Xu Zhangrun seized

Source: NYT (7/6/20)
Seized by the Police, an Outspoken Chinese Professor Sees Fears Come True
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
Xu Zhangrun, who has long taught law at the prestigious Tsinghua University, is one of the few academics in China who have harshly criticized the ruling Communist Party.

Xu Zhangrun, a law professor in China who was detained by the police in Beijing on Monday. Credit…The New York Times

The Chinese law professor had stored a few pairs of underwear and a toothbrush in a small bag, close at hand for the day when the police detained him for his unsparing criticism of the Communist Party under Xi Jinping.

That day appears to have arrived.

On Monday morning, the police showed up in force at the home of the scholar, Xu Zhangrun, in northern Beijing and took him away, according to three friends. He was detained on an accusation of consorting with prostitutes, according to Geng Xiaonan, a friend who said she had spoken to the scholar’s wife and students.

“It’s just the kind of vile slander that they use against someone they want to silence,” said Ms. Geng, a businesswoman involved in film and publishing. Continue reading

HK security law and police powers

Source: Hong Kong Free Press (7/6/10)
Hong Kong security law: Police handed power to do warrantless searches, freeze assets, intercept comms, control internet

national security committee

Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR. Photo: GovHK.

Hong Kong police will be authorised to conduct searches at private properties without a warrant, restrict suspects’ movements, freeze their assets, intercept communications and require internet service providers to remove information, as the city’s leader handed more powers to the force for implementing the new national security law.

On Monday night, the government gazetted the details of Article 43 of the controverisal legislation, which criminalises secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference. It came after the first meeting of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR, chaired by Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

According to the latest legal document, an officer of – or above – the rank of assistant commissioner can authorise officers to enter premises without a warrant under “urgent” situations to search for evidence. Police can also apply for a warrant to demand suspected violators of the national security law to surrender their travel documents to restrict them from leaving the territory. Continue reading

The Art of Zhou Xiaoping in Aboriginal Australia

Source: Chinese Museum (nd)
Convergence: The Art of Zhou Xiaoping in Aboriginal Australia
Online from 25th June 2020, with the physical exhibition later in 2020.

Zhou Xiaoping’s art sheds light on traditions of art making that have been overlooked within the cannon of Western art history … he helps us look at cross-cultural art production in ways that are reinvigorating, respectful and enlightening. In so many ways the work of Zhou Xiaoping remains new and confronting.

Professor Robyn Sloggett (2020)
Director, the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation of the University of Melbourne

Artist Zhou Xiaoping in his Melbourne studio

Artist’s statement

The world suddenly seems to be a roaring lion that does not welcome a human invasion.

In 2020, under the worldwide attack of the coronavirus, humans seem to be awakening. The humans who have occupied the world are not powerful as we thought. We may fall in an instant. It is very frustrating that if the world is without humans, it will still continue in its life and beauty. So people in this world are more like guests. Continue reading

Pro-democracy books pulled from HK libraries

Source: BBC News (7/5/20)
Hong Kong security law: Pro-democracy books pulled from libraries

Protesters demonstrate against the national security law in Hong Kong (01/07/20)

There have been protests against the new law in Hong Kong, despite fears of stiff punishments. AFP

Books by pro-democracy figures have been removed from public libraries in Hong Kong in the wake of a controversial new security law. The works will be reviewed to see if they violate the new law, the authority which runs the libraries said.

The legislation targets secession, subversion and terrorism with punishments of up to life in prison. Opponents say it erodes the territory’s freedoms as a semi-autonomous region of China. Beijing rejects this.

Hong Kong’s sovereignty was handed back to China by Britain in 1997 and certain rights were supposed to be guaranteed for at least 50 years under the “one country, two systems” agreement.

Since the security law came into effect on Tuesday, several leading pro-democracy activists have stepped down from their roles. One of them – one-time student leader and local legislator Nathan Law – has fled the territory. Continue reading

Newman Prize 2021 nominees

The 2021 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature Nominations are in! Its an amazing group of authors (and jurors)!: Xu Xiaobin 徐小斌 nominated by Chen Xiaoming (Beijing University); Lung Yingtai 龍應台 nominated by Eileen Chow (Duke University); Su Tong 苏童 nominated by Huang Yunte (UC Santa Barbara); Wu He 舞鶴 nominated by Andrea Bachner (Cornell University); and Yan Lianke 阎连科 nominated by Eric Abrahamsen (Paper Republic).

