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China Quarterly
Aug 30th, 2017 by Gao

Ian Johnson: Cambridge University Press Removes Academic Articles on Chinese Site / 迫于审查压力,剑桥大学出版社在华删除敏感内容 (New York Times)

One of the world’s oldest and most respected publishing houses, Cambridge University Press, has bowed to pressure from Beijing and removed sensitive content on its site in China.

Echo Huang: Forced to comply or shut down, Cambridge University Press’s China Quarterly removes 300 articles in China (Quartz)
Cambridge University Press statement regarding content in The China Quarterly (Cambridge University Press)

We can confirm that we received an instruction from a Chinese import agency to block individual articles from The China Quarterly within China. We complied with this initial request to remove individual articles, to ensure that other academic and educational materials we publish remain available to researchers and educators in this market.
We are aware that other publishers have had entire collections of content blocked in China until they have enabled the import agencies to block access to individual articles. We do not, and will not, proactively censor our content and will only consider blocking individual items (when requested to do so) when the wider availability of content is at risk.

Alex Linder: Cambridge University Press bows to Chinese censors, removes 300 ‚politically sensitive‘ articles (Shanghaiist)

On Friday, the CUP said that more than 300 articles had been scrubbed from the China Quarterly’s Chinese website following a request from Chinese censors, which threatened to have its site shut down. Apparently, the articles had been chosen for deletion not through a careful reading and examination of the text, but by quick searches for certain naughty words.

Liste der entfernten Artikel: www.cambridge.org/… (PDF, Cambridge University Press)
Tim Pringle: Message from the editor, The China Quarterly (PDF, Cambridge University Press)

The China Quarterly wishes to express its deep concern and disappointment that over 300 articles
and reviews published in the journal have been censored by a Chinese import agency. We note too
that this restriction of academic freedom is not an isolated move but an extension of policies that
have narrowed the space for public engagement and discussion across Chinese society.

Tim Pringle: China’s bid to block my journal’s articles is a new attack on academic freedom (Guardian)

Cambridge University Press was asked to suppress articles in China Quarterly. It has now resisted, but it is a worrying development

The China Quarterly follow-up statement (Cambridge University Press)

Following a clear order from its Chinese importer, Cambridge University Press reluctantly took the decision to block, within China, 315 articles in The China Quarterly. This decision was taken as a temporary measure pending discussion with the academic leadership of the University of Cambridge, and pending a scheduled meeting with the Chinese importer in Beijing.
The academic leadership of the University has now reviewed this action in advance of the meeting in China later this week. Academic freedom is the overriding principle on which the University of Cambridge is based. Therefore, while this temporary decision was taken in order to protect short-term access in China to the vast majority of the Press’s journal articles, the University’s academic leadership and the Press have agreed to reinstate the blocked content, with immediate effect, so as to uphold the principle of academic freedom on which the University’s work is founded.

Cambridge University Press battles censorship in China (Economist)

This is not the only recent case. Censors have demanded the removal of about 100 articles in the Journal of Asian Studies, also published by CUP. The Communist Party used to allow scholars a modest latitude in their fields of research, permitting, for example, access to foreign academic publications that would be banned from general circulation. But in March the customs authorities tightened rules on importing books. Chinese academics complain that risk-averse librarians will not now order even innocuous scholarly works for fear of offending the customs service.

Cambridge University Press Refuses to Comply With Second Chinese Takedown Request (Radio Free Asia)

Chinese censors have made another request to a top academic journal published by Cambridge University Press (CUP) for the removal of online content from a website hosted in China, the Association for Asian Studies said in a statement.
CUP has refused the request from the State Administration of Press and Publications, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), which requested the removal of some 100 articles from the website of the Journal of Asian Studies.
The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) said the request was similar to one made by Chinese authorities to CUP, prompting the publishing house to take down some 300 articles from the China website of the China Quarterly academic journal last week.

