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Truth in Chinese Cinema?

Truth in Chinese Cinema?

Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions at MoMA May 8-June 1

In 1997, as James Cameron’s Titanic sank box office records around the world—including in China—Sally Berger, assistant film curator at the Museum of Modern Art, worked to bring New York moviegoers a raft of Chinese movies they’d never heard of.

The fourteen films in the series were not martial arts pictures or costume dramas, but instead movies like director Wu Wenguang’s stark 1990 documentary Bumming in Beijing, which captured the lives of a group of artists struggling to find their way in the shaky aftermath of the crushed democracy movement of 1989.

Photo courtesy of Icarus Films
<em>Tape</em> (2010), directed by Li Ning.

Even when China was but the world’s eighth largest economy and barely on the minds of most Americans, Berger felt outsiders needed to understand the country better. Now China’s economy is No. 2 and stories about it hit American front pages nearly every day. Time again for a reality check.

So it is that on Wednesday, May 8, at MoMA in New York, Berger and co-curator Kevin B. Lee unveiled Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions: The Evolution of Documentary Practice in China, 1988-2013. The program of twenty-five films is set to run through June 1.

“Over the past three decades, China has been radically transformed through all kinds of economic and social changes, and it’s led its artists and filmmakers to ask, ‘What is real in our world, and how is reality constructed?’” Lee, a Chicago-based independent distributor at dGenerate Films, said. “One big part of this is the regulation of Chinese media, which leads to a version of reality on movie and TV screens that’s often unrecognizable relative to what people in China actually experience. So we selected a number of really groundbreaking films that probe deeply into this question of what is real.”

In the sixteen years since the first big Chinese film series at MoMA, Chinese filmmakers have focused either on mimicking Hollywood fairy tales—mostly badly, failing to gain traction overseas—or tried to tell their own stories about what’s really going on around them in China, often in direct conflict with officialdom eager to promote a tidy version of the nation’s smooth progress under Chinese Communist Party rule—meaning no distribution at home.

In homage to the spirit of the 1997 series, which screened several films forbidden from being shown in public in China, Wednesday’s opening night film at MoMA is director Zou Xueping’s The Satiated Village (2011), a young woman’s documentary about the elders in her village who survived the famines that killed, by conservative official accounts, some 15 million Chinese from 1958-61.

Zou, a film student, belongs to a Beijing collective founded by Wu Wenguang, which equips young Chinese filmmakers with cameras and tasks them with capturing stories typically erased from official media. Last summer, a public independent festival in Beijing that featured Zou’s film and several similarly unflinching others had to shift to a tiny private venue when the electricity to the public venue where it was being held suddenly and inexplicably shut down.

Over the next twenty-five days, MoMA will screen celebrated Chinese non-fiction films of recent years such as Wang Bing’s West of the Tracks (2003)—a three-part, nine-hour portrait of an industrial wasteland—and Zhao Liang’s 2009 Petition, an exploration, twelve years in the making, of the world of petitioners who travel to Beijing to seek justice. Also showing are milestones along the road of China’s documentary practice, films such as the 1992 drama The Story of Qiu Ju—in which director Zhang Yimou used hidden cameras to capture actual street scenes he then cut into his fictional film—and a condensed version of the 1988 television documentary River Elegy, a series that was censored after 1989 for its criticism of traditional Chinese culture as an obstacle to social progress.

MoMA also will offer up a few brand-new films—including Longing for the Rain, the first narrative feature by noted documentarian Yang Lina, the story of a Beijing housewife seduced by a phantom lover threatening to destroy her middle-class life.

For students of the global village trying to follow the development of the “real China”—that complex, fast-paced capitalist place not seen in martial arts costume dramas—an evening talk on Friday, May 10 with director Wu may be the best scene-setter. Titled “Baring your Stuff,” the talk will pair Wu with curators Berger and Lee after a screening of the film that began it all, Wu’s Bumming in Beijing.

“We are coming full circle with Wu Wenguang, whose vision of China and the possibility for Chinese cinema is as eye-opening today as when we first met in 1997,” Berger said.

A full screening and lecture schedule for Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions: The Evolution of Documentary Practice in China, 1988-2013 is available here.

Topics: 
Jonathan Landreth reported from Beijing from 2004 to 2012. His work appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, The China...

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<p>“Ai Weiwei retweeted me!” exclaimed a young blonde woman, laughing and waving her iPhone in the air with excitement. She and some two hundred other New Yorkers had gathered on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza to...

Media

04.15.14

Captain America Conquers China

<p>SHANGHAI—This week, while U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s trip to China was <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/world/asia/united-states-and-china-clash-over-contested-islands.html?_r=0" target="_blank...

Media

04.11.14

Is Jesus Really Hotter Than Mao on China’s Social Media?

<p>It’s easier to talk about Jesus than Chinese President and Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping on Weibo, China’s massive Twitter-like social media platform.</p><p>The atheist Chinese Communist Party, known for its...

Media

04.02.14

The Future of Democracy in Hong Kong

The Editors
<p>Veteran Hong Kong political leaders Anson Chan and Martin Lee describe some of the core values—such as freedom of the press—that they seek to maintain as Beijing asserts greater control over the territory seventeen years after Britain...

Media

04.02.14

A Merkel, a Map, a Message to China?

<p>On March 28, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping at a dinner where they exchanged gifts. Merkel presented to Xi a 1735 map of China made by prolific French <a href="http://www.swaen.com/D-...

Media

03.28.14

Ang Lee and Zhang Yimou Talk Movies

Jonathan Landreth
<p>Ang Lee, the <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000487/awards?ref_=nm_awd" target="_blank">Oscar-winning American</a> film director with Taiwan roots, and Zhang Yimou, the storied veteran of mainland...

Media

03.26.14

A Wrinkle to Those Hot Chinese Tech IPOs

<p>Investors, ready your wallets. In the past week, Sina Weibo, China’s massive microblogging platform with <a href="http://qz.com/168119/sina-weibo-just-lost-28-million-users-to-censorship-and-wechat/" target="_blank"...

