TIME Military

China Now Has More Submarines than the U.S.

China Marks 60 Years Of The Chinese Navy (Getty)
ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images A Chinese Navy submarine participates in an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy on April 23, 2009 in Qingdao of Shandong Province, China.

China is adding subs and sending them farther out for longer periods of time

China now has more submarines than the U.S., though the vessels are inferior to the U.S. fleet.

Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, said the vessels are part of China’s expansion into more geographic areas of operation for longer periods of time, Reuters reports. His comments mark the latest expression of concern from some U.S. officials over the Chinese military buildup.

U.S. military officials have recently sought to highlight China’s growing capabilities in an effort to ensure that the U.S. can maintain its technical edge, though a recent study from the Rand Corp. challenged some of those concerns when it found “potentially serious weaknesses” in the Chinese military.

[Reuters]

TIME Web

Watch Hundreds of Fireworks Explode Over Beijing From the Air

See Chinese New Year unfold from the sky

A passenger flying into Beijing at midnight on Chinese New Year recorded the fireworks exploding all across the city—a spectacle that puts 4th of July to shame.

Though China has been toughening regulations on fireworks due to air pollution—Beijing’s smog has already reached hazardous levels—it’s clear that they haven’t stopped these traditional celebrations.

TIME Culture

Your Chinese Menu Is Really a Time Machine

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Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

Sweet and Sour Pork and Chop Suey aren’t just delicious—they also tell stories of waves of immigration from China

I grew up in a Chinese restaurant called the Peking Restaurant in rural New England during the 1970s and ’80s. I was that kid you saw running around the tables and through the waiters’ legs, and playing with whatever I could get my hands on. I had access to some cool things—pupu platters for my birthdays, all the fortune cookies I could eat, the pleasure of celebrating two different new year’s days every year with treats like a roasted pig during the Year of the Pig. And, when I was old enough, I could use the deep fryer to make dinner. As a child, I didn’t see the complexity of the Chinese-American story hidden amongst the aromatic dishes being served. To me, the restaurant was just home, the place I grew up.

My family’s restaurant was far from the hustle and bustle of the nearest Chinatown, all the way down in New York City. For many years, we were the only Chinese family in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Today, Chinese food is so thoroughly woven into America’s culinary tapestry that you’d be hard pressed not to find a Chinese restaurant in most modest-sized towns. They run the gamut: chic, high-end eateries, barebones take-out counters, and bustling all-you-can-eat buffets. But the success of Chinese food culture was hard-earned. And the history of the challenges it faced appears in a surprisingly common place: the finely inked print of your local Chinese restaurant’s menu.

The most fascinating aspects of the restaurant menu aren’t the exotic names or the daily special, but the wonderful time capsules captured by the food and ingredients that make up each dish. Some of the selections you make for your family’s Chinese food night provide snapshots of the different waves of Chinese immigrants coming to the United States, as well as the American reactions to those new arrivals.

A Chinese restaurant’s menu is usually comfortingly familiar: sections for noodle, vegetable, meat, and the chef’s special. One common dish is sweet and sour pork. It is a traditional southern Chinese dish that in its original form looks far different than the Day-Glo red dishes served today. Many of the first Chinese immigrants originated in southern and southeastern China. They took the risk of coming to America for new opportunities and a chance to make their fortunes as miners, railroad builders, farmers, fishermen, launderers, and restaurant owners in the mid-19th century.

Those Chinese were increasingly looked upon as outsiders who refused to conform to societal norms and took jobs away from Americans. Anti-Chinese feelings began to rise across the United States in the late 19th century, but were especially strong in the West where jobs were scarce as cheap manufactured goods and European immigrants arrived via the railroad. Chinese immigrants found themselves being blamed for the nation’s ills. This wave of resentment culminated in the 1882 Exclusion Act barring Chinese immigration.

Around the turn of the 20th century, chop suey became the quintessential “Chinese” dish and was one of the earliest to capture the imaginations of adventurous Americans. During the heart of the exclusionary period, the dish exploded in popularity and actually aided restaurant owners in overcoming the restrictive attitudes and laws of the time. People may not have liked their foreign neighbors, but they loved their chop suey. Soon the dish began appearing in pop culture: One song pined, “Who will chop your suey when I’m gone?” Edward Hopper depicted two women conversing at a restaurant in 1929’s “Chop Suey” painting.

