The Sydney Morning Herald tells the complicated story of peasant activist Yu Changwu, who became well-known to the international media after a manifesto demanding land rights signed in his name circulated online: Yu married a...
by Sophie Beach | Oct 4, 2009
On her blog, Xujun Eberlein responds to an article by Jaime Florcruz called “China 60 years on: From Mao to today,” in which he writes about the Cultural Revolution: “For ten years, China was condemned to...
by Jenny Leung | Oct 30, 2008
chinaSMACK has translated a discussion on a Tianya and KDS forums regarding Shanghainese’s xenophobic responses to “wai di ren” (外地人:to refer to migrants from within China), as opposed to “wai guo...
by Xiao Qiang | Jan 13, 2008
From New York Times: When she gets sick, Li Enlan, 78, picks herbs from the woods that grow nearby instead of buying modern medicines. That is not a result of some philosophical choice, though. She has never seen a doctor and, like many residents of this area, lives in a meager barter economy, seldom coming […]
by Paulina Hartono | Dec 28, 2007
From The Sydney Morning Herald: The road to China’s suburban dream is potted with the usual grievances. The bus to town is too crowded, the toll road too expensive, developers too dishonest. But the young families who were driven by Beijing’s sizzling property prices to buy at Grand Jade Garden, on the city’s eastern fringe […]
by Wu Nan | Nov 19, 2007
Sina blog posted a performance by a farmer from Jijitan village in the northwest of China, who invented his own hip hop. He said he does not know what hip hop really is. His performance here is a result of his love for folk...
by Wu Nan | Oct 23, 2007
“If they force us out of our homes, we’ll beat them up. Like peasant rebels in history, there’s nothing else we can do. With sticks and bars, we’ll lock them in the house and beat them to death. Then...
by Sophie Beach | Oct 11, 2007
The Economist marks the upcoming 17th Party Congress by focusing on problems faced by China’s rural underclass and workers: BASKING in its 2008 Olympic glow, no longer shy at counting itself among the world’s greats and blessed with a still booming economy, China looks the coming power. And so it is, up to a point. […]
by Wu Nan | Mar 12, 2007
From China Daily: “Peasant, the hardworking and simple, should not be considered a derogative word,” said Yuan Chunqing, Governor of Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, on a nationally televised talk show. The noun “peasant” has been using as adjective as part of a posh Chinese vocabulary for many, describing those who are unstylish and ill-informed… Yuan, […]
by Mo Ming | Mar 8, 2007
From Financial Times: For the farmers of Guanyun country, in Jiangsu province north of Shanghai, the pioneering property law that began its passage through China’s top lawmaking body this week holds little promise of salvation. Lu Zenghua, one of the farmers who claims his land was appropriated with no proper approval and little compensation for […]
by Mo Ming | Jan 28, 2007
From Laowiseass Blog: “You come here when you want the truth. You won’t get it from them,” a farmer in Hebei province once told me during a news interview to learn what China’s estimated 800 million people with rural residence permits thought of some recent government action. The farmer — a loose term that covers […]
by Michael Zhao | Jan 24, 2007
Wall Street Journal’s page one story on liushou ertong (ÁïôÂÆàÂÑøÁ´•) (photo: left-behind children via BBC News): In a sparsely furnished farmhouse, about a half mile from a main road in the poor, rural province of Anhui, 16-year-old Zhao Yan has lived on her own for more than two years. She goes to school, tends to […]
by Sophia Cao | Dec 2, 2006
From Tianya.cn: [Click to see the original pictures]
by Wu Nan | Nov 17, 2006
From Washington Post: There were two Chinas on display at the Beijing Folk Culture PlazaÔºàÂåó‰∫¨ÂÜú‰∏öÂ±ïËßàÈ¶ÜÔºâ on Friday, as an exhibition on human rights began a 10-day run. The exhibit, the first of its kind in China, extolled the virtues of China’s constitution and “grass-roots democracy.” (ËçâÊ†πÊ∞ë‰∏ªÔºâIt featured color propaganda photos, heavy-handed security and a nervous […]
by Wu Nan | Oct 1, 2006
From China Daily: China has established a new system to keep track of land use in a bid to curb runaway investment and protect the interests of farmers. The State Council, China’s cabinet, has authorized the Ministry of Land and Resources /ÂõΩÂúüËµÑÊ∫êÈÉ®(MLR) to supervise and overhaul land use and management by local governments, Vice-Premier Zeng […]
by Sophie Beach | Aug 29, 2006
From Financial Times: China’s national audit office announced a new code of conduct after a macabre incident last week, when one of its auditors died of “excessive drinking and eating” at banquets hosted by the local electricity bureau whose books he was screening. His fellow auditors did not rush home in grief after their colleague’s […]
by Michael Zhao | Aug 7, 2006
From the New York Times: Like many Chinese intellectuals during the recent economic boom, Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao, a husband-and-wife team of writers, mostly ignored their ancestral homes in the countryside. No one, they described themselves as thinking, wants to read about peasants in the era of skyscrapers and designer bags. Happily for themselves […]