Media

12.11.13

Pollution Has ‘Five Surprising Benefits,’ says State TV, but Chinese Unamused

Polluted air is a fact of life for many Chinese citizens, and it’s currently smothering parts of the country—but that’s not all bad, according to one state media outlet’s widely-ridiculed attempt at positive spin. A recent bout of noxious smog has...

Caixin Media

12.09.13

Traditional Chinese Medicine Struggling to Find Cure for Regulatory Woes in the U.S.

In November, the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Fuzheng Huayu Tablets passed the second phase of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) clinical testing.Before this, only one TCM drug had cleared the second of the three phases needed for...

Media

12.06.13

China’s Viral, Nationalist Screed Against Western Encroachment

“You are nothing without your motherland.” It’s a trite phrase, one that seems unlikely to stir the blood of even the most dyed-in-the-wool nationalist—but it has found recent currency in China. An essay with that title has been making the rounds on...

Environment

12.05.13

Daoism, Confucianism, and the Environment

from chinadialogue
In September, an unusual environmental organization was launched in one of the most ancient and significant sites in China—the Songyang Academy, Dengfeng, Henan. Founded in the eleventh century AD, this was one of the four Confucian Academies of...

Media

12.04.13

Chinese Chortle at U.S. Request to Scrap Controversial Air Defense Zone

The United States wants China to pull back from its gambit to try to rewrite the East China Sea’s status quo, but the Chinese are having none of it. On December 2, the U.S. State Department said China’s newly-declared air defense identification zone...

Caixin Media

12.02.13

How an Expectant Mother Died in Qingdao

One of the fifty-five people to die in an explosion on November 22 at a pipeline owned by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) in the eastern city of Qingdao was a twenty-three-year-old pregnant woman named Chen Na.Her husband, who...

Environment

11.27.13

Life in the Shadow of the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the second in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong (Lancang) River. Part one is an analysis of how China’s resettlement policies are playing out on the ground. Part two, below,...

Media

11.27.13

China’s Favorite Villainess

Many U.S. viewers identify with serial killer Morgan Dexter of Dexter, inveterate womanizer Don Draper of Mad Men, or family man turned meth kingpin Walter White of Breaking Bad—however morally bankrupt they may be. Now, China has its own anti-hero...

Media

11.25.13

Former Committee to Protect Journalists Honoree Says Bloomberg Chief Should Not Chair Press Freedom Dinner

Emily Brill
A prominent Hong Kong-based journalist has called on Daniel Doctoroff, Chief Executive Officer of Bloomberg L.P., to step down from his role as chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) annual International Press Freedom Awards dinner...

Media

11.25.13

Chinese Netizens Applaud Beijing’s Aggressive New Defense Zone

Beijing has just thrown down the latest gauntlet in a long-simmering territorial dispute with Tokyo—and China’s citizens are cheering. On November 23, China’s Ministry of Defense released a map showing the “Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone,”...

Caixin Media

11.25.13

Chinese State Oil Scandal Has Links to Iraq

A legal storm that started with China’s largest state-owned oil company has expanded to include Iraq and led to the detention of more people.Mi Xiaodong, a former mid-level official at China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) was detained by...

Media

11.22.13

Farewell, Everyman: Chinese React to Ambassador Locke’s Departure

Chinese are waving goodbye to the frustratingly normal U.S. Ambassador to Beijing, Gary Locke, who announced on November 20 that he will be leaving his post in early 2014. Over 300,000 netizens discussed Locke’s resignation on Sina Weibo, the...

Culture

11.22.13

A Homecoming

Sun Yunfan & Shen Wei
Shot in big cities and small towns across China in recent years, Shen Wei’s photographic project “Chinese Sentiment” is a personal journey to recapture bygone Chinese life in both private and public space. Born and raised in Shanghai, Shen Wei...

Media

11.21.13

For Cash-Strapped Parents, Two Babies Are Too Many

Call it reproduction with Chinese capitalist characteristics. On November 15, authorities announced that the country’s One-Child Policy would be loosened, adding couples in which one spouse is an only child to the list of families allowed to have...

Environment

11.21.13

Displaced by the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the first in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong River.From far away, Kang Lianghong and his wife look like little white dots, zig-zagging their way down the steep hillside...

