Australian citizen Yang Hengjun charged with espionage. It’s the usual stomach-turning pattern: Chinese authorities disappearing you, faking some “legal” moves (as if China had courts, judges, etc. other than the Communist bosses who are behind this), and then only to hide it behind vague espionage accusations and secret trials — as they have done with so many others, incl. our Swedish citizen #GuiMinhai. No-one can believe them, esp. now, given what we know of their propaganda machinery’s attempts to cover up “secrets” like the Xinjiang camps, the virus in Wuhan, etc.–Magnus Fiskesjö <email@example.com
Source: ABC News (3/24/20)
Chinese Government moves to formally charge Australian Yang Hengjun over espionage allegations
By Echo Hui and Dylan Welch
Dr Yang in military uniform with the Australian flag and Chinese MSS symbol in the background.
The Chinese Government has moved to formally charge Australian citizen Yang Hengjun over an ill-defined espionage allegation more than a year after first detaining him, ABC can reveal.
- Dr Yang has been detained for more than 420 days over as yet unexplained allegations relating to espionage
- Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has previously said Dr Yang’s ongoing detention is “unacceptable”
- Dr Yang is now almost certain to now face trial in China
The news brings to an end Australian attempts to have the writer and democracy activist returned to Australia before he is fully enmeshed in the byzantine workings of Beijing’s judicial system. Continue reading
Source: NYT (12/13/19)
She Accused a Tech Billionaire of Rape. The Chinese Internet Turned Against Her.
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Liu Jingyao, a college student, describes what it’s like to be slut-shamed by 800 million people.
Liu Jingyao, a student at the University of Minnesota, has accused the Chinese billionaire Richard Liu of rape. Credit…Caroline Yang for The New York Times
MINNEAPOLIS — When Liu Jingyao introduced herself, in the lobby of her apartment building, I didn’t recognize her. It was a puzzling feeling. For an entire year, photos of her had blanketed the Chinese internet. Like tens of millions of other Chinese, I had watched and rewatched surveillance video of her in this very building. She was one of the most talked about and mysterious women in China, and I thought I knew what she looked like.
In the video, she wanders the halls of a mazelike building, with a man trailing along. They get in and out of several elevators. She seems unsure about how to get to her apartment. She wears striking waist-length hair and a long, dark knit dress. She doesn’t look glamorous, exactly, but for a 21-year-old college junior, she is dressed smartly.
But on a morning in early August, she greeted me in a loosefitting checkered dress. Now 22, she looked pale and nervous. Her lips were chapped. She invited me upstairs, and began an intense conversation that continued for 18 straight hours. Continue reading
Source: SCMP (12/5/19)
How Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan is wowing Britain’s literary circles with first collection, Flèche
Since moving to London, Chan has been named among top 10 most influential BAME writers in Britain. In 2017, aged 27, she became youngest shortlisted nominee for Forward Prize for a single poem
By James Kidd
Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan at the Forward Arts Prizes 2017, in London, Britain. Photo: Adrian Pope
The business school at the Chinese University of Hong Kong has not perhaps inspired many poets. But when Mary Jean Chan describes her journey to becoming one of the world’s most promising and admired young writers, she names her decision to leave the business school as a pivotal moment.
“It was desperation really,” she says. “I was in a very bad place bordering on depression. My parents saw that and knew something had to change.”
Talking to 29-year-old Chan a decade later, in her adopted home city of London, it’s hard to believe she enrolled in the first place. Sensitive and thoughtful, she seems the antithesis of a hardbitten banker or financier. “I always knew I didn’t have a talent for numbers. Maths was my worst subject. My parents were taken aback [by her decision to leave]. My teachers wanted to talk about it.” Continue reading
Alert: Columbia University in NYC just bowed to Chinese pressure/intimidation, canceling an event, Thursday, Nov. 14 2019. I personally think it’s very likely that the effort to shut down the event was organized from the Chinese consulate in NYC, using proxies from clubs like the CSSA. I think everyone is now asking, will they reschedule it? When? Will Columbia University be able to defend the freedom of expression, and the right to hold this event? Below, the organizer’s statement issued last night. Magnus Fiskesjö, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Students for a Free Tibet
Free Speech in American Universities Under Attack From Beijing
November 15, 2019
Panopticism with Chinese Characteristics
The event that was cancelled: “Panopticism with Chinese Characteristics: the human rights violations by the Chinese Communist Party and how they affect the world.” Continue reading
Source: Financial Times (11/11/19)
Czech university mired in Chinese influence scandal
Secret payments to academics renew concerns about Beijing’s encroachment
By Kathrin Hille in Taipei and James Shotter in Warsaw
The controversy at the university comes as politicians, civil society groups and academics are pushing back against their country’s alignment with China © Alamy
Prague’s Charles University is being shaken by a scandal over secret Chinese payments to four of its faculty members, amid concerns that Beijing could use its ties with some Czech politicians to build influence in academia.
