All Stories

  • Nov 11 , 2019 |
    The biggest 24 hours of shopping in the world happens each year not on ‘Black Friday’, but on November 11th. In Asia, it’s called ‘Double Eleven’, or ‘Singles Day’, and billions of dollars of shopping takes place online. But the real story is not how much is spent, but how e-commerce is helping alleviate poverty in China. Through increased mobility, business, and choice, countless numbers of lives are being given a second chance each year. James Chau takes a deep dive into this incredible story.
  • Nov 07 , 2019 |
    Once considered taboo to discuss, mental health is now rising up on the global agenda, including at this year's UN General Assembly, as the evidence linking it to wellbeing, the economy, and our future continues to build. In China, overcoming this challenge is all the more critical, as 1.4 billion people contend with the changing expectations, pressure, and income inequality that has accompanied the country’s dramatic drastic economic transformation of the last 40 years. Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder have become some of the new realities - but with few resources available to those that struggle with their mental health, some people must turn to their own methods for maintaining their wellbeing. We look at the emerging trends and the cultural traditions that could offer hope for the future.
  • Nov 07 , 2019 |
    The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest crises of our times with 8 million people dying of a tobacco-related illness every year. But in addition to illness and death, it's also tied to impoverishment. This triple impact is felt deeply in China, where many people continue to either smoke or be exposed to second-hand smoke. James Chau speaks with Dr Angela Pratt, who was part of the ministerial team in Australia that introduced plain packaging to the world - and now works on tobacco control, as well as other areas of health, at the World Health Organization. She shares her insights on China, a country she has lived and worked in, and why she believes its creation of smoke-free cities provides a template for a happier future.
  • Oct 31 , 2019 |
    Today, almost every girl and boy in China goes to school, but that wasn’t the case 70 years ago, when close to 80% of the country was illiterate.
  • Oct 28 , 2019 | Social Good
    In the final part of our conversation with C.H. Tung, First Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Mr. Tung discusses how China’s transformation out of an impoverished, isolated country has contributed to global peace. Since China's opening-up to the world, and the establishment of ties with the U.S., no American soldier has died on a battlefield in East Asia. He also shares his thoughts on how looking back can help us move forward, and how it’s up to the stakeholders including the young people of today to make the world a better place to live.
  • Oct 28 , 2019 | Social Good
    In the second part of our interview with First Chief Executive of Hong Kong C.H. Tung, we discuss the impact and legacy of a historic meeting between the leaders of the U.S. and China in the midst of the Cold War, and China's momentous decision to reform and open-up.
  • Oct 23 , 2019 | Social Good
    In Part 1 of the interview, Mr. Tung, the First Chief Executive of Hong Kong, shares his personal story of living and working in the U.S., how people from different backgrounds and cultures can achieve better trust and understanding with one another ...
  • Oct 16 , 2019 |
    It's not a question of "if" but "when", say global experts about the next pandemic, who warn that the world is not prepared to prevent the next global health crisis.
  • Oct 16 , 2019 |
    Annie Tan is a remarkable person. Born and raised in New York's Chinatown, a few blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood, she is a teacher, activist, and storyteller.
  • Oct 10 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Chinese dumplings are enjoyed everywhere, but a group of young Yale and Peking University graduates are now popularizing a lesser-known style of Chinese comfort food in the US. Yong Zhao and Chef Lucas Sin are the co-founder and culinary director of Junzi Kitchen, which boasts a menu of thoughtful, northern Chinese comfort foods, such as noodles and "bings," a thin, savory pancake often sold as a street snack. With multiple restaurants already across New Haven and New York, Junzi Kitchen highlights the versatility and nuance of Chinese food and artfully leverages the appeal of global food culture with fast-casual dining to make this lesser-known cuisine accessible to everyone. Join James in New York, where he tries out Junzi's new branch near Bryant Park!
  • Oct 08 , 2019 |
    Six months ago, our very first episode featured Financial Times writer Ming Liu and her take on how dumplings bring families together. Now, we're kicking off an exciting new series called "Food Talk". In this first video, James Chau takes you to a special restaurant in Shenzhen that not only has dumplings, but also noodles, skewers, and more! Check it out with us.
  • Oct 04 , 2019 | Social Good
    150 years ago, the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed, revolutionizing travel in the U.S. by linking the east and west coasts with 1,912 miles of track.
  • Oct 04 , 2019 |
    In the latest interview for our special series looking at young people living in China today, we chat with 'Pan Pan' -- a millennial from a Hakka family who now lives in Shenzhen, a center for culture and innovation. Pan Pan talks about her aspirations, her drive to achieve financial independence, and her love for her Corgi.
