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...

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...

Books

11.04.16

Land of Fish and Rice

Fuchsia Dunlop
The lower Yangtze region, or Jiangnan, with its modern capital Shanghai, has been known since ancient times as a “land of fish and rice.” For centuries, local cooks have harvested the bounty of its lakes, rivers, fields, and mountains to create a cuisine renowned for its delicacy and beauty. In Land of Fish and Rice, Fuchsia Dunlop draws on years of study and exploration to present the recipes, techniques, and ingredients of the Jiangnan kitchen. You will be inspired to try classic dishes such as Beggar’s Chicken and sumptuous Dongpo Pork, as well as fresh, simple recipes such as Clear-Steamed Sea Bass and Fresh Soybeans with Pickled Greens. Evocatively written and featuring stunning recipe photography, this is an important new work celebrating one of China’s most fascinating culinary regions. —W.W. Norton{chop}

China Land Reform Opens Door to Corporate Farming

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Move to bring capital into large-scale agriculture keeps bar on individual ownership

Resettling China’s 'Ecological Migrants'

Edward Wong and Josh Haner
New York Times
These are the people the government has relocated from lands distressed by climate change, industrialization, and poor policies to hastily built villages

Living in China’s Expanding Deserts

Josh Haner, Edward Wong, Derek Watkins...
New York Times
People on the edges of the country’s vast seas of sand are being displaced by climate change

Poignant Portraits Show What it is Like Being LGBT in China

Kenneth Dickerman
Washington Post
Despite being decriminalized in 1997, homosexuality is still heavily stigmatized in China.

America’s Best Idea May Now Be China’s Too, as It Expands It’s National Park System

Jessica Meyers
Los Angeles Times
With U.S. guidance, China is launching a pilot project that spans nine provinces

Mother’s Killing of 4 Children Reveals Cracks in Anti-Poverty Drive

Li Rongde, Xiao Hui, Huang Ziyi, and...
Corruption, red tape has led to most vulnerable citizens receiving little help

A New Literary Genre Critiques the Scariest Part of Life in China: Reality

Adrienne Matei
Quartz
Enter chaohuan, the "ultra-unreal"...

Media

09.14.16

The Chinese Democratic Experiment that Never Was

David Wertime
Protesters in southern China are up in arms. They feel that Beijing’s promises that they’d be able to vote for their own local leaders have been honored in the breach. They’re outraged at the show of force in the face of peaceful protest, and...

Depth of Field

09.12.16

African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...

Other

08.23.16

The Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography

In 2014, ChinaFile and the Magnum Foundation founded the Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography to support photographers working to address pressing social issues impacting China and its relations with the world that have not received...

China’s Coal Towns Are Literally Sinking

Scott Cendrowski
Fortune
Hundreds of thousands are being moved from regions made unsafe from coal companies.

China Pledges to Cut Size of Its Massive Fishing Fleet Due to Serious Threat to Nation’s Fish Stocks

Stephen Chen
South China Morning Post
The government said there were practically “no fish” in the coastal East China Sea.

Caixin Media

08.02.16

Revival, Resistance for National Pension Push

Bridging the “regional divide” that separates affluent and less affluent areas is a main goal as the central government revives a stalled effort to form a nationwide pension system.The State Council, China’s cabinet, laid the groundwork for a...

Historic Flooding Costs China $44.7 Billion So Far This Year

Wade Shepard
Forbes
’Ruthless’ urbanization takes its toll.

China’s Short-Changing Its Future

Christopher Balding
Bloomberg
One of the most critical tasks is developing a workforce for the 21st century.

Environment

07.14.16

South China Faces Worst Floods in Decades

from chinadialogue
It’s like someone poked a hole in the sky, the rain just keeps pouring down, you can’t breathe,” said Mrs Wu from Donghu, a district in Wuhan a city in central China with over 10 million residents. Mrs Wu lives in Chunshuli, an affluent neighborhood...

Depth of Field

07.01.16

Tornados and Drag Queens

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Being a photojournalist involves reacting to breaking news, a dedication to long-term projects, and everything in between. This month’s showcase of work by Chinese photographers published in Chinese media underscores this range of angles: from the...

‘Destined to Disappear’: The Last Generation of China’s ‘Bang-Bang’ Army

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Itinerant porters face a vocational extinction in the towering hills of Chongqing....

Conversation

06.24.16

Is Europe Prepared to Deal with the China Challenge?

