Jul 06

Once per year, Freedom House releases its annual report covering the levels of freedom throughout the world. I’ve included their reports for China, Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. They issue two scores, one for Political Rights and one for Civil Liberties, along with a Freedom Status. The lower the number, the higher the rating.

China (2010)

Capital: Beijing

Population: 1,331,398,000

Political Rights Score: 7
Civil Liberties Score: 6
Status: Not Free

Explanatory Note

The numerical ratings and status listed above do not reflect conditions in Hong Kong or Tibet, which are examined in separate reports.
Jun 09

In the midst of the concrete and steel jungle that is the Shanghai World Expo, stands the Indian Pavilion, the ‘greenest’ of them all, built entirely of environment-friendly materials, showcasing India’s unique brand of Culture, History and Soft Power and offering an unprecedented opportunity to further improve Sino-Indian relations

The Expo has finally come to China. A largely forgotten event in most parts of the world, it has been rejuvenated, on a scale in which no other country could even dream of. A record number of 192 countries and 50 organizations have registered, the highest in the Expo’s history. Most people hadn’t even heard of the expo before it came to China. The verdict is clear – The Expo needed China as much as China needed the Expo.

It has been described by the Chinese government as “a great gathering of world civilizations”,  and is an excellent opportunity to improve ties between two of the oldest – India and China.

Continue reading »

May 30

The following is a translation of an op-ed published published in China Review News.

May 27, 2010 – Opinion: the Foxconn Incident is a Reflection of the Growing Pains Associated with China’s Traditional Mode of Development

The recent spate of suicides at Foxconn in China has brought unprecedented attention to this major international manufacturing subcontractor of electronics equipments.  While the causes of these suicides are inevitably complex,  the incidents are a general reflection of the stress the traditional mode of development has wrought on China’s society and provide a warning that change must be brought about soon. Continue reading »

May 27

minipost-Should China Ensure Order In Its Neighborhood?

Written by: Legalist | Filed under:-mini-posts, News | Tags:, ,
122 Comments » newest 2010-08-06 19:13:49

War talks are in the air on the Korean peninsula. North Korea sank South Korea’s warship Cheonan. South Korea retaliated by imposing various sanctions on the North. The North responded by imposing its own sanctions on the South.

War can easily happen, by accident or design. South Koreans are nervous. Americans are nervous. Japanese are nervous. And others are nervous, too. Everyone is looking to China to bring the North Koreans to their sense.
Continue reading »

May 26

Bi Yantao’s Note: The incident that happened to Tiantian Zhai has caused a stir in China’s media and blogsphere. Frankly, many people here in China are surprised. How on earth does US define the freedom of speech? All comments are warmly welcome, and I will introduce your insights to China.

China Daily
May 25, 2010

XI’AN/WASHINGTON — Zhai Taishan, the father of a Chinese doctoral degree student in New Jersey accused by US police of attempted arson and making threats, flew from Xi’an, Shaanxi province, to Beijing on Monday night, seeking help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“I will never believe that my son is a terrorist,” Zhai said.
Continue reading »

Apr 18

The stories out of Qinghai tell thousands of tragedies but also many small acts of heroism.  Since the story is developing, with people still being saved, and since I am not on the ground: I will refrain from writing or commenting on the disaster.  However, I will try to translate small stories here and there in the coming weeks to give people more of a flavor to what is going on on the ground.

The following is a short story filed by a reporter from Wuhan regarding his experience traveling to Qinghai to cover the earthquake. The story itself may not be a big deal, but it does detail one of the many spontaneous acts of kindred kindness that people across China are showing for the victims of the disaster. Continue reading »

Apr 14

minipost-Massive Earthquake Hits Qinghai Province

Written by: Steve | Filed under:-mini-posts, natural disaster, News | Tags:, ,
104 Comments » newest 2013-08-05 17:10:50

The latest news clip on the disaster.

Some older clips following the jump.
Continue reading »

Apr 10

minipost-[Translation] Greed Destroyed Bob Dylan’s Concert

Written by: Charles Liu | Filed under:-mini-posts, General, music, News | Tags:, , ,
24 Comments » newest 2011-05-14 05:13:38

Recently there were some news about cancelation of Bob Dylan’s concerts in China. Not surprisingly following the usual Western media narrative the dominate theme was the Chinese government had banned Bob Dylan because of censorship, Tibet, the usual.

However, the Chinese netters have been circulating a different story that appeared February this year (UPDATE: also covered by China Music Update in March). According to a music industry insider, Sun Mengjin, cancelation of Dylan’s China concerts had to do with the steep mark up by original concert rights holder (Brokers Brothers) rendering the concert not financially viable for local promoters, and out-of-control greediness in Chinese concert promotion industry:
Continue reading »

Apr 01

Political Prisoner?

Written by: Wukailong | Filed under:General, human rights, News, politics | Tags:, , ,
196 Comments » newest 2010-05-16 20:30:37

This is a follow-up to a post earlier this month, “A political prisoner in Sweden.” I promised to translate the text of the sentence from the original, and have finally finished proofreading and putting in comments.

NOTE: I’ve changed the name of the indicted to his initials (BM). The reason for this is that, despite what he might have done, I don’t want people to find it out just by searching his name. I’m publishing it so that interested people on this forum can use it as a reference.
Mar 09

The execution of a Britain in China for Drug Smuggling raises some interesting questions – including Britain’s integrity and significant lessons for Indian politicians.

Recently the news was packed with what they called the execution by the Chinese Government of a ‘mentally ill’ Britain. He was caught carrying 4 kgs of Heroin in China. His family (surprise surprise!) said that he was mentally ill. And then human rights groups, which are always more than ready to jump in on denouncing China, picked it up.
Continue reading »

Feb 28

New York Times recently revealed two schools in China might the be the source of recent Google attack – Jiaotong University (known for its accomplishment in international computing contests) and Lanxiang Vocational School (known for its poor student accommodations, tacky infomercial).