China Quarterly debate a matter of principle (Global Times)

As the readership of the China Quarterly is limited, there will be little impact over the CUP withdrawing some articles. The Western media, which must have other things to pay attention to, seems more sensitive than some relevant Chinese authorities.
China has a number of laws and regulations concerning cyber security. The China Quarterly is published overseas. There is no overlap between the two sides. The CUP can enjoy academic freedom under British law. But overseas media reports that it set up a server in China hoping to explore the Chinese market, which has to abide by the Chinese law. As long as the Chinese request was made in accordance with the law, there is no reason to be critical.
China has blocked some information on foreign websites that it deems harmful to Chinese society. This is for the sake of China’s security and is within the scope of China’s sovereignty. China is also trying to strike a balance between opening itself up and preventing harmful external information from penetrating into Chinese society, to realize steady and sustainable progress.
Western institutions have the freedom to choose. If they don’t like the Chinese way, they can stop engaging with us. If they think China’s Internet market is so important that they can’t miss out, they need to respect Chinese law and adapt to the Chinese way. Now it seems that some Western institutions would like to make adjustments, while some forces are unhappy about it.

AFP: At Beijing book fair, publishers admit to self-censorship to keep texts on Chinese market (South China Morning Post)

Tiananmen, Tibet and Taiwan are off limits for companies wanting to sell their books in China, publisher says

James A. Millward: Open Letter to Cambridge University Press about its censorship of the China Quarterly (Medium)

Cambridge University Press’s decision to censor the journal China Quarterly as it is viewed online in China is a craven, shameful and destructive concession to the PRC’s growing censorship regime. It is also needless.

Christopher Balding: Petition Cambridge University Press Not to Censor China Articles (Change.org)

As academics and China focused academics, we are disturbed by the request by the Chinese government for Cambridge University Press to censor articles from the China Quarterly. As academics, we believe in the free and open exchange of ideas and information on all topics not just those we agree with. It is disturbing to academics and universities world wide that China is attempting to export its censorship on topics that do not fit its preferred narrative.
We call upon Cambridge University Press to refuse the censorship request not just for the China Quarterly but on any other topics, journals or publication that have been requested by the Chinese government.
If Cambridge University Press acquiesces to the demands of the Chinese government, we as academics and universities reserve the right to pursue other actions including boycotts of Cambridge University Press and related journals.

Maev Kennedy, Tom Phillips: Cambridge University Press backs down over China censorship (Guardian)

Publisher will reinstate articles to which it blocked online access in China in the face of international protests by academics

Simon Denyer: In reversal, Cambridge University Press restores articles after China censorship row (Washington Post)

Cambridge University Press reversed course Monday after facing a major backlash from academics over its decision to bow to Chinese government demands to censor an important academic journal.

Joseph Hincks: A Top Publisher Bowed to China’s Censors. Then it Bowed to Outraged Academics (Time)

Margaret Lewis, Andrew J. Nathan, Pamela Kyle Crossley, Edward Friedman, Yifu Dong, Joseph W. Esherick: Should Publications Compromise to Remain in China? (China File)

Freedom of expression may have won this battle against state censorship, but if state interference continues what compromises is it permissable for academic institutions and publications to make to stay inside China?

Jonathan Sullivan: Censorship and China Studies (China Policy Institute)

CUP’s decision to accede to the demands is a misguided, if understandable, economic decision that does harm to the Press’ reputation and integrity (whether there is any integrity in the business of academic publishing is another story).

In diesem Zusammenhang siehe auch:
中华人民共和国网络安全法(全国人民代表大会)
Inoffizielle Übersetzung ins Englische: 2016 Cybersecurity Law (China Law Translate)

Article 1: This law is formulated so as to ensure network security, to safeguard cyberspace sovereignty, national security and the societal public interest, to protect the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations, and to promote the healthy development of economic and social informatization.
Article 2: This law applies with respect to the construction, operation, maintenance and usage of networks, as well as network security supervision and management within the mainland territory of the People’s Republic of China.

People’s Republic of China Cybersecurity Law: A Preliminary Overview for Western Companies (National Law Review)

The PRC Cybersecurity Law maintains the trend from elective regimes toward mandatory cybersecurity standards and requirements. As seen in the EU, with the recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation framework, and in the US, with proposed federal regulations of financial institutions to address the risk of “cyber contagion,” global actors are flexing their regulatory and national security powers to address the threat of cyber-attacks in an increasingly interconnected world.

Vatikan | Wukan | Ai Weiwei und Liao Yiwu | Hongkong
Sep 12th, 2016 by Gao

Emanuele Scimia: Possible Sino-Vatican entente will raise a diplomatic storm over Taiwan (Asia Times)

Taiwanese Vice President Chen Chien-jen says Taipei remains an indispensable ally of the Roman Church after his recent trip to the Vatican. But Vatican is moving closer to Beijing and if it decides to cut diplomatic ties with Taipei, small countries in Latin America, Africa and Oceania that maintain formal relations with the island nation might decide to switch to China. The Roman Church will then have to reshape its relationship with Taiwan on a non-diplomatic basis. This will lead to deterioration of the current cross-strait status quo…
Recent news from Hong Kong and Italy, as well as official overtures from Beijing, hint at the possible finalization of an agreement between the Chinese leadership and the Apostolic See that would allow Pope Francis to ordain, with some limitations, bishops in China.

