A Glimpse of Life along China’s Border with North Korea

Laura Mallonee
Wired
When Elijah Hurwitz checked into the Hilton Garden Inn in Dandong, China, he knew his room would have an extraordinary view: The hotel sits near the banks of the Yalu River overlooking North Korea. Out the window, a caravan of trucks with North...

Conversation

04.18.18

A Ban on Gay Content, Stopped in Its Tracks

Siodhbhra Parkin, Steven Jiang & more
On April 13, China’s major microblogging platform Sina Weibo announced that, in order to create “a sunny and harmonious” environment, it would remove videos and comics “with pornographic implications, promoting bloody violence, or related to...

Conversation

04.11.18

China’s Communist Party Takes (Even More) Control of the Media

Stanley Rosen, Chris Fenton & more
China’s Communist Party made moves last month to solidify and formalize its (already substantial) control over the country’s media. China’s main state-run broadcasters are to be consolidated into a massive new “Voice of China” under the management...

U.S. Farmers Likely among Hardest Hit by Chinese Tariffs

Frank Morris
NPR
China's retaliatory tariffs may hit farmers harder than any other group...

Family Reunion 24 Years in the Making Captures Hearts in China

Joshua Berlinger and Jemima Barr
CNN
The extraordinary story of a married Chinese couple reuniting with their daughter nearly 24 years after she went missing has captured the hearts of millions across China.

China's 'Jack the Ripper', Gao Chengyong, Sentenced to Death

BBC
BBC
A serial killer in China has been sentenced to death for the murder of 11 women.

Depth of Field

04.02.18

Slow Trains, Shrinking Boomtowns, and Men Who Know Ice

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
In this issue of Depth of Field, we take a ride on one of China’s slowest trains, meet the workers who cut the ice for Harbin’s winter festival, and follow two mentally disabled “sent-down youth” on a rare trip home to visit their families. Also:...

Books

03.29.18

Patriot Number One

Lauren Hilgers
Crown Publishing Group: In 2014, in a snow-covered house in Flushing, Queens, a village revolutionary from Southern China considered his options. Zhuang Liehong was the son of a fisherman, the former owner of a small tea shop, and the spark that had sent his village into an uproar—pitting residents against a corrupt local government. Under the alias Patriot Number One, he had stoked a series of pro-democracy protests, hoping to change his home for the better. Instead, sensing an impending crackdown, Zhuang and his wife, Little Yan, left their infant son with relatives and traveled to America. With few contacts and only a shaky grasp of English, they had to start from scratch.In Patriot Number One, Hilgers follows this dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing’s Chinese community relies on for survival. As the irrepressibly opinionated Zhuang and the more pragmatic Little Yan pursue legal status and struggle to reunite with their son, we also meet others piecing together a new life in Flushing. Tang, a democracy activist who was caught up in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, is still dedicated to his cause after more than a decade in exile. Karen, a college graduate whose mother imagined a bold American life for her, works part-time in a nail salon as she attends vocational school and refuses to look backward.With a novelist’s eye for character and detail, Hilgers captures the joys and indignities of building a life in a new country—and the stubborn allure of the American dream.{chop}

‘America First’ Shouldn’t Stop the Us from Welcoming Chinese Students and Other Global Talent

Vasilis Trigkas
South China Morning Post
Almost half a century after the “Nixon shock”, when US President Nixon unilaterally declared that the United States would abandon the dollar’s convertibility to gold and impose a 10 per cent import surcharge, the world is now being shaken by the “...

China Academics Divided over Australia Influence Crackdown

Jamie Smyth
Financial Times
Canberra’s proposed crackdown on Chinese government influence in Australia has prompted a bitter split among academics, following claims the policy is driven by racism and is stigmatising Chinese Australians.

‘Black Panther’ Sparks Debate over Anti-Black Racism in China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The seemingly sharp fall in attendance prompted Western media outlets to write a series of articles that suggested Chinese moviegoers objected to Black Panther because of its all-black leading cast. “A torture for the eyes: Chinese moviegoers think...

