Ding Guangen, Former China Propaganda Chief, Dies at 83

New York Times
Ding Guangen, a former chief of propaganda for the Chinese Communist Party, died here in Beijing on Sunday. He was 83. His death was announced by Xinhua, China’s state news agency, which did not specify the cause. Mr. Ding stepped down in 2002 after...

China’s Communist Elders Take Backroom Intrigue Beachside

Edward Wong and Jonathan Ansfield
New York Times
Clutching a wooden cane and aided by an entourage of young people, the old man in a black silk shirt and matching shorts hobbled up the stairs to Kiessling, a decades-old Austrian restaurant not far from the teeming beaches of this seaside...

Chinese Court Upholds Ai Weiwei Tax Fine

Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
A Chinese court on Friday upheld a $2.4 million fine for tax evasion against the country's most famous dissident, Ai Weiwei, after barring him from attending the hearing, in a case that critics accuse Beijing of using to muzzle the outspoken...

It's Time to Redefine the China Expert

Jan Kaesebier
Misrepresentations and misunderstandings of “China” is a complicated issue that won’t disappear overnight. The news media you have trusted doesn’t always give you an unbiased perspective, even though they have been trying their best. Even visiting...

Why China Will Back Assad—Until It Won't

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
In vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria for the third time, China and Russia have tested Western diplomats’ capacity for creative contempt. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already described their veto as “...

Fears of Chinese Media Crackdown Ahead of Leadership Transition

Tom Phillips and Malcolm Moore
Telegraph
On Wednesday it emerged that Lu Yan and Sun Jian, the publisher and deputy editor of Shanghai's often-combative Oriental Morning Post, had been removed from their positions. It is unclear exactly what triggered the editorial changes and some...

Long Wait Leads to Standoff With Officials

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Thousands of people threw water bottles and blocked traffic at a popular nature preserve in northeastern China on Sunday after word spread that the arrival of top Communist Party leaders was causing an hours-long wait to visit a scenic lake. It was...

Caixin Media

07.19.12

More than Medals for China’s Olympic Stars

China’s best athletes have not only broken records but they’ve hauled in increasingly sizeable cash bonuses from central and local governments for their champion, medal-winning performances at Olympic events.Between 1984, when China re-entered the...

As China Talks of Change, Fear Rises on the Risks

Michael Wines
New York Times
A heavyweight crowd gathered last October for a banquet in Beijing’s tallest skyscraper. The son of Mao Zedong’s immediate successor was there, as was the daughter of the country’s No. 2 military official for nearly three decades, along with the...

The Chinese Media Reciprocity Act and Censorship of Foreign Journalists in China (Pt. 2)

Elizabeth Lynch
China Law & Policy
Putting aside the shrill rhetoric surrounding the Chinese Media Reciprocity Act and the fact that it only deals with the harassment of a small segment of U.S. journalists in China (the VOA and RFA reporters), the Act does draw attention to an...

What is Wrong With the Chinese Media Reciprocity Act (Pt. 1 of 3)

Elizabeth Lynch
China Law & Policy
The Chinese Media Reciprocity Act attempts to combat China’s restrictive visa policies for U.S. government-employed journalists. In reality, the impact of the Chinese Media Reciprocity Act is anything but reciprocal.  The U.S. has two...

China Cracks Down on Money-Smuggling Ring

Lingling Wei
Wall Street Journal
A Chinese court in Chongqing convicted 18 people on Tuesday of running a nearly $10 billion money-smuggling ring, according to an attorney involved, giving Chinese officials one of their biggest victories yet in their efforts to stop the illegal...

Time for China to Abandon Its Population Control Policy

Yanzhong Huang
Council on Foreign Relations
Last week, the government of the Philippines announced plans to allocate nearly $12 million towards contraceptive supplies for community clinics. Yesterday, the London Summit on Family Planning brought together government leaders, representatives...

Yu Jie on His New Biography of Liu Xiaobo

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
Yu Jie is one of China’s most prominent essayists and critics, with more than thirty books to his name. His latest work is a biography of his friend, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, that was published in Chinese in Hong Kong a few weeks ago...