While I have no problem with reports connecting eggheads at Jiaotong University hacking Google, it puzzled me how a 3rd rate voc tech for high school dropouts was implicated. So I decided to dig a little deeper. Continue reading »

Jan 25

Google’s recent drama in China has endeared itself to some human rights activists, democracy advocates, even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Many have applauded Google for taking a “principled stance” against the evil empire of China.  I find such rhetoric comical. Continue reading »

Jan 15

(If this one by General Song Zuying Mr. Sha Baoliang gives you goose bumps, visit here for an earlier version of the same song)

In America, I haven’t seen anybody getting married without an exchange of vows that goes something like this: “I, (Bride / Groom), take you (Groom / Bride), to be my (wife / husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. “

Traditionally Chinese wedding does not have such formal vows.  The newly-weds just have three bows during a wedding, usually announced by a wedding host:  “First, bow to the heaven and earth; second, bow to the parents; third, bow to each other!”  Continue reading »

Jan 13

Google issued a press release on their blog just a few hours ago pertaining to their operation in China. It is big news and will take some time to digest. I don’t want to comment, just get the story out.  Continue reading »

Dec 19

Apparently, after much drama, intrigue, and sleepless nights, we have some sort of agreement at Copenhagen. We’ll probably get the text of the Copenhagen Agreement soon. But I think the gist of it is as follows: Continue reading »

Dec 14

minipost-An 1833km pipeline for regional peace

Written by: dewang | Filed under:-mini-posts, economy, General, News, Opinion | 27 Comments » newest 2010-01-08 19:58:52

A theory often taught in foreign policy courses is that heavily interdependent states tend to want peace and stability between them. I was very encourage to read that a massive gas pipeline, 1,833-kilometers in length, has been constructed, linking Turkmenistan through central Uzbekistan, southern Kazakhstan, and into China through northwestern Xinjiang province.
Continue reading »

Nov 17

It was practically a news story that wrote itself. Soon after president Obama made a roundabout endorsement of non-censorship, it was reported via twitter and then repeated by the China Digial Times that China pulled the coverage from news portal NetEase 27 minutes after the transcript appeared.
Continue reading »

Nov 15

Human Rights Watch has come out with a hard-hitting report on China’s black jails, illegal detention facilities where petitioners seeking to appeal to the central government are detained. The report, “Alleyway in Hell”, has a wide range of information on the jails and the circumstances in which people are put there, having conducted interviews with dozens of former victims. (Anyone having trouble accessing the HRW website can get a copy of the report here.)


The majority of black jail detainees are petitioners-citizens from rural areas who come to Beijing and provincial capitals seeking redress for abuses ranging from illegal land grabs and corruption to police torture. Petitioners, as citizens who have done nothing wrong-in fact, who are exercising their legal right to complain of being wronged themselves-are often persecuted by government officials, who employ security forces and plainclothes thugs known as retrievers or jiefang renyuan, to abduct them, often violently, and then detain them in black jails. Plainclothes thugs often actively assist black jail operators and numerous analysts believe that they do so at the behest of, or at least with the blessing of, municipal police. Continue reading »

Nov 10

The Fall of the Berlin Wall on our Mind…

Written by: Allen | Filed under:Analysis, General, News, politics | Tags:, , ,
54 Comments » newest 2009-11-23 03:54:10

The Fall of the Berlin some 20 years ago is again on the mind of many. According to the NYTimes, “[t]he historical legacy of 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell and the cold war thawed, is as political as the upheavals of that decisive year.”

For many in the West, the events of 1989 represents the ultimate triumph of the West over East – of democratic, capitalistic liberalism over communist authoritarianism. Many envisioned that we were entering an “End of History.” Writing in 1989, Francis Fukuyama (a professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins University) wrote: Continue reading »

Nov 06

Despite great strides made over gender equality in the last 60 years, there are still a lot China can do as a nation to promote greater equality and promote the livelihoods of women – especially in the rural areas.

But in the city at least, the power dynamics between men and women seems to be changing – at least on a family per family basis.

Here is an entertaining video from James Fallow on who holds the family purse in China? Continue reading »

Oct 21

Lou Jing: Racism Gone Wild?

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, education, General, media, music, News, Opinion, video | Tags:, , , ,
391 Comments » newest 2013-07-05 18:34:48

Lou Lou Jing (娄婧) entered a competition reality show called “Let’s Go! Oriental Angels” (加油!东方天使) on Dragon TV. Though born and raised in Shanghai and a Chinese citizen all her life, her story is quite complicated. Her mother was married to a Chinese man but had an affair with an African American man and gave birth to Lou Jing. The African American man went back to the States before Lou Jing was born, the Chinese husband divorced his wife when he discovered she had an affair, so Lou Jing was raised by a single mother. She is considered a talented singer, speaks fluent Mandarin and Shanghainese and is Chinese in every way except for her looks and skin color.

However, upon entering this competition, she was shocked to find rude racial epithets hurled against her on the Chinese blogosphere. Was she really Chinese? Quite a few people felt she was not. They condemned her for her skin color and her mother’s infidelity. Many comments were blatantly racist.

I first became aware of this story when James Fallows mentioned it in his Atlantic blog. He wrote, “To be clear about the context: this is not a “blame China” episode but rather one of many illustrations of the differences in day by day social realities and perceived versus ignored sources of tension in particular societies. That’s all to say about it for now.” I want to explore those tensions further.

Continue reading »