There is some irony here. It’s long been assumed that chop suey is actually a wholly American invention. A recent book by Andrew Coe, Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States, indicates that chop suey in some variation or another does exist in China. I asked my personal expert on the subject, my father. His opinion? Chop suey (sort of) means extra bits or leftovers in Chinese, and who doesn’t have leftovers?

The exclusionary laws were lifted during World War II, when America allied with China, but wholesale changes in immigration laws did not happen until 1965 with the Hart-Celler Act. The new law opened up immigration to the broader Chinese diaspora spread around the world, including those that had fled the civil war on the Chinese mainland for places like Taiwan and Singapore. With the arrival of more Chinese immigrants came a wider range of regional tastes and recipes. Sichuan and Hunan (provinces in China) started showing up in the names of dishes. Recipes inspired by those provinces make up a recognizable portion of many Chinese menus. For example, it is possible that a section of the menu will include an entire row of Hunan beef, chicken, shrimp, or—in my latest takeout menu—something called “Hunan Delight.” One of the more popular and successful Sichuan dishes to come from this period, is kung pao chicken, a dish well known for its spiciness and easy-to-remember name.

It was during this period, circa 1968, when my family came to America via Taiwan. My father chose to open a northern style eatery with specialties such as Peking duck, double-cooked pork, and hot and sour soup. He wanted something different than the traditional southern restaurants that already dotted the landscape. But in the end they served both newer northern dishes and the more common and expected southern recipes. Business was business.

Opening a Chinese restaurant might not have been my father’s first choice. He came to America originally to carve out a career as a scholar with his degrees in political science and mathematics. But like many Chinese immigrants, even some 25 years after the end of exclusion, this was the route to success open to him. It did give my mom, a lifelong fan of cinema, the chance to meet Paul Newman. Newman had stopped by after a promotional event in our shopping mall for lunch. He liked it so much he brought his wife Joanne Woodward back with him a few weeks later.

The complexity of the Chinese-American story cannot be unraveled though a menu alone. But it can tell us a little bit about ourselves—how we as Americans treat one another and how we accept the new and the different. These little windows into Chinese-American history show us how, despite restrictive laws and great animosity, Chinese immigrants persevered. They took the limited opportunities given them and succeeded so wildly that Chinese restaurants are a thriving, essential part of the American experience.

In fact, at last count there were over 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the U.S.—more than McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s put together. Critics say that Chinese food from a takeout menu isn’t authentic Chinese, that it’s more like American Chinese food. I think there’s a clear alternative way to describe it: It’s now all-American food.

Cedric Yeh is the deputy chair of the division of armed forces history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. His latest exhibit is “Sweet & Sour: Chinese Food and Restaurants in America.” He wrote this for What It Means to Be American, a national conversation hosted by the Smithsonian and Zocalo Public Square.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

How People Around the World Eat Their Yogurt

Americans may be largely alone in their Greek obsession, a new report shows

Any trip down the yogurt aisle makes it all too clear—yogurt is having a moment. Greek yogurt alone soared from 4% of the U.S. yogurt market in 2008 to 52% in 2014. But Greek isn’t the only yogurt game globally. A new report reveals that how (and when) people like their yogurt varies greatly from country to country.

MORE: QUIZ: Should You Eat This or That?

To assess yogurt preferences, DSM Food Specialties, a global manufacturer of food enzymes and ingredients, surveyed 6,000 men and women in six major markets: Brazil, China, France, Poland, Turkey and the United States. More than 53% of people surveyed report eating more yogurt than they did three years ago, even in countries with a robust history of yogurt consumption.

Here’s how people around the world like their yogurt:

  • United States

    Chobani Yogurt
    John Minchillo—AP Images for Chobani

    36% of Americans surveyed preferred Greek yogurt, and the U.S. was the only country whose citizens named it as the favorite variety. Americans were also more likely to eat yogurt for breakfast and the most likely to pair yogurt with fruit.