Culture

11.19.13

Why You Should Read Pearl Buck’s ‘New’ Novel

Sheila Melvin
When I first heard that The Eternal Wonder, a new novel by Pearl Buck, was scheduled for publication by Open Road Media on October 22 of this year, I assumed the announcement was either a mistake or a joke.Buck, of course, is the author of The Good...

Viewpoint

11.18.13

Xi Jinping Refills an Old Prescription

Orville Schell
The reforms called for by the Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party Congress have been, like so much else in China over the past few decades, part of an ongoing Chinese quest for national unity, wealth, and power. But, for those of us steeped in...

Caixin Media

11.18.13

What Do Investigative Reporters Do?

With the recent Chen Yongzhou scandal, many have called for an “investigation” into the investigative reporting business.I apply the term “investigative reporters” to those that often wade into the deeper, uncharted waters of the media’s realm. I...

Media

11.14.13

Westerners Aren’t the Only Ones Flummoxed by China’s Reform Plans

After the Third Plenum, a high-level meeting to discuss China’s future, ended on November 12, Beijing released a major document likely to affect many of its 1.3 billion citizens’ lives for years. Western media responded to the 5,000-plus character...

Environment

11.12.13

China’s Urban Dilemma

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
After nearly three decades of rapid urbanization, China’s official and unofficial city dwellers outnumber its farmers. More than 400 million people have already moved into cities in the past thirty years, and in 2011 China crossed the threshold of a...

Culture

11.11.13

All He Needs is a Miracle

Debra Bruno
Courtesy of the USF Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History A portrait of Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci by You Wenhui; painted at the time of Ricci’s death in Beijing, 1610. It now hangs at the Jesuit residence in Rome. It is the...

Caixin Media

11.11.13

How Ambition Buried an Official Known As ‘The Digger’

Cranes and bulldozers were quieter in the ancient city of Nanjing on October 16.News broke that day that the city’s fifty-seven-year-old mayor, Ji Jianye, was being investigated for “suspected serious discipline violations,” the Communist Party’s...

Features

11.08.13

Document 9: A ChinaFile Translation

This weekend, China’s leaders gather in Beijing for meetings widely expected to determine the shape of China’s economy, as well as the nation’s progress, over the next decade. What exactly the outcome of this Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party...

Viewpoint

11.08.13

China, One Year Later

J. Stapleton Roy, Susan Shirk & more
In November 2012, seven men were appointed to the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s supreme governing body. At the time, economic headwinds, nationalist protests, and the Bo Xilai scandal presented huge challenges for the regime. Would the...

Media

11.07.13

After Party Headquarters Explosions, Netizens Debate Value of Violence

On the morning of November 6, an unknown assailant or group of assailants reportedly detonated several bombs outside the front door of the provincial government headquarters of Taiyuan, the capital of Northern China’s Shanxi province. China’s state-...

Viewpoint

11.07.13

Deciphering Xi Jinping’s Dream

Ouyang Bin & Roderick MacFarquhar
On November 9, the Chinese Communist Party will host its Third Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Committee. This conference will be a key to deciphering the ruling philosophy of the new Chinese leadership, who will run the country for the...

Media

11.07.13

Chinese State Media: U.S. Bullying ‘Obsolete’

Stop being a bully, and start respecting the rule of the global village. That’s the takeaway from a November 1 editorial in Chinese state media, which castigates the United States in the wake of revelations that the NSA has tapped the phones of...

Media

11.06.13

Sex Ed Videos Go Viral

Liz Carter
A collection of sex education videos have just gone, ahem, viral on the Chinese Internet. On October 29, a three-person team calling itself the “Nutcracker Studio” released three one-minute clips addressing tough topics in childhood sex education,...

Media

11.05.13

China and Hollywood by the Numbers

Jonathan Landreth
Consider this: Hollywood studios now make more money selling movie tickets in China than in any other market outside North America. Wanda, China’s largest real estate developer, bought AMC, the second-largest movie theater chain in the United States...

Caixin Media

11.04.13

China’s Chilling Effect for Investor Research

Shanghai investor Wang Weihua’s final microblog post October 12 was brief and ominous: “The police are coming.”Three days later, Wang’s family said he’d been taken into custody by police officers who traveled more than 3,600 kilometers to Wang’s...

Media

11.01.13

Apologies for a Horrific Past

On October 9, a farmer named Zhang Jinying appeared on the television show Please Forgive Me, a program usually dedicated to public apologies by unfaithful husbands and wayward sons. But the sixty-one-year-old Zhang’s apology had a depth and a...

