Women are among the most active in the workforce, but political participation is lagging like nowhere else in the world. Social commentator Zhang Lijiia dives into the patriarchal culture of China  and how political participation in government can be improved, for the South China Morning Post.Read More →

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.”Read More →

Overwork in China – called the 996 culture – is rampant, especially in the IT industry. The recent death of a Pinduoduo employee also shocked social commentator Zhang Lijia. For her, this cannot be solved by the industry or employees, but the government should step in, she writes in the South China Morning Post.Read More →

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.Read More →

A hidden problem in China are the 70 million children in the countryside, left behind by their migrant parents who left to work elsewhere in de big cities, says author Zhang Lijia in an interview with the Borgen Project. Many drop out of school and those who remain face dropping quality of their education. Zhang Lijia is currently working on a book on left-behind children (LBC’s).Read More →

As the Black Lives Matter movement took over some of the headlines, China typically dismissed racism as a Western problem. Author Zhang Lijia begs to differ, in The Wire. “The Chinese government claims to have “zero tolerance” for racism, but there have been no reports that anyone has been punishedRead More →

It took China’s courts 27 years to acknowledge Zhang Yuhuan had been in jail innocent, and the reversal of the verdicts shocked the legal community. China’s courts have the largest conviction rate in the world, says author Zhang Lijia, but that is because of forced convictions. When Zhang Yuhuan case shows one thing, it is that structural reform of China’s court system is still needed, she argues at the South China Morning Post.Read More →

A Hunan reality TV show Sisters who make waves triggers off a heated debate in China on whether the TV show adds to the feminist debate or not. Author Zhang Lijia collects the arguments pro and con, and in the end concluded that the commercial show is making quite some feminist waves, she writes in the South China Morning Post.Read More →

Nationalistic sentiments at the recent National People’s Congress (NPC) triggered off proposals to abolish English translations on all government-related events in China. London-based author Zhang Lijia explains why that is the wrong move, and why learning English is still important, also for Chinese, at the South China Morning Post.Read More →

At the China Speakers Bureau, we keep a close eye on event organizers and how they prepare for the coming year, in the post-coronavirus period. We see two broad movements: definitely, a part of the gatherings is turning to virtual events, like for example the Felixstowe Book Festival.

More troublesome is the black swan scenario taken this week by Stage Entertainment, organizers in Europe of larger musicals like Tina, Anastasia, and Lazarus to delay their productions till March 2021. For most annual events, like the Olympic Games, a one-year delay might sound obvious, but stalling ongoing shows and events sounds more troublesome.Read More →

China was in chaos when the coronavirus emerged in public at the beginning of 2020, but instead of a drama, president Xi Jinping was able to turn the events into a global win for the country, says London-based journalist Zhang Lijia, author of Lotus, a novel on prostitution in China, to Barbara Demick of the New York Review of Books.Read More →