Tsai Ing-wen made rare stopover in US

Source: The Diplomat (8/14/18)
Tsai Ing-wen Made a Rare, High-Profile Stopover in the US
As Beijing increases its pressure on Taipei, Tsai vows “to be firm so that no one can obliterate Taiwan.”
By Charlotte Gao

Tsai Ing-wen is greeted by supporters at the Los Angeles Airport. Image Credit: Office of the President, ROC (Taiwan)

Ahead of her nine-day state visit to Taiwan’s diplomatic allies Paraguay and Belize, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen made a two-day stopover in the United States. It was her first stopover in the United States since U.S. President Donald Trump in March signed the Taiwan Travel Act, a law encouraging high-level officials of Taiwan to visit the United States and vice versa.

Faced with Beijing’s increasingly intense pressure on Taipei since she came into office, Tsai, in a rare move, made her latest U.S. stopover more high-profile than normal. Continue reading

Reproduction fund

Source: SupChina (8/16/18)
Subsidies for having kids? The Chinese internet is not impressed
By Jiayun Feng

Since China eased its decades-long one-child policy in 2016, the central and local governments have been aggressive in encouraging people to have babies. In recent months, the campaign has become noticeably more intense.

Earlier in August, a People’s Daily opinion piece that urges Chinese citizens to have more babies as a “national issue” caused a backlash online. The online sentiment is perhaps best summarized in this comment (translated from Weibo): “When you don’t want children, you force people to get sterilized. When you want more, you urge us to give birth. What do you think I am?” Continue reading

Puget Sound position

Suzanne Wilson Barnett Chair in Contemporary China Studies
Appointment:  Full-time, tenure-line position; begins Fall 2019.


As part of enhancing its Asian Studies Program and reputation as a center of excellence in contemporary China studies, the University of Puget Sound invites applications for a social scientist of contemporary China with expertise in one or more of the following areas related to Chinese society: (1) international economy and trade; (2) regional and border relations; (3) environmental studies; and (4) social and technological change.

The university seeks an outstanding teacher-scholar with a deep interest in and commitment to interdisciplinary study and the liberal arts who is a specialist in the study of contemporary China. This tenure-line appointment is a new endowed position that will be made at the assistant or associate professor level in the Asian Studies Program and in the appropriate academic department, such as Anthropology, Business and Leadership, Economics, International Political Economy, and Sociology. Continue reading

Writing Beijing review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Lena Scheen’s review of Writing Beijing: Urban Spaces and Cultural Imaginaries in Contemporary Chinese Literature and Films (Lexington Books, 2016), by Yiran Zheng. The review appears below and and at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/lena-scheen/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, editor

Writing Beijing: Urban Spaces and Cultural Imaginations
in Contemporary Chinese Literature and Films

By Yiran Zheng

Reviewed by Lena Scheen
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright August, 2018)

Yiran Zheng, Writing Beijing: Urban Spaces and Cultural Imaginations in Contemporary Literature and Film Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016. v-xviii + 149 pp. ISBN: Hardback 978-1-4985-3101-6 • $79.00; ISBN: Paperback 978-1-4985-3103-0 • $42.99; ISBN: eBook 978-1-4985-3102-3  • $40.50

It was a map of Beijing that sparked Yiran Zheng’s interest in the subject for her book Writing Beijing: Urban Spaces and Cultural Imaginations in Contemporary Literature and Film. Looking at the city’s distinctive spatial structure of “square-like loops” (x), formed by its major ring roads, she noticed how one can read the history of the city in its architectural shape; from its centermost area, still largely consisting of narrow alleyways (胡同) lined with traditional Beijing-style courtyard houses (四合院), through the three- to four-story Soviet-style apartment blocks built from the 1950s to the 1970s (between the 2nd and 3rd ring roads), to the modern high rises that have sprung up since the 1980s (between the 3rd and 4th ring roads), and the recently built townhouses and single-family houses (outside the 4th ring road). In Writing Beijing, Zheng takes three of the city’s representative urban spaces—courtyard houses, military compounds, and (post)modern architecture—as the basis of the book’s three-part structure. Each part itself consists of three chapters. The first chapters of each part (chapters 1, 4, 7) investigate particular buildings and architecture as “representations of space” and analyze how they “reflect, embody, and implement power relations, such as power of the state and power between different social groups” (xii). The second chapters (2, 5, 8) discuss representative writers and filmmakers whose work either prominently features the particular space or reflects how residing there influenced them. The third and final chapters of each part (3, 6, 9) analyze literary representations of these urban forms in novels and films, “namely, how the city is perceived and presented in literature and film, as well as why they choose particular spaces to carry their imaginations” (xii). Continue reading

Story of Yanxi Palace

Source: Inkstone News (8/15/18)
Half a billion views for these backstabbing concubines in a single day
By Sarah Dai

Hundreds of millions are following the Qing Dynasty scheming and intrigue on China's Netflix.

