‘Simple’ guide to Xi Jinping Thought (1)

Better than the SCMP article is this piece from Inkstone:


I strongly recommend Prof. Carrico’s essay recounting his personal study of Xi Jinping Thought:


He also comments on the mind-map for a website in New Zealand:


What strikes me about this “map” is that its top-level organization appears to be spurious. The central box, which in a mind-map is supposed to be a root concept, is only the chart’s title. The thirty principal topics are numbered, but is there any intrinsic sequence to the ideas? (Except perhaps for the self-referential #1, which states that XJP Thought must guide the Party and the Nation for the long term.)  Also, is there any actual association connecting topics that have been printed in the same color?  The biggest problem, of course, is that a mind-map with 30 top-level domains offers the viewer no fundamental structure by which to grasp it.

As some wag commented: The Emperor’s new mind . . .

A. E. Clark <aec@raggedbanner.com>

Falling stars

Source: SCMP (10/18/18)
Chinese millennials ‘falling out of cars’ in search of internet fame
‘Falling stars’ challenge attracts Chinese millennials hoping to go viral and a mocking response from more down-to-earth citizens
By Zoe Low

The latest viral “falling stars” internet challenge among China’s “crazy rich Asians” has been mocked by a series of satirical memes, this one from a Shanghai firefighter. 

Two Chinese women stopped their car on a pedestrian crossing in a busy city centre and, as they got out, one of them dropped her Gucci handbag, a pair of red-soled, high-heeled shoes, and an assortment of make-up on the street, spreading them around for effect.

She then lay face down, with her legs still inside the car, as her friend began to shoot video of her “fall”.

That was on Monday. On Wednesday, according to the Taizhou internet police force, the women, both surnamed Chen, were arrested for disrupting traffic and fined 150 yuan (US$21) and 10 yuan. Continue reading

‘Simple’ guide to Xi Jinping Thought

Source: SCMP (10/18/18)
A simple guide to Xi Jinping Thought? Here’s how China’s official media tried to explain it
People’s Daily produces complex, colour-coded graphic in attempt to visualise ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’
By Matt Ho

When Xi Jinping outlined his political blueprint for the next 30 years at the Communist Party congress last year, it took him three and a half hours to articulate his vision for the country.

Now, to mark the first anniversary of his speech, the party’s official mouthpiece has made a no less ambitious attempt to visualise the Chinese president’s doctrines.

The result, published on the WeChat account of People’s Daily on Thursday, is a complex colour-coded “mind map” consisting of 30 separate elements, each broken down into multiple subsections that resemble the branches of a tree. Continue reading

Guobin Yang podcast on the Internet and politics

Source: UPenn Center for the Study of Contemporary China
Internet Culture and Politics in China – Guobin Yang

Episode Info

Current headlines about how authoritarian regimes have come to harness and even weaponize the internet may obscure how this technology, at one time, was more typically understood to be a democratizing force, across a range of different contexts. In the early days of Chinese cyberspace, for example, popular expression on various internet forums seemed to herald a new stage in political activism, that was pressing the boundaries of traditional state control. In this episode, University of Pennsylvania Professor Guobin Yang, the preeminent scholar of the sociology of the internet in China, discusses with Neysun Mahboubi the evolution of social media platforms on the Chinese internet, over the past 20 years, and their changing political implications. The episode was recorded on March 1, 2018. Continue reading

Chinese Parents online game

Source: Sixth Tone (10/16/18)
Chinese Gamers Can Now Walk a Mile in Their Parents’ Shoes
Being a responsible guardian is the goal of China’s latest online gaming fad.
By Yin Yijun

A screenshot from ‘Chinese Parents’ shows a couple attending to their pregnant daughter at the hospital.

Hoping to raise smart, happy, successful kids someday? A little online tiger mom training couldn’t hurt.