Kevin Lui: Anti-Establishment Hong Kong Legislator Flees Home After Receiving Death Threats (Time)

On Sunday, he received the highest number of votes in the democratically elected half of Hong Kong’s legislature.
But now, Eddie Chu — dubbed the “king of votes” after receiving 84,121 votes in the territory’s Legislative Council election, the most among all candidates running in the five geographical constituencies — has moved out of his home, fearing for the safety of himself and his family.

Wong Lok-to, Yang Fan, Luisetta Mudie: China’s Rebel Village Protests Jailing of Its Former Leader For ‚Bribery‘ (Radio Free Asia)

Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have jailed the head of a grassroots democracy movement on „bribery“ charges after he planned to relaunch a campaign of petitioning over his village’s lost farmland.
Lin Zuluan, former ruling Chinese Communist Party secretary for Guangdong’s rebel village of Wukan, was handed a 37-month jail term and a U.S.$60,000 fine after a court in Foshan city found him guilty of taking bribes and of other charges…
Lin admitted taking bribes in a televised „confession,“ but few in Wukan believed it to be genuine, as the authorities had also prevented him from meeting with lawyers hired by his family to defend him.

Jörg Hänztschel: Ai Weiwei: “All I ask for is a normal life” (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Everybody was surprised by the news that you were allowed to travel. Just recently hundreds of human rights lawyers were detained in China.
Yes, there are some cases where the authorities act quite totalitarian. But it’s very different from when I was detained. Today, when they detain you, they come with arrest orders. Courts decide what kind of treatment these people will get. They follow procedures. And if there is not enough proof they release you. The tactics are not as unlawful as a few years ago. Of course the police have the right to arrest you if they think you’re suspicious. Although I think this is also used as a tactic to control these people.
Still, it looked like the dawn of a new era of repression.
The reason is the anti-corruption campaign by president Xi Jinping. That creates a lot of tension, so they want to make sure they don’t lose control. If they see any sign of unrest they do whatever it takes to stop it. By the way: The anti-corruption campaign was very necessary. It was completely rotten. It was a urgent step to clean up this huge mess.

Angela Köckritz, Miao Zhang: „Kein Grund zu weinen“ / 没有理由去哭 / “There’s no point crying” (Zeit)

Der chinesische Künstler Ai Weiwei hat seine Regierung stets stark kritisiert. Jetzt klingt er plötzlich anders.

Ian Johnson: ‘I Try to Talk Less’: A Conversation with Ai Weiwei and Liao Yiwu (New York Review of Books)

In late July, Chinese authorities renewed travel privileges for conceptual artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, ending a five-year prohibition following his arrest in 2011. He promptly flew to Munich and then Berlin, where he has accepted a three-year guest professorship at the city’s University of the Arts.
After arriving in Germany, Ai gave two interviews that aroused some controversy, telling the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Zeit that repression in China is bad but not as bad as in the past—defensible positions, especially if comparing today’s China to the Cultural Revolution or the period immediately after the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, but still surprising to some who had come to expect extremely pointed and uncompromising statements from Ai.

中国国际航空访问伦敦提示引发愤怒反应(BBC)

中国国际航空公司(Air China)警告旅客在访问伦敦“有些印巴聚集区和黑人聚集区”时要多加小心,在伦敦引起轩然大波。
这家航空公司在自己的空中月刊《中国之翼》中提示,“到伦敦旅行很安全,但有些印巴聚集区和黑人聚集区相对较乱。夜晚最好不要单独出行,女士应该尽量结伴而行。”

Matthew Weaver: Air China magazine condemned over ‚racist‘ guide to London (Guardian)

MPs have urged China’s UK ambassador to intervene in a row over racist comments reportedly issued by a Chinese airline about ethnic minority areas of London.
An image of text from an inflight Air China magazine posted on social media prompted outrage after it warned passengers that “precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people”.