The Newman Prize is sponsored by the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for US-China Issues, and is awarded every other year in recognition of outstanding achievement in prose or poetry that best captures the human condition. It is given solely on the basis of literary merit: any living author writing in Chinese is eligible. A jury of five literary experts nominated the five candidates and will select the winner in October through a transparent voting process. The winner will receive $10,000USD, a commemorative plaque, and a bronze medallion at an academic symposium and award banquet at OU in Norman in early March 2021. The event will be hosted by Jonathan Stalling, the Harold J. and Ruth Newman Chair for US-China Issues and Co-Director of the OU Institute for US-China Issues, which seeks to advance mutual trust in US-China relations. The inaugural Newman laureate Mo Yan (2009) went on to win the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, and other Newman Prize winners have included Han Shaogong, Yang Mu, Chu T’ien-wen, Wang Anyi, and Xi Xi. The Newman Prize honors Harold J. and Ruth Newman, whose generous endowment of a chair at the University of Oklahoma enabled the creation of the OU Institute for US-China Issues. The University of Oklahoma is also home to Chinese Literature Today, the Chinese Literature Translation Archive, World Literature Today, and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

Human rights and social justice radio show

Soundcloud recording of the radio show “Human rights and social justice” on WRFI.org in Ithaca, NY, USA, July 3, 2020, Friday.

I speak with program host Ute Ritz-Deutch, about China’s crackdown on Hong Kong, and genocide in Xinjiang (East Turkestan):

“Magnus Fiskesjö, anthropology professor at Cornell University, talks about China’s new security law for Hong Kong, which makes it easier to prosecute demonstrators and further undermines the city’s autonomy. The details of the law were not revealed until after it already passed. This is a blow to the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, where Chinese officials can now arrest critics (even foreigners) without involving local authorities. He also gives an update on the Muslim Uyghur minority on mainland China. Over one million have been detained in camps and many are now working in slave labor conditions in manufacturing sites across China. For more information visit uhrp.org”

On HK: from 0-30:00; on Xinjiang: from 30:00-

Sincerely, Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

China won’t be ‘threatened’

Source: SCMP (7/3/20)
National security law: China won’t be ‘threatened’ but is braced for US financial sanctions, Beijing official says
Hong Kong adopted the national security law on Tuesday which criminalises behaviour and acts under the four categories of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign power. US lawmakers on Thursday passed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act that requires sanctions against individuals and banks over the erosion of the city’s autonomy
By Frank Tang in Beijing

Hong Kong adopted the national security law on Tuesday, with protetests taking place in the city the following day. Photo: Sun Yeung

Hong Kong adopted the national security law on Tuesday, with protetests taking place in the city the following day. Photo: Sun Yeung

China is braced for possible financial sanctions from the United States over the Hong Kong national security law, but still hopes to ease tensions with Washington, according to a source close to China’s financial authority.

“The Chinese mainland and Hong Kong financial authorities certainly have prearranged plans. We won’t allow others to threaten or make trouble freely,” the source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the topic, told the South China Morning Post.

The official did not elaborate on China’s possible responses after the controversial national security law was adopted by Hong Kong law on Tuesday evening amid international outcry. Continue reading

Stephen Soong Translation Awards 2019-20

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2019–2020)
03 July 2020

It is with great pleasure that I hereby announce the results for the 22nd Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2019–2020) set up by Research Centre for Translation, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2019–2020) Standard Awards:

JIANG Fan (Graduate Institute of Interpretation and Translation, Shanghai International Studies University)

“透過翻譯現象深化文學關係研究—— 再論亞瑟·韋利和王際真在《紅樓夢》英譯中的“夢境”之爭” [An Intertextual Approach to Literary Relations: Rethinking Arthur Waley and Wang Chi-chen’s “Dream Controversy” in the English Translation and Adaptation of Hongloumeng] (in Chinese), Translation Quarterly 翻譯季刊 91 (March 2019), pp. 27–58. Continue reading

Hao Jingfang’s “Limbo”

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Ursula D. Friedman’s translation of Hao Jingfang’s 郝景芳 novella “Limbo” (生死域). A teaser is found below, but to read the entire story, go to: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/limbo/.

Kirk Denton, editor


By Hao Jingfang 郝景芳[1]

Translated by Ursula D. Friedman[2]

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright July 2020)


The Lonely Depths, by Hao Jingfang

He ventured cautiously through this strange twilight city. The sky was gray, the city gray. There was a peculiar feel to this city, the air swollen with an impending danger. The skyline was punctuated by a relentless succession of high-rises—the buildings’ rebar skeletons were gray, their glass flanks tinted gray. The gaps between the buildings were inked an impenetrable charcoal-gray. The sky was choked by a dense layer of low-hanging clouds, the skyscrapers’ invisible crowns swallowed by the ashen haze.

As he strode deeper into this city of shadows, he took stock of his surroundings, on constant guard against potential dangers lurking behind hidden street corners. His pace was slow and measured.

