Always on the Brink: Free and Open Source Software in China

Written by Matteo Tarantino. Free and Open Source Software 开放源码软件 (FOSS) is by now long past the stage of “novelty” in China. Yet its integration into the Chinese software industry is still problematic. FOSS stalwart operating system, Linux, has

China: (not) talking about a revolution

Written by Mark Beeson. Fifty years ago on May 16 the Cultural Revolution began. Don’t expect this event to be given much attention in China itself, though. The reality is that despite Mao Zedong’s continuing iconic status, his successors in China’s ruling elite don’t know quite how to deal with his legacy. It’s not hard …

Why China takes a softly-softly line on North Korea

Written by Astrid Nordin. In the run up to its first party congress since 1980, the North Korean government increased its drive to develop nuclear weapons, raising tensions in the region. This has alarmed and angered neighbouring countries, and particularly China, whose president Xi Jinping made clear at a recent conference that China will not tolerate …

Fertility Trends and Population Growth in China

Written by Baochang Gu. During the 1950s and 1960s, China’s total fertility rate (TFR) was at a level of around 5 to 6 children per woman[i]. As a response to the rapid population growth of close to 3 percent per annum, the Chinese government launched a nationwide family planning programme in the early 1970s. The …

The Death Penalty in China

Written by Hong Lu. As of 2015, approximately 70% of the countries around the globe (140 out of 198) had abolished the death penalty in law or in practice. According to Amnesty International, an average of over 3 countries per year have become abolitionists in law or in practice in the past decade. It is …

The Departed are not Gone: Death and Modern Daoism

Written by Stephen R. Bokenkamp. At 2:28 PM on May 12, 2008, a massive earthquake struck Sichuan Province. Over 70,000 people died, of whom as many as 10,000 may have been school-children. From 28 to 30 May, an international gathering of Daoist priests held a salvation ritual at Mount Cranecall, the birthplace of Daoism. Participating …

How the push to unite South-East Asia against Chinese expansionism could backfire

Written by Scott Edwards. After years of rising anxiety, China’s push for dominance in the South China Sea is still rattling nerves among its neighbours, and in the world beyond. Beijing’s territorial claims and its military assertiveness have inflamed tensions with Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, all of whom lay claim to territory on …

Tibetan Death Rituals

Written by Margaret Gouin. The Western understanding of Tibetan Buddhist death rituals is hampered by a popular perception that it consists of two elements only: reading the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead, and giving the body to vultures to be consumed. In fact, Tibetan Buddhist funeral rites include a rich variety of practices with …

China buys into corporate mergers, and proves better at it than the West

Written by Wilfred Dolfsma. Alongside China’s booming economy and the country’s appetite for steel, concrete, copper and other construction materials, the last decade has demonstrated that not only can China consume materials, but its corporations are also capable of gobbling up companies around the world. Like other large national and multinational firms worldwide, Chinese firms …

How and why China became Africa’s biggest aid donor

Written by Kafayat Amusa,  Nara Monkam and Nicola Viegi. The foreign aid arena in Africa has traditionally been dominated by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. However, over the past three decades non-traditional donors such as China, have emerged. The increasing importance of non-traditional donors has meant that the economic and political stronghold of …