Strategic analyst Victor Shih, author of Coalitions of the Weak, (2022), looks at China’s sudden exit from its contested zero-Covid policy. Was it because of the protests, was it planned before, and what does it mean for the country’s domestic policies and economics? A discussion at the New Yorker on how decisions at the top-level take place.
Former president Jiang Zemin was not only known for his relaxed way of dealing with foreign leaders, he is also fondly remembered by many of the Chinese who met him, recalls author and journalist Zhang Lijia at China File. “Now he is gone. Amid economic downturn and political repression, the Chinese public are remembering his positive side, his warmth and color, and his many talents, such as singing. Nostalgia, like old wine, tastes better as time goes by,” Zhang Lijia writes.
Marketing expert Ashley Dudarenok looks at the recent Autumn festival, China’s second-largest holiday. How did it develop and how does it affect tourism, eating, and drinking, from her digital vlog. 80 million people have been traveling domestically this year, she says, and comparable to America’s Thanksgiving festival.
China’s authorities first raised the number of allowed children from two to three per family, and might now even cancel all restrictions. Journalist Zhang Lijia, author of Lotus: A Novel(January 2017) on prostitution in China, looks at the troubled relationship between feminism and motherhood in her mother country, in an interview with the Italian publication Il Manifesto.
Outsiders often see China as a coherent country, with a similar culture, while they do not see the huge differences between different parts of the country, argues China expert Arnold Ma in his vlog. When you believe Western movies, you think China is only about fighting and kungfu, and fighting and kungfu, he says in a clip fighting myths about the country.
Rocker and political analyst Kaiser Kuo looks at how China – often wrongly – is perceived in the West in an interview with Australian broadcaster ABC. While the country has gone in less than a generation through a massive upgrade of its hardware, the software is often lagging behind, he says.
China’s government tries to raise the number of newborns to offset an aging population, but the latest demographics show Chinese do not follow that lead as the country’s birthrate is dropping. People choose to make a different choice, explains social commentator Zhang Lijia in the Guardian. “And society has become more tolerant.”
Panic struck some commentators in China when recent official figures showed the country counted 240 single households, the largest number for any country in the world. While China and the Chinese still might have to get used to this feature, those numbers are not surprising, says author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post.