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...

Hebei Calls a Provincial Meeting to Address Atmospheric Pollution

Zhou Yingjiu
China Environmental News
In an effort to reduce pollution, a conference in Hebei province has vowed to cut coal consumption by 40 million tons by 2017, relative to 2012.

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...

China-Ukraine: No Massive Farm Deal... Yet

Roman Olearchyk
Financial Times
Contrary to a flurry of Monday news reports, China has not inked a massive agriculture investment giving it ownership of some 5 per cent of land in Ukraine, itself home to some of the world’s richest soil. But China and...

A Lot of U.S. Plastic Isn’t Actually Being Recycled Due to the Green Fence

Gwynn Guilford
Quartz
The US may have Save the Earth campaigns to thank for the embrace of recycling. But more likely, it was made possibly by China’s emergence as a manufacturing powerhouse. The more China made, the more it needed used plastics. 

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...

China’s Plan to Curb Air Pollution Sets Limits on Coal Use and Vehicles

Edward Wong
New York Times
This plan represents the most concrete response yet by the Communist Party and the government to growing criticism over allowing the country’s air, soil and water to degrade to abysmal levels because of corruption and unchecked economic growth.&...

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...

Infographics

09.19.13

The Mooncake Economy

from Sohu
Across the country, Chinese are observing the annual harvest festival by giving and receiving mooncakes, pastries whose round shape is meant to evoke the full moon of the autumnal equinox. In recent years, bemoaning the debasement of this tradition...

Environment

09.18.13

Are the U.S. and China Finally Getting Serious about Climate Change?

Junjie Zhang
At the recent G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping announced that they would seek to eliminate potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) through the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the landmark treaty that successfully phased...

Environment

09.12.13

Electric Cars Offer China the Chance to Become Global Pioneer

from chinadialogue
Despite some serious doubts over the viability of electric vehicle (EV) makers, the sector could still have a promising future in China, according to a report published by the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.China’s EV sector currently...

Viewpoint

09.11.13

Beijing’s Air in 2013 or Ground Zero’s After 9/11: Which Was Worse?

Emily Brill
When I moved to Beijing from New York in February to study Chinese, a question began to haunt me: Could Beijing’s air in 2013 be more dangerous than the toxic brew produced by the 9/11 attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center, which hung over...

The Search for Sustainable Legitimacy: Environmental Law and Bureaucracy

Alex Wang
Social Science Research Network
This article seeks to offer insight into a number of broader ongoing debates — about environmental regulation in developing countries, accountability and regime survival in authoritarian states, and legal development in China. 

Beijing Toughens Pollution Rules to Clean Up Air

Xinhua
In a five-year clean air action plan (2013-2017), the Beijing municipal government said 1,200 polluting companies will be ordered to upgrade or close parts or all of their facilities in the coming years to 2016. 

Why Do Pandas Have Such Difficulty Breeding in Zoos

David Owen
New Yorker
Giant pandas in captivity are described as simply “reproductively incompetent” by David Wildt, the head of the Center for Species Survival at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. What will it take to get them to bone up on their sex ed?

Caixin Media

09.04.13

China’s Shale Gas Development Goals Just Pipe Dreams

China wants to reap the benefits of a shale gas revolution similar to the one in the United States, but there are many obstacles to this happening, experts say.In the first half of 2013, fifty-six shale gas wells were in the exploratory phase in the...

China’s Coal Supply Will Soon Weigh 40 Percent More Than Earth’s Population

Gwynn Guilford
Atlantic
The country's excessive past investments in coal have produced a surplus, and today, lowered prices mean mining barons are struggling to pay off loans. 