Hong Kong’s Ethnic Minorities Are Struggling with a Chinese Education Gap, but Can the Government See It?

Phyllis Cheung
South China Morning Post
The government has announced that the Chinese-language proficiency requirements will be lowered for 22 civil service grades, bringing the total thus adjusted since the year 2010 to 53.

Alibaba Opens Car Vending Machine in China That Gives Free Test Drives for People with Good Social Credit

Thuy Ong
Verge
Alibaba and Ford signed a deal to form a partnership last year that would see both companies working together on new technological opportunities.

Culture

03.23.18

What Chinese High School Students Learn in America

Jonathan Landreth
In 2011, when a rural prep school in Maine invited New York-based director Miao Wang to screen her first film, Beijing Taxi, she was surprised to find so many Chinese students enrolled at the archetypal New England establishment. Not Chinese-...

China’s Radical Plan to Limit the Populations of Beijing and Shanghai

Helen Roxburgh
Guardian
In the weaving alleys of Shanghai’s Laoximen district, swathes of residential buildings sit empty. The historic area in the heart of the city is being slowly demolished, and many residents have already abandoned it, leaving behind rows of...

How China’s Government Has Changed after the NPC

BBC
BBC
A stronger military and more power to fight corruption are among the major changes revealed at China’s National People's Congress (NPC) this year...

China Approves Giant Propaganda Machine to Improve Global Image

Keith Zhai
Bloomberg
China has approved the creation of one of the world’s largest propaganda machines as it looks to improve its global image, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Conversation

03.20.18

What Is the Significance of China’s #MeToo Movement?

Aaron Halegua, Kevin Lin & more
As the #MeToo movement has swept America, it has also made waves in greater China. On the mainland, the most widely publicized incident involved Luo Xixi’s allegation in a January 2018 Weibo post that her professor at Beihang University, Chen Xiaowu...

Books

03.16.18

Young China

Zak Dychtwald
St. Martin’s Press: The author of Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World, who is in his twenties and fluent in Chinese, examines the future of China through the lens of the jiu ling hou, the generation born after 1990.{node, 45751}A close-up look at the Chinese generation born after 1990 exploring through personal encounters how young Chinese feel about everything from money and sex to their government, the West, and China’s shifting role in the world―not to mention their love affair with food, karaoke, and travel. Set primarily in the eastern second-tier city of Suzhou and the budding western metropolis of Chengdu, the book charts the touchstone issues this young generation faces. From single-child pressure to test-taking madness and the frenzy to buy an apartment as a prerequisite to marriage, from one-night-stands to an evolving understanding of family, Young China offers a fascinating portrait of the generation who will define what it means to be Chinese in the modern era.{chop}

China Just Got One Step Closer to Ending Its Family-Planning Policies

Echo Huang
Quartz
Over the years few things have symbolized China’s heavy-handedness quite like the one-child policy it implemented in 1979. But in a sign of change, this week Beijing announced the end of the commission charged with implementing such policies.

Reports

03.13.18

Forbidden Feeds: Government Controls on Social Media in China

PEN America
PEN International
Based on extensive interviews with writers, poets, artists, activists, and others personally affected by the government’s grip on online expression, as well as interviews with anonymous employees at Chinese social media companies, this report lays...

Excerpts

03.12.18

A Chinese Mayor-to-Be Tells His Story

Zak Dychtwald
When I lived with Tom in the city of Chengdu in 2015 and into 2016, he was a 23-year-old probationary member of the Chinese Communist Party, on his way to joining the organization’s nearly 90 million full members. He wanted to embark on a career in...

Sinica Podcast

03.06.18

Courts & Torts: Driving the Chinese Legal System

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
“Having read hundreds and hundreds of these cases, I have decided that I’m never going to drive in China.” That is what Benjamin Liebman, the director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia University, concluded after his extensive...

