Books

11.09.12

Strong Society, Smart State

James Reilly
The rise and influence of public opinion on Chinese foreign policy reveals a remarkable evolution in authoritarian responses to social turmoil. James Reilly shows how Chinese leaders have responded to popular demands for political participation with a sophisticated strategy of tolerance, responsiveness, persuasion, and repression—a successful approach that helps explain how and why the Communist Party continues to rule China.Through a detailed examination of China's relations with Japan from 1980 to 2010, Reilly reveals the populist origins of a wave of anti-Japanese public mobilization that swept across China in the early 2000s. Popular protests, sensationalist media content, and emotional public opinion combined to impede diplomatic negotiations, interrupt economic cooperation, spur belligerent rhetoric, and reshape public debates. Facing a mounting domestic and diplomatic crisis, Chinese leaders responded with a remarkable reversal, curtailing protests and cooling public anger toward Japan. Far from being a fragile state overwhelmed by popular nationalism, market forces, or information technology, China has emerged as a robust and flexible regime that has adapted to its new environment with remarkable speed and effectiveness. Reilly's study of public opinion's influence on foreign policy extends beyond democratic states. It reveals how persuasion and responsiveness sustain Communist Party rule in China and develops a method for examining similar dynamics in different authoritarian regimes. He draws upon public opinion surveys, interviews with Chinese activists, quantitative media analysis, and internal government documents to support his findings, joining theories in international relations, social movements, and public opinion.  — Columbia University Press

In China, Paranoia Around Twitter Hackings

Paul Mozur
Wall Street Journal
Activists, journalists and a political cartoonist had their Twitter accounts hacked the opening day of China’s 18th Party Congress.

Features

11.06.12

Fragments of Cai Yang’s Life

Chen Ming
The man suspected of smashing the skull of fifty-one-year-old Li Jianli, the owner of a Japanese automobile, has been arrested by police in Xi’an; he is twenty-one-year-old plasterer Cai Yang.Cai Yang came to Xi’an from his hometown of Nanyang [...

Neil Heywood 'Was MI6 Informant'

Malcom Moore
Telegraph
Neil Heywood, the British businessman murdered in China, gave MI6 info on Bo Xilai.

CCTV Comes to America

Alex Pasternack
Foreign Policy
 CCTV America's coverage of China is largely scrubbed of controversy and upbeat in tone, with a heavy emphasis on business and cultural stories in places where Beijing hopes to gain influence. Reporting on topics sensitive to Beijing,...

From Toys to TV News, Jittery Beijing Clamps Down

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
As China's capital steels itself for the 18th Party Congress, the government is cracking down on balloons, homing pigeons, Ping-Pong balls and remote-control toy airplanes, anything that could potentially carry protest messages and mar the...

Media

11.02.12

Chinese Movie Mogul Promises New Party Leaders Will Open Market to Hollywood

Jonathan Landreth
A wise old cartoon turtle in Kung Fu Panda advises Po, the portly black and white star of the 2004 DreamWorks Animation blockbuster film, not to fret about honing his fighting skills, but rather to focus on the moment and do his...

Staying Out of Trouble Before the 18th Party Congress

Jan Cao
As Beijing enters extreme lock-down prior to the 18th National Party Congress (十八大 or “shi ba da” in Chinese), social media users have invented a new coded reference–“Sparta”–to talk about this otherwise censored topic on Sina...

Chinese Blogging Superstar’s Strange But Effective Rant Against Over-Construction

Liz Carter and David Wertime
Although Chinese authorities have since said they would back down from the proposed project, Li’s angry and vivid description of Chinese government remains relevant–and, for that matter, unblocked by Chinese censors. Weaving political commentary,...

Protests in China Get a Boost From Social Media

Christina Larson
Bloomberg
The city of Ningbo—a prosperous port of 3.4 million people, near Shanghai—is hardly one of China’s cancer villages, of the kind contributing to the thousands of pollution-related protests that happen each year in China. And the mostly middle-class...

Clubs and Cameras: Stability Preservation in the Age of Weibo

David Bandurski
China Media Project
Many images and video posted to Chinese social media from the scene in Ningbo have already been deleted — and some users reported Sunday that Ningbo-based users were unable to post content. But Sina Weibo and other platforms remain the primary...

