China Unveils New Visa Program to Attract 'High-End' Foreigners

NPR
If you are a scientist, entrepreneur or a Nobel Prize laureate, you might have a future as an expatriate in China.

Chinese ‘Generation Zen’ Millennials Choosing Smartphones over Communist Values

Jamie Fullerton
Telegraph
China’s ruling communist party is concerned that swathes of politically apathetic millennials, branded the ‘Zen-generation’, are sauntering through life in a passive and unpatriotic way - raising doubts about their loyalty to the Chinese Communist...

China's Real-Life Magic Realism of 2017, According to Chinese Netizens

Zheping Huang
Quartz
In China, the term is beloved by netizens who use it when surfacing the absurd in political and social phenomena they witness daily.

South Korean Coast Guard Fires 250 Rounds at Chinese Fishing Ships

CNN
South Korea's coast guard said it fired almost 250 rounds of ammunition from a machine gun and other weapons during a confrontation with dozens of Chinese fishing vessels Tuesday...

South Korean Coast Guard Fires 250 Rounds at Chinese Fishing Ships

South Korea's coast guard said it fired almost 250 rounds of ammunition from a machine gun and other weapons during a confrontation with dozens of Chinese fishing vessels Tuesday...

Features

12.20.17

Pickup Artists with Chinese Characteristics

Robert Foyle Hunwick & Wu Hao
“If you don’t teach her a lesson, someone else will,” Fei explained during his two-hour “Sexual Assertiveness” session, concluding a week-long tutorial offered by Puamap, a team of “professional” seduction artists, marketers, and makeover men. One...

Thousands in China Watch as 10 People Sentenced to Death in Sport StadiumThousands in China Watch as 10 People Sentenced to Death in Sport Stadium

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
A court in China has sentenced 10 people to death, mostly for drug-related crimes, in front of thousands of onlookers before taking them away for execution.

China Hails ‘First Antarctica Flight’ for Its Tourists

BBC
BBC
According to Chinese media, the country’s first commercial flight to Antarctica brought 22 lucky tourists to the exotic destination this weekend.

At South Korea-China Summit, South Korean Journalist Beaten Bloody

CNN
The summit was intended to cement improved relations after a frosty period of tension between China and South Korea.

Chinese Rooftop Climber Dies in 62-Storey Fall

BBC
BBC
A well-known Chinese climber has died while performing one of his trademark daredevil skyscraper stunts.

Reports

12.12.17

Central Planning, Local Experiments

Mareike Ohlberg, Shazeda Ahmed, Bertram Lang
Shazeda Ahmed & Bertram Lang
Mercator Institute for China Studies
The “Social Credit System” is designed to monitor and rate citizens and companies in China and to guide their behavior. “It is a wide-reaching project that touches on almost all aspects of everyday life,” the authors Mareike Ohlberg, Bertram Lang,...

Forced Evictions in China's Capital Spark a Rare Display of Dissent

Joseph Hincks
Time
The protests in Feijia, a village in Beijing’s northeastern Chaoyang district, follow a controversial clean-up campaign that began after an apartment block fire killed 19 people last month, the South China Morning Post reports.

Conversation

12.06.17

Apple in China: WTF?

Samuel Wade, Shaun Rein & more
In November, the non-profit watchdog Freedom House called China “the worst abuser of Internet freedom” of the 65 countries it surveyed. And yet, on December 3, Apple CEO Tim Cook keynoted China’s annual World Internet Conference. “The theme of this...

Apple CEO Backs China’s Vision of an ‘Open’ Internet as Censorship Reaches New Heights

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Reading headlines from the World Internet Conference in China, the casual reader might have come away a little confused. China was opening its doors to the global Internet, some media outlets optimistically declared, while others said Beijing was...

China's Evicting Mentions of Its "Low-End" Migrants from Cyberspace

Quartz
First Beijing pushed thousands of migrant workers out of the city in the name of safety. Now authorities are carrying out a parallel virtual eviction as well, removing references to China’s “low-end population” from the internet.

Books

11.30.17

Finding Women in the State

Wang Zheng
Finding Women in the State is a provocative hidden history of socialist state feminists maneuvering behind the scenes at the core of the Chinese Communist Party. These women worked to advance gender and class equality in the early People’s Republic and fought to transform sexist norms and practices, all while facing fierce opposition from a male-dominated Chinese Communist Party leadership, from the local level to the central level. Wang Zheng extends this investigation to the cultural realm, showing how feminists within China’s film industry were working to actively create new cinematic heroines, and how they continued a New Culture anti-patriarchy heritage in socialist film production. This book illuminates not only the different visions of revolutionary transformation but also the dense entanglements among those in the top echelon of the Party. Wang discusses the causes for failure of China’s socialist revolution and raises fundamental questions about male dominance in social movements that aim to pursue social justice and equality. This is the first book engendering the People’s Republic of China high politics and has important theoretical and methodological implications for scholars and students working in gender studies as well as China studies. —University of California Press{chop}

A New Generation Looks at the China-Africa Relationship

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Independent filmmakers Jidi Guo and Philip Man join Eric and Cobus to discuss their new documentary about how a new generation is responding to China’s growing influence in Kenya. This is the first documentary produced by the Shanghai-based pair,...