  • China

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    In China, people prefer to drink their yogurt; only 11% eat it by spoon. 54% prefer a probiotic variety, much more than the other markets. A full 83% of surveyed Chinese reported actively looking for probiotics in yogurt, compared to 50% or less in other countries—most choose it for its gastrointestinal benefits. (Not all yogurts contain added probiotics, but it’s a growing trend.) The growth of yogurt popularity in China is somewhat surprising, given the high rate of lactose intolerance in the population—though the survey does show that 60% of Chinese men and women believe lactose-free yogurt is healthier than other yogurt.

  • Brazil

    Muesli with berries and yoghurt
    Getty Images

    Brazilians also like to eat their yogurt at breakfast, and they’re most likely to eat it with cereal, with 55% of the surveyed population doing so. Flavored yogurt is the yogurt of choice for 45%.

  • France

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    Getty Images

    The French typically eat their yogurt as a dessert (83% do so), and 73% like to eat it on its own, the survey shows. They also prefer the flavored variety.

  • Turkey

    Plain yogurt
    Getty Images

    In Turkey, 77% of yogurt lovers prefer eating it as part of a warm meal, and plain yogurt is the most common kind. Even though yogurt was a staple in Turkey before the recent fad, 60% of Turkish men and women surveyed say they are eating more yogurt now than three years ago.

  • Poland

    Opened cartons of fruit yoghurts, close-up
    Getty Images

    The Polish also love flavored yogurt—51% prefer it—and most eat it as a snack.

    Read next: Hungry Planet: What The World Eats

    Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Behind the Photos

How a Chinese Organization is Helping Photographers Win Awards

Mask Boy Poyi winner
Liyang Yuan At a rental house in a village in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province on Dec. 5, 2014, nine-year-old boy Tan Zhouyu is too cold to fall asleep. This photo won first prize in the News Pictures Story category at Pictures of the Year.

Li Qiang, a veteran Chinese photojournalist, helps his country score the photo industry’s most prestigious awards

Ever since Shaoming Yang became the first Chinese photographer to win a World Press Photo award in 1988, his peers have tried to follow in his footsteps. They have done it so religiously that it has been dubbed the “Photo Olympics” in China.

Winning such awards means a lot: victors have their names announced and praised on China Central Television’s 7 o’clock news and are often awarded additional cash prizes by their state-owned newspapers for bringing good publicity.

During this year’s award season, photojournalist Liyang Yuan received first prize in News Pictures Story category at Pictures of the Year, an international photo award run by the Missouri School of Journalism. Chinese photographers also snatched six prizes at last week’s World Press Photo awards, an unprecedented tally.

Behind some of those winning images is a team called Yihe Media Training Workshop, an organization based in Beijing.

The workshop has helped more than 100 Chinese photographers enter top international photo competitions since its launch last December, founder Qiang Li tells TIME. Before submitting their work, Li and his partner Sunny Yang, a news assistant at USA Today’s Beijing bureau, help photographers select their best images, sometimes out of a pool of hundreds, crop them, write captions and enter them on most contests’ English-only websites. They also work with the Italy-based photo enhancement studio, 10b, for professional toning.

“Most Chinese photographers use online dictionaries to translate their captions,” Li says. “It’s a pity many good photos were [kicked out of contests] just because of their bad captions.”

Besides helping photographers enter competitions, for which the organization charges a small translation fee, Li says the workshops they offer, both online and on-site, also teach Chinese photographers about international photo trends. “The photography industry in China is still an isolated island,” says Li. “We don’t have professional photography museums, we don’t have professional photography foundations. Because of the language barrier, many excellent documentary photographers can’t make their voice heard in the world.”

A veteran photojournalist himself, Li is well aware of the pressure photographers are under in the country. “Almost all journalists in China have a low-base salary,” Li tells TIME. “They are like workers on the assembly lines who have a piece-rate system.”

Plus, since most Chinese photojournalists are employed at government-owned media organizations, where their jobs are more stable, few feel compelled to learn new skills. “The documentary and photojournalism industries in China are at a different stage of development to other countries with a more open media landscape,” says Panos photographer Adam Dean, who taught a workshop on photo editing and freelance photography at Yihe.

