New Fragments from Mao in the Cultural Revolution

In December 2013, scholars of the history of the PRC were given a shot in the arm via the publication of Mao Zedong Nianpu, 1949-1976, consisting of six volumes of previously obscure materials from the central party archives press (党文献出版社) in Beijing with respect to Mao Zedong. Links to some of my previous translation efforts in this text, mostly focusing on the early 1950s, are included at … Continue reading New Fragments from Mao in the Cultural Revolution

Prisms of Tiananmen

This year the buzzword, for Pierre Haski, at least, is “subliminal resistance.”  The 21st anniversary of the June 4, 1989 crackdown on largely young pro-democracy protesters on Tiananmen Square is arriving, with all the obligatory commemorations and non-commemoration. Chai Ling, student leader in 1989, is speaking out in the Shijie Ribao (overseas Chinese newspaper with an insane website), mainly to promote her business of online … Continue reading Prisms of Tiananmen

Germany Commemorates, China Forgets

The Chinese Communist Party seems intent on preventing any spillover from Europe’s orgy of commemorations of 1989. China Daily has featured just a small handful articles about German reunification in the last two months, including one about how one in eight former East Germans “wants the wall back.” In announcing the arrival of the rock band U2 in Berlin, China Daily yesterday noted, almost in … Continue reading Germany Commemorates, China Forgets

Things I was going to explain before July finished [I]

I was going to explain how the CCP is launching a new English-language magazine called Qiushi to bolster its theoretical marketability and soft power among the mild left of North America, and further to explain that the Party will spend 45 billion yuan this year on overseas Xinhua expansion which is quite possibly a sum more worthy than this year’s entire budget for Voice of … Continue reading Things I was going to explain before July finished [I]

Remembering Tiananmen and 1989 in Europe [1]

June 4, 1989 may lay buried under new epochs already, but the meaning of that date for China and its observers is clearly going to continue reverberate for decades. The Germans, perhaps most of all.  China was, and remains, highly sensitive to commemorations of June 4, 1989, but for Germans, the inspiration of the Chinese student movement of the 1980s, and the violent end to … Continue reading Remembering Tiananmen and 1989 in Europe [1]

Qianmen: The Foreigner’s Lament [I]

(Note: Chinese characters may not display properly due to Turkish-style computer in Berlin via which this entry is being uploaded.) Preface: The connection of Tiananmen Square with political theater has been well documented by all number of scholars and observers, most often with reference to the 1989 student movement which culminated in the chaos of June 4. In my own visits to that space in … Continue reading Qianmen: The Foreigner’s Lament [I]