A chronicle of China in 2012 by Offbeat China

Alia | December 31st, 2012 - 7:09 pm

2012 is a dream year for anyone who covers China news – the predictable, the unthinkable, the fun, the sad, the heart warning and the heart breaking, China gives it all. Offbeat China, after resuming publishing in February, also has a good year of stories that help both its authors and readers make a little bit better sense of China and its people.

The Xi Jinping that you don’t know

Alia | December 26th, 2012 - 5:10 pm

Xinhua News published a series of profile reports of the members of China’s new Politburo, including personal pictures of Xi Jinping with his family. The move is seen by many as another sign that Xi and China’s new leadership are serious about reform and changing the Party’s image.

Bijie Dumpster: “Humans and animals prohibited”

Alia | December 20th, 2012 - 7:24 am

About a month ago, 5 boy aged 9 to 13 were found dead after burning charcoal for warmth in a road-side dumpster in the city of Bijie, Guizhou province. One month later, dumpsters in Bijie once again attracted national attention. This time, not because of what’s found inside the dumpsters, but what’s on them.

Politics of dynasty: The one thing that China, North Korea, Japan and South Korean share in common

Alia | December 20th, 2012 - 4:25 am
Pin die, a competition of family background

Political dynasties aren’t new in the history of East Asia, but this is probably the first time in modern history when these four countries all follow father-son/daughter leadership at the same time. The Chinese netizens call it an era of Pin Die, a competition of family background.

In Chongqing gang-busting camp: Ten ways of torture

Alia | December 17th, 2012 - 5:16 am

An infographic introducing how prisoners have been tortured in Chongqing’s gang-busting camp Tie Shanping has been widely-circulated online since yesterday.

Heated discussion among Chinese netizens: Should China allow its people the right to carry guns?

Alia | December 15th, 2012 - 12:16 am

Two horrible attacks on school children at two elementary schools happened in both China and the US, one with no death, the other with 28 deaths. The only difference is the weapon held by the killer. The coincidence ignited heated discussions among Chinese netizens whether China should allow legal right to carry guns.

Will China’s raging war of online anti-corruption become another Culture Revolution?

Alia | December 12th, 2012 - 6:15 am

After the 18th National Party Congress, China saw a sudden surge in anti-corruption investigations, most of which were first exposed by netizens online. While many are cheering for the power of the Web, others call for caution, comparing online anti-corruption to the Culture Revolution.

A “nail grave” in the middle of a construction site in Taiyuan, Shangxi province

Alia | December 10th, 2012 - 4:34 am

If you think the “nail house” in the middle of a new highway in Zhejiang province (which has already been demolished earlier this month) was a bizarre enough scene, check out the “nail grave” from China’s northern city of Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province.

A netizen’s snap of Xi Jinping during his “southern tour” went viral on Weibo

Alia | December 9th, 2012 - 2:40 am

Chinee netizens were impressed by Xi’s charisma and saw new hope for China from a picture snapped by a netizen during Xi’s Deng-Xiaoping-style, traffic-control-free “southern trip” to Shenzhen

Left-behind American children in China

Alia | December 6th, 2012 - 6:16 am

Among China’s vast troops of left-behind children, an even more special segment is left-behind foreign children whose parents are oftentimes illegal immigrants who work low-paid jobs on foreign lands. This is a story on the lives of about 10,000 such left-behind American children in Fuzhou, Fujian province.