Kulturrevolution – Fellner, Brown, Wemheuer, Mai/Chou, Rittenberg, Wasserstrom
Mai 15th, 2016 by Gao

Hannes Fellner: »Rebellion ist gerechtfertigt« (junge Welt)

Die »Große Proletarische Kulturrevolution« war ein Zeitabschnitt in der Geschichte der Volksrepublik China, der widersprüchlicher nicht sein konnte. Die Kulturrevolution stand und steht gleichzeitig für Voluntarismus und diktatorische Maßnahmen von den um Mao Zedong versammelten Kadern der Kommunistischen Partei Chinas (KPCh), aber auch für eine partizipative und demokratische Massenbewegung. Sie stand und steht gleichzeitig für gesellschaftliches Chaos und Not, aber auch für ökonomischen, sozialen und kulturellen Fortschritt, welcher die Grundlagen für den Wirtschaftsboom des Landes ab den späten 1970er Jahren legte. Sie stand und steht gleichzeitig für Chinas Besinnung nach innen und seine internationale Isolation, aber auch für den Beginn seines Aufstiegs zur Weltmacht.

Ian Johnson: Jeremy Brown on the Cultural Revolution at the Grass Roots | 50周年纪念之外,被忽略的文革历史 (New York Times)

Jeremy Brown, 39, a history professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, studied in Harbin and did research in Tianjin, focusing especially on the rural-urban divide in China under Mao Zedong. Most recently, he helped edit “Maoism at the Grassroots: Everyday Life in China’s Era of High Socialism.” In an interview, he discussed the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, what we miss in elite-focused narratives from that time and his pursuit of flea-market historiography.

Felix Wemheuer: 50 Jahre Kulturrevolution: Der Kampf geht weiter (Deutsche Welle)

50 Jahre nach dem Ausbruch der „Großen Proletarischen Kulturrevolution“ [hat] die chinesische Gesellschaft noch immer keinen Konsens gefunden, wie Maos Massenbewegung zu beurteilen ist.

Felix Wemheuer: Kulturrevolution und die Neue Linke im Westen (Deutsche Welle)
Jun Mai, Oliver Chou: Cultural Revolution, 50 years on (South China Morning Post)

Fifty years ago today, China issued a top directive calling on its people to rid society of “members of the bourgeoisie threatening to seize political power from the proletariat” – marking the start of a decade-long violent class struggle.
For 10 tumultuous years from 1966, the country underwent massive sociopolitical upheaval that saw countless politicians and intellectuals driven to their deaths, civilians killed in armed conflicts, and cultural relics and artefacts destroyed. The official death toll numbered more than 1.7 million.

Wen Liu: Sidney Rittenberg on Cultural Revolution 50 years later, its violence, its lessons (WA China Watch Digest)

This website was not meant to be this political. But one cannot watch China and skip a historic date, May 16, the 50th anniversary of the official start of the Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976, which served as perhaps more than anything dark, scorched, bloody yet fertile soil for, as well as a huge rear-view mirror of, today’s China of skyscrapers, bullet trains, Xi Jinping, and even Internet censorship. One cannot also watch China and forget that it was in 1972, during the Cultural Revolution, that President Nixon went to meet Mao in Beijing. To help us reflect on the Cultural Revolution, its meaning, its violence, its lessons, there is no better person than a great fellow Washingtonian, journalist, scholar, a participant as well as a prisoner of not only the Cultural Revolution, but for 35 years Mao’s revolution: Sidney Rittenberg.

Jeffrey Wasserstrom: How Will China Mark the 50th Anniversary of the Cultural Revolution? (Nation)

This month marks the anniversary of two surges of youth activism in China. One, the May 4 Movement, began with student protests 97 years ago. The other is the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, which is sometimes said to have begun with the first Red Guards putting up wall posters in late May of 1966. May 4 and Red Guard activists were once seen as part of related movements, but now they tend to be regarded as radically dissimilar.

Walder | Žižek
Jul 10th, 2015 by Gao

Ian Johnson: Andrew G. Walder on ‘China Under Mao’ (New York Times)

Q. You write that about 1.1 million to 1.6 million people died during the Cultural Revolution.
A. In the literature, the number ranges from 40,000 to eight million. So it’s a relatively conservative estimate. But as a percent of the population, 750 million, that’s about one-fifth the death rate of Stalin’s Great Terror. Some people are annoyed that I’m minimizing the violence, but I’m trying to put it in perspective.
Another point was that in the Cultural Revolution, most killing wasn’t by the students or Red Guards, but by the government.
We focus on students killing their teachers. That touches a nerve. Or we focus on armed conflict between rebel groups. But most of the killing occurred when order — in quotation marks — was restored. It was not the rampaging Red Guards, even though those deaths were the most dramatic. It was the military restoration of order. The cure was far worse than the disease.