Media

03.25.14

China, We Fear You

<p><em>On March 18, thousands of students <a href="http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/03/20/boiling_point_taiwan_china_trade_pact_protests" target="_blank">began a sit-in</a> of Taiwan’s...

Media

03.21.14

“We’ll Know It When We’re There”

Jonathan Landreth
<p>Martin Johnson (not his real name), is a co-founder of the China-based Internet freedom advocacy collective <a href="https://en.greatfire.org/" target="_blank">GreatFire.org</a><a href="http://www...

Media

03.17.14

‘Self-Media’ Pushes and Beijing Pushes Back

<p>Michelle Song, twenty-four, studies international relations at Beijing’s prestigious Peking University and lives in a dormitory, so she doesn’t watch television regularly and doesn’t subscribe to newspapers. But this has not hampered her...

Media

03.14.14

The Other Shoe Drops

<p>Welcome to the big leagues, WeChat.</p><p>For the past year, the mobile chat app WeChat, or <em>Weixin</em>in Chinese, has been the fresh new face in China’s hyperactive social media, stealing millions of <a href...

Media

03.07.14

A Map of China, By Stereotype

<p>Why is the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang “so chaotic”? Why are many from the southern metropolis of Shanghai “unfit to lead”? And do people from central Henan Province really steal manhole covers? These are just some of the...

Media

03.03.14

‘Enemies of Humanity’ — China Debates Who’s to Blame For the Kunming Attack

<p>It’s already being called “3.01,” or “three oh one,” a date that will likely burn in China’s collective memory for years to come. According to Xinhua, China’s state news agency, on the evening of March 1, around 9:00 p.m. Beijing time, ten...

Media

03.01.14

China’s Oscar Challenge

Jonathan Landreth
<p>On January 3, the film critics of <em>The New York Times</em> published their Oscar nominations <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/04/movies/awardsseason/20140104-oscar-picks-feature.html" target=...

Media

02.26.14

China, LinkedIn Would Like to Add You to Its Network

<p>LinkedIn is now aiming its bow for the rocky shoals that have claimed Facebook, Twitter, Google, and even eBay: the Chinese market. On February 24, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/...

Media

02.21.14

How the Internet and Social Media Are Transforming China

Shazeda Ahmed
<p>“The Internet has radically transformed China,” said <a href="http://chinafile.com/contributors/emily-parker" target="_blank">Emily Parker</a>, author of the book <a href="http://www.economist.com/...

Media

02.19.14

Chinese Netizens (Still) Love ‘House of Cards’

<p>“Everyone in China who works on this level pays who they need to pay.” Mild spoiler alert: These are the words of the fictitious Xander Feng, an influential Chinese billionaire on the Netflix series "House of Cards," a show that...

Media

02.14.14

A Kapital Idea

Matthew Niederhauser & David M. Barreda
<p>Matthew Neiderhauser is a photographer and artist whose work is influenced by his studies in anthropology. He lived in Beijing for six years and recently returned to the United States. His pictorial book <em><a href="http://...

Media

02.13.14

Did President Xi’s Dumpling Outing Create a Pilgrimage Site?

<p>Beijing, China—It’s well after lunch and Liu Fengju still hasn’t gotten her food. The sixty-seven-year-old wife of a retired railway worker came to Beijing to spend Spring Festival, the annual seven-day Chinese New Year celebration, with...

Media

02.07.14

Why Chinese Media Is Going Soft on Sochi

<p>Ready or not, <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/sochi-is-putingrad-vladimir-putin-has-made-a-lasting-impression/article16642911/" target="_blank">Putingrad</a> (aka Sochi) is now on prime...

Media

02.06.14

Beijing’s State Secrets Law—Still Broad, Still Opaque

<p>Beijing may be whittling back its widely reviled state secrets laws—but given their opacity, it’s hard to say for sure. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signed a regulation, announced February 2, that would prohibit Chinese government organs from...

Media

02.03.14

‘Chicken Fart Decade’: GDP Vs. Smog

<p>Chinese media have debated why January saw pollution so extreme it closed <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-china-pollution-schools-idUSBRE9B404N20131205" target="_blank">schools</a> and...

Media

01.31.14

Closing Time? China’s Social Media Crackdown Has Hit Weibo Hard

<p>Findings by East China Normal University (ECNU), a research university in Shanghai, commissioned by respected U.K. outlet <em>The Telegraph</em> and <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10608245/...

Media

01.28.14

Why China’s Li Na Won’t Thank Her Homeland

<p>After winning the Australian Open on January 25, Li Na set off a <a href="http://news.xinhuanet.com/local/2014-01/27/c_119143704.htm" target="_blank">media blitz</a> in her native China, where the thirty-one-...

Media

01.23.14

Carpe Coin: Crowdfunding Could Change Chinese Politics

<p>Crowdfunding, which allows web users to contribute small sums of money to fund collective projects like concerts and films, is taking off in China—and just how far it will go is more than a business question. By allowing netizens to vote...

Media

01.23.14

Out of the Dark Room

Sharron Lovell
<p>Photographers document China’s breakneck development in fractions of a second every single day. Yet the work of Chinese photojournalists remains largely unseen outside their homeland. Of the thousands of images of the country illustrating...

Media

01.17.14

You’ve Got Mail: Chinese Communist Party Received Almost Two Million Complaints in 2013

<p>In 2013, China’s Communist Party disciplinary organs received an eye-popping 1.95 million citizen complaints about officials. This is a 49.2 percent jump from 2012, <a href="http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2014-01/13/c_125992239...

Media

01.10.14

Shaq in China: A Love Story

<p>At seven-foot-one, roughly 350 pounds, and with a smile that’s been featured on everything from cereal boxes to CD album covers, Shaquille O’Neal isn’t particularly hard to recognize. And yet there I stood at the airport arrival gate in...

Media

01.07.14

Grand Theft China: Tase Corrupt Officials in New Online Game

<p>Official corruption in China is a serious matter: In January 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping openly <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/22/xi-jinping-tigers-flies-corruption" target="_blank">vowed...

Media

01.03.14

2013, According to the Chinese Communist Party

<p>What did the year in foreign policy look like in Chinese official circles? Divining the thoughts and motives of China’s leadership is a famously abstruse exercise even for Chinese citizens, who are often left to parse bland quotes or keep...