Mikko Huotari, Jan Gaspers & more
Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a grand tour of the western end of the “New Silk Road,” in visits to Serbia and Poland this week before he returns to Beijing via Uzbekistan, a more eastern outpost on China’s expanding 21st Century trade route. Xi...

Skepticism in China After Wukan Confession

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
Chinese protesters are not convinced by Mr. Lin’s video confession.....

Chinese Official Whose Arrest Stirred Protests Confesses To Taking Bribes

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Mr. Lin is detained on suspicion of recieving bribes and abuse of power....

Books

06.22.16

Tibetan Environmentalists in China

Liu Jianqiang
This book weaves together the life stories of five extraordinary contemporary Tibetans involved in environmental protection (as well as a host of secondary characters): Tashi Dorje, a well-known and celebrated environmentalist; Karma Samdrup, a philanthropist, businessman, and environmentalist; Rinchen Samdrup, Karma’s brother, another extraordinary environmentalist; Gendun, a painter, historian, and researcher from Amdo; and Musuo, a Tibetan from the Dechin area of northwest Yunnan who founded the Khawakarpo Culture Society.In the politically fraught and ever-worsening situation for Tibetans within China today, it is often said that the only possible path for a better solution will be through a change in the way that the majority Chinese society thinks about and understands Tibetans, their aspirations, histories, and desires. This book provides the first such account by drawing readers in with beautiful narrative prose and fascinating stories, and then using their attention to demystify Tibetans, cultivating in the reader a sense of empathy as well as facts upon which to rebuild an intercultural understanding. It is the first work that seriously aims to let the Chinese public understand Tibetans as both products of an admirable culture and as complex individuals negotiating religious ideals, economic change, and sociopolitical constraints. In short it opens up a whole new way of understanding Tibet. —Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books {chop}

Hundreds of Residents of South China 'Rebel' Village Protest, Poised for Showdown

James Pomfret
Reuters
Villagers called for the return of seized land and the release of a former protest leader who was elected village chief in 2012.

Media

05.31.16

Will China’s ‘Taobao Villages’ Spur a Rural Revolution?

from chinadialogue
The province of Shanxi, in northern China, is famous for coal mining, and the industry’s impact is etched across the landscape. But the province’s southern counties, which lie near the Yellow River, are known for a very different commodity—red dates...

Depth of Field

05.31.16

Families, Weddings, and Beekeepers

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This month’s Depth of Field column brings the stories of Chinese adoption; the marriage ceremony of Hu Mingliang and Sun Wenlin, a gay couple who filed the first civil rights marriage lawsuit to be accepted by a Chinese court (they lost); beekeepers...

Green Space

05.11.16

The Dark Side of Country Life

Michael Zhao
The last time we peeked at Lei Hu’s photo blog, Lei was giving us a cheery look at a China that we rarely get to see: the countryside and its beauty. But there’s a dark side to country life in China, as well, and a new blog post from Lei explores...

China to Relocate Two Million People in Bid to Tackle Poverty

Neil Connor
Telegraph
People from poverty-stricken communities are relocated to more developed urban areas as part of a wide-ranging plan to tackle poverty.

In Sichuan Province, an Artisan Retreats to China’s Past

Jonah M. Kessel
New York Times
Hanshan, an ethnic Miao, survives by selling the clothing he dyes to the same people he considers too materialistic.

Depth of Field

04.29.16

April’s Best Chinese Photojournalism

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Over the past few weeks, the publications Sina, Tencent, Caixin, China Youth Daily, and the publishing duo Sixth Tone/The Paper published photo stories on the intimate, the industrial, the private, and the political. Journalists Yan Cong and Ye Ming...

China Sees Childhood Obesity 'Explosion' in Rural Provinces

Sarah Whitten
CNBC
The study cites three major reasons for the uptick in childhood obesity: cultural background, poor diet and and a lack of physical activity.

Depth of Field

04.03.16

Meet ‘Depth of Field’: The Month’s Best Chinese Photojournalism

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Welcome to ChinaFile’s inaugural “Depth of Field” column. In collaboration with Yuanjin Photo, an independent photo blog published by photographers Yan Cong and Ye Ming on the Chinese social media platform WeChat, we will highlight new and...

Caixin Media

04.01.16

China’s Rural Youngsters Drop Out of School at Alarming Rate

Like many other teenagers in his village in the mountains of the northwestern province of Shaanxi, Chen Youliang decided to quit school early so he could follow in the footsteps of his migrant worker parents and find a job in a big city.Chen, who...

