Graduate Workshop on China in the Urban Age–cfp reminder

Reminder: Applications for the 2019 Graduate Workshop on China in the Urban Age close on Monday 8 October

This is a friendly reminder that the China Studies Centre’s 2019 Graduate Workshop on China in the Urban Age will close for applications on Monday 8 October 2018. The workshop will be devoted to “China’s Environmental Challenge and Eco-civilisation: a multidisciplinary approach to the Anthropocene”.

There is no enrollment fee for the graduate workshop. Participants will receive free accommodation. A number of scholarships will be available to help cover the cost of transport to Sydney (up to AUD 1500), relative to country of residence.

Please share this opportunity across your networks

Wen Chen <>

Call for Applications: 2019 Graduate Workshop on China in the Urban Age

The University of Sydney is organising the inaugural graduate workshop of the China Studies Centre’s recently launched multidisciplinary research program on China in the Urban Age. It will be devoted to “China’s Environmental Challenge and Eco-civilisation: a multidisciplinary approach to the Anthropocene”. The deadline for applications is 8 October. Continue reading

Graduate Workshop on China in the Urban Age 2019–call

China’s environmental challenge and eco-civilisation: a multidisciplinary approach to the Anthropocene 

Call for Applications: The 2019 Graduate Workshop on China in the Urban Age

The University of Sydney is organising the inaugural graduate workshop of the China Studies Centre’s recently launched multidisciplinary research program on China in the Urban Age. It will be devoted to “China’s Environmental Challenge and Eco-civilisation: a multidisciplinary approach to the Anthropocene”, and held in Sydney between 14-18 January 2019. The deadline for applications is 8 October. This is an initiative of the China Studies Centre and the Planetary Health Platform at the University of Sydney. Continue reading

Ministry doubles air quality rankings

Source: Caixin (7/24/18)
Ecology Ministry More Than Doubles Number of Cities in Air Quality Ranking
By Li Rongde

Clear skies greet tourists visiting the Summer Palace in Beijing on June 27. Photo: VCG

Clear skies greet tourists visiting the Summer Palace in Beijing on June 27. Photo: VCG

China’s environmental watchdog has more than doubled the number of cities in its monthly air quality ranking in a bid to pressure authorities to clean up pollution in their respective areas.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment said Monday that it will now rate air quality in 169 Chinese cities each month, up from the previous total of 74. It will also highlight the 20 cities with the cleanest air and the 20 cities with the worst air pollution every month, up from the 10 best and worst it published before, the ministry said. Continue reading

Environmental whistleblower gets prison sentence

Source: Sixth Tone (7/12/18)
Environmental Whistleblower Gets Prison Sentence
Chinese authorities confirmed industrial waste dumping in Henan, yet the man who reported it has been convicted of damaging the polluters’ reputations.
By Fan Liya

Photographer’s Choice/VCG

A whistleblower has been sentenced to 17 months in prison for “disturbing market order” after reporting industrial pollution in central China’s Henan province — even though provincial environmental protection authorities have confirmed that his accusations were true.

Zhang Wenqi was sentenced by the court of Wuzhi County on Monday on charges of fabricating facts and causing financial losses to three companies in the province, The Beijing News reported Tuesday. The public prosecutor brought forward the criminal case after the two paper companies and a technology company complained that Zhang’s allegations had damaged their business reputations and caused substantial losses. Continue reading

Guizhou poverty alleviation program

Source: Sixth Tone (7/10/18)
Guizhou pilots carbon offset poverty alleviation program
Government-driven platform encourages people to pay low-income households to plant trees
By Li You

An elderly farmer in Shenyang, Liaoning province, July 15, 2011. VCG

GUIZHOU, Southwest China — Policymakers are hoping to kill two birds with one stone through a tree-planting program that endeavors to trap carbon emissions and combat poverty.

