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Will we ever know how many people died of covid-19 in China?

China | Death and denialThe official data is not to be believed Feb 2nd 2023The wave of covid-19 that swept through China recently appears to have abated. Over 80% of the population has caught the virus in the last two months, says the government. The number of new cases is falling. China’s covid policies “can stand the test of history”, said Wang Wenbin,...

A geopolitical setback for China in the Pacific

China | Irreconcilable differencesFiji says Chinese police officers should go home Feb 2nd 2023China’s diplomatic advance in the Pacific seemed unstoppable for much of last year. In April 2022 it signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands that laid the ground for Chinese forces to operate there. Later in the spring China’s foreign minister, Wang...

Why Vladimir Putin is not a pariah in China

China | ChaguanOn the frozen China-Russia border, locals talk about the past and future Feb 2nd 2023For generations China’s people have been told that the outside world is—rather often—an unsafe and disappointing place. Communist Party ideologues teach that foreigners’ quarrels are best understood as contests of strength and self-interest. Relentlessly,...

A new challenge to relations between America and China

China | A representative problemAs Xi Jinping tries to ease tensions, a congressional committee risks exacerbating them Jan 29th 2023THERE HAS been a lull in the rancour between China and America in recent weeks. Fears of a war over Taiwan, though still widespread, have ebbed since Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met in Bali in November and agreed...

A new threat to relations between America and China

China | A representative problemAs Xi Jinping tries to ease tensions, a congressional committee risks exacerbating them Jan 29th 2023THERE HAS been a lull in the rancour between China and America in recent weeks. Fears of a war over Taiwan, though still widespread, have ebbed since Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met in Bali in November and agreed...

What a new drama series reveals about China

China | ChaguanThe propaganda machine creates a virtuous, village-born Communist Party chief Jan 26th 2023Propaganda often clarifies how leaders see themselves, and would like to be seen. Look closely, and it can also expose insecurities. In this new year China’s propaganda machine is working overtime to promote “County Party Committee Courtyard”, a...

Does China’s softer tone extend to Taiwan?

China | Tense as everThe mainland’s military movements suggest not Jan 26th 2023 | KAOHSIUNGThe howls of China’s “wolf warrior” diplomats seem less intense of late, allowing the tones of more measured officials to resonate. But the change in timbre of Chinese diplomacy does not extend to Taiwan, the self-governing island which America supports and China...

Chinese singles face the heat over the holiday

China | Itching to hitch ’emIt’s not just parents who want them to get married Jan 26th 2023In the weeks leading up to the lunar new year on January 22nd, millions of people in China travelled back to their home towns to celebrate the country’s biggest holiday. Some have not been home for two years, thanks to pandemic travel curbs. There have been joyful...

China is trying to win over Westerners and private firms

China | A cuddlier China?But Xi Jinping is unlikely to change Jan 25th 2023 | DAVOSLiu He is a grey-haired 71-year-old on the verge of retirement from China’s highest level of economic policymaking. He must have many regrets, not least the battering of his country’s economy by a now-abandoned struggle to crush covid-19, and by the disease’s recent rapid...

Riding the slow train in China

China | ChaguanTalking to migrant workers heading home for lunar new year Jan 19th 2023For officials in Xi Jinping’s China, making trains run on time is more than a figure of speech. As Mr Xi enters his second decade as supreme leader, his sternly paternalist version of Communist Party rule seeks to draw ever more legitimacy from the provision of customer-friendly...

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