Culture

11.01.13

The Sound of China’s Future

Jonathan Campbell
It’s high noon in March and the cluttered patio of Maria’s Taco Xpress, the Austin, Texas institution, is gloriously sunny. First time visitor Gan Baishui is moments away from his band’s American debut, but the composer and musician from a fourth-...

Viewpoint

11.01.13

What the Heck is China’s ‘Third Plenum’ and Why Should You Care?

Barry Naughton
China’s economy is already two-thirds the size of the economy of the U.S., and it’s been growing five times as fast. But now, China’s economy is beginning to slow and is facing a raft of difficult problems.  If China’s leaders don’t address...

Media

10.31.13

Tiananmen Attack Spotlights China’s Beleaguered Uighurs

On October 28, a jeep plowed into a group of pedestrians and burst into flames on the avenue next to Tiananmen Square, the massive public square in Beijing that is the symbolic heart of the Chinese capital. According to Chinese state media reports,...

Media

10.29.13

Why “2 Broke Girls” Is All the Rage in China

In China’s battle between cupcakes and Communists, the cupcakes appear to be winning. While Chinese President Xi Jinping promotes the “Chinese Dream” of national rejuvenation with mixed success, the U.S. sitcom 2 Broke Girls has drawn Chinese...

Caixin Media

10.28.13

How Police Got It So Wrong Arresting a Journalist

The arrest of a journalist for allegedly damaging the reputation of an equipment manufacturer has spurred debate in both the media and legal circles. The discussions revolve around the rights of the press, interpretation of the law, and possible...

Features

10.25.13

Bo Xilai May Have Gotten Off Easy

Ouyang Bin, Zhang Mengqi & more
On October 25, the Shandong High People’s Court rejected the appeal of Bo Xilai, the former Party Secretary of Chongqing who on September 22 was convicted of bribe-taking, embezzlement, and abuse of power and sentenced to life in prison.At the end...

Media

10.23.13

How to Say “Truthiness” in Chinese

“Official rumors” is more than just an oxymoron. The phrase—pronounced guanyao—has become a useful weapon in Chinese Internet users’ linguistic guerrilla warfare against government censorship. That battle has intensified during a government-led...

Media

10.22.13

China’s Silly War on Starbucks Lattes

There are worse things in the world than an overpriced latte. That’s the message that thousands of Chinese web users are sending China Central Television (CCTV), a state-owned media behemoth that ran an October 20 segment accusing the Seattle-based...

Caixin Media

10.21.13

Is Freedom of Thought in China Just a Dream?

The Shanghai Free Trade Zone was recently launched. The measure is commonly regarded as an attempt by the leadership of the Communist Party to further economic reform, which has slowed over the past decade. It is also part of what policymakers call...

Media

10.18.13

Cross-Culture Fail Watch: “Blacklist” Bungles One-Child Policy

Chinese Internet users have a message for the screenwriters of The Blacklist: You’ve got a lot to learn about our country.The third episode of The Blacklist, a new NBC television drama in which the FBI and a former fugitive team up to fight...

Media

10.17.13

Journalist’s Call for ‘de-Americanized World’ Provokes Alarm in U.S., Fart Jokes in China

As fears mounted this week about a possible (and now, it seems, averted) U.S. government default, the U.S. press stumbled upon an October 13 editorial in Xinhua, China’s largest news agency, calling for a “de-Americanized...

Viewpoint

10.16.13

Innovation in Britain and What it Means for China

Vincent Ni
On the occasion of a high-level British delegation’s visit to Beiing this week, Vincent Ni, the long-time New York-based U.S. correspondent for the independent Caixin Media group, shared his views about China’s ability to innovate relative to what...

Viewpoint

10.15.13

Trust Issues: Hong Kong Resists Beijing’s Advances

Sebastian Veg
When Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, expectations were high—in Beijing and among the pro-mainland forces in Hong Kong—that identification with the Chinese nation would slowly but surely strengthen among the local population,...

Caixin Media

10.15.13

Sip of Death Plagues River Villages

Cancer is claiming fewer lives these days, and Dr. Wang Shiren says he’s been caring for a steadily declining number of patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders.Yet a decades-long health calamity continues to grip Huangmengying, a Henan...

