In the news

Here will appear items from around the web that caught my interest, but you can contribute, too! Post on the blog, and check the box for the category “readthis”, and of course you can leave comments on each post.

  • Students and activism: continued November 28, 2018 Observers suggest that Qiu Shuiping, the new CCP Chief at Peking University, was appointed not only to deal with the current student activism (mentioned in a previous post), but also in anticipation of the big anniversaries coming up in 2019: May Fourth (a century), Tian’anmen (thirty years), and the founding of the People’s Republic of China ...
  • Big Characters Poster Re-appear in Beijing Streets (Chinese) November 25, 2018 For Chinese speakers/readers: Big character posters (da zi bao 大字報) appeared again in the Beijing streetscape mid-November 2018, posted by the “Zhengzhou Propaganda Team of Mao Zedong Thought” 郑州毛泽东思想宣传队, as stated on the posters. Brief video report: 北京街头出现为文革翻案的多张大字报. This is an interesting use of the old-school technology to spread information. It is also worth bearing in ...
  • New York Times series on 40 years of “Reform and Opening Up” November 25, 2018 In December it will be forty years since Deng Xiaoping steered the PRC and its economy in a new direction, towards more cooperation with foreign firms and governments, and a market-capitalist element to its economic planning. Since then, China has changed dramatically at many different levels. Although I take exception to the description of China ...
  • “China’s Great Leap Backward” November 25, 2018 Oh look, another China-watcher anticipating the collapse of the PRC/CCP. Don’t hold your breath- I have been waiting for more than twenty years to see this actually happen. If we learn one thing from history, it’s that predictions should always come with the disclaimer “alternative scenarios available”. But the rest of the article does a ...
  • Commemorating Forty Years of “Reform and Opening Up” November 19, 2018 December 2018 will mark the fortieth anniversary of the political events that shifted China into a higher economic gear, with the introduction of capitalist elements (e.g. market economy, foreign investment) in what became known as “socialism with Chinese characteristics” during Deng Xiaoping’s leadership. This article looks at the official exhibition that commemorates the anniversary, and ...
  • The problem with Hong Kong November 19, 2018 This opinion piece in the New York Times was just brought to my attention (via Sinocism), and fits nicely with the Primary Source Presentation today on the agreement between Britain and the PRC about Hong Kong. “Benny Tai Yiu-ting: Hong Kong Isn’t What It Was, Nor What It’s Supposed to Be“
  • Fifty years of the Cultural Revolution (2016): The “Forgotten” Anniversary November 14, 2018 The year 2016 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Not much was to be seen about this in the official media, but the trauma still exists for many people who suffered during that time. This article reminds us of the gruesome reality and acts of cruelty which sprang ...
  • Some interesting reads on China’s growing “surveillance society” November 14, 2018 Two interesting pieces that explain the “social credit system” and the surveillance that goes with it quite well: “Leave No Dark Corner” (pros and cons for Han Chinese citizens) “The Han-opticon” (including the ethnic dimension underlying the project, and a link to the accompanying Little Red Podcast episode)
  • “Fengqiao experience”- or why history still matters in the PRC November 13, 2018 The China Media Project draws our attention to a new term (“Fengqiao experience”) that is starting to (re-)surface in the PRC official news output. This article is a great example of how we can spot important changes in policy by combing through official news sources and understanding the historical echoes of key terms. “Fengqiao experience”, ...
  • Hidden debt and the Chinese economy October 17, 2018 The latest report from S&P Global on the financial situation in China is out. As I mentioned in class, the question is how much don’t we know about the financial situation in China, and how much influence does that unknown element carry into analyses… If you like to have all the detail about the hidden ...
  • US considered ban on student visas for Chinese nationals October 3, 2018 Article from the Financial Times (answer the brief quiz to get access) (ETA: here is a link to another article about the same topic from Business Insider through Trexler Library collection) As tensions with China are rising, scholarly and educational exchanges are caught up in the accusations of spying. The idea to ban Chinese nationals from ...
  • Not all communism is equal? September 30, 2018 Recently the authorities in the PRC have started to take action against… communist and maoist student organizations. Although these groups embrace the foundational philosophies of the People’s Republic, they are seen as “disturbing social order”. Here is the full read from the NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/28/world/asia/china-maoists-xi-protests.html
  • History, education and politics in China September 27, 2018 History was, and still is important in China. We have already seen how the Manchu tried to control the history written about them, but the issue is also of importance today: last week, it was announced that the ministry of education will make sure textbooks used in classes are the official ones: “China expunges unapproved, ...
  • Western Regions / Xinjiang / Central Asia September 20, 2018 Three articles (out of many) that provide a few insights in China’s relations with Central Asia: foreign policy, trade, and the policy towards its own Central Asian Uyghur population: https://www.theworldofchinese.com/2015/03/the-silk-road-endures-driver-zhou/:China’s exports to Central Asia revive the Silk Road, but Chinese communities in Central Asia are not always integrating easily. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2125879/china-ready-work-afghanistan-counter-terror-threat: The One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR/ ...
  • Do US scholars self-censor when writing about PRC/CPC? September 7, 2018 This article has drawn a lot of attention from US China Studies specialists. The author states that Western scholars are self-censoring their research and outreach activities. In his view, they fear that a critical attitude to the PRC (People’s Republic of China) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) will lead to being denied visas ...
  • Flu virus and the “trade war” between China and US August 28, 2018 China Has Withheld Samples of a Dangerous Flu Virus You should still get your flu shot when they are available, but this is an interesting development in the trade war between China and the US. “Scientists believe top commerce officials in both governments view the viral samples much like any other laboratory product, and may be ...