  • Sep 25 , 2019 | Social Good
    Dr Bright Eric Ohene is a cardiovascular surgeon at Beijing’s Anzhen Hospital, where he uses innovative approaches to improving the health of his patients.
  • Sep 23 , 2019 | Social Good
    The largest gathering of world leaders has kicked-off in New York, but what do they do? James Chau takes you behind and around the scenes at the UN General Assembly, where climate change, universal health coverage, and the Sustainable Development Goals are the headliners this year.
  • Sep 18 , 2019 | Social Good
    Six months ago, when we launched The China Current, we promised to bring you up close to fascinating people shaping our shared global future. Six months later, James Chau looks back at some of those stories.
  • Sep 17 , 2019 | Innovation
    Surgeons in China have achieved a medical ‘first’, successfully performing three simultaneous operations using the precision of robots and the speed of 5G networks.
  • Sep 12 , 2019 | Social Good
    The China Current is excited to present a new series called “My Story”, which documents the personal journeys of young people we’ve met across China and shares the feelings and aspirations they have at this point in their lives. This week, we meet Tina Yang, who works in Shezhen's fast-developing tech industry.
  • Sep 09 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Costco's first store in China has opened in Shanghai to enormous crowds, with three-hour waits for a parking spot and shoppers capped at 2,000 people per day. Videos of the first day’s deluge have gone viral on social media, as much for ...
  • Sep 04 , 2019 | Social Good
    The China Current is proud and excited to present a new series called My Story, which documents the personal journeys of young people we meet across China, and shares with you the feelings they have at this point in their lives. This summer, we traveled to Shenzhen, a 'young' city in an 'old country', that has carved out a new reputation for itself as one of the major centers of innovation. In this first episode, we meet Jadon Zhong, who works for a tech startup.
  • Sep 02 , 2019 | Social Good
    Ge Yang is a phenomenal table tennis player: world champion and winner of six Paralympic gold medals from Athens, Beijing, London and Rio. But what makes his story truly personal is the journey he has traveled: at the age of six, he lost his right hand in an accident at home in Hebei.
  • Aug 28 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Qingdao is a city unlike many others in China. It’s a major port and industrial center, and one of the most livable cities according to the Chinese Institute of City Competitiveness.
  • Aug 26 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    A new hit series is taking the Internet by storm – and it’s about life in China more than 1,000 years ago. ‘The Longest Day in Chang’an’ – similar in format to the U.S. show ‘24’ – breaks down one full day in the Tang Dynasty, complete with drama, intrigue, and mystery. With great acting and painstaking research, it’s bringing history back to life.
  • Aug 21 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Tea is an intrinsic part of China’s history and culture. But today it is enjoying a modern renaissance among millennials and young people across the globe, thanks to new flavors, healthier ingredients, and innovative designs.
  • Aug 14 , 2019 | Social Good
    ‘How to Make a Difference’ is the title of the new book by two architects of a global youth movement: Ella and Kate Robertson.
  • Aug 13 , 2019 | Social Good
    Vali Nasr is one of America's best-known academics, as former Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
  • Aug 07 , 2019 | Social Good
    Former Hong Kong Chief Executive CH Tung hosted a special gathering in July with American and Chinese alike to explore the opportunities that lie ahead for the international community in these tumultuous times.
  • Aug 05 , 2019 | Innovation
    Chinese scientists recently flooded two islands in southern China’s Guangdong province with hundreds of millions of mosquitoes... and then successfully cleared them all out.
  • Aug 02 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Shanghai needs very little introduction – but there’s so much to say. This city of over 26 million people is one of the most dynamic in the world: its cosmopolitan past is on display with the historical architecture along the Bund, while its innovative future is underpinned by the skyscrapers that stand on former farmlands in the financial center of Pudong. James Chau takes you inside "the city that belongs to everyone".
  • Jul 31 , 2019 | Social Good
    For 14 years, Goh Chok Tong was Singapore's Prime Minister. Today, he serves as the country's Emeritus Senior Minister, and uses his skills as a global statesman to find solutions to some of our greatest challenges.
  • Jul 29 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Ever worried about taking your medicine on time? One entrepreneur in China has an innovative solution. Nick Zeng is based in Shenzhen, where he's created a smart pill box that reminds you what medicine to take, at what time - and also reminds your family and caregivers via a mobile app. Inspired by his grandmother, who suffers from a chronic disease, Nick invented a device that not only solves her problem, but can be applied more widely in a world that is advancing - and ageing.
