Aug 30: Film on Sustainability of China’s Meat Industry

“What’s For Dinner”
Saturday Aug 30th, 7pm, Nearby the Tree (upstairs)

RMB100 includes a drink and pizza, salad buffet

It’s going to be a great night! Lots of people, food and food for thought. Really looking forward to seeing all of you tonight!

WHAT’S FOR DINNER? a film which follows the rapid rise of animal product consumption in China, where consumption of pork—the country’s most popular meat—has doubled over the past ten years. Since China recently opened its doors to foreign agribusiness, both Western and home-grown fast food chains are now commonplace in urban areas, and contribute to a $28 billion-a-year business in the country.

8月30日 周六晚上7点, @Nearby the Tree(二层楼台)




BCDrinks and Brainstorming Aug 14

It was great to grab a drink with new and old friends last Thursday at Nearby the Tree in Sanlitun.

BCD is organizing a great 2014-2015 season and we need your help! We are looking for suggestions on:

  • Topics that interest you
  • Speakers who you know that would like to present
  • Affordable restaurants and locations that can host these dinners (approximately 50-60 RMB per person

Topics are not limited to non-profit or social endeavours – so long as it fosters discussion and is something of interest for those who come.

Also, put these events in your calendar!

  • August 30th (Saturday) – A screening of the fascinating documentary film “What’s For Dinner?”, will be followed by a discussion with its director Jian Yi, about the sustainability of China’s new farming and meat production models
  • Sept 13th (Saturday) – World Food Program Speaker “China and Hunger: Where we are at?”

Last but not least, we are always looking for volunteers who want to be part of BCD and help out! Please don’t hesitate and email us to get involved!

Dinner Speaker from Clean Air Asia: June 21

Beijing Community Dinner (BCD) is back in full swing with our first dinner of the summer this Saturday, June 21st. Our special guest speaker that evening will be Dr. Fu Lu, Director of Clean Air Asia’s China Program. China’s growing air pollution problem is well known by all its inhabitants, however, what is one leading NGO doing to solve these problems? Come find out this Saturday!


A little about Clean Air Asia…

Clean Air Asia was established in 2001 as the premier air quality network for Asia by the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and USAID. Its mission is to promote better air quality and livable cities by translating knowledge to policies and actions that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from transport, energy and other sectors.


Since 2007, Clean Air Asia is a UN recognized partnership of more than 250 organizations in 31 countries in Asia and worldwide and 8 Country Networks (China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam), and is headquartered in Manila, and with offices in Beijing and Delhi.

For more information please go to


When:       June 21st 7:00pm  –  This Saturday!

Where:     Tian Chu Miao Xiang:

Address:   Chaoyangmenwai SOHO  Building D  2nd Floor  Room B      Tel :010 -5900-1288 5900-1088

Cost:          100RMB per person



地址:朝阳区 朝阳门外大街乙6号朝外SOHO大厦D座2楼0260号(京广桥西) 朝外SOHO全部店铺   B厅

电话:010-59001288 59001088

成本 :100元


Seats are limited, so please RSVP to

Hope to see you all this Saturday!

Preserving Beijing’s Architectural Heritage: April 12

Next weekend we’re delighted to join and support an event by our old friends at CHP, one of the first groups to address BCD: RSVP at (seats will be reserved for those who RSVPed) Courtyard Institute Heritage Talk: Learning from the collaborative rehabilitation of a Beijing Dazayuan   During Summer 2013, Sinapolis conducted a unique rehabilitation operation on a “dazayuan” (大杂院, courtyards highly densified after 1950 and often dilapidated) in the heart of the city. These dazayuan account for up to 80 % of the space covered by zones involved in heritage protection programmes in the centre of Beijing. Understanding the evolutions of these specific urban forms seems therefore primordial to provide solutions for the preservation of the ancient centre. In this view, the project seeks to promote new rehabilitation practices meanwhile pursuing a reflection on the general applicability of the suggested plans. Jérémie Descamps from Sinapolis will outline how his group has followed a process of rehabilitation which is both respectful of the specificity of the site as well as innovative from a social and economic viewpoint, with an emphasis on the active and continued participation of the inhabitants in the project. Date:                  12th April, 2014 (Saturday) Time:                 10:00-12:00 with Q & A Venue:               No. 28, Zhonglao Hutong Cost:               RMB50 per person, includes a drink Language:         English Read more:

China’s Arctic exploration talk, volunteer call: April 25

Hi all, we want to point you towards a very interesting event chaired by BCD member, on a very pertinent topic with a renowned expert on the global big-power race to exploit the ever-warmer Arctic trade routes and energy resources: please RSVP via It’s this Fri at 10am at the Norwegian embassy in Sanlitun (v near Tuanjiehu subway stop) and please bring ID for entry.

Meanwhile, want to give something back? we have been asked seeking BCD volunteers to teach English to a club for local retirees and unwaged, at Chaoyang Library (near new CCTV tower) this (and every) Sunday 2-4pm. If you’re interested please write to class coordinator Mr Lee (speaks English) at

see you there!

