In ‘The Assassin,’ a Director Blends the Fantastical and the Realistic

MEKADO MURPHY
New York Times
The director has made a film rooted in martial arts, but with imagery and settings that make “The Assassin” feel almost painterly.

When Palace Museum Meets Creativity

China Daily
In the minds of most people, Emperor and his concubines lived their lives solemnly.

Culture

10.07.15

Jia Zhangke on Finding Freedom in China on Film

Jonathan Landreth
Jia Zhangke is among the most celebrated filmmakers China has ever produced—outside of China. His 2013 film, A Touch of Sin, a weaving-together of four tales of violence ripped from modern-day newspaper headlines, won the Best Screenplay award at...

Media

10.07.15

An International Victory, Forged in China’s Tumultuous Past

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On October 5, a share of this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine went to 84-year-old Chinese pharmacologist Tu Youyou for her discovery, decades ago, of the anti-malarial drug artemisinin. Tu and her team made the discovery during the Cultural...

China Box Office: 'Lost in Hong Kong' Surges Past $200 Million

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
The film will soon surpass its predecessor, 'Lost in Thailand', which grossed $208 million in 2012, the most ever for a Chinese film at the time...

Sinica Podcast

10.05.15

Edmund Backhouse in the Long View of History

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Edmund Backhouse, the 20th century Sinologist, long-time Beijing resident, and occasional con-artist, is perhaps best known for his incendiary memoirs, which not only distorted Western understanding of Chinese history for more than 50 years, but...

Culture

10.02.15

In Zhang Yimou’s ‘Coming Home’ History is Muted But Not Silent

Eva Shan Chou
Coming Home, directed by the celebrated Zhang Yimou and released in the U.S. last week, begins as a man escapes a labor camp in China’s northwest and tries to return home. But he is captured when he and his wife attempt to meet, after their daughter...

Media

10.02.15

Meet China’s Salman Rushdie

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On a warm late afternoon in June, I sat with Perhat Tursun as he slowly exhaled a puff of smoke from a blue cigarette with shiny gold trim. Arrayed on the pale lace tablecloth before us was an assortment of nuts, sunflower seeds, and wine. The...

Media

10.01.15

U.S. Presidential Candidates on China

Our Presidential Quotes tracker keeps you up to date on what the candidates are saying about China, and where and when they say it.

Children of the Yuan Percent: Everyone Hates China’s Rich Kids

Christopher Beam
Bloomberg
The fuerdai, China’s second-generation rich kids, are the most loathed group in the country.

Media

10.01.15

When Chinese Internet Users Call Xi Jinping Daddy

Anne Henochowicz
Internet censorship in China has inspired the invention of a menagerie of online creatures: the river crab, the elephant of truth, the monkey-snake. Each beast’s name plays on a word or phrase that has at some point angered Chinese Internet users,...

Media

09.28.15

What’s China’s Mood Under Xi? New Data Gives a Glimpse

David Wertime
China, under the presidency of Xi Jinping, has invited a number of breathless pronouncements about the state of the country. Chinese media regularly conjure the “Chinese Dream,” one of Xi’s favored phrases, which means whatever readers want it to...

Rights Group Demands Chinese Supporters of Hong Kong Democracy Be Freed

CLARE BALDWIN
Reuters
Amnesty International called for the release of eight mainland Chinese activists.

China Angered By Hillary Clinton Tweet on Women's Rights

Tessa Wong
BBC
China has reacted furiously at Hillary Clinton's recent comments about China's record on women's rights...

He Said What? China's Xi Jinping Makes 'House of Cards' Joke

Andrew Stevens
CNN
Xi Jinping did something unusual, almost unheard of, for a Chinese President: He cracked a joke. In public.

Conversation

09.22.15

Xi Jinping’s Message to America

Taisu Zhang, Graham Webster & more
China’s President Xi Jinping addressed an audience of more than 700 American businesspeople in Seattle on Tuesday evening on the first stop on his first state visit to the United States. Regular ChinaFile Contributors who watched the speech offer...

Conversation

09.22.15

Can the U.S. & China Make Peace in Cyberspace?

Charlie Smith, Rogier Creemers & more
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in the United States today on his first state visit. Xi will address a group of American business leadersin Seattle. High on their list of concerns about trade with China is cyber hacking, cyber espionage and...

Warner Bros. Strikes Deal to Make Chinese-Language Films

Jackie Wattles
CNN
China's movie market is thriving...