Hundreds of millions are following the Qing Dynasty scheming and intrigue on China’s Netflix. Photo: Huanyu Film

China’s Netflix has a record-breaking hit on its hands. A 70-episode period drama about a quick-witted maidservant and a group of back-stabbing imperial concubines has set a single-day online viewership record in China – of more than half a billion people.

A total of 530 million views – which works out 38% of the population if everyone watched one episode – tuned in on August 12 to follow the scheming and intrigue on Netflix-like iQiyi, China’s biggest streaming platform. Controlled by search engine giant Baidu, iQiyi went public on the Nasdaq exchange in March. Continue reading

Dodging censorship on WeChat

Source: Quartz (8/15/18)
Researchers have figured out ways to dodge censorship on WeChat
By Echo Huang

WeChat users in China have come up with creative ways to circumvent censorship, and one of the more effective methods they’ve discovered seems to be sharing images instead of text, which can be easily caught by censors. In the case of China’s #MeToo movement, which authorities tried to shut down, social-media users decided to share a university student’s censored letter by posting images of it upside down in hopes of dodging the country’s filters.

It’s an ongoing mystery how censorship works on WeChat, which appears to affect only those accounts that are linked to mainland phone numbers. But new research from Citizen Lab, a research group at the University of Toronto, is offering some clues on getting around it. Continue reading

Xu Zhangrun essay

Here’s an essay by Xu Zhangrun 許章潤, “Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes” (我們當下的恐懼與期待), as translated and introduced by Geremie Barmé.


Barmé introduces the essay as follows:

Xu Zhangrun’s essay ‘Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes’ 我們當下的恐懼與期待, offers words of warning to China’s leaders, as well as a series of practical (although unimaginable) policy suggestions. Xu’s style is a heady admix of the most dense kind of writing combining the vernacular with the literary registers of written Chinese. Despite the sometimes knotty circumlocutions, it is an incisive, amusing and sarcasm-laden work. It does not spare its reader literary references, quotations from important traditional and modern works, the use of historical analogy, or indeed contemporary jokes and vulgarities.

Although the author’s message is clear, his layered and nuanced prose may well be overlooked by the careless reader or dismissed by those ignorant of Chinese discourse as mere affectation, nothing more than an effort to appeal to sanctified tradition, a kind of pedantic footnoting or a flashy display of scholarship. However, for those familiar with modern Chinese prose more generally, such devices are par for the course. This kind of literary-historical-intellectual 文史哲 usage adds both literary validation and strength to prose that appeals both to the heart and the mind of the Chinese world. Merely to mine this kind of writing for transient and ill-conceived political purposes, or to fail to appreciate the broader cultural, social and political ambience that it reflects — one far beyond the limited purview of the Communists and their immediate critics — is to overlook an essential part of Chinese cultural expression.

Xu’s original article may be found via this link:

China Literature shares plunge

Source: Reuters (8/13/18)
China Literature shares plunge after user numbers slide, news of $2.3 billion deal
By Kane Wu

A company logo of China Literature is displayed during a news conference on its IPO in Hong Kong, China October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China Literature Ltd (0772.HK)’s shares slid as much as 14.6 percent on Tuesday, after it reported first-half results that showed a drop in the average number of monthly paying users and announced a $2.3 billion acquisition.

Shares in China Literature, an online literary reading and writing platform backed by Tencent Holdings (0700.HK), fell to HK$57.4 in morning trade, the lowest since China Literature’s initial public offering last November. Continue reading

Interview with Christopher Rea

Before Crazy Rich Asians, which opens today, there were the Chinese celebrities in the 1930’s. In his latest book Imperfect Understanding: Intimate Portraits of Modern Chinese Celebrities, Professor Christopher Rea (University of British Columbia) takes us into the world of Chinese elites and what they had to say about each other. Louise Edwards, Scientia Professor and Deputy Head of the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales, hails Professor Rea’s latest book as “satirical, witty, and compulsive reading.”

