Gaokao public outcry (1)

Unmentioned by this article, but essential to understanding it, is the fact that since 1985 the gaokao has not been a uniform national exam.  Zhejiang’s license to customize the exam for Zhejiang students dates from 2003. Wikipedia says that 16 provinces and municipalities customize their exams.

This is doubtless a complex matter which I am not qualified to judge, but it seems to me that varying the questions (as well as the grading protocols) from province to province compromises a national exam’s ability to ration access to the best universities based on merit.

A. E. Clark <>

Gaokao public outcry

Source: SCMP (12/5/18)
No marks for Chinese education bosses sacked after exam results public outcry
Investigation confirms what students and parents suspected. Grades were distorted and results unfair after wrong policy decision.
By Phoebe Zhang

China’s college entrance exams, commonly known as gaokao, are a time of enormous pressure for students, as results can determine their future. Photo: Handout

Two top education officials have been fired while another two are under investigation amid accusations that grades were manipulated in China’s college entrance exams.

Authorities in eastern China’s Zhejiang province launched an investigation following public protests last month over the results of English language test results in the exams, commonly known as gaokao. Protesters complained of unfairness and questioned the scores.

On Wednesday the provincial government announced on social media that an inquiry committee, headed by provincial governor Yuan Jiajun, had concluded there had been a “wrong policy decision” by the Zhejiang Education Department. Continue reading

Chinese influence and American interest

Source: Hoover Institution (11/29/18)
Chinese Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance
Edited by Larry Diamond

[This is a summary of a long report that can be found here]

For three and a half decades following the end of the Maoist era, China adhered to Deng Xiaoping’s policies of “reform and opening to the outside world” and “peaceful development.” After Deng retired as paramount leader, these principles continued to guide China’s international behavior in the leadership eras of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Admonishing Chinese to “keep your heads down and bide your time,” these Party leaders sought to emphasize that China’s rapid economic development and its accession to “great power” status need not be threatening to either the existing global order or the interests of its Asian neighbors. However, since Party general secretary Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, the situation has changed. Under his leadership, China has significantly expanded the more assertive set of policies initiated by his predecessor Hu Jintao. These policies not only seek to redefine China’s place in the world as a global player, but they also have put forward the notion of a “China option” that is claimed to be a more efficient developmental model than liberal democracy. Continue reading

Beida accuses student marxists of criminal activity

Source: Sup China (11/15/18)
Peking University accuses student Marxists of criminal activity

After the apparent kidnapping of two students, the campaign to crush Marxist activist organizations at Peking University (PKU) and other prestigious schools is not slowing down. Click here for a recap of the story so far. The latest:

  • “The Peking University committee of China’s ruling Communist Party declared the establishment of an ‘internal control and management’ office to enforce discipline on campus, including day-to-day inspections and patrols on school grounds,” according to CNN.
  • PKU authorities also “sent a message to all students on Wednesday, November 14, accusing Marxist activists of ‘criminal activity,’ and warning that ‘if there are still students that want to defy the law, they must take responsibility,’” according to Agence France-Presse.
  • There is a petition demanding the release of detained students and workers:Demand the release of kidnapped students and workers in China.

—Jeremy Goldkorn

Cornell halts China university ties over academic freedom

Source: Financial Times (10/27/18)
Censorship: Cornell halts China university ties over curbs on academic freedom
US institution says Renmin punished students for supporting workers’ rights
By Yuan Yuan in Beijing

Cornell University’s campus in Ithaca, New York. Cornell’s industrial and labour relations school has had a partnership with China’s Renmin University since 2014 © Dreamstime

Cornell University of the US has suspended two academic exchanges and a research programme with China’s Renmin University because of concerns over academic freedoms, the first case in years of a foreign university halting a partnership with a Chinese counterpart for such reasons.

The move came after several students of Renmin, a top ranked Chinese institution, said they were punished by the school for speaking out online about workers’ rights and for supporting workers’ attempts to unionise in the manufacturing hub of Shenzhen this summer, Cornell told the Financial Times. Continue reading

Beida president replaced with party chief

Source: Radio Free Asia (10/25/18)
China Replaces Head of Peking University With Communist Party Chief

Hao Ping (L), the new president of Peking University, and predecessor Lin Jianhua, who was removed amid a campaign the Chinese Communist Party to increase control over higher education. Peking University

China’s ruling Communist Party has appointed its own representative to head one of the country’s most prestigious universities, as the administration of President Xi Jinping continues its ideological crackdown on academic life.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Hao Ping as the new president of Peking University,” state news agency Xinhua reported in a brief announcement.

