As Hong Kong’s summer of discontent passes its tenth week of street protests, analysts agree on one key point: this is the biggest political crisis the city has seen since its reversion from British colony to Chinese Special Administrative Region in 1997.
This year’s anniversaries of the 1919 and 1989 student protests in China will again highlight the Chinese authorities’ contradictory attitudes toward the two movements. As the People’s Republic looks ahead to the 70th anniversary of its founding this October, the country continues to reckon with its own history.
Now that China’s National People’s Congress has voted – 2,958 to two – to abolish presidential term limits, Xi Jinping could rule China indefinitely, rather than completing a tenure of two five-year terms in 2023. To what degree is Xi set to become the all-powerful ruler many observers predict?
What is a Big-Character-Poster? It is a type of political writing, expressed on paper—in handwritten characters—and posted in a public place; a wall covered with such posters established a forum for discussion and dissemination.
The first time I saw Ai Weiwei’s art, I was appalled. Almost twenty years ago, long before he became an internationally-known contemporary artist, one of my Chinese-language classmates at Qinghua University brought me to Ai’s studio on the outskirts of Beijing.
Read more at: https://chinachannel.org/2017/10/20/exhibition-as-theater/.
Yang Shuping’s University of Maryland commencement address and its attendant furor is nothing new, as Pamela Kyle Crossley points out. In 1999, my classmates and I—in the Yale college courtyard from which Yifu Dong just graduated—woke up to find the entryways plastered with posters condemning the American attack on the Belgrade embassy.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), a decade-long period of political turmoil that included attacks on alleged class enemies, the toppling of Party officials high and low, and the reinstatement of political control via revolutionary committees supported by the military.
The Cultural Revolution was a period of violent passions and deep traumas. Violence was committed in the name of the noblest ideals or out of the darkest human motivations.
In the past, Cultural Revolution culture has been easy to dismiss. Despite Western fascination will objects that we might call “Mao kitsch”—buttons, statues, and posters—and Chinese nostalgia for Cultural Revolution music or plays, we have written off these cultural products as “just propaganda,” or not really culture at all.
When we teach the Cultural Revolution here in the United States, our textbook version is that Chairman Mao, fearing “revisionism” within his own Communist Party, launched an attack on perceived internal enemies. Our students tend to be most fascinated with the Red Guards, young people who Mao called on to “make revolution” by joining him in an attack on the old world.
That Johannes Chan—Hong Kong University’s dean of the law school—was barred from being appointed a pro-vice-chancellor, has been called the end of academic freedom by lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, and “a visible litmus test” by Jerome Cohen and Alvin Cheung in the pages of the South China Morning Post.
Last year, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen student movement and its brutal crackdown made major headlines. China-watchers, journalists, and academics commemorated June 4—as the event is called for short—with articles and books, and with lectures and roundtables.