The case of Jane Doe Ponytail

The tragic story of a Liaoning woman’s immigration to the US, the sex trade, and her death.–Kirk

Source: NYT (10/12/18)
The Case of Jane Doe Ponytail
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By DAN BARRY, JEFFREY E. SINGER, and TODD HEISLER

“Feeling depressed for a long time,” Song Yang, known on 40th Road as SiSi, posted. “Coming out to bask in the sunshine.”

A WOMAN BEGINS TO FALL. With her long dark hair in a ponytail and her black-and-red scarf loose around her neck, she is plummeting from a fourth-floor balcony, through the neon-charged November night.

Below awaits 40th Road, a gritty street of commerce in the Flushing section of Queens. Chinese restaurants and narrow storefronts, and dim stairwells leading to private transactions. Strivers and dawdlers and passers-by, all oblivious to what is transpiring above.

But before the pavement ends the woman’s descent, a few feet from a restaurant’s glittering Christmas tree, imagine her fall suddenly suspended — her body freeze-framed in midair. If only for a moment. Continue reading

Crazy Rich Asians

Source: NYT (8/8/18)
‘Crazy Rich Asians’: Why Did It Take So Long to See a Cast Like This?
By Robert Ito

From left, the “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu and his cast: Ken Jeong, Awkwafina, Constance Wu, Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh and Henry Golding.CreditRozette Rago for The New York Times

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — In January 2017, the director Jon M. Chu announced an open casting call for Asian and Asian-American actors for his movie adaptation of “Crazy Rich Asians.” Recorded in the kitchen of his West Hollywood home (you can see his fridge in the background), the online plea instructed anyone interested in joining his all-Asian cast, from aspiring actors to “cool personalities with hidden talents,” to post a two-minute video of themselves on social media. “We are looking for you,” he beamed. Continue reading

Memorial service of Liu Xiaobo in Berlin

The Geistkämpfer (spiritual fighter) by Ernst Barlach. Source: online photo.

Memorial Service for Liu Xiaobo in Berlin, Gethsemane church, one year after his passing.

I wasn’t sure if I should post this or not. Maybe Ian Johnson would do it, or someone else more involved with the event. Anyway, seems it’s going to be a grand thing. A reminder there are some things politics and the arts both can and should try to stand for. In Berlin, in Germany, in Europe, anywhere. Solidarity, for once.

The announcement in English and in Chinese is on China Change.
I have done a German translation from the Chinese version and put it on my blog.

In 2010 I translated Bei Ling’s biography of Liu Xiaobo into German. It was a rush job, but I checked the facts. It’s an interesting book. Continue reading

Transnational Postsocialist Media Networks postdoc

Call for applications // Postdoctoral Fellowship:
TRANSNATIONAL POSTSOCIALIST MEDIA NETWORKS

>applications due September/1/2018
>fellowship begins January/1/2019
Concordia University (Montréal, Canada)
Supervisors: Dr. Joshua Neves and Dr. Masha Salazkina

We invite applications for a postdoctoral fellow of film and media whose research focuses on the relationship – either in comparative or transnational terms – between the former Communist bloc and the Global South. The postdoctoral fellow will be expected to enter into dialogue with the research projects already underway in the department of Cinema under the auspices of the Global Emergent Media Lab (Gem Lab) and the CURC in Transnational Media Arts and Cultures with the goal of interrogating the shifting theoretical questions about the Cold War, colonialism and their legacies and developing a shared conceptual model for describing and assessing these geopolitical flows either from a historical or contemporary perspective.

Apply here:
http://www.concordia.ca/sgs/postdoctoral-fellows/funding/horizon/descriptions/5003.html

For more information please contact:

Joshua Neves: joshua.neves@concordia.ca
Masha Salazkina: masha.salazkina@concordia.ca

Chinese opera in Thailand

Source: NYT (4/24/18)
‘We Don’t Perform for People, We Perform for the Gods’
A community has formed around Chinese opera in Thailand, preserving one of the oldest dramatic art forms in the world.
By Malin Fezehai

Backstage with the Sai Yong Hong Chinese Opera troupe. Actors spend hours applying layers of makeup and working on their hairstyles before performing.

BANGKOK — “Anywhere they play in Bangkok, I’ll be there,” said Warin Nithihiranyakul, 73, a dedicated fan of the Sai Yong Hong Chinese Opera troupe for more than 10 years. While waiting for his friends to arrive, he helps out by starting to set up plastic red chairs for the audience to watch the evening’s performance in an area just south of Bangkok’s Chinatown.

A devotee of 11 years, Wandee Tengyodwanich, 62, unwraps several small plates of Chinese dough sticks and cake, passing them around to her friends in front of the stage before the show. She says that Sai Yong Hong is the best Chinese opera in Thailand because it invests in very elaborate costumes. She and her friends go to see the group a couple of times a year. They eat and catch up as they reminisce about the first time they saw Chinese opera as children. Continue reading

Survey show Chinese films gain ground in North America

Source: China Daily (3/22/18)
Survey shows Chinese movies gain ground in North America
By Wang Kaihao | China Daily

Huang Huilin, a professor at Beijing Normal University and an initiator of the survey on the global influence of Chinese cinema, speaks at the annual event. [Photo provided to China Daily]

North America is increasingly taking to Chinese movies, but kung fu films–which were once popular–are now losing ground, says a report recently released by Beijing Normal University.

