For China’s Gay Men, Beijing Park Offers Haven

Harvard Zhang
Los Angeles Times
Though illegal, Chinese media regularly report on gay home weddings and gay couples getting marriage certificates in the U.S. 

The Melancholy Pop Idol Who Haunts China

Hua Hsu
New Yorker
Teresa Teng’s influence is particularly powerful in China, which her parents had fled after the revolution.

China Uses ‘Picking Quarrels’ Charge to Cast a Wider Net Online

Edward Wong
New York Times
Artists, essayists, lawyers, bloggers and others deemed to be online troublemakers have been hauled into police stations and investigated or imprisoned for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a charge that was once confined to physical...

Media

07.20.15

Taming the Flood

David Bandurski
In August 1975, Typhoon Nina, one of the most powerful tropical storms on record, surged inland from the Taiwan Strait, causing floods so catastrophic they overwhelmed dam networks around the city of Zhumadian in China’s Henan province. When Banqiao...

Sinica Podcast

07.13.15

Good Riddance, Monsieur Epstein

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The hosts of the Sinica Podcast are not surprised that Gady Epstein is moving on. We used to buy the papers for his “Telegrams from the Orient”, but then he took that Economist gig and his productivity plummeted and it has become hard to even...

Chinese Hackers Circumvent Popular Web Privacy Tools

Nicole Perlroth
New York Times
The attackers compromised websites frequented by Chinese journalists as well as China’s Muslim Uighur ethnic minority.

Viewpoint

06.11.15

Why I Publish in China

Peter Hessler
A couple of weeks ago, I received a request from a New York Times reporter to talk about publishing in China. The topic has been in the news lately, with the BookExpo in New York, where Chinese publishers were the guests of honor. In May, the PEN...

Breaking Beijing?

Lynette H. Ong
Foreign Affairs
The government's harsh crackdown could crack the regime...

China Blacklists 38 Cartoons, Violence, Porn Cited

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
Among the banned are a 2014 animated TV series set in a Tokyo after a terrorist attack has destroyed the city.

Media

06.09.15

Chinese Censorship of Western Books Is Now Normal. Where’s the Outrage?

Alexa Olesen
In September 2014, I was commissioned by the New York-based free speech advocacy group PEN American Center to investigate how Western authors were navigating the multibillion-dollar Chinese publishing world and its massive, but opaque, censorship...

Sinica Podcast

06.08.15

Writers: Heroes in China?

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
If you happen to live in the anglophone world and aren’t closely tied to China by blood or professional ties, chances are that what you believe to be true about this country is heavily influenced by the opinions of perhaps one hundred other people,...

Survivor Accounts Raise Questions About Yangtze Ship’s Final Moments

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Four days after the ship, the Oriental Star, flipped over in a ferocious storm, leaving 442 dead or missing.

China Is Exporting its Tiananmen Censorship, and We Are All Victims

Foreign Policy
Twenty six years after the killing of student protesters, the code of silence is spreading worldwide.

China Tries To Put A More Positive Spin On Cruise Ship Sinking

Frank Langfitt
NPR
Dozens are confirmed dead and the number is expected to pass 400.

Culture

06.01.15

Chinese Writers and Chinese Reality

Ouyang Bin
My first encounter with Liu Zhenyun was in 2003. At the time, cell phones had just become available in China and they were complicating people’s relationships. I witnessed a couple break up because of the secrets stored on a phone. I watched people...

Should Authors Shun or Cooperate With Chinese Censors?

Elliott Spirling, Chan Koonchung, John...
New York Times
A PEN American Center report found some books were expurgated by Chinese censors without the authors knowledge.

Corrupting the Chinese Language

Murong Xuecun
New York Times
The author fears Orwell’s prediciton: “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

Conversation

05.21.15

Censorship and Publishing in China

Andrew J. Nathan, Zha Jianying & more
This week, a new PEN American Center report “Censorship and Conscience: Foreign Authors and the Challenge of Chinese Censorship,” by Alexa Olesen, draws fresh attention to a perennial problem for researchers, scholars, and creative writers trying to...

PLA Daily Warns of Internet's Revolutionary Potential

Song Miou
Xinhua
The military should not only safeguard traditional national sovereignty and security, but also "protect ideological and political security on the invisible battleground of the Internet"...

Liu Xiaobo Locked Up in China, Locked Out of Translation of Paul Auster Novel

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Liu Xiaobo’s arrest was cut from the Chinese translation of Auster's novel without his knowledge...

