Nicola Davison is a British freelance writer and editor based in London.
Posts tagged "China"
Where to buy in Shanghai, the global city with old-world charm

Where to buy in Shanghai, the global city with old-world charm

Between 1843 and 1935, when Shanghai was ceded to the British following the first opium war, the city’s population grew from about 500,000 to 4m. The city was transformed into a bustling international port and as trade thrived westerners poured in. The city was carved into foreign “concessions” — districts of imported architectural styles —...
Revealed: the extreme revision measures taken by Chinese university hopefuls

Revealed: the extreme revision measures taken by Chinese university hopefuls

Every day during her final year, 17-year-old Shi Wan woke at 5.30am to an alarm booming through the dormitory at Hengshui High School. Shi would fold her quilt, grab her notebooks and race outside for the mandatory 5.40am run. On good days she got to the track at 5.34am, leaving six minutes to recite a...
The former Chinese army colonel turned sex-change dance star

The former Chinese army colonel turned sex-change dance star

Jin Xing’s sitting room comprises two distinct halves. One side, with stiff leather armchairs and a large television, is considered the “male” corner, explains Jin’s husband Heinz-Gerd Oidtmann, as we wait for her to arrive. The other, “female” side contains a chaise longue in deep plum, scatter cushions, an antique wooden bed with elaborately carved...
The ultimate package holiday: Chinese billionaire takes 6,400 staff to France

The ultimate package holiday: Chinese billionaire takes 6,400 staff to France

A Chinese company has treated 6,400 members of staff to a four-day holiday in France, booking 140 hotels in Paris and 4,700 rooms on the Cote d’Azur. The employees of Tiens Group, a conglomerate chaired by one of China’s business billionaires, Li Jinyuan, is the biggest tour group to ever visit France. During the four-day break between...
'Our purity is above 99%': the Chinese labs churning out legal highs for the west

‘Our purity is above 99%’: the Chinese labs churning out legal highs for the west

At midnight on a recent Friday, in a backroom at Chemsun Global pharmaceutical laboratory in Shanghai, a Chinese chemist who called himself Terry was eager to close a deal. Outside in the lab a bright yellow liquid whirred around a flask. The smell of fumes was so intense it left a bitter, chemical aftertaste. The...
China defends construction on disputed Spratly Islands

China defends construction on disputed Spratly Islands

China has defended its controversial policy of land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea after Barack Obama appeared to accuse the country of “elbowing aside” its smaller neighbours. Beijing has faced mounting global criticism over its construction on the Spratly Island archipelago, a group of largely low-lying sandbars and reefs scattered across a region claimed by...
China to penalise badly behaved tourists

China to penalise badly behaved tourists

Chinese authorities will keep records of “uncivilised” behaviour by its tourists, the country’s tourism bureau announced on Tuesday, in the latest measure aimed at reigning in the unruly behaviour of citizens travelling at home or abroad. In a notice issued on its website, the National Tourism Administration announced that records of badly behaved tourists will be...
China's panda population increases by 17 per cent, major census finds

China’s panda population increases by 17 per cent, major census finds

The number of giant pandas living in the wild has increased by nearly 17 per cent over the last decade, according to a survey by the Chinese government released on Saturday. The census, conducted by the State Administration of Forestry, found 1,864 giant pandas were living in the wild by the end of 2013, an...
China ivory ban: will it make any difference?

China ivory ban: will it make any difference?

China on Thursday announced a year-long ban on imported ivory carvings. The announcement came days before the Duke of Cambridge, known for his campaigns to protect wildlife, visits the country. Is there more to the ban than shrewd diplomacy? The perfunctory announcement on the website of the State Forestry Administration, the bureau that oversees wildlife...
3D-printed cities: is this the future?

3D-printed cities: is this the future?

The words “we print architecture’s future” adorn the wall of a showroom on the outskirts of Suzhou, a rapidly urbanising city in eastern China. Arranged around the room are samples of odd-looking concrete wall of varying thickness. Outside, across the car park of this otherwise unremarkable industrial estate, is a grand, neoclassical mansion that recently...
China struggles to loosen one-child policy as couples urged to apply for second child

China struggles to loosen one-child policy as couples urged to apply for second child

Shanghai’s government has urged couples to have more children after far fewer than expected applied to have a second child following the relaxation of China’s one-child policy, state media reported on Tuesday. Some 90 per cent of women of childbearing age in the city are eligible to have a second baby, but only five per...
The party’s goal

The party’s goal

ONE of the most dismal days in the history of Chinese national football was June 15th 2013, President Xi Jinping’s 60th birthday. Having lost to Uzbekistan and Holland in friendly matches earlier that month, China were thrashed 5-1 at home by a Thai youth team. Furious Chinese fans swarmed around China’s Spanish coach, José Antonio...