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 →
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 →
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
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 →
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 →
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 wǒ: weapons, to kill (Warring States era); later similar in use to the perpendicular pronoun ‘I’ in English, and ‘me’ Continue reading →
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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
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.
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 →
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 https://t.co/B849nuc2CJpic.twitter.com/IbR7NNS9m2
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 →