No. 41 | 06.03.2021

Chinese women in the 1990s [Forbidden City History]

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In the lead up to International Working Women’s Day on 8 March 2021, we decided to share some stories about women in China. We added a special section looking at history, challenges and advances affecting women’s lives.

Also, we published News on China: Africa Weekly, No.4 yesterday. Please read and share it in EnglishSpanishPortuguese and French. You can enjoy this short supplement of Africa-China stories every Friday.

We hope you enjoy it!

Women’s Life

A historic legal victory, Chinese divorce court grants compensation to ex-wife for unpaid care work during five-year marriage

According to new Civil Code provisions, Ms. Wang received US $7,700 remuneration, plus monthly alimony and half of shared property; women do 75% of unpaid care work, an equivalent of US $10.8 trillion to global economy

Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, 05.11.2020
See CoronaShock and Patriarchy study

Five years after China’s first Anti-Domestic Violence Law passed, more survivors are speaking up but challenges remain

Public awareness through social media and advocacy increased despite decline in media reporting; women comprise 76% of 1,214 related deaths – three femicides every five days (2016-19) – yet inadequate legal enforcement and culture of non-interference in “family affairs” persist

China made important improvements in women’s education, health and poverty rate (1995-2018), but discrimination remains an obstacle

Women’s illiteracy (24.1%-7.5%) and maternal mortality (61.9-18.3/100,000) were reduced, undergraduate (35.4%-51.2%) and graduate students (23.5%-45.8%) increased, but only 25% hold leading positions in companies

CGTN, 02.10.2020

China honors 1,981 role models in anti-poverty fight, including 97-year-old Xia Sen CPC member since 1938

After joining the Party at the revolutionary base of Yan’an at age 15, former Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher contributed to education for the poor – donating US $310,200 to schools and helping 182 students access university

National Politics

To end extreme poverty, China spent US $247.5 billion and mobilized 10 million people since 2012

Three million CPC members were sent to the countryside – 1,800 of whom died – to lift 98.99 million people from absolute poverty; since 1980, China has accounted for 70% of global poverty reduction


Responsible for 80% of global rare earth exports, China increases production quotas and regulations as demand and prices spike

A raw material in manufacturing high-tech goods (electric cars, wind energy, electronics, weapons), China’s rare earths production and consumption (150,000 tons/year) is set to double in five years; US imports 100% of its supply (80% from China)

Asia Times Financial, 01.03.2021
Asia Times Financial, 21.01.2021

China surpasses US as India’s top trading partner in 2020 (US $77.7 billion total), despite political and military conflicts

India imported US $58.7 billion – led by heavy machinery, nuclear reactors, telecom equipment and appliances – and increased exports (+11%, US $19 billion), especially in iron/steel (+319%, US $2.4 billion) and ores/slag/ash (+62%, US $3.5 billion)

CGTN, 23.02.2021
India Express, 27.02.2021


Government tries to mitigate financial risks as Chinese banks hit record number of bad loans (US $467 billion in 2020) during pandemic

Last year, government offered US $818 billion in special loans and established 20,000 debt management committees; to avoid snowball effect, banks disposed of US $1.3 trillion non-performing assets (2017-20), exceeding prior 12-year total

CGTN, 02.03.2021
South China Morning Post, 03.03.2021

Agriculture and Environment

China plans to end Inner Mongolia’s bitcoin “mining”, a highly energy-intensive computing process, towards 2060 carbon-neutrality target

Cryptocurrency transactions require verification, or “mining” — US accounts for 7.2% globally and China 65%, including Inner Mongolia 8% —the Autonomous Region consumes the most energy in the country due to cheaper costs

South China Morning Post, 01.03.2021
CNBC, 02.03.2021

People’s Life and Culture

Two young worker deaths at e-commerce giant Pinduoduo spark debate about overwork at internet companies

Young people are attracted by high salaries, but company’s average working hours (75h/week) exceed legal limits (44-53h/week); from 2017-19, revenue per employee increased (US $230,000-800,000/year), outstripping competitors’ average

Caixin Global, 24.02.2021
Nikkei Asia, 26.02.2021

97-year-old Xia Sen honored for her anti-poverty work, 2021 [Xinhua]