So, what did it mean to be a celebrity in modern China? In Imperfect Understanding, Christopher Rea presents fifty brilliant pen sketches of Chinese cultural and political elites, written and edited in 1934 by Wen Yuan-ning, a Cambridge-educated ethnic Hakka from Indonesia and a master literary stylist. In this interview, Christopher Rea discusses whatImperfect Understanding reveals about the politics fame in China, then and now. Continue reading

International Journal of Chinese Education 7.1

International Journal of Chinese Education 7.1

The latest issue of International Journal of Chinese Education now available! Below, please find the table of contents and see the link for more information:

Volume 7, Navigating Higher Education to Enhance Student Success, 2018

ISSN: 2212-585X
E-ISSN: 2212-5868


“Navigating Higher Education to Enhance Student Success,” by Hamish Coates, pp.: 1–5 (5)

“Student Success as a Social Problem,” by Brendan Cantwell, pp.: 6–21 (16)

“International Student Success: A Multilevel Perspective on Factors That Contribute to the Success and Quality of the Experience Abroad,” by Umesha Weerakkody and Emeline Jerez, pp.: 22–41 (20)

“Engaging Students as Participants and Partners: An Argument for Partnership with Students in Higher Education Research on Student Success,” by Kelly E. Matthews, pp.: 42–64 (23) Continue reading

The China Nonprofit Review 10.1

The China Nonprofit Review 10.1

The latest issue of The China Nonprofit Review now available! Below, please find the table of contents and see the link for more information:

Volume 10, Issue 1, 2018
ISSN: 1876-5092
E-ISSN: 1876-5149


Research Article

“A Study of Social Think Tanks in China: Dilemma, Trends and Breakthroughs,” by Dong Wang, pp.: 1–33 (33)

“Investigation into Funding Strategies of Social Enterprises,” by Shengfen Zheng, pp.: 34–61 (28)

“A Literature Review on the Publicness of Chinese Social Organizations,”by Yina Geng, pp.: 62–107 (46) Continue reading

Book on China experience?

Book on China experience

I try to find a way to have my book translated into English. There could be a chance to be sponsored economically.

I need a professional and competent publishing-house which is interested in general. If I find such a publishing house I can ask for financial support for translation.

As I don’t know which publishing house I could address, I want to ask you, if you could help me and give me two or three recommendations. If you have even contact to the one or the other it would be very fine if you could recommend me.

I thank you very much for your answer.

Ulrich Sollmann <sollmann@sollmann-online.de>

Communist Youth League explains Xinjiang camps

RFA has a translation of an official Communist Youth League explanation of the camps in Xinjiang. It makes for truly chilling reading–discourses of disease, malignant tumors, and eradication are particularly disturbing in this context.–Kevin Carrico <kjc83@cornell.edu>

Source: Radio Free Asia (8/8/18)
Xinjiang Political ‘Re-Education Camps’ Treat Uyghurs ‘Infected by Religious Extremism’: CCP Youth League

An official Chinese Communist Party recording recently obtained by RFA’s Uyghur Service characterizes Uyghurs who have been sent for political “re-education” as “infected by an ideological illness”—not unlike a disease that must be treated at a hospital. The 12-minute Uyghur language audio recording issued in October 2017 offers a rare glimpse into Beijing’s justification for its network of political “re-education camps” used since April 2017 to jail or detain Uyghurs accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” ideas in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The XUAR’s Party Youth League recording, entitled ‘What Kind of Place is the Educational Transformation Center,’ was published Oct. 11, 2017 on the WeChat social media network by Talap/Tagdim [Request/Offer] Salon and addressed to Uyghur youth as part of a bid to assuage concerns over the camps, which credible reports suggest have held upwards of 1.1 million people, or 10-11 percent of the adult Muslim population of the XUAR. Aside from a brief mention in a recent article carried by state media, China’s central government authorities have not publicly acknowledged the existence of the camps, and the number of inmates kept in each facility remains a closely guarded secret. The following are excerpts from the recording: Continue reading

UC San Diego postdocs

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows

Two combined Postdoctoral/Lecturer (50/50) positions emphasizing new directions in language learning and language instruction research in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego are available beginning July 2019. Initial appointments will be for one year with the possibility of renewal contingent on performance and funding availability. We encourage applicants who can combine their primary expertise in language pedagogy, language-learning in digitally mediated environments, technology-enhanced (TE) language course design with competences in cultural studies, cognitive science, translation studies, linguistics or related fields. Ethnographic approaches to language learning and language research are also welcome. Salary and level of appointment are based on qualifications and UC pay scale. Proof of authorization to work in the U. S. will be required prior to employment (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1985). Continue reading

Monash position

Level C position in Chinese Studies at Monash University. Closing date is 30 August 2018.

Details below and at this link https://careers.pageuppeople.com/513/cw/en/job/580082/senior-lecturer-chinese-studies

Senior Lecturer – Chinese Studies
Job Number: 580082
Location: Clayton campus
Employment Type: Full-time
Duration: Continuing appointment
Remuneration: $116,737 – $134,606 pa Level C (plus 17% employer superannuation)

As the appointee to this position, you will be expected to have a dynamic research and teaching profile. We seek candidates with a strong track record in a China-related field of research and with experience in teaching Chinese studies and Chinese language. This open field search welcomes applications from candidates in all areas of specialisation in contemporary, modern or premodern China. Relevant disciplines include cultural, literary, film and media studies; history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, politics and linguistics. Continue reading