Media

12.08.14

On First Annual Constitution Day, China’s Most Censored Word Was ‘Constitution’

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On December 4, China’s first annual Constitution Day, Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily posted the complete text of the Chinese constitution to its Weibo microblogging account, accompanied by the upbeat hashtag: “Let’s all read the...

Thousands of Local Internet Propaganda Emails Leaked

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
The archive includes correspondence, photos, directories of “Internet commentators” (网评员), summaries of commentary work, and records of the online activities of specific individuals, among other documents. Over 2,700 emails are included in the...

Shunyi Foreign Foster Parent of 11 Disappears, Critically Ill Child at Hospital

Michael Wester
Beijinger
The Legal Daily reported Thursday that the girl, called Phoebe, is one of 11 ethnic Chinese foster children the man has been raising in various apartments around Beijing, most recently at Capital Paradise in Shunyi.

China Watchdog Says TV Censorship Rules Should Apply Online Too

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
A more censorious environment coincides with a boom in tie-ups between China and Hollywood. HBO and Tencent have agreed to make HBO content available on a broad basis in China, including shows like The Newsroom, Boardwalk Empire, Rome and Band of...

China Arrests Ex-Security Chief Zhou Yongkang

BBC
The most senior Chinese official to be investigated for corruption, has been arrested and expelled from the Communist Party, state media report.

Media

12.05.14

Repeat After Me: Taiwan’s Recent Elections Had Nothing to Do With Hong Kong

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
If China was in fact the invisible candidate in Taiwan’s local elections, it just lost in a landslide. On November 28, voters on the self-governing island, which mainland China considers a renegade province, selected candidates for over 11,000...

Barack Obama “Would Not Want Your Kids Growing Up in Beijing”

Steven Schwankert
Beijinger
Ouch. It was bad enough when Louis CK described Beijing as a "giant Dayton, Ohio" on David Letterman's show, following his visit to our fair city for a secret performance...

China’s Brave Underground Journal

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
On the last stretch of flatlands north of Beijing, just before the Mongolian foothills, lies the satellite city of Tiantongyuan. Built during the euphoric run-up to the 2008 Olympics, it was designed as a modern, Hong Kong–style housing district of...

Conversation

12.03.14

Can China Conquer the Internet?

David Bandurski, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
Lu Wei, China’s new Internet Czar, recently tried to get the world to agree to a model of information control designed by the Chinese Communist Party. Regular contributors comment below and we encourage readers to share their views on our Facebook...

China Will Be Banishing Its Creative Class to the Countryside

John Dyer
Vice News
Chinese President Xi Jinping is channeling the late communist revolutionary Mao Zedong in a potential crackdown on China's burgeoning creative class...

Mutual Governance of Cyberspace Called For

China Daily
In Washington, Internet Czar Lu Wei Lu pointed out that the two countries should also respect each other instead of engaging in confrontation and accusation.

Reports

12.03.14

Warring State: China’s Cybersecurity Strategy

Amy Chang
Center for a New American Security
Research Associate Amy Chang explores the political, economic, and military objectives of China’s cybersecurity apparatus; reveals drivers and intentions of Chinese activity in cyberspace; and analyzes the development of Beijing’s cybersecurity...

China to Expand Input to Fight HIV: Premier

Xinhua
Xinhua
Noting that China still boasts low HIV rates, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the government must assume the principle role in combating HIV and would continue to increase input on its prevention and treatment.

Leader Asserts China’s Growing Importance on Global Stage

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Sounding confident after a burst of high-profile diplomacy, President Xi Jinping told Communist Party officials in a major address here over the weekend that China would be nice to its neighbors in Asia but that he would run an active foreign policy...

Gregarious and Direct: China’s Web Doorkeeper

Jane Perlez
New York Times
When a major Chinese-American Internet conference convenes in Washington on Tuesday, a middle-aged Communist Party propaganda chief will be seated amid a room full of tech industry executives, American officials and web luminaries.

China’s Crackdown in Hong Kong May Fuel a Long-term Democracy Movement

Editorial Board
Washington Post
China's Communist authorities are nothing if not predictable. With a high-profile international summit hosted by President Xi Jinping this month behind them, they are ready for authorities in Hong Kong to crack down on a pro-democracy protest...