Media

01.03.14

Coming to Chinese Headlines in 2014

<p>Chinese people have spent another year <a href="http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/12/hazed-and-confused-citizens-gird-up-as-china-endures-severe-smog/" target="_blank">breathing</a> dirty air, <a href=...

Media

12.19.13

Chinese Admiral to U.S. Navy: ‘We Will Block You’

<p>On December 5, the U.S. missile-carrying cruiser Cowpens almost <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/13/us-usa-china-ships-idUSBRE9BC0T520131213" target="_blank">collided</a> with a Chinese ship in...

Media

12.11.13

Pollution Has ‘Five Surprising Benefits,’ says State TV, but Chinese Unamused

<p>Polluted air is a fact of life for many Chinese citizens, and it’s currently smothering parts of the country—but that’s not all bad, according to one state media outlet’s widely-ridiculed attempt at positive spin. A recent bout of noxious...

Media

12.06.13

China’s Viral, Nationalist Screed Against Western Encroachment

<p>“You are nothing without your motherland.” It’s a trite phrase, one that seems unlikely to stir the blood of even the most dyed-in-the-wool nationalist—but it has found recent currency in China. An essay with that title has been <a href...

Media

12.04.13

Chinese Chortle at U.S. Request to Scrap Controversial Air Defense Zone

<p>The United States wants China to pull back from its gambit to try to rewrite the East China Sea’s status quo, but the Chinese are having none of it. On December 2, the U.S. State Department <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-...

Media

11.27.13

China’s Favorite Villainess

<p>Many U.S. viewers identify with serial killer Morgan Dexter of <em>Dexter</em>, inveterate womanizer Don Draper of <em>Mad Men</em>, or family man turned meth kingpin Walter White of <em>Breaking Bad</em...

Media

11.25.13

Former Committee to Protect Journalists Honoree Says Bloomberg Chief Should Not Chair Press Freedom Dinner

Emily Brill
<p>A prominent Hong Kong-based journalist has called on Daniel Doctoroff, Chief Executive Officer of Bloomberg L.P., to step down from his role as chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) annual <a href="http://www.cpj...

Media

11.25.13

Chinese Netizens Applaud Beijing’s Aggressive New Defense Zone

<p>Beijing has just thrown down the latest gauntlet in a long-simmering territorial dispute with Tokyo—and China’s citizens are cheering. On November 23, China’s Ministry of Defense <a href="http://military.people.com.cn/n/2013/1123/...

Media

11.22.13

Farewell, Everyman: Chinese React to Ambassador Locke’s Departure

<p>Chinese are waving goodbye to the frustratingly normal U.S. Ambassador to Beijing, Gary Locke, who <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-ambassador-to-china-to-step-down-to-rejoin-family-in-seattle/2013/11/20/1b0ea914-51f1...

Media

11.21.13

For Cash-Strapped Parents, Two Babies Are Too Many

<p>Call it reproduction with Chinese capitalist characteristics. On November 15, authorities <a href="http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-11/15/c_132891920.htm" target="_blank">announced</a> that the...

Media

11.14.13

Westerners Aren’t the Only Ones Flummoxed by China’s Reform Plans

<p>After the Third Plenum, a high-level meeting to discuss China’s future, ended on November 12, Beijing released a major document likely to affect many of its 1.3 billion citizens’ lives for years. Western media responded to the 5,000-plus...

Media

11.07.13

After Party Headquarters Explosions, Netizens Debate Value of Violence

<p>On the morning of November 6, an unknown assailant or group of assailants reportedly <a href="http://weibo.com/1806128454/Ahs4SiN5V" target="_blank">detonated</a> several bombs outside the front door of the...

Media

11.07.13

Chinese State Media: U.S. Bullying ‘Obsolete’

<p>Stop being a bully, and start respecting the rule of the global village. That’s the takeaway from a November 1 <a href="http://news.xinhuanet.com/world/2013-11/01/c_117957426.htm#715159-tsina-1-47205-b4627af4aa6de3e8cf9" target...

Media

11.06.13

Sex Ed Videos Go Viral

Liz Carter
<p>A collection of sex education videos have just gone, ahem, viral on the Chinese Internet. On October 29, a three-person team calling itself the “Nutcracker Studio” <a href="http://i.youku.com/u/UMTAwODc2OTQ4" target="...

Media

11.05.13

China and Hollywood by the Numbers

Jonathan Landreth
<p>Consider this: Hollywood studios now make more money selling movie tickets in China than in any other market outside North America. Wanda, China’s largest real estate developer, bought AMC, the second-largest movie theater chain in the...

Media

11.01.13

Apologies for a Horrific Past

<p>On October 9, a farmer named Zhang Jinying appeared on the television show <em>Please Forgive Me</em>, a program usually dedicated to public apologies by unfaithful husbands and wayward sons. But the sixty-one-year-old Zhang’s...

Media

10.31.13

Tiananmen Attack Spotlights China’s Beleaguered Uighurs

<p>On October 28, a jeep plowed into a group of pedestrians and burst into flames on the avenue next to Tiananmen Square, the massive public square in Beijing that is the symbolic heart of the Chinese capital. According to Chinese state media...

Media

10.29.13

Why “2 Broke Girls” Is All the Rage in China

<p>In China’s battle between <a href="http://s.weibo.com/weibo/%E7%A0%B4%E4%BA%A7%E5%A7%90%E5%A6%B9%20%E6%AD%A3%E8%83%BD%E9%87%8F?topnav=1&amp;wvr=5&amp;b=1" target="_blank">cupcakes</a> and <a href=...

Media

10.23.13

How to Say “Truthiness” in Chinese

<p>“Official rumors” is more than just an oxymoron. The phrase—pronounced <em>guanyao</em>—has become a useful weapon in Chinese Internet users’ linguistic guerrilla warfare against government censorship. That battle has...

Media

10.22.13

China’s Silly War on Starbucks Lattes

<p>There are worse things in the world than an overpriced latte. That’s the message that thousands of Chinese web users are sending China Central Television (CCTV), a state-owned media behemoth that ran an October 20 segment <a href="...

