Conversation

03.22.17

China Writers Remember Robert Silvers

Ian Johnson, Orville Schell & more
Robert Silvers died on Monday, March 20, after serving as The New York Review of Books Editor since 1963. Over almost six decades, Silvers cultivated one of the most interesting, reflective, and lustrous stables of China writers in the world, some...

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

Chinese Maths Textbooks to Be Translated for U.K. Schools

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
HarperCollins signs ‘historic’ deal with Shanghai publishers amid hopes it will boost British students’ performance

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.

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.

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...

Conversation

02.16.17

Can China Become a Leader of Innovation?

Jost Wübbeke, Yu Zhou & more
China’s ambitious high-tech strategy is raising alarm in industrialized nations. From American and South Korean chipmakers to German car and machine manufacturers, some industry leaders expect the imminent arrival of strong Chinese competitors. Does...

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...

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

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

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...

Zhou Youguang, Architect of a Bridge between Languages, Dies At 111

Colin Dwyer
NPR
Zhou Youguang, the inventor of a system to convert Chinese characters into words with the Roman alphabet, died Saturday at the age of 111.

Rich Chinese, Inspired by ‘Downton,’ Fuel Demand for Butlers

Chris Buckley and Karoline Kan
New York Times
Inspired in part by the Downton Abbey television drama, the country’s once raw and raucous tycoons are fueling demand for the services of homegrown butlers trained in the ways of a British manor.

China, Fanning Patriotism, Adds Six Years to War with Japan in History Books

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
For generations, the “Eight-Year War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression” has been ingrained in the minds of Chinese schoolchildren. Now the war is getting a new name, and an extended time frame.

More Chinese Are Sending Younger Children to Schools in U.S.

Miriam Jordan
Wall Street Journal
When Ken Yan’s parents were contemplating his future, they decided the best option for the 11-year-old was to send him 7,000 miles away from his home in China to Southern California. Ken didn’t speak English, and he would need to live with a host...

Migrant-School Students Face Difficulty Getting Into College, Study Finds

Chen Shaoyuan and Li Rongde
Less than 6% of students in Beijing schools for migrant children entered college. In local public schools, 60% did

Chinese Prosecutors Charge Thousands of School Bullies

Mimi Lau
South China Morning Post
Nationwide crackdown includes three-year jail sentence for 15-year-old who robbed his classmates

Students in China Were Made to Take Exams Outdoors in Toxic Smog

Kevin Lui
Time
Widely circulated photos of the students, sitting at desks while blanketed in choking pollution, starkly dramatize the Chinese "airpocalypse"...

Are China’s Schools Failing?

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
China's much-lauded education system remains riven by inequality, with far-reaching consequences for schools, students and, ultimately, the economy...

Sinica Podcast

12.19.16

Beijing Meets Banjo: Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Wu Fei is a classically trained composer and performer of the guzheng, or traditional Chinese 21-string zither. Abigail Washburn is a Grammy Award–winning American banjo player and fluent speaker of Chinese. They’ve been friends for a decade and are...

Facing a Transition of Power, China’s Xi is More Desperate Than Ever to Control Young Minds

Echo Huang
Quartz
With 2017 nearing, it’s likely China will expand its campaign to further instill the ideologies of the party in young minds

Lost Lives: The Battle of China’s Invisible Children to Recover Missed Years

Coco Liu and Shanshan Chen
Reuters
With the end of the One-Child Policy, unregistered younger siblings are trying to make up for lost time

Expensive Foreign Degrees Lose Edge in Competitive Chinese Job Market, Study Finds

Teng Jing Xuan and Wang Mingting
Nearly 70% of Chinese students who returned after studying abroad said they were "unsatisfied" with job opportunities ...

China Universities Must Become Communist Party 'Strongholds', Says Xi Jinping

Tom Phillips
Guardian
All teachers must be ‘staunch supporters’ of party governance, says president in what experts called an effort to reassert control

US University Admissions Officers Courted with Subsidized Trips to China

Coco Feng and Liao Yuanxin
Reports that Chinese education agencies buy US college admissions staff trips to China have fueled speculation that bribery is part of the recruitment process

In China, Eugenics Determines Who Plays in School Bands

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
“We’ve chosen your children according to their physical attributes,” the leader told a group of parents at a Beijing public elementary school.

