Thoughts of Chairman Xi

Source: Radio Free Asia (3/19/18)
‘Thoughts of Chairman Xi’ Book Appears As President Begins Indefinite Term in Office

A book by Chinese President Xi Jinping is shown in a shop window in Beijing, Feb. 28, 2018.

A book by Chinese President Xi Jinping is shown in a shop window in Beijing, Feb. 28, 2018. AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping began a second term in office on Monday, after the country’s rubber-stamp parliament endorsed him in the job and approved his closest political ally Wang Qishan as vice president.

The approval of Xi and Wang as the highest-ranking Chinese leaders comes after the National People’s Congress (NPC) nodded through constitutional changes that will enable both men to stay in post indefinitely, instead of stepping down in 2023. Four new vice premiers have also been announced after NPC approval. Continue reading

Voice of China

Source: Bloomberg (3/20/18)
China Approves Giant Propaganda Machine to Improve Global Image
By Keith Zhai

China has approved the creation of one of the world’s largest propaganda machines as it looks to improve its global image, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The new broadcaster will be called “Voice of China,” the person said, mimicking the U.S. government-funded Voice of America that started up during World War II to advance American interests. Bloomberg News had previously reported the new entity would be created through merging China Central Television, China Radio International and China National Radio. Continue reading

The movement method

Source: China Media Project (2/13/18)
by David Bandurski

Mobilizing for the “China Solution”

China’s comeback story is playing on repeat these days. According to this feel-good narrative, the country has returned to the center of the world stage after weathering two centuries of misfortune. And now, As Xi Jinping told fellow leaders last month, China faces an historic opportunity to contribute to the world (为世界作贡献). The model that empowered China’s restoration, newly encompassed by the grandiose notion of “Xi Jinping Thought,” “has the potential to correct and transform the existing world order.”

The underlying idea here is that China’s unique system of leadership under the Chinese Communist Party has been tested, validated and even vindicated by the country’s rapid development and newfound prosperity, and that this “model” — this “China Solution” (中国方案) — constitutes “an important consensus of global development.” The not-at-all-subtle implication is that it offers an alternative to the Western democratic governance model. Continue reading

When Xi speaks, official jump

Source: NYT (3/16/18)
When Xi Speaks, Chinese Officials Jump. Maybe Too High

President Xi Jinping at a session of China’s legislature in Beijing on Thursday. The end of a limit on his tenure could undermine the second-guessing that prevents policy missteps. CreditWu Hong/EPA, via Shutterstock

BEIJING — After China’s president, Xi Jinping, ordered Beijing to cut its population, his protégé ordered the bulldozing of the homes of tens of thousands of migrants. After Mr. Xi told northern Chinese provinces to cut smog, cadres junked home heaters and stoves, leaving residents shivering.

These days when Mr. Xi speaks, officials from the top of the Communist Party to the lowest village committees snap to unflinching attention. The pressure on them may grow now that Mr. Xi has swept away a constitutional term limit on his presidency, strengthening his grip over the country. Continue reading

Reporter rolling her eyes goes viral

Source: NYT (3/13/18)
A Reporter Rolled Her Eyes, and China’s Internet Broke
查看简体中文版 | 查看繁體中文版
By Paul Mozur

SHANGHAI — It was the eye roll seen across China.

As the annual meeting of the country’s legislature stretched into its second week, the event’s canned political pageantry and obsequious (and often scripted) media questions seemingly proved too much for one journalist on Tuesday.

With a fellow reporter’s fawning question to a Chinese official pushing past the 30-second mark, Liang Xiangyi, of the financial news site Yicai, began scoffing to herself. Then she turned to scrutinize the questioner in disbelief. Continue reading

Amazing China

For artist Hua Yong’s take on this “documentary,” see: –Kirk

Source: China Daily (2/28/18)
Film shows how amazing China is
By Wang Kaihao

Chinese filmgoers have a chance to gain a comprehensive understanding of their country’s strengths from a documentary that premiered on Tuesday in Beijing.

