A Streak Of Brooklyn In Beijing

Mitch Moxley
New York Times
Gulou residents have been joined by a new breed of Chinese and expatriate clad in skinny jeans, riding fixed-gear bikes and a loyal customer base for restaurants that offer locavore menu options.

China Could Fix Its Oversupply Of Men By Letting Gays Marry

Gwynn Guilford
Quartz
China has tens of millions more men of marriageable age than there are women.  Legalizing same-sex marriage would help solve China’s hugely problematic gender imbalance.  

Public Opinion Split On Live Airing Of Executions On T.V.

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Although the live program ended shortly before the men were executed by lethal injection, it became an instantly polarizing sensation. 

Man Who Had Mother Executed Wants Tomb Honored

Zhou Qun and Chen Baocheng
The 60-year-old Zhang Hongbing, who was among the most radical Red Guards during the tumultuous 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, describes his life as one full of regret. 

Media

03.04.13

‘Zombies’ and ‘Reincarnation’

Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, announced on February 20 that it had surpassed half a billion users—more people than live in South America, and approximately the population of North America. Thickly-settled Europe edges out Weibo by...

After Ang Lee’s Oscar Win, China Imagines Cinema Beyond Censors

Abby
Global Voices
A look at the various reactions on Chinese social media to Lee's Oscar victory , as well as the censorship-related conversation it sparked...

China’s Divorce Rate Rises For Seventh Consecutive Year

Michelle FlorCruz
International Business Times
According to a survey by Tsinghua University and lifestyle magazine Xiaokang, a total of 2.87 million marriages ended in divorce in 2012, which is a 7.65 percent increase from the previous year. 

Mo Yan Grants First Interview Since Winning Nobel Prize

Anthony Tao
Beijing Cream
A look at the highlights from a Der Spiegel interview with Mo, covering Ai Weiwei’s and Liao Yiwu’s criticism of the author, his comments on the Cultural Revolution, and his relationship with the government. 

Reports

03.01.13

Population, Policy, and Politics

Wang Feng, Yong Cai, and Baochang Gu
Sara Segal-Williams
Population Council
One of the main puzzles of modern population and social history is why, among all countries confronting rapid population growth in the second half of the twentieth century, China chose to adopt an extreme measure of birth control known as the one-...

Pollution Data A ‘State Secret?’ State Media Cry Foul

Lilian Lin
Wall Street Journal
This marks the second time in less than two months that state media have come out swinging against the government over environmental issues.

Top Prosecution Body To Add Second Review Of Death Penalty Sentences

John Kennedy
South China Morning Post
Six years after the Supreme People’s Court regained the power to review death penalty sentences the Supreme People’s Procuratorate has now been formally tasked with providing external review of Supreme Court decisions to apply the...

Communist Party Mouthpiece Rebukes Feckless Children Of Officials

Tom Phillips
Telegraph
The People’s Daily editorial was published following reports that the son of General Li Shuangjiang - a revered PLA crooner - had been detained in connection with a serious sexual assault in a Beijing hotel. 

Going Undercover, The Evangelists Taking Jesus To Tibet

Jonathan Kaiman
Guardian
 Missionaries see Tibet as a formidable yet crucial undertaking, a last spiritual frontier. Today’s evangelists work undercover as students, teachers, doctors, and business owners in order covertly proselytize. 

Viewpoint

02.25.13

Xi Jinping Should Expand Deng Xiaoping’s Reforms

Zhou Ruijin
A month after the conclusion of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 18th National Congress, the new Secretary General of the CCP and Central Military Commission, comrade Xi Jinping, left Beijing to visit Shenzhen, the first foothold of China’s...

Media

02.22.13

China’s State-Run Media Shares Powerful Map of “Cancer Villages” Creeping Inland

It appears that Chinese environmental activism is going further mainstream. The Sina micro-blogging account of Global Times, a well-known Communist Party mouthpiece, has just shared news about the horrific proliferation of “cancer villages” in China...

Media

02.21.13

In Face of Mainland Censorship, Taiwanese Revisit Reunification Question

Within twenty-four hours of registration, Sina Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) deleted the microblog account of Frank Hsieh, former premier of Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Ironically, Hsieh’s last tweet before...

