Poverty

Migrant workers wait to be approached with offers for jobs. (Internet)

China's 'first generation of migrant workers' fail to achieve generational leap

As China's migrant workers get older, it can get harder for them to find jobs, especially for those aged 50 and above. Add to that the challenges of physical limits, lack of education and general disadvantages in terms of salary and insurance, and the issue of elderly migrant workers becomes very stark.
Sun Weidong has lived in the US for over 30 years, but more than half of that time on the streets of New York. (Screen grab from video)

American dream shattered: Chinese drifter with doctoral degree stirs debate in China

Recent news reports featured a Chinese man who slept on the streets of New York, who turned out to be a doctoral degree holder educated in Fudan University and the US. The story of how he did not return to China after getting a scholarship and became a US citizen but ultimately ended up on the streets drew reactions from the Chinese, who questioned why China should take him back.
Office workers walk on a street during lunch hour in the Central district in Hong Kong, China, on 20 November 2023. (Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

Rise of youth suicides in HK: Academic and unemployment woes

Youth suicide rates are on the increase in Hong Kong, with stresses such as academic pressure and unemployment woes some of the key factors. While the issue is multifaceted, giving hope and promoting mental well-being is a project that everyone in society can work on together.
People walk past a screen showing a Chinese national flag at a shopping mall in Beijing, China, on 26 May 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

The utopian post-capitalist world we can create with AI

Today, China faces almost the same set of problems that the capitalist states are struggling with. In a post-capitalist world where an entire demographic degenerate into the “useless class”, capitalism will lose the market on which it depends. EAI senior research fellow Lance Gore imagines what this could mean for the Chinese Communist Party and other advocates of the socialist path.
Kill

[Comic] Against the blazing sun

People from northeastern China are like African Americans or Osakans. We have a history of wandering, irrational optimism and a sense of righteous clannishness. In our veins runs comic talent, along with being governed and discriminated against. Under all the snow and ice lie warm poems and folk songs, while the wild fires, steel and concrete encase a helpless rebelliousness. We understand everything, we know everything, but we choose to be kind. We are forced to leave our homes to seek a place that will accept us. We will say nothing. Our leather coats and dark glasses will never come off. We will tell you: "This is nothing to us." — Bai Yi, comic artist
This photo taken on 7 January 2023 shows a man guiding goats in a rural area in Tai'an, China's eastern Shandong province. (Noel Celis/AFP)

The complex economics behind gifting in rural China

A common practice in rural China is to give monetary gifts during important occasions, be it weddings or funerals. These gifts can drain a sizeable part of a person’s income, and deciding on the amount to give is an art in itself. Economics professor Zhang Rui tells us more about this longstanding tradition.
A woman takes a picture next a tree decorated with paper lanterns at the entrance of a park in Beijing, China, on 26 January 2023. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

What is China’s 'new era'? [Part 1]

EAI senior research fellow Lance Gore explains why the sudden reversal of globalisation, constant turbulence due to global developments and the fragmentation of international relations are some very real coordinates of China’s "new era". In response, apt and concrete policies along the socialism axis can be devised to meet the challenges.
"Doctors scour mountains and the sea to exterminate every single virus."

[Comic] Dystopia or 'a beautiful new world'?

Comic artist Bai Yi's artwork gives a glimpse into a dystopian world where individual lives are considered insignificant before the all-powerful and all-important state machine, and where herculean efforts are needed to uphold the dignity of human lives.
A still from the movie Return to Dust, with Wu Renlin (left) and Hai Qing in the lead roles. (Internet)

Can China's movies depict poverty and the ugliness of society?

The movie Return to Dust depicts the difficult circumstances of a rural couple in China. Despite the high ratings and box office takings, some detractors say that the film feeds Western stereotypes of rural Chinese. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at whether the movie panders to Western tastes, and whether it invalidates China’s efforts at poverty alleviation.