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

China steps up moves to influence diaspora communities

Source: WSJ (6/8/20)
China Steps Up Moves to Influence Diaspora Communities
Countering the effort requires heightened vigilance by democratic countries, new report says
By Kate O’Keeffe

Chinese President Xi Jinping walks past applauding delegates at the National People’s Congress in Beijing on May 28. PHOTO: ROMAN PILIPEY/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

WASHINGTON—China is making fresh efforts to influence Chinese communities around the world to advance Beijing’s interests, requiring heightened vigilance from democratic countries, a new study says.

A unit in China’s ruling Communist Party known as the United Front Work Department [中共中央统一战线工作部] engages thousands of organizations to collect intelligence, encourage technology transfer, counter dissident movements and generate support for other Beijing objectives, said the report by the nonpartisan Australian Strategic Policy Institute. The department focuses its influence operations overseas on Chinese diaspora communities and foreign elites, the report said.

While Beijing has used the united front system for decades, President Xi Jinping renewed the department’s mission as part of a push to make China a global power.

In recent years it has turned to increasing its control over Chinese-language media abroad, funding research at prominent think tanks and using China’s popular WeChat messaging platform and other social media to censor, surveil and shape dialogue on policy issues, it said. Continue reading

Covid-19 and spectres of quarantine for the Chinese Canadian community

Source: Fete Chinoise (4/20/20)
Covid-19 and the Spectres of Quarantine for the Chinese Canadian Community
Written by Angie Wong (Lecturer, Women Studies, English, and Indigenous Learning,
Lakehead University)

( The Asianadian, vol. 2, no. 4. Cover Image courtesy of The Asianadian Co-founder, Cheuk Kwan)

(The Asianadian, vol. 2, no. 4. Cover Image courtesy of The Asianadian Co-founder, Cheuk Kwan)

The crisis of COVID-19 has ushered in a new ‘normal’ for Canadians. Handshaking is now a dangerous proposition. Masks are being donned on the streets of Canadian cities, and it is not only Asian Canadians wearing them. Indeed, the entire world is now being forced to adopt some of the very symbols and practices that previously marked Asian Canadians as different (even suspect). But rather than creating a larger feeling of solidarity or common struggle between Chinese and other Canadians, the crisis of COVID-19 has once again made it scary to be Chinese in Canada, and North America more broadly. The coronavirus is a disease that has been racialized as the “Chinese virus,” loudly echoing the Orientalist notion of the Yellow Peril and the racist idea that ‘China is the sick man of Asia’. Of course, this is hardly the first time that Chinese people have been feared in Canada. Continue reading

Why virus cases have spiked in HK, Singapore and Taiwan

Source: NYT (4/9/20)
Why Coronavirus Cases Have Spiked in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By K.K. Rebecca Lai

Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan — once heralded for early successes in battling the pandemic — are now confronting a new wave of coronavirus cases, largely fueled by infections coming from elsewhere. Singapore is also seeing a rise in local transmissions, with more than 400 new cases in the past week that have been linked to migrant worker dormitories.

The first confirmed cases in all three places were connected to people who had traveled to Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began, followed by small clusters of cases among residents with no travel history. Despite their proximity to mainland China, however, they had all managed to keep their case counts low for weeks, through vigilant monitoring and early intervention.

None of these places had a single day with more than 10 new cases until March, even as the coronavirus spread around the world.

That changed in the past two weeks, as both Hong Kong and Singapore saw new cases in the double digits for consecutive days, with the bulk attributed to those who have traveled from abroad. Singapore’s numbers are now triple-digits, with large clusters of cases linked to dorms for migrant workers. Continue reading

Australian Yang Hengjun charged over espionage

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 <>
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.

Key points:

  • 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

She accused a tech billionaire of rape

Source: NYT (12/13/19)
She Accused a Tech Billionaire of Rape. The Chinese Internet Turned Against Her.
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
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

HK poet Mary Jean Chan wows Britain

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

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

Panopticism with Chinese Characteristics event cancelled

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,

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

Charles University mired in Chinese influence scandal

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

CRBMF1 Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, Europe

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

British report warns of Chinese govt influence on UK campuses

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

HK Protests Spread to US Colleges (1)

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.


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

HK protests spread to US colleges

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.

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

The Transcultural Streams of Chinese Canadian Idenitities

New Publication

Jessica Tsui-yan Li, editor The Transcultural Streams of Chinese Canadian Identities. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019.–the-products-9780773556850.php

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

Canada deports dissident

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

Geography, Affect, and Diaspora–cfp

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