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.

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.

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.

A pro-democracy protester holds up placards featuring (L) Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam and Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying during a rally in Hong Kong on December 11, 2016, against a crackdown on pro-democracy lawmakers and an electoral system skewed towards Beijing ahead of elections for a new city leader. 
 / AFP / Anthony WALLACE        (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Heads, Beijing Wins. Tails, Hong Kong Loses.

The 2017 race for Chief Executive was supposed to be a watershed exercise in democracy. Instead, it may be a coronation.

China's President Xi Jinping (L) meets US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 19, 2017.
Tillerson met Xi on March 19 just hours after a North Korean rocket engine test added new pressure on the big powers to address the threat from Pyongyang. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / THOMAS PETER        (Photo credit should read THOMAS PETER/AFP/Getty Images)

What Just Happened in Beijing?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson surprised many by parroting Chinese talking points, but it's unlikely to signal a policy shift.

Galleries

Rohingya refugees look for their belongings in New Delhi on April 16 following a fire that broke out at their camp, leaving around 200 people homeless. The refugees fled persecution in Myanmar, with their numbers increasing following a brutal crackdown in September 2017 that saw hundreds of thousands pouring into neighbouring Bangladesh. MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images

The World in Photos This Week

Independence Day in Israel, Rohingya refugees in India, and turtles in the Bay of Bengal.

Macedonian Orthodox worshippers light candles from the holy fire that arrived from Jerusalem during the Easter service at the St. Jovan Bigorski monastery, some 145 km west of the capital Skopje,April 8, 2018.

The World in Photos This Week

Parkour in Syria, opium in Afghanistan, and demonstrations in France.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

Foto, Michael Melo

The Right to Kill

Should Brazil keep its Amazon tribes from taking the lives of their children?

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Germany’s Family Feud

Family reunification for refugees is no longer a given. But keeping relatives apart hurts host countries as well as newcomers.

Thus Spoke Jordan Peterson

The best-selling psychologist isn't leading young men to salvation — he's delivering them to authoritarianism.

The Arab World’s Star Student

What Tunisia can teach its neighbors about the value of education.