Since its release just before October’s Golden Week holiday, “Chinese Parents” peaked at No. 2 on gaming platform Steam’s bestselling title list, temporarily outperforming big-budget competitors like “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.” Developed by Beijing-based studio Moyuwan, the game gives players the chance to have virtual baby boys, raise them to adulthood, and see that they find good careers and partners. (The option to have girls is still being developed.) Continue reading

TV ad against effeminate men backfires

Source: SupChina (10/11/18)
TV Ad Against Effeminate Men Backfires
By Jiayun Feng

Yesterday, Anhui TV released a video ad for its new reality show, The Journey of Youth (青春的征途 qīngchūn de zhēngtú), where six teenagers born after 1995 travel around the country and complete mental and physical challenges. In the clip, the six participants, four boys and two girls, take turns to introduce themselves. At the end of each one’s segment, the teen says, “I’m from the post-’95 generation and I object to niangpao (娘炮 niángpào).”

Niangpao is a derogatory term for effeminate men. Watch the ad below:

https://www.weibo.com/tv/v/jF6eHXkc2?fid=1034:4293202459738978 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

Man gets 3-year sentence for selling VPNs

Source: SupChina (10/10/18)
Man In Shanghai Gets Three-Year Sentence For Selling VPNs

A software engineer in Shanghai has been sentenced to three years in prison after providing illegal virtual private networks (VPNs) to hundreds of customers since 2016, reports the People’s Court Daily (in Chinese).

The man, surnamed Dai 戴, was also ordered to serve three years probation and pay a fine of 10,000 yuan ($1,400).

According to the People’s Court of Shanghai Baoshan District, Dai was charged with “offering illegal tools like computer programs that can invade and control computer information systems.” More specifically, Dai was found guilty of making unlawful profits by “creating a website selling VPN services” and “renting foreign servers that grant customers access to foreign websites that they can’t visit with a domestic IP address.” Continue reading

Socialism Is a Bit Cool

Source: Sixth Tone (10/2/18)
Ideology for 500: Hunan TV Airs Quiz Show on Xi Jinping Thought
Second season of ‘Socialism Is a Bit Cool’ marks the first time any program has made the Chinese president’s life, philosophy, and policy its focal point.
By Cai Yiwen

A screenshot from the first episode of ‘Socialism Is a Bit Cool: Studying Xi in the New Era,” broadcast Sept. 30, 2018.

Just in time for the National Day holidays in the first week of October, one of China’s largest television networks has debuted a new quiz show about the life and philosophy of President Xi Jinping.

The first episode of “Socialism Is a Bit Cool: Studying Xi in the New Era” [社会主义有点潮:新时代学习大会] was broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on Hunan TV. Launched in October 2017, the show is now in its second season — though this year’s iteration marks the first time any program in China will focus explicitly on Xi’s teachings. Continue reading

Global propaganda aimed at bosses, not foreigners

Source: Foreign Policy (10/1/18)
China’s Global Propaganda Is Aimed at Bosses, Not Foreigners
Chinese reporters overseas are rewarded for whiny nationalism, not persuasive argument.
By James Palmer

Foreign Policy illustration

Foreign Policy illustration

It’s not unusual for political events in Britain to be disrupted by screaming protesters, but it’s rare for them to have a press card. At an event Sunday on the fringes of the Conservative Party Conference, hosted by the cross-party group Hong Kong Watch, Kong Linlin, a reporter for the Chinese state English-language TV station China Global Television Network (CGTN), began shouting at the panel that they were liars, traitors, and “fake Chinese.” When asked to leave, she slapped a young attendee and eventually was removed by police.

At another TV station, this bizarre and embarrassing event would probably get the reporter fired. As several foreign correspondents in China pointed out, a foreign reporter who did the same at a Chinese press conference would have their credentials revoked and be kicked out of the country—as happened to French journalist Ursula Gauthier for writing an opinion piece on China’s oppression in Xinjiang. Continue reading

Jia Zhangke roasts Hu Xijin over review

Source: SupChina (9/26/18)
Director Jia Zhangke Roasts Hu Xijin Over His Review Of ‘Ash Is Purest White’

It’s widely acknowledged that Hu Xijin 胡锡进, Editor-in-Chief at the nationalist tabloid the Global Times, has many opinions.