Announced Sunday at the 10th Eco Forum Global in provincial capital Guiyang, the voluntary program connects residents of Guizhou province’s low-income villages with individuals and businesses across the country who are willing to pay to offset their own carbon footprint. Villagers plant the trees and pocket the money — expected to reach more than 1,000 yuan ($150) a year per household, in a province where the average annual income for rural residents is only 8,869 yuan. Continue reading

Surge in China carbon emissions

Source: Unearthed (5/30/18)
Dramatic surge in China carbon emissions signals climate danger
With China’s CO2 pollution on the rise, is it time to panic?
By Zach Boren and Harri Lammi

The continued rise of China’s CO2 emissions is unexpected. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China’s carbon emissions growth has accelerated since the beginning of the year, leading to warnings that the country could be headed for its largest annual increase in climate pollution since 2011.

Led by increased demand for coal, oil and gas, China’s CO2 emissions for the first three months of 2018 were 4% higher than they were for the same period in 2017, according to an Unearthed analysis of new government figures.

Analysts have suggested the country’s carbon emissions could rise this year by 5% — the largest annual increase in seven years, back when the airpocalypse was at its peak. Continue reading

China blocks earthquake memorial service (1)

One can compare what Charlene Makley wrote about the statist ‘spectacle of compassion’ and how Tibetan buddhists’ contributions were curtailed and obscured after the earthquake:

Charlene Makley (2014). “Spectacular Compassion: ‘Natural’ Disasters And National Mourning In China’s Tibet.” Critical Asian Studies, 46:3, 371-404, DOI: 10.1080/14672715.2014.935132

Magnus Fiskesjö <>

China blocks earthquake memorial service

Source: NYT (5/12/18)
China Blocks a Memorial Service to Sichuan Earthquake Victims
查看简体中文版 | 查看繁體中文版
By Chris Buckley

Attendees on Saturday marked a minute of silence in front of the former Xuankou Middle School, destroyed in the 2008 earthquake.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

BEIJING — On the 10th anniversary of China’s deadliest earthquake in decades, the police on Saturday detained an outspoken pastor and blocked a planned service to mourn the 70,000 or more people killed when whole towns and villagers were crushed.

The anniversary of the earthquake, which rippled across Sichuan Province in southwest China on May 12, 2008, has been a time of renewed mourning for survivors, while the ruling Communist Party has used the date to praise China’s reconstruction of devastated areas. Continue reading

After-shocks of the 2008 earthquake

Source: NY Review of Books (May 9, 2018)
After-Shocks of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake
By Ian Johnson

Ruins from one of the most significant earthquakes in Chinese history, pictured a month before the tenth anniversary of the earthquake, Beichuan county, Mianyang, Sichuan, China, April 5, 2018. VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The province of Sichuan is a microcosm of China. Its east is flat, prosperous, and densely settled by ethnic Chinese. Its mountainous west is populated by poorer minorities, but possesses resources that help make the east rich.

In Sichuan, the highlands’ bounty is water and silt, which rush down from the Tibetan Plateau to the plains below through an ingenious set of irrigation waterworks at the town of Dujiangyan. Soon after this system was built, some 2,300 years ago, the intensive agriculture that it made possible turned the region into one of China’s economic dynamos, producing so much wealth that it helped the first emperor of China consolidate numerous fragmented states into one powerful realm. Continue reading

Rare bird gift to Japan

Source: SCMP (5/7/18)
The two rare birds that could give a lift to China’s ties with Japan
Beijing might announce the donation of a pair of crested ibises during the Chinese premier’s trip to Tokyo, the first gift of its kind in more than a decade
Kyodo News

The crested ibis was thought to be extinct in the wild until seven were found in Yang county in 1981. Photo: Xinhua

China is expected to agree to donate a pair of crested ibises to Japan during a summit meeting later this week in the hope that it will mark the two countries’ improving ties, bilateral diplomatic sources said.

If Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agree to the donation in Tokyo on Wednesday, it will be China’s first donation of the endangered birds to Japan in 11 years. Continue reading

Chinese Ecologies

Chinese Ecologies
An International Symposium on the Environment and Indigeneity
Harvard University
April 6-7, 2018


April 6
Tsai Auditorium, CGIS-South, 1730 Cambridge Street)

13:00-13:10 Welcome Remarks

13:10-14:25 Panel 1: Articulating the Polemics of the Anthropocene
Chair: Karen Thornber (Harvard University)

Haiyan Lee (Stanford University)
Through Thick and Thin: The Romance of the Species in the Anthropocene

Christopher Coggins (Bard College at Simon’s Rock)
Rethinking “Environment” and “Indigenous:” the Persistence of Imperial Indigeneity

Qilin Long (Guangzhou University)
Ecological Disaster and the Writing Style of Chinese Contemporary Literature in the New Century Continue reading

China wins first battle in war against pollution

Source: Sup China (3/12/18)
China wins first battle in ‘war against pollution’
By Lucas Niewenhuis

For many years now, China has struggled to balance its economic development with environmental sustainability. The problem became especially unavoidable, undeniable, and irresistible for overseas media in 2013, when Beijing and its surroundings faced the “airpocalypse,” an all-encompassing blanket of smog in historic proportions. By 2014, Premier Li Keqiang vowed a “war against pollution,” a proposal whose seriousness was met with some skepticism at the time. The ambivalence of the government was proved, some argued, when a 2015 documentary called Under the Dome detailed the intractability of the problem of air pollution, and was censored after a week — long enough to raise awareness, but not long enough, perhaps, to birth an environmental movement for lasting change.

Now it is clear that air pollution, particularly in China’s largest cities, is rapidly declining. Continue reading

Sino-British botanical exchanges in the 18th-19th centuries

I would like to introduce this incoming talk about the botanical interactions between Britain and China in the 18th century which I will co-present on March 24th in Oxford.

Botanical Art, Botanical Commerce: Britain meets China at the Dawn of Modernity
Oxford (United Kingdom) March 24th (12:45)


Former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew Sir Peter Crane, author and expert in the history of science, medicine and culture Jordan Goodman and expert in Sino-British exchanges and China Trade paintings Josepha Richard discuss the John Bradby Blake collection.


The Oak Spring Garden Foundation, Virginia, USA, contains the archive of 18th-century East India Company supercargo John Bradby Blake. Blake first visited Canton in 1767/68 as a trader and, before his death in 1773, his collaboration with the Chinese artist Mauk-Sow-U produced over 150 striking and botanically accurate paintings of Chinese plants. These paintings and the associated archives provide details of an interesting life and previously little-known dimensions of late 18th-century social and scientific interactions between the British and Chinese, including British attempts to secure living plants that could prove useful at home and in its colonies. Continue reading

Animal Writing in Taiwan Literature

Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series, Issue Number 41: Special Issue on “Animal Writing in Taiwan Literature” is available now. See the link for more information. Please also see the table of contents below.

Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series
Issue Number 41, January, 2018
ISBN: 978-986-350-262-3
GPN: 1010700001

Publisher: US-Taiwan Literature Foundation & National Taiwan University Press

台灣文學英譯叢刊(No. 41): 台灣文學的動物書寫專輯

Kuo-ch’ing Tu (杜國清)、 Terence Russell(羅德仁) 編
Chia-ju Chang (張嘉如), Guest-Editor (客座編輯)

Table of Contents:

Foreword to the Special Issue on Animal Writing in Taiwan Literature/Kuo-ch’ing Tu
「台灣文學的動物書寫專輯」卷頭語/杜國清 Continue reading

Animal rights activism in China

Source: CPI Analysis (3/5/18)
China’s Voice for the Voiceless
By Peter J. Li

In the summer of 2017, I wrote for CNN-International that China was mired in a “civil war” over dogs. Two camps of people who have opposing views on the role of dogs have clashed since the final years of the 1990s. Animal lovers and their supporters believe that China has long passed the days when people had to eat anything edible for survival. To them, dogs are no food but companions. Dog meat is no traditional food. Twice in the country’s dynastic past, Chinese emperors tried to outlaw dog meat consumption. This position is not shared by the opposing camp. Dog meat traders and their supporters believe that dogs are like livestock animals. Consumption of dog meat is no difference from consumption of beef, pork and fish. They see dog meat consumption as a right, a “human right.”  If Westerners can devour beef, foie gras, horse meat, seal meat, whale and dolphin meat, what moral right do they and their Chinese lackeys have to criticise dog meat consumption? Continue reading