From China to Latin America exhibit

Source: University of Kansas Libraries (3/7/24)
International Collections highlights, extends upcoming collaborative conference
By Abdullah Al-Awhad

Books on display in a case.

A new exhibit in International Collections on the fifth floor of Watson Library [University of Kansas] highlights the history and relationships between Latin America and China – combining materials from two of KU Libraries’ regional collection strengths and supplementing an upcoming collaborative conference. The exhibit, “From China to Latin America,” is on display now through the end of March.

Librarians Cecilia Zhang and Milton Machuca-Gálvez curated items for the exhibit, including books that present the historical connection between Latin America and China and offer a glimpse of their cross-cultural influence. The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the Center for Global and International Studies, and the Center of East Asian Studies (CEAS). All three centers are co-hosts of a hybrid conference, titled “When Global East Meets Global South: East Asia and Latin America” set for March 29 with open registration.

“While this conference is taking place, these books will be on display to speak to specific cases,” said Machuca-Gálvez, librarian for Spanish, Portuguese, Latin America, & Caribbean Studies. “There are books on China-El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, a large quantity of books from Panama, and large volumes from Cuba.” Continue reading

Emigres are creating an alternative China

Source: NYT (2/23/24)
Émigrés Are Creating an Alternative China, One Bookstore at a Time
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From Thailand to America, Chinese denied a safe public space for discussion in their home country have found hope in diaspora communities.
By Li Yuan (Reporting from Tokyo; Taipei, Taiwan; and Chiang Mai, Thailand)

“What matters is not what you oppose but what kind of life you desire,” said Anne Jieping Zhang, the owner of bookstores in Taipei and Chiang Mai, Thailand. Credit…Simon Simard for The New York Times

On a rainy Saturday afternoon in central Tokyo, 50 or so Chinese people packed into a gray, nondescript office that doubles as a bookstore. They came for a seminar about Qiu Jin, a Chinese feminist poet and revolutionary who was beheaded more than a century ago for conspiring to overthrow the Qing dynasty.

Like them, Ms. Qiu had lived as an immigrant in Japan. The lecture’s title, “Rebuilding China in Tokyo,” said as much about the aspirations of the people in the room as it did about Ms. Qiu’s life.

Public discussions like this one used to be common in big cities in China but have increasingly been stifled over the past decade. The Chinese public is discouraged from organizing and participating in civic activities.

In the past year, a new type of Chinese public life has emerged — outside China’s borders in places like Japan.

“With so many Chinese relocating to Japan,” said Li Jinxing, a human rights lawyer who organized the event in January, “there’s a need for a place where people can vent, share their grievances, then think about what to do next.” Mr. Li himself moved to Tokyo from Beijing last September over concerns for his safety. “People like us have a mission to drive the transformation of China,” he said. Continue reading

China’s rebel influencer is still paying a price

Source: NYT (12/12/23)
‘I Have No Future’: China’s Rebel Influencer Is Still Paying a Price
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Li Ying used social media to help tell the world about last year’s protests. Now in exile, he has been threatened and lost his livelihood for his defiance.
By Li Yuan

An illustration of a set of stone feet on a stone platform facing a chaotic scene that includes flames, candles and flying papers.

Credit…Xinmei Liu

In November 2022, Li Ying was a painter and art school graduate in Milan, living in a state of sadness, fear and despair. China’s strict pandemic policies had kept him from seeing his parents for three years, and he was unsure where his country was heading.

In China, after enduring endless Covid tests, quarantines and lockdowns, people staged the most widespread protests the country had seen in decades, many holding roughly letter-size paper to demonstrate defiance against censorship and tyranny, in what has been called the White Paper movement.

Then Mr. Li did something that he never anticipated would become so significant: He turned his Twitter account into an information clearinghouse. People inside China sent him photos, videos and other witness accounts, at times more than a dozen per second, that would otherwise be censored on the Chinese internet. He used Twitter, which is banned in China, to broadcast them to the world. The avatar on Mr. Li’s account, his drawing of a cat that is both cute and menacing, became famous.

His following on the platform swelled by 500,000 in a matter of weeks. To the Chinese state, he was a troublemaker. To some Chinese, he was a superhero who stood up to their authoritarian government and their iron-fisted leader, Xi Jinping.

When the government abruptly ended the Covid policy last December, Mr. Li and other young activists faced a question: Was their protest a moment in history, or a footnote? Continue reading

Agnes Chow sources

There’s been a stream of reports and discussions after Agnes Chow gave interviews to Japanese media in Japanese and in English. Here’s the Japanese interview.

Part 2 in Japanese, free with registration.

See here for the English interview (NHK).

In the stream of news about the drama of the last few days, this article in the Diplomat nicely sums up the significance of Hong Kong police’s disgusting treatment of Agnes Chow. This piece includes a photo by Agnes Chow of the pitiful exhibit she was forced to see in Shenzhen.