Media

02.20.13

On China’s Twitter, Discussion of Hacking Attacks Proceeds Unblocked

As The New York Times reported yesterday evening, U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant has just released a deeply troubling report called “Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units.” The report alleges wide-spread hacking sponsored by the...

‘Loser Dance’: The Harlem Shake With Chinese Characteristics

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
The latest viral music video craze has managed to catch on with the world’s largest population of Internet users not long after conquering banned-in-China YouTube.

SF Minister Spreads Gospel Of Sex In China

Don Lattin
San Francisco Chronicle
In March 2013, Rev. Ted McIlvenna will lead a delegation of 10 sex experts to China to help an emerging class of financially independent Chinese women achieve female sexual empowerment.

Books

02.19.13

Every Grain of Rice

Fuchsia Dunlop
Fuchsia Dunlop trained as a chef in China’s leading Sichuan cooking school and possesses the rare ability to write recipes for authentic Chinese food that you can make at home. Following her two seminal volumes on Sichuan and Hunan cooking, Every Grain of Rice is inspired by the vibrant everyday cooking of southern China, in which vegetables play the starring role, with small portions of meat and fish. Try your hand at stir-fried potato slivers with chili pepper, vegetarian “Gong Bao Chicken,” sour-and-hot mushroom soup, or, if you’re ever in need of a quick fix, Fuchsia’s emergency late-night noodles. Many of the recipes require few ingredients and are ridiculously easy to make. Fuchsia also includes a comprehensive introduction to the key seasonings and techniques of the Chinese kitchen. With stunning photography and clear instructions, this is an essential cookbook for everyone, beginner and connoisseur alike, eager to introduce Chinese dishes into their daily cooking repertoire. —W. W. Norton & Company

“China’s Leonard Cohen” Calls Out Political Corruption

Louisa Lim
NPR
On “These Tiny Grapes,” Zuoxiao Zuzhou’s new album of edgy ballads focusing on the woes of modern-day China, he hones in on rampant corruption, food scandals, injustice and abuse of power.

In China, Families Bet It All on College for Their Children

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Wu Yiebing has been going down coal shafts practically every workday of his life, wrestling an electric drill for $500 a month in the choking dust of claustrophobic tunnels, with one goal in mind: paying for his daughter’s education.

Return to Rivertown

Peter Hessler
National Geographic
In 1996 a Peace Corps volunteer arrived in Fuling, a sleepy town on the Yangtze, to teach English. He went back recently to find the landscape—and his former students—transformed.

Media

02.16.13

NBA Star Debuts on Chinese Social Media, Fans Clamor: #I want to speak to Kobe#

Tea Leaf Nation editor David Wertime spoke on February 15 on Public Radio International’s The World about NBA star Kobe Bryant (@KobeBryant), who has recently opened an account on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter. Listen to the full two-minute interview...

Dancing in Empty Beijing

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
The Lunar New Year began last week as it always does, with a new moon. The empty sky seemed to empty Beijing of up to half its residents—authorities estimate that an incredible nine million people left the city, which usually has a population of...

Chinese Netizens Liked Seeing Partisanship at State of the Union

Liz Flora
Asia Blog
The partisan dissonance exhibited at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was a sight for sore eyes for some users on Sina Weibo, China’s microblogging platform.

Five Ways China Could Become a Democracy

Minxin Pei
Diplomat
Few have seriously thought about the probability and the various plausible scenarios of a regime transition in China—until now.

Media

02.13.13

Officer Draws Gun on Drunk Driver—To Overwhelming Online Applause

A policeman draws his gun to stop a desperately escaping criminal. It may sound sensational, but this is technically what happened in the southern Chinese megalopolis of Guangzhou on January 31. As traffic policemen were manning a drunk driving...

Zhuang Zedong, Skilled in China Foreign Relations and Ping-Pong, Dies at 72

Douglas Martin
New York Times
In 1971, at the world table tennis championships in Japan, an American player mistakenly boarded a bus carrying the Chinese team. The team had been told not to talk to Westerners, and an awkward silence descended. Ten minutes elapsed. Then the best...

