Tea Leaf Nation

About Tea Leaf Nation

Tea Leaf Nation decodes Chinese media, analyzes social trends, and features Chinese voices, all to illuminate the country from within.

David Wertime | @dwertime

Pro-democracy lawmakers attend a rally in front of Civic Square in support of Nathan Law, Leung Kwok-hung, also known as 'long hair', Lau Siu-lai and Edward Yiu Chung-yim (not pictured) in Hong Kong on July 14, 2017, after a verdict was handed down invalidating their oaths, taken on October 12 last year. 
Four pro-democracy lawmakers were disqualified from Hong Kong's parliament on July 14 in a move that will worsen growing fears the city's freedoms are under serious threat from Beijing. / AFP PHOTO / ISAAC LAWRENCE        (Photo credit should read ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/Getty Images)

Beijing Deals Another Blow to Hong Kong’s Autonomy

An oppressive ruling by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee — aided by a compliant Hong Kong judge — has silenced champions of democracy.

A general view shows the skyline of a central business district in Beijing on November 27, 2013. Foreign investment into China rose 5.77 percent on year in the first 10 months of 2013, the government said on November 19.     AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO        (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s New Megacity: The Anti-Beijing

The government will build another metropolis from scratch. But it's not planning on following the old playbook.

JINING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 28:  (CHINA OUT) People wearing raincoats participate in 2014 Confucius Memorial Ceremony on September 28, 2014 in Jining, Shangdong province of China. Memorial ceremony to mark the 2,565th birthday anniversary of Confucius was held in Jining on Sunday.  (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

Is Beijing Getting Scared of Homeschooled Confucian Activists?

The Communist Party's enthusiasm for private Confucian schools is cooling. It could be fearful of a moral system outside its control.

Nicole Kushner Meyer (3L), the sister of US White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, poses at a promotional event in Shanghai on May 7, 2017. 
The sister of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner urged wealthy Chinese on May 7 to buy stakes in real estate through a controversial programme that offers US residency in exchange for investment. Nicole Kushner Meyer was in Beijing Saturday and in Shanghai Sunday, seeking more than $150 million in investment in a luxury apartment complex project in New Jersey. / AFP PHOTO / ALBEE ZHANG        (Photo credit should read ALBEE ZHANG/AFP/Getty Images)

America’s Green Card-for-Cash Program Is Making a Mess in China

Shady deals. Befuddled investors. SEC investigations. Change can't come fast enough to the EB-5 visa.

BEIJING - JULY 6:  A young Chinese internet addict receives an electroencephalogram check at the Beijing Military Region Central Hospital July 6, 2005 in Beijing, China. The clinic, the country's first government-approved facility geared toward curing Internet addicts, has treated more than 300 addicts since opening last October. A dozen nurses and 11 doctors care for the patients, mostly youths aged 14 to 24 who have lost sleep, weight and friends after countless hours in front of the computer, often playing video games with others online. Doctors use a combination of therapy sessions, medication, acupuncture and sports like swimming and basketball to ease patients back into normal lives. The patients usually stay 10 to 15 days, at $48 a day - a high price in China, where the average city dweller's weekly income is just $20. According to government figures, China has the world's second-largest online population - 94 million - after the United States.  (Photo by Cancan Chu/Getty Images)

A New ‘Cure’ for China’s Millions of Web Addicts: Hack Their Computer

Some parents prefer the invasive measure to lightly regulated, frequently brutal bootcamps.

In this picture taken on October 11, 2016 a mother is using a leash to keep her child nearby at a beach at the Club Med resort in Sanya. 
Almost two years after being bought out by Chinese investment fund Fosun, the holiday resort French group Club Med tries to import its recipes on a promising Chinese market, where a growing upper middle-class now discovers the concept - still very new in Chinese society - of holiday resorts. / AFP / NICOLAS ASFOURI / TO GO WITH AFP STORY: "CHINA-FRANCE-TOURISM-INVESTMENTS-SOCIETY" Focus by Julien GIRAULT        (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s Not Communism Holding China’s Youth Back. It’s Their Parents.

Pressure to save, marry, and work leaves no room for democratic aspirations.

BEIJING, CHINA - JULY 06: Chinese Hui Muslim men pray during Eid al-Fitr prayers marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at the historic Niujie Mosque on July 6, 2016 in Beijing, China. Islam in China dates back to the 10th century as the legacy of Arab traders who ventured from the Middle East along the ancient Silk Road.  Of an estimated 23 million Muslims in China, roughly half are Hui, who are ethnically Chinese and speak Mandarin.  China's constitution provides for Islam as one of five 'approved' religions in the officially atheist country though the government enforces severe limits.  Worship is permitted only at state-sanctioned mosques and proselytizing in public is illegal.  The Hui, one of 55 ethnic minorities in China (along with the Han majority), have long nurtured a coexistence with the Communist Party and is among the minority groups with political representation at various levels of government. The Hui Muslim population fast from dawn until dusk during Ramadan and it is believed there are more than 20 million members of the community in the country. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

When Marx Meets Islam

A Chinese regulation would prohibit online insults based on religion. Some decry it as antithetical to Communist values.

The Latest

This week on Rational Security, the panel discusses Trump, Iran, and Russian trolls.

Rational Security on The E.R.: The “Decertified” Edition

Trump deems Iran in violation of the “worst deal ever.”

Afghan army trainees inside a helicopter simulator at a military base in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Oct. 21, 2009. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

‘Ghost Soldiers’: Too Many U.S.-Trained Afghans Are Going AWOL

Some 13 percent of Afghan military personnel training in the United States last year went AWOL.

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces stand guard next to a bridge in Manbij, northern Syria, on June 23, 2016. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian Reconstruction Spells Juicy Contracts for Russian, Iranian Firms

Bombed-out cities meant death and destruction. Now they promise billions of dollars — for new construction.

Chongqing Communist Party Secretary Chen Miner attends the 19th Party Congress in Beijing on Oct. 19. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Xi Jinping Has Quietly Chosen His Own Successor

Meet Chen Miner, the man who has been getting groomed to run China — without anyone in the West seeming to notice.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

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This Land Is Their Land

Immigration is inevitable. When will the West learn that it promises salvation — not destruction?

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Rescuing Migrants From a Couch in Galicia

How a school administrator in Spain is helping save refugees with little more than fervor and a phone.

On the Edge of Afghanistan

A decimated economy, a resurgent Taliban, and growing tensions with Iran are driving disenchanted Afghans to seek opportunities abroad. And for many it’s their only option.

Highway Through Hell

The human-smuggling route across the Sahara may have been the deadliest on Earth. Then the EU paid Niger’s army to shut it down — and made it even more treacherous.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover