A Hong Kong Farewell — Chan Kin-man

On 23 April 2019 Tiffany May reported in The New York Times that: A Hong Kong court has sentenced democracy activists to prison terms of up to 16 months for their roles in demonstrations that led to a 79-day occupation of major roads in 2014.… Read

Lessons for the Learned — Twelve Ways to Resist 

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (XIV)   In his unerring ‘signature style’, Xi Jinping cast a pall over the celebration of the centenary of the May Fourth Movement in the People’s Republic of China weeks before the actual day.… Read

An Open Letter to Tsinghua University, signed and sealed

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (VII.3)   Dear Readers, Below we copy the Open Letter to Tsinghua University written in support of Professor Xu Zhangrun 許章潤 and originally published by us on the 5th of April 2019.… Read

The Professor, a University & the Rule of Law

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (XIII)   Zhang Qianfan (张千帆, 1964-), a professor of constitutional law at Peking University, first discusses the abuse of Xu Zhangrun 許章潤 by his employer, Tsinghua University, and then, in a lengthy interview granted to Initium Media 端傳媒, a leading independent Hong Kong media outlet, he expands the discussion in ways that hint at the importance of the ‘Xu Zhangrun Case’ not only for mainland China, but also for Hong Kong, and potentially for any group, body or nation that has dealings with the China of the Xi Jinping era.… Read

Terracotta Warriors on the Rhine

Translatio Imperii Sinici   I find you here …
Blindly recreating
A black dream-hole of history. — P.K. Leung   On 1 July 2017, China Heritage marked the twentieth anniversary of mainland China extending suzerainty over Hong Kong with a series of translations, commentaries and art works. … Read

Introducing ‘The Xu Zhangrun Archive’

  Xu Zhangrun (許章潤, 1962-) is a professor of law at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In a series of major essays published from early 2016 to early 2019, Professor Xu questioned at length, and in detail, the political, economic and cultural trajectory of the People’s Republic of China under Xi Jinping, the leader of the nation’s party-state-army.… Read

Digesting the Tsinghua Protests

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (XII)   In recent weeks, voices of protest have been raised in response to the persecution of Xu Zhangrun 許章潤, a professor of law Tsinghua University in Beijing.… Read

Sweep Away All Professors! Make China’s Universities Safe Spaces!

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (XI)   In the editorial introduction to ‘Heads or Tails — Criticism and Xu Zhangrun’, published by China Heritage on 27 March 2019, we noted the reaction of Chu Shulong 楚樹龍, a prominent Tsinghua academic and respected media commentator, to the news that Tsinghua Professor Xu Zhangrun had been suspended and put under formal investigation for thinking and speaking out of turn.… Read

Throw Him Out Now! No, Give Him His Job Back!

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (IX)   The pros and cons of the Xu Zhangrun Case are offered in these contrasting essays. In one, the author, who is a friend of Xu’s, deploys the cynical language and exaggerated high dudgeon of the Maoist era to offer Xu’s overlords some tongue-in-cheek advice.… Read

Poetic Justice — a protest in verse

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (VIII)   The 5th of April 2019 marks the annual Qingming Festival 清明節, when departed loved ones are remembered and forebears are respectfully celebrated.… Read

An Open Letter to the President of Tsinghua University

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (VII)   An Open Letter to Tsinghua University 5th of April 2019 Dr. Qiu Yong
President, Tsinghua University Dear President Qiu, Tsinghua University, one of the most highly ranked universities in the world, has suffered severe damage to its academic reputation as a consequence of the university’s punishment of Professor Xu Zhangrun.… Read

My Tsinghua Lament

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (VI)   Zi Zhongyun (資中筠, 1930-) is a noted expert on American diplomatic history and the study of the United States more broadly.… Read

Speaking Up for a Man Who Dared to Speak Out

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (V)   Petitioning is common enough in every country.
It doesn’t necessarily end in death —
except, of course, in China.… Read

Heads or Tails — Criticism and Xu Zhangrun

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (II)   Illiberal Criticism in a State of Denial Heads or Tails, also known as coin flipping, is a way of making a decision by flipping a coin in the air and guessing which side will show when it lands.… Read

J’accuse, Tsinghua University!

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University
Voices of Protest & Resistance (I)   On 21 March, the same day on which President Bacow of Harvard delivered a powerful lecture at Peking University in which he extolled the virtues of academic inquiry, independence of thought and the pursuit of excellence, ‘next door’ on the campus of Tsinghua University, Professor Xu Zhangrun 許章潤, a noted scholar of law with an international reputation, was formally notified that henceforth he was banned from all teaching activities.… Read

Pine Breeze, Wisteria Moon — a new masthead for China Heritage

The new masthead of China Heritage is a photograph made by Lois Conner in the Garden of Perfect Brightness 圓明園, northwest Beijing: The lakeside scene takes its name, ‘Pine Breeze, Wisteria Moon’ 松風蘿月 — ‘the wind scented by pine trees, the moon seen through a wisteria trellis’ — from a line in a poem by the Qianlong Emperor composed in 1762: Folded hills, serene waters convey a heavenly truth
Wisteria moon, pine winds invite contemplation 屏山鏡水皆真縡,
蘿月松風合靜觀。 ‘Pine Breeze, Wisteria Moon’, where a pavilion inscribed with Qianlong’s poem once stood, marks a unique location in the sprawling gardens.… Read

The State of a Civilisation

After the Future in China
Xu Zhangrun’s Triptych for Today Humble Recognition, Boundless Possibility — Part II   In The Pirouette of Time we introduced Xu Zhangrun’s triptych ‘After the Future in China’. … Read

The Great Palace of Ch’in — a Rhapsody

Translatio Imperii Sinici Conflagrations light up both ends of China’s imperial history. In 1860, the Garden of Perfect Brightness 圓明園, the de facto seat of the Qing dynastic court, was ransacked and put to the torch.… Read

Outside the Pigsty Looking In, Two Views

In 2019, the Fifteenth Day of the First Month 正月十五 falls on the 19th of February. It marks the first full moon of the Lunar New Year and it is a festive day generally known as Yuanxiao 元宵, literally ‘First Evening’.… Read

Sic transit gloria mundi — Ten Years of A Prosperous Age

Translatio Imperii Sinici It is a decade since the appearance in Chinese of the novel In an Age of Prosperity: China 2013 《盛世:中國、2013年》 (translated into English by Michael S. Duke and published under the title The Fat Years in 2011).… Read

The Year of the Pig Foretold

China Heritage foreshadows the 2019-2020 Year of the Pig 己亥豬年 with a New Year’s card designed by Callum Smith. Here, we use the sheathed bronze Pig’s head from Ai Weiwei’s ‘Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads’ to:
  • Reflect on the mainland Chinese regime of censorship and guided opinion that enters its seventieth year in 2019;
  • Recall the detention of the artist-writer Ai Weiwei in 2011 (see A View on Ai Weiwei’s Exit) and the plight of victims of state repression;
  • Remember people in- and outside China who, through their words and deeds, reject attempts to 鉗口結舌 qián kǒu jié shé — ‘seal mouths and knot tongues’; and,
  • Reconsider 2019, a year of historical commemoration, anniversaries and mourning.
  • Read

    My Puppy’s Death by Liu Xiaobo

    Dog Days (X)   We conclude our series of Dog Days, serialised over that past year in China Heritage and featured in New Sinology Jottings, with a poem about a humble animal whose cruel fate contributed to greatness.… Read

    Humble Recognition, Boundless Possibility — Part I

    After the Future in China
    Xu Zhangrun’s Triptych for Today   The Pirouette of Time introduced Xu Zhangrun’s triptych ‘After the Future in China’. As we noted there, these essays are a bold attempt by a courageous and insightful writer to consider ways in which the past holds promise for a future free of Communist Party control.… Read

    The Pirouette of Time — After the Future in China

    On 18 December 2018, the Chinese authorities commemorated the fortieth anniversary of the December 1978 Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Party. During that momentous meeting, Party leaders formalised a decision to abandon key elements of Mao-era policies and instead focus the nation’s energies on the economy and improving the living standards of ordinary Chinese.… Read