China Premier Urges More Efforts in Restive Uighur Heartland

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China's violence-prone region of Xinjiang needs to make more efforts at development to ensure young people have "something to do and money to earn."...

Sinica Podcast

02.09.16

Sauced: American Cooking in China

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined this week by Howie Southworth and Greg Matza, creators of the independent video series “Sauced in Translation,” a reality show that journeys into the wilder parts of China in search of local Chinese specialties...

Chinese New Year Fireworks So Dangerous That Only Few Get to Witness

Karson Yiu
ABC
In Nuanquan village, there is traditional a pyrotechnic display so unique and dangerous that it is still only found here.

Invisible Bridges

Peter Hessler, photo by Davide...
New Yorker
Over the past two centuries, there have been periodic tensions between Russia and China, including some serious border conflicts, and historically Russia has usually held the upper hand. But nowadays, at the personal level, Monteleone notices a...

Millions of Chinese Migrant Workers Head Home for New Year

Voice of America
Every year tens of millions of Chinese migrant workers head home in the largest annual mass migration of people.

‘Eyes on China’: Illuminating Life Across a Changing Country

Edward Wong
New York Times
Two photographers living in China set up a collective Instagram account.

Green Space

01.22.16

Sea Level Rise In Pictures, Cancer Villages Near Beijing

Michael Zhao
I think a big part of the reason why citizens of the world have not rallied to deal with climate change is the lack of a certain deadline that would warrant our immediate response to the grave consequences of our warming planet. There is no...

Infographics

01.21.16

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s new interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that China’s President, Xi Jinping, launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about nearly 1,500 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources.

Environment

01.19.16

Is Industrial Farming a Tech-Fix or Dead End for Tackling Climate Change?

from chinadialogue
Researchers estimate that between 44 and 57 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) come from the global food system. Agriculture and deforestation caused by agriculture account for 26-33 percent of total emissions, making it a major...

Green Space

01.14.16

Waking the Green Tiger

This documentary—available in full on ChinaFile throughout January courtesy of filmmaker Gary Marcuse—follows a group of environmental activists trying to prevent the construction of dams on the Nu (Salween) and the Upper Yangtze (Jinsha) rivers in...

Video

12.30.15

Drinking the Northwest Wind

Sharron Lovell & Tom Wang
Like so many of Mao’s pronouncements, it sounded simple. “The South has a lot of water; the North lacks water. So if it can be done, borrowing a little water and bringing it up might do the trick.” And thus, in 1952, the spark was lit for what would...

Postcard

11.13.15

The Watch

Hai Zhang
On a trip back to China in 2011, photographer Hai Zhang came across a crowd in the People’s Square of Wushan, a town outside of Chongqing. People had gathered to watch a gala sponsored by a local real estate developer to promote his new residential...

Environment

11.11.15

China’s Bottled Water Industry to Exploit Tibetan Plateau

from chinadialogue
Tibet wants to bottle up much more of the region’s water resources, despite shrinking glaciers and the impact that exploitation of precious resources would have on neighboring countries.This week, the Tibet Autonomous Region’s government released a...

Chinese Farmer Burns to Death in Dispute over 'Nail House'

Katie Hunt
CNN
Land seizures, driven by soaring prices and a push for urban expansion, have been a major source of popular discontent in China, often resulting in violent stand-offs between officials and the public.

Features

10.27.15

Rich Man, Pu’er Man

Christina Larson
“These men always have machetes,” shouts the driver. Through trees along an unpaved road, he spots a ramshackle hut, slows down, and warns his passengers: this is a checkpoint. It’s the only way to enforce rules in this part of the jungle, at the...

Environment

10.22.15

China's Boom Has Hurt Wetlands, Threatens Extinction of Rare Birds

from chinadialogue
The destruction of China’s wetlands, which are critical stopping points for birds migrating as far away as the Arctic or the South Pacific, threatens mass extinctions of species across East Asia, new research has found.Besides providing shelter and...

China Micromanages Tibet, Floods It With Money to Woo Locals

Tablet
Nearly 6,500 civil servants have been dispatched to manage hefty budgets and shape Tibet's modernization...

Suicide Bombings in China: Beyond Terrorism

Shannon Tiezzi
Diplomat
A suicide bomber attacked a park in Heze in China’s Shandong province, killing two (including the bomber) and injuring 24, with three people receiving “relatively severe” injuries.

China May Adopt 'Two-child Policy, Demographic Timebomb Looms

Tom Phillips
Guardian
China could be on the verge of introducing a two-child policy, under which all Chinese couples would be allowed to have two children.