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Feb 13

Going along with my intention to write about things that are lighter during this New Year’s season, I’d like to share with you an article I came across Time magazine today. The article is titled Why France’s National Identity Debate Backfired. Here is a short excerpt. Continue reading »

Feb 11

While the Chinese government prefers development over human rights (like freedom of religion and speech), the Indian government, while guaranteeing these rights, neglects development.

Both India and China face the problems of separatism. Indian Naxalite movements and the recent riots and uprisings in Xinjiang and Tibet further highlights the need for respective governments to tackle the issue seriously.
Continue reading »

Feb 08

As the Chinese New Year approaches, I think I should write some lighter posts.  So here is something funny I stumbled across on WSJ’s China Realtime Report: Continue reading »

Jan 30

Uln posted a great piece on the Google matter on his blog. Go there to read the whole thing – a selection follows. 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 07

minipost-Public Opinion in Taiwan

Written by: Steve | Filed under:-mini-posts, General, Opinion, politics | Tags:, , ,
46 Comments » newest 2011-02-07 00:45:51

I recently came across an opinion poll from the Global View Survey Research Center concerning present public opinion in Taiwan on a range of subjects. In the past, many of us have commented on the state of affairs in Taiwan, not only in terms of her relationship to China but also involving the political thought within the nation. Rather than draw any conclusions, I thought I’d make this same data available to our blog members and see what you think.

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.
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Nov 26

Officials from both China and the U.S. have lauded Obama’s recent trip to China as a great success.  While some have criticized the trip for producing little in terms of specifics, one should not casually dismiss the achievements actually made (see U.S.-China Joint Statement). In so many ways, the relationship between U.S. and China has never been closer.

Yet despite the goodwill generated by the trip, there is one sharp difference that festers between the two – and that is the value of the Yuan.  Many in America feel that the Yuan is not only undervalued, but has created a huge trade deficit, setting in motion the current global financial crisis and threatening to prolong the current U.S. recession. 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.)

Introduction

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 13

Fear of Kubin is the end of wisdom

Written by: berlinf | Filed under:Analysis, culture, language, Opinion | 38 Comments » newest 2009-12-20 10:03:33

Wolfgang Kubin, Bonn University Professor of Chinese Studies, is a well-known critic of Chinese literature, a critic in every sense of the word. Every time he speaks about Chinese literature, he makes waves among observers of Chinese literature. He was famous for “trashing” Chinese literature, which has at various times being interpreted as trashing of Chinese literature in general, Chinese novels in particular, or novels by the sentimental “beauty writers” to be more exact. Chinese writers probably can also claim that Kubin is trash, but they have not done so.  That shows a humility that contrasts sharply with Kubin’s elitist and dismissive criticism.  Continue reading »

Oct 21

Lou Jing: Racism Gone Wild?

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, education, General, media, music, News, Opinion, video | Tags:, , , ,
393 Comments » newest 2016-05-24 04:26:56

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 »

Oct 08

What Lies between Chinese Writers and the Nobel Prize

Written by: berlinf | Filed under:Opinion | Tags:, , ,
48 Comments » newest 2009-10-20 01:35:38

Nobel Prize for Literature was just awarded to Herta Müller, born in Romania and productive in Germany. This came somewhat to my surprise even though I had not been playing with a crystal ball. Shortly before the announcement, one prominent member of the jury Peter Englund admitted to the Associated Press that the prize has become too Eurocentric with most jury members being European . Americans have not won any Nobel Prize in literature since 1993. Englund’s confession sparkled some hope in America that this time it might be an American author. And the disappointment that followed!
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Sep 29

Responding to Zhang Weiwei – Democracy and China

Written by: Raj | Filed under:Analysis, General, Opinion, politics | Tags:,
90 Comments » newest 2010-11-21 01:26:09

I would like to thank btbr403 for translating Zhang’s article that was recently posted on to Fools Mountain. In it he said that he had never found an example of a developing country that had “realized its modernization through democratization”. He then proceeded to refute examples cited that could apply and called for a non-western form of democracy for China.

However, Zhang’s conclusions and the method he used to reach them are fundamentally flawed. It starts with a serious lack of understanding of what democracy means these days. As I discussed in a previous post, democracy is not just having elections. It is about an entire system that crosses the country, in regards to not just elections but also the media, judiciary, rule of law and civil rights. If one does not recognise how they are all linked and that if any particular aspect is attacked the rest can be equally compromised, the entire discussion becomes pointless. It also doesn’t help that he gives no definition of “modernization”. Continue reading »