Race to Conquer the Arctic:

Over the past few years, China’s foreign policy in the Arctic region has become increasingly focused on economic and strategic considerations, as well as the concept of the Arctic Circle as an ‘international space’. In addition to pursuing potential raw material and fossil fuel resources in the region, China is also seeking to make use of maritime trade routes which have become increasingly accessible due to the retreat of sea ice. With these considerations in mind, Beijing has begun to stress that despite not having Arctic borders, Chinese interests in region warrant the country’s inclusion in Far North policymaking issues. With China’s admission to the Arctic Council as a permanent observer in 2013, there is now the question of how Beijing will cooperate with the Arctic littoral states as the region becomes more strategically important.
DATE: Apr. 25 (Friday)
TIME: 10-11:30am
VENUE: Royal Norwegian Embassy, 1, Dong Yi Jie, Sanlitun (enter from 3rd ring road South direction)
ENTRANCE: free to FCCC members, 80 RMB on the door to non-members
REGISTRATION: online at ‎

Marc Lanteigne is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science and Director of Research at the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of China and International Institutions: Alternate Paths to Global Power, as well as articles on Chinese and East Asian security and foreign policy.

5/18/13: Campaigning against the ivory trade – Grace Gabriel, Asia regional director of International Fund for Animal Welfare

Grace Gabriel, Asia regional director of International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) told us about the progress that is–and isn’t being make in the illegal trade in animal parts.
Grace is a world-renowned expert and campaigner and has advised worldwide parliaments and Interpol – as well as the Chinese authorities – on curbing the trade in ivory which is currently at a peak, diminishing elephant and rhino populations.
Thanks a lot to Susan He and Juanyi for making this happen.

4/27/13: Beijing Besieged by Waste film screening – director Wang Jiu-liang

This was a riveting documentary on the explosion of landfills in Beijing’s suburbs. It was made by an award-winning local documentary maker and photographer, Wang Jiu-liang.  Based on Wang’s travels to more than 500 landfills, Beijing Besieged by Waste fearlessly documents Beijing’s unholy cycle of consumption through poignant observational visits with the scavengers who live and work in the dumps.   “Wang Jiuliang was the first to expose the city’s little-known Seventh Ring Zone garbage dumps.” – Time.  Attendees also learned about the progress in management of Beijing’s waste since 2010, when the film first aired–at true testament to the power of activism for making change.   Thanks to Zhang Yuchen (Alicia) for organising this event!

4/20/13: Social Entrepreneurship in China – Andrea Lane, Founder of FYSE, and Wang Li, Social Entrepreneur

Last night BCD welcomed Andrea Lane, founder and director of FYSE, a local organisation which provides capacity building for social entrepreneurs, and Wang Li, a social entrepreneur who runs a library and a school on the outskirts of Beijing. Andrea spoke to us about the rise of social enterprise in China since the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, and the translation into Chinese of the David Bornstein’s bestseller, “How to Change the World.” However, the social entrepreneurship in China remains small in comparison to that in Western countries because of several barriers relating to funding, registration, and the lack of business-savvy talent in the sector.

Wang Li backed up Andrea’s talk with the story of his library, set up in a migrant community to encourage reading among children and adults. Wang runs a fee-paying elementary school in a separate community, and uses a portion of the profits to fund the library; a social enterprise combining education with charity. The ensuing discussion among the guests touched on topics ranging from the controversy of overhead costs for social enterprise to predictions of what lies ahead for the sector.


Find out more:


3/23/13: Alternatives to Factory Farming in China? – Jeff Zhou, China Representative of Compassion in World Farming

Compassion in World Farming is an NGO which campaigns to end all cruel factory farming practices through undercover investigations exposing the realities of modern intensive farming systems. They have contributed to landmark agreements such as outlawing the barren battery cage for egg-laying hens as well as banning/restricting narrow veal crates and sow stalls across Europe.

CIWF’s work in China includes collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to draft an animal welfare law for China and campaigning against a British foie gras farm to be set up in China rumoured to employ inhumane practices during production. Jeff Zhou, China representative from Compassion in World Farming, joined us this evening accompanied by a farmer who cooperates with CWF’s programmes locally for a discussion on the challenges of circumventing cruel farming practices when purchasing food and the possibility of feeding the world without factory farming.

Compassion Farming

Find out more:


3/9/13: Migrant issues in China – Representatives Li Tao of The Facilitator and Zhang Zhi Qiang of Friends of Migrant Workers

The rights of migrant workers remain on the agenda of the Chinese government for their relevance to Chinese society, international labour law, and social issues of all kinds ranging from children’s education to healthcare. While Western organisations and media certainly address the topic, Chinese NGOs arguably have far greater insight and influence into challenges and potential solutions for migrant workers facing problems concerning insurance, education for their children, legal representation, and safe working conditions.

migrantTonight BCD invited two representatives from Chinese NGOs to give us their insider’s view on the situation facing migrant workers in China today. Mr. Li works at The Facilitator, an organisation which aims to help migrant workers integrate into the societies in which they work through legal aid provision, entertainment facilities, training lectures, and study groups. Mr. Zhang works in the Legal Consultancy Service Centre of Friends of Migrant Workers, offering legal aid to migrant workers as well as campaigning for the development of schools for their children.

Find out more: