In all things, the chairman rules

Source: China Media Project (1/19/19)
By Qian Gang

In All Things, the Chairman Rules

In recent days, the above image of a roadside propaganda billboard in China proclaiming that “all” work, actions and major business must follow Chinese President Xi Jinping has made the rounds on the internet.

The three lines in the slogan on the billboard, each of which begins with “all,” in fact form what has been called “The Three Alls” (三个一切). The full phrase could be translated as follows:

All major matters are decided by Chairman Xi Jinping; all work must be responsible to Chairman Xi Jinping; all actions must heed the direction of Chairman Xi Jinping.


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A censor for every 1000 videos

Source: China Media Project (1/13/19)

A censor for every 1,000 videos please

One prominent aspect of media control in the Xi Jinping era has been its growing brazenness. No longer is censorship quite so shrouded in secrecy as it once was. Rather, it is announced openly as a matter of social and political necessity, and as the legal obligation of every company seeking to profit from the potentially lucrative digital space.

A pair of binding documents released this past week by the China Netcasting Services Association (中国网络视听节目服务协会) are a great case in point. They openly set out the “content review” standards expected of companies providing online video services, including the removal of content that “attacks on our country’s political or legal systems”, and “content that damages the national image.” One of the documents even specifies that companies expand their internal censorship teams as business grows and changes, and that they keep at least one “content review” employee on staff for every 1,000 new videos posted to their platform each day. Continue reading

Leave No Dark Corner

Leave No Dark Corner, an Australian documentary about the Social Credit system, aired last September. In case other list members missed it then as I did, I’d like to commend it to your attention. It’s well made, despite resorting to a couple of “re-enactments” along with its riveting interviews. The half-hour film focuses on three people: a young professional who, with her cadre husband, thinks the social credit system will do wonderful things for the Chinese people; Liu Hu, the Chongqing journalist whose career was terminated  by the system; and Tahir Hamut, a Uyghur refugee who describes how the system works in Xinjiang.

A. E. Clark <>

Deers vs Horses

Source: Sup China (1/9/19)
‘Deers’ Vs. ‘Horses’: Old And New Marxist Groups Wage Ideological Battle At Peking University

One Marxist student group is backed by the Party. The other’s WeChat account is blocked.

This poster, written in traditional Chinese, reads: “A deer will not transform into a horse; a wrong will not transform into a right” (鹿不变成马,错不变成对 lù bù biànchéng mǎ, cuò bù biànchéng duì)

“Wherever Yue and Gu are, that’s where I will be,” Zhan Zhenzhen 展振振, a Marxist at Peking University, told SupChina in November. “Wherever they stand, that’s where my brightest prospects lie.”

It seems that Zhan has now indeed joined his classmates Yue Xin 岳昕, Gu Jiayue 顾佳悦, and a half-dozen other missing Marxist student activists. According to a VOA report (in Chinese), Zhan was detained in Changsha, Hunan on January 2 after participating in celebrations for the 125th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birth a week before, held in Mao’s hometown of Shaoshan, Hunan. On January 4, Peking University announced Zhan had “dropped out school,” a statement that clashes with rumors circulating on PKU forums that he was in fact expelled, under the pretext of missing two weeks of class. Either way, we have no way of knowing: sources close to Zhan report that he has been unreachable since December 26. Continue reading

Open letter to democratic Taiwan

Source: Taipei Times (1/9/19)
Open letter to democratic Taiwan

We the undersigned scholars, former government and military officials, and other friends of Taiwan who have witnessed and admired Taiwan’s transition to democracy for many decades wish to express to the people of Taiwan our sense of urgency to maintain unity and continuity at this critical moment in Taiwan’s history.

It is obvious that during the past two years, the People’s Republic of China has left no stone unturned in its attempts to squeeze Taiwan’s international space, threaten it with a buildup of military power and make it appear as if Taiwan’s only future lies in integration with an authoritarian China.

This pressure culminated on Wednesday last week with a speech by Chinese President and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平), telling the Taiwanese people that “the Taiwan question” was a Chinese internal affair, that unification under China’s “one country, two systems” principle was the only option for the future and Taiwan independence was a “dead end.” Continue reading

Uyghur philanthropist sentence to death for unsanctioned Hajj

This piece dates from late November of last year, but still bears disseminating.–Kirk

Source: Radio Free Asia (11/21/18)
Xinjiang Authorities Sentence Uyghur Philanthropist to Death For Unsanctioned Hajj
By Gulchehra Hoja

Abdughapar Abdurusul in an undated photo.

Abdughapar Abdurusul in an undated photo. Photo courtesy of Abdusattar Abdurusul

Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have sentenced a prominent Uyghur businessman and philanthropist to death for taking an unsanctioned Muslim holy pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, according to his brother.

