Is sexual harassment less common in China than in the U.S.? – China’s latest top news

Jeremy Goldkorn’s selection of the top stories from China on October 16, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Sexual harassment in China

Over the weekend, outrage over the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal dominated social media and news feeds in the U.S. A social media hashtag campaign, #MeToo — which encouraged women to share stories of being sexually harassed or just say “Me, too” — generated tens of thousands of responses.

The Chinese media and social media have been much quieter about the case. An early response was published by the English-language state-owned China Daily: an opinion piece arguing that sexual harassment in China “is not as common as in the West” because men are less likely to behave “inappropriately toward women” for fear of going against “Chinese traditional values and customs.” The piece was written by Sava Hassan, who appears to be a Canadian man aged about 60 — possibly not the most reliable authority on the sexual harassment of women in China.

For a better-informed take on the similarities and differences between sexual harassment as it’s experienced by women in China and the U.S., please read on our website.

Large and in charge: Three things to read

  • The South China Morning Post reports that China “has made progress on its ambition to establish a foothold in the Arctic with the first voyage by its research icebreaker through the frozen waters of the Northwest Passage.” The article quotes a polar researcher who says that “Polar regions, together with the oceans, the internet and space exploration, have become new but strategic areas where China is seeking to develop in the future.”
  • In the New York Times, Ian Johnson looks at (paywall) the beginning of Xi’s term as leader of the Communist Party and government which began with a visit to an exhibition at the National Museum in Beijing titled “The Road of Rejuvenation,” which “tells the story of how China was laid low by foreign countries in the 19th and 20th centuries but is now on the path back to glory.” In the coming years, Johnson concludes, “Xi and the country as a whole seem likely to keep pushing for their place in the sun.”
  • In the Wall Street Journal, Richard McGregor writes (paywall) on how Xi Jinping, “fearing the rise of Russia-style oligarchs,” has taken significant measures “to remind China’s wealthy class of entrepreneurs who is really in charge.”