Grammy boss knuckles under China censors

Singers to keep their mouth shut after another US outfit kowtows to the censors. Magnus Fiskesjö, (ps, on Bieber, see )

Source: Japan Times (8/4/17)
Grammys boss knuckles under China censors as show readies tour
Reuters. Aug 4, 2017

Neil Portnow (left), president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and Bravo Entertainment CEO Steven Fock attend a ceremony in Beijing on Thursday marking the start of a partnership to create the Grammy Festival China. | REUTERS

BEIJING – The Grammys is looking to break into China, but it will have to do so without the help of some of its top stars — Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, among others — after it pledged to bring only well-behaved artists to meet Chinese censors’ demands.

Lady Gaga, plus Bjork and Bon Jovi, are blocked in China after they met or expressed support for the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. China recently blacklisted Canadian star Bieber, citing bad behavior. Continue reading

Why China’s AI push is worrying

I think we need a lot more research on what China and other authoritarian anti-democratic states are doing with AI, and other such new tools for the control and subjugation of people, and, what are the implications inside and outside China. What’s the good research that has been done so far? including on the collusion by Western companies, and indeed similar developments in Western countries? Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Source: The Economist (7/27/17)
Why China’s AI push is worrying: State-controlled corporations are developing powerful artificial intelligence

IMAGINE the perfect environment for developing artificial intelligence (AI). The ingredients would include masses of processing power, lots of computer-science boffins, a torrent of capital—and abundant data with which to train machines to recognise and respond to patterns. That environment might sound like a fair description of America, the current leader in the field. But in some respects it is truer still of China. Continue reading

Dirlik lecture on the rise of China

Source: Boundary 2 Online Community (7/30/17)
Arif Dirlik: The Rise of China and the End of the World As We Know It
By boundary2

On February 27, 2016, longstanding boundary 2 board member Arif Dirlik gave his final lecture at the University of British Columbia. The talk, The Rise of China and the End of the World As We Know Itis available in full on the UBC Library’s website.

Cantonese opera film Guan Hanqing (1)

Dear Zhou Yunjun —

A DVD copy of the Cantonese opera film exists that has Chinese-English dual subtitles. I think there were a few lines that weren’t translated though I can’t recall w/o looking at it again. Further work on rethinking the film script with a new English translation should be beneficial and welcomed, I would think.

Marjorie Chan <>
Ohio State University

‘Mourning’ Liu Xiaobo

Source: China Heritage (6/30/17)
By Geremie R. Barmé

When Oliver Sacks learned that his ocular melanoma had returned after a period of what he called ‘intermission’, he said he wished for a ‘speedy dissolution’. In My Own Life Sacks describes the feelings experienced as a person gradually loses loved ones and friends. He calls it a kind of ‘abruption’:

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

A tearing away, a sense of rending, heartfelt pain and emotional despair: that’s how I responded to the news this week that Liu Xiaobo, China’s leading Nobel Laureate and pre-eminent political prisoner, had been given ‘medical leave’ from gaol to receive treatment for late-stage liver cancer.

— Geremie R. Barmé, Editor, China Heritage

Geremie R. Barmé
30 June 2017

I’ve been mourning Liu Xiaobo for a quarter of a century.

For five intense and eventful years in the late 1980s and early 1990s Xiaobo and I shared what I believe was a real friendship, something special to both of us. We weren’t pengyou朋友 in that vacuous, Sino-American ‘everyone’s my friend’ kind of way; nor were we gemen’r 哥們兒, that smart ass Beijing version of buddy-buddiness. Much less, thank heavens, did we ever become lao pengyou 老朋友, an accursed expression that, in reality, indicates a long-term association reaffirmed by bonds of mutual benefit, imposing thereby an exploitative emotional burden on both parties. Nonetheless, we were, to use the Beijing argot, tie 鐵, iron-clad. Continue reading

Chinese to English interpreter needed

Dear list members,

I am a PhD candidate doing a research entitled “Forging Development in Western China: A Case Study on Lanzhou City.” I plan to conduct interviews with experts, scholars, and business people in Lanzhou from July 7 to July 17. I need the help of an interpreter to make Chinese to English translation during interviews. Do anyone knows a suitable person in Lanzhou? Or any suggestion for an online way of finding a translator there.

Best Regards,

Veysel Tekdal <>

Twenty-eight years later

Source: Sup China (6/5/17)
Twenty-eight years later

June 4 is a yearly reminder of the bifurcated mediascape of the China-watcher: The anniversary of the protests and crackdown in Beijing and across China in 1989 are diligently commemorated outside of China, but within the Great Firewall, there is scarcely a peep.

  • In Hong Kong, the annual candlelit vigil at Victoria Park to commemorate June 4 drew 110,000 ­people, according to organizers, which the South China Morning Post says is “the lowest turnout since 2008.” Last year’s memorial drew 125,000 people.
  • The Washington Post reports that “police detained at least 11 Chinese activists after a pair of small events to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the bloody crackdown.”
  • TechCrunch notes that social media platform Weibo “clamped down on all overseas users with a ban on uploading images and videos from Saturday until the end of Monday,” presumably a move to hinder the spread of memes and photographs, which are more difficult to filter and censor than text postings.
  • SupChina editor-at-large John Pomfret has published his eyewitness account of the June 4 crackdown in Beijing, excerpted from his book Chinese Lessons.