Slavoj Žižek: Sinicisation (London Review of Books)

An exemplary case of today’s ‘socialism’ is China, where the Communist Party is engaged in a campaign of self-legitimisation which promotes three theses: 1) Communist Party rule alone can guarantee successful capitalism; 2) the rule of the atheist Communist Party alone can guarantee authentic religious freedom; and 3) continuing Communist Party rule alone can guarantee that China will be a society of Confucian conservative values (social harmony, patriotism, moral order). These aren’t simply nonsensical paradoxes.

Arbeitsmigration | Verschuldung
Apr 27th, 2015 by Gao

Bernice Chan: How modern-day Chinese migrants are making a new life in Italy (South China Morning Post)

Work Tensions Rise in China, Despite Calls for Harmony (Wall Street Journal)

Labor disputes continued to swell in China over the first three months of this year, government data showed Friday, as slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy puts more pressure on workers.
Roughly 190,300 labor-arbitration cases were filed from January to March, up 16.8% from the same period a year earlier, said Li Zhong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, in a news briefing. Those cases involved some 275,600 people, up 24.8% from a year earlier, he added.
The first-quarter increase in arbitration cases outpaced the 12.6% on-year rise logged in the previous three months, according to ministry data. The rise in the number of affected workers was also faster than the 15.5% on-year increase seen in the fourth quarter.

Neil Gough: China’s Economy Puts New Pressure on Its Lopsided Job Market (New York Times)

趙平復:「萬隆會議精神」實際內涵和當代意義(苦勞網)

Geoffrey Crothall: Is Li Keqiang more at home in Davos than in Beijing? (China Labour Bulletin)

Mr Li was in his element at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos this January where he gave a keynote address, and in the interview with the Financial Times on 31 March, in which he outlined his vision of China as an integral part of the global financial and economic system. The Davos crowd speak the same language as Mr Li; they are concerned with same issues, and basically want to see the same thing – stable and balanced global economic growth led by innovation and free markets.

„Youwei“: The End of Reform in China (Foreign Affairs)

Since the start of its post-Mao reforms in the late 1970s, the communist regime in China has repeatedly defied predictions of its impending demise. The key to its success lies in what one might call “authoritarian adaptation”—the use of policy reforms to substitute for fundamental institutional change. Under Deng Xiaoping, this meant reforming agriculture and unleashing entrepreneurship. Under Jiang Zemin, it meant officially enshrining a market economy, reforming state-owned enterprises, and joining the World Trade Organization. Under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, it meant reforming social security. Many expect yet another round of sweeping reforms under Xi Jinping—but they may be disappointed.

Ian Johnson: Lawsuit Over Banned Memoir Asks China to Explain Censorship (New York Times)

Though China’s censorship of the Internet is widely known, its aggressive efforts to intercept publications being carried into the country have received less notice.

Mike Bird: China just let part of a state-owned company default for the first time ever (Business Insider)
Enda Curran, Lu Lianting: China Has a Massive Debt Problem (Bloomberg)

China has a $28 trillion problem. That’s the country’s total government, corporate and household debt load as of mid-2014, according to McKinsey & Co. It’s equal to 282 percent of the country’s total annual economic output.

Christopher Langner, Lu Lianting: We’re Just Learning the True Cost of China’s Debt (Bloomberg)
Mia Tahara-Stubbs: China bad debt spikes by more than a third (CNBC)
Laura He: China government firm’s default shocks market — Is more to come? (Markte Watch)

Russell Flannery: China Now Has A Record 400 Billionaires And Billionaire Families; Greater China 500+ (Forbes)

P S Ramya: China’s Myanmar Conundrum ()

Myanmar’s domestic politics are central to China’s strategic interests, and are testing Beijing’s core principles.