Books

09.03.13

China Across the Divide

Rosemary Foot (Editor)
Understanding China’s world role has become one of the crucial intellectual challenges of the 21st century. This book explores this topic through the adoption of three conceptual approaches that help to uncover some of the key complex and simultaneous interactions between the global and domestic forces that determine China’s external behavior. A central assumption of this study is that it is unhelpful to treat the global and domestic levels as separate categories of analysis and that the study of China can be enriched by a recognition of the interpenetrated nature of the domestic and international spheres.The first section of the book concentrates on the role of ideas. It examines Chinese conceptions, at both the elite and mass levels, of the country’s status and role in global politics, and how these conceptions can influence and frame policies. The second section provides evidence of Chinese societal involvement in transnational processes that are simultaneously transforming China as well as other parts of the world, often in unintended ways. The third section assesses the impact of globalization on China in issue areas that are central to global order, and outlines the domestic responses—from resistance to embrace—that it generates. This study adopts a multidisciplinary approach involving scholars in international relations, history, social anthropology, and area studies. It offers a sophisticated understanding of Chinese thought and behavior and illustrates the impact that China’s re-emergence is having on 21st century global order.  —Oxford University Press {chop}

Environment

08.29.13

Beijing Water Shortage Worse Than the Middle East

from chinadialogue
Beijing’s annual water consumption has reached 3.6 billion cubic meters, according to statistics released by the Beijing Water Authority, far more than the 2.1 billion cubic meters locally available.The per capita annual water availability is now...

Why China’s Farms Are Failing

Tom Philpott
Atlantic
In the process of emerging as the globe’s manufacturing center, China has severely damaged its land and water resources, compromising its ability to increase food production for a wealthier population that’s demanding ever-more meat. 

China’s Voyage of Discovery to Cross the Less Frozen North

Robin McKie
Guardian
Global warming means that the Arctic's fabled Northern Sea Route could soon be ice-free in summer, slashing journey times for cargo ships sailing from the Far East to Europe. Which is why the Yong Sheng, a rust-streaked Chinese vessel, is on a...

Reports

08.27.13

China National Human Development Report 2013

United Nations
China had more urban than rural residents for the first time in 2011. The urbanization rate reached 52.6 percent in 2012, a major milestone with significant implications. In the midst of this urban transformation, China’s leaders have increasingly...

Chad Pushes Back Against China’s National Oil Company

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The Chadian government shut most or all oil operations run by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) over allegations of an oil spill, poor worker safety, and violations of other environmental regulations. CNPC, not surprisingly, denied the...

China ‘Dog-lion’: Henan Zoo Mastiff Poses as Africa Cat

Michael Bristow
BBC
An animal described as an African lion at a Chinese zoo was exposed as a fraud—when the creature started barking in front of visitors. 

From Outsiders to Innkeepers in China’s Sleepy Countryside

Mike Ives
New York Times
More hotel rooms are being built in China than anywhere else in the world, and a small number of foreign entrepreneurs in rural China are operating boutique hotels in restored properties that have historic charm.

China: Foreign Tourism Falls, and Smog May Be One Reason

Associated Press
Smog was among factors cited in new report showing China, one of the world’s most popular destinations for international travelers, has experienced a significant decline in the number of tourists this year.

Conversation

08.15.13

What Should China Do to Reverse its Tourism Deficit?

Leah Thompson, Damien Ma & more
Recent news stories and industry studies show that fewer international visitors are choosing China as their destination. January-June arrivals in Beijing are down 15% from the same period in 2012 and more Chinese than ever before are spending their...

Environment

08.14.13

Beijing’s Neighbors Hesitate at Pollution Cuts

from chinadialogue
The recent announcement of plans to lower air pollution levels in the next five years are far greater than any proposed before, some being several times tougher than those included in the Twelfth Five Year Plan (FYP) period, which was only finalized...

Introducing Père David, the Bold Priest Who Brought Us Gerbils

Christopher Howse
Catholic Herald
French naturalist and missionary Armand David was one of the first westerners to set eyes on the giant panda, and contributed in familiarizing the West with other native Chinese species.

Chinese Foot-Dragging

The Editorial Board
New York Times
The South China Sea is one of the world’s most strategically important waterways. China has fanned hostilities with other nations with sovereignty claims and confrontations over disputed islands and even specks of rock.

Can China Clean Up Fast Enough?

Economist
China is going through an industrial-powered growth spurt and the urge to get rich outweighs the desire for clean air. However, China is beginning to clean up its act.

