegetables play the starring role, with small portions of meat and fish. Try your hand at stir-fried potato slivers with chili pepper, vegetarian “Gong Bao Chicken,” sour-and-hot mushroom soup, or, if you’re ever in need of a quick fix, Fuchsia’s emergency late-night noodles. Many of the recipes require few ingredients and are ridiculously easy to make. Fuchsia also includes a comprehensive introduction to the key seasonings and techniques of the Chinese kitchen. With stunning photography and clear instructions, this is an essential cookbook for everyone, beginner and connoisseur alike, eager to introduce Chinese dishes into their daily cooking repertoire. —W. W. Norton & Company

Illicit Meth Trade Between China and North Korea Reveals A Lot About Their Relationship

Economist
Border police, especially in the North, are known to take bribes to allow illicit trade to pass. One illegal North Korean export causing social problems is crystal meth, a drug known in China as bingdu, or “ice.”

Staying Safe During Spring Festival: A Teacher’s Advice to his Students

Jeremiah Jenne
Rectified.name
An actual email from one foreign teacher to his Chinese students—he thought it also might be useful to any first time Spring Festival-ers out there.

Eye-Stinging Bejiing Air Risks Lifelong Harm to Babies

Daryl Loo and Natasha Khan
Bloomberg
Air quality in the Chinese capital deteriorated beyond World Health Organization safe limits every day last month as smoke from coal-powered generators, factory emissions, car fumes, and dust amassed over the city of 20 million people.

Op-Ed: China’s Big Divorce Case Highlights a Hidden Epidemic of Domestic Violence

Zhang Lijia
Guardian
Kim Lee’s victory over celebrity husband Li Yang is in stark contrast to the treatment handed out to many Chinese women.

Opinion: Re-education Revisited

Nicholas Becquelin
New York Times
How much of a reformer is China’s new leader, Xi Jinping? The January announcement that China is going to stop “Re-education Through Labor” by the end of the year could offer an important clue.

China’s Pollution: The Birth Defect Angle

James Fallows
Atlantic
There are persistent rumors that the horrendous pollution in China has led to a huge increase such births in China. 

Caixin Media

01.26.13

Garden of Lost Children

It started with a baby that was left in the doorway of a hospital bathroom. Yuan Lihai took in the girl with a cleft lip while working at a Henan province hospital in 1989. At the department of gynecology and obstetrics, she was paid 20 yuan for...

Peak Toil

Economist
In the first of two articles about the impact of China’s one-child policy, The Economist looks at China's shrinking working-age population...

One of China’s Early AIDS Heroes Hounded into Hiding Identity

Kaijing XIao
ABC
Tian Dawei was the first Chinese man to being a gay, HIV-positive man on state TV. He wanted to help people understand, but in China AIDS still carried a strong stigma. 

Opinion: Will China End the One-Child Rule?

Vikas Bajaj
New York Times
Historically, China's supplied workers to the world. But as it ages the country might seek to recruit immigrants as labor. ...

Caixin Media

01.19.13

Shandong’s Slippery Gutter Oil Man

It’s oil with an extra something, but there’s nothing virgin about it. Pumped from sewers outside restaurants and drained from dumpsters, it’s cooking oil born from waste both human and mechanical.Known in China as “gutter oil,” it’s commonly used...

Books

01.14.13

Governing Health in Contemporary China

Yanzhong Huang
The lack of significant improvement in people’s health status and other mounting health challenges in China raise a puzzling question about the country’s internal transition: why did the reform-induced dynamics produce an economic miracle, but fail to reproduce the success Mao had achieved in the health sector? This book examines the political and policy dynamics of health governance in post-Mao China. It explores the political-institutional roots of the public health and health care challenges and the evolution of the leaders’ policy response in contemporary China. It argues that reform-induced institutional dynamics, when interacting with Maoist health policy structure in an authoritarian setting, have not only contributed to the rising health challenges in contemporary China, but also shaped the patterns and outcomes of China’s health system transition. The study of China’s health governance will further our understanding of the evolving political system in China and the complexities of China’s rise. As the world economy and international security are increasingly vulnerable to major disease outbreaks in China, it also sheds critical light on China’s role in global health governance. —Routledge

Environment

01.08.13

Officials Failing to Stop Textile Factories Dumping Waste in Qiantong River

from chinadialogue
The Qiantang River is the most important river in China’s eastern Zhejiang province, one of the country’s most developed regions. On its banks, textiles plants work to supply fashion labels around the world. But they are polluting the environment in...