Western Media ‘Welcome’ in China, Xi Tells Murdoch

Agence France-Presse
South China Morning Post
Chinese President Xi Jinping has told Rupert Murdoch that Western media organisations are “welcome” in China, despite the continued blocking of numerous foreign websites for their reporting on the country. “(We) welcome foreign media and...

The News Media’s Mixed Record in Covering China-Africa Ties

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
News organizations from across Africa and around the world are devoting more resources to covering China’s engagement on the continent. The overall quantity of coverage has undoubtedly increased over the past decade. The key question, though, is...

Controversy Brewing Around China’s Oscar Submission

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke revealed that producers are lobbying for his latest feature, Mountains May Depart, to be submitted. 

China’s Fast Growing Film Industry

Bloomberg
The discussion on the expansion of the entertainment industry in China and differences between audiences in the U.S. and Asia

The Chinese Government Is Censoring A Documentary About Mothers Who Love Their Gay Kids

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
The upcoming court case of a filmmaker from Beijing, stands out.

China Looks to Hollywood

Nina Huang
Diplomat
Chinese firms are stepping up their investments in Hollywood, to protect their own market share.

China's Biggest, Yet Most Unlikely Film of This Summer

JUSTIN BERGMAN
Mashable
As of Sept. 12,Monster Hunthad grossed a whopping RMB 2.428 billion (US$380.95 million).

‘I Try to Talk Less’: A Conversation with Ai Weiwei and Liao Yiwu

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In late July, Chinese authorities renewed travel privileges for conceptual artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, ending a five-year prohibition following his arrest in 2011. He promptly flew to Munich and then Berlin, where he has accepted a...

State Council Approves New Draft of Film Industry Promotion Law

EL Borromeo
Yibada
The law is now subject to discussion and approval by the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee...

Media

09.10.15

Chinese Web Users Grieve for Syrian Toddler—and Blame America

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A photo of Syrian three-year-old Aylan Kurdi lying dead on a Turkish beach, who drowned as his family attempted to flee their war-torn homeland by crossing the Mediterranean Sea to find refuge in Greece, has stunned viewers across Europe and the...

Movie Review: ‘Wolf Totem’ Offers Majestic Vistas and Real Wolves

Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
The Movie lures and repels lovers of nature into the theater.

Chinese State Media Blasts ‘Stereotypical’ and ‘Prejudiced’ BBC Documentary

Ryan Kilpatrick
Hong Kong Economic Journal
China’s state media Xinhua has lashed out at a recent documentary series by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Culture

09.09.15

The Met Goes to China

Jeffrey Wasserstrom
In July, while in New York, I toured The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s much buzzed about “China: Through the Looking Glass,” a visually stunning multimedia exhibit that showcases the varied ways that Western fashion designers have been inspired by...

‘Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation’ Revs to Record Opening Day in China

Pamela McClintock
Hollywood Reporter
The Tom Cruise movie scored the top opening of all time for a 2D Hollywood title with $18.5 million on Tuesday.

Media

09.03.15

Who Is Xi Jinping? Introducing the Asia Society Podcast

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
Three years after Xi Jinping took control of China’s Communist Party and assumed the country’s leadership, he has emerged as one of the world’s most powerful people. But his tenure has also raised uncomfortable questions. Is he a reformer bent on...

Media

09.03.15

Chinese Web Users Aren’t Blaming Detained Journalist for Market Panic

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
China’s stock markets have been in free-fall for some time. Now, so is a financial journalist who had the temerity to write about them. On August 31, Chinese journalist Wang Xiaolu confessed on state-run China Central Television (CCTV) to writing a...

Features

09.02.15

Parading the People’s Republic

Geremie R. Barmé from China Heritage Quarterly
In light of the September 3, 2015, mega military parade held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing both to mark the seventieth anniversary of the end of Second Sino-Japanese War in 1945 and to acclaim the achievements of Xi Jinping, China’s Chairman of...

As Economy Falters, Military Parade Offers Chance to Burnish China’s Image

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
China celebrates a new national holiday to honor the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Media

08.31.15

Netanyahu, Shanghai, and the Communist Party’s Forbidden History

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On August 26, the Israeli Embassy in China posted a one-minute video to its official account on Weibo, China’s huge microblogging platform, thanking the coastal Chinese city of Shanghai for its role sheltering roughly 20,000 Jews fleeing persecution...

Not for Kids: Forbidden City’s Adult Coloring Book

Alyssa Abkowitz and Lilian Lin
Wall Street Journal
Psychologists have hailed coloring as a good relaxation technique, and some have likened it to meditation.

