Jerome Cohen on Cheng Guangcheng's Arrival (Audio)

Brian Lehrer
WNYC
Jerome Cohen, China law expert and professor at New York University School of Law, talks about Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who just arrived to start legal studies at NYU Law school after his dramatic stand-off in Beijing.

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Near Three Gorges Dam, the Exodus Continues

Walls inside Zhang Haomin’s home in Zhenxi Township, in Chongqing, started cracking in 2008, around the time the reservoir behind the new Three Gorges Dam neared capacity.“Early on, the cracks were small,” said Zhang, whose home is about three...

Media

05.17.12

Villagers Loot Spilled Watermelons From Truck After Car Crash

Qiaoyi Zhuang
Two trucks collided on the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Expressway in Yueyang, Hunan Province. While local firemen worked to rescue the drivers stuck in their vehicles, people from a nearby village arrived on the scene to loot watermelons that had fallen...

Media

05.11.12

Children Travel on Zip-line Across Abyss To and From School

All 3,369 inhabitants of Hongde Village in Guizhou province, including dozens of school children, must either somehow cross the gorge, or take a detour by walking for several hours, in order to get out of their village. In 2002, a...

Earthbound China

04.18.12

What Wukan Means

Ou Ning
It began, in the early stages, as a secret mobilization. Then came the protests, marches of ever-larger numbers, direct confrontation, occupations, blockades, anarchy, media exposure, a case of accidental death, the involvement of higher levels of...

Video

03.29.12

A Story of Invisible Water

Lynn Zhang
A Story of Invisible Water examines the problem of water pollution and drought in the northeastern Chinese province of Hebei. Farmers in Xizhang village claim that for more than twenty years, local factories have polluted the groundwater they use...

Out of School

03.26.12

Re-Reading: The Good Earth

Maura Cunningham
The Good Earth simultaneously manages to be both a classic and not very good. This is not, I trust, a controversial statement: Pearl Buck’s 1931 novel suffered a mixed reputation from the start. While many early readers hailed her work for its...

Do China’s Village Protests Help the Regime?

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Over the past two weeks, the Western press has focused on a striking story out of China: a riveting series of protests in Wukan, a fishing village in the country’s prosperous south. The story is depressingly familiar: Corrupt cadres sell off public...

Culture

10.01.11

Bishan Harvestival

from Leap
One can almost imagine Bishan in its heyday. On the evening of August 26, 2011 the village’s daytime enthusiasm gushes towards the Yi County Cinema. It’s the kind of movie theater almost every small town has had, but Bishan’s has somehow managed to...

Reports

05.01.11

China and Africa: Small Hydro Power Cooperation

Leon White
He Jianan
Global Environmental Institute
The development of Small Hydro Power (SHP) in China has been a success for rural electrification yet to be replicated in the rest of the world. This paper introduces basic technical, financial, and policy principles of SHP and examines the factors...

Reports

04.18.11

Reports

02.01.11

A Seventeen-Province Survey of Rural Land Rights in China

He Jianan
Landesa
China continues to boost economic development in the countryside by extending secure land tenure rights to its 200 million farming families, according to findings from a seventeen-province survey, published in the 2011 Chinese Academy of Social...

My First Trip

01.22.11

Finding the Truth about Rural China

Edward Friedman
In May 1978, at age 40, accompanied by three colleagues who had already been to China, I made my first trip to the PRC. I was a critical and independent member of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the American Civil Liberties Union. I...

Reports

12.01.10

Can China’s Rural Elderly Count on Support from Adult Children? Implications of Rural to Urban Migration

John Giles, Dewen Wang, and Changbao Zhao
World Bank
Support from the family continues to be an important source of support for the rural elderly, particularly the rural elderly over seventy years of age. Decline in likelihood of co-residence with, or in close proximity to, adult children raises the...

Reports

11.01.10

Did Higher Inequality Impede Growth in Rural China?

Dwayne Benjamin, Loren Brandt, and John Giles
World Bank
Since the start of economic reform in the early 1980s, China has experienced plenty of growth and inequality; per capita income has grown nearly 8 percent annually, while the Gini coefficient rose from 0.28 to 0.39. Using a rich longitudinal survey...

Reports

10.01.10

A Case Study on Large-Scale Forestland Acquisition in China

Li Ping and Robin Nielsen
He Jianan
Landesa
Rural development and forest restoration have been key priorities for the Chinese government over the last decade, and indeed many countries in the world. To address these priorities, the Chinese government has aggressively promoted new investment—...

