This story is about a group of friends in China experiencing the stringent lockdowns and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The oppressive measures, including enforced citywide quarantines and mass testing, have led to feelings of frustration and despair, provoking the white paper revolution. Central to the narrative are personal stories of friends Yan Liu, a committed journalist, Li Yuanjing, an apolitical young woman arrested for administering a Telegram group, and Cao Zhixin, whose freedom was curtailed after posting a video online. The story culminates with the reopening of their favourite hangout, the “No Second Bar,” highlighting the absence of their imprisoned friends and a poem on a blackboard, symbolising their resilience and hope amidst oppression.
In 2011, on the heels of a train crash that killed 40 people and stoked the public’s ire, Caixin revealed large-scale corruption in the building of the country’s high-speed rail system. The long story exposed the “broken system” in the Railways Ministry and in a subsequent issue, put the railways minister Zhang Shuguang on its cover and reported that he had purchased a luxury mansion near Los Angeles in 2002, when he was earning less than 300 USD a month. The minister was tried, accused of funnelling as much as 2.8 billion USD to overseas accounts.
The article is covering the protests that first broke out in Wukan, a village in China’s Guangdong province. In 2011, this was the most detailed article covering the protests at the time. The protests were sparked by local officials’ illegal sale of collectively-owned village land, leading to widespread anger among the villagers.