Tag Archives: politics

“Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Chinese dissident who received the…



Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Chinese dissident who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his writings promoting democracy, has been moved from prison to be treated for late-stage cancer, one of his lawyers said on Monday. Mr. Liu, who had been imprisoned in northeast China, was found in late May to have advanced liver cancer and was hospitalized soon after, said the lawyer, Shang Baojun, citing Mr. Liu’s relatives. Mr. Shang said the outlook for Mr. Liu appeared grim.”

For more, see Chris Buckley and Austin Ramzy, “Liu Xiaobo, Chinese Nobel Laureate, Leaves Prison for Cancer Care,” The New York Times (26 June 2017)

Image: Reuters

“The January 13, 1967 issue of TIME magazine featured Mao Zedong…



“The January 13, 1967 issue of TIME magazine featured Mao Zedong on its cover with the headline ‘China in Chaos.’ Fifty years later, TIME made U.S. President-elect Donald Trump its Man of The Year. With a groundswell of mass support, both men rebelled against the established order in their respective countries and set about throwing the world into confusion. Both share an autocratic mind set, Mao Zedong as Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Donald Trump as Chairman of the Board. As Jiaying Fan noted in May 2016, both also share a taste for ‘polemical excess and xenophobic paranoia.’ For his part, Mao’s rebellion led to national catastrophe and untold human misery.”

For more, see Geremie R. Barme, “The Chairmen, Trump and Mao,” ChinaFile (23 January 2017)

Image: ‘Mao Trump’ by artist Knowledge Bennett. Mark Ralston - AFP / Getty Images

“Zhou Youguang, known as the father of Pinyin for creating the…



“Zhou Youguang, known as the father of Pinyin for creating the system of Romanized Chinese writing that has become the international standard since its introduction some 60 years ago, died on Saturday in Beijing, Chinese state media reported. He was 111. In recent decades, with the comparative invincibility that he felt great age bestowed on him, Mr. Zhou was also an outspoken critic of the Chinese government.”

For more on Zhou Youguang’s life and work, see Margalit Fox, “Zhou Youguang, Who Made Writing Chinese as Simple as ABC, Dies at 111,” The New York Times (14 Jan 2017)

Image: Shiho Fukada / The New York Times

“China’s President Xi Jinping has called for allegiance…



“China’s President Xi Jinping has called for allegiance to the ruling Communist Party from the country’s colleges and universities, the latest effort by Beijing to tighten its hold on education.The government has campaigned against the spread of ‘Western values’ at universities, and in January officials said the party’s discipline and anti-graft agency had sent inspectors to monitor teachers for ‘improper’ remarks in class.”

For more, see Michael Martina, “China’s Xi Calls for Universities’ Allegiance to the Communist Party,” Reuters (9 Dec 2016).

Further coverage can also be found at China Digital Times, “Xi Calls on China’s Universities to Be Communist Strongholds” (11 Dec 2016)

Image: REUTERS / Fred Dufour

“In Canada, it is the Québécois. In Spain, the Catalans. In…



“In Canada, it is the Québécois. In Spain, the Catalans. In Britain, the Scots.Now, China must deal with its own version of a democratically elected indigenous movement, elevated to positions of political power on Sunday in the only place in the authoritarian country where that is possible: Hong Kong.“

For more, see Michael Forsythe and Alan Wong, “Vote in Hong Kong Deepens a Thorn in China’s Side,” The New York Times (5 Sept 2016)

Image: Tyrone Siu / Reuters        

“The Japanese have acknowledged that their emperor is not a god…



“The Japanese have acknowledged that their emperor is not a god and he has been stripped of all political power, but the nation still views its monarch as so central to the sense of identity that he is not permitted to resign. Now, Emperor Akihito is suggesting that his people let him retire.He is 82 years old. He has had cancer. He has had surgery. So, in a uniquely Japanese moment on Monday, he went on television to hint at his desire for Parliament to change the law so he can give the job to his son.”

For more, see Jonathan Soble, “At 82, Emperor Akihito of Japan of Japan Wants to Retire, Will Japan Let Him?The New York Times (7 August 2016)

“For the first time in nearly two centuries, the emperor of…



“For the first time in nearly two centuries, the emperor of Japan has said that he will abdicate the throne before he dies. According to NHK, the public broadcaster in Japan, Emperor Akihito, 82, who in 1989 succeeded his father, the wartime emperor Hirohito, told close aides that he intended to pass the throne to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, 56, before dying. No modern emperor has done so: The last emperor to abdicate was Emperor Kokaku, in 1817.“

For more, see Motoko Rich, “Emperor Akihito, in First for Japan since 1817, Plans to Abdicate,The New York Times (13 July 2016)

Image: Shizuo Kambayashi / Agence France-Presse; Getty Images        

“Eleven United States presidents have been elected since…



“Eleven United States presidents have been elected since President Harry S. Truman decided to drop an atomic weapon on Hiroshima, and none has set foot in that traumatized city in the 71 years since, at least not while in office. President Obama intends to end that streak with his visit on Friday, a decision that speaks volumes not only about his presidency but also about the increasingly worrisome struggle among powers great and small in East Asia.”

For more, see Gardiner Harris, “In Obama’s Visit to Hiroshima, a Complex Calculus of Asian Politics,” The New York Times (25 May 2016)

Image: Doug Mills / The New York Times