In China, Shock and Acceptance of Pope’s Resignation

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
In China, where official relations with the Vatican are a “never ending crisis,” as the Vatican Insider put it recently, the news of the resignation of Pope Benedict has been slow to spread. The Chinese state doesn’t recognize the Pope as the leader...

Media

02.12.13

Joke About Gay Romance on Chinese New Year Gala Lights Up Blogosphere

Is “bromance” in the air? Not according to state-run China Central Television (CCTV).{vertical_photo_right}Thousands of fans yelled “Get together” in unison when piano prodigy Li Yundi made a guest appearance at Chinese-American pop sensation Leehom...

In China, A Vast Chasm Between the Rich and the Rest

Sim Chi Yin
New York Times
The passing coal miners in remote Shaanxi Province took one look at our marooned Audi and walked on, leaving us stuck on the sleet-covered mountain road. As dusk fell, I managed to mingle with some young migrant workers, and trek with them through a...

Province By Province, A Portrait of China

Kerri MacDonald
New York Times
A Swiss couple thought it would be a good project to photograph all of China's provinces. They got a great portrait series, and then some...

Viewpoint

02.11.13

A Beginning for China’s Battered Women

Ying Zhu
Like it or not, it takes an American woman to give a face, bring a voice, and deliver a victory to battered women in China. On February 3, a milestone court decision in Beijing granted a divorce to Kim Lee, a victim of domestic abuse, from her...

Staying Safe During Spring Festival: A Teacher’s Advice to his Students

Jeremiah Jenne
Rectified.name
An actual email from one foreign teacher to his Chinese students—he thought it also might be useful to any first time Spring Festival-ers out there.

Blogging the Slow-Motion Revolution

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Huang Qi is best known in China as the creator of the country’s first human rights website, Liusi Tianwang, or “June 4 Heavenly Web.” A collection of reports and photos, as well as the occasional first-person account of abuse, the site is updated...

Snakes On a Lane

Global Times
Beneath the creepy exterior lies a misunderstood goddess. What pops up in your mind when it comes to the concept of snake? Cold-blooded, dangerous, sly, or even a symbol of evil? It seems that all words related to it are negative. And even though we...

Vipers and Beasts in the Year of the Little Dragon

Geremie Barme
China Story
A certain wariness surrounds the Snake, one of the twelve zoological signs of the traditional Chinese calendar, and not only because the reptile inspires fear and repulsion. 

Sinica Podcast

02.08.13

Revenge of the Call-in Show

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Curious what happened to Sinica last week? Well ... as it turns out, our call-in show from two weeks ago wasn’t exactly pleased with how quickly we managed to replace it, and took out its anger on the laptop we use to record new shows, smashing the...

Media

02.07.13

Chinese Beverage Maker Turns Legal Setback Into Viral Ad Campaign

This is no tempest in an herbal tea pot. The JDB Group, maker of China’s most popular herbal tea—one that raked in approximately 20 billion RMB (USD $3.2 billion) in revenues in 2012—lost another legal battle in its epic trademark war with the state...

Defining the Chinese Dream (Editorial)

Hu Shuli
Amid growing rivalry with the U.S., Beijing’s diplomats must clearly explain their country’s values to ease the concerns of neighbors.

From Alberta to China, With Nine Kids in Tow

Licia Corbella
Calgary Herald
Cory and Michelle Coles, both 36, and nine of their 10 children are flying off to China for nine months with the hope of learning Mandarin and understanding more about the fascinating culture behind the emerging superpower.

China’s Ethnic Manchus Rediscovering Their Roots

Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
Aristocracy is no longer a dirty word in China, and those with ties to the nation's last imperial rulers are now embracing their past...

Media

01.30.13

Chinese Web Erupts With Widespread Calls for Change as Beijing Endures Airpocalypse 2.0

Beijingers are choking on their air—again. Just seventeen days after Chinese cyberspace erupted with complaints about air so bad that it was “beyond index,” denizens of the Chinese capital awoke once again to a city blanketed with smog. Over the...

