All that Glitters is Not Gold: The Limits of China’s Soft Power

Written by Shogo Suzuki. China’s soft power offensive has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. In line with the ubiquitous narratives worrying about the West’s (inevitable) decline and the corresponding ‘rise of China’, many commentators have stated that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) ‘charm offensive’ is the latest form of the ‘China threat’. …

Confucius Institutes and the limits of attraction

Written by Falk Hartig. By late 2015, 500 Confucius Institutes (hereafter CIs) had been established around the world and the number of Confucius Classrooms at primary and secondary schools has reached 1,000. While one has to treat those official numbers with some caution (apparently not all institutes counted in Beijing may already be in operation and …

Buyer Beware! Art Market and Fakes in China

Written by James C. S. Lin. In the past decade China has become the second largest economy in the world. The number of Chinese billionaires is increasing rapidly. Chinese invest heavily in the art market, their purchases regularly breaking records; it is very difficult to ignore this kind of news. Property, the stock market and …

Pearls mixed with fish eyes – some observations on the Chinese art market

Written by Minna Törmä. Every now and then a Chinese artwork hits the news headlines because of the exorbitant price it has fetched at auction. Often it is a piece of ‘imperial’ porcelain or a piece of jade, though occasionally the news in the Western world also tells about a work of calligraphy or painting which …

Confucianism and Contemporary Environmental Politics

Written by Joel J. Kassiola. In the past ten years I have been studying China’s environmental crisis and how it might inform societal transformation to achieve an environmentally sustainable and just society. My overall point in these reflections is that China’s rich intellectual tradition of Confucian thought can provide a vital resource in an all-important transformational …

Confucianism behind the façade of the Socialist China Dream

Written by Chi Kin Cheung. Since President Xi Jinping pronounced the notion of China Dream, the idea has attracted great attention from China watchers. However, like many other official formulations of former Chinese leaders, the new China Dream is utterly elusive. As Roderick MacFarquhar, a professor at Harvard, said during the First World Congress on Marxism …

Official Marxism vs. New Confucianism: the Vanishing Statue of Confucius

Written By Jiawen Ai. On 11 January 2011, a statue of Confucius was unveiled on the east side of Tiananmen Square. The 9.5-meter bronze sculpture depicted a robed Confucius with a serious expression, facing in the direction of Mao’s portrait. It seems that the central government did not announce any news of this sculpture until …

Political Patronage and the Chinese Press in the 1920s

Written by Stephen MacKinnon. Attention to the Republican era press has been growing in scholarly circles over the last decade or so. In the recent survey by Tim Weston, he points to work on “readership” by Joan Judge, Byrna Goodman, and others; also works on professionalism and journalist education; reporting styles like reportage (Baogao Wenxue); …

Migrant children in China: Identity and Stigma

Written by Mingchao Zhou. Established in the 1950s, the hukou system still controls and regulates the settlement of rural migrants in cities. Children of people who have migrated to cities are targeted by specific school policies and subject to categorization and segregation in specific schools. In order to understand how this school segregation is implemented …

Challenges to health service systems in China and India

Written by Madhurima Nundy. The historical pathway for the emergence of China and India as global players has been different. The different political regimes have shaped the development of the economy and social sectors. These socio-economic and political differences have shaped health service development in both countries. While up to the 1970s the pathway of health …