Mini Electric Cars, and Much More, Weeks 7 and 8 Update

Mini electric cars are big in China — will the rest of the world catch on? – The China Project

China’s highest selling electric sedan in 2022 was a miniature car. They are cheap, maneuverable, practical for urban driving, and greener than full-size electric cars.

The highest selling electric sedan in China in both 2021 and 2022 was the car mentioned by Sanderson, the Hongguang (宏光) mini EV, manufactured by Wuling 五菱, part of the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture. The little juggernaut sold 404,823 units last year, and 395,451 units in 2021. The closest competitor was the full-size BYD Qin sedan which sold 341,943 units and 272,418 units those years (the highest selling EV overall in 2022 was BYD’s Song SUV, which sold 478,811 units).

The Hongguang’s top speed is 60 mph, and it has a maximum range of about 100 miles. The car is about the size of a golf cart and is certified to seat four people, although some Chinese online reviews suggest five passengers can fit — if one of them is small.

The sweetest part for consumers is the price: The Hongguang starts at 44,800 yuan ($6,563), with three other models ranging up to 99,900 yuan ($14,635). In September 2023, SAIC-GM-Wuling is planning to launch three more premium mini EVs under the Baojun (宝骏) brand, with prices ranging from 87,800 yuan ($12,862) to 102,800 yuan ($15,060).

A boots-on-the-rooftop view of China’s solar photovoltaic boom – The China Project

Watchers of the Chinese energy sector will already know that solar had a huge year in 2022, reaching 392 GW of installed capacity by adding a stunning 87 GW in one year, two-thirds of which were on rooftops. A big part of that success can be attributed to the “Whole-County Rooftop Solar” (整县屋顶光伏 zhěng xiàn wūdǐng guāngfú) initiative launched in 2021. Under this, solar developers bid on project development rights for an entire county-level administrative unit. Winning developers then strive to meet rooftop solar coverage quotas for different types of buildings within the county, including public buildings (at least 50%), commercial and industrial buildings (at least 30%), and residential buildings (at least 20%). 


'I, rat rat': Chinese youth claim the rat as spirit animal - The China Project

Self-deprecation is strong in Chinese internet subculture. In the latest example, many young Chinese are calling themselves “rats” as a way of conveying their real-life struggles.


Top searches on China's social media: U.S. balloons; Declining fertility rates (

The balloon incident has attracted long-lasting attention these days. After the heated discussion on the Chinese balloon reported in the US, China made its first accusation of U.S. illegal balloon flights over Chinese airspace more than 10 times since last year, in response to a question about the U.S. shooting down the Chinese unmanned airship at the regular press conference of China's foreign ministry on Monday.

Another trending topic turns our eyes toward Chinese women's hurdles for staying unmarried and childless. The report released by the Forum of China Population and Development on Saturday showed that almost 10 percent of Chinese women have stayed childless for life. The alarming prevalence of childlessness and delays in marriage double-hit the decreasing fertility rates.


Brand new adjustment at China's top political advisory body (

The 2023 "Two Sessions," which is the annual meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People's Congress (NPC), will kick off on March 4 and 5, respectively. This year's sessions are particularly noteworthy as they follow the 20th Party National Congress held last October and mark a major moment in China's leadership reshuffle.

The CPPCC, as China's top advisory body, provides a platform for political consultation and multiparty cooperation. It gives individuals outside the Communist Party of China (CPC) a chance to oversee government operations and suggest proposals related to state affairs. Representing diverse backgrounds and professions, including minorities and religious groups, the members and delegates of the national "Two Sessions" are selected from all walks of life and are considered some of the most important players in China's political scene.

… A new environmental and resources group has been added to the advisory body, comprised of personnel and professionals with environmental protection and resource conservation backgrounds. 


Liang Hong on Feminism - Reading the China Dream

Liang Hong (b. 1953) is a professor of literature at Renmin University in Beijing, as well as a novelist, but she is best known for her non-fiction work, particularly for what is now a trilogy based on Liang Village, her hometown in Henan.   In the first volume, China in One Village 中国在梁庄 (2010), Liang “rediscovers” her home village after having lived in Beijing for some twenty years, spending several months there, talking with friends and family, taking stock of what has changed and what has not.  The second volume, Leaving Liang Village 出梁庄记 (2013), explores what migrant labor has meant to the village and villagers, and is based on interviews Liang carried out with some who had left and some who had returned.  Finally, in January of 2022, she published her third book, Liang Village Ten Years On 梁庄十年, noting the changes that have taken place in the village and its people’s lives over the course of the last decade.  The English-language version of Liang’s first volume came out recently, ably translated by Emily Goedde, and would make excellent reading for students (and teachers!) at all levels.


Zheng Yongnian on how to address Western public opinion on China: facts, science, and reason (

… Similarly, the West’s uncertainty and fear towards China's rise stem from a lack of understanding and even fear of the country, and their ingrained ideology would lead to misconceptions.
China is the world’s second-largest economy. The externalities and influence of its economy on the West are obvious. Upon joining the WTO, some Chinese people also felt unsettled by the externalities of the West. Some said, “the wolf is coming.” Now it is the West that is experiencing such worries.
It is crucial to recognize the significant impact of the Western hypocritical narratives against China, even if they are based on ideology rather than facts. We must also acknowledge that ideology-based public opinion from the West can exert a powerful influence on their policies toward China.

… When faced with China-demonizing based on ideology from the West, we need to do the simplest thing, namely resorting to facts, science, and reason.

… China needs to prioritize its sustainable development, which ultimately benefits the country itself. It is important to recognize that the foundation of the government’s governance lies in its citizens, not Western praise. The support from its people is crucial for both the nation’s longevity and stability., China’s sustainable development also benefits the world economy by boosting its growth. As mentioned above, China has been the largest contributor to the growth of the world economy since it joined the WTO.

… China should increase its openness to Western groups, including businesses, investors, media, universities, and research institutions. 


Op-Ed: Democracy-autocracy divide will not serve global – or even Western – interests (

Wang Huiyao writes about how the simplistic binary gives the west a new sense of purpose which might eclipse more urgent issues in the world. …

A narrative that focuses on the clash between world orders does not resonate with countries more concerned about economic struggle and the climate crisis.


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This compilation is put together by DeLisle Worrell, President of the ABCF. Previous updates may be found at