lørdag 13. februar 2016

The kowtow of a Chinese son and the debate about respect

Stark images of a Chinese man kowtowing to his elderly parents at a railway station has moved many online to debate the concept of filial piety and its place in modern China. A virtue advocated by the ancient Chinese sage and philosopher Confucius, it promotes absolute respect to elders, particularly parents and ancestors. On 10 February, Qilu Evening Post, a regional paper in eastern Shandong Province, shared pictures of 46-year-old Zhang Jinli, who works for a pharmaceutical company in Beijing, virtually prostrate on the station floor at his parents' feet. Read more

Q. and A.: Zha Jianying on Remembering the Cultural Revolution

Nearly 20 years after the appearance in China of one of the most shocking first-person narratives of the Cultural Revolution, “The Cowshed: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution,” The New York Review of Books has published the book in English. Written by Ji Xianlin, the account appears with a new introduction by Zha Jianying, a writer and media critic based in New York. Mr. Ji, who was a distinguished professor of languages at Peking University, offers a rare and harrowing description of life as a prisoner of the Red Guards. The title refers to the flimsy structures with dank floors and reed mats where victims of the Red Guards at the university, including Mr. Ji, were kept. Read more

Why Hong Kong's Government Won't Look Too Closely at The 'Fishball Revolution'

On the first night of the Year of the Monkey, Hong Kong saw the biggest clashes between police and citizens for half a century, on the streets of Mong Kok, leaving more than 120 people injured. However, the very next day, without any investigation, the government announced that the incident was a "riot" conducted by "violent radicals," without looking at any of the events that preceded it, nor the consequences. They just relied on the public abhorrence of violence to whitewash their own responsibility for the deterioration in relations between the public and the police. Read more

Is China on The Road to Total Dictatorship?

The ruling Chinese Communist Party has seen two major political events so far this year. The first was the establishment of President Xi Jinping as "the core of the party leadership," and the second was the publication of some of Xi's speeches, originally made only to a limited audience within the party. These two actions are interrelated, and complement each other. They lay the foundations for the direction Chinese politics will take in 2016. Read more

Qinghai Lake Activists Confront Chinese, Tibetan Poachers

Tibetan environmental activists clashed twice this week with Han Chinese and Tibetans fishing illegally in a scenic lake in northwestern China’s Qinghai province, sustaining beatings in their attempts to stop the poaching, sources said. On Feb. 12, a group of activist volunteers were attacked by poachers at a place called Chik Nga Chik after they had gone to check on reports of fishing in the lake, an area resident told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Friday. The poachers, who wore head coverings to conceal their identity, were later identified as Tibetans, RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Read more

US-South Korea missile defence system 'threatens China'

China's foreign minister says a planned US missile defence system to protect South Korea from North Korea could threaten Chinese security. Wang Yi told Reuters news agency that the system went "far beyond the defence needs of the Korean peninsula". The US and South Korea announced plans to deploy the system after the North fired a long-range rocket this month. Read more

China criticises Britain for 'interfering’ in case of missing Hong Kong booksellers

Beijing has strongly criticised Britain for suggesting that a Hong Kong bookseller believed to be detained by China was “involuntarily removed to the mainland”, accusing the former colonial power of interfering in Chinese domestic affairs. Britain on Friday released a report describing the disappearance of Lee Bo, who holds a British passport and published books critical of Chinese politics, as a “serious breach” of an agreement signed with Beijing before Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997. Read more

fredag 12. februar 2016

Satellite Images: China Manufactures Land at New Sites in the Paracel Islands

Satellite images show dredging and land filling by China at two new sites in the South China Sea, both in the Amphitrite group of the Paracel Islands, approximately 15 kilometers north-northwest of China’s military base at Woody (Yongxing) Island. Also newly visible is a helicopter base under construction at Duncan Island, another site in the Paracels, suggesting that Beijing may develop a network of bases in the South China Sea to support anti-submarine warfare helicopters, such as its recently deployed ASW Z-18F. Read more

Taiwan: Can Tsai Ing-Wen Change the Politics of Death?