China Commentary Says U.S. Uniform Row Olympic "Blasphemy"

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
An uproar over the U.S. Olympic team's made-in-China uniforms is a blasphemy on the Olympic spirit which is supposed to separate sports from politics and a show of pure ignorance to boot, China's official Xinhua news agency said on Monday...

Top China Paper Slams Clinton's Democracy Comments

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China's top newspaper slammed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday for comments she made lauding democracy and implicitly criticizing restrictions in China, saying those Asian countries that ape U.S. democracy were doomed to fail...

China’s ‘Fault Lines’

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Yu Jie is one of China’s most prominent essayists and critics, with more than thirty books to his name. His latest work is a biography of his friend, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, that was published in Chinese in Hong Kong a few weeks ago...

Inner Mongolia: Mining the Grasslands

Unattributed
Economist
LOCAL legend has it that the beauty of the grasslands in Xilin Gol, a prefecture in eastern Inner Mongolia, so captivated the 13th-century warrior Genghis Khan that he planned to settle down there once his battles were over. He might be less...

Why China Props Up the Rogue State Next Door

ANDREI LANKOV
Foreign Policy
For those who worry about North Korea, the past few months can best be described as a time of quiet despair. Since North Korea reneged on the "Leap Day" food aid deal in March by announcing the test of a long-range rocket (the test later...

Asian Leaders at Regional Meeting Fail to Resolve Disputes Over South China Sea

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Disputes in the strategically important South China Sea proved so contentious here that an annual regional gathering has ended without even a basic diplomatic communiqué, which appeared to have been blocked by China.

The China Bashing Syndrome

Unattributed
Economist
IT IS a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a major American political party’s presidential nomination must be in want of a more assertive policy on China. Bill Clinton upbraided George Bush senior for “coddling dictators”; Mr...

Sinica Podcast

07.13.12

Sino-American Perceptions

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo is joined by two guests from the Committee of 100, an organization formed over twenty years ago by I.M. Pei and other prominent Chinese-Americans to address issues in the Sino-American relationship. The Committee...

The Uncertain Future of Beijing's Migrant Schools

Josh Rudolph
China Digital Times
As the gap between China’s urban and rural economies continues to expand, the largest rural-urban migration in world history persists. When those from the countryside arrive in the city, the current hukou system blocks their access to the social...

A Confucian Constitution for China: Where's the Popular Sovereignty?

Sam Crane
Useless Tree
Daniel Bell and Jiang Qing have a short op-ed in today's NYT outlining what a Confucian political system for China might look like. This is a large and complex topic, and the brevity of the piece really cannot do it justice, so any critique...

Sheldon Adelson and Macau

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
Nearly forty years ago, S. J. Perelman described a fictional Hong Kong hotel he called the “Golden Bamboozle,” a reference not only to a bed chamber that cost a “prince’s ransom,” but to a city that was a magnet for bon vivants and grifters and risk...

China's Malformed Media Sphere

Qian Gang
China Media Project
From July 2 to July 3, the residents of the city of Shifang in China’s western Sichuan province staged protests to oppose a molybdenum-cooper project they feared would poison their community. The protests were marked by fierce conflict, and the...

Environment

07.11.12

Why Big Dams Don’t Work

from chinadialogue
The record of Africa’s large dams is one of widespread environmental destruction to the continent’s major river systems, upon which millions of people depend for their livelihoods; forcible resettlement and human rights abuses; corruption and cost...

Caixin Media

07.11.12

Economic Ties that Bind

Labor leader Wayne Swan has his finger on the pulse of the Australian economy as the nation’s deputy prime minister and treasurer, which means he’s well-equipped to explain factors defining the increasingly robust relationship between China and...

Ordination of Bishops Increases Tensions Between China and Vatican

Ian Johnson
New York Times
In a sign of rising tensions between the Vatican and China, authorities in recent days have ordained one Catholic bishop without Rome’s consent and detained another after he made a dramatic break with the country’s Communist-run religious hierarchy.

A Confucian Constitution in China (Op-Ed)

JIANG QING and DANIEL A. BELL
New York Times
The political future of China is far likelier to be determined by the longstanding Confucian tradition of “humane authority” than by Western-style multiparty elections. After all, democracy is flawed as an ideal. Political legitimacy is based solely...