  • Jul 22 , 2019 | Social Good
    Neil Bush has been to China more than 140 times. His first trip was in 1975, when millions of Chinese were experiencing the Cultural Revolution and when his father President George HW Bush was chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing. Bush compares the China he knew 'then' to the China he knows 'now'. He speaks to James Chau on this episode of The China Current.
  • Jul 22 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    We thought this story was really powerful here at The China Current. Three hair stylists snip and cut each day at their salon in Wuhan. But being deaf and hard of hearing, they communicate with their customers, and with one another, by writing and using sign language. They now want to replicate their success for other people in their community so that they too can achieve their fullest life potential.
  • Jul 15 , 2019 | Culture
    Victo Ngai is an illustrator who is Guangdong-born, Hong Kong-raised, and Los Angeles-based. As a child, she was exposed to classical Chinese ink paintings and later trained in art with a teacher in Shenzhen. But today, she draws on many references: from Japanese woodblock prints, to American painter Norman Rockwell, and British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The result is unique and fascinating, with clients including Apple and GE.
  • Jul 15 , 2019 | Culture
    Alan Skalaski is an American artist in China to learn about art conservation and preservation. He is studying the art of Dunhuang, the oasis city in Western China’s Gobi desert, located at the religious and cultural crossroads of the old Silk Road and home to the renowned Mogao Caves, the UNESCO World Heritage site that features a network of 492 ancient Buddhist temples. This is his story.
  • Jul 11 , 2019 | Innovation
    Once known for manufacturing cheap toys and textiles, China is increasingly known for developing innovative technology that's transforming the world and how we interact. But what triggered this change, and what opportunities does this innovation provide for everyone? With a growing pool of engineers, massive investment in infrastructure, and an expanding network of suppliers, China is positioned at a fascinating global crossroads. James Chau dives into the story.
  • Jul 11 , 2019 | Innovation
    Huawei is one of the world's leading technology brands. It is introducing 5G to international markets, reshaping mobile communications, and transforming the way we interact with one another.
  • Jul 03 , 2019 | Innovation
    Three Chinese telecoms have been awarded 5G licenses, that could see the fifth generation of mobile communications roll-out to consumers as early as 2020. It will usher in an entirely new digital era of high speed and low latency, that will enable us to live and work ‘smart’ – and at a time when 55 per cent of the world's population lives in cities.
  • Jun 18 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Bai Bin, an extreme runner from Guizhou in China, has just completed an epic 433-day journey running from the South Pole to the North Pole. Despite the snow, storms and seas, he refused to give up and successfully finished his 14-month expedition in the Arctic. This is a story of incredible athleticism – and finding hope even when hope appears to be lost.
  • Jun 11 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Charles Stevens, a college student at the University of St Andrews, traveled along the Silk Road last year - the ancient route that has fascinated traders and travelers for centuries. Today, though, it has transformed into a modern journey full of opportunity and innovation that is charting a model for the global future. I sat down with Charles in Hong Kong, 60+ days after he left his home in London to begin his journey. It's an incredible real-life tale of adventure, business and infrastructure - but mostly, people.
  • Jun 04 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    The Beijing Expo 2019 is showcasing the world’s best-in-class flowers, plants, and landscapes as part of a 6-month, 500 hectare exhibition, the largest of its kind in history. Landscape designers hailing from Denmark to Japan are among those who have been invited to create special exhibits that represent their national cultures under the theme “Live Green, Live Better.”, along with a range of gardens that demonstrate the diversity of China’s natural landscapes. In total, more than 100 countries and international organizations are participating in the Expo. An estimated 16 million visitors will attend the park and take part in almost 2,500 different cultural events. Within the park, 50,000 trees have been preserved and 100,000 trees and shrubs planted to improve the condition of wetlands, purify water and provide a habitat for migratory birds.
  • Jun 04 , 2019 | Social Good
    Professor Ilona Kickbusch is one of the world's foremost thinkers and visionaries on global health. A key architect of the 1986 Ottawa Charter, one of the most vital international agreements on health promotion, her innovative work has transformed the world and our most vulnerable communities in particular. Currently at Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Ilona has had a distinguished career, including at the World Health Organization and Yale University. She has also helped train many of today’s health leaders in China. In this interview, James Chau brings her back to her early years in India, and how being the child of a German diplomat helped shape her career and the influence she continues to exercise.
  • May 28 , 2019 | Social Good
    In just a few days, Katja Iversen, President and CEO of Women Deliver, will host the world's largest conference on gender equality in Vancouver, Canada, featuring heads of state among 9,000 delegates from 170 countries. James Chau speaks with Katja as she looks back at her life and the experiences that shaped her conviction to lead her movement for equality. She discusses what it will require to create a world that is fairer, and why she thinks China is so far down The Global Gender Gap Report.
