Weekly Digest – 1/11/15


There are a lot of great sites with eyes on China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the overseas Chinese diaspora.  Their passionate editors and contributors are knowledgable and have a great insight into what’s interesting, trending, and/or important.  We’d like to do posts that share their articles and add additional or related information, but we’re not always able to in a timely way.  So, to help you keep up with the Chinese buzz, we’re trying a new approach where we will post links to their articles on Facebook and Twitter as we learn about them.  If you’ve liked our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter, you might see the posts on the feeds.

However, since social media platforms use algorithms that limit how many people see any given post, it’s possible that some of the posts will not show up on your feeds.   To better the chances that you see these articles that caught our interest, you can click the Page Feed on your Facebook page to see what pages you’ve “liked” have posted.  Also, once a week, we’ll collect the articles shared on Facebook in a post — a digest of sorts — and share this digest post on Facebook and Twitter.   The digest will probably contain a mix of articles you haven’t seen and articles you have.

We hope you find the articles interesting and this new approach helpful!

Here is our inaugural digest post with articles from NPR, ChinaFile, Caixin, The New York Times, Tea Leaf Nation, Foreign Policy, and the Met Museum that we shared in the past week:

  • As the Chinese government’s urbanization plans move 250 million people into cities over the next dozen or so years and depletes rural areas of their population, economy, and cultural vitality, a “back-to-the-land” movement seeks to “revitalize villages and create a sustainable life for those still living in them”.   NPR’s Goats and Soda blog explores these efforts and introduces “Down the Countryside”, ChinaFile’s 12-minute documentary by filmmakers Sun Yunfan and Leah Thompson, that profiles Ou Ning, an artist turned activist, who with artist Zuo Jing established the Bishan Commune (碧山共同体 / 碧山共同体), an “experiment in rural reconstruction and living project” in Bishan village in Anhui Province that preserves and restores culture and heritage through arts.
  • Elsewhere in Anhui, thousands of students prepare for the gaokao at cram schools (补习班 / 補習班).  The New York Times takes a look at the Chinese test-prep industry.
  • Taking us back to the city, NPR’s Parallels blog tells of a conflict between Buddhists and fishermen in Shanghai that could either be seen as amusing or an example of social breakdown.
  • Tea Leaf Nation tells us about People’s Daily tells young adults that its better to rent than to own, spinning their discouragement at being unable to purchase property as “progressive” thinking.
  • There’s an underground journal that memorializes the people’s history of the People’s Republic.  “Remembrance’s articles and first-person accounts are helping to recover memories that the Communist Party would prefer remained lost….Remembrance is part of the rise of unofficial memory in China…”
  • China’s baby hatch programs, created to provide safe refuge for abandoned infants, are being overwhelmed by large numbers of babies they’ve received, many of whom have congenital defects that require special care.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Spring 2015 Costume Institute exhibition will be presented in conjunction with the museum’s China galleries.  Get a glimpse of “China: Through the Looking Glass” from this press preview.

Image: Andrew Shiue