Is China’s environmental reporting changing?

Written by Ran Duan and Bruno Takahashi. Air pollution is a typical example of the environmental problems facing China, with most of the pollutants being a byproduct of industrial processes, burning coal, and automobile exhausts. In China, the health costs associated with air pollution are severe. Researchers have found that the so-called ‘ambient particulate matter pollution’ …

China’s Imperial Past and Present

Written by Jon Chappell. Outside observers might raise an eyebrow when told that debates among American scholars about China’s eighteenth century development could lead to them being attacked as, amongst other things, ‘neo-imperialists’. Yet a recent article by leading Qing dynasty (1644-1912) historian Li Zhiting, a member of the PRC’s National Qing Dynasty History Compilation …

International engagement in China’s human rights: keeping the faith

Written by Titus Chen. July 2015 is destined to be an unforgettable time in Xi Jinping’s presidency. What befell Chinese human rights lawyers during that month will long be remembered as legacy of Xi’s authoritarian rule. From July 9 to 15, more than 250 public interest lawyers, human rights activists and their family members were …

Yasukuni Shrine and Japan’s War Responsibility

Written by Akiko Takenaka. Yasukuni Shrine, where the military-related dead of modern Japan are memorialized, remains one of the main focal points in the international debates on how Japan remembers its wartime past. It is also deeply intertwined with Japan’s domestic politics in the postwar decades as a result of the strong ties that the …

A Decade of Blogging in China

Written by Giorgio Strafella and Daria Berg. The effects of blogging and Internet use on Chinese politics and society have been a hotly debated topic in contemporary Chinese studies. Blogging first became popular in China in 2003 when the notorious online intimate diary of a young woman called Muzi Mei (b. 1978) created a scandal …

China Intensifies Media Campaign against Taiwan’s DPP in the US

Written by J. Michael Cole. Amid signs of a consolidating identity among Taiwan’s youth and the increasingly likely prospect of a victory by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the January 2016 elections, China’s Communist Party propaganda department is ramping up its efforts to cultivate a pro-unification sentiment within the island-nation’s population. And this time, …

From Cairo to Chongqing: Global vs. Local Histories of the Second Sino-Japanese War in the PRC

Written by Adam Cathcart and Wankun Li. Urged on by Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its arts, scholarship, and regional bureaucracies have gone into overdrive to shape a new version of China’s history during World War II. As the 3 September “Victory Day” march in Beijing approaches, the film The Cairo Declaration has …

Bleak times for foreign media in China

Written by Raymond Li. China is the largest media market in the world, and therefore attracts many foreign media companies which flock into the country on the promise of lucrative returns. However, talking about the situation of foreign media in China is not an easy task, because the picture is not always clear cut as it appears …

China’s Responsiveness to Internet Opinion: A Double-Edged Sword

Written by Jonathan Hassid. China’s obvious press censorship can mask the surprising reality that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) responds quickly to public opinion, especially when it is expressed online. The system strongly discourages political discussion and criticism but is highly responsive to incidents that evade the gauntlet of censorship and capture public attention. Commentators, reporters …

Confucius Institutes and China’s ‘soft power’

Written by James F. Scotton. Confucius Institutes, the Chinese government’s language and cultural centres hosted by universities throughout the world, are facing increasing academic resistance in the west. The Institutes, first launched in 2004, have been a remarkable success. By 2011 there were more than 400 Confucius Institutes plus an equal number of Confucius Classrooms in …