Depth of Field

11.20.17

Fake Girlfriends, Chengdu Rappers, and a Chow Chow Making Bank

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Lonely dog owners in Beijing and a rented girlfriend in Fujian; the last Oroqen hunters in Heilongjiang and homegrown hip hop in Chengdu; young Chinese in an Indian tech hub and Hong Kong apartments only slightly larger than coffins—these are some...

Donald Trump Tells UCLA Trio to Thank Xi Jinping for Releasing Them from China

South China Morning Post
US President Donald Trump has exhorted three suspended UCLA basketball players to thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for their freedom following a shoplifting incident while they were in China.

Donald Trump Tells UCLA Trio to Thank Xi Jinping for Releasing Them from China

South China Morning Post
U.S. President Donald Trump has exhorted three suspended UCLA basketball players to thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for their freedom following a shoplifting incident while they were in China.

“Have You Considered Your Parents’ Happiness?”

Human Rights Watch
The psychiatrist told my mom: ‘Homosexuality is just like all the other mental diseases, like depression, anxiety, or bipolar. It can be cured…. Trust me, leave him here, he is in good hands.’

Books

11.15.17

The Book of Swindles

Zhang Yingyu, Edited and Translated by Christopher Rea and Bruce Rusk
This is an age of deception. Con men ply the roadways. Bogus alchemists pretend to turn one piece of silver into three. Devious nuns entice young women into adultery. Sorcerers use charmed talismans for mind control and murder. A pair of dubious monks extorts money from a powerful official and then spends it on whoring. A rich student tries to bribe the chief examiner, only to hand his money to an imposter. A eunuch kidnaps boys and consumes their “essence” in an attempt to regrow his penis. These are just a few of the entertaining and surprising tales to be found in this 17th-century work, said to be the earliest Chinese collection of swindle stories.The Book of Swindles, compiled by an obscure writer from southern China, presents a fascinating tableau of criminal ingenuity. The flourishing economy of the late Ming period created overnight fortunes for merchants—and gave rise to a host of smooth operators, charlatans, forgers, and imposters seeking to siphon off some of the new wealth. The Book of Swindles, which was ostensibly written as a manual for self-protection in this shifting and unstable world, also offers an expert guide to the art of deception. Each story comes with commentary by the author, Zhang Yingyu, who expounds a moral lesson while also speaking as a connoisseur of the swindle. This volume, which contains annotated translations of just over half of the 80-odd stories in Zhang’s original collection, provides a wealth of detail on social life during the late Ming period and offers words of warning for a world in peril. —Columbia University Press{chop}

UCLA Players Depart China After Trump Asked for Xi's Help

Steve Holland, John Ruwitch
Reuters
Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting were headed back to the United States on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had sought the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the case.

The Diplomatic Dishes China Picked to Keep Donald Trump Happy at a State Banquet

South China Morning Post
Safety-first menu for big set piece dinner shows Beijing was taking no risks when hosting a man who is not known for his adventurous palate

Excerpts

11.06.17

The Past Is a Foreign Country

Xiaolu Guo
On Wednesday, November 8, the Chinese-British writer Guo Xiaolu joined the Asia Society’s Isaac Stone Fish in a conversation about the difficulty of existing in both the Western and Chinese worlds.In this excerpt from Guo’s recently published memoir...

Other

10.31.17

Down from the Mountains (Reader-Friendly Version)

Max Duncan
At 14 years old, Wang Ying doesn’t want to be a mother. She scowls darkly as her younger brother and sister squabble in the corner while she does the housework. But she grudgingly cleans up after them and cooks them a potato stew, which they eat...

Video

10.31.17

Down From the Mountains

Max Duncan
At 14 years old, Wang Ying doesn’t want to be a mother. She scowls darkly as her younger brother and sister squabble in the corner while she does the housework. But she grudgingly cleans up after them and cooks them a potato stew, which they eat...

Conversation

10.27.17

What’s the Takeaway from the 19th Party Congress?