According to the report, which is based on 1,520 responses in the United States and Canada, the interviewees were least interested in upcoming Chinese kung fu movies. Continue reading

Chinese students abroad and the battle for their hearts

Source: SupChina (1/18/18)
Caught In A Crossfire: Chinese Students Abroad And The Battle For Their Hearts
China’s 800,000 overseas students represent a blind spot for the Communist Party in its ongoing battle against Western ideology. But many of them are returning home with more love and appreciation for their birth country than ever before.
By ERIC FISH

When 22-year-old Chinese student Langou Lian looks back at her decision to study in the United States, there’s one influence that sticks out: the Disney Channel movie High School Musical.

“I hated Chinese education,” Lian says, remembering the high-pressure test-centered schooling in her native Sichuan Province. High School Musical presented an alternative: a carefree atmosphere where even adolescent students are independent, free to speak their mind, and have a palette of social activities to choose from.

But after she arrived in the U.S., that rosy Hollywood image became complicated. “The one word that describes my impression of America before coming is freedom,” Lian says. “[But] after I studied here for a while, I started to kind of understand American society. My impression went from good to bad.” Continue reading

Visiting scholars set up party branch at UC Davis (1)

Source: Quartz (11/21/17)
China’s Communist Party briefly had a chapter at a California university
By Echo Huang

Seven Chinese scholars visiting the University of California, Davis, set up a local chapter of China’s Communist Party to guard against the “corrosion” of western ideas—only to realize they had set up a potentially illegal organization under US law.

Mu Xingsen, a visiting thermal engineering scholar from China’s University of Dalian Technology, founded the party branch in early November—an act that Mu’s university praised as “setting an example for overseas party members.” The idea was to study party doctrine, including lessons from the just-concluded 19th Party Congress, according to the South China Morning Post, which first reported on the chapter. Continue reading

Visiting scholars set up party branch at UC Davis

Posted by: Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>
Source: China Scope
Chinese Visiting Scholars Setup CCP Party Branch at UC Davis

According to an article Duowei News published, on November 4, seven Chinese visiting scholars at the University of California Davis campus formed a Chinese Communist Party branch office on campus. The Dalian University of Technology news website published the news first but then deleted the news from its website. The Duowei article reported that these seven visiting scholars are teachers from seven different universities in China who are either existing party members or probationary party members. The party secretary is one of the teachers from Dalian University of Technology School of Power and Energy. The other six teachers came from Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Dalian University of Technology, Beijing Institute of Technology, Jiangsu University, Nanjing Agricultural University, and Hohai University. The branch office vows to “continue to recruit new members; organize the group to study the latest party theory and ideology from China; resist the corrosive influence from the west; and enable the members of the branch office and other Chinese patriotic people to experience warm caring from the party office.” The branch office will recruit new members starting with the existing members to target their colleagues or neighbors. They will also have one group activity every two weeks. The branch office is currently under the management of the Dalian University of Technology in China, which recommended that the branch get in touch with other party organizations in the U.S. that the Chinese communist Party has set up in order to seek leadership in the U.S.

Source: Duowei News, November 19, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2017-11-19/60024426.html

Book critical of China pulled

Posted by: Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>
Source: The Age (11/13/17)
Free speech fears after book critical of China is pulled from publication
By Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker

Author Clive Hamilton: ''The reason they've decided not to publish this book is the very reason the book needs to be ...

Author Clive Hamilton: ”The reason they’ve decided not to publish this book is the very reason the book needs to be published.” Photo: Rohan Thomson

Australian publisher Allen & Unwin has ditched a book on Chinese Communist Party influence in Australian politics and academia, citing fear of legal action from the Chinese government or its proxies.

The publisher’s chief executive, Robert Gorman, said last week that it would abandon publication of a completed manuscript by Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University, called Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State. Continue reading

Australian official warns about Chinese influence

Things are really heating up in Australia, with the country’s foreign minister and other elected officials warning Chinese Communist activists in the country to respect Australia’s “values of openness and upholding freedom of speech.” –Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (10/16/17)
China’s soft power: Julie Bishop steps up warning to university students on Communist Party rhetoric
By defence reporter Andrew Greene and political reporter Stephen Dziedzic

Julie Bishop speaks into two microphones at a lectern. She is wearing a beige coloured suit and jewelled earrings.

Julie Bishop gives a speech. Ms Bishop said freedom of speech was crucial for all those living in or visiting Australia.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has issued a blunt warning to Chinese university students affiliated with the Communist Party, urging them to respect freedom of speech in Australia.

There are mounting anxieties about the way the Chinese Government uses student groups to monitor Chinese students in Australia, and to challenge academics whose views do not align with Beijing’s.

