Is China’s population shrinking?

is chinas population shrinking

Apr 29th 2021 BEIJING Editor’s note (April 29th 2021): This article has been updated to include denials that China’s population is shrinking THE COMMUNIST PARTY has long known that, partly as the result of its brutal birth-control policies, China’s population would soon peak and start to shrink. It has been startled, however, by how rapidly that moment has drawn near. Now, it looks as if it might have arrived. Listen to this story Your browser does not support the <audio> element. Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android.…

China blocks mention of Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao

china blocks mention of oscar winner chloe zhao

Apr 29th 2021 HONG KONG WHEN CHLOÉ ZHAO won Best Director for her film “Nomadland” at the Golden Globes in February, film buffs in China, the land of her birth, were ecstatic. State media proclaimed she was the pride of China. “Congratulations,” gushed Zhang Ziyi, star of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, on social media. “Look forward to the Oscars.” Two months on, however, as Ms Zhao became the first woman of colour to win an Oscar for Best Director, and “Nomadland” scooped Best Picture, her name was nowhere to be…

Violence against doctors in China is commonplace

violence against doctors in china is commonplace

Apr 24th 2021 PATIENTS IN CHINA keep attacking their doctors. On January 27th Hu Shuyun, a physician in the southern province of Jiangxi, died after being assaulted on a ward. A few days earlier three medical workers at a hospital in Hangzhou, an eastern city, were injured when a patient set off a homemade bomb. Every month brings more shocking stories. Chinese even has a word for it: yinao, meaning “medical disturbance”. Between 2004 and 2016, the number of such disputes that ended up in court rose from 8,854 to…

Leading democrats in Hong Kong are jailed

leading democrats in hong kong are jailed

Apr 24th 2021 JIMMY LAI, publisher of the Apple Daily newspaper, was jailed for 14 months on April 16th for taking part in protests in 2019. His jailing, with other veteran activists, is part of a crackdown by China’s leaders. Martin Lee, known as Hong Kong’s “father of democracy” and Margaret Ng, a barrister, received suspended sentences. Mr Lai wrote to colleagues telling them to be careful because “freedom of speech is dangerous work now”. Listen to this story Your browser does not support the <audio> element. Enjoy more audio…

A collection of Chinese contemporary art falls prey to politics

a collection of chinese contemporary art falls prey to politics

Apr 24th 2021 CHINA’S LEADERS seem sure that innovation can co-exist with authoritarian rule. Their confidence looks more rational than it once did: Chinese firms dominate some high-tech fields. Still, they have to explain a counterpoint: when freedoms increased in China over the past 40 years, greater creativity always followed. Listen to this story Your browser does not support the <audio> element. Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android. Uli Sigg, a Swiss businessman and diplomat, first reached China in 1979, as reformers began to dismantle the Mao-era…

China’s domestic surveillance programmes benefit foreign spies

chinas domestic surveillance programmes benefit foreign spies

Apr 22nd 2021 IN MARCH ELON MUSK, the world’s third-richest man, spoke to a conference in Beijing by video link. The cars that Tesla sells in China do not, Mr Musk insisted, share data with American security services. He was responding to the news that the Chinese armed forces had banned Teslas from their facilities over such concerns. A month later the firm took to Chinese social media to assure customers that the numerous cameras in their vehicles were “not activated outside North America”, and so could not be used…

China presses Hong Kongers to accept a Chinese vaccine

china presses hong kongers to accept a chinese vaccine

Apr 17th 2021 Hong Kong SINCE THE middle of March all Hong Kong residents over the age of 30 have been entitled to book a vaccination. They even have the luxury of a choice: between the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine created in Germany or one produced by Sinovac, a Chinese firm. Yet despite plentiful supply only about 8% of the population have chosen to get a shot. One reason is rock-bottom trust in the government, the product of two years of political turmoil. It is only one way that the dismantling of…

China’s tomb raiders are growing more professional

chinas tomb raiders are growing more professional

Apr 17th 2021 GUANGHAN BY DAY MR WEI sold pancakes in Shaanxi, a northern province. By night he led a gang of grave robbers who tunnelled under an ancient temple near his shop. It took 11 months for them to reach the treasures buried beneath, which included gold statues of the Buddha and the bones of illustrious monks. Mr Wei and his cronies went on to dig several more passages from restaurants that they opened in the vicinity of shrines and pagodas. Over five years the looting earned them 12m…

Mao’s revolution becomes a lesson about conformity

maos revolution becomes a lesson about conformity

Apr 17th 2021 ON A COLD and rainy recent night, on a mountain soaked in the blood of early Communist Party martyrs, Chaguan went for a walk to look for ghosts. None could be found. Instead Jinggang Mountain, in the southern province of Jiangxi, revealed itself as an oddly kitsch tourist complex, being readied for nationwide celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the party’s founding, in July. Toiling in the dark, work crews were installing floral displays and streetlights topped with red plastic flames. Listen to this story Your…

The plight of China’s “left-behind” children

the plight of chinas left behind children

Apr 8th 2021 LEYUN VILLAGE EVERY SPRING, the Qingming festival brings families together for displays of respect and sorrow at the burial sites of their deceased relatives. Some travel a long way to reunite over the three-day holiday, which ended on April 5th. Among them this year were the Zhaos of Leyun, a village in the lush Daba mountains of Sichuan province in the south-west. For migrant parents like them, there are living relationships that cause quiet grief, too. When their daughter, Lin, was just one month old the couple…