The Brands That Kowtow to China

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
There’s been no joking as the apologies to China have come thick and fast in recent weeks, issued not by teenage singers but by some of the largest and richest multinational corporations in the world—the German luxury car manufacturer Daimler, the...

China’s Media Is Struggling to Overcome Its Racial Stereotypes of Africa

Dani Madrid-Morales
Quartz
For most Chinese people, the Spring Festival is a time to honor family ties, friendships and acquaintances.

China: Big Data Fuels Crackdown in Minority Region

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Chinese authorities are building and deploying a predictive policing program based on big data analysis in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said today. The program aggregates data about people – often without their knowledge – and flags those it deems...

China Hands out Free TVs to Beam Propaganda into Poorest Regions

Neil Connor
Telegraph
China is distributing 300,000 television sets to some of its poorest regions as Beijing seeks to spread its propaganda into some of the country's most hard to reach households...

Short Track: China's Wu Wins 500m in World Record Time

Simon Jennings
Reuters
Wu Dajing won China’s first Olympic gold medal in the men’s 500 meters on Thursday, setting a world record time of 39.584 seconds to beat South Korea’s Hwang Dae-heon.

Depth of Field

02.20.18

When You Give a Kid a Camera

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This dispatch of photojournalism from China cuts across a broad spectrum of society, from film screenings in Beijing for the visually impaired to an acrobatics school 200 miles south, in Puyang, Henan province, and from children in rural Sichuan to...

China Wages War on Funeral Strippers

Neil Connor
Telegraph
China has launched its latest crackdown against a phenomenon which just won’t seem to die in rural areas - funeral strippers.

Who Owns Red Envelope Cash – Parents or Children? A Chinese Court Decides

Kinling Lo
South China Morning Post
Chinese internet users have been arguing about whether red envelopes – filled with cash and given as gifts during the Lunar New Year – should go to children or their parents, after a court published rulings on several cases.

Chinese New Year Means a Spending Spree across East Asia

Xin En Lee
CNBC
The Lunar New Year, which kicks off on Feb. 16, is East Asia’s most important holiday season.

In China, Flashy Logos Are Making a Comeback as a Status Symbol

Yiling Pan
Quartz
Over the past few seasons, logos have made a return to the runway. Even in China, where the industry consensus was that countless fakes and shallow status projection had created serious logo fatigue, people are no longer ashamed to flash luxury...

China’s All-Seeing Social Control Network Brings an End to Fugitives’ Festive Fun

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
With most of China getting into the swing of the Lunar New Year holiday, two crime suspects in the southern city of Guangzhou could have been forgiven for thinking the local police force was taking a break too.

Flu Fears Spread in China Ahead of Lunar New Year Holiday

Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Chinese health authorities said the worst influenza season in recent years was straining the country’s resources and some experts warned that the Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of Chinese go on the road, could make things worse.

‘You Are Our Lucky Star’: Chinese Media in Overdrive on Xi Jinping’s New Year Tour

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Xi Jinping has flown into one of rural China’s most deprived corners to champion his war on extreme poverty before the country’s week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

China to Select Theaters Nationwide to Show Propaganda Films

AP
CNBC
The state will boost the box office of these propaganda movies with group sales, discounted tickets and other financial backing.

Small Earthquake Rattles China's Capital, Beijing

Reuters Staff
Reuters
A 4.3 magnitude quake centered just south of Beijing in the neighboring province of Hebei.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kills More Than 100 in China This Year

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Gas poisonings in southern China have left at least 104 people dead and hundreds hospitalized.

Life Drains from Little Africa as China Dream Fades for Its Fortune Seekers

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Kalifa Feika swapped Sierra Leone for southern China four years ago, determined to manufacture his fortune in the factory of the world.

China Loves Trump

Benjamin Carlson
Atlantic
In January of last year, around the time of the presidential inauguration, as jitters about the relationship between Donald Trump and China mounted, I regularly joined the mob of reporters at the Chinese foreign ministry’s daily briefings in Beijing.

