China

Parallels
11:29 am
Mon September 15, 2014

No Gas Guzzlers Here; Beijing Hosts First All-Electric Car Race

German driver Nick Heidfeld of Venturi Formula E Team. The all-electric cars can go from zero to 60 in under 3 seconds, and reach top speeds of over 150 mph.
How Hwee Young EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:32 pm

Some of the world's top race-car drivers put the pedal to the metal in Formula E this weekend, the first-ever all-electric automobile race. It was held in the Chinese capital, the first of 10 cities that will host the races between now and next June.

The championship is aimed to generate interest in — and boost sales of — electric cars.

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Food
2:18 am
Fri January 31, 2014

For A Twist On The Lunar New Year Dumpling, Add Green Tea

Ying Compestine's green tea-steamed shrimp dumplings.
Lucy Schaeffer Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 1:32 pm

Friday is New Year's for the millions of people around the world who celebrate the Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Horse.

On Morning Edition, Ying Compestine, a cookbook and children's book author, talks about her favorite dish for the holiday: steamed dumplings infused with green tea. They appear in her most recent book, Cooking with an Asian Accent.

The New Year holidays of Compestine's youth were very austere. She came to the U.S. as a grad student in the 1980s, but she grew up in Maoist China.

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Parallels
9:03 am
Mon January 6, 2014

In Fast-Changing China, Reality Can Overtake Fiction

Qiu Xiaolong in his ancestral house during a visit from his home in St. Louis.
Frank Langfitt/NPR

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 8:03 pm

One of the challenges of writing about China is the country moves fast — sometimes faster than the publishing business. Take Enigma of China, the latest detective novel by Chinese-American author Qiu Xiaolong.

In one scene, Qiu's main character, Inspector Chen, sits in a Shanghai restaurant scanning a hotel where government agents are holding a corrupt official in secret detention.

Recently, Qiu took me on a tour of the book's real-life settings, including the site of that eatery.

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Science
4:04 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another

In Jiaonan county, the Qi wall incorporates outcrops of bedrock.
Linda Nicholas The Field Museum

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 10:12 am

The Great Wall of China, built more than 2,000 years ago, stands as one of the monumental feats of ancient engineering. Stretching thousands of miles, it protected the newly unified country from foreign invaders.

But before the Great Wall, warring Chinese dynasties built many other walls for protection. An American archaeologist recently began surveying one of the biggest.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Something Cool: Photos Of Huge Snow Sculptures In China

People pose beside a large snow sculpture at the 26th Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Sun Island Park on Sunday in Harbin, China.
Hong Wu Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 4:38 pm

The 26th Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo is in full swing in China. Known as the largest festival of its kind the world, it's always pretty spectacular.

We thought we'd round up some pictures to give you a sense of the wonder:

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
2:55 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Blanket Of Smog In Chinese City Renews Coal Debate

The cloud of smog that smothered Harbin, China, as seen from space. (NOAA)

Cool winds are bringing relief to nearly 10 million residents of the northern Chinese city of Harbin, where thick smog caused schools, airports and businesses to shutter their doors earlier this week. Residents were ordered to remain indoors. At the pollution’s worst, visibility was only 65 feet.

The smog coincided with the first day residents fired up their heating systems in a city known for its cold temperatures and ice festivals.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Botched Restoration Of Temple Frescoes Sparks Outrage In China

This picture taken on Oct. 14 shows the current fresco in Yunjie temple in Chaoyang, northeast China's Liaoning province.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 1:30 pm

One official was fired and another reprimanded in China for allowing an unauthorized "restoration" of Qing Dynasty frescoes in a Buddhist temple that produced results described as "cartoons."

The botched restoration in the 270-year-old Yunjie temple in Chaoyang, northeast of Beijing, was exposed by a Chinese blogger, who complained that the "last trace of history" had been "erased."

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Parallels
2:24 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Visit Paris And Venice In The Same Afternoon (In China)

Sky City, a replica of Paris, is a 40-minute drive from Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang province. The rich people that developers hoped would move here never materialized.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:54 pm

Want to visit Paris and Venice in the same afternoon?

You can, if you're in China.

Chinese developers have for years built residential communities that mimic famous European cities and towns. They are the subject of a new book, Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China.

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World Festivals
8:51 am
Mon August 19, 2013

World Celebrations: Hungry Ghost Festival

Offerings for the Hungry Ghost Festival.
Mezanurrahman Wikimedia Commons

Worshipping the Ancestors is common around the world, but what about when they come seeking you? That’s the scenario at The Hungry Ghost Festival in China.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:04 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Madame Mao's Hollywood Fantasies

A Chinese and a North Korean embrace in a pledge of everlasting (political) love. From Raid on the White Tiger Regiment, 1971.
Zhang Yaxin Courtesy of the see+ Gallery, Beijing, and the Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto.

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 3:56 pm

During the chaos and oppression of China's Cultural Revolution, one curious new theatrical genre was born — and it was the child of the Communist Party. Jiang Qing (a.ka. Madame Mao), a former stage and screen actress and the notorious wife of Mao Zedong, led the creation of yang ban xi: "model works" that were meant, in words attributed to Chairman Mao, to "serve the interests of the workers, peasants, and soldiers and [conforming] to proletarian ideology."

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