Mid-Week Links: The Economist vs. The Atlantic, Liao Yiwu, one-child policy, Xinjiang and a Japanese AV star



One would think it’s bad to have typos in your advertisement, but I’m not sure I would have clicked on “Jouroney to the West” on Youku if it were spelled correctly.

On this leap day, why get sloshed when you can read links?

Today in student-paper ledes: “I have nothing against citizens from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq or Turkey. I just truly believe that nearly $7 million of taxpayer money should not be spent to educate students who could, in the near future, become the enemy.” [Kansas State Collegian, via Seagull Reference]

The Atlantic seems out to kick every big-media China website’s ass, and we kind of admire that. “China’s popular micro-blogging site, Sina Weibo, is one of the best windows we have into urban Chinese society… a remarkable gauge of what China is thinking and talking about, which is why we’re launching a regular feature at TheAtlantic.com, reporting on some of the stories dominating Weibo and what they mean.” [Massoud Hayoun, The Atlantic]

Not so fast, says the Economist. “One crucial improvement is that we have our own feet on the ground in China, now numbering more than ever—three pairs of them in Beijing, one pair soon in Shanghai, we hope, and more in Hong Kong (as well as our colleagues in the Economist Intelligence Unit, our sister company). Four weeks ago, we began devoting a section to China in the print edition each week, the first time we have added an individual country report since we added America 70 years ago. Now we have introduced this blog on China as a companion to the expanded print coverage.” [Analects]

The Atlantic counters with Damien Ma on Eric Xi and modern public Chinese intellectuals: “First, that there is Chinese exceptionalism just as there is American exceptionalism. And, second that the American idea is fundamentally borne from Judeo-Christian theological roots, concepts that are entirely alien to the development of China. Ergo, American notions of democracy — as an end in and of itself — will not work for a country like China. Without wading into whether these conclusions have merit, I’ve noticed they are at the core of Li’s writings. For example, in this Huffington Post dispatch, he equates America’s moral certitude on liberal democracy with the utopian idealism of hardcore Marxists.” [The Atlantic]

But seriously, the Atlantic can write about cats and still be interesting. “Beijing has a cat problem: Somewhere between 500,000 and 5 million feral cats are skulking through its courtyard houses, construction sites, and gated apartment complexes, braving the city’s bitter cold winters and raging traffic. Their lives are nasty, brutish, and short. // And in a densely populated city like Beijing, the rise in the number of feral cat colonies is not especially welcome. The cats’ nighttime howls keep people awake. They smell. They prey on the Asian magpie and the Siberian weasel, sometimes known as the ‘hutong weasel,’ a ferret-like creature that looks a little like a cute red panda. The cats tend to prefer a perch on the BMWs of the city’s nouveau riche.” [Debra Bruno, The Atlantic Cities]

A timeline of netizens’ short-lived Occupy Obama’s Google+ thing that they did, featuring this February 27 quote from Fang Binxing, president of the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications and reputed nitwit, suckface, asswipe, renal calculus of the universe: “I had not heard of any changes in the country’s Internet management policies.” [Global Times]

Corollary: “‘Whether they were calling on the United States to liberate the Chinese Internet or calling on Obama to stop being an imperialist, the tone was overwhelmingly humorous,’ [Danwei founder Jeremy] Goldkorn said. ‘So I don’t think anyone should take this as an indicator of U.S.-Chinese relations, or I don’t think one should read too much into this. I think for lots of people participating, this was fun, just a game.’” [Voice of America]

I give the Wall Street Journal credit for reporting on this, but taxis were not widely available on Monday night; very much the contrary, in fact. “China’s Ministry of Transport held a telephone conference with labor authorities to discuss ‘harmonious labor relations in the taxi industry’ on Monday, according to authorities, amid widespread talk of a possible strike by Beijing taxi drivers over rising fuel costs. /…/ In Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, taxi drivers confirmed that some of their colleagues were planning a possible strike, but taxis remained widely available on Beijing streets, or at least about as available as usual.” [WSJ]

Puppies really shouldn’t be accomplices to borderline racism, but here it is:

Quick-hits for those interested in:

Books: The Corpse Walker author Liao Yiwu’s new book, God Is Red. [Seeing Red in China]

One-child policy: [Ministry of Tofu][The Guardian]

Xinjiang: [Austin Ramzy, Time]

Japanese porn actress Hotaru Akanei: [Shanghaiist]

Chinese journalism: “Liu Binjie (柳斌杰), the head of China’s General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) — the agency that licenses journalists and print publications in the country and oversees ideological training campaigns for media — will serve as dean of the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication effective March 1.” [China Media Project]

3 Responses to “Mid-Week Links: The Economist vs. The Atlantic, Liao Yiwu, one-child policy, Xinjiang and a Japanese AV star”

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