Media

10.18.13

Cross-Culture Fail Watch: “Blacklist” Bungles One-Child Policy

<p>Chinese Internet users have a message for the screenwriters of <em>The Blacklist</em>: You’ve got a lot to learn about our country.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/blacklist-...

Media

10.17.13

Journalist’s Call for ‘de-Americanized World’ Provokes Alarm in U.S., Fart Jokes in China

<p>As fears mounted this week about a possible (and now, it seems,&nbsp;<a href="http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/16/20992216-house-senate-poised-to-approve-long-awaited-fiscal-deal?lite" target="_blank"...

Media

10.11.13

How Social Media Complicates the Role of China’s Rights Lawyers

<p>Xia Junfeng was once unknown, but his 2009 arrest for the murder of security officers—who, he alleged, had savagely beaten him—made him a symbolic figure in a national debate about human rights and reform in China. Yet many wonder whether...

Media

10.07.13

Just How Free Is Shanghai’s New Free Trade Zone?

<p><em>This article is adapted, with updates, from the <em>September 20 article</em> “<a href="http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/09/shanghai-ftz/" target="_blank">China’s New Free Trade Zone: Silver...

Media

10.02.13

ChinaFile Presents: Jia Zhangke on “A Touch of Sin”

The Editors
<p>On September 30 at Asia Society in New York City, film director and screenwriter <a href="http://www.chinafile.com/china-through-independent-lens#Jia_Zhangke" target="_blank">Jia Zhangke</a> and his wife,...

Media

10.02.13

China’s Surprising Reaction to the U.S. Government Shutdown

<p>As the U.S. federal government hurtles into shutdown mode, many in the United States have responded with anger or shame. At <em>Foreign Policy</em>, for instance, Gordon Adams <a href="http://www.foreignpolicy.com/...

Media

09.30.13

China Watches “Breaking Bad”

<p>Why do millions of Chinese care about a fictitious New Mexico meth cook? The soon-to-be-concluded television drama series <em>Breaking Bad</em>, which depicts embattled high school chemistry teacher Walter White’s transformation...

Media

09.26.13

Execution or Murder? Chinese Look for Justice in Street Vendor’s Death

<p>This morning, a Chinese street vendor named Xia Junfeng was executed. Xia had been found guilty of murdering two urban enforcers, known colloquially as <em>chengguan</em>, in 2009. Xia’s lawyers argued he acted in self-defense...

Media

09.25.13

The Silk Road of Pop

Nick Holdstock
<p class="dropcap">Most coverage of Xinjiang focuses on the tensions between Han and Uighur in the region, especially since the 2009 Urumqi riots. <em>The Silk Road of Pop</em>, a new documentary about Uighur music...

Media

09.18.13

For Chinese, Violence in the Middle East Sparks Debate on Democracy, Stability

<p>Recent months have been rocky for the Middle East: harsh crackdowns on protesters in Egypt and a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashomon_effect" target="_blank"><em>Rashomon</em></a>-like...

Media

09.13.13

Chinese Professor Mocked for Suggesting Elderly Sacrifice Even More

<p>China’s age of retirement has long been a subject of controversy, as the country’s aging population and slowing economic growth have made caring for the elderly an increasingly daunting task. Recently, Yang Yansui, a professor at China’s...

Media

09.11.13

Amid Scandals, Can China’s New Organ Transplant System Work?

<p>The <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/05/does-anyone-trust-the-chinese-red-cross/275508/" target="_blank">now oft-derided Chinese Red Cross</a> once again found itself in hot water in...

Media

09.06.13

Follow the Money: Who Benefits from China’s One-Child Policy?

<p>When debating China’s one-child policy, China’s domestic media and observers overseas mostly focus on its impact on the population structure or incidences of inhumanity involved in the implementation of the policy (such as <a href="...

Media

09.04.13

China’s Crackdown on Social Media: Who Is in Danger?

<p>There is a Chinese proverb that says one must kill a chicken to scare the monkeys, which means to punish someone in order to make an example out of them. That is what many believe happened last Sunday when outspoken investor and Internet...

Media

08.27.13

The Surprise Loser of China’s Trial of the Century: Its Corruption Watchdog

<p>It seems like everybody has something to gain from Show Trial 2.0, a.k.a. the semi-live tweeting of fallen politician Bo Xilai’s day in court.</p><p><a href="http://www.tealeafnation.com/2012/04/who-killed-bo-xilais-...

Media

08.27.13

China’s Original Social Media: Bathroom Graffiti

<p>The men’s room in the passenger station in Qujing, Yunnan province will be familiar to anyone who has answered the call of nature in one of China’s provincial bus stations. Dim fluorescent lights give a clinical blue pallor to the bleary-...

Media

08.22.13

You Can’t Handle the Truth: Bo Xilai’s Courtroom Performance Wins Fans

<p>A show trial this is not. But is a twist ending in the major blockbuster “The Life of Bo Xilai” in the offing?</p><p>The long-awaited trial of Bo Xilai, <a href="http://www.tealeafnation.com/2012/02/s-election-watch-2012...

Media

08.14.13

Don’t Dream Big—Four Vignettes on Social Mobility in Modern China

<p><em>The New York Times</em> recently ran <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html?ref=emoryuniversity&amp;_r=0" target="...

Media

08.12.13

Is Support for Transgender Rights Increasing in China?

<p>In the last few weeks of July, the story of a young transgender couple who transitioned together, which had previously gone viral in the Western media, trended on Sina Weibo, China’s popular microblogging platform. Although some Chinese...

Media

08.08.13

Chinese State Media: Online Critics “Incite Political Unrest”

<p>While the Internet has become the site of almost constant political arguments in China, few articles have generated as much debate as a recent piece by blogger Wang Xiaoshi. On August 1, Xinhua News Agency, a state-run media outlet, <a...

Media

07.29.13

On “Wealth and Power”

The Editors
<p>Authors <a href="/node/4981" target="_blank">Orville Schell</a>, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society, and <a href="/node/4923" target="_blank">...