China's People's Daily Launches Attack on The New York Times

Tom Phillips
Telegraph
The 1,500 word People's Daily editorial appeared to be a direct response to The New York Times's explosive exposé last week about the $2.7 billion (£1.67 billion) "hidden fortune" of the family of Chinese prime minister Wen...

David Barboza Answers Reader Questions on Reporting in China

David Barboza
New York Times
The Times’s Shanghai bureau chief, David Barboza, reported last week that close relatives of Wen Jiabao, the prime minister of China, hold billions of dollars in hidden riches. Here are his answers to questions from readers prompted by the article.

New York Times Wen Exposé Makes Waves

Samuel Wade
China Digital Times
David Barboza’s investigation of the wealth built by Wen Jiabao’s extended family has dominated China news since its publication by The New York Times early on Friday. While the basic fact that wealth and power go hand in hand may surprise few—China...

Me and My Censor

Eveline Chao
Foreign Policy
Like any editor in the United States, I tweaked articles, butted heads with the sales department, and tried to extract interesting quotes out of boring people. Unlike my American counterparts, however, I was offered red envelopes stuffed with cash...

In China, 'Mad Men' Reflects Reality of Modern Life

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
The 1960s-driven TV drama resonates with ambitious young Chinese professionals.

Media

10.26.12

Myanmar Envy

Bi Cheng
Chinese netizens’ reactions to tentative democratic reforms in neighboring Myanmar, including to the recent repeal of censorship rules for private publishers by the Southeast Asian nation’s reformist government, reflect just how closely it’s...

China Condemns NYTimes Wen Jiabao Wealth Story as 'Smear'

John Sudworth
BBC
Beijing said the report that Wen's family has "controlled ... at least $2.7bn" had "ulterior motives."...

Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader

David Barboza
New York Times
Wen Jiabao's son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership. ...

A Test Case for the Communist Party’s Commitment to Reform

Yiyi Lu
Wall Street Journal
Critics say the Party can't hold power much longer if fundamental reforms are not introduced – a notion echoed by an essay in the latest issue of the CCP’s own theoretical journal, Seeking Truth...

'Iron Man 3': First Footage Reveals New Villian, No China

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
Much touted Disney-Marvel film co-production with Beijing-based studio DMG may ring hollow.

China Hints at Reform by Dropping Mao Wording

Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
Dropping Mao's name from policy statements hints that the Communist Party may move toward reform...

Five Debate-Worthy Facts about China

Scott Neuman
NPR
The last U.S. Presidential debate will focus on foreign policy and is sure to discuss Chinese relations. 

China hints at move to strengthen Communist rule

Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
Xinhua says China's ruling Communist Party will discuss a proposal aimed at strengthening one-party rule over the next five years. ...

For RZA, Hip-Hop Was Just a Prelude to Kung Fu

Dave Itzkoff
New York Times
“The Man With the Iron Fists,” which RZA directed and stars in, is a martial-arts epic set in a mythical Chinese feudal state, where a dispute between a monarch and a nefarious gang draws in a rogue British soldier (played by Russell Crowe), a madam...

Video: A Visit with Ai Weiwei

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
Earlier this year, we invited the artist Ai Weiwei to visit the United States to take part in the New Yorker Festival, held in early October. At the time, the Chinese government had barred Ai from traveling abroad—an unofficial form of punishment...

Foxconn Workers Have Fun Sometimes

James Fallows
Atlantic
James Fallows' pics from inside a Chinese factory making many famous Western electronic brands...

Radio: Shanghai Residents Discuss U.S. Presidential Debate

Frank Langfitt
NPR
Eight Chinese watched and discussed Tuesday's U.S. presidential debate at the NPR Shanghai bureau...

Reports

10.18.12

Cyber Detente Between the United States and China

Greg Austin and Franz-Stefan Gady
EastWest Institute
In May 2012, the United States and China agreed publicly for the first time to begin talks on military aspects of cybersecurity. The agenda and expectations for this process at the official level remain to be set. Through Track 2 processes some very...

State TV Host Apologizes for Cursing American Reporter. Or Does He?