China Likely to Become World’s Largest Oil Importer

BBC
China is likely to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest oil importer as early as next year.The switch comes as the U.S. continues to boost domestic energy supply while China’s energy demand remains robust.

Is the Shark-Fin Trade Facing Extinction?

Chris Horton
Atlantic
China’s embrace of conspicuous consumption has manifested itself at the dinner table. One item, more than any other, has possessed the power to confer face and status upon the host: shark fin soup.

Caixin Media

08.12.13

China’s Urban Sludge Dilemma: Sinking in Stink

Promptly at noon on March 17, a heavy truck hauling a dark substance and on a dark mission pulled out of the Gaobeidian Wastewater Treatment Plant in eastern Beijing.A wastewater treatment engineer helped a Caixin reporter identify the unusual load...

Pollution Economics

Dirk Forrister and Paul Bledsoe
New York Times
With more than a million people dying prematurely each year from breathing its dirty air, the Communist country is experimenting with a capitalist approach: create incentives so that the market will force reductions in emissions.

Environment

08.09.13

Beijing is Trapped in its Polluted Neighborhood

from chinadialogue
In 2011, approximately 9,900 premature deaths in China are estimated to have been due to pollution. The Ministry of Environmental Protection recently released a pollution ranking of seventy-four cities over the first three months of the year. Of the...

Viewpoint

08.09.13

Five Years On

Jonathan Landreth
On August 8, 2008, I was in Beijing reporting on the media aspects of China’s first Olympic Games, and I am still amazed that the four-hour opening ceremony, as designed by film director Zhang Yimou, was seen by sixty-nine percent of China’s...

China OKs Entry of First Big Cargo of Argentine Corn

Hugh Bronstein
Bloomberg
Argentine Agriculture Minister Norberto Yauhar said Chinese health authorities cleared 60,000-tonnes of genetically modified (GMO) Argentine corn. The cargo is already headed inland to be used as hog and chicken feed. 

Environment

08.07.13

China’s Abandoned Steel Mills Are a Threat to Public Health

from chinadialogue
China’s steel industry has been in trouble since 2011, with numerous bankruptcies nationwide. The city of Tangshan in Hebei province has been no exception. Though the city is Hebei’s biggest steel maker, with its 70 million tons of annual production...

Caixin Media

08.05.13

County in Shaanxi in a Deep Hole as Mining Bubble Pops

A financial crisis triggered by falling coal prices is brewing in Shenmu County, in the northwestern province of Shaanxi.Construction projects have been halted, universal health care has run into payment problems and many private bankers have...

The Price of ‘Made in China’

Peter Navarro
New York Times
The $34 milllion in steel production and fabriation needed to refurbish North America’s longest suspension bridge, the Verrazano-which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island has been outsourced to China.

Life in a Toxic Country

Edward Wong
New York Times
Before this assignment, I reported from Iraq, where foreign correspondents talked endlessly of the variety of ways in which one could die. I survived those threats, only now to find myself wondering: Is China doing irreparable harm to me and my...

Move Over Bordeaux: French Premium Winemakers Eye China Vintage

Terril Yue Jones
Reuters
In a country where cheap plonk and overpriced mediocre wines still define the domestic industry, the French are partnering with Chinese investors to produce super-premium wines for increasingly discerning drinkers at the market’s top end.

Reports

08.01.13

Recharging China’s Electric Vehicle Policy

Wang Tao
Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Electric vehicles offer China an opportunity to reduce its reliance on foreign oil, improve air quality by curbing emissions from the burgeoning transportation sector, and enjoy the future economic benefits of being a global pioneer in an emerging...

Environment

07.25.13

Comment: Polluters Shouldn’t Be the Judge of Other Polluters

from chinadialogue
If the law sets a criminal to catch other criminals what do you think those criminals will think? My colleagues have discovered that new legislation threatens to do just that.A new draft revision of the Environmental Protection Law is now online for...

Environment

07.24.13

Government-Backed NGO Under Pressure to Act Against China’s Largest Coal Miner

from chinadialogue
The All-China Environmental Federation (ACEF), a government-backed NGO, is being urged to take legal action against the Shenhua group, one of China’s largest energy companies and also a member of the ACEF.A subsidiary of the Shenhua group in Inner...