Media

07.17.13

A Minority in the Middle Kingdom: My Experience Being Black in China

<p>In the 1996 China edition of the <em>Lonely Planet</em> guidebook, a text box aside comment from a street interview provided some interesting conversation fodder: “…there is no racism in China because there are no black people...

Media

07.15.13

A Rite of Passage to Nowhere

Ying Zhu & Frances Hisgen
<p><em>Tiny Times</em>, a Chinese feature film set in contemporary Shanghai, made headline news on its opening day in late June by knocking the Hollywood blockbuster <em>Man of Steel</em> from its perch atop the...

Media

07.10.13

Old Photo of Tiananmen Square Has Netizens Asking “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”

<p>A rare old color photo of Tiananmen Square was posted on Weibo, China’s Twitter, and it was commented on hundreds of times as Internet users mused about the past and present of China’s most recognizable landmark.</p><p>Here are...

Media

07.10.13

Australian PM’s Online Musings Have Chinese Wondering: Where Is Xi’s Microblog Account?

<p>On July 9, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd posted on a social media site about a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The twist? The message was written in Chinese on the immensely popular Chinese microblogging...

Media

07.02.13

American History, Through Chinese Eyes

<p>White male privilege, genocide against Native Americans, slavery and subsequent racial oppression, exploitation of immigrants and laborers, repression of women and homosexuals, and environmental destruction—teaching American cultural...

Media

06.28.13

A Character Battle Between China’s Government and its Internet Users

<p>The horse is out of the barn. Now that China’s social Web has given every citizen the ability to publish for a wide audience—a privilege once reserved for the government—state publications and Web users there continue to wrangle over who...

Media

06.27.13

Jackie Chan—The Young Master Comes of Age

Jaime Wolf
<p>Once in a while, if you’re lucky, and paying the right kind of attention, events align to give you a clear view of the future. In 1995, I was in Los Angeles staying with a friend who produced independent films and had the trade magazines...

Media

06.25.13

China’s “Urban Enforcers” Caught in a Vicious Cycle

<p>Last week, another anecdote about <em>chengguan</em>— China’s urban enforcers whose main tasks include enforcing urban beautification ordinances and cracking down on unlicensed street vendors— caught the public’s attention. On...

Media

06.17.13

Do Quotas in China’s College Admissions System Reinforce Existing Inequalities?

<p>Earlier this month, millions of Chinese students took the exam for which they had been preparing their entire lives—the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, known colloquially as the <a href="http://www.tealeafnation.com/...

Media

06.12.13

In Box Office Hit, American Dream Is Still Alive—In a Maturing China

<p>Over the last two weeks, the movie <em>American Dreams in China</em> (中国合伙人) has been the number one box office hit in China, selling over 400 million tickets to date. The movie is a gritty and at times tongue-in-cheek comedy...

Media

06.11.13

Chinese Web Users React to U.S. National Security Agency Surveillance Program

<p>The online reactions to the PRISM incident, in which the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been revealed to conduct a far-ranging surveillance program affecting many both in the U.S. and abroad, have been as fascinating as the event...

Media

06.07.13

Can Animation Cure What Ails the Chinese Movie Industry?

<p>“Gold rush.” “1920s Hollywood.” “Faster than a speeding bullet.” These are a few ways that film professionals have described China’s booming movie industry. China’s film market, the second-largest in the world, <a href="http://www...

Media

06.04.13

On Eve of Tiananmen Anniversary, China’s Prominent Weiborati Speak Out

<p>“Don’t worry about forgetfulness—at least the Sina censors remember,” tweeted Jia Zhangke, a film director.</p><p>Like 2013, 1989 was the year of the Snake on the Chinese calendar. It was also a year that Chinese authorities...

Media

06.03.13

Online Outrage After Chinese City Proposes Fine on Single Mothers

<p>Women giving birth out of wedlock in China have to contend with family pressure, social stigma, and financial hardship. Now, some of them may have to pay a hefty fine as well.</p><p>Wuhan, a city of more than 10 million people...

Media

05.29.13

The Graffiti Seen ‘Round the World

<p>It’s tourist season the world over: let the shenanigans begin. After a young Chinese tourist’s defacement of an ancient Egyptian temple was photographed and shared online, the harsh backlash has gone viral in China’s blogosphere. Tea Leaf...

Media

05.28.13

Trending on Weibo: #AIDSPatientsCanBeTeachers#

<p>In the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, carriers of the AIDS virus are now allowed to teach schoolchildren. The recently-announced change in regulations marks a step forward for AIDS activists, with the hashtag #...

Media

05.22.13

On “Strange Stones,” a Discussion with Peter Hessler

Peter Hessler, Michael Meyer & more
<p>On May 21st at the Asia Society in New York City, <a href="http://www.chinafile.com/contributor/Peter%20Hessler" target="_self">Peter Hessler</a>, author of the recently published <em><a href="...

Media

05.17.13

Chinese Anxiety—In Debate About Overwork, a Glimpse of Shifting Expectations

<p>Almost half of all Chinese <a href="http://jingji.cntv.cn/2013/05/08/ARTI1367985028597130.shtml" target="_blank">report</a> feeling “more anxiety” now than they did five years ago. What, exactly, is driving...

Media

05.10.13

Unrest in Beijing Over Mysterious Death of Young Woman

<p>A rare protest in Beijing involving hundreds of people was documented by photos posted on China’s social media (scroll down to see a sample photo). The cause of the protest was the death of a twenty-two-year-old migrant worker, who fell...

Media

05.07.13

Rat Meat Masquerading as Lamb—Yet Another Food Safety Scandal

<p>Rat meat + gelatin + red food coloring + nitrates = lamb. Have you tried it yet?</p><p>“This is what a ‘complete’ sheep looks like,” reads a caption under the photoshopped image of a sheep with Jerry, the mouse from <a href=...

Media

05.01.13

The Wall Street Journal: Covering China Past and Present

The Editors
<p><em>The Wall Street Journal</em> was one of the first American publications to set up a bureau in Beijing. Since its establishment, scores of the Journal’s correspondents have traveled in and out of the country to cover China’s...

