South Asia and Beyond

A Guide To Contemporary China

 A Guide To Contemporary China

Covid-19 Hits China’s Fashion Industry

In worrying signs for China’s fashion industry, the Shanghai Fashion Week 2022 has been postponed amid the new coronavirus outbreak in the city and other parts of China. A poster announcing the cancellation ended with these lines, “The winter will eventually go away. Let’s wait for the flowers to come,” This is the second year in a row that the prestigious fashion event has been postponed due to Covid-19. It was originally scheduled to be held from March 25 to April 1, and new dates have not yet been announced.

Female Graduates Attack Proposal Encouraging Them To Have Children

China’s government is desperate for its citizens to have more children and this had led to some startling measures. Zhou Yanfang, a delegate of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, has suggested that pregnant graduate-level female students should be allowed to take maternity leave, and PhD students should continue to receive their subsidies in case of pregnancy. She suggested that universities should also set up daycare and maternal counseling centres for on-campus mothers. However, such a proposal has received backlash from students online and offline, who say that it will enforce gender stereotypes about women needing to start families even before they can start careers. Some also believe that doing so would cause them to spend cash that they don’t have.

Source: Sixth Tone

Upcoming Film Focuses On Xinjiang’s Patriotic Heroes

China continues to promote positive stories about Xinjiang to the world, but it is also looking to make locals there feel as if they are part of China. The latest endeavour is through film. The movie, Why Are the Flowers So Red, based on a true story about guarding the border and protecting the country, will be released on March 18. It tells the story of three generations of a family living in Xinjiang (from grandfather to grandson) who voluntarily take up the job of guarding the Pamir Plateau. This isn’t the first time Xinjiang has been showcased on the silver screen. The director of the film, Abdukerim Abliz, also produced the musical The Wings of Songs, released in March last year focusing on local ethnic culture in Xinjiang.

Source: Global Times

Theatre Productions Rise To Pre-Pandemic Levels

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China’s theatre goers have a lot to be pleased about. Thanks to new productions and theatre spaces, the Shanghai Grand Theatre, which kicked off its 2022 spring and summer season on Feb 24, will see an increased number of productions. The new season consists of more than 200 performances of 60 productions. The number of shows and box-office income had dropped considerably in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but last year saw figures rising back to what they were in 2019.

Source: China Daily

Encouraging Women Trailblazers In Science

China is now looking to actively encourage more women to take up science by showcasing success stories. This has been a personal endeavour for President Xi Jinping who, back in 2010, hailed women in science worldwide as “an important part of the great force driving the progress of human civilization.” Today, the promotional effort is continuing with success stories. In 2020, Chen Wei, a leading military medical scientist, was awarded the national honorary title – “The People’s Hero” – for her outstanding contributions to the country’s fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. Chen isn’t alone. President Xi has also made mention of the efforts of Chinese astronaut Wang Yaping. Statistics from the China Association for Science and Technology show that around 40 percent of China’s scientific and technological personnel are women. Meanwhile, female researchers and engineers account for more than half in the internet and biomedical fields.

Source: People’s Daily

Mountain Village Attracts Foreigners By Showcasing Chinese Heritage

Zhuquan Village in east China’s Shandong Province is undergoing a transformation. Once it was almost impossible to see foreigner in the village but today that’s changed. Zhuquan, which literally means “bamboos and streams” in Chinese, boasts a heritage of 400 years with traditional cultural experiences that have attracted tourists from home and abroad. It receives around 1.5 million visitors each year, while 80 percent of local households’ incomes rely on tourism.

Source: Xinhua