Society

Tang Jinglin, his wife, and his daughter, now city-dwellers. (Photo: Tang Jinglin)

Ordinary people, extraordinary life (Part I): Tang Jinglin

(Video and text) The story of a teacher farmer who worked hard his whole life to finally live in the city. Yet, a part of him will always remain with the fields. “A farmer can never be separated from his land at any time. Peace of mind comes only with land ownership,” he says. 
In 1974, Qiu Yaotian (second from left) was given a recommendation to study Chinese at the Shuangyashan Normal School, the most important turning point in his life. (Photo: Qiu Yaotian)

Ordinary people, extraordinary life (Part II): Qiu Yaotian

(Video and text) At 20, Qiu Yaotian became a zhiqing and was part of the border support exodus. He endured harsh living conditions, his university dream was shattered. Yet, he pulled through and is enjoying his twilight years, busy with things he had no chance to do in his younger days. What then, is his last concern?
Hu Sen wanted to study and be a researcher or university professor, and had no intention of starting a business. In the end, he left Yale and became an entrepreneur. (Photo: Lim Zhan Ting)

Ordinary people, extraordinary life (Part IV): Hu Sen

(Video and text) With the advent of the Internet age, new opportunities opened up in the tech field for those daring enough to seize them. This is the story of one who made that decision.
Zhang Yuting, aged 9, with her mother.

Ordinary people, extraordinary life (Part V): Zhang Yuting

(Video and text) As China moves forward, some young people want a simple life close to nature, even as they are plugged into the world of online clicks and likes.
Huang Juan (third from the right) in a group photo with her colleagues from the China Construction Bank. (Photo: Huang Juan)

Ordinary people, extraordinary life (Part III): Huang Juan

(Video and text) This is the story of a woman's leap of faith in leaving 24 years of civil service behind to follow her heart.
China's Post-90s are caught in a whirlpool of uncertainties and are dissatisfied with their lives. (iStock)

China’s future through the lens of the Post-90s

All eyes are on China’s youths born in the affluent 1990s, are they satisfied with their lives? Are they confident in their country?
Middle-class wannabes in the same boat: it may look like a luxurious yacht to outsiders, but it’s hardly stable. Financial instability threatens to rock the boat and those in it are using it as a guise to hide their insecurities. (Graphic: Jace Yip)

The emergence of the Chinese “middle-class wannabes” and their race towards a higher social status

China’s “middle-class wannabes” live on the margins of a lower-middle class income, leading seemingly glamorous lives, but what goes on behind the scenes is a life laden with tough challenges and insecurities.
Yangmeizhu Xiejie has been preserved amid major urban redevelopment. Over half of the 1,100 residents have chosen to stay on.

Preserving the hutong: "What’s in it for us?"

Heritage conservation sounds ideal, but not every resident of Beijing’s heritage streets wants their homes to stay.
Our ThinkChina writer So Cheer is no longer lost in translation in China.

Lost in translation - Trans-lost-ation!

Digital transformation expert Kwek So Cheer was confident in his grasp of the Chinese language - until his work brought him to China in 2012.