Nationalist and Liberal Spar in Beijing Park (With Ai Weiwei Cameo)

David Pilling
Financial Times
In China, as is doubtless the case elsewhere, the distinction between online and offline is blurring. That presents the Communist party with a potentially dangerous problem. Online comment can serve a useful official function, allowing people to...

Politburo Possibilities: A Primer

Eric Fish
Sinostand
This fall, the Chinese Communist Party will hold its 18th Party Congress and select a new generation of leaders who will face some of the greatest challenges seen yet in the PRC’s 63 years. Inflation is growing, wealth inequality is widening, the...

Caixin Media

07.06.12

Land of Vanishing Lakes

The last lakes in Hubei province are shrinking so fast that no one knows whether new government regulations—the latest leg of a sixteen-year-old environmental scramble—can reverse the disappearing act.The province has been losing its once-bountiful...

Bolder Protests Against Pollution Win Project’s Defeat in China

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
China has long been known as a place where the world’s dirtiest mines and factories can operate with impunity. Those days may not be over, but a growing environmental movement is beginning to make the most polluting projects much harder to build and...

Media

07.05.12

Powerless Media=Powerless Citizens, Says China Youth Daily Editorial

Amy Qin
Tapping into widespread public frustration with corruption among government officials, advocates of press freedom in China seem to have found an effective tool with which to ally citizens to the journalistic cause. In a July 3 editorial published in...

U.S. Files Trade Complaint Against China on Cars

Mark Landler
New York Times
The United States filed a trade complaint against China on Thursday for new duties it imposed on American-made cars and trucks. The move came as President Obama kicked off a campaign bus tour through the manufacturing heartland of Pennsylvania and...

Watching How China Censors

Paul Mozur
WSJ: China Real Time Report
China's government employs software and an army of thousands to police the Internet, but it leaves much of the censoring to social-media sites like Sina Corp. SINA +2.30% to take down posts that violate local and national rules issued each week...

China-Japan Diaoyu Dispute, Now an iPad Game

Paul Mozur
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Forget about Angry Birds. One new videogame for China’s iPad users is all about the angry words flung back and forth between China and Japan over a series of small islands in the East China Sea. The new game, called Defend the Diaoyu Islands,...

China Hires Tens of Thousands of North Korean Guest Workers

Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
China is quietly inviting tens of thousands of North Korean guest workers into the country in a deal that will provide a cash infusion to help prop up a teetering regime with little more to export than the drudgery of a desperately poor population.

China Needs To Ease One-Child Policy, State Researchers Say

Zheng Lifei
Bloomberg
Chinese government researchers called on the nation to ease its one-child policy as soon as possible to cope with an aging population and labor shortage. One option is allowing all people to have a second child, three researchers including Yu Dong...

Sichuan City Suspends Factory Construction Following Protests

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
A municipal government in southwestern China has suspended at least temporarily the construction of a metals factory after bloody street protests on Monday, in the latest sign of the growing strength of the country’s environmental movement.

On Chinese Liquor Brand Is the Life of the Party

MARK MCDONALD
New York Times
Government and Communist Party officials in China have been pounding down so much Moutai grain alcohol — the good stuff, the expensive stuff, not the everyday rotgut — that Prime Minister Wen Jiabao recently proposed slashing the state budget for it...

China Youth Daily Editorial on Journalists' Powerlessness

David Bandurski
China Media Project
Making waves today in China — at least in media circles — is an editorial on the Shi Junrong case written by journalist Cao Lin (曹林) in China Youth Daily, a newspaper published by the Chinese Communist Youth League with a longstanding reputation for...

Global Times Editor Under Fire

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
Not a trace of the July 1 Hong Kong protests can be seen on mainland Chinese media, and “sensitive words” surrounding the rallies have been scrubbed from major Web platforms. So Global Times Chief Editor Hu Xijin’s Weibo post addressing, in English...

Media

07.03.12

Project Harmony: The Chorus behind China’s Voice

Amy Qin
With a population of more than 1.3 billion people, can there really be such thing as a single “voice of China”? According to the Chinese government, the answer is, without question, yes. Not only does there exist a “China's voice” or a “Chinese...