The Collective HK in its podcast invented the term of “being vacationed” (被旅行):

In addition to the BBC News report posted here a few days ago, these articles are also good:

I’m Concerned about My Personal Safety” (The Guardian) Continue reading

Agnes Chow says HK is a ‘place of fear’

The momentous news of Agnes Chow’s escape to Canada and her regaining of freedom of speech (see below) comes at the same time as her colleague, Tsang Chi-kin, famous for escaping death by police bullet in Hong Kong, has been put up for a grotesque TV confession arranged by HK police. A place of fear indeed. —Magnus Fiskesjö,

Source: BBC News (12/7/23)
Agnes Chow: Fugitive activist says Hong Kong is now a ‘place of fear’
By Kelly Ng, BBC News, Singapore

Hong Kong is now a “place full of fear” for pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, who says she has no plans to go home. Getty Images.

Hong Kong is now a “place full of fear”, pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, who recently jumped bail, said. Ms Chow was under investigation for “collusion with foreign forces”, but had been allowed to study in Canada.

The 27-year-old is now a fugitive in Toronto. She told the BBC that she does not intend to return home.

Hong Kong authorities say that they will “spare no effort” in pursuing her for the rest of her life if she does not turn herself in.

A controversial national security law, which gives Chinese authorities expansive powers over political and civic activity in Hong Kong, has been widely used against activists like Ms Chow.

Ms Chow ran Hong Kong pro-democracy group Demosisto with fellow activists Nathan Law and Joshua Wong and was one of the leaders of large-scale anti-government protests held in 2012, 2014 and 2019. Continue reading

HK activist flees to Canada

Source: NYT (12/4/23)
Agnes Chow, a Hong Kong Activist, Fled to Canada and Isn’t Likely to Return
Ms. Chow said she had to make a “patriotic” visit to the mainland to get her passport back. The Hong Kong police condemned her intention to “openly jump bail.”
By Tiffany May, Reporting from Hong Kong

A woman wearing a medical mask and glasses is seen in the back seat of a police vehicle.

Agnes Chow, a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, being arrested by police at her home in Tai Po, Hong Kong, in August 2020. Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Agnes Chow, a prominent pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong who was arrested as part of a sweeping crackdown, said over the weekend that she had fled to Canada and planned to skip bail, in a bold challenge to the authorities.

Ms. Chow had been arrested in 2020, along with several other dissidents, including the newspaper mogul Jimmy Lai, after Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong to curb dissent. The authorities were investigating Ms. Chow on suspicion of collusion with external elements, a vaguely defined political crime that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. She was later released on bail.

Ms. Chow wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday that she had traveled to Canada in September to study at a university. She said she had decided not to return to Hong Kong in December to report to the police, as the authorities had requested. “Perhaps I will never go back again in my lifetime,” she wrote.

Hong Kong’s national security police condemned her expressed intention to “jump bail” and urged her to “immediately turn back.” In a statement on Monday, the Hong Kong government said that it would “spare no effort” in bringing Ms. Chow to justice and warned that she could not “evade legal liabilities by absconding.”

In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman who was asked about Ms. Chow’s statement said that no one was above the law and that illegal acts would be punished. Continue reading

Museum of Chinese in American and Public History

Dear all,

The ‘Global Diasporic Chinese Museums Network Initiative Public Talk Series’ will host the fourth talk on Tuesday 28 November. Our speakers are Ms. Yue Ma, Director for Collections and Research and Mr. Herb Tam, Curator and Director of Exhibition at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). They will give a talk on the Museum of Chinese in America and Public History: Reflecting Immigrant Stories from A Local and Global Perspective  美国华人博物馆与公共历史: 从本地和全球角度反映移民故事

The talk will be given in English. Simultaneous translation into Mandarin Chinese will be provided.

Date: Tuesday 28 November 2023
Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm (GMT)
Venue: Online
Zoom ID: 812 0303 1870
Password: 12345

Meeting link:


Yue Ma, Director of Collections and Research, and Herb Tam, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) will discuss the complexities of public history work within the Museum of Chinese in America. Yue Ma will present the development of MOCA’s collection and its relevance to contemporary researchers, scholars, students and artists. Herb Tam will expand on the vision and conceptualization of MOCA’s exhibitions and their relationship to the collection and audience expectations. Their talk will reveal how various dynamics – resources, visitor feedback, institutional history, local and global politics – impact the work of a medium-sized social history museum embedded in an ethnic enclave. Continue reading

Uyghur filmmaker who studied in Turkey prosecuted in China

Source: Ethnic ChinaLit ( (11/9/23)
Uyghur Film-maker Who Studied in Turkey Prosecuted in China

In “Uyghur film-maker claims he was tortured by authorities in China,” the Guardian reports that Ikram Nurmehmet, a director known for his Uyghur protagonists in films such as The Elephant in the Car, recently had his day in court in Ürümqi:

“I was held in a dark room for 20 days and physically tortured,” Nurmehmet reportedly said during the trial, adding that he had been made to give false confessions under duress while in detention. “I never joined any terrorist group or any political activities while I was in Turkey,” he said.

It is not clear who revealed what Nurmehmet testified, but the report notes that members of his family were present at the trial. That such a trial was open to anyone outside of the prosecution is rare, as China normally treats terrorism-related trials as state secrets. He has reportedly been charged with terrorism and participating in a separatist movement.

According to Peter Irwin, an associate director for research and advocacy at the Uyghur Human Rights Project, who also spoke to the Guardian, the Turkey connection is key:

“There are a lot of people being sentenced who went to Turkey. In some ways, what this film-maker was doing through his work – the humanisation of Uyghurs and [facilitating] communication between Uyghurs and Chinese people – I think the government is suspicious and worries about this kind of stuff.” Continue reading

Overseas Chinese History Museum lecture

The ‘Global Diasporic Chinese Museums Network Initiative Public Talk Series’ will be hosting the next talk on Monday 18th September at 12: 00 pm to 13:30 pm (BST)

Our speaker, Mr. Ning Yi, Deputy Director of Overseas Chinese History Museum of China, will give a talk on Tracing the History of Chinese Diasporas and Narrating Stories of Cultural Exchange — Explorations and Practices at the Overseas Chinese History Museum of China. The talk will be given in Mandarin Chinese. Simultaneous translation into English is provided.

The event is jointly hosted by HOMELandS (Hub On Migration, Exile, Languages and Spaces) at University of Westminster and the Chinese Heritage Centre of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. It is organised as part of the project Global Diasporic Chinese Museums Network Initiative funded by AHRC.

This is a free event, held online via Zoom. Please register here – Eventbrite link – for access to the meeting on the day.

Best wishes,

Cangbai Wang

Seediq want Sweden to keep their ancestors’ cultural artifacts

Source: Taiwan Plus News (9/4/23)
A Taiwanese Indigenous group wants Sweden to keep their ancestors’ cultural artifacts.
By Louise_Watt

This video doesn’t say which Stockholm museum is showing the Seediq collection. The objects may be from the Ethnographic Museum but Michel Lee in the picture has been with the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. Both belong in the listed group of state museums in charge of exotic objects: the National Museums of World Culture.

It seems this is the exhibit at the EM.

Best wishes to them all. The Seediq are lucky to be allowed to exist and take charge of themselves; what a contrast to genocide China.

ps. If the museums get good press and many visitors, it might become more difficult for the government bureaucrats to kill them.

(There is an ongoing crisis right now with the National art gallery, next door neighbor of the MFEA, which may have to close and move from its purpose-built edifice across from the Palace. It was renovated last year, but the profiteering state buildings agency SFV would prefer to evict all museums so they can rent the [purpose-built and renovated] buildings to whoever has more money  — it’s a La-la-land of fake “market” economics and corrupt politics; people outside Sweden cannot believe it–they want to believe it’s a well-managed country that cares responsibly for its culture and monuments. Not so… I myself quit as MFEA director in the face of this uncertainty.)


Magnus Fiskesjö,

Code Pink, Code Red

This is extremely useful for understanding the “Codepinkers.”–Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Source: China Media Project (8/16/23)
Code Pink, Code Red
The China-related agenda of the “Women for Peace” organization might be taken more seriously as a call for respectful dialogue and cooperation if its narratives were not so closely aligned with those of the Chinese party-state.
By David Bandurski

In a months-long investigation published earlier this month, The New York Times explored the links between a “lavishly funded influence campaign” pushing Chinese state propaganda narratives and American millionaire Neville Roy Singham, long a champion of far-left causes. The report touched on the increasing involvement in China-related work of the anti-war activist organization Code Pink — whose co-founder, the American political activist Jodie Evans, married Singham in 2017.

As the Times report and other sources have noted, Code Pink was openly critical of China’s human rights record prior to 2017. The organization has since moderated that critical stance and the China page of its website focuses on a campaign called “China Is Not Our Enemy,” also the title of a regular webinar series hosted by Evans since 2021, and a dedicated Twitter (X) account.