Opinion: Re-education Revisited

Nicholas Becquelin
New York Times
How much of a reformer is China’s new leader, Xi Jinping? The January announcement that China is going to stop “Re-education Through Labor” by the end of the year could offer an important clue.

Caixin Media

01.26.13

Garden of Lost Children

It started with a baby that was left in the doorway of a hospital bathroom. Yuan Lihai took in the girl with a cleft lip while working at a Henan province hospital in 1989. At the department of gynecology and obstetrics, she was paid 20 yuan for...

Eastern Promise in LIttle Africa

Kit Gillet
Globe and Mail
Chasing their slice of China’s raging appetite, tens of thousands of African traders are settling uneasily in the ghettos of Guangzhou.

Media

01.25.13

Former China State TV Director Bemoans Anti-Japanese Propaganda: “Where’s the Creativity?”

Are Chinese audiences growing weary of anti-Japanese propaganda? It would seem that some, at least, are growing sick of the pathetic villains, superhuman heroes, and lame endings that many Chinese movies and television series about World War II, or...

Sinica Podcast

01.25.13

The Call-in Show

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
So our show this week isn’t technically a call-in show, given the lack of phones in our studio, but it is as close as we can get it, so thanks to everyone who sent us a pre-recorded question. We had a lot more responses than we expected, and the...

China’s Inequality Index Highlights Urgency for Distribution Reforms

Global Times
Global Times
The first rich-poor index for the past decade paints a far-from-rosy picture of what must be done to bridge the wealth gap.

Opinion: Will China End the One-Child Rule?

Vikas Bajaj
New York Times
Historically, China's supplied workers to the world. But as it ages the country might seek to recruit immigrants as labor. ...

Media

01.16.13

Their Horizons Widening, China’s Web Users Look Abroad — And Want More

Last week, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt urged North Korean leaders to embrace the Internet. Only a small proportion of that country’s 24 million people can access the World Wide Web, and the majority of the 1.5 million mobile phones there...

Analysis: New China Leaders Must

Nick Edwards
Reuters
Xiang Songzuo, the Agricultural Bank of China's chief economist says “stabilizing growth is a pre-condition for delivering on reform.”...

Viewpoint

01.13.13

Is Xi Jinping a Reformer? It’s Much Too Early to Tell

Rachel Beitarie & Jeffrey Wasserstrom
Last weekend, Nicholas Kristof wrote in the pages of The New York Times that he feels moderately confident China will experience resurgent economic reform and probably political reform as well under the leadership of recently installed Communist...

Caixin Media

01.13.13

Police to Stop Camps This Year, Politburo Member Says

The notorious system that lets police send detainees to labor camps without trial will be halted this year, said Meng Jianzhu, secretary of the Central Politics and Law Commission, at a conference on January 7.Meng said the Communist Party’s Central...

Caixin Media

01.13.13

Shutter Labor Camp System for Good, Legal Experts Urge

Legal experts have called on the government to follow through with hints at abolishing the country’s notorious system of labor camps.On January 7, Politburo member Meng Jianzhu said at a top conference that the system would “cease to be used.” His...

China's Twitter Goes Hollywood

Melinda Liu
Daily Beast
A weibo message from Brad Pitt set off a buzz this week,  and he’s not the only overseas star invading the microblog.

Infographics

01.10.13

What Does China Think?

Are Chinese citizens happy with the direction their country is taking? Do they believe in a market economy? Do they believe that hard work brings success? Each year, the American think tank Pew Research Center asks questions like these to...

Media

01.09.13

Why is a Mediocre, Low-Budget Comedy Taking China’s Box Office by Storm?

December 2012 saw hot competition in Chinese cinema. It began with Life of Pi, which was directed by Ang Li, an Oscar-winning director, followed by 1942, a historical movie by director Feng Xiaogang, and The Last Supper, by up-and-coming director Lu...

Media

01.08.13

Online and Off, Social Media Users Go to War for Freedom of Press in China

When Mr. Tuo Zhen, the propaganda chief of Guangdong province, rewrote and replaced the New Year’s editorial of the Southern Weekend newspaper without the consent of its editors, he probably did not think it would make much of a splash. Indeed, Mr...