China Fires Journalist Who Tweeted In Support of Occupy Central

Ho Shan and Xin Lin
Radio Free Asia
Wang Yafeng, who wrote editorials for Communist Party mouthpiece the Jiaxing Daily in the eastern province of Zhejiang, lost his job after sending out tweets highly critical of state media's line on the Hong Kong protests on his personal...

As Chinese Duo Perform at American Music Awards, Those at Home Are Skeptical

Te-Ping Chen and Yang Jie
Wall Street Journal
In an indication of how fragile domestic confidence is in the country’s cultural exports, many Chinese commentators were immediately skeptical of the award’s authenticity. By the next morning on Weibo, the phrase “Chopstick Brothers bought an award...

Paper Published by Communist Party Endorses Charge Against Veteran Journalist Gao Yu

Associated Press
South China Morning Post
Gao, 70, denied the charges in a closed-door hearing on Friday. She faces a maximum sentence of death. The document in question is believed to outline curbs on the spread of Western civil liberties in China.

Sinica Podcast

11.25.14

Internet Wrangling in Wuzhen

Kaiser Kuo & Rogier Creemers from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser Kuo hosts alone this week as we turn our attention to the World Internet Conference (English site) last week, when a last minute attempt by Chinese organizers to foist the so-called Wuzhen Declaration on participants provoked an international...

Xi and Peng Now Have a Song of Their Own

South China Morning Post
After a series of high-profile events highlighting their marriage bonds, China’s president, Xi Jinping, and his wife, Peng Liyuan, now have a song praising their relationship.

Los Angeles Mayor Presses China to Allow More Hollywood Films

Gerry Shih
Reuters
Hollywood producers, eager to build ties to the world's second-largest film market, have embraced an influx of Chinese capital in recent years, leading to a series of high-profile partnerships...

Google Looks to Get Back Into China

Rolfe Winkler, Alistair Barr, and Wayne...
Wall Street Journal
Google Inc. is considering bringing a version of its Play mobile-app store to China, a tentative but important step back into a country that Google mostly exited in 2010.

Writers Phil Klay and Evan Osnos win top National Book Awards

Patricia Reaney
Reuters
Klay was awarded the fiction prize for "Redeployment," his book of stories about the wars in Afghanistan. Osnos earned his award for "Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China" in the non-fiction...

Viewpoint

11.21.14

“Getting Pantsed” by the “Central People’s Court”

Hu Yong
In December of last year CCTV producer Wang Qinglei wrote a post on his Weibo account criticizing the Chinese government’s campaign-style attacks on prominent social media figures and arguing the media had also been drawn in and was “sidestepping...

Media

11.20.14

The Invisible Candidate in Taiwan’s Elections

Almost 80 percent of Taiwan, an island of 23 million off the coast of China, is expected to head to the polls November 29 to vote in local elections with more than 11,000 seats up for grabs. Voters will choose candidates ranging from mayors in...

Newspaper Calls on Chinese Academics to Cut the Criticism

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Liaoning Daily, a Communist Party-run newspaper in northeast China, published the article, “Teacher, Please Don’t Talk About China Like That: An Open Letter to Teachers of Philosophy and Social Science,” last week in response to a comment it...

Leaders of U.S., Australia, Japan to Meet, With Eye on China

Rob Taylor
Wall Street Journal
The meeting risks antagonizing Beijing, which bristles at perceptions that its rise in the region is being challenged, but also comes as the U.S. and Japan are working to repair ties with China.

China Anti-Graft Watchdog Finds Gold, Cash in Official’s Home

Sui-Li Wee and Gary Shih
Reuters
The amount seized in the home of Ma Chaoqun, the former manager of the Beidaihe Water Supply Corporation, was so large that state news agency Xinhua called it "shocking"...

In China, Blunt Talk to Reporters on Access

Ravi Somaiya
New York Times
Mr. Xi’s comments come as several journalists for The New York Times and other news organizations have been forced to cover the country from outside its borders, after producing articles that were embarrassing for the Chinese leadership.

Media

11.14.14

Why Is Beijing Downplaying the Supposedly Huge Climate Change Deal?

Alexa Olesen
The United States has been using some frothy language to describe its joint statement with China on forestalling climate change. In a breathless New York Times editorial, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry referred to it as "something of great...

