China Policy Institute Blog

Taking stock of the Chinese blogosphere

Written by Shaohua Guo. “China is not yet a country that excels in the art of writing (shuxie, to express feelings and write), but the emergence of blogs …” In October 2002, Isaac Xianghui Mao wrote this on the homepage of CNBlog.org, China’s first online discussion forum about blogging technology and culture. Given that he has …

China’s Media in Cross Currents: Implications for Critical Journalism

Written by Rongbin Han. To a large extent, the development of Chinese media, particularly critical media, depends on the interaction between market forces, state control, and the rise of social media. Though they have benefited from marketization, softer ideological constraints, and the rise of digital media platforms, Chinese media have to deal with the repercussions …

China, Japan and the Media: The Politics and Business of Selective Remembering

Written by Wanning Sun. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of China’s ‘War against the Japanese Invasion’. It may therefore be an opportune moment to reflect on how the politics of remembering plays out in the Chinese media. Twenty years ago, while doing research for my doctoral dissertation (which was concerned with how …

The significance of sharing: Video in China

Written by Gianluigi Negro. In a famous Ted talk Chris Anderson stated that web video would drive a worldwide phenomenon he called Crowd Accelerated Innovation – a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. Although Anderson’s prediction sounds deterministic, the significance of video sharing and creativity has found a …

Identities of Migrant worker: From Nongmin Gong (农民工) to Xin Shimin (新市民)

Written by Wei Wang. People’s identity is very much reflected on and constructed by how they are named by others. Internal migrant workers in China have experienced huge differences in terms of how they have been perceived and named during the last thirty years. During this time, economic development and rapid urbanisation in China has …

Language, National Identity and Nationalism in China

Written by Yingjie Guo. The close relationship between language, national identity and nationalism is rarely disputed. Though few would insist on a strong interconnection between language and the development of ‘intellectual peculiarity’, it is easy to agree that ancestral language and national continuity are intertwined and that nationalism has been inextricably bound up with language. …

Linguistic Challenges to China’s Centralizing Control

Written by Susan D. Blum. Challenges to authoritarian states’ control of language can be so complex that they exceed the states’ ability to manage them all. Electronic expression of resistance and increasing embrace of non-Mandarin linguistic varieties reveal powerful linguistic insights in China, which are evident too in the so-called Umbrella Revolution that took Hong …

The Avalanche of the 500,000: Why China is Exporting Students

Written by Guido Santevecchi. Beanstalk International Bilingual School (BIBS) is an unconventional international school in Beijing. Scattered in the garden in front of the building, one can see lines of tables covered by tents, providing shade from the daylight (being suntanned is not in keeping with Chinese culture). What is peculiar about these lines of tables …

Multilingualism, Discourse and Identity in China

Written by Linda Tsung. China is one of the most multilingual countries in the world. The government of the People’s Republic of China promotes the country as a harmonious and unified nation with 56 distinct ethnic groups who speak more than 400 languages. The government has not only legally recognised multilingualism, but has also publicly …

“I have an accent”: British Chinese Young People on Learning and Speaking Chinese

Written by Ada Mau. Going to ‘Chinese school’ at the weekend is an experience shared by many young people of Chinese heritage growing up in the US, UK, Australia and other Western countries. Many children start attending these community-based schools from a young age in order to learn Chinese language(s) and sometimes cultural activities such as …