The university, one of the world’s oldest academic institutions, fired Milos Balaban, until recently head of the university’s Centre for Security Policy (SBP), and two other members of the social sciences faculty last week. The move came after the school discovered they had set up a private company under the name of SBP which was paid by the Chinese embassy for conferences co-organised by the university centre. Continue reading
Source: The Independent (11/5/19)
Chinese government confiscating papers and getting events cancelled at British universities, MPs’ report warns
Battle to recruit students must not outweigh ‘risks’ to academic freedom, MPs say
By Eleanor Busby and Kim Sengupta
Papers have been confiscated and events cancelled at British universities as a direct result of interference from Chinese officials, a report by an influential committee of MPs has warned.
An employee of a Russian government-sponsored body also allegedly planted a bugging device to record an academic discussion in the UK, the Foreign Affairs Committee report claims.
Authorities in Britain are not doing enough to protect academic freedom from financial, political and diplomatic pressures from autocratic states, it concludes, adding that the government has “failed” to consider the threat posed by the likes of China and Russia, and that guidance warning universities of potential risks is “non-existent”.
The report warns that the battle to recruit more students and increase funding should not outweigh “serious risks” to academic freedom. Continue reading
In response to the NYT’s piece “HK Protests Spread to US Colleges,” a list member suggests that it might useful to remind mainland students who seek to suppress the freedom of expression of Hong Kongers of the rights enshrined in the PRC constitution.
CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA 中华人民共和国宪法:
CHAPTER II. Fundamental Rights & Duties of Citizens (第二章 公民的基本权利和义务)
Article 33. Citizenship (第三十三条)
All persons holding the nationality of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are citizens of the PRC.
All citizens of the People’s Republic of China are equal before the law.
中华人民共和国公民在法律面前一律平等。 Continue reading
Source: NYC (10/26/19)
Hong Kong Protests Spread to U.S. Colleges, and a Rift Grows
By Emma Goldberg
A student who attended protests in Hong Kong spoke at the University of California, Davis, this month. The conflict is spilling onto campuses across the U.S., highlighting rising tensions between students. Credit: Jim Wilson/The New York Times
For much of the year, Frances Hui followed the Hong Kong demonstrations from her dorm room at Emerson College, feeling guilty that she was safe in Boston while clashes grew increasingly violent for her fellow Hong Kongers.
But when she protested on campus in support of the movement this month, she did not expect to fear for her own well-being.
Students from mainland China, she said, confronted her with expletives and lewd gestures. Earlier, a classmate posted an op-ed she had written, titled “I Am From Hong Kong, Not China,” along with a Facebook comment: “Whomever opposes my greatest China, no matter how far they are, must be executed.” Continue reading
Jessica Tsui-yan Li, editor The Transcultural Streams of Chinese Canadian Identities. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019.
Investigating the conditions that shape Chinese Canadian identities from various historical, social, and literary perspectives. Highlighting the geopolitical and economic circumstances that have prompted migration from Hong Kong and mainland China to Canada, The Transcultural Streams of Chinese Canadian Identities examines the Chinese Canadian community as a simultaneously transcultural, transnational, and domestic social and cultural formation. Continue reading
Source: NYT (8/28/19)
Canada Deports Chinese Dissident, Brushing Off Concerns He Faces Jail
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By Ian Johnson
An undated photograph of Yang Wei, right, with the exiled author Liao Yiwu. Mr. Liao has said that Canada would be “aiding and abetting the trampling of human rights” by deporting Mr. Yang. Credit: via Liao Yiwu
BEIJING — Canada has deported a veteran Chinese dissident, Yang Wei, on the grounds that he is a danger to the public.
Despite written testimony stating that Mr. Yang, 49, had mental health problems and faced certain prison time if sent back to China, a court issued a final ruling on Monday that Mr. Yang should be put on a plane departing Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, and arriving in Beijing on Thursday.
In making its ruling, the court relied on a document, reviewed by The New York Times, that mainly evaluated whether Mr. Yang would receive adequate care in China and brushed off concerns about his work as a dissident, saying there was no proof he would face incarceration if he returned. Continue reading
Panel “Geography, Affect, and Diaspora” in ACLA 2020
Organizer: Melody Yunzi Li
Co-Organizer: Robert T. Tally Jr.
