Welcome to Yiwu: China’s Testing Ground for a Multicultural City

Helen Roxburgh
Guardian
Unlike Guangzhou’s African community—who have faced prejudice and hostility—Yiwu’s foreign residents enjoy an ‘unusual freedom of worship,’ with the municipal government even consulting international traders on city business

Depth of Field

03.22.17

Refugees from Myanmar, Migrant Workers, and the Lantern Festival

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This month, we feature galleries published in February that showcase photographers’ interest in China’s borders and its medical woes, the lives of its minorities and their traditions and customs, and—in the case of Dustin Shum’s work—in a visual...

Airbnb’s Rivals in China Hold Hands in a Nervous New Market

Amie Tsang and Paul Mozur
New York Times
Airbnb sees big promise in China, where travel spending reached nearly $500 billion in 2015 thanks to a new generation of domestic tourists. On Wednesday in Shanghai, Airbnb unveiled a new Chinese name—Aibiying, which means “welcome each other with...

Uber for Bikes: How ‘Dockless’ Cycles Flooded China—and Are Heading Overseas

Nick Van Mead
Guardian
New cycle-share firms in China allow you to simply drop your bike wherever you want. They have caused colourful chaos – and world cities could be next

Alienation 101

Brook Larmer
Economist
There were hopes that the flood of Chinese students into America would bring the countries closer. But a week at the University of Iowa suggested to Brook Larmer that the opposite may have happened

China’s High-Tech Tool to Fight Toilet Paper Bandits

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
The toilet paper thieves of the Temple of Heaven Park were an elusive bunch.

More Than 100 Chinese Cities Now above One Million People

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Government policy and a shift westward have fed the staggering scale of China’s urban ambitions—119 cities as big as Liverpool, and likely double that by 2025

Stephen FitzGerald: Managing Australian Foreign Policy in a Chinese World

Stephen FitzGerald
The Conversation
This is an edited extract of the 2017 Whitlam Oration, delivered by Stephen FitzGerald, Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (1973-76), at the Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University, on March 16, 2017.

For a Change, China’s Censors Have No Problem with “Gay Moment” in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

Echo Huang
Quartz
Unlike other Asian countries, China says it has absolutely no problem with a plotline involving a possibly gay character in Disney’s re-boot of Beauty and the Beast.

Sinica Podcast

03.17.17

Big Daddy Dough: Hip-hop and Macroeconomics in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
By day, Andrew Dougherty is a macroeconomist who manages a China research team for Capital Group, one of the world’s largest actively managed mutual funds. By night, he is Big Daddy Dough, creator of an album of parody hip-hop songs that explain...

Books

03.13.17

The End of the Asian Century

Michael Auslin
Since Marco Polo, the West has waited for the “Asian Century.” Today, the world believes that Century has arrived. Yet from China’s slumping economy to war clouds over the South China Sea and from environmental devastation to demographic crisis, Asia’s future is increasingly uncertain. Historian and geopolitical expert Michael Auslin argues that far from being a cohesive powerhouse, Asia is a fractured region threatened by stagnation and instability. Here, he provides a comprehensive account of the economic, military, political, and demographic risks that bedevil half of our world, arguing that Asia, working with the United States, has a unique opportunity to avert catastrophe—but only if it acts boldly. Bringing together firsthand observations and decades of research, Auslin’s provocative reassessment of Asia’s future will be a must-read for industry and investors, as well as politicians and scholars, for years to come. —Yale University Press{chop}

Lotte Stores Feel Chinese Wrath as South Korea Deploys U.S. Missile System

Javier C. Hernandez, Owen Guo, and...
New York Times
A wave of anti-South Korean sentiment has broken out across China after the South’s embrace of an American missile defense system that China says can be used to spy on its territory.

China Rails against U.S. for Human Rights Violations

Reuters
China lashed out at the United States for its “terrible human rights problems” in a report on Thursday, adding to recent international criticism of Washington on issues ranging from violence inflicted on minorities to U.S. immigration policies.

No Country Comes Even Close to China in Self-Made Female Billionaires

Echo Huang
Quartz
China is home to more self-made female billionaires than any other nation, according to Hurun Report.