Environment

11.11.14

China Reforms National Parks to Improve Environmental Protection

from chinadialogue
China’s central government is reforming the way major tourist attractions are run. It plans to create a unified national parks management system in a bid to halt environmental damage within its protected areas. The new, unified system will cut...

Cut the Shawl Talk: Chinese Censors Wipe Putin’s Move on China’s First Lady

Hilary Whiteman
CNN
At an APEC event to watch the fireworks in Beijing on Monday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin created a few of his own by slipping a shawl over the shoulders of Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Obama’s Three-Day Visit to China: Charlie Rose

Bloomberg
Bloomberg
On “Charlie Rose,” a conversation about President Obama's three-day visit to China. The president arrived on Monday morning. We are joined by Edward Luce of the Financial Times, Orville Schell of the Asia Society and Chengi Li of the John L...

Obama’s Focus in China Is on Leader, Not Public

Mark Landler
New York Times
The White House has also changed its approach to the Chinese news media. In 2009, Mr. Obama gave an interview to Southern Weekly, a newspaper based in Guangdong Province that is known for pushing the limits of China’s censorship rules. The...

Frosty Meeting at APEC Could Be Start of Thaw Between China and Japan

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The meeting between President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan lasted only 25 minutes, less than half the time usually given to formal encounters between the leaders of two nations.

China’s ‘New Type’ of Ties Fails to Sway Obama

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Nearly three years ago, Xi Jinping was still China’s vice president and only the heir apparent to the Communist Party leadership. But even during that visit he spoke expansively of forging a “new type of great power relations” with the United States.

Ali Baba’s Cave and Pandora’s Box

David Bandurski
China Media Project
When Lu Wei — the man who reportedly led the crackdown on the “Big V” Weibo account holders last year — was asked at a press conference why sites like Facebook (which is blocked in China) had been “shut down,” he responded with a homespun metaphor.

Ten Fun and Fascinating Facts About Xi Jinping

Elizabeth Economy
Council on Foreign Relations
While I can’t do justice to all the material presented in Xi Jinping: The Goverance of China, here are some things I learned from reading through Xi’s musings and the musings of others about him.

Culture

11.07.14

‘The Training Wheels Are Coming Off,’ But That’s Not Necessarily A Good Thing

Jonathan Landreth
Making a movie is a wild ride no matter where you are in the world, a process fraught with ego and pride; wobblier, riskier, yet potentially more lucrative, the bigger and faster it gets.With U.S. gross sales of movie tickets basically flat, up just...

China Warns Tibet Party Members Not to Harbor Separatist “Fantasies” about Dalai Lama

Reuters
Reuters
"As for cadres who harbor fantasies about the 14th Dalai Group, follow the Dalai Group, participate in supporting separatist infiltration sabotage activities, (they will be) strictly and severely punished according to the law and party...

Media

11.05.14

Tim Cook Coming Out Has Turned China Into a Nation of Fifth-Graders

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
"Let me be clear," wrote Apple CEO Tim Cook in a Bloomberg Businessweek article published on October 30. "I'm proud to be gay."Within an hour of the article's publication, Cook's first public announcement of his...

Chinese Courts Are Selling Seized Assets on Alibaba’s Taobao

Sophia Yan
CNN
Ever wonder what it's like to live large like a corrupt Chinese businessman or official? This is your chance...

Taiwan Puts Curbs on Study in China, WeChat for Top Officials

Jenny Hsu
Wall Street Journal
Taiwan and China have fostered closer commercial ties recent years, and since 2008 have signed some 21 trade agreements. But both sides remain at loggerheads over Taiwan’s political status. Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province that must be...

Toronto School District Cancels Plans for Confucius Institute

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Canada’s largest school district moved to terminate its agreement with the institute, which would have offered after-school Chinese language and culture classes, over concerns about China’s human rights record and restrictions on academic freedom.

Key Points in China’s Flood of Legal Reform Rhetoric

Stanley Lubman
Wall Street Journal
One core focus of the plenum documents is extra-judicial interference in the work of the courts, which is a source of intense public dissatisfaction with China’s legal system. Notably, they call for the establishment of “circuit courts” operating...

China: Facebook Not Banned, but Must Follow the Rules

Michael Kan
PC World
“Foreign Internet companies entering China must at the base level accord to Chinese laws and regulations,” Lu Wei, the director of China’s State Internet Information Office, said. “First, you can’t damage the national interests of the country...