Jessica Batke, Peter Mattis & more
The day after the Party Congress ended on October 24, Xi Jinping strode across the stage of the massive Great Hall of the People with the six newly announced members of the 19th Politburo Standing Committee, the body that rules China. What might...

An Inconvenient Truth? China Omits Key Figures That May Have Highlighted Its Demographic Time Bomb from Official Statistics

Sidney Leng
South China Morning Post
A key data series on China’s fertility rate has been axed from the country’s latest statistical yearbook, depriving the public of crucial figures to judge the effectiveness of the country’s two-child policy.

Features

10.26.17

A Brooklyn Gospel Choir Goes to China

Jocelyn Ford & Yuyang Liu
Pastor Frank Haye was quietly nervous as he paced the lawn around the temporary stage at one of China’s biggest rock festivals.It was the last day of concerts by rock, electronic, and metal bands, and in a few hours, his Brooklyn gospel choir would...

Sexual Life in Modern China

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, Chinese writers grappled with the traumas of the Mao period, seeking to make sense of their suffering. As in the imperial era, most had been servants of the state, loyalists who might criticize but never seek to...

A Chinese Exhibit Comparing Africans to Animals Shows the Problematic Racial Attitudes in China

Zahra Baitie
Quartz
As a black woman in China, I’ve been relatively fortunate. My negative experiences have mostly consisted of being photographed and gawked at by Chinese people. While many of my fellow Africans have had much more traumatic experiences, my experience...

China Enshrines ‘Xi Jinping Thought.’ What Does That Mean?

New York Times
Restoring China to greatness is a central message of “Xi Jinping Thought,” and a goal that has already guided policies to build up the military.

China’s Skewed Sex Ratio Makes President Xi’s Job a Lot Harder

Quartz
As odd as it sounds, China’s economic policy is being held hostage by its heavily skewed sex ratio.

The Human Cost of China’s Economic Reforms

Robin Brant
BBC
Mr Yu is worried that millions of workers the Chinese government plans to lay off from failing state owned companies will be “abandoned” like he says he was 15 years ago.

Viewpoint

10.17.17

Stein Ringen: ‘The Truth About China’

Stein Ringen
Democracies have found it difficult to deal with the great dictatorships. So now with China. The first difficulty is to recognize just what we are up against, and to avoid wishful thinking.In his first five years, Xi Jinping has reshaped the Chinese...

Conversation

10.16.17

What to Watch at China’s Party Congress

Ho-fung Hung, Taisu Zhang & more
The Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress, a hugely important political meeting usually held once every five years, will begin on October 18 in Beijing. Like many events involving China’s ruling party, the most important decisions and...

New Documentary Portrays Nuanced View of Africans’ Experience Living in China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
When filmmakers Zhang Yong, Hodan Abdi, and Fu Dong set out to make a new documentary on the African migrant experience in China, they were determined to ensure that their own voices and experiences came through in the story. Until now, most if not...

Waiting Game for North Korean Workers in China as Shutdown Deadline Looms

Stuart Lau Choi Chi-yuk
South China Morning Post
On a quiet street in the embassy district of Beijing, a neon-lit national flag forms an impressive backdrop to an almost empty North Korean restaurant as young waitresses sent from Pyongyang stand around waiting for customers.

This Week, Half of China's Population Is on the Move

Echo Huang
Quartz
Close to 700 million people in China are expected to travel during the country’s National Day holidays, known as the Golden Week, which kicked off on Sunday (Oct. 1).

China Accused of Flooding Europe with Cheap E-Bikes

Ivana Kottasová
CNN
Imports of Chinese e-bikes to Europe have increased from almost zero in 2010 to an estimated 800,000 in 2017, according to the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association. The industry group has had enough: It filed a complaint with the European...

Sinica Podcast

09.30.17

‘China in Drag: Travels with a Cross-Dresser’

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Michael Bristow, the Asia Pacific editor for the BBC World Service, has written a book called China in Drag: Travels with a Cross-Dresser, in which he recounts his time in China—his travels, his reporting, and his myriad experiences—through the...

‘My Parents Say Hurry up and Find a Girl’: China's Millions of Lonely ‘Leftover Men’

Wanning Sun
Guardian
When Liu returned to his childhood village to celebrate Chinese New Year, his parents had arranged a familiar and depressing task for him: a series of speed dates. Over a week back in rural Jiangxi province, he met half a dozen potential wives in...

China's Cricket Catchers Cashing in on Insects That Can Float Like a Butterfly and Sting Like a Bee

Mandy Zuo
South China Morning Post
An annual cricket craze is sweeping a rural area of east China as demand for the leaping insects soars among “trainers” who use them for fighting and gambling, online media reported.

