Hong Kong — Twenty-five years after the fall

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium Appendix XII 治 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

The Double Fifth Festival and the 35th of May 2022

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium Appendix XI 屈 On 30 May 2017, China Heritage published ‘The Double Fifth and the Archpoet’, a commemoration of the annual Chinese lunar Double Fifth Festival 端五節 and a celebration of dissent, both past and present.… Read

A Decade of Telling Chinese Stories

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium Appendix X 敘 ‘We tell ourselves stories in order to live.’ This is the famous opening line of Joan Didion’s 1979 The White Album, a series of autobiographical essays about the 1960s.… Read

We Need to Talk About Totalitarianism, Again

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium
Chapter I 比 Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers… — from ‘V.… Read

The Pandemic of Fear & the Angel of Dread

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix VII 懼 ‘It will need the whole of Europe to keep those gentlemen within bounds.’ — Frederick the Great on the Russians
quoted in Norman Davies
Europe: A History, 1997, p.649 In response to a visit to Babyn Yar (Ru.: … Read

Other People’s Thoughts, XXIX

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

Dissing Dissent

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix V 迥 The GOP in the United States of America and the CCP in the People’s Republic of China have long demonstrated eerily similar traits: an obsession with distorted historical narratives coupled to delusional nostalgia; the heroic defense of patriotic education; destructive sectarian political behaviour; intolerance of dissent and enmity towards civil society; a proclivity for rule by secretive cabals of power-brokers; a crippled vision of individual rights and collective responsibilities; a worldview based on what in recent years has become known as ‘fake news’; a fixation on conspiracy theories and systemic paranoia; the promotion of hate and resentment; self-affirmation provided by a claque of toadies, ambitious politicians and unprincipled media figures; an admiration for and the cultivation of oligarchs both at home and abroad; an obsession with race and ideological rectitude shored up by glib sophistry; the targeting of minorities for political advantage; the drumbeat of militarism; an apocalyptic view of the world; and, a penchant for rhetorical warfare, among many others.… Read

Eileen Gu — Hu Xijin on Skis

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix VI 直   Until being detained in early 2020, the lawyer Chen Qiushi (陳秋實, 1985-) was a popular citizen-journalist known both for his short videos and on-the-ground reports first from Hong Kong during the 2019 Uprising and later in Wuhan during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic where he attempted to report on the ‘Wuhan Flu’ 武汉肺炎 (武肺) — later known as ‘Corona Virus’ 新冠病毒 or Covid-19 — in February 2020.… Read

The President & The Chairman in Retrospect

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix V 鞭 It is one of the paradoxes of official life in the People’s Republic of China that the most fraught moment in a person’s career often comes after they are dead.… Read

A Week That Changed The World

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix V 撼   Assignment: China is a multipart documentary series focussed on the journalists who have described the remarkable changes in China since the 1940s.… Read

‘Welcome to China, Mr. President!’

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix V 迓 Jianying Zha 查建英 wrote her short story ‘Homage to Richard Nixon’ in Hong Kong in 2000. It first appeared in ChinaFile in August 2021.… Read

Nixon’s Press Corps

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix V 蒞 Chen Jo-hsi (陳若曦, 1938-) was an established writer from Taiwan when she and her husband decided to relocate from the United States to China, just as the Cultural Revolution was engulfing the country.… Read

The Threnody of Tedium

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, a Tally 單 The threnody of the Xi Jinping decade is tedium, something born of the ceaseless oscillations within China’s hermetically sealed system and it signals its deadening presence through reversals and the glum repetition of various tropes of the past.… Read

A Valentine for M on the Bund

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix IV 闔 In 1999, the restaurateur and cultural impresario Michelle Garnaut opened a new venture in Shanghai. M on the Bund 米氏西餐廳在上海外灘 was located in the Nissin Shipping Building on The Bund 上海外灘日清大樓七樓.… Read

Requiem for an Autocrat — Fang Zhou on Xi Jinping’s End of Days

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix III 霸 Political power struggles in the People’s Republic of China have an ineluctable rhythm. Every five to ten years the quotidian thrum of wrangling reaches a dramatic crescendo as the contention between individuals, factions and elites is focussed on the spoils of power.… Read

A Beijing Winter after the Summer Olympics

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, Appendix I 捌 ‘Beijing 2022’, the Winter Olympic Games (4- 20 February 2022), is hailed by China’s state media as the concrete expression of the guiding genius of Xi Jinping.… Read

You Should Look Back

Introducing Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium 瞽 The title of this introductory essay — ‘You Should Look Back’ — is a reference to ‘Don’t Look Up’, a film directed by Adam McKay that was released in December 2021.… Read

Greeting the Renyin Year of the Tiger 壬寅虎年

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium
Tiger Skins in the Year of the Tiger 拉大旗作虎皮 The writer Lu Xun used the expression 拉大旗作虎皮 lā dàqí zuò hǔpí, literally ‘drape yourself in the flag as though it were a tiger skin’, to mock people who put on a formidable show to disguise their lack of substance.… Read

Liu Xiaobo on the Inspiration of New York

Spectres & Souls Chapters in the 2021 issue of China Heritage Annual: Spectres & Souls, have appeared throughout the year, and which will overlap into 2022, we posited that many of the spectres and shades, as well as the enlivening souls and lofty inspirations, that assert themselves both in China and the United States in 2021 may present an even more compelling aspect when considered in the context of the 160-year period starting in 1861.… Read

Xmas 2021 — Crumpet, the Low-key Elf, and Christmas Freud

Spectres & Souls The 23rd of December 2022 will mark thirty years since ‘Santaland Diaries’ featured on Morning Edition on National Public Radio. In 1992, I split my time between Canberra, where I had a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian National University, the People’s Republic of China, where friends flourished once more in the midst of a phantasmagoria, and Boston, where I was working on a film about the 1989 Beijing Uprising.… Read