Amazing China [厉害了,我的国], which reflects the social prosperity and improvements in people’s livelihoods during the past five years, was coproduced by China Central Television and China Film Corp.

The 90-minute film will be publicly screened nationwide on March 2. Continue reading

‘I Object’

Source: China Heritage (3/5/18)
Objecting (Dog Days IV)

‘I Object’ is a poem that circulated on the Chinese-language Internet following the Lunar New Year. It appeared around the time that Beijing announced a proposed revision of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that would open the way for the unlimited tenure of state leaders (see The Real Man of the Year of the Dog — Dog Days (III)China Heritage, 2 March 2018). Online expressions of outrage and objection were swiftly quelled.

Due both to the timely appearance as well as to the tenor of ‘I Object’, we are including it in our 2018 series of Dog Days (for more of these, see below). My thanks to Linda Jaivin for suggesting ‘I object’ for wǒ fǎnduì 我反對.

— Geremie R. Barmé
Editor, China Heritage
5 March 2018

I Object 我反對
By Anonymous 無名氏
Translated by Geremie R. Barmé

我 : weapons, to kill (Warring States era); later similar in use to the perpendicular pronoun ‘I’ in English, and ‘me’ Continue reading

China expands internet censorship abroad

Let’s reject all this censorship from the Chinese regime–it’s cowardly. –Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Source: NYT (3/2/18)
China Presses Its Internet Censorship Efforts Across the Globe

China is using its status as home to the world’s largest population of internet users to help get what it wants outside of its borders. CreditSim Chi Yin for The New York Times

SHANGHAI — Within its digital borders, China has long censored what its people read and say online. Now, it is increasingly going beyond its own online realms to police what people and companies are saying about it all over the world.

For years, China has exerted digital control with a system of internet filters known as the Great Firewall, which allows authorities to limit what people see online. To broaden its censorship efforts, Beijing is venturing outside the Great Firewall and paying more attention to what its citizens are saying on non-Chinese apps and services. Continue reading

Confucius Institutes serve diplomacy

Just in case there is still anyone who thinks the Confucius Institutes are somehow innocent cultural entities, not direct instruments of the Chinese regime.–Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Source: ChinaScope (3/1/18)
China Promotes Confucius Institutes to Serve Its Diplomacy in Major Countries

On the afternoon of January 23, Xi Jinping, leader of the leading group for deepening the overall reform of the central government, presided over the second meeting of the leading group and delivered an important speech. The meeting passed a number of “resolutions,” or “documents.” One of them was, “Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Reform and Development of Confucius Institutes.”

The resolution pointed out that the promotion of the reform and development of Confucius Institutes should center on the building of a powerful socialist country with Chinese characteristics, serving China’s major powers diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, deepening the reform and innovation, improving the institutional mechanisms, optimizing the distribution structure, strengthening the building efforts, and improving the quality of education, so as to let the (Confucius Institutes) become an important force of communication between China and foreign countries.

Source:  People’s Daily, January 23, 2018

NPC a billionaires club

Source: NYT (3/1/18)
China’s Parliament Is a Growing Billionaires’ Club
查看简体中文版  | 查看繁體中文版

A Cartier boutique in Beijing. China added 210 billionaires over the past year, according to the Hurun Report, a research organization that tracks the wealthy in China. CreditKevin Frayer/Getty Images

BEIJING — In a country where the Communist Party makes all the big decisions, Chinese lawmakers hold very little political power. But they have plenty of money — $650 billion of it — and that’s growing.