Ice Hockey Makes Push to Help China Get Its Skates On

Christian Shepherd, Pei Li
Reuters
The corralling of such resources behind the latest attempt by a major league to tap into the country’s huge market reflects how keen Beijing is to develop interest in the NHL and how much effort will be needed to make China an ice hockey country.

Hockey Gets Warm and Confused Welcome by the Chinese

Xinyu Yang, Qianyao Tang
The matchup between the Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks in Shanghai -- the second leg of the NHL's first preseason games in China -- witnessed a much stronger welcome from a city bracing for the 2022 Winter Olympics...

Media

09.23.17

The German Edition of the Falun Gong-Affiliated ‘Epoch Times’ Aligns with the Far Right

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On the eve of the German election Sunday, it’s no surprise that Russian state-funded media outlets are attacking German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sensationalizing migrant violence, and providing conciliatory coverage of far-right groups. Russia,...

China Lifts Travel Ban on Feminist Activist

Emily Feng
Financial Times
A Chinese feminist activist who was banned from leaving mainland China for a decade has been given back her travel documents and allowed to travel. Wu Rongrong will fly to Hong Kong on Sunday, where she will begin a post-graduate degree in law.

China's Path out of Poverty Can Never Be Repeated at Scale by a Country Again

Zheping Huang, Tripti Lahiri
Quartz
Since China began its market reforms in the late 1970s, it has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, slashing the rate from nearly 90% in 1981 to under 2%, as measured by the World Bank’s latest spending benchmark.

Books

09.20.17

China’s Great Migration

Bradley Gardner
China’s rise over the past several decades has lifted more than half of its population out of poverty and reshaped the global economy. What has caused this dramatic transformation? In China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation, author Bradley Gardner looks at one of the most important but least discussed forces pushing China’s economic development: the migration of more than 260 million people from their birthplaces to China’s most economically vibrant cities. By combining an analysis of China’s political economy with current scholarship on the role of migration in economic development, China’s Great Migration shows how the largest economic migration in the history of the world has led to a bottom-up transformation of China.Gardner draws from his experience as a researcher and journalist working in China to investigate why people chose to migrate and the social and political consequences of their decisions. In the aftermath of China’s Cultural Revolution, the collapse of totalitarian government control allowed millions of people to skirt migration restrictions and move to China’s growing cities, where they offered a massive pool of labor that propelled industrial development, foreign investment, and urbanization. Struggling to respond to the demands of these migrants, the Chinese government loosened its grip on the economy, strengthening property rights and allowing migrants to employ themselves and each other, spurring the Chinese economic miracle.More than simply a narrative of economic progress, China’s Great Migration tells the human story of China’s transformation, featuring interviews with the men and women whose way of life has been remade. In its pages, readers will learn about the rebirth of a country and millions of lives changed, hear what migration can tell us about the future of China, and discover what China’s development can teach the rest of the world about the role of market liberalization and economic migration in fighting poverty and creating prosperity. —Independent Institute{chop}

Viewpoint

09.15.17

The Unprecedented Reach of China’s Surveillance State

Stanley Lubman
The Chinese Party-state is building a social credit system for collecting information about all of its citizens by police, courts, and other institutions. This enables the government to reach into society to a degree unprecedented in history...

G.M. Chief, in China, Challenges Planned Bans of Gasoline Cars

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Speaking in Shanghai on Friday, Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors said her company was making a big push to develop electric cars but that consumers, not government dictates, should decide how cars are powered.

World's Oldest Captive Panda Basi Dies in China

BBC
BBC
At 37, Basi had outlived all her panda peers, reaching the equivalent of more than a hundred in human years.

China 'Feminist Five' Activist Handed 10-Year Travel Ban

Yuan Yang and Emily Feng
Financial Times
One of China’s “Feminist Five” group of women who were arrested for campaigning against sexual harassment has been barred from leaving the country for a decade, in the latest example of Beijing’s ever-tightening grip on civil society.

The Chinese Female Gamers Putting Male Players in the Shade

Danny Vinceny
BBC
In the world’s newest superpower, professional video gaming is a booming industry set to be worth billions. Female players struggle to earn as much as their male competitors – but that's not stopping one talented team of young women...

Features

09.08.17

A Drag Queen for the Dearly Departed

Ian Johnson & Tomoko Kikuchi
In the good old days, about three thousand years ago, people really knew how to mourn the dead. That was back in the Zhou dynasty, when there was no laughing in the dead person’s house, no sighing while eating, and no singing while walking down a...

High Cost of China's Push for Unesco Heritage Sites

Ben Bland
Financial Times
China is ranked second only to Italy in terms of number of world heritage sites. But it's come at a cost...