China Watching in the Xi Jinping Era of Blindness and Deafness

Watching China Watching & Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium
Appendix XVI 覿   In January 2018, we launched an ongoing series titled Watching China Watching. Over nearly five years we have published a number of essays and reflections on studying the Chinese world and approaches to understanding the Chinese People’s Republic.… Read

A Language Lesson for New Zealand Chinese Language Week

A Lesson in New Sinology    China Heritage marks New Zealand Chinese Language Week 2022 (25 September-1 October 2022) by reprinting a poem and a series of tweets by Chris Tse, New Zealand’s poet laureate (2022-2024), as well as a report by Eda Tang for Stuff News.… Read

Other People’s Thoughts, XXXI

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

Sinology vs. the Disciplines, Then & Now

Old & New Sinology in China The following paper by the historian Brian Moloughney originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of the New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies (NZJAS). We are grateful to Duncan Campbell for being this text to our attention and to the author, as well as Paola Voci, editor NJAS, for permission to reprint it.… Read

A Country Besieged by Itself

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium
Appendix XVI 圍   The unofficial annals of China’s People’s Republic are crowded with instances of self-inflicted wounds. The grim tally includes: The ‘lean-to-one-side’ policies of Mao Zedong that bound the new nation to the Soviet Union and all that would mean in terms of its social, political and economic life; the emulation of Soviet-style ‘culture wars’ that devastated education, publishing, research, the arts and civic life; Mao’s experiments in radical utopianism that left tens of millions of people dead; his attempt to remake humanity itself one person at a time in a vainglorious Cultural Revolution that frittered away fourteen years; the purblind approach to an otherwise successful reform era from 1978 to 2008 that, while supercharging the economy of the country, continued to infantilise its people; and, the Xi Jinping decade during which strong-man politics has further entrenched some of the most revanchist and self-destructive impulses both of the Communist’s party-state and of the people over which it rules.… Read

Other People’s Thoughts, XXX

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

Xi the Exterminator & the Perfection of Covid Wisdom

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium
Appendix XV 零 As Xi Jinping, China’s party-state-army leader, consolidated power in 2013, he established more and more ‘special leading groups’ which allowed him to meld his role as the primus-inter-pares leader of the Communist Party with the functions of civilian government.… Read

Minting China Strategies in the United Kingdom

Watching China Watching
Chapter XXXVII   Steve Tsang is the Director of the China Institute of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Prior to 2016, he was the Head of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham, and before that a Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford.… Read

China Watching — old skills honed for a ‘new era’

Watching China Watching
Chapter XXXVI & Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium
Appendix XIV 窺 Charles Parton is a senior fellow at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). He served for thirty-seven years in the UK diplomatic service, with over twenty of those years spent dealing with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.… Read

The Whimsy and Wisdom of Lao Shu, in a Summer of Discontent

New Sinology Jottings We last encountered Lao Shu in the virtual pages of China Heritage when commemorating Dai Qing 戴晴. We also featured his work when introducing Making a Case for Humanity Over Banditry 《人間不是匪幫》, a collection of essays on China’s forever crisis by Xu Zhangrun 許章潤.… Read

In My Words — a poem by Xu Zhangrun

In the Xu Zhangrun Archive   The legal scholar Xu Zhangrun is a prominent specialist in constitutional jurisprudence. He was formerly a professor in the Faculty of Law at Tsinghua University, Director of the Centre for Research on the Rule of Law and Human Rights at that institution, editor-in-chief of the series Tsinghua Law Studies and special fellow at the Unirule Institute of Economics 天則經濟研究所.… Read

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

Latest Features

We Need to Talk About Totalitarianism, Again 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 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