Books

03.08.17

The Killing Wind

Tan Hecheng, translated by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian
Over the course of 66 days in 1967, more than 4,000 “class enemies”—including young children and the elderly—were murdered in Daoxian, a county in China’s Hunan province. The killings spread to surrounding counties, resulting in a combined death toll of more than 9,000. Commonly known as the Daoxian massacre, the killings were one of many acts of so-called mass dictatorship and armed factional conflict that rocked China during the Cultural Revolution. However, in spite of the scope and brutality of the killings, there are few detailed accounts of mass killings in China’s countryside during the Cultural Revolution’s most tumultuous years.Years after the massacre, journalist Tan Hecheng was sent to Daoxian to report on an official investigation into the killings. Tan was prevented from publishing his findings in China, but in 2010, he published the Chinese edition of The Killing Wind in Hong Kong. Tan’s first-hand investigation of the atrocities, accumulated over the course of more than 20 years, blends his research with the recollections of survivors to provide a vivid account exploring how and why the massacre took place and describing its aftermath. Dispelling the heroic aura of class struggle, Tan reveals that most of the Daoxian massacre’s victims were hard-working, peaceful members of the rural middle class blacklisted as landlords or rich peasants. Tan also describes how political pressure and brainwashing turned ordinary people into heartless killing machines.More than a catalog of horrors, The Killing Wind is also a poignant meditation on memory, moral culpability, and the failure of the Chinese government to come to terms with the crimes of the Maoist era. By painting a detailed portrait of this massacre, Tan makes a broader argument about the long-term consequences of the Cultural Revolution, one of the most violent political movements of the twentieth century. A compelling testament to the victims and survivors of the Daoxian massacre, The Killing Wind is a monument to historical truth—one that fills an immense gap in our understanding of the Mao era, the Cultural Revolution, and the status of truth in contemporary China. —Oxford University Press{chop}

I Went to Jail for Handing out Feminist Stickers in China

Li Maizi
Guardian
The backlash is painful, but it coexists with progress as women activists manage—slowly—to bring about a change in attitudes

Shock and Praise for Groundbreaking Sex-Ed Textbook in China

Serenitie Wang and James Griffiths
CNN
A big step forward for a country long criticized for depriving children of necessary sex education, or graphic bordering on pornographic? That’s the question being asked in China over a series of textbooks aimed at children ages 6 to 13.

The Tesla China Numbers That Elon Musk Won’t Tell You

Bertel Schmitt
Forbes
More evidence about Tesla’s Big China Bonanza is coming in

China’s New Civil Code Light on Individual Rights Reforms

Christian Shepherd
Reuters
China’s Communist leaders will this week introduce sweeping new laws that codify social responsibilities for the country’s 1.4 billion citizens while also providing some modest new protections.

Ordinary Citizens Are Hoping to Make a Difference at China’s Biggest Political Meet-Up

Charlie Campbell
Time
China’s “two sessions” kicks off this week, bringing together all of the movers and shakers from the top echelons of government for the nation’s two big annual political shindigs.

Trump Is Not Anti-China, Lenovo CEO Says

Arjun Kharpal
CNBC
U.S. President Donald Trump is “not anti-China” but any move away from globalization by the White House could be a concern to businesses across the world, the chief executive Lenovo told CNBC on Tuesday. 

‘The President Always Gets Something’: Spicer Suggests Trump Gained Concession from China

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Before taking power Trump hinted he might reverse the US’s stance on Taiwan but later back-pedaled, prompting speculation he had capitulated to Beijing

China Considers Baby Bonus for Couples to Have Second Child

Justin Heifetz
CNN
The Chinese government may consider giving families financial incentives to have a second child in a bid to reach higher birth rate targets 

China Seeks Baby Boom to Counter Sluggish Birth Rates

Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
Chinese authorities are looking at ways to encourage people to have more children, less than 18 months after dropping the country’s contentious one-child policy in a bid to boost birth rates and stave off a demographic decline. ...

‘We the Workers’: On the Front Lines of China’s Record-Level Labor Unrest

James Griffiths
CNN
Zhang Zhiru is one of a shrinking number of Chinese labor activists helping workers in the world’s second largest economy fight for their rights—an ongoing crackdown has seen dozens detained and slapped with heavy prison sentences.

China Orders GPS Tracking of Every Car in Troubled Region

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Security officials in China’s violence-stricken north-west have ordered residents to install GPS tracking devices in their vehicles so authorities are able to keep permanent tabs on their movements 

China’s ‘New Silk Road’ Is Derailed in Sri Lanka by Political Chaos and Violent Protests

Wade Shepard
Forbes
It is now looking as if Sri Lanka’s biggest partner in the Hambantota endeavor, China, is pulling back from what seems to have become an all out fiasco 

Books

02.16.17

Chinese Theology

Chloë Starr
In this groundbreaking and authoritative study, Chloë Starr explores key writings of Chinese Christian intellectuals, from philosophical dialogues of the late imperial era to micro-blogs of pastors in the 21st century. Through a series of close textual readings, she sheds new light on such central issues in Chinese theology as Christian identity and the evolving question of how Christians should relate to society and state.Reading these texts in their socio-political and traditional literary contexts, Starr opens a new conversation about the nature of Chinese theology and the challenge it offers to a broad understanding of how theology is created and contextualized. Concentrating on those theologians who have engaged most actively with their cultural and political milieus, Starr argues throughout her readings, as she examines how Chinese literary traditions and reading patterns have shaped Chinese theology, that text is as important as context. —Yale University Press{chop}

Depth of Field

02.16.17

Riding into the New Year

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
As preparations for the Chinese New Year got underway, Liang Yingfei set up a roadside studio and asked migrants traveling home by motorbike to stop for a quick photograph. While in Cambodia for the Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, Jia...