Gray Tuttle: China’s Race Problem (Foreign Affairs)

Nick Davies: Vietnam 40 years on: how a communist victory gave way to capitalist corruption (Guardian)

After the military victory, Vietnam’s socialist model began to collapse. Cut off by US-led trade embargos and denied reconstruction aid, it plunged into poverty. Now its economy is booming – but so is inequality and corruption

Feministinnen | Streik bei Cuiheng
Apr 19th, 2015 by Gao

Edward Wong: China Releases 5 Women’s Rights Activists Detained for Weeks (New York Times)
Sui-lee Wee: China frees five women activists on bail after outcry (Reuters)
5 feminists released! Also: environmental struggles and the Great Cannon (Chuang)

China has unexpectedly released five women activists on bail, two lawyers said on Monday, after a vocal campaign against their detention by the West and Chinese rights campaigners.
The women were taken into custody on the weekend of March 8, International Women’s Day, and detained on suspicion of „picking quarrels and provoking trouble“. They had planned to demonstrate against sexual harassment on public transport.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: Online Support — and Mockery — Await Chinese Feminists After Release (Foreign Policy)
Detention of Five Chinese Feminist Activists at the Juncture of Beijing+20 – An Interview with Gender Scholar Wang Zheng (China Change)

Professor Wang Zheng (王政), of the University of Michigan, is a scholar whose research focuses on the modern and contemporary history of Chinese women and gender, and Chinese feminism in the era of globalization. Since 1993, Professor Wang has been working with Chinese domestic feminist scholars to promote feminist scholarship and establish courses in women studies and gender studies. She has also participated in the feminist movement itself in China over the years. On April 3rd, Professor Wang gave a speech at Brookings Institute in Washington, DC, about the recent arrest of the five Chinese feminists (starts around 48:00). On April 7th, the editor of this website talked to Professor Wang, further discussing the Chinese and global background of the incident and how it will impact the women’s rights movement in China.

Alexandria Icenhower: What China’s sexual revolution means for women (Brookings)
张红萍:1913 被抓捕的女权主义者们(法制网)

这些1905年就加入同盟会的女会员们,革命多年,并于辛亥革命时穿行于枪林弹雨中。昨日她们还是巾帼英雄,今日她们就成了国家的罪犯。当通缉令张贴满北京的大街小巷时,“女子参政同盟会”的女子们黯然神伤,挥泪告别她们的聚集地,结束了1904年她们就开始从事的女权运动

Josh Chin: A Reduced Sentence Shines Light on China’s Little-Known Opposition Parties (Wall Street Journal)

High profile strike at Zhongshan bag manufacturer enters tenth day (China Labour Bulletin)
Worker activism is now the new normal as strikes and protests erupt across China (China Labour Bulletin)

Dinny McMahon: Economists React: China’s Economic Growth Slows (Wall Street Journal)

Heather Timmons: Asia’s largest IPO this year is the latest sign that Chinese investors are ignoring reality (Quartz)

China’s stock markets have become completely detached from economic fundamentals in recent months, and that insanity is rapidly spilling into Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange. The latest evidence of irrational exuberance comes from the $3.6 billion IPO of GF Securities, a Chinese broker whose stock started up 40% in its Hong Kong trading debut today, in Asia’s largest listing this year.

Taxi drivers in Xiangtan create their own company in push for industry reform (China Labour Bulletin)

Andrew Browne: Vietnam’s Impossible Bind: How to Stand Up to Beijing (Wall Street Journal)

China’s military development a key theme in defense paper (Japan News / Yomiuri Shimbun)

Xu Beina: Media Censorship in China (Council on Foreign Relations)

Ian Johnson: China: What the Uighurs See (New York Review of Books)

Xinjiang is one of those remote places whose frequent mention in the international press stymies true understanding. Home to China’s Uighur minority, this vast region of western China is mostly known for being in a state of permanent low-grade conflict, with terrorist attacks and a ferocious government crackdown, even against moderate Uighur academics. To the outside world, Xinjiang conjures up a series of stock adjectives or phrases: “restive,” “Muslim,” “oppressed,” and—as the misleading titles of more than one recent book have it—China’s “Wild West.”
And yet few outsiders spend much time there. Foreign academics have largely been barred from research, with several prominent scholars of Xinjiang banned from entering China. Foreign journalists tend to fly in and out for a dateline and an interview. The American photographer Carolyn Drake is an exception.
Drake has been traveling to Xinjiang since 2007, when she began photographing Central Asia from her base in Istanbul. Over the years, she has come to know the region well, and struggled to break free from its clichés. The summation of her work is Wild Pigeon, an ambitious, beautiful, and crushingly sad book.