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
China Central TV host Yang Rui apologized for calling a female U.S. journalist a “bitch” in a xenophobic rant.

How a High-Speed Rail Crash Exposed China’s Corruption

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
This was not a bus plunging off a road in a provincial outpost; it was dozens of men and women dying on one of the nation’s proudest achievements—in a newly wired age, when passengers had cell phones and witnesses and critics finally had the tools...

China in Hollywood, Hailed and Investigated

Michael Cieply
New York Times
Movie mogul Han Sanping soon will receive an Asia Society award even as U.S. investigators' continue to question Hollywood studios' dealings with Han's company...

NBA Plans Basketball Facility in China

The Associated Press
Associated Press
The 120,000-square foot NBA Center in Tianjin port near Beijing will house basketball courts, a fitness center and a restaurant and be part of a mixed-use development with housing for 150,000.

Media

10.11.12

Netizens React to Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize

Ouyang Bin
Upon hearing the news that novelist Mo Yan was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, a flurry of messages about the fifty-seven-year-old Shandong native circulated on weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, expressing decidedly mixed opinions...

Censorship Reaching 1,000 Miles Exposed on China’s Twitter

Yueran Zhang
Netizens exposing public servants' taste for expensive timepieces has sparked an online and newspaper crackdown.  On October 9, Wang Keqin (@王克勤), an Economic Observer (@经济观察报) reporter posted on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, that...

Five Points on the Deeply Flawed U.S. Congress Huawei Report

Graham Webster
Transpacifica
Chinese telecomms firms painted as shady, but evidence to back up allegations is hidden in report's classified sections...

DreamWorks to Make 2-3 Films a Year in China, Eventually

Georg Szalai
Hollywood Reporter
"Kung Fu Panda" creators will ramp up a partnership with Chinese state-run media funds, slowly...

What Han Han's App Means for Chinese Censorship

Liz Carter
By publishing "The One" as an iPhone app, China's superblogger bypassed the State Administration of Radio Film and Television...

What the U.S. Presidential Debate Looked Like From China

Lily Kuo
Atlantic
 Chinese netizens shared mixed views of the U.S. election, some cynical, some optimistic.

Why China Lacks Gangnam Style

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
In China, the Gangnam phenomenon carries a special pique. It has left people asking, Why couldn’t we come up with that? China, after all, dwarfs Korea in political clout, money, and market power, and it cranks out more singers and dancers in a...

Han Han: “Why Aren't You Grateful?”

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
When looking for Chinese reactions to the anti-Japanese riots that took place in late September, it was probably not much of a surprise that the Western press turned to Han Han, the widely read Shanghai-based blogger. In characteristic form, Han...

What’s Really Trending on China’s Twitter: The Voice of China

LIz Carter
Coverage of China in Western media tilts toward the political and economic, so it might surprise some to learn that the top trending terms this summer on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, have mostly related to the season’s top television hit: ...

Sensitive Words: Bo Xilai’s Expulsion

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
Since Bo Xilai’s expulsion from the Communist Party and announcement that he would face criminal charges, a number of Sina Weibo terms related to Bo which were previously blocked from search results are now live once again...

Protests Roiling, China’s Mainstream Media Showed an Alternate Reality

Sandra
It’s already entered the annals of China’s brief but rich Internet history: On Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, posts showing massive anti-Japan protests in China went viral on September 15th and 16th. Out in the real world, protestors across dozens of...

Flag Raising Ceremony Held on China’s First Aircraft Carrier

Barry van Wyk
Danwei
Various front pages in China today feature glowing reports of China’s first aircraft carrier on whose platform a flag raising ceremony was held yesterday. Yet the fact that it happened is just about everything we know for sure about the ship. The...

Chinese ‘Soft Power' Expands in Africa with CCTV

Ronald Yick
Global Voices
Chinese government state-controlled media, China Central Television (CCTV), launched its African regional bureau in Nairobi, Kenya on January 11, 2012. While its presence has diversified the media landscape in Africa, media watchdogs and...