  • May 20 , 2019 | Social Good
    As the 72nd World Health Assembly convenes in Geneva this week, Part 2 of the conversation with Professor Sharon Lewin reminds us just how important global cooperation on health is. For over 20 years, Professor Lewin has been on the cusp of 'discovery' - the discovery of an elusive AIDS cure, and in the process, the discovery of how we can all live safer and healthier lives. In an era when SARS, Ebola, Zika and various strains of avian influenza have become a norm, she references her work on one of the greatest epidemics in history - HIV and AIDS - to help us anticipate the next great global health emergency, and how we can prepare ourselves. This interview with James Chau was recorded in July 2018 at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.
  • May 14 , 2019 | Social Good
    For over 20 years, Professor Sharon Lewin has been on the cusp of 'discovery' - the discovery of an elusive AIDS cure, and in the process, the discovery of how we can all live safer and healthier lives. In an era when SARS, Ebola, Zika and various strains of the avian flu have become a norm, her work on one of the greatest epidemics in history - HIV and AIDS - can help us anticipate the next great global health emergency, and how we can prepare ourselves. This interview with James Chau was recorded in July 2018 at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.
  • May 10 , 2019 | Innovation
    45 seconds could be enough time to wash the plates that have been piling up in your sink, wipe off the front of your refrigerator, or send that one email you've been avoiding. But, thanks to a streamlined immigration process, it's also the time it now takes travelers to enter or leave China. In this latest video, we explore how China is seeing a massive growth in the movement of people across its borders, and is responding by enhancing mobility and connecting people like never before.
  • May 07 , 2019 | Social Good
    I was recently invited to The Carter Center's commemoration of the 40th anniversary of U.S.-China relations in Atlanta, where I met Professor David Lampton - a foremost thinker on the two countries. In this podcast, he describes his early adventures as a student in the 1960s, the way he centers his work through people and their voices, and how he has built a career around two fascinating countries and the world they shape.
  • Apr 29 , 2019 | Social Good
    The gender equality movement is building unprecedented momentum around the world, including in China. But what are the issues at stake, and how far are we from achieving genuine and meaningful equality for all? James Chau speaks to Ruth Lawlor and Kent Buse of Global Health 50/50 in New York.
  • Apr 23 , 2019 | Innovation
    A surprising 20-year-long data record from NASA has come out just in time for Earth Day, showing that the world has gotten greener within the past two decades. The greening is thanks to China and India’s efforts in forest conservation and expansion.
  • Apr 23 , 2019 | Social Good
    In January, when I interviewed Jimmy Carter, the former president told me that one way forward for the U.S. and China was to create a group of wise men and women who can guide the future relationship. Carter said he will send that suggestion to President Donald Trump - who has just confirmed that the two men have spoken. Also, Professor Wang Jisi of Peking University reacts to a New York Times report of limited visas for Chinese academics.
  • Apr 16 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    A 200 year-old Swiss textile company finds inspiration from the snowy Forbidden City to historical motifs in Chinese design. Camilla Fischbacher talks to James Chau about her family's legendary brand, Christian Fischbacher, and how the melting pot of globalization is shaping contemporary design, fashion, art, and architecture across both the West and the East.
  • Apr 09 , 2019 | Innovation
    Bill Gates says she's changing the game. So does Al Gore. Tech teen Emma Yang, who grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in New York, loves her grandmother so much, she's created an app that uses facial-recognition technology to ensure that her family - and potentially millions more - can communicate meaningfully with people with Alzheimer's. James Chau met Emma in New York, where she gave him a preview of her Timeless app and discussed how humanizing technology can help create a better world.
  • Apr 02 , 2019 | Social Good
    Millions of young Chinese are heading West to study, transforming the educational experiences of Chinese and Americans alike. Nini Suet is enmeshed in this world. The Beijing-born Princeton grad started an education business that tutors young Chinese for boarding schools in America, and prepares them to interact with an entirely new culture. She talks to James Chau about the magic that happens when these Chinese young people come together to with their American counterparts.
  • Mar 26 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    After 30 years as one of the world's greatest violinists, Tasmin Little recently announced her retirement. She speaks to James Chau about her incredible life, and how her musical talents led her to become one of the first people to enter China after it began opening its borders to the world.
  • Mar 15 , 2019 | Culture
    Novelist and New York Times writer Ming Liu, who turns her voice to maybe China's greatest export – food. But what makes it so good? Interview by James Chau.