Media

05.01.13

The Long Battle Over “White Pollution”

<p>In the past weeks, Chinese citizens have learned that the styrofoam boxes from which they eat their lunches will soon be legal. On February 16, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s highest economic policy-making...

Media

04.22.13

Social Media’s Role in Ya’an Earthquake Aftermath is Revealing

<p>China’s social media was in mourning yesterday as users turned their profile photos to grey in remembrance of the victims of the 7.0 earthquake that struck the Ya’an region in Sichuan province on Saturday. As of April 22, the <a href=...

Media

04.12.13

Leftist Hawks and Conspiracy Theorists: The People’s Liberation Army’s Online Presence

<p>Is Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, turning into a new war zone? Dai Xu, a colonel in the Chinese Air Force and military strategist, thinks so.</p><p>“A month ago, a pseudo-Japanese devil [derogatory term for pro-Japan Chinese] at...

Media

04.02.13

China Concerto

Jonathan Landreth
<p>Before February 2012, when his name exploded onto the front pages of newspapers around the globe, most people outside of China had never heard of Bo Xilai, the now-fallen Communist Party Secretary of the megacity of Chongqing. But in the...

Media

04.02.13

Singing a Note of Caution About New First Lady Peng Liyuan

<p>Xi Jinping, the newly appointed Chinese President, unfolded his presidency with a grand foreign tour to Russia, Tanzania, South Africa, and the Republic of the Congo. While this series of state visits unequivocally underscored China’s...

Media

03.21.13

The Men Are Louder: A Gender Analysis of Weibo

<p>Does Sina Weibo provide an equal platform for expression for both men and women in China? According to <a href="http://civic.mit.edu/blog/huan-sun/more-females-on-sina-weibo-but-less-influential-than-males" target="_blank...

Media

03.13.13

Chavez and Bo Xilai Gone: Death of a Political Model?

<p>Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s death on March 5, 2013 came in the same week as the “Two Sessions” began in China, when China’s national legislature meets in Beijing. It was also almost exactly a year since the spectacular political...

Media

03.12.13

Pig Carcasses in Shanghai River Spawn Dark Humor on Chinese Internet

<p>The Huangpu River usually appears in glamor shots of Shanghai, serving as scenic backdrop to the colonial splendor of the Bund or the modern marvel of the Pudong skyline. But of late, a more grim and distasteful association has emerged. As...

Media

03.11.13

Young Family’s Arrest Brings Tension Between Vendors and Police into Focus

<p>A one-and-a-half-year-old girl wraps her arms around her mother’s neck, crying. Her mother, handcuffed, cannot hug her back—she can only squat down beside the police car to match her daughter’s height. “I’m sorry, mommy can’t hold you…”...

Media

03.08.13

“Shanghai Calling” Translates Funny

Jonathan Landreth
<p>Director Daniel Hsia and producer Janet Yang were motivated to make <em>Shanghai Calling</em>, their first feature film together, by the shared feeling that no matter how much more important relations between the United States...

Media

03.04.13

‘Zombies’ and ‘Reincarnation’

<p>Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, announced on February 20 that it had surpassed half a billion users—more people than live in South America, and approximately the population of North America. Thickly-settled Europe edges out...

Media

03.01.13

No Closer to the Chinese Dream?

Timothy Garton Ash
<p>2013 began dramatically in China with a standoff between journalists and state propaganda authorities over a drastically rewritten New Year’s editorial at the<em> Southern Weekly</em> newspaper.</p><p>In the first...

Media

02.22.13

China’s State-Run Media Shares Powerful Map of “Cancer Villages” Creeping Inland

<p>It appears that Chinese environmental activism is going further mainstream. The Sina micro-blogging account of <em>Global Times</em>, a well-known Communist Party mouthpiece, has just shared news about the horrific proliferation...

Media

02.21.13

In Face of Mainland Censorship, Taiwanese Revisit Reunification Question

<p>Within twenty-four hours of registration, Sina Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) deleted the microblog account of Frank Hsieh, former premier of Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Ironically, Hsieh’s last...

Media

02.20.13

On China’s Twitter, Discussion of Hacking Attacks Proceeds Unblocked

<p>As <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/technology/chinas-army-is-seen-as-tied-to-hacking-against-us.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em> reported...

Media

02.16.13

NBA Star Debuts on Chinese Social Media, Fans Clamor: #I want to speak to Kobe#

<p>Tea Leaf Nation editor David Wertime spoke on February 15 on Public Radio International’s <a href="http://www.theworld.org/2013/02/nba-star-kobe-bryant-opens-an-account-on-weibo/" target="_blank"><em>The...

Media

02.13.13

Officer Draws Gun on Drunk Driver—To Overwhelming Online Applause

<p>A policeman draws his gun to stop a desperately escaping criminal. It may sound sensational, but this is technically what happened in the southern Chinese megalopolis of Guangzhou on January 31. As traffic policemen were manning a drunk...

Media

02.12.13

Joke About Gay Romance on Chinese New Year Gala Lights Up Blogosphere

<p>Is “bromance” in the air? Not according to state-run China Central Television (CCTV).</p><p>{vertical_photo_right}</p><p>Thousands of fans yelled “Get together” in unison when piano prodigy Li Yundi made a guest...

Media

02.11.13

Covering China: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

The Editors
<p>On February 5, 2013, ChinaFile celebrated its official launch by bringing together a panel of former and current <em>New York Times</em> correspondents, whose collective China experience spans the course of half a century, to...

Media

02.08.13

Lil Buck Goes to China

Jonathan Landreth
<p>In November 2011, The Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, headed by Orville Schell, hosted the inaugural U.S.-China Forum on the Arts and Culture.</p><p>Schell's son, Ole, a filmmaker, tagged along with his video...

Media

02.07.13

Chinese Beverage Maker Turns Legal Setback Into Viral Ad Campaign

<p>This is no tempest in an herbal tea pot. The JDB Group, maker of China’s most popular herbal tea—one that raked in approximately 20 billion RMB (USD $3.2 billion) in revenues in 2012—<a href="http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90778/...

