China’s Virus of Lies in 2020

Viral Alarm The following material is reprinted from China Digital Times 中国数字时代 with the kind permission of Samuel Wade, the deputy editor. This is a chapter in Viral Alarm: China Heritage Annual 2020.… Read

Chen Qiushi’s Gift of the Gab

Viral Alarm The lawyer Chen Qiushi (陳秋實, 1985-) was one of the autonomous citizen-journalists who attempted to report on the outbreak of ‘Wuhan Flu’ 武汉肺炎 (武肺) — later known as ‘Corona Virus’ 新冠病毒 or Covid-19 — in February 2020.… Read

Ho-ho Holiday — Lil Nas X & New Sinology

Viral In February 2020, Professor Xu Zhangrun released ‘Viral Alarm — When Fury Overcomes Fear’, and we have taken ‘Viral Alarm’ as the theme of the 2020 China Heritage Annual. a series of essays, translations and meditations.… Read

Cyclopes on My Doorstep, by Xu Zhangrun

Viral Alarm   The following essay by Xu Zhangrun, translated by Geremie R. Barmé, first appeared in SupChina on 17 December 2020. It is reprinted here with the kind permission of Jeremy Goldkorn.… Read

Other People’s Thoughts, XVIII

Other People’s Thoughts is a section in the Journal of the China Heritage site. It is inspired by a compilation of quotations put together by Simon Leys (Pierre Ryckmans), one of our Ancestors, during his reading life.… Read

Those Who Would Love

Viral Alarm   Xu Jinchuan (徐錦川, 1960-) is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist. The following essay, titled ‘Those Who Love’ 那些愛著的人們, appeared on 15 November 2020 in the series ‘Xu Jinchuan’s Reading Life’ 徐錦川的讀書生活.… Read

‘Adieu, China!’ — Jianying Zha’s Long Farewell

Spectres & Souls   The following exchange between Jianying Zha 查建英 and Katō Yoshikazu 加藤嘉一 stands as the introduction to Freedom Is Not Free — A New Decameron, the record of a conversation between the two writers — one from China, who is an American, and the other from Japan, who has been a long-term resident of China — that took place in Beijing over a ten-day period in August 2018 (although the authors made additions to the text that reflected their views of the 2019-2020 Hong Kong Uprising).… Read

A Trumpty Dumpty Denouement — 6 November 2020

Viral Alarm   This chapter of Viral Alarm — China Heritage Annual 2020 forms a bookend of sorts with ‘A Golden Monkey’s Journey to the East’, the essay with which we launched China Heritage on 1 January 2017.… Read

Democracy & The Future — 3 November 2020

Viral Alarm   We mark a consequential date on the global calendar by offering two songs by Leonard Cohen. Both ‘Democracy’ and ‘The Future’ featured in an album released in 1992 album.… Read

Celebrating the Egg-fried Rice Festival in West Korea

A New Sinology Jotting   Chinese festive foods have long been embraced by international cuisine. Spring rolls 春捲兒 chūn juǎn’r and dumplings 餃子 jiǎozi are eaten all year round and around the globe, and moon cakes 月餅 yuè bǐng enjoy a seasonal  popularity.… Read

Erewhon & Its Enemies

Prologue to Controversy *** One of the abiding interests of China Heritage is China’s ‘climate of cancellation’, that is the various ways in which ideas, individuals, peoples, histories and possibilities have, over time, been demonised, repressed, censored or eliminated by power holders and their institutions.… Read

Protesting the Wrongful Arrest of Geng Xiaonan in Beijing

Viral Alarm   On 20 October 2020, Voice of America reported that: Authorities in Beijing have detained an outspoken publisher and her husband on suspicion of running an “illegal business operation” after she made public her support for former Tsinghua University scholar Xu Zhangrun, a critic of China’s leaders who is now under house arrest.… Read

‘A Sunflower Glaring at the Sun’ — on Geng Xiaonan being formally arrested

Viral Alarm   On 19 October 2020, legal counsel acting on behalf of Geng Xiaonan and her husband, Qin Zhen, publishers who had been detained by the Beijing authorities on 9 September 2020 on suspicion of ‘illicit business practices’, was formally notified that, following a preliminary investigation, his clients had now been officially arrested and would, in the fulness of time, be arraigned in court.… Read