Abdughapar Abdurusul, of Bakyol district in Ili Kazakh (in Chinese, Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture’s Ghulja (Yining) city, “was arrested in July or August,” his brother Abdusattar Abdurusul recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service, citing Abdughapar’s Kazakh business partners living in Kazakhstan’s Almaty city. Continue reading

China targets Uighur intellectuals

Source: NYT (1/5/18)
China Targets Prominent Uighur Intellectuals to Erase an Ethnic Identity
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By Austin Ramzy

Rahile Dawut, above with camera, is an anthropologist at Xinjiang University who studied Islamic shrines, traditional songs and folklore. She was detained in December 2017 and has not been heard from since. Credit Lisa Ross

ISTANBUL — As a writer and magazine editor, Qurban Mamut promoted the culture and history of his people, the Uighurs, and that of other Turkic minority groups who live in far western China. He did so within the strict confines of censorship imposed by the Chinese authorities, who are ever wary of ethnic separatism and Islamic extremism among the predominantly Muslim peoples of the region.

It was a line that Mr. Mamut navigated successfully for 26 years, eventually rising to become editor in chief of the Communist Party-controlled magazine Xinjiang Civilization before retiring in 2011.

“My father is very smart; he knows what is the red line, and if you cross it you are taken to jail,” said his son, Bahram Sintash, who now lives in Virginia. “You work very close to the red line to teach people the culture. You have to be smart and careful with your words.” Continue reading

Yesterday’s stray dog becomes today’s guard dog

Source: China Heritage (1/4/19)
Yesterday’s Stray Dog 喪家狗, Today’s Guard Dog 看門狗
Dog Days (VIII)

This latest addition to Dog Days — a series of canine-themed articles, essays, translations and art works marking The Year of the Dog (16 February 2018—4 February 2019) — takes as its theme China’s most famous ‘stray dog’ 喪家狗, the pre-Qin thinker and latter-day Sage, Confucius. In it, the irrepressible thinker, critic and essayist Liu Xiaobo 劉曉波 reviews the controversy surrounding Peking University professor Li Ling’s 2007 book, Stray Dog: Reading ‘The Analects’ 李零著《喪家狗——我讀論語》. Continuing his two-decade-long critique of the intellectual world, Liu then discusses the history and fate of China’s intellectuals as Homeless Dogs, Guard Dogs, Lap Dogs, Whipping Dogs and even Running Dogs.

Liu’s observations on State Confucianism, as well as on the benighted state of China’s intelligentsia, are even more relevant today, in 2019, than when he made them in 2007.

Acknowledgements: The following translation is taken from Liu Xiaobo, No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems, edited by Perry Link, Tienchi Martin-Liao and Liu Xia, Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012, pp.188-200. We are grateful to Perry Link and Lindsay Waters for supporting our request to reprint this essay and to The Belknap Press for their kind permission. (The typographical style of the original has been retained.)

Yesterday’s Stray Dog Becomes Today’s Guard Dog
Liu Xiaobo
translated by Thomas E. Moran

Chinese people are talking excitedly these days about the rise of China as a great nation. First we spoke of an economic rise, then a cultural rise; we started spreading money around the globe, then exported soft power. There have been fads for reading the classics, for honoring the memory of Confucius, and for promoting Confucian ethics. China Central Television (CCTV), pressing to reestablish an orthodoxy in China, has used its program Lecture Hall to touch off a fad for reading The Analects. The government has put big money into “Confucius Institutes” around the world in an effort to spread soft power. The dream of ruling “all under heaven,” repressed for a century or more, is now resurgent and is taking Confucius the sage as its unifying force. The craze for Confucius grows ever more fierce. Continue reading

Patriotism of not speaking Uyghur

Source: Sup China (1/2/18)
The ‘Patriotism’ Of Not Speaking Uyghur

Urumqi No. 1 Primary school, 2018: Uyghur script “disappeared.” Photo by Joanne Smith Finley

Uyghur “patriotism” now requires the active disavowal of the Uyghur way of life. Vague euphemisms like “patriotism,” “harmony,” “stability,” “vocational training,” and “poverty elimination” gaslight the erasure of a native system of knowledge and the basic elements that make Uyghur life Uyghur: language, religion, and culture.

On October 27, 2018, Memtimin Ubul, a Communist Party deputy secretary of Kashgar’s Qaghaliq County, stated publicly something that had increasingly become the norm over the past two years in the Uyghur homeland. In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, it was now officially unpatriotic for Uyghur state employees to speak or write in Uyghur language. In a statement that was circulated to more than 750,000 readers, the ethnically Uyghur state official wrote that any state employee who spoke Uyghur in public “should be classified as a ‘two-faced person.’” This is a charge that has resulted in the detention of hundreds, if not thousands, of Uyghur public figures, in addition to the untold number (possibly more than a million) who have been sent to “transformation through education” prison camps.