Reports

05.20.15

Censorship and Conscience

Alexa Olesen
Alexa Olesen
PEN International
In this report, PEN American Center (PEN) examines how foreign authors in particular are navigating the heavily censored Chinese book industry. China is one of the largest book publishing markets in the world, with total revenue projected to exceed...

Why Hong Kong is Clamping Down on Creative Writing

Madeleine Thien
Guardian
The decision to close City University’s MFA program is plainly intended to limit free expression.

Media

04.30.15

Will China Ban Katy Perry?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On April 28, American pop singer Katy Perry gave her first-ever concert in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, the self-governing island which mainland China considers to be its sovereign territory. Tense relations between Taiwan and mainland China mean...

An American Hero in China

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
One night in September, three hundred people crowded into the basement auditorium of an office tower in Beijing to hear a discussion between two of China’s most popular writers. One was Liu Yu, a thirty-eight-year-old political scientist and blogger...

Three Days in Beijing with the Global Dissident Elite

Kashmir Hill
Fusion
Poitras, Oscar-winning Citizenfourdirector, came to Beijing to shoot a film about Appelbaum and Ai meeting and making art.

Sinica Podcast

04.27.15

Nationalism and Censorship

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Christopher Cairns joins the hosts of Sinica for a discussion of his forthcoming paper, co-authored with Allen Carlson, scheduled for publication in China Quarterly. Why are we so interested in this topic? Because Cairns and his colleagues at...

10 Most Censored Countries

Committee to Protect Journalists
For more than 10 years, China has been among the top 3 jailers of journalists in the world, a distinction that it is unlikely to lose soon.

The Netflix of China Is Invading the US With Smartphones

Cade Metz
Wired
LeTV launched its Internet video streaming service three years before Netflix (2004 versus 2007). 

China Releases 5 Women’s Rights Activists Detained for Weeks

Edward Wong
New York Times
Police released five female activists detained after campaigning against sexual harassment on public transport.

TV Presenter Insults Mao at Private Dinner

Tania Branigan
Guardian
CCTV is investigating a top presenters after he was caught calling Mao a “son of a bitch” at a private dinner.

China Escalates Hollywood Partnerships, Aiming to Compete One Day

David Barboza
New York Times
Chinese studios are moving up the value chain, helping to develop, design and produce world-class films and animated features.

Fifty Shades of Xi

David Bandurski
Medium
China’s confessional politics of dominance.

China’s Biggest Anti-Censorship Service is Under Attack

Russell Brandom
Variety
GreatFire.org has been under an unprecedented denial-of-service attack, receiving more than 2 billion requests per hour.

Yahoo to Shutter China Office and Cut “Around 350” Jobs

Martin Patience
BBC
The move not a huge surprise as Yahoo has been retreating since 2013 when it ended email servies in China. 

The Constant Adaptations of China’s Great Firewall

Eva Dou
Wall Street Journal
Firewall-hopping technologies see activist programmers and Chinese censors engaged in a cat-and-mouse game. 

Foreign Non-Government Groups in China Fear Clampdown Under New Law

Sui-Lee Wee and Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
The draft law stops NGOs violating "Chinese society's moral customs." ...

Books

03.05.15

Has the American Media Misjudged China

William J. Holstein, Editor on behalf of The Overseas Press Club
Thirty-five years after China's opening to the world, some of the key assumptions that have guided coverage are being tested by the presidency of Xi Jinping. This book is must reading for anyone involved in U.S.-Chinese relations or for anyone who is just plain curious about how the assumptions that have guided American media coverage of China are now being challenged by the presidency of Xi Jinping. He has a very different vision of his country's future than the one often presented in some media accounts. —William J. Holstein  {chop}

China’s Premier Vows to Promote Film, TV Industries, “Core Socialist Values”

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
Li Keqiang pledging to promote  entertainment industry as delegates renewed calls for film classification system.

How China Uses J-Visas to Punish International Media for Critical Coverage

Bob Dietz
Committee to Protect Journalists
A new report finds Chinese authorities are "treating journalistic accreditation as a privilege rather than a professional right."...

Beijing Quietly Curbs Discussion of Documentary on Air Pollution

Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
Censors stepped in to tamp down the buzz around an air-pollution documentary that drew 100 million views. 

Travels with My Censor

New Yorker
China’s reading public has begun to discover nonfiction books about China by foreigners.

Conversation

02.27.15

Are China and Russia Forging a New Ideological Bloc?

Jacqueline N. Deal, Wu Jianmin & more
With evidence of ties strengthening between Beijing and Moscow—over energy contracts, the handling of the Ukraine, and their diplomats' stance toward outside interference in internal affairs, especially if it's perceived as coming from...