Australia’s security agencies are now pushing allies — including the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand — to hammer out a collective strategy to resist Chinese Government intrusions into Western universities. Continue reading

The Giant Awakens

THE GIANT AWAKENS
A Collection of Insights into Chinese Government Influence in Australia
https://www.visiontimes.com.au/the-giant-awakens/

Download the full PDF version of The Giant Awakens

Read the e-book version of The Giant Awakens online

Foreword

Influence /ˈɪnflʊəns/ [mass noun]:The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.

The Chinese government’s vast sphere of influence has been a widely debated topic over the past few months. In many instances, discussions have blurred the lines between China – a country with a rich history of 5,000 years – and the Chinese government – currently controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

China’s culture, its arts and trade relations with Australia, have had a significant influence on Australia’s development as a well-integrated multicultural society. The cultural and economic contributions of the 1.2 million Chinese living and studying in Australia cannot be overstated. Continue reading

Exile or Pursuit

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Wai-chew Sim’s translation of an excerpt from Exile or Pursuit, by the Singapore writer Chia Joo Ming. The translation is too long to include here in full. The whole translation can be found at http://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/sim/

Born in 1959 in Singapore, Chia Joo Ming (谢裕民) won the Singapore Young Artist award in 1993 and participated in the Iowa international writing program in 1995. He was also writer-in-residence in the Chinese program, Nanyang Technological University, in 2014. Chia is a three-time recipient of the Singapore Literature Prize, in 2006, 2010, and 2016. His works include: The Most Boring Nationality (最闷族, 1989),  New Words of Worldly Tales (世说新语, 1994), The Insignificance of Being (一般是非, 1999), Reconstructing Nanyang Images (重构南洋图像, 2005),  M40 (2009), 1644: The Year A Dynasty Was Hanged (甲申说明书, 2012), and Exile or Pursuit (放逐与追逐, 2015). He is currently a senior executive sub-editor in Lianhe Zaobao (联合早报), Singapore main’s Chinese-language newspaper.

Exile or Pursuit (2015) tells the story of Hok Leong (福良), whose family runs a won ton noodle stall in a food centre. It follows his experiences through school, national service (compulsory military service), and early adulthood, detailing in the process a distinct period in the Singapore socio-historical formation and experience.

Kirk A. Denton, editor

Exile or Pursuit (an extract)

By Chia Joo Ming [1]
Translated by Wai-chew Sim [2]


MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright October 2017)


1

The year it all started, Hok Leong had just entered secondary two. A new student came into their classroom. Her name is Lin Chiu-yun, the form teacher said. She’s from Indonesia. From now on—everybody—please help her out as much as you can.

Hok Leong’s tentative memories of school life began more or less from that period.

To welcome the new student, the teacher clapped his hands, willing everyone to join in. Hok Leong felt that this was a tad unsophisticated but was prepared to go through the motions. He raised his hands and was about to bring them together when suddenly he heard his name.

“Hok Leong. Your Chinese is pretty good. You should help Chiu-yun.”

The boys in the class started to hoot. Hok Leong felt embarrassed and put his arms down. Continue reading

Singapore dispute

Source: NYT (7/4/17)
Dispute Over Singapore Founder’s House Becomes a National Crisis
点击查看本文中文版
By RICHARD C. PADDOCK

SINGAPORE — Two years after his death, no memorials, statues or streets in Singapore are named after Lee Kuan Yew, who established this city-state as a modern nation and built it into a prosperous showcase for his view that limited political freedoms best suit Asian values.

Now a bitter and public family dispute over the fate of his modest house has shattered Singapore’s image as an orderly authoritarian ideal and hinted at deeper divisions about its political future. Continue reading

Can free speech withstand Chinese nationalism

Source: China File (5/25/17)
Can Free Speech on American Campuses Withstand Chinese Nationalism?

The ChinaFile Conversation is a weekly, real-time discussion of China news, from a group of the world’s leading China experts.

Earlier this week, Kunming native Yang Shuping, a student at the University of Maryland, gave a commencement speech extolling the “fresh air” and “free speech” she experienced while studying in the United States. Video of her speech spread on the Internet, and Yang and her family found themselves under attack by fellow Chinese students in the U.S. and a chorus of critics on Chinese social media, who argued—at times viciously—that she had betrayed her country. Yang then apologized for the speech and asked for “forgiveness from the public.” Why was she attacked? What do her speech and the reaction it engendered reveal (or obscure) about the experiences of Chinese students on American campuses, and what do they portend for the future of academic freedom in the U.S.? To what extent is Chinese nationalism reshaping university life in America? —The Editors

Comments

Yifu Dong

I’m not surprised that Yang Shuping had to apologize in the face of severe nationalistic backlash against her speech. The following is part of the speech I would have given at my graduation, if Yale was not so obviously anti-Chinese to let me freely express myself on the podium during its two-hour Class Day ceremony. I regret missing an opportunity to garner respect from like-minded Chinese netizens and set an example for all future Chinese students who are tasked with the sacred duty of nationalistic speech-giving in paper tiger imperialist regimes. Continue reading