The campaign’s object is simple enough: taking action to advocate for peace with China in the face of bilateral relations that have grown dangerously strident, and calling for greater dialogue to reduce the risk of conflict. The premise of the campaign is more problematic. Relations have worsened, Code Pink claims, because politicians and media in the United States have stoked confrontation. The group never seriously addresses the legitimate concerns many Americans have about China, including its worsening one-party authoritarian politics, its illiberal approach to human rights, and its broad repression of civil society. Continue reading

Global web of Chinese progaganda leads to US tech mogul

Source: NYT (8/5/23)
A Global Web of Chinese Propaganda Leads to a U.S. Tech Mogul
The Times unraveled a financial network that stretches from Chicago to Shanghai and uses American nonprofits to push Chinese talking points worldwide.
By Mara HvistendahlDavid A. FahrentholdLynsey Chutel and 

Neville Roy Singham, right, in 2016 with the activist Jodie Evans. In 2017, they married and he sold his tech firm. Credit…Jim Spellman/WireImage, via Getty Images

The protest in London’s bustling Chinatown brought together a variety of activist groups to oppose a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. So it was peculiar when a street brawl broke out among mostly ethnic Chinese demonstrators.

Witnesses said the fight, in November 2021, started when men aligned with the event’s organizers, including a group called No Cold War, attacked activists supporting the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

On the surface, No Cold War is a loose collective run mostly by American and British activists who say the West’s rhetoric against China has distracted from issues like climate change and racial injustice.

In fact, a New York Times investigation found, it is part of a lavishly funded influence campaign that defends China and pushes its propaganda. At the center is a charismatic American millionaire, Neville Roy Singham, who is known as a socialist benefactor of far-left causes.

What is less known, and is hidden amid a tangle of nonprofit groups and shell companies, is that Mr. Singham works closely with the Chinese government media machine and is financing its propaganda worldwide. Continue reading

Waiting To Be Arrested at Night

Source: NPR (8/1/23)
‘Waiting To Be Arrested At Night’ is the story of a Uyghur poet’s escape
By Emily Feng, NPR

Tahir Hamut Izgil is one of the best-known living Uyghur poets. He left Xinjiang amid a Chinese crackdown on the Uyghur people — an escape at the heart of his book, Waiting To Be Arrested At Night.


One of the greatest living Uyghur poets lives in Washington, D.C. Tahir Hamut Izgil escaped from his native Xinjiang to the U.S. in 2018. At that time, rights groups say the Chinese government was detaining at least hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and imprisoning writers that Izgil worked with. His new book about this experience, “Waiting To Be Arrested At Night,” has just been published, and NPR’s Emily Feng talked to him about the process of writing it.

TAHIR HAMUT IZGIL: (Speaking Uyghur).

EMILY FENG, BYLINE: To remember is important. But for those who remember, like Tahir Hamut Izgil, the memories are a painful responsibility.

IZGIL: (Through interpreter) I myself don’t like to reread my own book. Every time I read part of it, I feel like I’m going through those events again. Continue reading

Canadian politicians who criticize China become targets

Source: NYT (7/15/23)
Canadian Politicians Who Criticize China Become Its Targets
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
As China increases its reach in diaspora communities, Chinese Canadian politicians in Vancouver are the focus of Chinese state interference in Canadian politics.
By Reporting from Richmond, Burnaby and Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada)

Kenny Chiu, a former member of Parliament representing a district outside Vancouver, appears to have been targeted by supporters of China because of his public criticisms of China’s human rights record. Credit…Alana Paterson for The New York Times

The polls predicted a re-election victory, maybe even a landslide.

But a couple of weeks before the vote, Kenny Chiu, a member of Canada’s Parliament and a critic of China’s human rights record, was panicking. Something had flipped among the ethnic Chinese voters in his British Columbia district.

“Initially, they were supportive,” he said. “And all of a sudden, they just vanished, vaporized, disappeared.”

Longtime supporters originally from mainland China were not returning his calls. Volunteers reported icy greetings at formerly friendly homes. Chinese-language news outlets stopped covering him. And he was facing an onslaught of attacks — from untraceable sources — on the local community’s most popular social networking app, the Chinese-owned WeChat.

The sudden collapse of Mr. Chiu’s campaign — in the last federal election, in 2021 — is now drawing renewed scrutiny amid mounting evidence of China’s interference in Canadian politics.

Continue reading

Not a Foreigner–cfp

Dear MCLC list members,

We invite submissions of paper abstracts for the panel titled Not a Foreigner: Sinophone Immigrant Literature as a Diasporic Return to be held in-person at the AAS 2024 Annual Conference.

By addressing questions of culture, identities, and home, this seminar aims at filling an epistemological niche concerning the Sinophone world. The primary concern of this seminar is to examine the entangled Chineseness in Sinophone immigrant literature closely. Papers that explore a broad spectrum of genres and disciplines will be welcome. Potential topics and themes include (but are not limited to):

  • The politics of cultural identity
  • Diaspora and exile
  • Literary cartographies
  • Self-writing versus writing the self

Please send proposals no later than 26 July 2023 to Anqi Liu at

Anqi Liu
Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese
St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Melody Yunzi Li
Assistant Professor in Chinese Studies
University of Houston