Viewpoint

05.08.19

This Year, I Couldn’t Avoid May Fourth

Taisu Zhang
The one hundredth anniversary of the 1919 May Fourth Movement came and went last week much as one would have expected...For some, myself included, the anniversary evoked a set of more complicated emotions. For years, these complications have pushed...

China’s Communist Party Has Come of Age – the West Should Wake Up

Richard McGregor
Guardian
The Chinese Communist party congress displayed all the qualities beloved by Leninist institutions over the ages, of deep secrecy mixed with stern pageantry, leveraged in the service of reinforcing their leaders’ inviolate right to rule.

Books

02.01.17

Unlikely Partners

Julian Gewirtz
Unlikely Partners recounts the story of how Chinese politicians and intellectuals looked beyond their country’s borders for economic guidance at a key crossroads in the nation’s tumultuous 20th century. Julian Gewirtz offers a dramatic tale of competition for influence between reformers and hardline conservatives during the Deng Xiaoping era, bringing to light China’s productive exchanges with the West.When Mao Zedong died in 1976, his successors seized the opportunity to reassess the wisdom of China’s rigid commitment to Marxist doctrine. With Deng Xiaoping’s blessing, China’s economic gurus scoured the globe for fresh ideas that would put China on the path to domestic prosperity and ultimately global economic power. Leading foreign economists accepted invitations to visit China to share their expertise, while Chinese delegations traveled to the United States, Hungary, Great Britain, West Germany, Brazil, and other countries to examine new ideas. Chinese economists partnered with an array of brilliant thinkers, including Nobel Prize winners, World Bank officials, battle-scarred veterans of Eastern Europe’s economic struggles, and blunt-speaking free-market fundamentalists.Nevertheless, the push from China’s senior leadership to implement economic reforms did not go unchallenged, nor has the Chinese government been eager to publicize its engagement with Western-style innovations. Even today, Chinese Communists decry dangerous Western influences and officially maintain that China’s economic reinvention was the Chinese Communist Party’s achievement alone. Unlikely Partners sets forth the truer story, which has continuing relevance for China’s complex and far-reaching relationship with the West. —Harvard University Press{chop}

China Takes A Gamble in Scapegoating the West

Jamil Anderlini
Financial Times
This type of propaganda gives license to ordinary people to indulge their most primitive prejudices.

Books

05.18.16

Queer Marxism in Two Chinas

Petrus Liu
In Queer Marxism in Two Chinas, Petrus Liu rethinks the relationship between Marxism and queer cultures in mainland China and Taiwan. Whereas many scholars assume the emergence of queer cultures in China signals the end of Marxism and demonstrates China’s political and economic evolution, Liu finds the opposite to be true. He challenges the persistence of Cold War formulations of Marxism that position it as intellectually incompatible with queer theory, and shows how queer Marxism offers a nonliberal alternative to Western models of queer emancipation. The work of queer Chinese artists and intellectuals not only provides an alternative to liberal ideologies of inclusion and diversity, but demonstrates how different conceptions of and attitudes toward queerness in China and Taiwan stem from geopolitical tensions. With Queer Marxism in Two Chinas Liu offers a revision to current understandings of what queer theory is, does, and can be. —Duke University Press{chop}

Hong Kong May Be A Little Insecure, But It's No 'Slave'

Kenny Hodgart
South China Morning Post
I don't much care to weigh in on the subject of Hong Kong remaining a place where non-Asians are able to prosper...

Will China Close Its Doors?

New York Times
The draft “Foreign NGO Management Law” is part of a package of legislation that includes strict laws on national security and antiterrorism.

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"...

Conversation

05.14.15

The Future of NGOs in China

Isabel Hilton, Carl Minzner & more
Last week, China’s National People’s Congress released the second draft of a new law on “Managing Foreign NGOs.” Many foreign non-profits in China have operated in a legal gray area over the years. The law [full English translation here] establishes...

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." ...

Sobering News Out of China, Part 4 Million

Atlantic
Chronicles of a country walling itself off.

Conversation

02.12.15

Is Mao Still Dead?

Rebecca E. Karl, Michael Schoenhals & more
It has long been standard operating procedure for China’s leaders to pay tribute to Mao. Even as the People’s Republic he wrought has embraced capitalist behavior with ever more heated ardor, the party he founded has remained firmly in power and his...

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 ...

Chinese Teacher Suspended for Teaching Constitution

Abby
Global Voices
Professor Zhang Xuezhong of East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai published an article entitled “The Origin and Perils of the Anti-constitutionalism Campaign in 2013″. On August 17, Zhang was notified that his teaching status had...

Look Who’s Afraid of Democracy

New York Times
For all of China’s vaunted influence in the world, many of its top leaders are deeply fearful of losing control of their own country. That fear is reflected in the Bo Xilai trial and the recently revealed “Document No. 9” warning of subversive...

Political Rebalancing: Tilting Backwards

J.M.
Economist
The speed with which Mr Xi has moved to establish his conservative ideological credentials, having at first struck a somewhat more liberal tone, has still been a surprise to some observers.  

China Takes Aim at Western Ideas

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Communist Party cadres have filled meeting halls around China to hear a somber, secretive warning issued by senior leaders. Power could escape their grip, they have been told, unless the party eradicates seven subversive currents coursing through...

Chinese Leaders Warn Against ‘Dangerous’ Western Values

Chris Buckley
New York Times
The demands for ideological conformity show that Mr. Xi and other leaders want to inoculate the public from expectations of major political liberalization, even as they explore loosening some state controls over the economy.