When Professor Gao Yanming began teaching at Fudan University’s School of Public Health 10 years ago, the idea of teaching a course with the word “homosexual” in the title was unthinkable. Today, however, Gao teaches “Homosexual Health and Social Science”– the first gay-related course to be offered at a Chinese university.
The reason for this dramatic turnaround is difficult to pinpoint, but people familiar with gay and lesbian issues in China – gay and straight, locals and foreigners – voice the opinion that the West’s increasing openness about LGBT people and culture has had an impact.
“You can’t deny that Western culture, which is always pushing the bar, has something to do with it,” said Chris Xu, a gay Shanghai man. “I doubt being gay in China would be any more accepted if America [had] made no progress for tolerance in the past couple of decades.” Ironically, homosexuality in China is celebrated in the country’s ancient art. . . .Read the full story »
Cultural assumptions don’t always hold up in the light of reality. How does China of the 21st century stack up against views held in the US of the PRC as a rival for world power and economic might, a proverbial Red Tide rising up in the Far East?
New China, meet Old China. Now that the PRC is merging with the global economy, its once hermetically-sealed culture has opened itself to bold new influences. How successfully will the Chinese adapt changes to their time-honored culture?
After three decades of impressive economic growth, China has been jolted by the worldwide economic downturn. Millions of workers are unemployed and strains risk both livelihoods and the possibilities of social unrest. How is China coping?
Short on natural resources and dependent on exports, China now relies on the rest of the world in many ways. How do larger issues such as trade ties with South America and Africa or protectionism in the US play out at home in China?