Following her electoral victory last month, KMT lawmakers have clashed on several issues with Tsai Ing-wen, who will be inaugurated as Taiwan’s first female president on May 20, and her Democratic Peoples Party. Among them, Tsai has been pushed to reveal her stance on the abolition of the death penalty. Read more

China's foreign currency stockpile fell nearly $100 billion last month

China's stash of cash continues to shrink as the country tries to fend off pressure on its currency. Its foreign exchange reserves dropped $99.5 billion in January to $3.23 trillion, the lowest level since 2012, the central bank said Sunday. Read more

China's young reporters give up on journalism: 'You can't write what you want'

When a 7.9-magnitude earthquake ripped through Sichuan province in May 2008, Lin Tianhong, a 29-year-old reporter at China Youth Daily, was one of the first to volunteer to head into the disaster zone. “Everyone wanted to go,” he recalled. “Otherwise, why be a journalist?” Hours later the Beijing-based reporter was flying towards Sichuan’s shattered countryside for what would be one of the most horrifying and defining moments of his short career in journalism. Read more

State secrets or golf secrets? Murky case of Ling Wancheng tests China-US ties

Officials in both countries tight-lipped about status of businessman, now living in the US, who is brother of disgraced former Chinese presidential aide. Ling Wancheng, brother of a disgraced former top aide to ex-Chinese president Hu Jintao, was the subject of media reports that he had been debriefed by US officials and provided nuclear secrets as well as personal information about Chinese leaders. Read more

Britain accuses China of serious breach of treaty over 'removed' Hong Kong booksellers

China has committed a “serious breach” of a longstanding bilateral treaty, the British government has said, after finding that a missing bookseller was likely to have been “involuntarily removed” from the former colony of Hong Kong. In a six-monthly report to parliament, foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, wrote that Lee Bo, a British passport holder who disappeared from Hong Kong in late December, was likely to have been taken to China against his will. Read more

torsdag 11. februar 2016

China Continues to Use Psychiatric 'Treatment' on Its Critics: Report

Despite protections promised by a Mental Health Law passed by China in 2013, the country's medical profession has continued to collude with the authorities in carrying out psychiatric incarceration of critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, a rights group has said in a recent report. The Mental Health Law was aimed at protecting mental health service users from misdiagnosis and involuntary medical treatment in China's state-run psychiatric hospitals. But the practice of enforced psychiatric treatment for rights activists and persistent petitioners continued throughout 2015, the Hubei-based China Rights Observer group said in its annual report. Read more

China Struggles for Balance in Response to North Korea’s Boldness

When the veteran Chinese diplomat Wu Dawei left for North Korea last week, he probably knew he had been dispatched on mission impossible: to persuade the country’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, to climb down from his threat to launch a rocket as part of his quest to develop ballistic missile technologies. Not only did Mr. Kim ignore China’s entreaties, sending Mr. Wu home empty-handed. He did so emphatically, ordering the launch a day earlier than expected so that it fell on one of China’s most important holidays, the eve of the Lunar New Year. Read more

North Korea Isn’t Going to Stop Provoking Its Ally China Anytime Soon

Pyongyang keeps testing the patience of Beijing, it's only friend on the international stage, because it can afford to Super Bowl 50 had plenty of fireworks — most supplied by Beyonce’s halftime performance, not by the rather sludgy game — but one part of the light show was unplanned. An hour after the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, North Korea’s Shining Star satellite was spotted some 300 miles above the Bay Area’s Levi’s Stadium, hurtling across the California sky. Read more

North Korea’s Rocket Launch Frays Ties Between South Korea and China

When China’s leader, Xi Jinping, visited America’s firm allySouth Korea in 2014, it seemed to be the beginning of a promising courtship. His host, President Park Geun-hye, returned the favor by coming to Beijing last year for an important military parade that other American allies boycotted, a gesture that Mr. Xi may have believed could lead to weaning her away from Washington. Read more

China Says Its Students, Even Those Abroad, Need More ‘Patriotic Education’

Chinese students, already immersed in classes and textbooks that promote nationalist loyalty to the Communist Party as a bedrock value, must be made even more patriotic and devoted to the party, even when they are studying in universities abroad, according to a new directive sent to education officials. The directive, issued by the Communist Party organization of the Ministry of Education, calls for “patriotic education” to suffuse each stage and aspect of schooling, through textbooks, student assessments, museum visits and the Internet, which is the chief source of information for many young Chinese. Read more