Environment

01.07.13

Taxi Drivers in China Have Highest PM2.5 Air Pollutant Exposure

from chinadialogue
A study conducted by Greenpeace has revealed that taxi drivers suffer the greatest levels of exposure to PM2.5 air pollution: three times that of the average person, and five times the world standard.The study, carried out by Greenpeace in...

Opinion: Cheap Meth! Cheap Guns! Click Here

Nicholas Kristof
New York Times
How about cracking down on Web sites that sell guns and drugs, while leaving be those that traffic in ideas and information?

Why 'Breaking Bad' Should be Set in China

Eveline Chao
Motherboard
Records of large drug busts involving meth in recent years--an increasingly common occurrence--tend to show a trail that leads back to China.

Telling China's Stories Through Food

Rebekah Denn
Seattle Times
Former Associated Press reporter Audra Ang, talks about To the People Food is Heaven, her journey through a complicated, sometimes maddening, sometimes breathtaking society.

Caixin Media

12.28.12

Desperate Cash Infusions Driving Blood Trade

The tumor was growing, and the family of cancer patient Xia Jianqing was growing desperate.Doctors at a military hospital in Beijing had warned Xia’s family that he would die without the blood needed for a lifesaving operation. But the hospital had...

Food For Thought

The Economist
Economist
Food companies play an ambivalent part in the fight against flab. China's packaged food sales are 3-4 times their 2002 level. ...

Video

12.20.12

Stars in the Haze

Joshua Frank
Flying kites is the quintessential Chinese pastime. But “wind zithers” or “paper sparrow hawks,” as they are known in Chinese, also have a long history as tools. Over millennia, Chinese have used them for measuring the wind, gauging distances, and...

The Hungry Years

Pankaj Mishra
New Yorker
Pankaj Mishra reviews two new books on Mao Zedong and the Great Famine of 1958-62.

The Price of Blood: China Faces HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Madison Park
CNN
Near World AIDS Day, China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang said HIV/AIDS is "not only a medical issue but also a social challenge." ...

Media

12.01.12

Chinese AIDS Activist Endures “Degradation” in New York, Determined to Finish What She Started

Chinese people translate “New Yorker” into “New York Ke” to designate people living in New York City, including Chinese immigrants. But in Chinese, “ke” means “visitor” or “guest.” It has been a sad word in Chinese literature and poems for thousands...

Pressure Mounts on Carr over China Rights Abuses

John Garnaut
Sydney Morning Herald
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr is faced with confronting Beijing with rights abuses after an Australian doctor was quietly jailed.

Forced ‘Vacation’ for Man Who Broke Dumpster Death Story

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
The journalist who publicized the deaths of five young boys in southwestern China last week, has been forced to take a “vacation.”

Caixin Media

11.05.12

Thanks, But No Thanks

On the last day of Zhao Xiang’s short life, her request to donate every organ possible to save the lives of others was brushed off by the president of Shenzhen Liulian Hospital.Zhao, her parents, and transplant specialists from the Shenzhen branch...

Online Poll Shows Overwhelming Support For End to China’s One-Child Policy

David Wertime
Out of 30,006 votes cast, 71.7% support abrogating the one-child policy, and only 28.3% want to keep it. The poll was conducted after a study by the China Development Research Foundation emerged, recommending an abolition of the...

One-Child Policy Up for Reform in China?

Alexa Olesen
Associated Press
The unpopular policy should be phased out, says a Chinese government think tank.

The Battle for Breakfast

D.W.
Economist
 Chinese love fast food but no Western chain has figured out how to please the hungry in the morning.

China Now Eats Twice As Much Meat as the United States

Malcolm Moore
Telegraph
Chinese demand for meat has quadrupled over 30 years and the nation now eats a quarter of the world supply.

China-Made Treats Linked to Dog Deaths

Amy Worden
Philadelphia Inquirer
News late last week that China-made dog treats have been linked to the deaths of 360 dogs - and 1 cat - and sickened another 2,000 should prompt pet owners to do one thing: read the labels. The...

Chinese AIDS Patients Topple Gate of Government Office

Gillian Wong
Associated Press
About 300 AIDS patients and their relatives tore down the main gate of a government office in central China during a protest Monday over unmet demands for financial assistance.

Environment

08.15.12

Official Shrugs Off Public Food “Panic”

from chinadialogue
Wang Guowei heads up the policy and legislation department at the State Council Food Safety Commission. He spoke to Xu Nan and Zhou Wei about the nature of China’s food safety problems and the ongoing policy response.chinadialogue: Compared with...