Distant Proximity: China and the North Korean Human Rights Catastrophe

Beijing is a long way from North Korea.  Border crossing points between China and the DPRK remain open, but the potentially fastest and ‘game-changing’ of these is blocked at present, clogged up with estuary mud and the slow hatreds of bureaucratic inaction. Chinese trains that blaze up and down the northeast have yet to reach the North Korean frontier. But when they do arrive, panting … Continue reading Distant Proximity: China and the North Korean Human Rights Catastrophe

Huanqiu Shibao on Ai Weiwei

[Update: A rather comprehensive analysis of Huanqiu’s Ai Weiwei coverage, as of April 8, can be found here via the scrupulous work of JustRecently.] Imagine my surprise, when, today, I opened my friendly neighborhood Huanqiu Shibao website only to find an article about detained artist Ai Weiwei right there in a very prominent position.  This latest one describes how German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been … Continue reading Huanqiu Shibao on Ai Weiwei

Enlightenment, Cell, Studio: Beijing, Berlin, and Ai Weiwei

In its typically understated fashion of reasserting totalitarian facts, the Chinese government appears to have arrested the dissident provocateur Ai Weiwei in Beijing.  (Hat tip to Evan Osnos in Beijing for the full story.) The timing of the arrest is a bit curious.  What serves as a trigger for such an arrest, after all, particularly given that this action seemed to be the work of … Continue reading Enlightenment, Cell, Studio: Beijing, Berlin, and Ai Weiwei