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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.

BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 1: People protesting controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos take to the streets on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A scheduled speech by Yiannopoulos was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 1: People protesting controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos take to the streets on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A scheduled speech by Yiannopoulos was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
University of California at Irvine Economics Professor Peter Navarro, head of White House National Trade Council nominee for president-elect Donald Trump, arrives in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. A top congressional ally to Trump said Thursday that Republicans will repeal Obamacare, including some funding provisions, quickly while a replacement plan is due in "six to eight months." Photographer: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg
University of California at Irvine Economics Professor Peter Navarro, head of White House National Trade Council nominee for president-elect Donald Trump, arrives in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. A top congressional ally to Trump said Thursday that Republicans will repeal Obamacare, including some funding provisions, quickly while a replacement plan is due in "six to eight months." Photographer: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg
BEIJING - OCTOBER 02: Chinese teenager attend a rock-and-roll festival to mark Chinese National Day on October 2, 2005 in Beijing, China. Various activities are being held in China to mark the National Day.  (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)
BEIJING - OCTOBER 02: Chinese teenager attend a rock-and-roll festival to mark Chinese National Day on October 2, 2005 in Beijing, China. Various activities are being held in China to mark the National Day. (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 13:  Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (2nd R) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping (2nd L) as he and his wife Angelica Rivera (R), Xi's wife Peng Liyuan (L) attend the opening ceremony of the exhibition "Mayas: The Language of Beauty" at the National Museum of China on November 13, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Jason Lee-Pool/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 13: Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (2nd R) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping (2nd L) as he and his wife Angelica Rivera (R), Xi's wife Peng Liyuan (L) attend the opening ceremony of the exhibition "Mayas: The Language of Beauty" at the National Museum of China on November 13, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Jason Lee-Pool/Getty Images)
KASHGAR, CHINA - AUGUST 17: (CHINA OUT) Soldiers of Xinjiang Armed Police Frontier Corps get drill in gobi desert of Yecheng County on August 17, 2015 in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
KASHGAR, CHINA - AUGUST 17: (CHINA OUT) Soldiers of Xinjiang Armed Police Frontier Corps get drill in gobi desert of Yecheng County on August 17, 2015 in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  The President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping tours the National Graphene Institute at Manchester University with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on October 23, 2015 in Manchester, England. After listening to a presentation from Dame Nancy Rothwell, the party toured the University Centre which leads the world in graphene research and is one of the most important centres for commercialising the one-atom-thick material. (Photo by Richard Stonehouse - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: The President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping tours the National Graphene Institute at Manchester University with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on October 23, 2015 in Manchester, England. After listening to a presentation from Dame Nancy Rothwell, the party toured the University Centre which leads the world in graphene research and is one of the most important centres for commercialising the one-atom-thick material. (Photo by Richard Stonehouse - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Runners of the Shanghai Pride Run make signs with their fingers while wearing rainbow shoelaces at the start of the race in Shanghai on June 18, 2016.
The LGBT festival, Shanghai PRIDE 2016, which celebrates diversity in the Chinese city under this year's theme 'I Am Me', kicked-off with a fun run and will last from June 17 to 26. / AFP / JOHANNES EISELE        (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Runners of the Shanghai Pride Run make signs with their fingers while wearing rainbow shoelaces at the start of the race in Shanghai on June 18, 2016. The LGBT festival, Shanghai PRIDE 2016, which celebrates diversity in the Chinese city under this year's theme 'I Am Me', kicked-off with a fun run and will last from June 17 to 26. / AFP / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman looks at a portrait of futuristic rendition of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong displayed at the design and Innovation exhibition as part of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) expo at the Convention and Exhibition center in Hong Kong, 21 November 2005.  Hong Kong's jobless rate continued to drop at 5.3 percent for the three months to October, with employment outstripping labour force growth, official figures showed 17 November. The expo will start 21 November.    AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE / AFP / TED ALJIBE        (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman looks at a portrait of futuristic rendition of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong displayed at the design and Innovation exhibition as part of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) expo at the Convention and Exhibition center in Hong Kong, 21 November 2005. Hong Kong's jobless rate continued to drop at 5.3 percent for the three months to October, with employment outstripping labour force growth, official figures showed 17 November. The expo will start 21 November. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE / AFP / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
Children pose for photos with the Chinese national flag in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on the May Day national holiday on May 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER        (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
Children pose for photos with the Chinese national flag in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on the May Day national holiday on May 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
An art lover walks past a series of images titled 'Mao Trump' by contemporary pop artist Knowledge Bennett at the Ren Gallery display during the LA Art Show in Los Angeles, California on January 31, 2016.  == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION ==
The image combines the face of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump with a portrait of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong. / AFP / Mark Ralston        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
An art lover walks past a series of images titled 'Mao Trump' by contemporary pop artist Knowledge Bennett at the Ren Gallery display during the LA Art Show in Los Angeles, California on January 31, 2016. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION == The image combines the face of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump with a portrait of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong. / AFP / Mark Ralston (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
MEIXIAN COUNTY, CHINA - MAY 2: (CHINA OUT) Catholics walk to the simulated crucified site of Jesus at Cross Hill at Paowo Village on May 2, 2007 in Meixian County of Shaanxi Province, China. Cross Hill is a Cross Hill is a Catholic holy place first built by missionary Liu Jialu as a simulation of Calvary. Liu was approved by the Pope Pius VI to name the place "Cross Hill". In 1777, Bishop Nania of Shaanxi Province appointed May 3 and September 14 as the Holy Day for all people who came to worship, according to local media. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
MEIXIAN COUNTY, CHINA - MAY 2: (CHINA OUT) Catholics walk to the simulated crucified site of Jesus at Cross Hill at Paowo Village on May 2, 2007 in Meixian County of Shaanxi Province, China. Cross Hill is a Cross Hill is a Catholic holy place first built by missionary Liu Jialu as a simulation of Calvary. Liu was approved by the Pope Pius VI to name the place "Cross Hill". In 1777, Bishop Nania of Shaanxi Province appointed May 3 and September 14 as the Holy Day for all people who came to worship, according to local media. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
Chinese feminists pose for a group photo during the Women's March in Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2017.
Chinese feminists pose for a group photo during the Women's March in Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2017.