Sinica Podcast

08.31.15

A ‘China Watcher’s China Watcher’ Decamps

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
As anyone who reads the Sinocism newsletter knows, Bill Bishop is among the most plugged-in people in Beijing with an uncanny ability to figure out what is actually happening in the halls of power. But as casual readers may not be aware, he is also...

China Punishes Nearly 200 Over ‘Rumors’ About Stocks, Blasts and Parade

Edward Wong
New York Times
The moves indicate the political sensitivities aggravated in recent weeks by several volatile issues.

Media

08.27.15

Chinese Media Jumps on Tragic Virginia Shooting

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On the morning of August 26, a reporter and a cameraman for a local Virginia television station were fatally shot during a live television interview. The alleged gunman, now dead, apparently shot himself before being apprehended by police.The...

Media

08.26.15

Mapping Fallout From ‘Black Monday’: Who Was Hardest Hit?

David Wertime
August 24, which some have already dubbed “Black Monday,” was not a kind day to global equity markets. The rout began with a massive sell-off in China, where the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunged 8.49 percent in just one day. Those losses...

Who Loses Most from Chaos in China—And Some Possible Silver Linings

Washington Post
The panic may weaken demand for U.S. exports. But that could make some goods cheaper for consumers.

Donald Trump: No State Dinner—Only Big Mac—for China’s President

Jeremy Diamond
CNN
If elected, Trump vowed to eschew the lavish dinner Xi Jinping will get in Washington from President Obama.

Warner Bros. in Talks to Make Movies in China

Ben Fritz and Shalini Ramachandran
Wall Street Journal
The joint venture would produce local-language films for Asian audience.

Apple Stock Recovers After Tim Cook Email Praises China Sale

Brian X. Chen
New York Times
CEO Tim Cook emailed “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer to say the App Store in China had its best performance of the year in the last two weeks.

Science-Fiction Prize Is Awarded to Chinese Writer for First Time

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The Chinese writer Liu Cixin has won the 2015 Hugo Award, the first time the prestigious prize has gone to a Chinese writer.

Caixin Media

08.18.15

Official Stonewalling on Tianjin Explosions Sparks Outcry

While victims of the Tianjin explosions are still waiting to be told why their loved ones died or, how safe it is to go outside, officials remained evasive in the sixth press conference regarding the disaster.In response to a question from a Caixin...

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...

Media

08.13.15

Sorry China, the Internet You’re Looking for Does Not Exist

David Wertime
The long arm of China’s massive internal security apparatus just reached further into the heart of the country’s web. On August 4, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced that it would embed law enforcement officers at major Internet companies...

Culture

08.11.15

Japan’s Soft Power Leader in China is a Fat Blue Cartoon Cat

David Volodzko
On July 28, costumed in vibrant colors, throngs of fans flocked toward the early morning light of Victoria Harbor, queueing outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center for the last day of the 17th Ani-Com & Games Hong Kong. The...

China Devalues Its Currency as Worries Rise About Economic Slowdown

Neil Gough and Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The clearest sign yet of Beijing's concern about falling short of its goal of roughly 7 percent economic growth...

China TV Anchor Bi Fujian to be Punished for Mao Insult

BBC
He committed "a serious violation of political discipline" mocking the man who led the Cultural Revolution and sparked a crippling famine...

China Read Emails of Top U.S. Officials

Robert Windrem
NBC News
First codenamed "Dancing Panda" by U.S. officials was detected in April 2010, according to a top secret NSA briefing from 2014...

Viewpoint

08.07.15

Here’s What’s Wrong With Most Commentary on the Beijing 2022 Olympics

Taisu Zhang & Paul H. Haagen
Upon hearing that Beijing would be hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, we wondered what the Chinese government was thinking. The decision seemed counterintuitive, to say the least: For one thing, it barely snows in Beijing, or even in Zhangjiakou, the...

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...

Alibaba Names Former Goldman Sachs Executive as President

Michael De La Merced
New York Times
Alibaba on Tuesday named J. Michael Evans, who already serves on its board, as its president.

Media

08.04.15

Beijing’s Winter Doldrums

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On July 31, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing, the arid northern capital of a country with little tradition of winter sports. Beijing will be the first city in history to host both the winter games and...

The Melancholy Pop Idol Who Haunts China

Hua Hsu
New Yorker
Teresa Teng’s influence is particularly powerful in China, which her parents had fled after the revolution.