The Economist: China

China

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

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”...

Red tourism in Xi’s China

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,...

China has given up trying to eradicate wolves

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...

China is mulling changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system

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....

Intercity commuters are a puzzle for Chinese officials

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...

China’s roll-out of covid-19 vaccines is slower than planned

IN ANY OTHER year, Mr Lai would have been among the millions who usually return to their ancestral homes for the spring festival, when families celebrate the lunar new year. But this year, to prevent outbreaks of covid-19, the government had urged citizens to stay put for the weeklong holiday, the last day of which was February 17th. So Mr Lai, a 40-year-old...

China’s campaign against film piracy is upsetting Hollywood fans

FOR A GENERATION of young Chinese, American television shows like “The Big Bang Theory”, “Breaking Bad” and “Sex and the City” were their first taste of life in the West. Growing up with limited English inside China’s “great firewall”, millions of them watched pirated versions online, with the help of subtitles produced by volunteers. Many of the translators...

China faces fateful choices, especially involving Taiwan

CHINA’S RISE involves some fateful decisions for President Xi Jinping, the country’s leader. None matters more than whether to attack Taiwan, to bring that democratic, pro-Western island of 24m people under Communist Party control. If, one day, an armoured Red Flag limousine carries Mr Xi as a conqueror through the streets of the island’s capital, Taipei,...

China and America talk of co-operating on climate. It will be hard

FOR THE first decades of global wrangling about climate change, China’s foot-dragging caused alarm. Its self-interested approach to climate action—once summarised by a Beijing-based diplomat as seeking “maximum credit for the minimum effort”—frustrated governments that were ready to enact costly measures. Worse, China’s blame-shifting ways gave cover...

As in Xinjiang, China is tightening its grip in Tibet

THE COMMUNIST Party chief of Tibet, Wu Yingjie, replied in January to a letter from a yak-herder living on the outskirts of the region’s capital, Lhasa. According to state media, the author, Sonam Tsering, had expressed gratitude to China’s leader, Xi Jinping, for his “happy life”, and to the party for providing care “as warm as the sun”. Mr Wu asked...

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