Stuck at the Bottom in China

Lijia Zhang
New York Times
If the Chinese government is serious about fostering a stable and harmonious society, it must address limits on social mobility before it’s too late

China’s Dream of Smart Economy Must "Get Past Talent Gap”

Wendy Wu
South China Morning Post
A new study shows that 70 per cent of Chinese employers say the education offered by universities “has little value”

Caixin Media

10.27.16

Shanghai Enforcing Ban on Overseas Curricula at International Schools

Education authorities in Shanghai have sought to reaffirm a government rule that bans international schools attended by Chinese students from using imported curricula in their entirety. The action comes amid official concerns over the erosion of...

China’s Millennials Are Risk Takers—and They’re Dreaming Big

Bloomberg
Having grown up in a booming economy, China's 7.5 million school leavers this year are intent on forging paths very different from their parents...

A New Generation Of Chinese Social Entrepreneurs Is Emerging In Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The dearth of Chinese NGOs in Africa should not come as a surprise given that the emergence of the non-profit sector in China is a relatively new phenomenon. Today, there are an estimated 500,000 registered NGOs in the P.R.C., most of which focus on...

Shanghai Seeks to Enforce Ban on Overseas Curricula at International Schools

Li Rongde
Move comes as officials voice fears over erosion of values that result from imported syllabuses

HIV is Growing So Fast Among Chinese Youth that a University Sells Test Kits in Vending Machines

Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
The kits, which cost less than $5, are sold alongside snacks and drinks in the machines at China’s Southwest Petroleum University in Sichuan Province

Features

10.21.16

The Separation Between Mosque and State

Alice Y. Su
Driving through the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province, in China’s northwest, minarets puncture the sky every few minutes. Many rise out of mosques that resemble Daoist temples, their details a blend of traditional Chinese and...

Delia Davin Obituary

John Gittings
Guardian
A pioneer of Chinese women’s studies who avoided the stereotypes offered by the communist regime and its critics

Depth of Field

10.18.16

Over-Protective Mothers, E-cigarettes, Sports Hunting, and More

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
A photojournalist’s job is to capture the unique and the universal—to portray brief moments that tell individual stories, yet are instantly relatable to a wide audience. The delightful task of curating that type of Chinese photojournalism is the...

Is China's Gaokao The World's Toughest School Exam?

Alec Ash
Guardian
Chinese children must endure years of stress and impossible expectations preparing for their final school exam

The ‘Patriotic Education’ of Chinese Students at Australian Universities

Alexander Joske and Philip Wen
Sydney Morning Herald
As larger numbers of Chinese students study abroad, greater efforts are being made to ensure they do not return with new-found opposition to the Communist Party

Recognizing Boarding Schools’ Psychic Toll in China

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The most deeply affected may be those born in the early decades after 1949, as the boarding system spread — those in their 50s and 60s who run the country today.

Conversation

09.13.16

Can China’s Best Newspaper Survive?

Isaac Stone Fish, David Schlesinger & more
On September 9, the South China Morning Post’s Chinese-language website went dark with little explanation, leading to concerns that censorship might next spread to the newspaper’s English-language coverage. Can Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, who has...

Depth of Field

09.12.16

African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...

Why More Africans Are Learning Mandarin

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The South African government’s 2015 decision to start offering Mandarin Chinese classes as a foreign language option at schools nation-wide sparked an uproar that baffled people in other, often more affluent, societies around the world where the...

The People in Retreat

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Ai Xiaoming is one of China’s leading documentary filmmakers and political activists. Since 2004, she has made more than two dozen films, many of them long, gritty documentaries that detail citizen activism or uncover whitewashed historical events...

Conversation

09.07.16

The Hong Kong Election: What Message Does it Send Beijing?

David Schlesinger, Melissa Chan & more
On September 4, Hong Kong elected a batch of its youngest and most pro-democratic lawmakers yet. Six new legislators, all under 40, won on platforms that called for Hong Kongers to decide their own fate. The youngest is 23-year-old Nathan Law, a...