Chinese Students in the U.S. Are Using “Inclusion” and “Diversity” to Oppose a Dalai Lama Graduation Speech

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
On Feb. 2, the University of California, San Diego formally announced that the Dalai Lama would make a keynote speech at the June commencement ceremony. The announcement triggered outrage among Chinese students who view the exiled Tibetan spiritual...

China Bird Flu Deaths Surge in What Could Be the Worst Season Ever

Reuters
As many as 79 people died from H7N9 bird flu in China last month, the government said, stoking worries that the spread of the virus this season could be the worst on record.

Fighting on Behalf of China’s Women—From the United States

Luo Siling
New York Times
Among hundreds of thousands of women who took to the streets for the Women’s March on Washington were Lu Pin and more than 20 other Chinese feminists who live in the United States and belong to the Chinese Feminism Collective

China’s Top Football Team Vows to Phase out Foreign Players

Ben Bland
Financial Times
Fans worry beautiful game could lose luster if Guangzhou Evergrande makes good on pledge

Media

02.14.17

Surprise Findings: China’s Youth Are Getting Less Nationalistic, Not More

Anyone who’s spent any length of time following Western press coverage of China is familiar with the notion that China’s leaders are obligated to look tough in order to appease a rising nationalism. Much has been written about the online activities...

China’s Transgender Oprah

Economist
As an army colonel who became a woman, she exemplifies a society in flux

Surprise Findings: China’s Youth Are Getting Less Nationalistic, Not More

Matt Schrader
Foreign Policy
Harvard and Peking University researchers just upended conventional wisdom.

Books

02.07.17

Shanghai Faithful

Jennifer Lin
Within the next decade, China could be home to more Christians than any other country in the world. Through the 150-year saga of a single family, this book vividly dramatizes the remarkable religious evolution of the world’s most populous nation. Shanghai Faithful is both a touching family memoir and a chronicle of the astonishing spread of Christianity in China. Five generations of the Lin family—buffeted by history’s crosscurrents and personal strife—bring to life an epoch that is still unfolding.A compelling cast—a poor fisherman, a doctor who treated opium addicts, an Ivy League-educated priest, and the charismatic preacher Watchman Nee—sets the book in motion. Veteran journalist Jennifer Lin takes readers from remote nineteenth-century mission outposts to the thriving house churches and cathedrals of today’s China. The Lin family—and the book’s central figure, the Reverend Lin Pu-chi—offer witness to China’s tumultuous past, up to and beyond the betrayals and madness of the Cultural Revolution, when the family’s resolute faith led to years of suffering. Forgiveness and redemption bring the story full circle. With its sweep of history and the intimacy of long-hidden family stories, Shanghai Faithful offers a fresh look at Christianity in China—past, present, and future. —Rowman & Littlefield{chop}

China Judge Blasts Trump as “Enemy of Rule of Law”

News.com.au
A top Chinese judge has branded President Donald Trump a bully and “enemy of the rule of law” for attacking the US judiciary as China revels in the upheaval gripping the world’s leading democracy. 

Why China Doesn’t Need the U.S. for Trade

Winter Nie
Forbes
Unfortunately for Trump, it’s not the 1980s anymore.

China Courts Ivanka, Jared Kushner to Smooth Ties With Trump

Jennifer Jacobs, Peter Martin
Bloomberg
For China, Trump’s family may be the best hope for stable U.S. relations.

How Trump Could Put U.S.-China Relations on the Right Track

Washington Post
Called “U.S. Policy Toward China: Recommendations for a New Administration,” the bipartisan report, produced by an 18-member panel.

Using Stealth, and Drones, to Document a Fading Hong Kong

Mike Ives
New York Times
If history was any guide, the explorers said, the building the drone was filming—a 1952 theater with unusual roof supports—would eventually be demolished because it is not on Hong Kong’s list of declared monuments.

Conversation

02.05.17

Is The White House Beginning to Resemble Zhongnanhai?

Melissa Chan & Yifu Dong
Since Donald Trump was sworn into office on January 20, he has lied repeatedly about the size of the crowd at his inauguration, embraced xenophobic policies, and declareda “running war with the media.” The White House has frozen out the...

Features

02.04.17

Why’s Beijing So Worried About Western Values Infecting China’s Youth?

Eric Fish
In early December, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the country’s universities to “adhere to the correct political orientation.” Speaking at a conference on ideology and politics in China’s colleges, he stressed that schools must uphold the...

