Harassment case ignites online debate (4)

Two comments:

First, I think the policy for both authorities and newspapers to NOT list the ethnic/religious affiliation, or the name and address and so on, of a criminal suspect is a good practice.

In my country Sweden too, we have this practice: Authorities and newspapers all refrain from characterizing a suspect beyond his/her gender and age. The main reason is to protect basic human rights: To expose a subject’s identity before there is a trial and a verdict, is wrong. This is different from the US and some other countries where suspect’s names are deemed in the public interest and so are immediately published. In the case of innocent persons, this ruins their reputation, career, and personal life, for starters, which is gross, and I think this alone justifies the policy and tradition we have in Germany, Sweden and apparently China to some extent (in China obviously it is all political, these rights are not extended to political cases, in which they torture people into performing fake pre-trial public confessions, so not just revealing their identity before trial, but forcing the person to smear himself). Continue reading

Harassment case ignites online debate (3)

Hmm, yes, with no disrespect intended, I do nevertheless have a funny feeling that W. Kubin missed the point of the article, as well as the problematic nature of general discussion of this event.
First of all, on the event itself, there are longstanding issues in contemporary China with dealing with sexual harassment (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1067359.shtml) and rape. In this context, the otherness of the perpetrator has likely enhanced the visibility and discussion of the case, which could otherwise sadly be brushed aside in some situations as just “what men do.”
Second, this enhanced visibility is ironically a positive result with considerably more distressing origins, and as a result, distressing outcomes. I’m not sure I want to solely bracket this under the label “Islamophobia,” but rather propose an “Islamophobia with Chinese characteristics” that combines Islamophobia with the various quite widespread prejudices that Chinese citizens can hold against the former “barbarians” who are now supposedly fellow citizens.

Continue reading

Harassment case ignites online debate (2)

This is – by all respects – clearly a false statement of Mr. Kubin and a islamophobic argument. It is rather reversed: whenever a person of color commits a crime, the ethnic background is all over the news. When a white person or a so-called “german” (how ever this might be defined) commits a crime, he/she is described in terms of age or his/her profession.

Lin Hierse <linhierse@posteo.de>

Liyuan Library closed

Source: Sixth Tone (9/20/17)
Popular Beijing Library Closed Over Pirated Books
Nestled in the countryside outside the capital, Liyuan Library is a favorite reading spot for villagers and tourists alike.
By Wang Lianzhang

An exterior view of Liyuan Library in Huairou District, Beijing, April 23, 2016. Zhang Xinghai/VCG

An exterior view of Liyuan Library in Huairou District, Beijing, April 23, 2016. Zhang Xinghai/VCG

Beijing authorities have ordered one of the world’s most iconic libraries to suspend operations after its shelves were found to contain pirated books.

Liyuan Library, a nonprofit organization in Jiaojiehe Village on the capital’s outskirts, provides free reading material to nearby households. The stark building, whose design was inspired by tree branches, also draws plenty of tourists looking for a quiet day’s escape from the bustle of Beijing — even if they just come for a few selfies. Continue reading

Harassment case ignites online debate (1)

The problem of Muslims is not a problem of China, it is a problem of Germany, too. Whenever a Muslim rapes or kills a girl in Germany, the press is only wiriting “a man” as if the “man” would be a German. The German press is not willing or not allowed to say where the rapist etc. comes from. Very often as we guess he is a refugee misusing our friendship. Among the raped girls are Chinese too. I am crying for this all the time.

W. Kubin from Shantou <kubin@uni-bonn.de>

Harassment case ignite online debate

Source: Sup China (9/18/17)
Harassment case in a Shanghai Starbucks ignites online debate about preserving ‘ethnic unity’
By Jiayun Feng

“Why is the identity of a Muslim suspect in China exempted from disclosure in an announcement by the police? Why couldn’t the police just tell us the suspect’s ethnicity, religion, and last name, and which part of China he comes from?”

“I assumed the case happened in a foreign country when I saw the suspect was described as ‘a person of Chinese nationality,’ but it was actually in Shanghai. Muslims in China are given some privileges that Han Chinese don’t have.”