“There are so many talented and committed photographers in China who don’t really have an outlet for their work, [where] the state controls and censors much of the media,” says Dean, who is based in Beijing. “The problem for [Chinese photographers] is that there is an understandable element of self-censorship, [therefore] there is little motivation for them to invest time, energy and money in a sensitive story or issue that cannot be published in China and could potentially cause them problems.”

The Yihe Media Training Workshop also emphasizes international media practices and ethics in its lessons, with competing in international contests an integral part of the organization’s teachings. “I think there is a standard for a good photo that is beyond countries and ideologies,” Li says. “The affirmation of the works from the most authoritative organizations in the world could give [Chinese photographers] a reason to [stay] in the industry.”

Qiang Li is a photojournalist based in Beijing who has won many national photo awards in China.

Ye Ming is a contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

TIME United Kingdom

Watch Prince William Wish China a Happy New Year in Mandarin

The Duke of Cambridge will visit China in March

Prince William gave his best wishes for the Chinese New Year in Mandarin in a video broadcast on Chinese television

After a brief greeting, the British Prince concluded his message in Mandarin. “I wish you a happy Chinese New Year and good luck in the Year of the Sheep,” he says, according to a Xinhua translation.

The Duke of Cambridge will arrive in Beijing on March 1 to launch a cultural exchange program as the two countries aim to mend ties that were upset in 2012 after Prime Minister David Cameron met with the exiled Dalai Lama. Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Britain later this year.

TIME China

A Viral Video Urges Chinese Parents to Welcome LGBT Kids Home This Lunar New Year

The short film has become a holiday hit in China

This week, hundreds of millions of Chinese will crowd on to planes, trains, cars and motorbikes to make their way home for chun jie, or spring festival. It is a celebration — cue the fireworks — and a chance to reunite with loved ones after months, even years, away. It is also a time to eat, a time to rest, and, for many, a time to field a whole lot of questions from family members: Where’s your girlfriend? When are you getting married? Don’t you know we want a grandchild?

For LGBT folks in China, those questions can be particularly tough. Though China decriminalized gay sex in the late 1990s, stigma and discrimination persist in the workplace and at home, as documented in a report by the UNDP released last year. Though many find a degree of freedom and acceptance in China’s big, booming cities, some struggle to discuss their gender and sexual identities with their parents — a fact that prompted the Chinese branch of PFLAG (formerly known as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to make a short film about the issue.

The video, Coming Home, tells the story of a young man who summons the courage to talk to his mom about being gay, only to be criticized and cast out. After a long period of heartache and estrangement, his mother comes around, tearfully welcoming him home. As the credits roll, real mothers speak directly to the camera, offering words of encouragement and advice to young people facing the journey.

The message to parents: “Accept your children, welcome them home.” And for children: “Don’t give up. Your parents might not understand today, but maybe they will tomorrow.” It’s a sentiment that obviously struck a chord: the video has already racked up 100 million views.

Read next: New Google Doodle Honors Chinese New Year

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Internet

New Google Doodle Honors Chinese New Year

A performer looks out from the head of a lion dance costume during the opening of Ditan Temple Fair on the Lunar New Year's Eve in Beijing, China Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015
Andy Wong—AP A performer looks out from the head of a lion dance costume during the opening of Ditan Temple Fair on the Lunar New Year's Eve in Beijing, China Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015

Gong xi fa cai!

A new Google Doodle is ringing in the Lunar New Year — in Chinese astrology, the Year of the Goat — with an animated graphic that looks more like a sheep. Or it could be a ram. But the confusion is understandable, since the Chinese word (羊) for all three animals is the same.

For people across East Asia, this is an important time for family reunions. In China, what is often called the largest annual human migration on earth takes place as millions of migrant workers leave the cities and board trains to return to their native villages for what is also called the Spring Festival.

It’s tempting to draw an analogy between packed train carriages and flocks of sheep, but, as anyone who has traveled in China during peak periods knows, you need to be much more of a ram if you’re going to stand any hope of getting aboard.

Gong xi fa cai! Good luck and prosperity in 2015.

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