Caixin Media

09.20.12

Hit TV Show Sings Song of Media Model Success

A reality-talent TV songfest popular in more than forty countries around the world has become an instant hit in China, underpinning enthusiasm for an experimental business model linked to media sector reform.The Voice of China’s debut show in July...

Books

09.19.12

Two Billion Eyes

Ying Zhu
With over 1.2 billion viewers globally, including millions in the United States, China Central Television (CCTV) reaches the world’s single largest audience. The official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, CCTV is also a dynamic modern media conglomerate, fully reliant on advertising revenue and aggressively competitive both within China and on the global media scene. Yet this hugely influential media player is all but unknown to the west. Two Billion Eyes tells its story for the first time.For this unprecedented look inside CCTV, noted Chinese media expert Ying Zhu has conducted candid interviews with the network’s leading players, including senior executives, noted investigative journalists, and popular news anchors, as well as directors and producers of some of CCTV’s most successful dramatic and current affairs programs.Examining the broader story of CCTV in a changing China over the past quarter century, Two Billion Eyes looks at how commercial priorities and journalistic ethics have competed with the demands of state censorship and how Chinese audiences themselves have grown more critical, even as Party control shows no signs of loosening. A true inside account of one of the world’s most important companies, this is a crucial new book for anyone seeking to understand contemporary China.    —The New Press

Prominent Chinese Writer: I Am a Traitor

Sijia Song
Li Chengpeng, an influential writer and social commentator, has published an article on his blog denouncing the boycott of Japanese goods and the violent anti-Japan sentiment currently sweeping China as the two wrangle over the Diaoyu Islands,...

Total Denial and the Will to Forget

Qian Gang
China Media Project
Anyone who regularly observes the topsy-turvy world of Chinese politics understands that the past, even the remote past, can exert a powerful influence on the present and future. Major historical anniversaries — like that of the 1989 Tiananmen...

State Media Call For “Rational” Patriotism

David Bandurski
China Media Project
After two days of violent anti-Japanese protests in China stemming from a territorial dispute over a chain of islands in the East China Sea, media in China are now calling on the public to remain calm and “rational,” apparently concerned about how...

Anti-Japan Protests in China Turn Violent, Cooler Heads Prevail Online

Jimmy
On Saturday protestors in dozens of Chinese cities took to the streets to voice their anger at the Japanese government’s nationalization of the Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku Islands in Japanese) in the East China Sea as a flagrant violation of Chinese...

Foreign Journalists in China Targeted by Malware Attacks

Lucy Hornby
Reuters
Foreign journalists in Beijing have been targeted by two very similar malware attacks in just over two weeks in the lead-up to China's once-in-a-decade leadership transition. The emails - one appearing to come from a Beijing-based...

China Commentary Slams Romney's "Foolish" China-Bashing

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
In a strongly worded English-language commentary, Xinhua said Romney's anti-China rhetoric, if converted into policy upon him assuming office, would trigger a catastrophic trade war and damage the already weak global economic recovery...

Ming Pao: Rules for Anti-Japan Protests

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
Numerous mainland cities are experiencing days-long Anti-Japan protests in defense of China’s sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. Authorities have begun exerting increasingly strict control over the demonstrations. Police...

Media

09.16.12

What Microblogs Aren’t Telling You About China

Amy Qin
In China, where notions of freedom of speech and freedom of expression are seen by the government as secondary to the all-important ideal of social stability, there is little space, if any, for truly open and unmediated public conversation...

Is China's Global Times Misunderstood?

Allen Carlson
Diplomat
A growing conviction is taking root in America that Chinese views of the international system are becoming increasingly assertive and nationalistic. One of the prime referents for this contention is the Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao), a hugely...

Keywords: Preserving Stability

Qian Gang
China Media Project
The two-character Chinese phrase weiwen is an abbreviated form of the full phrase, weihu wending, meaning to preserve or safeguard stability. The Chinese Communist Party has many such shortened phrases, compact verbalisms that pack a political punch...

Web Posts Spur Free-Speech Debate in China

Austin Ramzy
Time
With his thin frame, shabby suit and graying hair, Chen Pingfu, who played his violin for handouts on the streets of the northwestern Chinese city of Lanzhou, hardly seemed to be a threat to anyone. But after he wrote a series of online essays...