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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Sowmiya Ashok


Sowmiya Ashok, a former Assistant Editor at The Indian Express, is now an independent journalist based in Chennai. She reports on China, politics and the environment. She tweets @sowmiyashok

Swachh China: Trash cans with facial ID and reward points
Mon, Aug 19, 2019

Pilot project in Beijing locality: Rewards include eggs, salt, toilet rolls, detergent.

Cheaper fees, easy admissions: Indian medical students shift gaze towards China
Mon, Jul 29, 2019

Sowmiya Ashok visits campuses and finds that this journey to a medical degree comes with its share of anxieties — language hurdles, uncertain career options back home. Besides, a lingering concern: how much noodles can one eat?

Post-Doklam, China talks of roadmap on border tensions
Thu, Jul 25, 2019

Indian government sources, who analysed the white paper, said it also tries to play down heavy military expenditure, saying that China is spending less on defence budgets in terms of GDP in comparison to India, US and other countries.

From Beijing, lessons for Delhi on Metro fare pricing and scaling up
Mon, Jul 22, 2019

The ridership pattern of the two public transporters — cumulatively carrying over 1.50 crore passengers daily in two of the most populated world capitals — seen against their evolving fare structures and growth in network makes for a study in contrast.

That day after everyday: The loss of a loved one is a reminder of the impermanence of life
Sun, Jul 21, 2019

In Harsh’s words, Toulouse sounded lovely, almost like paradise. But to him, it wasn’t this French city where he pursued a PhD in, it was the west Delhi neighbourhood of Janakpuri he grew up in, that was truly paradise.

In China, archeologists find earliest evidence of ochre on bone engravings
Sat, Jul 13, 2019

The discovery of abstract engravings is considered an indicator of modern human cognition which researchers say led to the development of symbols, drawings, art and language.

As China seeks to recycle more, Shanghai implements strict regulations
Tue, Jul 02, 2019

Individuals may be fined anything from 50 to 200 yuan (one yuan converts to roughly Rs 10) for not complying with the new waste management policy, while enterprises can be fined up to 5,000 yuan for failing to have the right trash bins in place.

Comic artist Krish Raghav traces the role of Chinese-Jamaicans in reggae history and how the music reached China
Sun, Jun 30, 2019

How the beat came home: Krish Raghav works for a China-based music promoter which organises tours and music festivals. He moved to Beijing as a student of public policy in 2012.

India’s entry into nuke club not on agenda of NSG meet: China
Sat, Jun 22, 2019

Beijing also declined to provide a timeline for member-states to reach a “consensus” to include non-NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) members into the fold.

With paper and a promise, a Chinese cafe keeps traditional writing alive
Sat, Jun 22, 2019

To The Indian Express, she hands a simple version for foreigners with “zhongwen” written in Chinese - “zhong” meaning “centre or middle” and “wen” meaning “writing”.

Beijing says Hong Kong protests China’s internal affair
Thu, Jun 13, 2019

Information on protests in Hong Kong was heavily censored in mainland China including on microblogging site Weibo. While Chinese news agency Xinhua did not carry details on Hong Kong, a report on Taiwan stressed the "Chinese mainland has unwavering resolve to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity" and will "not tolerate separatist elements advocating "Taiwan independence".

China blames ‘foreign forces’ for massive Hong Kong protests over extradition Bill
Tue, Jun 11, 2019

More than a million people reportedly took part in a protest to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance.

US cannot use ‘extreme pressure’ to force trade negotiations, says China
Mon, Jun 03, 2019

China said its negotiators were still “committed to credible consultations based on equality and mutual benefit” but said there will be no compromise on “matters of principle”.

For a Chinese podcast, personal stories are a way of bringing people closer
Sun, Jun 02, 2019

The podcast series, which has now completed over 200 episodes, offers intimate, personal audio stories on everyday lives in China.

Fox, Chinese state TV anchors face off in latest trade war frontier
Fri, May 31, 2019

The two anchors discussed intellectual property theft, state capitalism, tariffs, China’s status as a developing nation and key issues in the trade talks, which Liu later termed as a “conversation” between the two.

Nuanced interventions, not bureaucratic silos, will help to clean the Ganga
Sat, May 18, 2019

The cleanliness of the river on the ground is driven by engineering. This does not consider the health of the worker, the health of the river from an environmental standpoint or ensuring that the processes in place work smoothly. 

Sahitya Akademi: ‘Interested in contemporary Chinese writing that interests young Indians’
Thu, May 16, 2019

Rao, who is in Beijing to attend the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC), said contemporary literature in India has taken on new forms like writing poetry in Sanskrit on mobile phones.

How China, followed by India, has led greening efforts across world
Thu, May 09, 2019

Data show that since Independence, a fifth of India’s land has consistently been under forests.

One million species face extinction: Why biodiversity report matters
Wed, May 08, 2019

Among the findings that are making global headlines is the assessment that as many as 1 million different species, out of a total of an estimated 8 million plant and animal species, are facing the threat of extinction, more than at any previous time, because of changes brought about in natural environments by human activities.

One million species at risk of extinction, need transformative changes: UN
Tue, May 07, 2019

“Even for global warming of 1.5 to 2 degrees, the majority of terrestrial species ranges are projected to shrink profoundly,” a United Nations body notes.

Masood Azhar blacklisted: Beijing says it studied revised material, decided to end objections
Thu, May 02, 2019

Responding to the development, Beijing said “relevant countries” had “revised and re-submitted the materials” for the listing proposal to the 1267 Committee.

Masood Azhar on terror blacklist: Beijing closer to letting it happen
Wed, May 01, 2019

Three UNSC members — US, UK and France — have been pursuing the case with China over the last two months, while New Delhi has also been engaging separately with Beijing.

Xi-Imran meeting: China hopes Pakistan, India can meet halfway
Mon, Apr 29, 2019

Addressing the Pakistan and China Investment Forum in Beijing Sunday, Khan expressed hope that relations between the two neighbours will improve after the Indian general elections.

China removes BRI map that showed J-K, Arunachal Pradesh as part of India
Sun, Apr 28, 2019

The display of the map on a prominent Chinese government site at a time when the Second Belt and Road Forum is ongoing is at odds with China’s stance.

How the debate in China’s tech world on ‘996’ drew in Alibaba’s Jack Ma and state media
Sun, Apr 28, 2019

A Chinese techie couple sparks a conversation about work culture in the industry.