Geschichtsschreibung und intellektuelle Opposition
Mrz 1st, 2015 by Gao

Ian Johnson: China’s Brave Underground Journal (New York Review of Books)

On the last stretch of flatlands north of Beijing, just before the Mongolian foothills, lies the satellite city of Tiantongyuan. Built during the euphoric run-up to the 2008 Olympics, it was designed as a modern, Hong Kong–style housing district of over 400,000 people, with plentiful shopping and a subway line into Beijing. But it was a rushed job, and planners neglected to put in parks, open spaces, or anything for the public other than roads, which were quickly choked with cars. Construction was pell-mell, and the area has aged quickly, its towers crumbling and cracking.
This rootless suburb is home to Remembrance, an underground journal that deals with one of China’s most sensitive issues: its history. E-mailed to subscribers as a seventy- to ninety-page PDF every other week, Remembrance’s articles and first-person accounts are helping to recover memories that the Communist Party would prefer remained lost.

Chris Buckley: Conviction for Memoirs Is Reminder of Mao Era (New York Times)

An 81-year-old survivor of Mao’s purges was convicted in southwestern China on Wednesday for his efforts to remind Chinese of their country’s history.
Tie Liu, an underground publisher, was tried in Chengdu, in Sichuan Province, along with his maid, Huang Jing, and convicted of operating an illegal business, Mr. Tie’s former lawyer said. Both defendants received suspended sentences for publishing the memoirs of people persecuted nearly 60 years ago for criticizing the Communist Party.

Urbanisierung | Wachstum | Lateinamerika
Jan 30th, 2015 by Gao

Eli Friedman: The Urbanization of the Chinese Working Class (Jacobin)

China has problems. Not despite thirty-five years of record-breaking growth, but because of it. The country’s dependence on exports and investment-led development has resulted in stark inequality, underconsumption, over-investment, disappearing arable land, exorbitant housing prices, and a looming environmental catastrophe. This leaves China increasingly vulnerable to a number of potential crises: external economic shocks, housing market collapse, mass defaults on public debt, and fits of social unrest.
What, then, might ensure the stability of Chinese capitalism for another generation?
For the state, a big part of the answer is urbanization. In the recently released National New Urbanization Plan (2014–2020), the central government calls for more than 100 million people to move to cities by 2020, pushing China’s urban population to 60 percent. The plan sets out admirable goals such as an expansion of public housing, education, and health services, a reduction in carbon emissions and other environmentally destructive activities, and preservation of agricultural land through limits on sprawl.

Jonathan Kaiman, Heather Stewart: Hard times return as China bids to bring its economic miracle to an end (Guardian)

Beijing insists slow growth is part of a plan to bring years of explosive expansion under control. But the global slowdown may make it hard to soft-land an economy still hooked on exports…
Official figures published last week showed that China’s GDP expanded by 7.4% in 2014. That was a significant drop from the 7.7% seen in 2013, and the weakest rate of growth since 1990…

Ralf Streck: China mischt den „Hinterhof“ der USA auf (Telepolis)

Nicht nur der Brics-Staat Russland treibt im Zuge der Sanktionspolitik der USA und Europas verstärkt Projekte in Lateinamerika voran (…). Den großen Wurf will nun das große Brics-Land China in der Region machen, die in den USA so gerne als „Hinterhof“ bezeichnet wird. In Washington ist man nicht sehr erfreut darüber, dass allein China im kommenden Jahrzehnt rund 250 Milliarden US-Dollar in Mittel- und Südamerika und der Karibik investieren will, womit sich das Handelsvolumen auf eine halbe Billion verdoppeln soll. Wichtigster Handelspartner Brasiliens (ebenfalls ein Brics-Staat) ist schon jetzt nicht mehr die USA, sondern China. Und das gilt auch schon für Chile und Peru. Über diese Entwicklung ist das Imperium im Norden besorgt. Das Tauwetter zwischen den USA und Kuba muss in diesem Zusammenhang gesehen werden.

Nebenbei:
Geoffrey Crothall: People’s Daily tries and fails to understand problem of wage arrears in China (China Labour Bulletin)
Ian Johnson: The Rat Tribe of Beijing (AlJazeera)
APA: Bürgermeister: Peking „wirklich nicht lebenswert“ (Standard)
Reuters: China stellt Milizen an der Grenze zu Nordkorea auf (Standard)
Catherine Phillips: $242 Billion High-Speed Beijing-Moscow Rail Link Approved (Newsweek)
APA: Chinesen bauen Bostoner U-Bahn (Standard)

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