China Watching

2019-11-05 Cecilia Attanasio Ghezzi

If Beijing Goes to War (against Pollution)

The smog of large Chinese cities no longer makes the front pages of the newspapers. And this time it's not due to censure. According to a recent report from the UN, emissions in China have fallen by 70 percent since 2013, and atmospheric pollution by 36 percent (1). How did this happen? The political will was enormous, and goes under the slogan of "Environmental Civilization" launched by the Communist Party of China in 2007 and revived by Xi Jinping as a war against pollution. Coal-fired heating has been prohibited, factories have been moved outside of cities, and the most heavily polluting companies ...

2019-09-25 Cecilia Attanasio Ghezzi

China: A 70-year-long March

A military parade will mark the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. On October 1, in Tiananmen Square, the communist leadership will delight in showing the world the progress made since Mao Zedong declared the birth of the New China: from a poor agricultural society to a global economic power in less than a century. Those who were around when the People's Republic was founded cannot fail to remember the food-rationing cards, the hunger, and the crude political purges that reached their apex during the decade of the Cultural Revolution. And then the 1980s, when the economic reforms ...

Hong Kong
2019-07-17 Cecilia Attanasio Ghezzi

Messages from Hong Kong

It has been called the last battle of Hong Kong. Two million demonstrators out of a total of seven million inhabitants, practically one out of three, took to the streets to oppose the approval of a law that would permit extradition to China for crimes punished with a minimum of seven years in prison. They won: the discussion in the legislature was postponed to some future date. But the war to maintain “HongKongitude” didn’t just start, and won’t end anytime soon. In reality, the last word is scheduled for 2047, when the former British colony will definitively lose all of the autonomy it ...

Cina e Italia
2019-06-11 Cecilia Attanasio Ghezzi

What’s in the New Silk Road

Italy was the first G7 country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with China. The framework is that of the so-called New Silk Road, the colossal investment plan launched in 2013 by the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, with the idea of exploiting the trade routes of antiquity to move goods from one side of the Eurasian continent to the other, by sea and by land. In essence, the goal is to cultivate and strengthen the economic links between China and the participating nations through a new network of infrastructure that will potentially favor the creation of an important ...