These two angry comments (in Chinese) indicate how Chinese internet users were infuriated by the detention of a Muslim man who harassed a girl in Shanghai last week, the censorship of the victim’s story online, and the local police’s intentional failure to reveal the suspect’s background in a public announcement following the arrest. Continue reading

Spending on music in China

Source: Sup China (9/14/17)
China’s per capita spending on music is $0.15, only 0.7 percent that of Japan’s
By Jiayun Feng

“We didn’t pay for music, but we watched ads. I think it’s quite fair.”

“I am appalled by those comments questioning why we should pay for the music we listen to. I know most Chinese have a low level of intellectual property consciousness, but it’s still sad to see that many people have zero respect for musicians and their works. They are not obliged to provide free music for you. Today, you enjoy pirated music and generations after us will have no good Chinese songs to listen to as a result.”

Music tastes of Chinese individuals are very alike — primarily cheesy and insubstantial love songs with hook-laden melodies. Yet as the two comments above indicate, opinions are significantly divided (in Chinese) as to whether music listeners should pay for the products they consume, a poignant question raised by a recent report (in Chinese) from the Communication University of China in Beijing, which reveals the alarming status of China’s digital music industry. Continue reading

The world needs to hear China’s feminist voices

Source: WAGIC: Women and Gender in China (9/11/17)
The World Needs to Hear China’s Feminist Voices
By Li Maizi

Not long ago Séagh told me that they wanted to set up an English-language website on Chinese feminism and invited me to write this piece. I felt really honoured. I have had the idea of building a website like this for a long time. I never thought that Séagh happened to be thinking the very same thing.

Looking back at the story so far, I have been just a tiny part in the vast tides of Chinese feminist movements. In 2012, we started promoting feminism in China using activism methods. At that time we worked with the media to launch a series of feminist actions such as ‘Bloody Brides’, ‘Occupy Men’s’ Toilets’ ‘Bald Girls Oppose Student Enrolment Discrimination’. We also showed our solidarity outside the court rooms with women who had experienced domestic violence and so on. Continue reading

Women and Gender in China blog

MCLCers might be interested in this new blog.–Kirk

Welcome to WAGIC: Women and Gender in China

A dedicated space for discussing gender, sexuality and feminism(s) in China past and present.

Launched in September 2017, WAGIC is a collaborative (hopefully soon bilingual) blog project that aims to provide a dedicated and accessible space for commentary about all aspects of gender, sexuality and feminism(s) in China (incl. contested parts thereof), past and present.

Each month we publish a series of original blogs focused on a single theme. We engage with a wide range of topics relating to gender, sexuality and feminism(s) in China, past and present. We welcome submissions from academics, activists, journalists, writers and those with personal experience of these issues.

We hope this blog project will promote better understanding and awareness of the social, cultural, political and historical dynamics that underpin and inform gender, sexuality and feminism(s) in China today, and create new opportunities for international feminist and queer solidarities.

Han clothing movement

Source: Quartz (8/29/17)
Young people in China have started a fashion movement built around nationalism and racial purity
By Kevin Carrico


China’s mainstream majority is discovering its “traditional” attire. (Courtesy Kevin Carrico)

The Han Clothing Movement, a youth-based grassroots nationalist movement built around China’s majority Han ethnic group, has emerged over the past 15 years in urban China. It imagines the numerically and culturally dominant Han—nearly 92% of China’s population—as the target of oppression by both China’s minorities and “the West,” in need of revitalization to save China. Hoping to make the Han great again, movement participants promote the public wearing of an ethnic outfit that purports to revive a clothing style that is millennia old.

According to enthusiasts of the Han Clothing Movement, the dilemma of today’s China was on full display in the fall of 2001, when leaders from across the Asia-Pacific Region gathered in Shanghai for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting. Just a month after the attacks of September 11, this event’s theme was, appropriately, “meeting new challenges in the new century.” Unbeknownst to organizers and participants, however, one photo opportunity at this meeting was soon to produce a movement that would meet the new challenges of this new century by seeking answers from past centuries. Continue reading

Rural life live-stream

Source: SCMP (8/30/17)
Rural life live-stream an online hit for young Chinese farmer
Liu Jinyin’s broadcasts of everyday life – including feeding chickens and working in the fields – have helped him attract nearly 100,000 followers, paper reports
By Wendy Wu

Liu preparing for a broadcast on the farm in Luzhou in Sichuan province. Photo: Handout 

A young farmer in a poor area of southwest China has attracted nearly 100,000 followers on the internet by live-streaming parts of his daily life, including feeding the chickens and doing the cooking, according to a newspaper report.

