On Monday, choking smog in China’s northern city of Harbin in Heilongjiang province forced the city to shut down its roads, airports, and schools. Officials blamed the severe pollution on the city’s switch to the coal-heating system for winter months, farmers burning crop stubble, and low winds. PM2.5, a scale used to measure airborne particles considered most harmful to health, showed readings of over 500 micrograms per cubic meter on Monday morning, reaching 1000 in some parts of the city. According to World Health Organization, average daily concentrations of PM2.5 exceeding 25 micrograms per cubic meter are considered unhealthy. Visibility was reportedly reduced to below 160 feet. This week, officials announced emergency measures to tackle the pressing pollution, including mandatory factory closures and bans on cars entering the city on days when pollution levels are high. (National Geographic, Oct 22; BBC, CNN, Oct 23,...Read More
Category: News of the Week
Oct 23, 2013 | News of the Week |
By Thomas L. Friedman SHANGHAI — Whenever I visit China, I am struck by the sharply divergent predictions of its future one hears. Lately, a number of global investors have been “shorting” China, betting that someday soon its powerful economic engine will sputter, as the real estate boom here turns to a bust. Frankly, if I were shorting China today, it would not be because of the real estate bubble, but because of the pollution bubble that is increasingly enveloping some of its biggest cities. Optimists take another view: that, buckle in, China is just getting started, and that...Read More
Sep 25, 2013 | News of the Week |
This article appeared on the New York Times’ China website on Sept. 16. Tai Qiuqing and Chen Dingding report on a survey of Chinese students studying abroad in the United States. The translation is on the left, and the original article is on the right. Feature image by Getty Images Tai Qiuqing and Chen Dingding are writers for the New York Times Chinese Website One hundred years ago, Chinese exchange students traveled far across the seas carrying a grave awareness of a need to save the nation. When they returned with ideas of democracy and science, they started the...Read More
Sep 19, 2013 | News of the Week |
By Simon Denyer, Published: September 18 LUZHAI, China — The elderly couple sat on their metal frame bed surrounded by the detritus of their lives: hopelessly worn-out shoes, empty tin cans, dried-out corncobs, plastic bags, filthy clothes, all strewn across the uneven dirt floor. On a small table, two dirty cups sat beside an ancient television and an overturned electric fan. Their five daughters have all moved away from the village of Luzhai in eastern China and are working with their husbands in China’s booming cities. Ma Jinling, 81, and his wife, Hou Guiying, don’t own a phone or know...Read More
Sep 17, 2013 | News of the Week |
On the Wall Street Journal blog China Realtime Report, Josh Chin describes the atmosphere of anxiety surrounding popular bloggers on China’s Weibo Twitter-like services. These powerful writers often command millions of subscribers, and have been dubbed “Big V’s” for the uppercase letters that appear next to their names on Sina Weibo to indicate that their identities have been verified. Recent crackdowns by the Chinese government on ‘big Weibo names’ following the introduction of laws to quell rumor-mongering have led to a number of high-profile arrests. In an interview on CCTV, Pan Shiyi, a real estate developer and outspoken Weibo...Read More
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SR: The Week’s China Reads
Every week, China Program’s Senior Advisor Dr. Robert A. Kapp compiles a reading list and provides commentary, for you to better understand China.
Robert A. Kapp is senior advisor to the China Program at the Carter Center. He has been principal of Robert A. Kapp and Associates, a business consulting firm, since 2004. From 1994 through 2004 he served as President of the United States-China Business Council…