A confident China seeks to insulate itself from the world

a confident china seeks to insulate itself from the world

Mar 11th 2021 SHANGHAI THE ANNUAL session of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, leaves nothing to chance. Speeches are thoroughly rehearsed, those attending are carefully vetted and even the tea service is immaculately choreographed. Yet there are always a few unscripted remarks—or, perhaps, remarks scripted to sound unscripted—that stick out. During the weeklong event, which ended on March 11th, the most memorable words came from Xi Jinping, the country’s leader. “China can now look the world in the eye,” he said in a small meeting on the sidelines. “It’s…

To crush democracy, China is changing Hong Kong’s political rules

to crush democracy china is changing hong kongs political rules

Mar 11th 2021 HONG KONG WHEN BRITAIN handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997, the former colony was far from a proper democracy. Its departing leader was a governor sent from London. Only one-third of its legislators were directly chosen by the public. But at least it had open and free elections. Encouraged by Chinese officials, many hoped that, under Chinese rule, it would become much more democratic. Some even thought it would inspire the rest of the country. There has been little progress on either front. Now China…

Why the internet has not freed China

why the internet has not freed china

Mar 11th 2021 AT THE DAWN of the digital age Bill Clinton predicted that a combination of capitalism and the internet might liberalise China. His vision was bold, uplifting and wrong. It was the year 2000 and America’s then-president saw a revolution in the making, as the Communist Party ceased to be a monopoly provider of everything from jobs and housing to news. In an age of new opportunity and information sources, the party would be less able to control people, Mr Clinton argued, adding: “In the new century, liberty…

Hong Kong’s new security bill is being put to its biggest use yet

hong kongs new security bill is being put to its biggest use yet

Mar 4th 2021 HONG KONG SINCE CHINA imposed a draconian security law on Hong Kong last year, protests in the city—already dampened by pandemic-related controls—have been rare. But on March 1st hundreds of people gathered outside a court to demonstrate against the largest case so far related to the security bill. They held banners calling for the release of “political prisoners” and chanted slogans that were popular during the unrest that engulfed the territory in 2019. Students at a primary school nearby stood outside their classrooms, shouting in solidarity. It…

Red tourism in Xi’s China

red tourism in xis china

Mar 4th 2021 IN ITS HEYDAY in the 1960s and 1970s, the village of Dazhai was called a place of miracles. Millions of revolutionary pilgrims came to hear how local peasants had carved terraced grain-fields and reservoirs from its rocky hillsides, armed with little more than hand tools and love of Chairman Mao Zedong. Dazhai’s barely literate Communist Party secretary, Chen Yonggui, was summoned to Beijing and elevated to the Politburo with the rank of vice prime minister. Back then Liang Jiwen was a schoolboy, the son of a Dazhai…

China’s domestic-security agencies are undergoing a massive purge

chinas domestic security agencies are undergoing a massive purge

Mar 1st 2021 FOR MANY members of China’s 3m-strong domestic-security forces, these must be worrying times. On February 27th the Communist Party declared the start of a long-expected purge of their ranks. It will involve, say officials, “turning the knife-blade inward” to gouge out those deemed corrupt or insufficiently loyal to the party and its leader, Xi Jinping. More than eight years into Mr Xi’s iron rule, the party appears to wonder whether a vital bulwark of its power is entirely trustworthy. Listen to this story Your browser does not…

Intercity commuters are a puzzle for Chinese officials

intercity commuters are a puzzle for chinese officials scaled

Feb 25th 2021 FEW CHILDREN grow up dreaming of being a commuter. But there is a logic to a life spent between a city job and a home in some quiet, affordable spot. The first modern suburbs sprang up to greet trains puffing out of Victorian London. As countries such as Japan, France and Spain invested in high-speed trains, travelling at 250kph or more, new pairs of cities found themselves an hour or so apart, allowing for previously unthinkable commutes. Listen to this story Your browser does not support the…

China is mulling changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system

china is mulling changes to hong kongs electoral system

Feb 25th 2021 HONG KONG IN 1984, AS the British and Chinese governments moved closer to signing a historic agreement on the future of Hong Kong, one word worried some residents of the British colony. China was suggesting that the territory could stay capitalist, but had to be run by “patriots”. What did that mean? China’s then leader, Deng Xiaoping, gave a reassuring response. “We don’t demand that they be in favour of China’s socialist system,” he said. “We only ask them to love the motherland and Hong Kong.” Now…

China has given up trying to eradicate wolves

china has given up trying to eradicate wolves scaled

Feb 25th 2021 BEIJING CONSERVATIONISTS HAD much to cheer about when, in early February, China published a long-awaited update to its list of protected animals. It is now twice as long, with almost 1,000 species. Snake-lovers celebrated the inclusion of the lime-green Mangshan pit viper. Fans of the Yangzi finless porpoise, also known as the “smiling angel”, had reason to rejoice. Yet perhaps the most unexpected gift was handed to champions of the common wolf. Unloved in many places, wolves were until recently seen as a pest in China. When…

Page 183 of 183
1 178 179 180 181 182 183