He did not know where he was. The last thing he remembered was blowing through a red light along Beijing’s Second Ring Road at two o’clock in the morning. A black Maserati had come flying out of nowhere, striking his vehicle full-on and flattening him into a corner of the driver’s seat. His car slammed into the guardrail, metal and glass debris piercing his flesh like a rain of bullets. . . . Later on, he vaguely recalled the bluish gleam of the lights in the operating room, and the IV bag in the hospital ward . . . and then . . . and then . . . [click here to read the rest]

Covid-19 special issue–cfp

Call for Papers: The Great Dis-Equalizer: the Covid-19 crisis Special double curated issue
PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies

As the Covid-19 pandemic spread to communities across the globe, governments reacted to the crisis in various ways, often enforcing various iterations of a lockdown. The crisis – as much economic and political as biological and affective – was quickly branded the “great equalizer” and a shared global event that made present the fragility and vulnerability of the human body and mind. The tendency to universalize the lived experience of the crisis and living in lockdown rested on underlining the affective bonds between peoples and societies and their shared suffering.

This special issue aims to unsettle the narrative of the Covid-19 crisis as the “great equalizer” by presenting diverse accounts of living in lockdown that foreground the pandemic as the great dis-equalizer. We invite short submissions (up to 3000 words) that reflect on the questions below or any other aspect of the lived experience of living through the crisis and/or in lockdown: Continue reading

Viral Politics: Left Perspectives on the World and China part 2

Thank you to everyone who joined the first session of the Critical China Scholars roundtable, “Viral Politics: Left Perspectives on the World and China.” We are greatly looking forward to the second session (“Against Racism and Nationalism,” Thursday, July 2, 7-8:30 p.m. EDT), and we encourage everyone to register via Eventbrite.

If you missed the first session, you can download the audio at our new website, http://criticalchinascholars.org, where you will also find our Statement of Principles. You may also be interested in visiting our Facebook page.

Viral Politics: Left Perspectives on the World and China

Presented by Critical China Scholars and co-sponsored by Verso Books, Haymarket Books, n+1, Made in China Journal, The Nation, New Politics, positions, Spectre, The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), and Justice Is Global. Continue reading

HK security law sends chill over the city

Source: NYT (7/1/20)
‘It Could Be Anyone’: Hong Kong Security Law Sends Chill Over the City
Protesters are deleting their accounts on Twitter and Telegram. Booksellers, professors and nonprofits are questioning their future.
By Vivian Wang and 

Protesters marched in the Causeway Bay neighborhood on Wednesday, the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese control. Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — A museum that commemorates the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre is rushing to digitize its archives, afraid its artifacts could be seized. Booksellers are nervously eyeing customers, worried they could be government spies. Writers have asked a news site to delete more than 100 articles, anxious that old posts could be used against them.

And on Wednesday, the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese control — a day usually observed by huge pro-democracy marches — a scattered crowd of protesters tried to rekindle that energy, only to be corralled by the police and arrested over offenses that did not exist a day earlier.

The Chinese government’s new security law for Hong Kong is less than a day old, and already the city is feeling its chilling effect. The law was designed to stamp out the anti-government demonstrations that have wracked the semiautonomous territory for more than a year. But it also threatens the fabric of life that has made Hong Kong, with its freewheeling cultural scene and civil society, distinct from the rest of China. Continue reading

As China strengthens grip on HK, Taiwan sees threat

Source: NYT (7/1/20)
As China Strengthens Grip on Hong Kong, Taiwan Sees a Threat
The sweeping new security law in Hong Kong has further eroded what little support there was in Taiwan for unifying with the mainland.
By Javier C. Hernández and 

President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, center, has repeatedly pledged to defend the island’s sovereignty against threats from China. Credit…Taiwan Presidential Office, via Associated Press

TAIPEI, Taiwan — China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has long tried to convince Taiwan that unification was a historical inevitability, alternately enticing the democratic island with economic incentives while bluntly warning that any move toward formal independence would be answered with military force.

Now, the incentives are gone and the warnings seem more ominous following Mr. Xi’s swift move to strengthen China’s grip on Hong Kong, a semiautonomous territory that only last year he held out as a model for Taiwan’s future.

The new security rules for Hong Kong that China passed this week — without input from the city’s Beijing-backed leadership — have made Mr. Xi’s promise of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” framework seem hollow. And it has raised fears that China will move more aggressively to bring Taiwan, too, under its control. Continue reading

China pass HK security law

Source: NYT (6/29/20)
China Passes Security Law With Sweeping Powers Over Hong Kong
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
Lawmakers in Beijing voted in a process that has been criticized for its secrecy and haste. The law will extend the Communist Party’s reach into Hong Kong.
By Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher

A billboard in Hong Kong promoting China’s national security law for the city on Monday. Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

China passed a contentious new law for Hong Kong on Tuesday that would empower the authorities to crack down on opposition to Beijing, risking deeper rifts with Western governments that have warned about the erosion of freedoms in the territory.

Lawmakers in Beijing voted unanimously to approve the national security law for Hong Kong, according to Lau Siu-kai, a senior Beijing adviser on Hong Kong policy, as well as two ​Hong Kong newspapers​ that serve as conduits for ​official policy from Beijing, Wen Wei Po an​d Ta Kung Pao.

The swift action, less than two weeks after lawmakers first formally considered it, signaled the urgency that the Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, has given to expanding control in Hong Kong after the territory was convulsed by pro-democracy protests last year. Continue reading