Galleries

Protesters—many of them armed—try to enter the Michigan House of Representatives chamber and are stopped by state police during a protest April 30 demanding that businesses be reopened. An “American Patriot Rally” organized by Michigan United for Liberty was held earlier in the day on the steps of the state Capitol in Lansing. JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images
Protesters—many of them armed—try to enter the Michigan House of Representatives chamber and are stopped by state police during a protest April 30 demanding that businesses be reopened. An “American Patriot Rally” organized by Michigan United for Liberty was held earlier in the day on the steps of the state Capitol in Lansing. JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The Week in World Photos

Global protests against government-imposed lockdowns, gang violence in El Salvador, and hat tips to medical staff.

Muslims offer prayers on April 23, the first night of Ramadan, in Bireuen, Indonesia. AMANDA JUFRIAN/AFP via Getty Images
Muslims offer prayers on April 23, the first night of Ramadan, in Bireuen, Indonesia. AMANDA JUFRIAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Week in World Photos

A prayerful start to Ramadan, medical workers on the front lines of a pandemic, and the annual Lyrids meteor shower.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

foreign-policy-magazine-cover-coronavirus-globalization-spring-2020
foreign-policy-magazine-cover-coronavirus-globalization-spring-2020
deglobalization-localization-lego-globe-ben-fearnley
deglobalization-localization-lego-globe-ben-fearnley

How to Save Global Capitalism From Itself

Decentralizing decision-making can help left-behind regions get back on track.

brexit-deglobalization-brian-stauffer-illustration
brexit-deglobalization-brian-stauffer-illustration

Britain’s Post-Brexit Identity Crisis

Boris Johnson has contradictory ideas for his country’s future—and no clear paths for getting there.

The Ugly End of Chimerica

The coronavirus pandemic has turned a conscious uncoupling into a messy breakup.

The 3 Most Polarizing Words in India

“Jai Shri Ram” was meant to be a celebration of a Hindu deity. But the phrase is turning into hate speech—and a dog whistle for attacks on Muslims.

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Robert Malley, Biden administration special envoy for Iran, testifies about the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations on Capitol Hill May 25, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Robert Malley, Biden administration special envoy for Iran, testifies about the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations on Capitol Hill May 25, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Robert Malley, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran

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The Biden administration came into office promising to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal. Almost two years later, momentum has dissipated, and the deal has all but been derailed. Meanwhile Ira...Show more

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 15: EU Commissioner for European Green Deal - First Vice President and Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans talks to to media in the Berlaymont building, the EU Commission headquarter on July 15, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. EU Commissioners talked about making transport greener. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 15: EU Commissioner for European Green Deal - First Vice President and Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans talks to to media in the Berlaymont building, the EU Commission headquarter on July 15, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. EU Commissioners talked about making transport greener. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

Europe’s Top Climate Negotiator on the Road After COP27

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Frans Timmermans returned from COP27 with his dreams dashed. Europe’s top climate negotiator says the global climate summit was a disappointment: The pledges made were simply not aggressiv...Show more

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Reporters’ Notebook: Winter and the War

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As Russia’s war in Ukraine continues into 2023, the weather will have an important impact. Ukrainians, of course, are more vulnerable than usual to power outages and energy shocks. But Rus...Show more