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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.
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Nov 16

President Obama is currently visiting China and the very first dispute is shaping up between China and U.S., namely, what his name is and where he lives.
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Nov 15

This may sound like a Dilbert kind of approach, but some problems are solved if you wait long enough. Copyright protection is certainly a case in point.

The United States has been a patient critic of Chinese copyright protection, but according to Wei Gu, columnist for Reuters, such calls for action has fallen on deaf ears (see: Copyright protection battle in China).   The hope is that Chinese government and individuals realize themselves the importance of protection for intellectual property.

That day may come sooner than expected. 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 14

minipost-Understanding China geopolitically

Written by: justkeeper | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis | 139 Comments » newest 2009-12-08 20:45:29

I just came across this old post on Sun-Bin:http://sun-bin.blogspot.com/2008/10/john-mauldins-geopolitics-of-china.html, which I am sure most of you must have read, most of the points in that article are valid and verifiable, but there are two I believe to be particularly helpful in understanding the mindset of Chinese people and considerations of Chinese leaders in their policymaking:

  1. The statement “However — and this is the single most important fact about China — it has about one-third the arable land per person as the rest of the world. This pressure has defined modern Chinese history — both in terms of living with it and trying to move beyond it.” — understanding this will help one understand why the PRC leaders often talked about survival as one key elements of ‘human right”, they are serious about this, historically many people die (in fact, famine was commonplace in Chinese history) whenever there was upheaval (and vice versa).
  2. The geopolitical impreative that China needs to Maintain control of the buffer regions.(Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, etc).

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Nov 14

“Voices of Change:  Educational reform I’d expect”

While Chinese education has experienced rapid development in the past decade, there are numerous challenges, which caused people to call education to be one of the “three mountains (healthcare, housing, and education)” that lie before ordinary Chinese. The media, however, are filled with voices of cynicism and pessimism, or groundless praises from vested interest groups who are anxious to maintain the status quo. Key stakeholders, especially students, are tragically underrepresented or even voiceless as China stands at the crossroads of her educational reform.
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Nov 13

Now here is an idea for people looking for Chinese (looking) tattoos

Written by: DJ | Filed under:culture | Tags:,
4 Comments » newest 2013-05-04 03:57:02

Berlin Wall Domino Piece At the Berlin Wall anniversary celebration a couple of days ago, the Germans arranged a thousand pieces of eight-foot tall Styrofoam slabs, symbolizing Berlin Wall pieces and each decorated with various arts, into a line of dominoes and started their toppling. This cascading action eventually came to a halt at a piece with apparently some Chinese calligraphy written on it, which stayed up. You can check out this youtube video for the full sequence of events.

There has been quite a bit of discussion going on in the Chinese forums regarding the symbolism of this scene. Well, this post has nothing to do with it. So if you have comments regarding Berlin Wall and China, please go to Allen’s post of that subject.

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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 »

Nov 11

minipost-Happy Singles’ Day

Written by: DJ | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture | Tags:
28 Comments » newest 2009-12-02 12:28:19

Happy Single's Day

November 11th has now emerged as a new holiday dedicated to the singles in China. It essentially serves as an anti-Valentine’s Day, and is the Chinese equivalent of Singles Awareness Day (SAD), during which those unhappily unattached commiserate in their single status.
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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 »

Nov 03

Fool’s Mountain’s Photo Page

Written by: dewang | Filed under:Photos | 3 Comments » newest 2009-11-09 05:43:04

Fools Mountain’s Favorites on Flickr

Some of you might have noticed the “Photos” page on our top navigation. I want to give you a quick introduction. We now have a “photostream” on Flickr.com containing photos of China we think you will find interesting. In the future, we will bring you more photos through this page. We hope to bring the photographers who took these pictures and share with you their thoughts. Currently running on the “Photos” page are some amazing pictures of modern day Shanghai. The version in the post is shrunk to not take up so much space, and you are welcome to click on the Photos page to get to the full-size version.

Oct 28

minipost-How to more effectively brainwash others with your ideas

Written by: dewang | Filed under:-mini-posts, General | 10 Comments » newest 2009-11-12 03:08:52

Mark Rosenfelder over at zompist.com has a really good article about how to debate, titled, “HOW TO ARGUE WITH ZOMPIST or, Social Skills 101.” (This link came via courtesy of Wukailong.) The article is not about brainwashing others with your ideas, of course. It is about how to debate more effectively and points out all the common fallacies people make, especially in heated discussions.  (Well, for some of us wanting to brainwash the world with our ideas, this will be helpful too, I think.)

I think I have been guilty in committing almost all of the sins he has warn us against.  I bet you will learn a lot more about yourself if you take time to read this article.  While I don’t want to repeat any of his points, I thought I simply share his take on “Why debate at all?”

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Oct 24

According to an op-ed by Paul Krugman in the NY Times today, China is not only a currency manipulator, but also a cause of the world financial crisis. I usually have some respect for Mr. Krugman, so I’ll try to take his op-ed seriously. Continue reading »

Oct 21

The NYT just posted a report on how Cantonese is being “swept aside” by Mandarin in Chinatowns of North America. This post has nothing to do with that story.

Chinese class
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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.

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Oct 20

China-ASEAN Free Trade Area on schedule

Written by: dewang | Filed under:Asian Union, economy, News | Tags:, , , ,
26 Comments » newest 2009-11-08 01:43:34

According to a Xinhua report, the 6th China-ASEAN Expo is being held in Nanning, Guangxi province, Oct 20 – Oct 24th.

I have mentioned in the past, that Asia is underway to form its own free trade zone like the E.U.. (For material goods,) the article says China-ASEAN Free Trade will commence in 2010 – which is on schedule. More details: China-ASEAN FTA to be completed in 2010, ASEAN envoy.

The E.U. took many treaties between member states to culminate in the union that exists today and then the single currency, Euro. See, E.U. Timeline for details. I see what is happening in Asia mirroring what happened in Europe.

In my Sept 1st post, “Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s new Prime Minister: “A New Path for Japan””, I brought to your attention Hatoyama’s support of an Asian Union.  In this Xinhua article, we hear Asian leaders continue the push towards this direction. It’s all slowly adding up.

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Oct 15

Oct 13

The Chinese government has been repeatedly criticised by various countries, such as America and European states, for its lack of action/results over protecting intellectual property. Thus it’s welcome to hear that a group of Chinese and foreign firms have united to take matters into their own hands, even if they are motivated by different factors. The Economist has the story.

In mid-September the China Internet Video Anti-Piracy Alliance, a group comprising both big Chinese internet portals and foreign rights-owners, including the Motion Picture Association of America, announced a broad legal attack. It said that it had begun collecting evidence against more than 1,000 suspected violators of intellectual property and would start filing lawsuits, with the first target being 503 videos found on Youku, an increasingly popular website, that the alliance claims are pirated. Youku has counter-sued for defamation. 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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Oct 05

Question: In your opinion, are teachers in the US given enough latitude to teach effectively?

IDEA (a law for programs for students with disabilities), Title I (a part of a law for programs for economically disadvantaged students), our equal opportunity laws and even, to a certain extent, the No Child Left Behind law, as well as many other laws and influences have created a system that does a good job at providing the basics (except computer basics ) to almost all students. In doing that, we’ve made teachers’ jobs much harder (though it’s worth it). Continue reading »