The web broadcasts have also earned Liu Jinyin more than 80,000 yuan (US$12,000) in donations from viewers in six months, the Chengdu Economic Daily reported. He formerly made 4,000 yuan a month as a migrant worker, according to the article. Continue reading

Chinese Subjectivities and the Beijing Olympics review

MCLC is pleased to announce publication of Wendy Larson’s review of Chinese Subjectivities and the Beijing Olympics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017), by Gladys Pak Lei Chong. The review appears below and at its online home: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/larson4/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC book review editor for literary studies, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, editor

Chinese Subjectivities and the Beijing Olympics

By Gladys Pak Lei Chong

Reviewed by Wendy Larson
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright August, 2017)

Gladys Pak Lei Chong. Chinese Subjectivities and the Beijing Olympics. London/New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017). vii, 283 pp. ISBN 978-1-78660-009-7 (PB), £29.95/$44.95.

Chinese Subjectivities and the Beijing Olympics is a sociological study of the way in which various actors, including the Chinese state, the population at large, and geopolitical forces combined to produce a shared understanding of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and to drive engagement, accommodation, and resistance among Chinese citizens. Closely following the work of Michel Foucault, Gladys Pak Lei Chong examines the usefulness of famous concepts such as disciplinary power, biopower, and governmentality in deciphering how the Chinese population participated in the Olympics, and the meaning of their engagement. Chong’s data comes from interviews with taxi drivers, volunteers, and others who worked on the Olympics in different capacities. She also studied TV productions and the Internet presence of anything concerning the Olympics, as well as texts, advertisements, posters, photos, and other promotional materials, all collected or examined in four fieldwork trips to China and Hong Kong. At the core of her study is the ethnographic observation of participants, observers, and interlocutors of the Beijing Olympics. Continue reading

Chinese rocker’s thermos

Source: Sixth Tone (8/24/17)
Chinese Rocker’s Thermos Becomes Viral Symbol of Aging
Commentary in Party paper People’s Daily reminds readers to always look on the bright side of life.
By Kendrick Davis

Left: Zhao Mingyi plays the drums during a concert in 2003. Cheng Gong/IC; right: The viral photo of Zhao holding his thermos at a recording studio in 2017. From his Weibo account

Left: Zhao Mingyi plays the drums during a concert in 2003. Cheng Gong/IC; right: The viral photo of Zhao holding his thermos at a recording studio in 2017. From his Weibo account

The humble thermos — a must-have item for tea-sipping middle-aged Chinese — may seem an unlikely viral sensation, but a photo of an aging rock star holding such a bottle recently sparked wide discussion on social media about aging, midlife crises, and fear of the future.

In the widely circulated photo sits Zhao Mingyi, the 50-year-old drummer for the iconic ’90s rock band Black Panther. Once a muscular man, Zhao’s hair is now graying, he has a slight paunch, and — to complete the picture of middle age in its most distilled form — he holds a silver thermos. In his heyday during the early 1990s, however, Zhao was part of the generation of rockers who gave an energetic voice to China’s economic revival. Continue reading

Poverty relief

Source: Sup China (8/24/17)
Poverty relief: Xi’s legacy?

As the American new media and commentariat were preparing their opinion pieces on Donald Trump’s deranged rant at a campaign-style rally in Phoenix on the evening of August 22, People’s Daily editors were hard at work on their top story for August 23 (in Chinese). It’s about the English and French versions of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s book on poverty alleviation titled Up and Out of Poverty, which you can pre-order on Amazon. Xinhua News Agency followed with an English story about the book’s release at the Beijing International Book Fair currently taking place in the capital. Continue reading

Guo Jingming accused of sexual harassment

Source: Sup China (8/22/17)
Employee alleges popular author Guo Jingming sexually harassed him
By Jiayun Feng

“I don’t care if Guo is gay or not. It’s a private matter and it doesn’t change the fact that his works are crap.”

“I stay neutral with no evidence provided. But what upsets me the most is that Guo is no longer a writer, he is a pure businessman who only wants money.”

These were two reactions to allegations about one of China’s richest writers, the young-adult fiction author and publisher Guo Jingming 郭敬明. He found himself subjected to a barrage of criticism (in Chinese) online, after Li Feng 李枫, a male author who signed up with Guo’s publishing company, accused Guo of sexual harassment on August 21. Continue reading