Features | Civil Society | Governance and Social Policy | Subscription-only Content
Shanghai’s municipal and district governments, busy creating whole new urban districts, are also experimenting in social service delivery, in some cases contracting service provider NGOs. But, Chang Tianle (常天乐) reports, development of the sector remains piecemeal, still largely dependent on individual relationships and agreements.
Features | Civil Society | Law and Rights | Subscription-only Content
Driven barking mad by information requests from foreign correspondents and researchers keen to investigate environmental or labour rights activism as a manifestation of China’s civil society, China Development Brief thought there must be a better litmus of state-society relations, grounded in the hopes and deeds of ordinary people. Like, say, dog owners. Chang Tianle (常天乐) sniffs out the story.
Features | Civil Society | Environment | Ethnic Minorities | Subscription-only Content
Chang Tianle (常天乐) reports on the growing role that religious leaders in Tibetan areas are playing, both in delivering social services and in protecting their environmental heritage.
Features | China in the World | Governance and Social Policy | Subscription-only Content | Other
Bilateral donors are fast winding down their aid programmes in China, but the World Bank is hoping the government of China will be willing to pay for continued Bank assistance in social policy and development projects, according to the Bank’s Resident Representative in China, David Dollar. The Bank’s partnership with China, he told Nick Young, may now also extend to joint projects in Africa, given that China has shown how globalisation can work for the poor.
Features | Education | Subscription-only Content
Although universal access to primary schooling is, according to the government, now close to being “basically achieved,” the future fate of China’s education system is by no means certain. Reflecting here on the present and future challenges are three education experts, Wang Xiaohui (王晓辉) , Hu Wenbin (胡文斌) and Gerard Postiglione (See end of article for contributor bios.)
Features | Ethnic Minorities | Gender | Subscription-only Content
For centuries the Yi people of Liangshan (凉山) in southern Sichuan observed strict marriage codes that prohibit inter-ethnic wedlock. Now, although many of the benefits of development have passed by this mountainous region, which remains home to 2 million Yi, the prospect of larger dowries from Han suitors is triggering an outflow of Yi women to other provinces. Matt Perrement reports from Liangshan on a form of migration that appears to fall somewhere between aranged marriage and, as some locals bluntly call it, trafficking (拐卖).
Features | Ethnic Minorities | Labour and Migration | Livelihoods | Subscription-only Content
Growing degradation of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau grasslands is threatening the traditional lifestyle of Tibetan pastoralists, who are thought to make up around half of China’s total ethnic Tibetan population of 5.5 million people, spread across the Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and parts of Gansu, Yunnan and Sichuan. Some have spontaneously migrated far from their native places in search of better pasture. Others are now being relocated by the government to new, permanent settlements where, as Matt Perrement reports from Qinghai, they face an uncertain future.
Features | Gender | Health | Subscription-only Content
Twenty five years of strict birth control have, according to the government of China, prevented 300 million new births. Yet the state offers family planning services only to married couples, neglecting a large population of sexually active but in the main ill-informed young people, among whom sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies appear to be rising fast. Tina Qian visited the booming cities of Qingdao and Nanjing, to see how Marie Stopes International is attempting to fill this service gap while also working with Jiangsu provincial authorities to improve service delivery within the state system.
Features | Ethnic Minorities | Labour and Migration | Subscription-only Content
An estimated 150 million people have now migrated from China’s villages in search of work. During the recent Spring Festival holiday, Matt Perrement met some of the least succesful, back home in the mountains of eastern Guizhou.
Household incomes in Shiqing village (石青村), an ethnic Miao community in the east of Guizhou Province, average just CNY 800 (USD 100) per year. “Some earn as little as 300 yuan,” according to village leader, Yang Linan (杨利南): just USD 10 cents per day for an entire family. “But things are better now in the reform era,” he adds.
Features | China in the World | Civil Society | Subscription-only Content
Demand for international volunteer ‘gap-year’ placements has triggered the growth of an industry worth an annual GBP 800 million to the UK economy alone (according to the gapyear.com website), and volunteer numbers in China have risen sharply. But many of the newcomers are young, relatively unskilled, and stay for only short periods. Here, Matt Perrement surveys the state and likely future of the international volunteer market in China, and possible links to domestic volunteer programmes.
Seven years have elapsed since China Development Brief last reported on international volunteer agencies in China. In 1999, a dozen respected international organisations ran established volunteer programmes on the mainland. The oldest of these, Princeton in Asia, dates back to 1898, while the most recent arrival, the US-China Friendship Volunteer Progam (part of the US Peace Corps), had arrived in 1993. Together, these agencies fielded around 300 volunteers across the length and breadth of China, with the notable exception of Tibet.