Books

02.07.18

Leftover in China

Roseann Lake
Editor’s note: After we originally posted this video interview about Leftover in China, questions were brought to our attention about the book. We took the video down while we reviewed these concerns, and we determined that the interview is suitable to run on our book video platform.W. W. Norton & Company: Factory Girls meets The Vagina Monologues in this fascinating narrative on China’s single women—and why they could be the source of its economic future.Forty years ago, China enacted the one-child policy, only recently relaxed. Among many other unintended consequences, it resulted in both an enormous gender imbalance—with predictions of over 20 million more men than women of marriage age by 2020—and China’s first generations of only-daughters. Given the resources normally reserved for boys, these girls were pushed to study, excel in college, and succeed in careers, as if they were sons.Now living in an economic powerhouse, enough of these women have decided to postpone marriage, or not marry at all, spawning a label: “leftovers.” Unprecedentedly well-educated and goal-oriented, they struggle to find partners in a society where gender roles have not evolved as vigorously as society itself, and where new professional opportunities have made women less willing to compromise their careers or concede to marriage for the sake of being wed. Further complicating their search for a mate, the vast majority of China’s single men reside in and are tied to the rural areas where they were raised. This makes them geographically, economically, and educationally incompatible with city-dwelling “leftovers,” who also face difficulty in partnering with urban men, given urban men’s general preference for more dutiful, domesticated wives.Part critique of China’s paternalistic ideals, part playful portrait of the romantic travails of China’s trailblazing women and their well-meaning parents who are anxious to see their daughters snuggled into traditional wedlock, Leftover in China focuses on the lives of four individual women against a backdrop of colorful anecdotes, hundreds of interviews, and rigorous historical and demographic research to show how these “leftovers” are the linchpin to China’s future.{chop}

Racing to Match China’s Growing Computer Power, U.S. Outlines Design for Exascale Computer

Robert F. Service
Science
In 1957, the launch of the Sputnik satellite vaulted the Soviet Union to the lead in the space race and galvanized the United States. U.S. supercomputer researchers are today facing their own Sputnik moment—this time with China.

More Than a Dozen Hurt as Van Crashes outside Starbucks in Shanghai

Charlie Campbell
Time
At least 18 people were injured after a minivan rammed into pedestrians near a Starbuck’s coffee shop in downtown Shanghai on Friday morning.

How WeChat Came to Rule China

Shannon Liao
Verge
China’s most popular messaging app, WeChat, has always had a close relationship with the Chinese government. The app has been subsidized by the government since its creation in 2011, and it’s an accepted reality that officials censor and monitor...

Media

02.02.18

Chinese Civil Society in 2018: What’s Ahead?

Wang Yongmei, Anthony Saich & more
The impetus for this event is it’s about a year since the new Foreign NGO Law was implemented in China. There was also another law implemented in 2016, the Charity Law, that governs how domestic NGOs function in China. But there’s a lot more going...

Taiwan Retaliates Against Chinese Airlines, Hampering Lunar New Year Travel

Chris Horton
New York Times
Tens of thousands of Taiwanese working in China are at risk of being unable to return home for the Lunar New Year in mid-February as a result of an escalating battle over airspace in the Taiwan Strait.

Features

01.26.18

A Most Immoral Woman: George E. Morrison's Life in Turn-of-the-Century China

Linda Jaivin
My historical novel “A Most Immoral Woman” tells the story of Morrison’s passionate and unconventional affair with Mae Perkins, an independent and wealthy young American libertine, in 1904. It’s a tale that roams the landscape of a dynasty in...