He will replace Lin Jianhua, who was removed from the position.” Continue reading

Marxist activist missing after police raid

Source: SCMP (10/12/18)
Fears for young Marxist activist missing after police raid in China
Yue Xin was detained along with about 50 other activists, many of them young Marxists, who joined campaign for union rights at Jasic Technology
By Guo RuiMimi Lau

Yue Xin (centre) was taken into custody on August 24 along with about 50 other activists. Photo: Mimi Lau

A young rights activist who called for China’s top university to be transparent about its investigation of a rape case and joined a labour dispute in Shenzhen has not been seen for more than six weeks after she was detained by police.

Yue Xin, 22, was taken into custody on August 24 along with about 50 other activists, many of them young Marxists, who were involved in a labour rights protest in Shenzhen. Continue reading

Fan Bingbing violates grammar rules (1)

Excuse me, but this is ridiculous. Of course we already know, that Fan Bingbing’s police handlers would have vetted and approved every sentence, every comma. Or, they wrote the whole thing! This is what typically goes on, when somebody is disappeared. See my writings on this:

Confessions Made in China,
The Return of the Show Trial: China’s Televised “Confessions,”

So, the high school teachers that supposedly complained about her confessional statement’s grammar, should be ashamed! Continue reading

Fan Bingbing violates grammar rules

Source: SCMP (10/10/18)
China’s Fan Bingbing: violates tax law, now grammar rules
Students given textbook example of how to write an error-free letter of apology to the nation
By Sarah Zheng

Chinese movie star Fan Bingbing, already under fire for tax evasion, is now being used as a textbook example on how not to write an apology letter.

A high school teacher in eastern China’s Zhejiang province took issue, not with the actress’ overdue taxes – for which she was detained and fined nearly 884 million yuan (US$129 million) – but for her violation of the rules of grammar in her apology.

In a statement on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Fan apologised last week to her more than 62 million followers, writing she was “ashamed and guilty about what I have done”. Continue reading

HK education chief waffles on language policy

Source: SCMP (10/9/18)
Hong Kong education chief says he doesn’t want to force schools to teach Mandarin over Cantonese, as critics claim Beijing is trying to control what city’s children learn
Kevin Yeung forced to clarify earlier remarks as backlash against China’s influence over what is taught in city grows
By Kimmy Chung

Kevin Yeung, the Secretary for Eduction, has had to clarify remarks he made suggesting Mandarin should be taught in schools over Cantonese. Photo: Nora Tam 

Hong Kong’s education chief has been forced to clarify twice in two days that he had no intention of forcing schools to teach Mandarin, in what critics say reflected the sensitivity surrounding language in the city.

Kevin Yeung Yun-hung was strongly criticised on Sunday after he suggested experts look into whether Mandarin, which is the official language in mainland China, should be taught instead of Cantonese, which is the dialect spoken in Hong Kong.

Yeung came under fire when he noted, “the future development of Chinese language learning across the globe will rely mainly on Mandarin”. Continue reading

Protest against Springer bowing to censorship (2)

I would just note that the Frontiers journals — of Literary Studies, of History, etc. etc. — published in coordination with Brill, are also heavily subjected to censorship, apparently voluntarily undertaken by the editors in coordination with policies of the PRC State. Various special issues have been bowlderized by editors in order to conform to presumed censorship requirements. Brill seems to happily sponsor such pre-emptive activity.

Rebecca Karl <>

Protest against Spring bowing to censorship (1)

Hooray, Heidelberg academics, editors in new action against Springer’s bowing to Chinese censorship!

Earlier, 1,200 scholars agreed, here:

I am already on my personal boycott of Springer –I withdrew my pending contribution to an encyclopedia and will not publish in any of their outlets until they change. They should apologize to the world, for bowing down to the Chinese Communist Party censorship machine!

Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Universities under strict surveillance

Posted by Magnus Fiskesjö <>
Source: Chinascope (10/2/18):
Original source: Radio Free Asia (9/28/18)

Professor in Exile: Chinese Universities Are under Strict Surveillance


A professor from China now living in the United States paints a very disturbing picture of the information control in Chinese universities. 

Tan Song, an associate professor at Chongqing Normal University investigated the truth about the “land reform movement,” the Anti-Rightist Campaign, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Because he did so, the school expelled him and the police arrested him. Another charge was that he taught about the 1989 Student Movement and the June 4th Tiananmen Massacre. In 2017, he was forced to leave China and is currently living in exile in Los Angeles. Continue reading

Beida threatens to close down Marxism society (2,3)

It seems almost certain that this refers to the various residences of student supporters of the Jasic labour movement, who were mainly staying near Huiyang District in Huizhou City, Guangdong.

The Jasic Incident Wikipedia page’s Chinese version has some more info, as does BBC Chinese and other Chinese language resources.

Stanley Seiden <>


My sense is that this riot or swat police raid likely took place somewhere in Shenzhen where the students went and stayed in support of the workers’ rights and union activism. Here is the social media link to the reports:

Xun Liu <>