Media

10.11.13

How Social Media Complicates the Role of China’s Rights Lawyers

Xia Junfeng was once unknown, but his 2009 arrest for the murder of security officers—who, he alleged, had savagely beaten him—made him a symbolic figure in a national debate about human rights and reform in China. Yet many wonder whether this...

Caixin Media

10.08.13

Shandong Shipyard’s Lesson: Don’t Rock the Bank

What was initially billed as a lucrative order from a European customer has pushed a Shandong Province shipbuilding company to the brink of bankruptcy and ruined its relationship with one of China’s biggest banks.Rushan City Shipbuilding Co. is...

Environment

10.07.13

The Battle Over Ecuador’s Oil Takes New Twist

from chinadialogue
The announcement by Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, that he has abandoned a ground-breaking scheme stopping oil operations in the Amazon has led to a wave of protests across the country and speculation about why it failed.The stated aim of the...

Media

10.07.13

Just How Free Is Shanghai’s New Free Trade Zone?

This article is adapted, with updates, from the September 20 article “China’s New Free Trade Zone: Silver Bullet or Stopgap Measure?“Two weeks after taking office in March 2013, China’s Premier Li Keqiang announced that Shanghai, the country’s...

Media

10.02.13

ChinaFile Presents: Jia Zhangke on “A Touch of Sin”

On September 30 at Asia Society in New York City, film director and screenwriter Jia Zhangke and his wife, muse, and frequent leading lady on screen, actress Zhao Tao, joined Asia Society’s Film Curator La Frances Hui and journalist Emily Parker to...

Media

10.02.13

China’s Surprising Reaction to the U.S. Government Shutdown

As the U.S. federal government hurtles into shutdown mode, many in the United States have responded with anger or shame. At Foreign Policy, for instance, Gordon Adams compares the congressional bickering that gave rise to the shutdown to Shakespeare...

Caixin Media

09.30.13

Reform of State-Owned Enterprise Requires Adopting Modern Governance

Corruption involving the country’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has hogged the headlines. So far, senior executives at China National Petroleum Corp. have been sacked, former railways officials have been hauled to court and, most recently, news...

Media

09.30.13

China Watches “Breaking Bad”

Why do millions of Chinese care about a fictitious New Mexico meth cook? The soon-to-be-concluded television drama series Breaking Bad, which depicts embattled high school chemistry teacher Walter White’s transformation into a crystal...

Media

09.26.13

Execution or Murder? Chinese Look for Justice in Street Vendor’s Death

This morning, a Chinese street vendor named Xia Junfeng was executed. Xia had been found guilty of murdering two urban enforcers, known colloquially as chengguan, in 2009. Xia’s lawyers argued he acted in self-defense, presenting six eyewitness...

Environment

09.26.13

China’s Electric Bicycle Boom: Will the Fashion Last?

from chinadialogue
In the bike-loving Netherlands, electric bicycles now account for one-third of bicycle spending. The e-bike is encroaching on the Vespa in Rome, and multiplying on the steep roads of Lausanne. Globally, the production of electric bicycles is...

Media

09.25.13

The Silk Road of Pop

Nick Holdstock
Most coverage of Xinjiang focuses on the tensions between Han and Uighur in the region, especially since the 2009 Urumqi riots. The Silk Road of Pop, a new documentary about Uighur music directed by Sameer Farooq, is a timely portrait of the rich...

Postcard

09.25.13

The Strangers

James Palmer
In the winter of 2009, I was spending my weekends in the northeast Chinese city of Tangshan, and eating most of my food from the far-western province of Xinjiang. Like many minorities, the Uighur, the native people of Xinjiang, have made their chief...

Caixin Media

09.23.13

Measuring the Wealth Gap

Recent findings by China Society of Economic Reform (CSER) have offered a rare glimpse into growing income inequality in the country.The study shows that in 2011 unidentified “gray income,” or the difference between CSER-surveyed income and that of...

Environment

09.23.13

Chinese Coal Demand to Peak by 2020

from chinadialogue
Over the last decade, predicting the future of global energy markets has centered more or less on what people thought China was going to do. Analysts and researchers have since assumed that Chinese coal demand is insatiable and will continue along...

Media

09.18.13

For Chinese, Violence in the Middle East Sparks Debate on Democracy, Stability

Recent months have been rocky for the Middle East: harsh crackdowns on protesters in Egypt and a Rashomon-like scenario in which the Syrian government and the rebels have accused each other of using chemical weapons, just to name a few. The region’s...