Beijing

What to Read in Beijing: 10 Books to Keep you Inspired in the Middle Kingdom's Capital

What to Read in Beijing: 10 Books to Keep you Inspired in the Middle Kingdom's Capital

From the Cultural Revolution and Chinese millennials to the Kangxi Emperor and hutongs, this list of books to read on your trip through Beijing will keep you entertained, informed, and enlightened.

Beijing's Five Architectural Colors, and the Symbolism Behind Them

Beijing's Five Architectural Colors, and the Symbolism Behind Them

It sometimes seems like the dominant color in Beijing is “Socialist Taupe.” The streets. The bricks. The roads. Getting away from the gray and the beige is hard.

That wasn’t always the case. In imperial times, builders and architects relied on five colors to add life to their creations: red, yellow, blue, white, and (yes) gray

We’re a Long Way from 2008: A ChinaFile Conversation

We’re a Long Way from 2008: A ChinaFile Conversation

On August 8, 2008, China’s then Chairman Hu Jintao told a group of world leaders visiting Beijing to attend the Olympics that “the historic moment we have long awaited is arriving.” 10 years later, how do we evaluate China’s Olympic performance and legacy? 

The Politics of Protection: Beijing Makes UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Bids

The Politics of Protection: Beijing Makes UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Bids

Beijing authorities have made a bid for 15 landmarks in the Chinese capital to join the list of World Cultural Heritage sites by 2035, a move that’s not without controversy.

Karl Marx, Cai Yuanpei, and the Legacies of May Fourth

Karl Marx, Cai Yuanpei, and the Legacies of May Fourth

Marx may be getting most of the attention this year, but we should not forget the possible pasts represented by Cai Yuanpei, the intellectual omnivore, the university president unafraid of wild thinkers.

Beijing to Improve Over 900km of Bike Lanes, Expand Urban Rail

Beijing to Improve Over 900km of Bike Lanes, Expand Urban Rail

While some commuters will no doubt rejoice at the increased number of bike lanes and sidewalks, the true test of the municipal government's commitment to green transportation will come from whether restrictions on automobiles and other motorized vehicles using spaces set aside for cyclists and pedestrians are enforced. 

2017 Year in Review: Beijing's Changing Urban Landscape and a Few Predictions for the Coming Year

2017 Year in Review: Beijing's Changing Urban Landscape and a Few Predictions for the Coming Year

2017 was a year of change for Beijing, but then again what year since 1421 hasn’t been a year of change for the city?

Dangerous Benevolence

Dangerous Benevolence

The Beijing municipal government threatening organizations that assist displaced migrants is bad policy, but official ambivalence toward private charity dates back at least to the imperial era

Postcards From Dashilan: Retracing the Development of Beijing’s Former Commercial Hub

Postcards From Dashilan: Retracing the Development of Beijing’s Former Commercial Hub

Beijing has seen a lot of changes this year, but is this something new? Beijing has always been in a state of flux.

The Beijing Migrants Crackdown: A ChinaFile Conversation

The Beijing Migrants Crackdown: A ChinaFile Conversation

Since mid-November, police and security officials have evicted tens of thousands of migrants from their apartments, and pictures of the newly homeless from all across China sitting outside in the Beijing winter have spread widely on social media. Why did the city government take this step? And what does this mean for the rights of China’s so-called “low-end population”? 

How to Avoid Getting Evicted in the Latest Round of Housing Demolitions

How to Avoid Getting Evicted in the Latest Round of Housing Demolitions

The forced eviction of some of Beijing’s most vulnerable residents has sparked a backlash with even Chinese state media offering (albeit tepid) criticism of the city’s handling of this latest round of “urban renewal.”

But it’s not just Beijing’s poor and migrant communities which are being affected. Many international residents are feeling the pinch as well. 

A Tale of Two Tragedies

A Tale of Two Tragedies

A devastating fire which killed 18 migrant workers in Daxing and a child abuse scandal at a kindergarten in an upscale neighborhood expose the fault lines of economic class in China’s capital

Will Beijing Enforce the New Restrictions on Traffic and Parking in the Hutongs?

Will Beijing Enforce the New Restrictions on Traffic and Parking in the Hutongs?

After a year of steadily taking away all our nice things, the Municipal government has decided to throw us a bone.

Rants and Jottings: October in Beijing, Heaven and/or Hell, Where's the Sauce?

Rants and Jottings: October in Beijing, Heaven and/or Hell, Where's the Sauce?

 A few thoughts as summer crash lands into fall …

Urban Hiking: Celebrate National Day With Historical Rambles Through Beijing’s Concrete Jungle

Urban Hiking: Celebrate National Day With Historical Rambles Through Beijing’s Concrete Jungle

Beijing is not known for being especially pedestrian-friendly, but that doesn’t mean there is a shortage of historical strolls on which to stretch your legs and broaden your knowledge of our fair city.