Media

02.04.13

Media Censorship and Its Future

Ouyang Bin
<p>The year 2013 has gotten off to an inauspicious start for China’s press, especially for its most outspoken members. At the end of last year, when many of the country’s media were heralding newly installed Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit...

Media

01.30.13

Chinese Web Erupts With Widespread Calls for Change as Beijing Endures Airpocalypse 2.0

<p>Beijingers are choking on their air—again. Just seventeen days after Chinese cyberspace <a href="http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/01/pollution-crisis-everyone-in-beijing-is-a-vacuum-cleaner/" target="_blank">...

Media

01.25.13

Former China State TV Director Bemoans Anti-Japanese Propaganda: “Where’s the Creativity?”

<p>Are Chinese audiences growing weary of anti-Japanese propaganda? It would seem that some, at least, are growing sick of the pathetic villains, superhuman heroes, and lame endings that many Chinese movies and television series about World...

Media

01.23.13

A Map of Two Chinas

<p>On Friday, China’s National Bureau of Statistics <a href="http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90778/8101702.html" target="_blank">announced</a> that income inequality in the country exceeds a warning level set...

Media

01.16.13

Their Horizons Widening, China’s Web Users Look Abroad — And Want More

<p>Last week, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt urged North Korean leaders to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/world/asia/eric-schmidt-bill-richardson-north-korea.html" target="_blank">embrace the...

Media

01.09.13

Why is a Mediocre, Low-Budget Comedy Taking China’s Box Office by Storm?

<p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/UqZb1bUKJQ0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p><p>December 2012 saw hot competition in...

Media

01.08.13

Online and Off, Social Media Users Go to War for Freedom of Press in China

<p>When Mr. Tuo Zhen, the propaganda chief of Guangdong province, rewrote and replaced the New Year’s editorial of the <em>Southern Weekend</em> newspaper without the consent of its editors, he probably did not think it would make...

Media

01.07.13

“Help Me Pay This Bill”: A Short But Incisive Send-Up of Chinese Corruption

<p>It is a social media classic, a send-up of the corruption and profligacy that so often enrage Web users in China. A very short story variously titled “I Did Not Eat For Free” and “Help Me Pay This Bill” has been making the rounds for months...

Media

01.03.13

How a Run-Down Government Building Became the Hottest Item on China’s Social Web

<p>It is perhaps a sign of the times in China that an image of nothing more than a ramshackle county government building could echo so widely. Since its posting on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, hours before New Year’s Eve, the image (see below...

Media

12.24.12

The Most Popular Chinese Web Searches of 2012

<p>What did China search for in 2012? It wasn’t the hotly disputed Diaoyu Islands or the widely-watched London Olympics.</p><p>On Baidu.com, China’s homegrown search engine commanding about eighty-three percent of the Chinese...

Media

12.17.12

Media Effort to Emphasize Newtown Tragedy Backfires in Blogosphere

<p>Tragedy can strike anywhere. Mere hours before the horrific shooting at an American school in Newtown, Connecticut that left twenty-eight people dead, including twenty children, a horrific school attack also happened in China. At an...

Media

12.12.12

The “Chinese Dream” Means One Thing to its Leaders, and Another to its People

<p>Since China unveiled the new Politburo Standing Committee at the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the country’s Web users have been paying close attention to the new elite group of leaders who will set the country’s...

Media

12.09.12

New Leaders’ Common Touch Gives Netizens “Great Hope”

<p>Glad-handing with the locals. Kissing babies. Eating fast food. These are tried and true ways that American politicians seek to advertise their common touch; but when China’s new leaders employ these methods, it is greeted as a pleasant...

Media

12.04.12

“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” Hits the Road

Jonathan Landreth
<p><script type="text/javascript" src="http://content.bitsontherun.com/players/pFlKwEJX-YE8nzC1k.js"></script></p> <p>Debut filmmaker Alison Klayman has been on a global tour with her documentary—...

Media

12.01.12

Chinese AIDS Activist Endures “Degradation” in New York, Determined to Finish What She Started

<p>Chinese people translate “New Yorker” into “New York Ke” to designate people living in New York City, including Chinese immigrants. But in Chinese, “<em>ke</em>” means “visitor” or “guest.” It has been a sad word in Chinese...

Media

11.27.12

Spotted on Weibo: Chinese Leaders Share a Human Moment

<p>An active Beijing-based micro-blogger named Dongdong Wang recently tweeted this image on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter:&nbsp;{vertical_photo_right}</p><p>At first glance, it doesn’t look like much: Outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao...

Culture

11.27.12

Remember to Tell the Truth

Maya E. Rudolph
<p>The recording of memory brings history to life and creates a legacy of its own. In 2010, documentary filmmaker Wu Wenguang launched the Memory Project to try to shine a light on the long-shrouded memories of one of modern China’s most...

Culture

11.21.12

A New Tower of Babel

Sheila Melvin
<p><a href="http://www.xubing.com/" target="_blank">Xu Bing</a>, the renowned Chinese artist whose many laurels include a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award and an appointment as vice president of China’s...

Media

11.21.12

Official Online Poll: Chinese Want Democracy

<p>With China’s new leadership now set, Chinese Web users have turned their attention to answering the key question: “What’s next?” In concert with the 18<sup>th</sup> Party Congress, the website of Communist Party-sanctioned <...

Media

11.19.12

A Conservative Commentator Calls Out Chinese Liberals, and Liberals Shout Back

<p>Speech on the Chinese Internet, it seems, is beginning to thaw once more following the country’s leadership transition. After months of speculation, new Chinese leader Xi Jinping was announced on November 16 at the close of the 18<sup...

Media

11.02.12

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

Jonathan Landreth
<p>A wise old cartoon turtle in&nbsp;<em>Kung Fu Panda</em>&nbsp;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...

Media

10.26.12

Myanmar Envy

Bi Cheng
<p>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’...

Media

10.11.12

Netizens React to Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize

Ouyang Bin
<p>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...

Media

09.16.12

What Microblogs Aren’t Telling You About China

Amy Qin
<p>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...