NTU translation/interpretation positions

The Graduate Program in Translation and Interpretation (GPTI) at National Taiwan University (NTU) announces two full-time faculty positions. Initial appointment will begin on August 1, 2018.  For more information, please refer to the attachment or the following website:

We would greatly appreciate it if you could share the news with your members.


Graduate Program in Translation and Interpretation
National Taiwan University
No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Tel: +886-2-33661582
Fax: +886-2-33661708

Plastic China (5)

For those of you who are interested in purchasing an institutional copy of this documentary, Georgia Tech just bought one from Journeyman Publicity at <> for our Global Media Festival.

This company is based in UK. Here is the contact:
Milo Riley-Smith
Publicity l Journeyman Pictures l T: +44 (0) 208 786 6054 l

Good luck,
Jin Liu <>

Statement protesting HK prosecution of activists

To sign the petition, go here:

or here for the Chinese version:

Statement by International and Hong Kong Scholars to Protest against Hong Kong SAR Government’s Prosecution of Activist Scholars and Umbrella Movement Participants

As scholars and global citizens, we are alarmed and outraged by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s decision to launch criminal prosecutions against nine activist scholars, former student leaders, former and current legislators involved in the 2014 Umbrella Movement. They are: Professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Professor Chan Kin-man, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, former student leaders Cheung Sau-yin and Chung Yiu-wah, lawmakers Tanya Chan and Shiu Ka Chun, Wong Ho-ming of the League of Social Democrats and Lee Wing-tat of the Hong Kong Democratic Party. Using peaceful means of civil disobedience, with participation by more than one million Hong Kong citizens, these activists joined a 79-day occupation movement demanding universal suffrage for the election of the SAR legislature and the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Yet, they now face criminal charges of “conspiracy to commit public nuisance, inciting others to commit public nuisance, and inciting people to incite others to commit public nuisance”. Each charge carries a ¬maximum penalty of seven years in jail. Continue reading

Nation of Giant Infants

Source: Quartz (3/13/17)
A psychology book that argues China is a “nation of infants” has been pulled from store shelves
By Zheping Huang

Wu Zhihong, Nation of Giant Babies, illustration

Wahhhh. (Wu Zhihong/Weibo)

According to Sigmund Freud, a human being’s psychosexual development has five stages: the oral, the anal, the phallic, the latent, and the genital. During the oral stage spanning from birth until the age of one, an infant satisfies its desires simply by putting all sorts of things into its mouth, whether it’s a pencil or its mother’s breast.

Most Chinese people have never developed beyond the oral stage of Freud’s theory and have the mental age of a six-month-old, argues psychologist Wu Zhihong. In his recently published book Nation of Giant Infants, Wu takes the psychological viewpoint to explain a wide range of social problems in China, including mama’s boys, tensions between mothers and daughter-in-laws, and suicides of left-behind rural kids. He claims that the “giant infant dream” is deeply rooted in the Chinese tradition of collectivism and filial piety. Continue reading

Digital Library of Chinese Theatre

Dear all,

The Pilot of Digital Library of Chinese Theatre is ready to be viewed:

I hope this will be of some use for your teaching, research and practical work in the theatre.
The project is supported by the AHRC grant for the Leeds-based international research network ‘Staging China’ and the ‘Language and Culture for the New Generation of Leading Researchers in East Asian Studies: Partnerships, Networks and Training’.

There are only 40 productions covering about 20 theatrical genres (since it is merely a pilot) but there are a few highlights, for example,

1.    There are 11 different productions of The Orphan of Zhao, including modern spoken drama, regional song-dance theatre, opera and covering works from 4 countries, China, Nigeria, Korea and Britain (Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2012-13 work). Continue reading

Journalism awards withdrawn over misconduct

Source: Sixth Tone (3/9/17)
China’s Pulitzer Prize Withdraws Awards Over Misconduct
The country’s most prestigious journalism association accuses 16 winners of misconstruing or re-editing their entries.
By Wang Lianzhang

Journalists stand on step ladders to take photos from favorable vantage points during the ‘two sessions’ in Beijing, March 3, 2013. Yang Yang/VCG

Four months after its annual awards ceremony, the All-China Journalists Association (ACJA) has canceled 16 of its prizes.

Each year the ACJA gives around 300 China News Awards — the country’s equivalent to Pulitzers — to leading news-gathering teams. On Feb. 20, the association posted a scathing criticism of many of the entries on its website, stating that 16 prizewinning submissions had violated the rules. Infractions included re-editing stories so that they were different from the versions originally published or broadcast, and then submitting them in a more polished state in order to win the judges’ favor. In total, 34 submissions were determined to have flouted the rules. Continue reading