Culture

07.02.12

Novelist Chan Koonchung on China’s ‘Lack of Trust’

Ilaria Maria Sala
“I started to think about this book in 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympics,” says Chan Koonchung of his dystopian novel Shengshi: Zhongguo 2013 (The Fat Years). “2008 was the beginning of a new chapter for China, which is when I realized I had a...

Prize-Winning Reporter Driven from SCMP

Paul Mooney
Asia Sentinel
On April 22, Wang Xiangwei, the new editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post, informed me that my contract with the newspaper would not be renewed when it expired on May 21. I can’t say I was surprised.

No Weibo for the New York Times

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
The New York Times Chinese-language venture, launched this Wednesday, is off to a bumpy start. While the website itself is running, the site’s Sina Weibo account went down just hours after its launch. It was up again on Thursday evening. “Given that...

China Blocks Access to Bloomberg and Businessweek Sites

BBC
Web users in mainland China are unable to access Bloomberg's websites, after they were blocked by local authorities. The news agency thinks the move is a response to an article published about the fortunes of Vice President Xi Jinping's...

Hong Kong Journalists Warn of Self-Censorship

Te-Ping Chen
WSJ: China Real Time Report
As the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to mainland China on July 1 approaches, local journalists say that press freedoms have eroded in recent years and self-censorship is on the rise. According to a survey by the Hong Kong Journalist’s...

Teaching Tiananmen

Jeremy Brown and Benedicte Melanie Olsen
Perspectives on History
With more than two decades of hindsight, it has become clear that 1989 marked a key turning point in world history. It is now possible to analyze the momentous events of 1989 in a historical fashion, and also to teach history classes about them. In...

South China Morning Post Editor Under Fire

David Watkins
Agence France-Presse
The first China-born editor of Hong Kong's flagship English-language paper admits he made a "bad call" in cutting coverage of a mainland dissident's death, but denies he is a stooge for Beijing. The South China Morning Post'...

China’s Turn Against Law

Carl F. Minzner
Social Science Research Network
Chinese authorities are reconsidering legal reforms they enacted in the 1980s and 1990s. These reforms had emphasized law, litigation, and courts as institutions for resolving civil grievances between citizens and administrative grievances against...

Media

06.30.12

Bloomberg Unearths Xi Jinping’s Family Fortune

Amy Qin
A recent Bloomberg report detailing the millionaire assets of the extended family of Xi Jinping, China’s presumptive next leader, has drawn praise from the community of China media observers for its thorough investigative work and fact-...

Bo Xilai: Inside the Scandal - A WSJ Documentary (Video)

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
The fall of Bo Xilai, once a rising star in Chinese politics, has plunged the country into its biggest crisis since Tiananmen Square. In this documentary, The Wall Street Journal examines how his downfall has altered the debate about China's...

Xi Jinping Millionaire Relations Reveal Fortunes Of Elite

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
Xi Jinping, the man in line to be China’s next president, warned officials on a 2004 anti-graft conference call: “Rein in your spouses, children, relatives, friends and staff, and vow not to use power for personal gain.” As Xi climbed the Communist...

Caixin Media

06.29.12

Shale Gas Race

The shale gas revolution in the United States has led to a debate in China over shale gas development. But can the United States really achieve energy self-sufficiency? And if it can, what are the implications for China?Ever since the Nixon era,...

A World War II Story That China Would Like You to Hear

Conor Friedersdorf
Atlantic
On May 6, 1944, U.S. army pilot Glen Beneda of the Flying Tigers was shot at by Japanese fighters while flying a combat mission over China. His plane caught fire, he ejected, and minutes later he landed in a rice paddy, frightening a group of...

The Great Leap from Myth to History

Josh Rudolph
China Digital Times
n an article for Asia Times Online posted earlier this month, Peter Lee examines the cooling prohibition on discussion of the disastrous effects of the Great Leap Forward. The collection of hastily enacted policies resulted in mass starvation. What...

Hillary Clinton’s Last Tour As Rock Star

Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
(With a blow-by-blow of the Cheng Guangcheng negotiations.) On May 3, the day after an artful deal to end the diplomatic crisis over Chen Guangcheng, China’s now-famous dissident, unraveled spectacularly, Hillary Rodham Clinton followed a scrum of...