All posts filed under: China

Williams and Wu, The Great Wall of Confinement: A Review

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China
青海湖

Beijing’s pride in having hosted the 2008 Olympics and China’s protean economic growth contain a dark underside—unemployment, crime, corruption, and prison camps. Prison camps, or laogai, are the subject of Phillip F. Williams and Yenna Wu’s monograph which interweaves memoirs, fiction, and strands of social science and literary theory to uncover aspects of the contemporary Chinese prison camp. This text is not only important and innovative, it is glittering with details on a rarely revealed […]

Unrest in the Southwest: The Linshui Protests in Historical Perspective

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Borderlands / China / Chinese communist party / history and memory / Sichuan

Unrest in the Southwest: The Linshui Protests in Historical Perspective by Adam Cathcart and Li Wankun, University of Leeds for University of Nottingham China Policy Institute Blog Due to the outbreak of social disobedience and subsequent violent confrontation with police, this week the world is focusing on Linshui, a small city in the southwestern province of Sichuan. Since 16 May, tens of thousands of residents of Linshui gathered, demanding that a proposed high-speed railway linking […]

Chinese Journalists and the U.S. Occupation of Japan

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China / Chinese nationalism / history and memory / Public Diplomacy / Sino-Japanese Relations / US occupation of Japan / US-Japan relations / World War II
Wang Yunsheng in Office

At the conclusion of eight years of Japanese occupation of nearly every major city in the Republic of China, Chinese journalists were prepared not just to celebrate victory but to join the Allied nations in occupying Japan. The desire to undo the fundamental reorientation of the Sino-Japanese hierarchy of 1894-95  and restore China to regional preeminence was nearly universal, as was the consensus of seeing China finally turn the corner on economic dysfunction and to a assume a […]

On Northern Ireland and Hong Kong

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China / EU-East Asia relations / Hong Kong
Macartney in Peking 1793

Telling the story of Hong Kong from 1840-now, Northern Ireland — or the six counties of Ulster — may seem an odd place to begin. What, after all, could be further away from Hong Kong’s density, its economic fecundity, its almost magnetic international capital and trade flows, its apparently successful blending of Asian and Western traditions, sitting perpetually as it does within the nook — or was it a suffocating embrace? — of the Chinese […]

Old Chapters, New Chapters: The Memory Wars in East Asia

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China / EU-East Asia relations / history and memory / Japan / Sino-Japanese Relations / World War II
Shenyang Trials Case File for Fujita

From the very beginning of the so-called ‘post war,’ the territorial and temporal parameters of the memory wars between China and Japan were never drawn particularly cleanly. The war ended formally in Tokyo Harbour on 3 September 1945, but it took nearly another week for Okamura Yasuji to formally surrender to General He Yingqin at Nanjing. It then took months (in some rare cases, years) for Japanese troops to disengage themselves from the mainland. After […]

On Reincarnation

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China / Chinese communist party / Tibet
Barbara-Hannigan-007

As everyone knows, the Chinese Communist Party is fully committed to reincarnating itself as the Qing dynasty, but with more aircraft carriers and a Communist Dalai Lama who tells choking city dwellers to be less materialistic. In today’s lead editorial, Huanqiu Shibao puts it this way: “众所周知,中国藏传佛教的活佛转世有一整套历史定制和宗教仪轨,持续三百多年,从清朝开始,新达赖的确定必须得到中央政府的批准。达赖这几年不断抛出人们闻所未闻的异端邪说,称他可以转世为外国人、女人等等。最近又干脆说他可以不转世了.” In other news, women who believe in stopping sexual harassment on public transport in China have been targeted and detained by the state. It’s almost as if the Standing […]

Fireworks from the Bunker: North Korea’s Role in Borderless Tourist Zone Revealed

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Borderlands / China / North Korea / North Korean border region / Propaganda / Sino-North Korean relations / Yanbian
Kim Jong Un anti tank drill January 2015

Everything about this Reuters piece about a possible breakthrough in Chinese-North Korean cross-border tourism is great, until: “The [tri-national] zone is the latest push by North Korea to transform itself into a tourist attraction.” While it is true that North Korea has spent a huge amount of money on tourism prestige projects (i.e., Masik Pass Ski Resort) since Kim Jong-un came to power, it is far too early to attribute them with any agency whatsoever with […]