Memtimin wrote that the patriotic duty of state employees extended throughout all aspects of their lives. Patriotism should be present in the way they dressed, talked, and ate. Even in one’s home life, Uyghurs should refuse to speak Uyghur and instead speak Chinese. From his perspective, government employees had the “highest levels of knowledge and culture” in Uyghur society, and as such they had “immeasurable social influence.” It was therefore up to them to demonstrate what it meant to be patriotic Uyghur citizens. “Speaking the ‘language of the country’ should be the minimum requirement for patriotism,” he wrote. Chinese was no longer the language of Han people, but the language of reeducated patriotic Uyghurs.

A short documentary on rural Uyghur life in the county where Memtimin Ubul works as Party official. The documentary demonstrates the richness of Uyghur rural traditions before the mass detention of Uyghurs and the rise of new forms of “patriotism” across the Uyghur homeland. Continue reading

Xi warns Taiwan

Source: NYT (1/1/19)
Xi Jinping Warns Taiwan That Unification Is the Goal and Force Is an Option
By Chris Buckley and Chris Horton

China’s president, Xi Jinping, in Beijing on Wednesday. “We make no promise to abandon the use of force,” he said in a speech about Taiwan. CreditPool photo by Mark Schiefelbein

BEIJING — China’s president, Xi Jinping, warned Taiwan that unification must be the ultimate goal of any talks over its future and that efforts to assert full independence could be met by armed force, laying out an unyielding position on Wednesday in his first major speech about the contested island democracy.

Mr. Xi outlined his stance one day after Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, urged China to peacefully settle disputes over the island, whose 23 million people, she said, want to preserve their self-rule. But Beijing treats Taiwan as an illegitimate breakaway from Chinese rule, and Mr. Xi said unification was unstoppable as China rose. Continue reading

China thwarts US promotion of American culture on campuses

Source: NYT (12/30/18)
China Thwarts U.S. Effort to Promote American Culture on Campuses
By Jane Perlez and Luz Ding

The American ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, and his wife, Christine, at their residence in Beijing. A Chinese university turned down his request to visit a center to promote American culture this fall.CreditNicolas Asfouri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

BEIJING — The American ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, wanted to make what in most nations would have been a routine trip.

One of his favorite schools, Iowa State University, had opened a center to promote American culture in an inland Chinese province, and the laid-back former governor of Iowa was eager to take questions from Chinese students.

The center’s program, largely financed by the State Department, was deliberately benign so as not to offend Chinese government sensibilities. Politics was off the agenda. English lessons focused on fashion, music and sports. An essay-writing contest was called “Bald Eagle & Panda” after well-known fauna in both countries. Continue reading

China discourse report 2018

Source: China Media Project (12/30/18)

China Discourse Report 2018

For 2018, we could say that the most important testing point (测试点) in China’s political discourse arena was the contraction of President Xi Jinping’s political “banner term,” or qizhiyu (旗帜语), “Xi Jinping Thought of Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” (习近平中国特色社会主义思想), which was formally introduced at the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in November 2017.

What do I mean by contraction?

This long and unwieldy political phrase is meant to be Xi Jinping’s political brand, forming and consolidating his legacy, and it is set apart from the banner terms of Xi’s predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, by including his name, an important mark of Xi Jinping’s power. But to become a phrase on par with previous legacy phrases like Mao Zedong Thought (毛泽东思想) or Deng Xiaoping Theory (邓小平理论), both of which “crown” (冠名) top Party leaders, this latest banner term would need to undergo a process of contraction. And of course the contraction we should expect is “Xi Jinping Thought,” which was strategically imbedded in the expanded “Xi Jinping Thought of Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.” Continue reading

New year’s statement by Wang Dan (1)

I’m the translator. I didn’t ask not to be identified [nor to be identified]. Wang Dan has a new think tank: It’s in that capacity that he issued the statement. You can post this info, I don’t care if I’m credited, 真人不露相,露相不真人.


Scott Savitt <>

New year’s statement by Wang Dan

Not sure about the original source of this statement by Wang Dan, but apparently the translator has asked not to be identified.–Kirk

New Year statement by Wang Dan 王丹

元旦聲明: 重建記憶,重新出發—-關於紀念“六四”三十週年的呼籲
New Year’s Statement by Wang Dan
Revive Memory, Start Anew—An Appeal Regarding the Commemoration of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Democracy Protests and June 4 Military Crackdown

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the bloody repression of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests with the military massacre of June 4, 1989. Those of us who participated in the movement and witnessed the massacre issue a public appeal to all who care about China’s development and hope that democratic constitutionalism can be achieved. Continue reading