Chinese Coal Company Releasing Toxic Wastewater, Greenpeace Says

Reuters
The report, the first by Greenpeace to single out and publicly challenge one of China’s powerful state-owned companies, comes as the country’s new leadership steps up its focus on pollution amid growing protests over environmental...

Earthquake: Death Toll From Strong Temblor Hits 94

Huffington Post
About 123,000 people were affected by the quake, with 31,600 moved to temporary shelters, the provincial earthquake administration said on its website. Almost 2,000 homes were completely destroyed, and about 22,500 damaged. 

Reports

07.23.13

Thirsty Coal 2: Shenhua’s Water Grab

Greenpeace
This investigation report is a follow-up to the 2012 Greenpeace and the China Academy of Sciences joint study: “Thirsty Coal: A Water Crisis Exacerbated By China’s New Mega Coal Bases.” In this report, we focus on the most controversial part of...

Environment

07.18.13

Chinese Nuclear Versus Chinese Renewables

from chinadialogue
Germany’s Energy transition (‘Energiewende’) has been much feted, but when it comes to energy and climate-change policy, China is the country to watch. Its burgeoning economy and voracious appetite for coal-fired power make it the world’s biggest...

Environment

07.16.13

Local Officials in North China Quit Smoking to Fight Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
If you are planning to quit smoking, here is another reason to do so—it can fight air pollution, at least according to local officials in China’s northern Hebei Province.Officials in Cangzhou city, Hebei vowed to quit smoking in front of a mass...

After Protest, China Cancels Plans for Uranium Plant

Gerry Mullany
New York Times
The protest in Jiangmen was the latest display of growing public disquiet about environmental hazards, which could frustrate China’s ambitious plans for nuclear power and technology. 

Environment

07.11.13

Organic Farming Takes Root in Nepal

from chinadialogue
The fierce sunlight bakes the fields and the winter crop of potatoes is still under the soil. Fifty-five year old Nepalese farmer Badri Prasad Humagain sits in his front yard looking out at his small field. His village in the Kathmandu...

Mudslide in Western China Buries 30

Wall Street Journal
Flooding in western China, the worst in 50 years for some areas, triggered a landslide Wednesday that buried about 30 people, trapped hundreds in a highway tunnel and destroyed a memorial to a devastating 2008 earthquake. 

China’s Reliance on Coal Reduces Life Expectancy by 5.5 Years

Jonathan Kaiman
Guardian
The study concluded that long-term exposure to air containing 100 micrograms of total suspended particles (T.S.P.) per cubic meter “is associated with a reduction in life expectancy at birth of about 3.0 years.” 

China Mine Runoff Pollutes Water for 30,000, China Daily Says

Bloomberg
Officials in southern China shut 112 illegal mines after polluted runoff entered the local water supply, killing fish and making the water unusable for about 30,000 people, China Daily newspaper said.

Environment

07.08.13

The Water Challenge Facing China’s Coal and Power Sector Is “Inescapable”

from chinadialogue
It is an inescapable truth that China needs coal—and that coal needs water. The coal industry, from mining to power generation and coal-to-chemicals, accounts for one-sixth of China’s water withdrawals. This is not sustainable and in some areas coal...

Environment

07.03.13

Understanding China’s Domestic Agenda Can End U.N. Climate Gridlock

from chinadialogue
Li Shuo of Greenpeace China has recently argued on chinadialogue that U.N. climate talks can drive more ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in China, the world’s largest emitter. This optimism goes against much of the conventional wisdom...

Environment

06.20.13

China’s GM Soybean Imports Stir Up Controversy

from chinadialogue
Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, has been awash with criticisms of the Ministry of Agriculture’s decision to green light imports of three more strains of genetically modified (GM) soybeans. A picture&nbsp...

China Launches World's No. 2 Carbon Trading Market

Age
Seven pilot carbon-trading programs are scheduled to start this year, with the first opening today in Shenzhen, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Chongqing and Hubei. They are set to regulate 800 million to 1 billion tons of...