Aside from performing editorial work, he uses social media to whine about things that irritate him in thousands of ways. While most of his enemies chose to ignore his rants, Hu’s latest Weibo post, in which he gives a negative review of Jia Zhangke’s new movie Ash Is Purest White, has brought him under fire, making him a subject of ridicule by internet users who have long been disgusted by his takes that literally no one is asking for. Continue reading

Fraudulent TV ratings

Source: SupChina (9/25/18)
Director Exposes Chinese TV’s Fraudulent Ratings

Fan Bingbing, Feng Xiaogang, and tax evasion aren’t the only stories currently stirring up a storm in China’s entertainment sector. On September 15, Chinese director and screenwriter Jingyu Guo 郭靖宇 created a furor when he exposed on Weibo the prevalence of fraudulent ratings in China’s TV industry.

According to Guo, it is common practice for TV producers to “buy” fake ratings. The current rates go for around 900,000 RMB ($131,000) per episode, as he learned last year when he was approached by representatives to bolster the ratings of his show Mother’s Life (娘道 niáng dào). If Guo had agreed to purchase such ratings, his production company would have had to pay 72 million RMB ($10.5 million) for doctored ratings for the entire series. Continue reading

Taiwan braces for cyber attacks

Source: Straits Times (9/20/18)
Taiwan braces for Chinese cyber attacks ahead of elections

Since taking office in May 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party have refused to recognise the Beijing government's claim to Taiwan.

Since taking office in May 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party have refused to recognise the Beijing government’s claim to Taiwan.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG/TAIPEI (BLOOMBERG) – Taiwan is bracing for an onslaught of cyber attacks from mainland China ahead of local elections in November intended to undermine a president who has defied Beijing’s efforts to bring the democratically ruled island under its control.

China, along with Russia and North Korea, may be increasingly testing out cyber-hacking techniques in Taiwan before using them against the United States and other foreign powers, according to the Taiwanese government. Continue reading

‘High-speed tyrant woman’

Source: What’s On Weibo (9/20/18)
“Tyrant Train Woman” Goes Trending on Weibo and Unleashes Flood of New Memes
The hashtag “High-Speed Tyrant Woman” (#高铁霸座女#) already received a staggering 450 million views on Weibo today.
By Manya Koetse

While the bizarre behavior of a male passenger went viral in late August, this time, it is a female passenger’s rude behavior that’s become trending on Chinese social media. Some netizens think the two ‘high-speed train tyrants’ (高铁霸座) deserve each other, creating memes putting them together.

In late August of this year, one rude man from Shandong who refused to give up the seat he took from another passenger became known as the “High-Speed Train Tyrant” (高铁霸座男 gāotiě bà zuò nán) on Chinese social media.

A video showing the man’s bizarre behavior went viral, and netizens were especially angry because the man pretended he could not get up from the stolen seat and needed a wheelchair – although he did not need one when boarding the train. . . . [read the rest of the article here]

Propaganda in the Xi era

Too long to post in its entirety, here’s a taste of an interesting and detailed article on propaganda in the era of Xi Jinping.–Kirk

Source: Marco Polo (9/12/18)
In Xi We Trust: How Propaganda Might Be Working in the New Era
By  and 

In Xi We Trust: How Propaganda Might Be Working in the New Era

On November 29, 2012, the newly selected Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping visited the “Road to Rejuvenation” exhibit at the National Museum in Beijing. With the previous Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) in tow, Xi unveiled his vision of the “Chinese Dream” (中国梦)—the simple idea that the CCP’s collective mission to rejuvenate the nation also advances the myriad individual ambitions of Chinese citizens. Political theater aside, Xi used the occasion to clearly articulate what amounts to a mission statement: under his leadership, the CCP will lead China’s return as a global power.

Many foreign observers at the time dismissed the Chinese Dream as unoriginal, a lifting of a distinctively American idea to capture a similar sentiment among upwardly mobile middle-class Chinese. But such analyses mostly missed the point. Xi’s speech, in fact, marked the start of a major campaign to reorient domestic policy and to overhaul propaganda work to support this new agenda. That Xi chose to launch a conceptual idea, rather than economic targets or policies, in his first important speech as General Secretary is significant. Not only did it distinguish him from previous leaders, it also spoke volumes about the problem Xi inherited. Continue reading