Geng Xiaonan & the Siege of Beijing

Viral Alarm   On 8 October 2020, we reprinted an account of the one hundred days since the National Security Law was imposed on Hong Kong, from 1 July 2020, compiled by Katja Drinhausen of the Mercator Institute for Chinese Studies (MERICS) (see: The Siege of Hong Kong — The First Hundred Days of the National Security Law.)… Read

Hong Kong & 講耶穌 gong2 je4 sou1

Hong Kong Apostasy   The Cantonese expression 講耶穌 gong2 je4 sou1, literally ‘to give a sermon about Jesus’, or ‘to be preachy’, generally means to prattle, or to speak in a boring and vacuous fashion.… Read

Geng Xiaonan, Ren Zhiqiang & China’s Refuseniks

Viral Alarm   Over the years we have all too frequently had reason to quote a famous observation by Sima Qian 司馬遷, the Grand Historian of the Han dynasty: The refusal of one decent man
outweighs the acquiescence of the multitude.… Read

‘Geng Mulan’ — reading a poem for a hero

Viral Alarm   The following poem was composed by Li Xueyuan, a calligrapher based in Wuhan, Hubei province. It started circulating online in the early hours of Saturday, the 19th of September, a week after the Beijing police had announced that Geng Xiaonan and her husband Qin Zhen had been taken into custody and were being questioned in relation to what they called ‘illegal business activities’.… Read

The Kafkaesque Trials of Geng Xiaonan

Viral Alarm *** *** In the editorial introduction to ‘Geng Xiaonan, a “Chinese Decembrist”, and Professor Xu Zhangrun’, (China Heritage, 10 September 2020) we quoted Jerome A. Cohen, Faculty Director Emeritus of New York University’s U.S.-Asia… Read

Ai Xiaoming on Geng Xiaonan’s ‘Dance of Defiance’

Viral Alarm As Jerome A. Cohen, Faculty Director Emeritus of New York University’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, notes: ‘This week saw the detention in China of Geng Xiaonan, a well-known Beijing publisher and outspoken supporter of the famously harassed former Tsinghua University law professor Xu Zhangrun.… Read

Geng Xiaonan, a ‘Chinese Decembrist’, and Professor Xu Zhangrun

Viral Alarm   The 9th of September 2020 marked the forty-fourth year since the death of Mao Zedong. On the 10th of September, Professor Xu Zhangrun, formerly of Tsinghua University, issued the following statement: Geng Xiaonan 耿瀟男 had been in the international news since early July when, following the detention of Xu Zhangrun by police in Beijing, she had spoken out in his defense.… Read

Crowdfunding a Scholar Becalmed

Xu Zhangrun vs. Tsinghua University   The following announcement was released online by Sun Nutao 孫怒濤 on 31 August 2020. Along with Yan Huai 閻淮, who is seventy-five, the seventy-eight year-old Sun has been active in supporting Xu Zhangrun 許章潤 during his travails with Tsinghua University (see, for example, Yan Huai 閻淮, ‘Rashomon & Growing Pains at Tsinghua University’, China Heritage, 10 May 2019).… Read

The Good Caucasian of Sichuan & Kumbaya China

Viral Alarm   The New Yorker magazine has played a not insignificant role in my life. As my interest in traditional Chinese thought and contemporary politics burgeoned in my teenage years, my grandmother, who spent six months annually with ‘the twins’, female cousins she thought of as sisters and who lived in Forest Hills in Queens, introduced me to the cartoons that were, and remain, a feature of that weekly magazine.… Read

Jimmy Lai, the Twilight of Freedom & the Dawn of ‘Legalistic-Fascist-Stalinism’ 法日斯 in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Apostasy   International commentators, analysts, political scientists and students of contemporary China would be well advised to add the phrase ‘Legalistic-Fascist-Stalinism’ 法日斯 Fǎ-Rì-Sī to their everyday lexicons. Professor Xu Zhangrun 許章潤, the outspoken Beijing-based critic of Xi Jinping’s China, created the expression some years ago to describe China today, a country ruled by a form of social control that, as he put it, is ‘cobbled together from strains of traditional harsh Chinese Legalist thought [法 Fǎ; that is, 中式法家思想] wedded to an admix of the Leninist-Stalinist interpretation of Marxism [斯 Sī; 斯大林主義] along with the “Germano-Aryan” form of fascism [日 Rì; 日耳曼法西斯主義].’… Read