In War on Smog, Struggling China Steel Mills Adapt to Survive

David Stanway
Reuters
Dozens of steel mills in industrial areas straddling the capital are set to shut from November 1 to cut smog before leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting. China had imposed...

China Quietly Gives Global News Awards

David Bandurski
China Media Project
Although the WMS was, according to Chinese state media, “co-launched by Xinhua News Agency and other major media organizations around the world,” the event has always been solidly China’s prerogative.

Ex-General in China Admits He Took Bribes, Report Says

Chris Buckley
New York Times
“Xu Caihou fully confessed to the facts of his bribetaking crimes,” said the brief Xinhua report. It did not give any details of who gave the bribes or how much Mr. Xu took.

Media

10.27.14

What China’s Reading: ‘Broken Dreams, USA’

Zhou Xiaoping, a 33-year-old selfie-snapping blogger, has quickly become the new face of Chinese patriotism—or, some would say, nationalism. On October 15, Chinese President Xi Jinping held a forum in Beijing in which the president called for art to...

Media

10.24.14

Hong Kong Documentary Explores the Roots of Dissent

La Frances Hui
To many observers, Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement”—thousands of students and other citizens in the streets demanding to choose their own political leaders—seemed to unfurl, fully formed, out of nowhere. Residents of the former colony were supposed...

Zhou Xiaoping, Director of History

Josh Rudolph
China Digital Times
Since nationalistic blogger Zhou Xiaoping’s “positive energy” won accolades from Xi Jinping at the Beijing Forum on Literature in Art last week, he has been the subject of much netizen scrutiny, and some have taken him to task for his blatant...

Net Closes on Ling Jihua, One-Time Top Aide to Ex-President Hu Jintao

Staff Reporters
South China Morning Post
Hu has been conspicuously silent over the investigation.

Media

10.23.14

Pandas Were Monsters

Alexa Olesen
"Rich Chinese are literally eating this exotic mammal into extinction," read a recent Global Post expose of the devastating trade in the pangolin, a scaly anteater that Chinese consider a delicacy. According to the Post, the adorable...

Media

10.23.14

Kenny G: The Newest ‘Foreign Force’ in Hong Kong

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
As pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong extend into their fourth week with no resolution in sight, pro-Beijing voices have increasingly accused “foreign forces” of wielding influence over Hong Kong protests and intervening in Chinese internal affairs...

Media

10.21.14

Chinese Doubt Their Own Soft Power Venture

On September 27, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong read aloud a letter written by President Xi Jinping at a ceremony in Beijing celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Confucius Institute (CI) program, an international chain of academic centers...

Books

10.21.14

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Richard I. Suchenski, Editor
For younger critics and audiences, Taiwanese cinema enjoys a special status, comparable with that of Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave for earlier generations, a cinema that was and is in the midst of introducing an innovative sensibility and a fresh perspective. Hou Hsiao-hsien is the most important Taiwanese filmmaker working today, and his sensuous, richly nuanced films reflect everything that is vigorous and genuine in contemporary film culture. By combining multiple forms of tradition with a uniquely cinematic approach to space and time, Hou has created a body of work that, through its stylistic originality and historical gravity, opens up new possibilities for the medium. This new volume includes contributions by Olivier Assayas, Peggy Chiao, Chung Mong-hong, Jean-Michel Frodon, Hasumi Shigehiko, Ichiyama Shōzō, Jia Zhang-ke, Kent Jones, Koreeda Hirokazu, Jean Ma, Ni Zhen, Abé Mark Nornes, James Quandt, Richard I. Suchenski, James Udden, and Wen Tien-hsiang, as well as conversations with Hou Hsiao-hsien and some of his most important collaborators over the decades.  —Columbia University Press {chop}

Viewpoint

10.21.14

‘We Can Only Trust Each Other and Keep the Road’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Snip. Snip. Snip. The officer’s face shows concentration as he cuts one yellow ribbon after another along a metal fence on Queensway in the Central district of Hong Kong. Next to him, other policemen have just finished dismantling the barricades...

China Focus: By Rule of Law, China On the Way to Improving Governance

Xinhua
Xinhua
At 7:00 a.m., Shanghai-based lawyer Zhang Jie opened his computer at home, logged onto the Judicial Opinions of China website, and read a court ruling on a case he had offered legal aid to. The whole process took no more than one minute.