Media

02.23.15

Five Predictions for Chinese Censorship in the Year of the Sheep

Blocked websites, jailed journalists, and nationalist rhetoric have long been features of the Chinese Communist Party’s media control strategy. During the Year of the Horse, which just ended on China’s lunar calendar, President Xi Jinping and his...

Viewpoint

02.19.15

Beijing Touts ‘Cyber-Sovereignty’ In Internet Governance

Scott D. Livingston
It has been a difficult few weeks for global technology companies operating in China.Chinese officials strengthened the Internet firewall by blocking the use of virtual private networks (VPNs), reasserted demands that web users register their real...

China Tells Schools to Suppress Western Ideas, With One Big Exception

Dan Levin
New York Times
Some teachers and students reject the idea that foreign pedagogy and textbooks pose a threat to the government.

China Says No Room for ‘Western Values’ in University Education

Agence France-Presse
Education minister says books which ‘smear socialism’ will be banned.

Conversation

01.29.15

Is China’s Internet Becoming an Intranet?

George Chen, Charlie Smith & more
With Astrill and several other free and paid-subscription virtual private networks (VPNs) that make leaping China’s Great Firewall possible now harder to use themselves after government interference "gummed" them up, the world wide web...

China Communist Party Magazine Blasts Professors Who Spread ‘Western Values’

George Chen
South China Morning Post
Party journal's commentary targets liberal academics after President Xi Jinping calls for 'ideological guidance' for teachers and students ...

China Says Web Authors Must Use Real Names

New York Times
Guidelines aim to force online authors to “take better responsibility” for their works. 

China to Pay Price for ‘Closed-Internet’ Policy |

George Chen
South China Morning Post
Thinking everything will look good by blocking online access may sound too simple and naive.

Chinese Director’s Film For Greenpeace Shows How Smog Changes Everything

Matt Sheehan
Huffington Post
The film follows families from Hebei, in heavily polluted industrial northern China, and from Beijing, the prosperous Chinese capital next door, that has seen epic pollution emergencies recently.

China Is Using ‘Charlie Hebdo’ to Justify Its Own Crackdown on Free Speech

Matt Schiavenza
New Republic
“The world is diverse and there should be limits on press freedom,” read the editorial by Paris bureau chief Ying Qiang. “Unfettered and unprincipled satire, humiliation, and free speech are not acceptable.”

Sources: Nicolas Cage’s ‘Outcast’ Has Chinese Release Date Delayed Again

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
There have been a host of theories about why Outcast is being delayed. Some distribution sources said in September that YFG was unhappy with the number of screens made available for the film.

China’s 109-Year-Old Dissenter Is Still Fighting for Democracy

Tom Hancock
Business Insider
Born when a Qing dynasty emperor was on the throne, the man who helped invent the Pinyin writing system used for transliterating Chinese worldwide turns 109 on Tuesday. But Zhou Youguang's outspoken support for democracy means his writings are...

Media

01.13.15

This Culture Has Not Yet Been Rated

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
It all started with plunging necklines. After the sudden withdrawal and subsequent sanitizing of a popular Chinese show, viewers in China have renewed longstanding calls to strip government censors of their power, using one simple solution: a...

Want to Hire a Private Car in China? There Will Be No App for That

Bonnie Cao and Huang Zhe
Bloomberg
“Banning private cars from using the apps will put passengers at ease,” the ministry said. “But apps for premium car services have an innovative service model and play a positive role in meeting the high-end and differentiated transportation market...

China Strives to Be on African Minds, and TV Sets

Bree Feng
New York Times
While China imposes strict controls on foreign-produced entertainment at home, it is also eager to see its cultural products embraced abroad. And in Africa, Chinese television shows have become immensely popular — at least according to the Chinese...

Caixin Media

01.06.15

In Praise of Hu Feng

Sheila Melvin
Hu Feng (1902-85) is a name that most students of P.R.C. history have undoubtedly encountered at one time or another. I remember reading it for the first time years ago in Jonathan Spence's "The Search for Modern China." It stuck in...

Reports

01.01.15

The Politburo’s Predicament

Sarah Cook
Freedom House
Drawing on an analysis of hundreds of official documents, censorship directives, and human rights reports, as well as some 30 expert interviews, the study finds that the overall degree of repression has increased under the new leadership. Of 17...

Sinica Podcast

12.26.14

Regulating the Fourth Estate in China

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
The explosion of the commercial media sphere in China over the last decade hasn't been particularly subtle, especially if you're anything like us and walk past multiple Chinese newsstands in the morning. But let's look beyond the way...