Tonight I experienced one of the possible billion encounters which could be called a true “Taipei moment”: walking down the street, weaving through fortune tellers and shoe sellers, and dim sum corner kings, I heard a strain of Beethoven. It was the “Für Elise,” stringing electronically along like a children’s toy from (what else?) a huge yellow garbage truck doing its 10 p.m. rounds. As … Continue reading Is China a Cultural Superpower?
Bill Gertz, the classic “dragon-slayer” reporter for the Washington Times, has made a successful career out of emphasizing Chinese defensive buildups since the early 1990s. Gertz has a big audience and, as an individual, has more influence over how China appears on, say CNN and FOX News than your average reporter. Because his stuff tends to be sensational, he’s far, far more explosive with his … Continue reading Let’s Whip Us Up a Mob: No One Reads the Original Source
As pundits both knowledgeable and sketchy proclaim a new era in Chinese global assertiveness, it’s helpful to recall one thing: the Chinese people are an immense force, a force whose collective and chaotic power is never more evident to Chinese leaders than in the Spring Festival travel season. For this reason, I have to recommend scrolling through this Huanqiu BBS photo-montage of the craziness of … Continue reading 人多没办法！ Viewing Chinese Power thro the Lens of Spring Festival Chaos
Precisely one year ago, Le Monde asked in an uncharacteristically blaring headline: “US-Chine: Le Grande Refroidissement? [US-China: The Great Re-Freeze?]” Well, today that article appears to be rather prescient. From Taiwan to Google to the Dalai Lama to pending and present trade disputes, there is more than enough acrimony to go around. Perhaps this means that French journalism and commentary about East Asia generally, and … Continue reading US-China: Le Grand Refroidissement
It seems that Huanqiu Shibao’s headlines are increasingly drawing upon the angst and ardor of the “netizens,” or wang min / 网民 of China. Such as the top headline for the day, 环球网友正签名谴责美国对台军售, or “Huanqiu Netizens Sign a Petition Telling America to Cease Military Aid to Taiwan,” which drags one to a big new page indicating that Google was just kid stuff. Now we seem … Continue reading 网民网民网民：Netizen Niblets from Huanqiu
China Media Research, a peer-reviewed online journal which is a cooperative venture between Zhejiang University and Michigan State University, carries two excellent and worthwhile articles in its latest issue. Li Mingsheng, a communications scholar at Massey University, lays out an excellent and densely-document account of the netizen response to the Tibet debacle (both the March riots and the Olympic Torch protests) of spring 2008, entitled … Continue reading Chinese Cyber-Nationalism and Online Identity among Chinese Youth
October 1 commemorations are now in the rear-view mirror, but there remains much excavation left to perform on the event and China’s self-interpretation. One very important aspect of the celebrations and Xinhua/CCTV’s emphasis therein was on unity and harmony with Taiwan. Major goals of CCP foreign policy since the inception of the state — should nto be suprising. Xinhua outlets excitedly reported on their cooperation … Continue reading Taiwan, Mama Wants You To Come Home for Dinner!
Just when you thought it was safe to stop reading those oh-so-comprehensive Chinese nationalistic rags like the Global Times, here comes another story ripe with intrigue that Xinhua and the rest of us cannot ignore. In the aftermath of Ma Ying-jeou’s questionable handling of the typhoon relief operations, local mayors have invited, and His Holiness has accepted, an invitation to afflicted areas in southern Taiwan. … Continue reading Total Fiasco: Dalai Lama to Visit Taiwan