Books

01.26.18

A Village with My Name

Scott Tong
When journalist Scott Tong moved to Shanghai, his assignment was to start up the first full-time China bureau for Marketplace, the daily business and economics program on public radio stations across the United States. But for Tong, the move became much more—it offered the opportunity to reconnect with members of his extended family who had remained in China after his parents fled the communists six decades prior. By uncovering the stories of his family’s history, Tong discovered a new way to understand the defining moments of modern China and its long, interrupted quest to go global.A Village with My Name offers a unique perspective on the transitions in China through the eyes of regular people who have witnessed such epochal events as the toppling of the Qing monarchy, Japan’s occupation during World War II, exile of political prisoners to forced labor camps, mass death and famine during the Great Leap Forward, market reforms under Deng Xiaoping, and the dawn of the One Child Policy. Tong’s story focuses on five members of his family, who each offer a specific window on a changing country: a rare American-educated girl born in the closing days of the Qing Dynasty, a pioneer exchange student, an abandoned toddler from World War II who later rides the wave of China’s global export boom, a young professional climbing the ladder at a multinational company, and an orphan (the author’s daughter) adopted in the middle of a baby-selling scandal fueled by foreign money. Through their stories, Tong shows us China anew, visiting former prison labor camps on the Tibetan plateau and rural outposts along the Yangtze, exploring the Shanghai of the 1930s, and touring factories across the mainland.With curiosity and sensitivity, Tong explores the moments that have shaped China and its people, offering a compelling and deeply personal take on how China became what it is today. —University of Chicago Press{chop}

‘She’ll Die If She Stays with Us’: a Baby Abandoned in China

Javier C. Hernández and Iris Zhao
New York Times
The 6-month-old girl was found alone at night in a park in southern China, sleeping in a stroller. Next to her, in a lime-green backpack, was a bottle of infant formula, diapers and a two-page note from her parents.

‘Me Too,’ Chinese Women Say. Not so Fast, Say the Censors.

Javier C. Hernández and Zoe Mou
New York Times
They call themselves “silence breakers,” circulate petitions demanding investigations into sexual harassment and share internet memes like clenched fists with painted nails.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Thinks He Knows How to Save China's ‘Left-Behind Children’ — He’s Asking Other Entrepreneurs to Buy In

Karen Gilchrist
CNBC
The founder and executive chairman of e-commerce behemoth Alibaba said that investing in rural boarding schools could provide a solution for China’s “left-behind children” and ensure a more prosperous future for the next generation.

China’s Propagandists Wanted a Hero. ‘Frost Boy’ Fit the Bill.

Javier C. HernáNdez
New York Times
His frazzled face, rosy cheeks and icy hair lit up the internet. Now Wang Fuman, the 8-year-old Chinese student known as Frost Boy, is taking on a new role: propaganda star.

China Takes Aim at Hip-Hop, Saying ‘Low-Taste Content’ Must Stop

Pei Li, Adam Jourdan
Reuters
China’s censors have a new target in a widespread clamp-down on popular culture: the country’s nascent hip-hop scene, which resonated with Chinese youth last year on hugely popular television show “Rap of China.”

Joshua Wong Sentenced in Hong Kong for Role in Umbrella Movement

Alan Wong
New York Times
Mr. Wong had pleaded guilty to contempt of court for refusing to obey a court order to leave a protest site in the last days of demonstrations, known as the Umbrella Movement, that paralyzed parts of Hong Kong without winning any political...

China's Top Movie Ticketing App Said to Plan $1 Billion IPO

Bloomberg
Maoyan Weying, China’s biggest online movie ticketing platform, is planning a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise about $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

China Professor Accused in #MeToo Campaign Is Sacked

BBC
A Chinese university has fired a professor accused of sexual misconduct, after a former student named him in a #MeToo campaign.

Chinese boy with frozen hair reignites poverty debate

BBC
An eight-year-old Chinese pupil, dubbed "Ice Boy" by social media users after images emerged of him arriving at school with swollen hands and frost on his hair and eyebrows, has sparked renewed discussion online about child poverty...

China’s Women Break Silence on Harassment as #MeToo Becomes #WoYeShi

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Beijing’s strict social control mean few have risked speaking out about misogyny but campaigners are beginning to make their voices heard.