We use cookies for site personalization and analytics. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

Issue 522 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

October 2019

China in charge

Since 1980, China has lifted over 800 million people out of absolute poverty. The four biggest banks in the world are Chinese. Between 2011 and 2013, China poured more concrete than the United States did in the entire twentieth century. The rise of China is perhaps the most important fact of our lifetimes. But what happens next? There are more than enough ‘red scare’ stories in the Western press that treat this nation of 1.4 billion people as a terrifying monolith. With the collection of articles below, we’ve tried to do something different.


  • Discover unique global perspectives
  • Support high quality independent media
  • Magazine delivered to your door or inbox
  • Digital archive of over 500 issues

Subscribe »

Included in this issue

Recording climate catastrophe

Louise Gray on sonic journalism, a novel way of recording the decline of the natural world.
While homosexuality is not illegal in Equatorial Guinea, neither is homophobia, creating a legal vacuum.

‘I didn’t want to be a mother’

Trifonia Melibea Obono records the unheard stories of queer women living in the West African state of Equatorial Guinea. 
Looking the very picture of a traditional way of life, mathematics teacher Phunchok Angmo, photographed at Thiksey monastery, near Leh, Ladakh, is observing startling changes in her pupils. 'The children here no longer care about the culture and they spend less time taling to eachother,' she says. 'They spend their free time on laptops.'

Globalization and extremism – join the dots

Insecure people can be highly susceptible to false narratives purporting to explain their precarious situation​, argues Helena...
Bulu Bari is a regular at the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation complex - but work is scarce.

Dhallywood dreams

Sophie K Rosa and Alice McCool on the older women fighting for a place in 'Dhallywood'.
A still from the music video 'Room Service', via the record label 88rising, by hip hop sensation Higher Brothers.

(Don’t) fight the power

Amy Hawkins surveys the cultural landscape in the world’s second-largest economy, China.
A returnee sits in a bus next to a picture of Syrian President Bashar al Assad in Qusayr, Syria July 7, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

‘Rebuilding’ and social cleansing in Syria

The Assad regime has laid out a blueprint for the reconstruction of Syria. But Syrian architects and urban planners Hani...
A guard at the Mombasa terminus of the Chinese-financed SGR railway. Saturday is one of the busiest times on the line, as Kenyans travel from Nairobi to the coast to visit family.

The Beijing connection

Christine Mungai reflects on the past, present and future of the relationship between China and the African continent.
Since the 1970s, the world’s human population has doubled to 7.7 billion.

Is concern about population growth exaggerated?

Does obsession with population size miss the point? Mohan Rao and Sara Parkin weigh in on the debate.

Should I call the cops if I witness a theft?

Ethical and political dilemmas abound these days. Seems like we’re all in need of a New Internationalist perspective. Enter...
Uyghur men in Xinjiang pray during the Corban festival (Eid) in 2016. Public displays of religiosity are now considered signs of extremism. Credit: Kevin Frayers/Getty

Xinjiang: living in a ghost world

Yohann Koshy speaks to anthropologist Darren Byler to find out what is going on in China’s predominantly Uyghur northwest...

How green is China?

Ma Tianjie examines the limits of China’s ‘ecological nationalism’.​
Car drivers in Bogotá, Colombia, spent 271 hours in traffic jams during 2018, in Dublin 246 hours and in London 227 hours, according to global traffic data cruncher INREX

What if...cities became car-free?

Vanessa Baird on how to turn a toxic bane into a liberating blessing.

Past issues

Subscribe   Ethical Shop