In China, Some Schools Are Playing With More Creativity, Less Cramming

Anthony Kuhn
NPR
Educators are hopeful that these new teaching methods will produce young people who are curious, self-motivated and independent critical thinkers.

Depth of Field

07.01.16

Tornados and Drag Queens

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Being a photojournalist involves reacting to breaking news, a dedication to long-term projects, and everything in between. This month’s showcase of work by Chinese photographers published in Chinese media underscores this range of angles: from the...

Culture

06.29.16

Using Free Sex to Expose Sexual Abuse in China

Jonathan Landreth
Nanfu Wang hoped that a woman called Ye Haiyan (“Hooligan Sparrow”), who had offered free sex on the Internet to draw attention to the plight of poor women selling their bodies to support their children, would lead her to the prostitutes she wanted...

Loan Sharks in China Offer Student Loans for Nude Photos, Giving New Meaning to ‘Naked Greed’

Pamela Constable
Washington Post
Internet lenders are now usuing naked pictures as collatoral for high-interest loans to female students....

Caixin Media

06.15.16

Middle Class Chinese Flock to International High Schools, Eyeing College Abroad

A decade earlier, less than 4 percent of graduates from a popular high school in Beijing, known for high quality teachers who groomed students for elite universities, left to study abroad each year.The majority chose to pursue their higher studies...

In China, Cheating on an Exam Will Get Students Detention—in Prison

Max Bearak
Washington Post
More than 9.4 million Chinese students attended this year's college entrance exams (Gaokao) in China, and cheating in Gaokao is now considered a criminal offense...

China Threatens Jail Time For College Entrance Exam Cheaters

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
Mixed feelings proceed the approval of a new law, punishing exam cheaters with up to seven years in prison....

Conversation

06.03.16

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Yidi Wu, Ding Feng & more
It’s graduation time, and Chinese graduates from American colleges are now pondering what to do next: return to China or stay in the U.S. We reached out to recent graduates to ask about their decision-making process and how they view their prospects...

Depth of Field

05.31.16

Families, Weddings, and Beekeepers

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This month’s Depth of Field column brings the stories of Chinese adoption; the marriage ceremony of Hu Mingliang and Sun Wenlin, a gay couple who filed the first civil rights marriage lawsuit to be accepted by a Chinese court (they lost); beekeepers...

Viewpoint

05.24.16

“It’s Time for Us To Set a New Political Agenda for Hong Kong”

Jonathan Landreth, Susan Jakes & more
Last month, midway through a whirlwind tour of United States universities, Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong took a break for a crab cake and mac-and-cheese lunch at a Manhattan brasserie. Wong, 19, came to international prominence during the...

Will China's Educational System Strangle Economic Growth?

Zhu Tian
Forbes
Despite the brain drain, China still managed to produce enough talents to make it the fastest growing nation in the past two decades.

China's Toxic School: Officials Struggle to Contain Uproar over Sick Students

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Illnesses among pupils at Changzhou Foreign Languages School, with highly toxic illegal waste dumping blamed.

China Wants to Become a ‘Soccer Superpower’ by 2050

Charlie Campbell
Time
It isn't just about sport. The strategy also has broad economic and political implications...

Conversation

04.12.16

Should Internet Censorship Be Considered a Trade Issue?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Susan Shirk & more
A new report from the Office of the United States Trade Representative lists, for the first time, Chinese Internet censorship as a trade barrier. The possible implications are complex: it could strengthen the hand of U.S. businesses, but also stands...

Depth of Field

04.03.16

Meet ‘Depth of Field’: The Month’s Best Chinese Photojournalism

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Welcome to ChinaFile’s inaugural “Depth of Field” column. In collaboration with Yuanjin Photo, an independent photo blog published by photographers Yan Cong and Ye Ming on the Chinese social media platform WeChat, we will highlight new and...

Caixin Media

04.01.16

China’s Rural Youngsters Drop Out of School at Alarming Rate

Like many other teenagers in his village in the mountains of the northwestern province of Shaanxi, Chen Youliang decided to quit school early so he could follow in the footsteps of his migrant worker parents and find a job in a big city.Chen, who...