China Labor Unrest Spreads to ‘New Economy’

Hudson Lockett
Financial Times
Retail and logistics sectors hit by strikes and protests once focused on industry

The Life of a Football Coach in China

Matt Stanger
Guardian
After impressing in Taiwan and the Philippines, Matt Ward moved to Shanghai Shenxin, where he gained ‘all the experience you need to deal with anything’

There Are Echoes of China in Today’s America

Maura Cunningham
Time
We are troubled by how often lately we experience a strange sort of China-related déjà vu when following events in the U.S.

Sinica Podcast

01.31.17

Talking ’Bout My Generation: Chinese Millennials

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Alec Ash, a young British writer who lives in Beijing, has covered “left-behind” children in Chinese villages, the “toughest high-school exam in the world,” and Internet live-streaming, among many other subjects. He is the author of Wish Lanterns,...

For Couriers, China’s E-Commerce Boom Can Be a Tough Road

Ryan McMorrow
New York Times
The Chinese e-commerce industry has been built on the backs of couriers—called kuaidi, or express delivery, in China. They number 1.2 million, and online retailers like Alibaba use them to zip packages to customers by scooter or three-wheeled...

Billionaire Is Reported Seized from Hong Kong Hotel and Taken into China

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
A Chinese-born billionaire who has forged financial ties with some of the country’s most powerful families was taken by the Chinese police from his apartment at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong late last week and spirited across the border

China Says ‘Reasonable Concerns’ Must Be Factored into Trump Travel Bans

South China Morning Post
China is building diplomatic role in Middle East, and has close ties with Iran and Sudan, two of Trump’s seven proscribed countries

U.N. Social Media Posts Removed in China After Backlash

William Ide
Voice of America
A massive backlash on social media in China has apparently led the United Nations to take down two Lunar New Year posts on refugees and poverty from their Chinese Weibo social media site.

Media

01.28.17

China’s Feminists Go to Washington

Kim Wall
Zhang Ling was dressed like a revolutionary from the Spanish Civil War. With a long braid emerging from a scarlet beret and clad in trousers a color she described as “communist red,” Zhang had driven her Honda from her home in upstate New York the...

China Likely to Stick to a Two-Child Policy

Wall Street Journal
Government plan cites demographic challenges, with country’s population seen peaking at 1.45 billion in 2030

A Chinese Nuclear Site, Hidden in a Mountain, Is Reborn as a Tourist Draw

Amy Qin
New York Times
Fifteen years ago, the local government announced that inside the hollowed-out mountain lay the remnants of what was once one of China’s most ambitious military infrastructure projects: the top-secret 816 nuclear plant.

Books

01.23.17

China as an Innovation Nation

Edited by Yu Zhou, William Lazonick, and Yifei Sun
This volume assesses China’s transition to innovation-nation status in terms of social conditions, industry characteristics, and economic impacts over the past three decades, also providing insights into future developments.Defining innovation as the process that generates a higher quality, lower cost product than was previously available, the introductory chapter conceptualizes the theory of an innovation nation and the lessons from Japan and the United States. It outlines the key governance, employment, and investment institutions that China must build for such transition to occur, and examines China’s challenges and strategies to innovate in the era of global production systems. Two succeeding chapters explain the evolving roles of the Chinese state in innovation, and the new landscape of venture capital finance. The remaining chapters provide studies of major industries, which contain analyses of the evolving roles of investment by government agencies and business interests in the process. Included in these studies are traditional industries such as mechanical engineering, railroads, and automobiles; rapidly evolving and internationally highly integrated industries such as information-and-communication-technology (ICT); and newly emerging sectors such as wind and solar energy.Written by leading academics in the field, studies in this volume reveal Chinese innovation as diverse across industries and enterprises and fluid over time. In each sector, we observe continued co-evolution of state policy, market demand, and technology development. The strategies and structures of individual companies and industrial ecosystems are changing rapidly. The sum total of the studies is a great step forward in our understanding of the industrial foundations of China’s attempt to become an innovation nation. —Oxford University Press{chop}

Trump Has the Power to Fight China on Human Rights. Will He Use It?

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
President inherits law originally aimed at Russia that allows him to sanction any official involved in violations—and China activists have put forward a list

More Babies in China Worth Celebrating—but Mind the Data

Nathaniel Taplin
Wall Street Journal
Official data shows women had the most children since 2000 in 2016

China’s Growing Obesity Problem

Benjamin Shobert
Forbes
A recent study published shows that China can now lay claim to having a greater percentage of obese men and women than in the United States.

China Swings back at Golf, Shutting down 111 Courses

Normaan Merchant
Associated Press
China has launched a renewed crackdown on golf, closing 111 courses in an effort to conserve water and land, and telling members of the ruling Communist Party to stay off the links.