1. The Crackdown on Dissent
– Pierre Haski covers the arrest of Ai Weiwei and links to a thoughtful British documentary about the artist;
– The Guardian carries an interactive guide to the new detainees;
– Isador’s Fugue, one of my new favorite blogs, carries a thoughtful conversation with a Chinese policeman;
– Dissent carries a solid historically-anchored article by Jeffrey Wasserstrom on the subject of protest in contemporary China.
– Zhang Zhenglong, the military historian best known for his long-banned and controversial history of the Chinese Civil War which included a highly critical appraisal of the tens of thousands of starvation deaths caused by the Chinese communist siege of Changchugn in 1948, is now having his most recent work about the Northeast United Anti-Japanese Army celebrated by Huanqiu Shibao;
– The New Yorker carries a defense of Bob Dylan’s tour in China;
– Liu Xiaobo’s writings are published in French and subsequently receive public readings in Paris;
– Joseph Nye sees a “war on soft power” in US foreign policy, while Le Monde covers China’s new criticism of American internet censorship;
– Op-Eds in the Huanqiu Shibao seem to be indicating that China is growing comfortable with its new “Global No. 2” status;
– While David Bandurski translates a brutally long and thoughtful essay from the Chinese on the sad state of legal affairs in contemporary Chongqing.
-Anne-Sophie Bentz, who teaches in Geneva, has a tremendous new book out (in French) about Tibetans in exile in India which is summarized here in English;
– Bentz, one to watch (and who knows of what she speaks, having done no small fieldwork among the 145,000 Tibetans in exile in India), writes in Raison magazine about the possiblity of the Dalai Lama “imposing democracy” on his flock;
– Along the same lines, a recent documentary (in French) about the exiles in India and the harsh physical and logistical challenges to Tibetan-language education in northern India is profiled here on Rue89.