According to the Hurun Report, a research organization in Shanghai that tracks the wealthy in China, the net worth of the 153 members of China’s Parliament and its advisory body that it deems “super rich” amounts to $650 billion, up by nearly a third from a year ago. That is just a touch below Switzerland’s annual economic output. Continue reading

China to abolish term limit (1)

Source: China Change (2/27/18)
Xi Jinping’s Abolition of the Term Limit Ruptures Assumptions of Party’s Adaptability and Stability
By Mo Zhixu

On February 26, China’s official news agency Xinhua published the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee’s Proposed Amendments to China’s constitution (Chinese). The Party proposed revising the clause “The term of office of the Chairman (国家主席) and Vice-Chairman of the People’s Republic of China is the same as that of the National People’s Congress, and they shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” to “The term of office of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the People’s Republic of China is the same as that of the National People’s Congress.” During the Party’s 19th congress in November, 2017, no one in the new politburo standing committee appeared to be the potential successor of Xi Jinping, as Hu Jintao was to Jiang Zemin, and Xi Jinping was to Hu Jintao. People then already predicted that Xi Jinping would continue to stay in power after his term ends in five years, with the only unknown being: will he follow Deng Xiaoping’s example to hold onto power as the chairman of the Central Military Committee or/and the general secretary of the Party (the two positions have no term limit), or will he amend the constitutional term limit on the term of the chairman so that he will also keep the nominal position of the chairman? Continue reading

Arif Dirlik’s Life and Work–cfp (3)

Thank you so much for the suggestions and concerns expressed by Chris Connery and Rebecca Karl about the special Arif Dirlik issue of China Book Review.

I think Arif Dirlik is respected by academics and officials in China now. I have discussed this special issue with my colleagues. As you said, we hope more scholars will attend the tribute to Prof. Dirlik, but if this special issue is censored or encounters any other issue (or due to timeliness) and can’t be published (of course I can’t guarantee it), I will try my best to arrange for it to be published in the Journal of East Asian Humanities (東亞人文), which is issued in Taiwan. I am the editor-in-chief of this Chinese journal. Prof. Dirlik was one of the advisors of this journal before his death.

Thank you very much.


Sunny Han 韓晗 <>

Confucius Institute at NCSU

Posted by Nathaniel Isaacson <>
Source: The News and Observer (2/26/18)
NCSU should not take money from the Chinese government

Chinese President Hu Jintao visits the Confucius Institute, which is housed at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in Chicago, in 2011. Chris Walker – AP Chris Walker AP

The Chinese philosopher Confucius, who lived 2,500 years ago, traveled widely inside his country but never outside it. Nonetheless, an institute is named for him at N.C. State University.

Since 2007, the Institute, which is based in the McKimmon Center on Western Boulevard, has operated modestly. Its mission “is to enhance intercultural understanding in the U.S. by supporting and organizing Chinese language and culture programs.” It offers three classes this semester — two classes in Mandarin Chinese and Beginner’s Chinese Brush Painting. Continue reading

‘Find the thing you love and stick with it’

Source: Sup China (2/26/18)
‘Find The Thing You Love And Stick With It’: Xi Jinping And The Perfect Meme
A. A. Milne’s anthropomorphic giggling teddy resurfaces in China, if only briefly.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee proposed to remove the expression that the President and Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” from the country’s Constitution

— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) February 25, 2018 Continue reading

China to abolish term limit

Source: NYT (2/25/18)
China Moves to Let Xi Stay in Power by Abolishing Term Limit
查看简体中文版 | 查看繁體中文版

President Xi Jinping of China at the Communist Party congress in Beijing last October. Current law restricts the president to two terms. CreditHow Hwee Young/European Pressphoto Agency

BEIJING — China’s Communist Party has cleared the way for President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely, by announcing Sunday that it intends to abolish term limits on the presidency, a momentous break with decades-old rules meant to prevent the country from returning to the days when Mao was shown cultish obedience.

The surprise move, revealed in a dryly worded proposal to amend the Constitution, is the boldest yet by Mr. Xi as he seeks to strengthen the party’s control over a modernizing society and restore China to what he considers its rightful place as a global power — an agenda that his allies have suggested requires his personal leadership. Continue reading

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