Media

09.06.12

Tangled in the Party Line

Amy Qin
<p>Netizens on China’s popular microblogging service Sina Weibo <a href="http://www.weibo.com/1618051664/yyaNYEUzZ#1345598050096" target="_blank">are in a fit of pique</a> over remarks made by a PLA major...

Media

08.31.12

“Naked Official” Streaks to U.S.

Amy Qin
<p>On Monday, the <em>People’s Daily</em> <a href="http://english.people.com.cn/90785/7928212.html" target="_blank">confirmed rumors</a> that Wang Guoqiang, a senior official of Fengcheng city,...

Media

08.30.12

Chinese “Traitors” and the Foreign Press

Hu Yong
<p>{vertical_photo_right}</p><p>On June 2nd, local family planning&nbsp;officials forced&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/world/asia/chinese-family-in-forced-abortion-case-still-under-pressure.html...

Media

08.16.12

The People’s Daily Said What?

Bi Cheng
<p>In the course of its dramatic growth, China often churns out unprecedented numbers. But few of them have been more controversial than the recently released National Revival Index, a formula devised to measure China’s economic and social...

Media

08.03.12

Netizens Weigh in on Weightlifting Defeat

Amy Qin
<p>When seventeen-year-old Zhou Jun from Hubei province stepped onto the mat in London on Sunday, the pressure she was facing far exceeded the weight of the 96-kg barbell sitting at her feet. The entire history of China’s success in women’s...

Media

07.27.12

Could CCTV's Naming of Flood Victims Signal a Turn Toward Transparency?

Amy Qin
<p>In the face of mounting criticism from online commentators and state media, Beijing city officials have finally raised the official death toll of the devastating floodwaters that hit the city last weekend from thirty-six to seventy-seven...

Media

07.24.12

Propaganda Chief Leaves a Legacy of Control

Amy Qin
<p>Monday’s top story was the torrential rains and flooding that thrashed Beijing over the weekend and left at least thirty-seven people dead. Only one non-flood related news item made the cut for the front page of the <em>Beijing Daily...

Media

07.05.12

Powerless Media=Powerless Citizens, Says China Youth Daily Editorial

Amy Qin
<p>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 href="http...

Media

07.03.12

Project Harmony: The Chorus behind China’s Voice

Amy Qin
<p>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...

Media

06.30.12

Bloomberg Unearths Xi Jinping’s Family Fortune

Amy Qin
<p>A recent <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/272062?type=bloomberg" target="_blank">Bloomberg report</a>&nbsp;detailing the millionaire assets of the extended family of Xi Jinping, China...

Media

06.23.12

Self-Censorship at the South China Morning Post?

Amy Qin
<p>According to <a href="http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=view&amp;id=4608&amp;Itemid=173" target="_blank">an article published on June 19</a> in the <em>Asia...

Media

06.11.12

A Great Massacre, a Great Earthquake, and a Great Famine

Hu Yong
<p>The head of the Gansu branch of <em>People’s Daily</em>, Lin Zhibo, provoked the ire of many netizens for remarks he made regarding the Great Famine on his Weibo account. Lin claimed that in many of the villages in Anhui and...

Media

06.11.12

Did A CCTV Anchor’s Outburst Even Matter?

Hu Yong
<p>Yang Rui, a host on China Central Television's (CCTV) English-language channel, called on the Public Security Bureau via Sina Weibo on May 16 to “clean out foreign trash, wipe out foreign snake heads (human smugglers), root out foreign...

Media

06.07.12

An Absent Presence

Sun Yunfan
<p>In Chan Koonchung’s dystopian science fiction novel <em>The Fat Years</em>, set in China in 2013, the whole month of Feburary 2011 has disappeared from people’s memory. In reality, the month that is closest to being spirited...

Media

06.06.12

In the News: Fact vs. Rumor

Amy Qin
<p>China-focused news editors have had numerous causes for celebration in the past few months. The various scandals surrounding the dethronement of Bo Xilai, the dramatic nighttime escape of blind activist Chen Guancheng, and the upcoming...

Media

06.02.12

On Weibo: Cultural Revolution Suicides

Amy Qin
<p>As people across China took part in the June 1 Children’s Day campaigns to, among other things, remember the millions of <a href="http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-05/31/content_15430186.htm" target="_blank"...

Media

05.31.12

Godwin’s Law with Chinese Characteristics

Hu Yong
<p>This&nbsp;winter writer-blogger-race car-driver Han Han found himself facing charges of plagiarism from celebrated fraud-buster Fang Zhouzi. Both Han and Fang have huge followings among China’s microbloggers. And their personal...

Media

05.29.12

Patriots or Traitors?

Amy Qin
<p>In Chinese, to be patriotic is to <em>ai guo</em>, literally “to love [one’s] country.” But what does it really mean to love your country? Does it mean unconditional support for your country’s government, warts and all? Or is...

Media

05.25.12

Can CCTV Become the Next Al Jazeera?

Amy Qin
<p>In a recent piece published in the <em>Columbia Journalism Review</em>, Sambuddha Mitra Mustafi assesses the early stages of China's multibillion dollar efforts to expand its domestic media empire onto the global stage...

Media

05.24.12

Under the WeiboScope

Amy Qin
<p>With more than 300 million registered users, the popular microblogging service Sina Weibo—sometimes called the Chinese Twitter—can offer unique insights into the quotidian musings of Chinese netizens. One way to sort through the barrage of...

Media

02.29.12

Three Trends in Public Opinion Online in China

Hu Yong
<p>Looking back at China’s Internet in 2011, there were three broad trends that deserve greater attention. The first was a general shift from emotionally-driven nationalist chatter as the defining tone of China’s Internet to more basic...

Media

12.15.11

Anxiety’s Remote Control

Hu Yong
<p>The Chinese government agency that English speakers know as SARFT has several monikers. Its full name is the State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television. Literally translated, its Chinese name,&nbsp;<em>guangdian zongju,...

Media

01.21.96

Jackie Chan, American Action Hero?

Jaime Wolf
<p>Whenever Jackie Chan leaves Hong Kong to make a public appearance in Shanghai, Taipei or Tokyo, or in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Seoul, hundreds—sometimes thousands—of his fans gather in a frenzy of adoration. Last June, Chan, the martial...