Contact the Seminar Organizers
As Alison Blunt notes in her Domicile and Diaspora, “The term ‘diaspora’ is inherently geographical, implying a scattering of people over space and the transnational connections between people and places.” Over the years, cultural critics, geographers, and historians examining diaspora have focused on such concepts as home and homeland, territory and territoriality, citizenship, migration, transnationalism, and cultural difference. These are also prominent themes in diasporic literature, film, and other media, yet comparatively little attention has been paid to the distinctive spatiality at the heart of these matters, particular with respect to the affective geographies implicit in diasporic identity and community. Drawing upon the insights of geocriticism, literary geography, and spatial literary studies more generally, this panel aims to explore the intricate ways in which diaspora interacts with space, place, and emotional attachment in various cultural forms. Continue reading
Source: The New Yorker (8/19/19)
The “Post-Truth” Publication Where Chinese Students in America Get Their News
By Han Zhang
The online publication College Daily brings Chinese students living in the U.S. news with nationalistic undertones, delivered in a stream of memes and Internet-speak.Illustration by Jon Han
On a Monday morning in February, members of the staff of College Daily, an online Chinese-language publication for Chinese students living in North America, gathered in their office, in Times Square, for an editorial meeting. Guan Tong, the editorial director of the New York bureau, reviewed traffic numbers from the previous week. Staring at her MacBook, she seemed satisfied with what she saw. A piece by College Daily’s founder, Lin Guoyu, about the blockbuster Chinese movie “The Wandering Earth,” had garnered more than a million page views; its headline was “Of Course, Only Chinese People Can Save Planet Earth.” The healthy numbers came as a surprise: it was Lunar New Year, which tends to be a slow week for College Daily. “No need to worry about low traffic during Lunar New Year anymore,” Guan said cheerily. Continue reading
MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Anne Witchard’s review of Yellow Perils: China Narratives in the Contemporary World (Hawaii, 2018), edited by Franck Billé and Sören Urbansky. The review appears below and at its online home: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/witchard/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.
Kirk A. Denton, editor
Edited by Franck Billé and Sören Urbansky
Reviewed by Anne Witchard
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright August, 2019)
In the last decade the emergence of China as a global superpower has provoked an array of responses that have prompted comparisons with the early-twentieth century rhetoric of a Yellow Peril. Yellow Perils: China Narratives in the Contemporary World is a timely collection, coming as it does when the might of Beijing indeed poses a significant threat, to Muslims in Xinjiang Province for example, and (at the time of writing) to democracy activists in Hong Kong. It is all too easy to resort to inflammatory responses and indeed hostile and/or prejudicial treatment that fails to distinguish between the actions of China’s current Party State regime and ethnic Chinese in the PRC and across the globe.
Despite the time elapsed from research to print and the astonishing rapidity of change in the current political scene, Yellow Perils’s relevancy may perhaps be greater than might have been predicted by its editors. It is unfortunately all too easy to find statements that reflect Sinophobic predispositions informing some decision-making under the Trump administration. In April 2019, Kiron Skinner, director of policy planning at the State Department said at a security forum in Washington, D.C.: “This is a fight with a really different civilization and a different ideology and the United States hasn’t had that before.” Of course, as any high school student might remind her, the notorious Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) repealed only in 1943, was formulated upon exactly this racialized and divisive narrative. Continue reading
Source: The Spinoff (8/3/19)
We must speak out on AUT, China and threats to academic freedom
Jacob Edmond | Guest writer
A POSTER PROMOTING THE CANCELLED AUT
The AUT vice-chancellor denies that a Tiananmen Square commemoration was cancelled at the request of the Chinese embassy, but the emails released are enough to send a severe chill through New Zealand’s universities, writes Jacob Edmond
Auckland has a long and proud history of remembering the victims of the June 4, 1989 crackdown on student protests across China. Unfortunately, as the recent actions of Auckland University of Technology have underscored, the city’s universities have a more mixed record.
It is perhaps not that widely known, but one of the relatively few and earliest permanent memorials to the victims of June 4 stands in central Auckland. The memorial was unveiled on 17 September 1989 on the grounds of St Andrew’s First Presbyterian Church on Alten Rd. The initial plan had been to place the stone within the grounds of the University of Auckland. But when the University of Auckland authorities refused permission, St Andrew’s offered a home, and the stone stands there to this day. Continue reading
Source: NYT (7/25/19)
What Is the Chinese Military Doing in Hong Kong?
By Austin Ramzy
People’s Liberation Army soldiers took part in a drill open to the public at the Stonecutters Island naval base in Hong Kong last month. Credit: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
HONG KONG — When Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese control in 1997, one of the biggest worries was how the Chinese military would behave.
Images of the People’s Liberation Army killing civilians on the streets of Beijing eight years earlier were still fresh in the minds of Hong Kong residents, who had marched in huge numbers to support the pro-democracy Tiananmen protests, and who had begun marking the anniversary of the 1989 crackdown with a yearly vigil.
As troop trucks and armored personnel carriers rolled into Hong Kong after its handover from Britain, residents wondered what the soldiers would do next. But in the 22 years since then, the People’s Liberation Army has had a very limited role in the city. Continue reading