Reports

05.05.10

Restructuring Paper on a Proposed Project Restructuring of Jiangxi Integrated Agricultural Modernization Project

Sara Segal-Williams
World Bank
The development objective of the Jiangxi Integrated Agricultural Modernization Project (JIAMP) for China is to improve the livelihood of the farmers in the project areas through establishment of integrated, sustainable, and market-driven...

Reports

04.01.10

Who Owns Carbon in Rural China?

Zhu Keliang, Darryl Vhugen, and Nathan Hilgendorf
He Jianan
Landesa
Despite decades of rapid economic growth in China, rural areas remain largely undeveloped. Rural China is home to more than 195 million hectares of forestland—the equivalent of around 5 billion tons of carbon. Rights to forestland are either 1)...

Books

03.01.10

Spectacle and Sacrifice

David Johnson
This book is about the ritual world of a group of rural settlements in Shanxi province in pre-1949 North China. Temple festivals, with their giant processions, elaborate rituals, and operas, were the most important influence on the symbolic universe of ordinary villagers and demonstrate their remarkable capacity for religious and artistic creation. The great festivals described in this book were their supreme collective achievements and were carried out virtually without assistance from local officials or educated elites, clerical or lay. Chinese culture was a performance culture, and ritual was the highest form of performance. Village ritual life everywhere in pre-revolutionary China was complex, conservative, and extraordinarily diverse. Festivals and their associated rituals and operas provided the emotional and intellectual materials out of which ordinary people constructed their ideas about the world of men and the realm of the gods. It is, David Johnson argues, impossible to form an adequate idea of traditional Chinese society without a thorough understanding of village ritual. Newly discovered liturgical manuscripts allow him to reconstruct North Chinese temple festivals in unprecedented detail and prove that they are sharply different from the Daoist- and Buddhist-based communal rituals of South China.  —Harvard University Press

Reports

01.01.10

“Where Darkness Knows No Limits”: Incarceration, Ill-Treatment, and Forced Labor as Drug Rehabilitation in China

Sara Segal-Williams
Human Rights Watch
Based on research in Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, this report documents how China's June 2008 Anti-Drug Law compounds the health risks of suspected illicit drug users by allowing government officials and security forces to incarcerate them for...

Reports

04.15.09

Village-by-Village Democracy in China

Robert T. Gannett Jr.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

The China We Don’t Know

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
In the late 1990s, Chinese peasants in the village of Da Fo, many of whom between 1959 and 1961 had survived the twentieth century’s greatest famine, felt free enough to install shrines to Guangong, the traditional war god of resistance to...

Reports

10.15.07

Securing Land Rights for Chinese Farmers

Zhu Keliang and Roy Prosterman
Cato Institute
Despite China's significant economic growth, most of the 700 million farmers that make up about 56% of the total population still lack secure and marketable land rights that would allow them to make long-term investment in land in order to...

Reports

10.01.07

The Impact of Regulatory Takings by the Chinese State on Rural Land Tenure and Property Rights

Li Ping
He Jianan
Landesa
With the realization of China’s rapid ecological deterioration, partly caused by irresponsible logging, the Chinese government has in recent years taken a series of drastic measures to improve forest coverage. One important approach was to declare...

China: The Shame of the Villages

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
1.Published fifteen years ago, Chinese Village, Socialist State, as I wrote at the time, not only contained a more telling account of Chinese rural life than any other I had read; it also produced a new understanding “of the methods by which the...

Room at the Top

Pico Iyer from New York Review of Books
The last time I was in the Himalayas, I met a young, highly Westernized Tibetan who, misled perhaps by my Indian features (born in England, I’ve never lived in the subcontinent), started talking to me about the strange ways of the exotic foreigners...

The Party’s Secrets

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
Not long after Mao Zedong died in 1976, one of the editors of the Party’s People’s Daily said. “Lies in newspapers are like rat droppings in clear soup: disgusting and obvious.” That may have been true of the Party’s newspapers, which Chinese are...

Turbulent Empire

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
Among the great and enduring questions in the study of Chinese history are these: In an agricultural country of such extraordinary size how was the land farmed and what were the patterns of ownership and tenancy? How was the rural revenue extracted...

China: Mulberries and Famine

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
Near the beginning of the Chinese “Classic of Historical Documents” (the Shujing), where the doings of early mythic rulers are being described, there is a brief passage that stands out among the others for its precision and clarity. The focus of...

Down There on a Visit

Martin Bernal from New York Review of Books
In many ways this is the book that everybody interested in China has been waiting for, a book describing what it feels like to be a peasant living through the Chinese Revolution. In the summer of 1962 Jan Myrdal, the thirty-year-old son of the...