Biganzi (笔杆子)

Models, Delegates, And The Latest Spin On PX

Jonathan Ansfield’s most recent Biganzi dispatch: So great is the Great Hall of the People that there’s always room for a sideshow, even when the national legislature is in session. Last Friday at 8:50 a.m., a pack of...

Two Letters That Plant Protests

Biganzi’s Jonathan Ansfield sends in his latest dispatch: Anti-PX marches on Dongshan Island two weeks ago were a country cousin to the urbane “strolls” last year in downtown Xiamen. The protest burst into a rumble, as...

PX Workers Protest, No One Notices (Updated)

The latest from Biganzi’s Jonathan Ansfield, reporting from Xiamen: Though the people’s coup over paraxylene (PX) in Xiamen is not official yet, echoes it are being heard in protests from Nanjing to Shanghai to...

It Don’t Look Like A Red Envelope – Jonathan Ansfield

The latest Biganzi post from Jonathan Ansfield: “There’s no denomination and no real issuer, but it’s money.” Vouchers from the supermarket chain Trust-Mart (•ΩÂèà§ö) have become a favored currency of petty corruption in Fujian, says a local entrepreneur who carries a stack on him. In the course of a recent interview about unrelated topics, by […]

Part Girl, Part Boy And Proud – Jonathan Ansfield

CDT’s Jonathan Ansfield wrote the following for his Biganzi column: Boyish Supergirl Li Yuchun made androgyny a sexy subject in China. Celeb social critics Li Yinhe and Yu Dan, plenty butch in their own right, helped to affirm the trend. Never mind that for women in Mao’s time, gender ambiguity was the rule. Today it’s […]

Just Your Average Day Of News Out Of Henan – Jonathan Ansfield

The following was written by CDT’s Jonathan Ansfield for his Biganzi column: Anyone who revels in shaming queue-jumpers in China might take this as a cautionary tale: According to a report in Zhengzhou’s Dahe Bao, a motorist waiting to gas up at a filling station died on Tuesday at the hands of a trucker who […]

True or False: A Photo Starts a National Debate

(The photo by Zhou Zhenglong) A photo taken by a local farmer recorded the vague image of Huanan Tiger/South China Tiger, which had supposedly been extinct for 42 years in mid-western China. The Shaanxi Provincial Forest Ministry held a press conference and granted 20,000 yuan to Zhou Zhenglong who took the picture. The people were […]


The latest incarnation of the one yuan bill, the fifth in P.R.C. history, went into circulation in 2004. The front of the note, like all others in the series, shows the face of Mao Zedong. The back depicts the fabled West Lake in Hangzhou, and normally it looks like so: [image: People’s Bank of China […]

Extra, Extra, Extra: Robb Report To China

Trends Media Group is China’s premier glossy magazine house, publishers of mainland versions of Cosmo, Esquire, and Men’s Health among other fancy titles. In August, Trends launched a coordinated marketing campaign to turn its readers on to “lifestyles of health and sustainability”, i.e. LOHAS, the latest consumer cult to enter China. “Look good, feel good, […]

About How Those “Stars Aligned”

China gazers oohed and ahhed last month when five major Communist Party papers ran Sunday editions with nearly identical front pages. Same layout, same photos, same headlines, same sub-headers, and same copy – though...

Pining For Huangfu Ping

In a long and intriguing essay in this past week’s Economic Observer (ÁªèʵéËßÇÂØüÊä•), former Party newspaper man Zhou Ruijin (Âë®ÁëûÈáë) reminisces about his role in reinvigorating Deng Xiaoping’s market reforms during the down years after June 4th. As deputy chief ed of the Liberation Daily (ËߣÊîæÊó•Êä•), Zhou was the author behind four breakthrough editorials that […]

Green GDP Praying For Hu’s Help

China’s Green GDP accounting team faces the risk of being disbanded in coming weeks unless seniors leaders step in to save their stalled experiment, a high-level source close to the State Environmental Protection Administration tells CDT. Team auditors hope to get word soon from heads of the State Council about their future. “But our only […]

More Than Revenge Of The Baozi? (Updated)

The SCMP (subscription only) and Danwei have revealed how Beijing propaganda-meisters are purging the city’s papers in reaction to Beijing Television’s cardboard-stuffed baozi story, which allegedly was cooked up. Editors in the capital have confirmed to CDT that the Beijing Daily Messenger(Âåó‰∫¨Â®±‰πê‰ø°Êä•), originally chartered as an entertainment tabloid, got orders this week to eliminate many […]

Zheng Xiaoyu’s Final Hours -Caijing

What to make of the execution this month of Chinese food and drug czar Zheng Xiaoyu (ÈÉëÁ≠±Ëê∏)? Debate has raged, and it could be years before the full ramifications, however significant, come clear. Cynics have read Zheng’s death as the exorcistic end of a show trial for the world’s consumers. Others chalk it up to […]

DJ After A Piece Of Hexun -Sources

Word around Beijing’s CBD is that The Wall Street Journal and its publisher Dow Jones are in talks with about a deal to take a ten to twenty percent stake in China’s best-reputed financial news and information portal. As of last week a deal did not appear far off, two sources with ties to […]

The Party Congress Peg

Since the bad old days, it’s been de rigueur for Communist Party mandarins to commission prominent newspaper editorials to plant — or crush – the seeds of major reform. To some extent it still is. But as the media has sprawled and opened up it’s become easier for editors and academics to shoulder in on […]

License To Edit

It’s becoming a rite of spring. Around 120 bosses of Beijing-based magazines withdrew to the hillside resort of Hongluo Temple last week, for five days of rest, relaxation, and, when they paid attention, re-indoctrination. All week, Marxist theoreticians and media ideologues lectured them on their editorial duty to the Communist Party. On Friday, they were […]



Subscribe to CDT


Browsers Unbounded by Lantern

Now, you can combat internet censorship in a new way: by toggling the switch below while browsing China Digital Times, you can provide a secure "bridge" for people who want to freely access information. This open-source project is powered by Lantern, know more about this project.

Google Ads 1

Giving Assistant

Google Ads 2

Anti-censorship Tools

Life Without Walls

Click on the image to download Firefly for circumvention

Open popup

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.